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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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Ontario Tech Faculty of Education launches new courses in coding and digital literacies

code and booksCritics of Canada’s education system say our youngsters are not gaining the basic computer science knowledge and skills they will need to help make our country technologically competitive in the future. Education is no longer simply about the so-called ‘3 Rs’.

In most cases, computer programming is still not integrated into the elementary curriculum in Canada. Further, digital literacy and coding are not even core subjects in high school: young Canadians are only exposed to these topics if they happen to take an elective course.

“Many other countries have already made the move in their educational systems to teach the fundamentals of computer code, as early as the age of five,” says Dr. Ami Mamolo, Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Education (FEd) at the Ontario Tech University (Ontario Tech). “Canadian parents have also shown interest in coding for their kids, as we’ve seen in recent news stories. Our university has been listening and is embracing educational coding with new courses to ensure the next generation of teachers is well-equipped to help their students be active participants in a digital world and be better prepared for future workplaces.”

“Young Canadians are clearly growing up in a vastly different technological environment than even the most recent generation did prior to Y2K,” says Dr. Diana Petrarca, Assistant Professor, (FEd), and Director of the Bachelor of Education program at Ontario Tech. “Change happens so quickly and the Ontario curriculum has not yet been updated to include coding in the same way educational systems are in countries like England and Australia.”

“Ontario’s expanded and enriched four-semester teacher education program has provided us with the opportunity to rethink and redesign our approach to teacher preparation at Ontario Tech, by promoting curricular integration and introducing innovative new courses,” says Dr. Suzanne de Castell, Dean of the Faculty of Education and international leader in the area of equity-based technology-enhanced learning.