As of September 2022, Ontario’s Science and Technology curriculum for students in Grades 1-8 will change, marking the first significant update to the policy since 2007. The modernized curriculum is designed to reflect the significant technological advancements made over the last decade, putting an emphasis on applying science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to prepare Ontario’s students for the jobs of tomorrow.
A key pillar of this new curriculum is coding, with coding expectations for students beginning as early as Grade 1, and building until Grade 9.
For many teachers across Ontario, the introduction of coding curriculum and the requirements to teach on emerging STEM concepts may feel daunting.
At InkSmith, we equip educators with the products, curriculum and training they need to learn and teach 21st-century skills, empowering them to keep up with rapid changes. It’s our aim to improve pedagogy and technological proficiency, helping educators inspire their students to integrate hands-on STEM technology into their classrooms with confidence.
To support educators in sourcing free coding curriculum, we’ve compiled this list of recommended resources and digital lessons to integrate into lesson plans this Fall!
Free Coding Resources
1. InkSmith's Mission on the Moon
In September 2022, InkSmith is set to launch “Mission on the Moon”, a lunar rover-themed coding and robotics educational program for Canadian youth. Designed in collaboration with Wilfrid Laurier University’s Faculty of Education and funded in part by the Canadian Space Agency, the project will deliver space-themed STEM programming for youth in grades 6 to 9. Each course introduces students to a different space-themed concept and concludes with coding a program to achieve a specific lunar rover mission.
Not only will teachers receive access to classroom-ready resources and curriculum content, but the program is also adaptable for in-classroom delivery or independent study online.
To be among the first notified when Mission on the Moon is released, sign up to receive email updates.
2. Canada Learning Code
Canada Learning Code is an organization dedicated to increasing the accessibility of computer science to communities across Canada, so everyone can create with technology. CLC partners with educators to design and deliver learning experiences, and their website is an incredible resource for quick, introductory lessons to coding.
Digital lessons range from pre-K to grade 12, and are based on the frameworks of programming, computer and networks, data, technology and society and design. A variety of subjects and skill levels are accounted for, meaning lessons on coding can be integrated into art, social sciences, and even physical education!
The Micro:bit Educational Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that inspires young people to develop digital skills through hardware and software that gets them excited about technology and the opportunities it creates. The organization’s flagship product is the micro:bit – a physical micro-computer that allows students to interact with their code in the real world. When paired with learning accessories like the InkSmith Climate Action Kits, the micro:bit expands coding opportunities and hands-on robotics experiences for students.
With curriculum-linked units and design challenges ranging from computational thinking to digital arts, music, history and more, the micro:bit website is a great resource to teach coding in primary and secondary schools.
Code.org is an education innovation non-profit that works to increase opportunities for students to learn computer science in their K-12 education. With their computer science curriculum, the organization works to expand access in schools with a unique focus on increasing participation among young women and other underrepresented groups.
Ontario’s New Coding Curriculum
Ontario’s new Science and Technology curriculum is a response to significant advancements in science and emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence. These innovations have enhanced and permanently altered the job force, particularly the skilled trades. In order to ensure students have critical life and job skills for the future workforce, an emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and the engineering design process will give students the opportunity to invent solutions to real-world problems.
For more information on the expectations for each grade level, see the following:
- Grades 4 to 6: impact of emerging technology and coding on everyday life, including skilled trades
- Grades 7 to 8: impact of emerging technology and coding, such as artificial intelligence systems, on everyday life, including skilled trades
- Grade 1 to 8: how science and technology can be used with other subject areas to address real-world problems
Standards-Aligned Robotics Kits
At InkSmith, we recognize the importance of hands-on, experiential learning opportunities in the classroom. That’s why we’ve created Robotics Kits paired with curriculum-connected lesson plans to empower teachers to bridge the gap between technology and education.
1. Climate Action Kits
Climate Action Kits are micro:bit powered inventor's kits designed to introduce students to coding and robotics. The goal of the kit is to provide purpose-driven learning experiences by connecting real-world climate change issues with tangible robotic solutions. Using the robotic components in the kit, students can build, prototype, and program their own working solutions to meaningful climate change issues. The Climate Action Kit bundle includes access to multiple courses, all based around climate change issues, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and physical computing.
Grade Level: 2-12
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Looking for more support in introducing the Climate Action Kit to your students? Join us for Coding For Climate — a two-part webinar series that explores how to bring coding, climate change issues and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals into the classroom in a purposeful, curriculum-connected way.
Not only is the webinar series free, but participants will also receive a free Climate Action Kit and micro:bit to explore climate change issues through inquiry, coding and project-based learning.
Stay tuned for more webinar dates and sessions coming in Fall 2022. Want to be notified first when new dates are available? Click here to join the waiting list.
2. k8 Robot
The k8 robot is an approachable, engaging introduction to coding and robotics - regardless of your gender, experience, or skill level. Equipped with a variety of motors and sensors, students can code k8 to perform many activities and actions, including driving, remote control and line following. k8 is an accessible entry-point into the world of robotics and promotes problem-solving, creativity and digital literacy in an engaging way. The k8 Modular Robotics bundle includes step-by-step instructions on how to build and code a real-life robot!
Grade level: 2-9
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate
InkSmith Robotics Kits are paired with classroom-ready lesson plans that can be delivered in-person, online or through a hybrid approach. Modules include comprehensive curriculum connections, including design thinking, computational thinking, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and more.
Training & Professional Development for Educators
Looking for more support in introducing coding and STEM-based technology to your students?
At InkSmith, we aim to make teaching with technology a joy, rather than a chore – for educators. We offer Educator Training sessions on a variety of topics relating to education technology, designed to help educators learn the skills and strategies needed to transform their teaching practice and increase student learning outcomes.
Our sessions focus on building teacher capacity and understanding around future-focused skills and cognitive frameworks which help enhance curriculum connections. Sessions are available in half or full day workshops, and include the following:
CONCEPTS & FRAMEWORKS
- Computational Thinking
- Design Thinking
- Universal Design For Learning
- UN Sustainable Development Goals
- 3D Printing & CAD Design
- Logic-Based Coding
- Laser Cutting & Engraving
- Hands-On Kinetic Learning