Coding to Learn and Create Co-Design Kit

The Coding to Learn and Create project is developing an inclusive coding environment and an open educational resource repository in collaboration with educators, students, and their families. To this end, we are working with students with complex learning needs and their families as well as special education teachers. Each group will be actively involved in the project as co-designers of the work in progress. Here is a list of some of the collaborative activities we've done or are planning to do with our co-designers:

Summer coding camps for kids with diverse abilities

Through this project grant, we are planning to offer coding camps during the summers. The goal of summer coding camps is to integrate the campers' ideas into the design of the prototype early on as the project is being developed. Our team is also hoping to build long term relationships with these kids, their families, and care providers in different regions in order to involve them throughout the project as co-designers.

The team members will be working with kids with different abilities and from different age groups over 5 days. During the first four days, the campers will have a chance to work with different robots to learn basic coding concepts, such as categorization, sequences, parameters, and repeated patterns. On the last day of their coding camp, campers will be introduced to the C2LC prototype and they will have an opportunity to practice the C2LC prototype through various creative activities. Once campers have had an opportunity to trial the prototype and test its different aspects, they will be involved in a co-design activity to generate ideas about how to improve the prototype to better address their needs.

To learn more and view the 2019 summer camps reports, visit these pages:

*2020 Summer coding camps are on hold due to COVID-19 pandemic and school closure

Community Drop-in/Coding Corner

A specific time and space will be designated for community gatherings to discuss specific topics, technologies, ideas and issues related to the project. The topic of each event will be announced to the community via email as well as IDRC and Bridges' social media pages. Remote participants are also welcome to join these meetings via Zoom. These meetings will be held on a monthly or bi-monthly basis depending on available topics and the interest of the community. A wide range of technologies, such as coding tools for kids, robots, and switches will be made available in the designated space to give participants an opportunity to use the existing technologies, identify their strengths and weaknesses and compare them with the project’s work in progress. These sessions are semi-structured. A presenter/facilitator will introduce the topic for each session and then propose a few ideas/prompts/ questions for the discussion. Each session can take up to 1.5 hours. The facilitator ensures that everyone gets a chance to share their ideas. When concluding the session, the facilitator will encourage participants to continue the conversation through email and on social media pages to inform the larger community about the discussed topics. The project team will integrate the notes and insights from these sessions into the project’s deliverable.

*This activity is on hold due to COVID-19 pandemic and OCAD University closure.

Facilitated co-design workshops at IDRC

At different phases of the project, IDRC team will have small to medium size co-design workshops in order to bring together the intended user groups. During these workshops, participants will be working on specific topics related to the project. Each session will take about 3-6 hours and 10-15 people will participate in the activities. 3-5 project team members will also be available during each workshop to facilitate the activities. The project team will plan the activities collaboratively with Bridges and other partner educators and advisors to ensure they are suitable for the participants. The workshop material can be provided in alternative formats and ahead of time if requested by the participants.

*All planned workshops at IDRC for March break 2020 were canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic and OCAD University closure.

Embedded co-design workshops

IDRC and Bridges will identify different organizations, schools, and institutions across Canada to invite them to participate in an embedded co-design process. The project team will work with the interested organizations to plan activities that are appropriate for their context, members and available resources. These sessions can be conducted in the presence of facilitators from the project team or only with internal facilitators from the partner organization. In the latter case, IDRC team will provide the internal facilitators with a facilitation guide and a full description of the activities including facilitation tips and strategies. IDRC team will also provide the internal team with all the required artifacts, material, and worksheets needed for the embedded co-design activities. After each session, the project team will meet with the internal facilitators to get their insight from the session and also collect the materials and worksheets from the embedded workshop.

Embedded co-design workshops at schools

These sessions were held at a primary school in the Toronto area that is specialized in working with students with complex learning needs. Teachers and personal assistants helped to facilitate the sessions and also assisted some of the students to participate in the activities.

To learn more and view the results from these workshops, view the following pages:

Embedded virtual coding sessions

To continue our embedded co-design activities during the quarantine resulted by COVID-19 pandemic, we planned a series of online coding sessions with the students from the same school we were doing our embedded co-design workshops. We used Zoom for these sessions and invited their teachers to join the sessions and participate in the planning process for each session. The goal of these sessions was to try out new coding activities and get feedback on our work, while also giving learners, their teachers, and parents a break from the routine of daily online classes. These will take the place of our in-person co-design efforts until it is safe to resume them.

To learn more and view the results from these virtual coding activities, view the following pages: