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UNB and Province of New Brunswick partner to help integrate technology into students’ learning experience

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Jun 21, 2022

Category: UNB Fredericton

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has partnered with the University of New Brunswick’s McKenna Institute to help teachers integrate technology in the classroom and enhance their students’ learning experience.

“Using technology to assist learning gives students a deeper and more personalized learning environment by bridging gaps in time and place,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy. “We know that technology is advancing quickly, and equipping teachers with technological skills will help prepare students for a digital future.”

The partnership with the department’s anglophone sector has already begun, with 50 teachers receiving training through the Digital Learning Network.

"Digital education for K-12 is now essential to the socialization of our children,” said institute founder Frank McKenna. “The acquisition of these essential skills and fluencies builds a strong platform for their future success and well-being. With the McKenna Institute’s mission being, in part, to fuel social progress through the use of digital technologies, I feel strongly that we must start here.” 

Other initiatives include:

  • A program to enable middle school girls to learn the fundamentals of programming (coding) and explore related career opportunities.
  • The launch of the Centre of Excellence in Digital Innovation to connect students with experiential learning opportunities in information technology and cybersecurity.
  • The development of digital literacy standards and the creation of a web portal for teachers to access digital literacy resources, including learning activities they can implement in the classroom.
  • Summer learning opportunities for teachers to help them develop digital skills.
  • Virtual and in-person workshops for families, where they can engage in digital literacy activities and explore career pathways.

“This collaboration between the McKenna Institute and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will empower educators in New Brunswick to purposefully and seamlessly integrate technology into their teaching,” said Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle, UNB president and vice-chancellor. “UNB’s expertise in computer science and education will support these initiatives to ensure teachers and students are better prepared for a digital future.”

"Initiatives like these, that expose educators to a deeper level of knowledge on the benefits of digital, help develop interest in the value of computer science as an accessible and worthy education and career path for students. Our faculty is excited to be able to facilitate this,” says Dr. Luigi Benedicenti, dean of computer science at UNB Fredericton.

Established in September 2021, the McKenna Institute brings together academia, industry and government to help foster a globally competitive digital economy and society. The institute aims to support homegrown, technology-based solutions and help New Brunswickers retrain for the digital marketplace.

Media contacts:

Kelsey Pye
University of New Brunswick
k.pye@unb.ca

Danielle Elliott
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
danielle.elliott@gnb.ca

Photo: Adrienne O'Pray, executive director of the McKenna Institute at UNB, Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle, UNB president and vice-chancellor, Hon. Frank McKenna, founder of the McKenna Institute, and Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy. Credit: UNB