“As teachers, we are futurists.” – Lisa Anne Floyd, Canada
Lisa Anne Floyd
Director of Research and Inquiry, Fair Chance Learning/ Instructor, Western University Faculty of Education/Teacher,Thames Valley District School Board
London, Ontario, Canada
For Lisa Anne Floyd, teaching students how to use technology effectively is critical, but it isn’t the ultimate goal.
“I believe it is even more important for students to be given the opportunity to become creators and authors of technology,” she says. “They can do this by learning how to code. No matter what field they pursue, they will at least need to have a basic understanding of how computers work, how we program robots to be artificially intelligent and how most of the objects around them will be connected to the internet of things.”
Floyd, a Certified Microsoft Innovative Educator knows that computational thinking – taking large problems, breaking them down into smaller, more manageable parts – is key to helping students think “differently, efficiently, productively and creatively.” And she knows that coding promotes this type of thinking.
“I always wondered what my students would have been able to accomplish had they been empowered to code at a younger age, and not have to wait until a high school elective course.”
Floyd also wondered why most of her computer programming students were male. “As a female educator who loved computer programming and who saw so much value in it as a universal skill for everyone,” she says, “this bothered me a lot.”
To help address this imbalance (and to provide students with coding opportunities at an earlier age), Floyd organized a coding day, first focusing on teaching the skill to administrators and fellow teachers. The effort was a success.
“I’ve since started working as a STEM learning specialist for Fair Chance Learning where I get to support students and teachers across Canada with learning how to code applications and digital devices with a focus on inquiry-based learning,” Floyd tells us.
“As teachers, we are futurists, preparing our students for jobs that don’t even exist today,” she adds. “We have a responsibility to ensure that they do not get left behind by ensuring they consider themselves as life-long learners and by providing them with an understanding of the tools/language of the future. Not only are we supporting our students with valuable computational thinking skills, but we are preparing them for the technologically advanced, adaptive world.”
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About Lisa Anne Floyd
- Blog: lisaannefloyd.com
- Educational background: BSc, BEd, MPEd (Mathematics Education) -pending
- Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: Visual Studio, OneNote
- What is the best advice you have ever received? Pursue your passion and help others to find theirs.
- Website I check every day: Twitter
- Favorite childhood memory: Playing piano with my sisters