Cassidy created Coding Cubed: The Elementary Coding Unit-in-a-Box for her KI Senior Research Project, supported in part by the KI donor-funded Knowledge Integration Experience Award which allowed her to create a prototype kits for teachers.
Here’s how she describes her experience:
Coding Cubed is the only product designed to equip Ontario elementary school teachers with the confidence and tools to teach coding in a way that is relevant, engaging, and educationally valuable.
The new 2020 Ontario elementary school math curriculum expects teachers to learn how to code and write coding lessons despite having never done this before—this is on top of writing lessons for the rest of the new math curriculum and redefining how education works amidst a global pandemic. Research states that worldwide when coding curriculums are implemented with no training for the teachers, students only learn how to copy code. They don’t learn essential coding skills like how to problem-solve, think creatively, or fix errors in their code.
This is why Coding Cubed is an invaluable asset. Coding Cubed contains eight lesson plans designed specifically to meet every expectation from Grade 1-8 in the Ontario curriculum complete with slideshows, worksheets, and robots. On top of that, it helps students to learn important transferrable skills like problem-solving, patience, persistence, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creative thinking. It has made a lasting difference in the lives of the user evaluation teachers as they were able to quickly learn the fundamentals of coding, gain confidence in their abilities, and redirect their focus from developing lesson plans to empowering their students.
I got to independently take a large-scale project from conceptualization to completion. The most rewarding part of this project for me was getting such positive feedback from the teachers who implemented it. This project helped me personally to gain confidence in my lesson plan design and teaching capabilities, as well as tangibly by helping me to further my education when applying to Bachelor of Education programs.