Canadian students can now develop their computational thinking skills while reinforcing their knowledge of the Ojibwe language, thanks to a new Ojibwe language version of the award-winning MicroWorlds JR software released today. TakingITGlobal's Executive Director Jennifer Corriero joined students and educators at Mine Centre School in Mine Centre, Ontario to demonstrate the new coding software.
MicroWorlds JR is designed for Pre-readers to Grade 4, putting children in full control with no reading necessary. It's easy to learn and use with simple, point & click operations, using "child-friendly" symbols, and a comprehensive audio help, now available in Ojibwe. MicroWorlds JR develops creativity, problem solving, critical thinking skills and logic.
To make this release possible, LCSI and TakingITGlobal collaborated with Jason Jones, Ojibwe Language Coordinator at the Rainy River District School Board in Fort Frances, Ontario. Jason consulted a number of community experts and elders to seek the most accurate translations, including his grandmother Nancy Jones who provided the recordings for the audio help.
"With 2019 being celebrated as the United Nations Year of Indigenous Languages, efforts are underway to offer additional Indigenous language versions of MicroWorlds JR in the coming months" said Michael Furdyk, TakingITGlobal's Director of Innovation. "We hope educators will take advantage of the free online courses at www.codetolearn.ca and contact us to receive training and support to engage their students."
MicroWorlds JR also features artwork from Anishinaabe visual story teller Nyle Johnston, which was featured in the Connecting With Our First Family exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario during the summer of 2018. Students can utilize this artwork as they design their projects in the software, offering them an opportunity to create interactive cultural stories and games.
"Ojibwe language learning is a key priority for our schools, and we're always looking for new resources and opportunities to bring language learning to life for students" said Heather Campbell, Director of Education at Rainy River District School Board. "I can't wait to see what creative projects students develop as they develop their digital skills in MicroWorlds."
"This is the first ever coding language available in Ojibwe" said Michael Quinn, President of LCSI. "This will enable children to reinforce their knowledge of Ojibwe and make them extremely proud of their heritage. In addition, as highlighted as a Call to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Report, teachers and students will now be able to create culturally appropriate interactive curriculum units."
Code to Learn is made possible by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada's CanCode program, the Government of Canada's historic investment of $50 million to support digital skills development in over one million young Canadians from kindergarten to grade 12, and their teachers. TakingITGlobal is one of 21 CanCode recipients, and its Code to Learn and Create to Learn programs are also supported by Cisco and Deloitte.
"It's impressive to see the combination of digital skill development and language learning thanks to TakingITGlobal's Code to Learn program," said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. "This important contribution to the United Nations Year of Indigenous Language is encouraging students to strengthen their knowledge of the Ojibwe language, while equipping them with the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow."
"I'm so pleased to see our local schools involved in this important digital skills initiative" said Don Rusnak, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay - Rainy River. "It's critically important to strengthen Indigenous language learning resources, and I'm proud that our community has partnered with TakingITGlobal to launch the Ojibwe language version of MicroWorlds today for the benefit of Ojibwe language learners everywhere."
MicroWorlds JR in Ojibwe can be downloaded free of charge for Windows or macOS at www.codetolearn.ca, with a getting started guide also available in Ojibwe.
TakingITGlobal's mission is to empower young people to understand and act on local and global challenges. With over 25,000 educators engaged with TakingITGlobal for Educators (TIGed) programming, from over 5,000 schools in over 150 countries, including over 3,000 Canadian educators, we connect hundreds of thousands of students worldwide to meaningful, interactive learning experiences.
About Logo Computer Systems Inc. (LCSI)
Founded by MIT Professor Emeritus Dr. Seymour Papert in 1981, LCSI is a leading publisher of award-winning, constructivist educational software for K-12 schools around the world. The primary objectives of our software are to develop a child's creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking skills. LCSI has won 28 prestigious educational software awards in North America, Europe, and Asia.