OTF Coding Connections

We hear so much about STEM, STEAM, and Coding as a required skill in today’s world.

Are you looking for a chance to deepen your professional practice in this area? Do you see a need to explore how computational thinking and coding might have a place in your classroom? If you are interested in participating with a group of your colleagues in a teacher professional inquiry about how computational thinking and coding can positively increase student learning and well-being, then our OTF Coding Connections project may be perfect      for you.

OTF Coding Connections is a unique opportunity for teachers to pursue their own personal and professional learning goals using Lynx and/or MicroWorlds JR. These Canadian coding platforms and/or coding may be new to you, so your professional learning goals could be big picture or specific.

OTF Coding Connections is part of Code to Learn, a program funded by the Government of Canada, which offers free resources to Canadian students and teachers to help them learn coding, computational thinking and 21st century skills. Code To Learn focuses on learning to code and “coding to learn” by supporting activities in diverse subject areas and across broad curriculum goals.

Here’s what you need to know

  • Applications from teacher-led teams to build an OTF Coding Connections project for 2020-21 can be submitted until February 14, 2020 @ 5:00 pm.
  • Small grants of up to $5,000 are available for 20 teams, with preference given to those in rural, remote and Francophone school settings.
  • The grants may be used for release time, professional development, resources, materials or any other reasonable, related expenses to support your project.
  • Note that funds cannot be used to purchase hardware.
  • Participants receive training and free access for themselves and their schools to Lynx and Microworlds JR .
  • Access to free online courses, webinars and a designated space for project communication and collaboration are also provided.
  • OTF mentors help guide and support Coding Connections projects as they are administered.

To find out more about OTF’s Coding Connections project, check out our FAQ document.

How do I apply?

Step 1

Begin by gathering a team of like minded educators with whom you would like to learn more about computational thinking and coding in the classroom. OTF Coding Connections teams can consist of two or more teachers and/or other education workers, working in a single school or across schools.

Step 2

Next, think of a project idea that will launch you on your learning voyage together. It can be something that you have always wondered about but have never had an opportunity to try out, or it can be an activity that you have already begun working on and that you would like to push further. What are you wanting to explore, discover, or deepen about how coding and computational thinking might empower your learners? For example: developing coding skills, greater knowledge about cross-curricular integration, how students can use coding in a specific discipline, metacognition, deeper learning, global competencies, etc.

Step 3

Finally, download our OTF Coding Connections application form and tell us how you plan to learn together, track and share your learning!

Helpful Resources

Here are some helpful resources to get you started on your OTF Coding Connections journey:

  • Lynx Coding is the program used for students in Grade 3 and above.
  • Microworlds Jr. can be used for students in Kindergarten to Grade 3. Download Microworlds Jr.
  • Note that Microworlds Jr runs only on Windows or older Macintosh computers (pre Catalina – MacOS 10.15) and cannot be run on iPads, other tablets or Chromebooks.