The Vancouver School District with the City of Vancouver today announce in collaboration with BroadbandTV (BBTV) the launch of FuturePLAY - a sustainable and scalable educational program aimed at fostering digital and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Design, and Mathematics) literacy in grades four to seven students.
FuturePLAY will be rooted in two key goals: creating engaging and well-equipped learning spaces for students, and providing deep professional development for teachers to support them as they use these spaces. FuturePLAY will also directly support British Columbia's redesigned curriculum, with guiding principles that include personalizing learning, enhancing core competencies, mastering foundational skills (reading, writing and numeracy) and engaging in real-life situations. Through the development of 21st century competencies such as critical thinking and creative thinking as well as collaboration.
For students, the program provides technology such as Chromebooks and iPads pre-loaded with educational software for coding, design and other technical disciplines, while also creating resource spaces with modular environments that enable an array of collaborative methodologies and lend to different learning styles. For teachers, FuturePLAY offers deep professional development programs in collaboration with Science World to leverage the spaces effectively.
"Digital fluency will be essential to all new jobs. An understanding of technology will be essential for youth to integrate with critical thinking, social perceptiveness, and complex problem solving to remain competitive and resilient in a multi-job career pathway," comments Suzanne Hoffman, Superintendent, Vancouver School District. "It's our role as educators to equip learners with the right tools and to foster their curiosity so they can be successful in a fast-changing industry landscape."
"I'm so thankful to see this creative partnership of our Vancouver schools with leaders of Vancouver's innovation community - it will benefit local kids and our city well into the future," says Mayor Gregor Robertson.
"I'm particularly excited about how the program can increase the number of girls and indigenous youth who remain engaged in science and technology, and ultimately choose to pursue STEAM careers," comments Shahrzad Rafati, Founder & CEO, BroadbandTV.
"We are making sure B.C.'s students receive an education that provides them with the tools they need to thrive and contribute to a prosperous 21st century economy," explains BC Minister of Education Rob Fleming. "FuturePLAY fits perfectly with B.C.'s new curriculum and is a great example of partners coming together to ensure students have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed now and into the future."