BC Wins Award for Bringing Innovative Creative Design Resources Into Classrooms

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The “Taking Making into Classrooms” online resource has won the award for Excellence and Innovation in the Integration of Technology in a Partnership or Collaboration through the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education-Le Réseau canadien pour l’innovation en éducation (CNIE-RCIÉ).

The online resource is a companion to the Taking Making into Classrooms Toolkit. It was funded by the Industry Training Authority (ITA) and the BC Ministry of Education and developed in partnership with the University of British Columbia (UBC) – Okanagan, Royal Roads University (RRU), and Open School BC (OSBC within the BC Ministry of Education). This award recognizes British Columbia’s innovative approach to bring making into classrooms through the design of an open, online resource for teachers.

Making is a way to build creative solutions to design challenges. Through problem-solving and tinkering, students gain experience working in a collaborative environment and learning critical thinking skills. ITA funds Discover the Maker Way programs that school districts in British Columbia can apply for and offer as one-day events, units within a class or as a year-long learning program. Learn more about ITA’s Discover the Maker Way at http://youth.itabc.ca/programs/discover/.

In British Columbia, the K-12 education system is supported by the newly developed Applied Design, Skills and Technologies (ADST) curriculum with the intention of building on students’ natural curiosity, inventiveness, and desire to create and work in practical ways. The Taking Making into Classrooms Toolkit and companion online resource were created to help educators explore key components of design thinking and making. The toolkit also includes 30 grade appropriate, curriculum-aligned design challenges, six case studies, and multiple examples of ways to embrace the design of ADST in their classrooms and their teaching practices.

According to the CNIE-RCIÉ, the Excellence and Innovation in the Integration of Technology award acknowledges the innovative work around the effective integration of existing or new technology in the learning environment. Applicants needed to demonstrate how the technology addresses a specific instructional problem and can be used in a new or novel way and must integrate seamlessly into the learning environment.

“Encouraging curiosity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills early in our children’s education will prepare bright minds for a range of educational pathways,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “We’re relying on today’s youth, with their knowledge, skill and creativity, to be our province’s future innovators and leaders.”

“Learning by doing inspires students to think critically and solve problems as a team, which are essential skills in the real world,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “It is exciting to see our partners recognized nationally for this kind of innovation in the classroom.” 

“What a great resource for teacher candidates preparing to start their careers as educators! Maker education resources show multiple pathways, including those informed by First Peoples Principles of Learning, by which learners can thrive through ‘hands-on, heads-in’ experiential learning,” said Wendy Carr, Associate Dean, Teacher Education, University of British Columbia.

“I’m very proud of the creative and progressive work being done by our Youth team in collaboration with others in this province,” said Gary Herman, Chief Executive Officer, Industry Training Authority (ITA). “The team’s vision, dedication, collaboration and commitment to provide students with programs to discover trades, as early as grade 5, is making a difference in schools across the province.”

Access the Taking Making into Classrooms Toolkit and companion online resource
The Taking Making into Classrooms Toolkit and companion online resource were launched in October 2017, offering creative commons licensed and intended to be used, remixed, contributed back to and broadly shared. These resources are available to all educators.

The Taking Making into Classrooms online resource can be accessed through OSBC’s Open Course Resource site: http://ocr.openschool.bc.ca/. Click on the “Professional Learning” Tab and select Taking Making into Classrooms.

The Companion website for the resource can be found here: https://mytrainingbc.ca/maker/

The Taking Making into Classrooms Toolkit is also on the UBC – Okanagan Innovative Learning Center’s website: https://innovativelearningcentre.ca/about/ilc-publications/

About ITA’s Youth Trades Training Programs for K-12
ITA’s Youth Discover the Maker Way program provides funding to allow K-12 students to get creative with hands-on trades activities through design thinking and making.

About the Industry Training Authority
The Industry Training Authority (ITA) leads and coordinates British Columbia’s skilled trades system. ITA works with apprentices, employers, industry, labour, training providers and government to fund training, issue credentials, support apprenticeships, set program standards and increase opportunities in the trades. www.itabc.ca

CONTACT: For interviews or more information, please contact:

Susan Kirk
Director of Communications, ITA
Tel: 778.785.2410
Cell: 604.315.9959
Email: skirk@itabc.ca

Danielle Bronson
Edelman Vancouver
Tel: 604.648.3438
Cell: 604.616.4425
Email: Danielle.bronson@edelman.com

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