For Immediate Release
Monday February 24, 2014
Code Kids Website Releases Video Interviews to Support Computer Coding in Schools Initiatives and CBC Documentary
SAINT JOHN – A group of Atlantic Canadian’s traveled to Finland and Estonia to learn about teaching computer coding in the classroom, an essential skill in the emerging IT economy. Along the way, they captured lots of TV footage for an educational documentary called Code Kids, produced by Saint John-based Hemmings House Pictures.
You can catch an advanced peak at some of that footage on a web site launched today in support of the Code Kids movement. The website,www.codekids.ca, hosts blogs and videos that support the initiative that is encouraging students, educators, parents and policy makers to include computer programming and technology from the early grades in the education curriculum in Atlantic Canada.
Jevon MacDonald of Volta is excited for the next generation of coders and technologists in our region if teachers are supported to integrate coding and technology into the curriculum, “We will create a social fabric which understands and is excited about tech – a place where creative and intelligent people want to build their business in any part of Atlantic Canada, from our small towns to our cities.”
In the winter of 2013, the small delegation visited Estonia and Finland on a fact finding mission exploring how other countries are successfully integrating technology into curriculum. These two countries are celebrated for their progressive education systems and booming IT economies.
René Boudreau, Executive Director at the New Brunswick Council on Research and Innovation, David Alston, Chief Innovation Officer at Introhive, and a film crew from Hemmings House Pictures documented many hours of information-filled conversations with different leaders in the ICT, Education and Government sectors. Many of these conversations have been edited down to less than 10 minutes to be shared on the CodeKids.ca website. More videos and blog content will be added to the site over the next few months as the emerging Code Kids movement is documented in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
Greg Hemmings, Founder and CEO at Hemmings House Pictures says that the release of a website that hosts unpolished video content and blogs during the evolution of the story is critical in engaging the community. His desire is that the final CBC documentary will be released after the Code Kids movement has gained significant momentum and that its purpose will be to celebrate a success story.
“As a filmmaker,” he says, “it has been very interesting to capture such relevant conversations on film to share in a very raw form in real time with the citizens of Atlantic Canada as we gather enough content to deliver our more polished documentary to CBC this spring.”
David Alston who has been a primary supporter of the coding in schools movement says that the website will be a place for people to see a lot of raw and relevant materials that may or may not make it into the CBC documentary, but is a critical resource that should be available for everyone to have access to.
“We have been capturing so many interesting resources for educators, governments, parents, students and even entrepreneurs during the production of this film,” he says. “We plan to release all of the relevant raw footage so our community can learn best practices from other countries and share ideas from other though leaders from Atlantic Canada and beyond.”
About the CBC documentary
Code Kids is a documentary following the journey towards seeing kids being taught coding in schools once again in Canada's Maritime provinces. With the happy ending already set as a goal, will support for the movement gain the necessary steam to make this a reality? Will the current coding pilots in schools show how kids can uncover new problem solving skills and be engaged at levels not often seen in other subjects? Will the amazing results seen in Estonia and Finland inspire those back home and will Canada's eastern-most provinces decide to take the lead in a global race to fill the millions of tech jobs that, at current rates, will not be filled in years to come without more kids choosing coding and tech as a career? Meet the supporters and volunteers behind this grassroots movement that's sweeping the globe and follow individual kids and how their lives have been changed by pursuing their dreams."