Digital Learning and Pedagogy

Tools and Methods for Educators

Computational Thinking image

This unique opportunity allows educators to connect with researchers and other teachers to develop their own “just in time” curriculum that will support digital learning and collaborative problem solving in an online cohort-based setting.

View from above of table and hands working with laptops and iPads

Looking to build current and relevant digital learning opportunities, curricula and pedagogies for classrooms? You’ve come to the right place!

The Digital Learning and Pedagogy is an innovative, professional development program, bringing together university researchers, leading edge technology research, and K-12 experts. This program is cohort-based and designed for educators looking to build current and relevant design-based pedagogies and programs for classrooms, schools, and school districts.


Educators – teachers, vice-principals, principals, and district leaders – seeking the opportunity to build both their skills and their networks, and forge new connections to UBC faculty.


Participants will engage in a series of digital ateliers to explore how certain tools can be leveraged to break new ground in their own teaching contexts.

The program also offers an ideal opportunity for groups of educators from the same school/district to participate in the program together. Networking and staying connected to tools, resources, and one another is a key objective of this program.

Program Overview

More so now than at any time previously, algorithms and codes (zeroes and ones) shape, constrain, and dominate our online and offline lives. In educational contexts, what responsibilities do we have to help learners participate in meaningful ways in this altered, digital landscape and how do we fulfill those promises? Many jurisdictions, including British Columbia, at one point decided “coding for all” was the answer, however, this series of atelier’s argues that technical skills are just part of that picture, and understanding and participating in this digital, computational landscape, can and should be more expansive. To that end, this program focuses on what Yasmin Kafai and Quinn Burke coined, “computational participation” — reworked here to mean that educators need not be expert coders in order to support their students to participate in today’s computationally focused world through hands-on engagement in digital making and design, whether that be through storytelling, thinking differently about mental wellness, or just tinkering and exploring new digital tools.

Dr. Jen Jenson on Computational Participation

The Program

What kinds of experiences will you have with this course?

Individualized, hands-on professional learning for primary and secondary educators to experience for the first time, or to increase existing digital skills – both for yourself and for your students – in a supportive, collaborative online setting. Rather than focusing on standalone coding, this program widens the scope, examining how digital tools can be used to support learners’ play, experimentation, innovation, mental wellness, and creativity.

How will we do this?

Through a series of curriculum-aligned, hands-on and design-focused ateliers where you will make and do first, then apply what you learn to your own classrooms, schools, and school districts with the support of UBC Faculty of Education researchers and graduate students. Open access, digital tools will be selected to play and learn with, and where needed, digital tools (software and/or hardware) will be provided for educators to utilize in their own settings. Current research will be highlighted, with opportunities to engage in action research as part of participation in the program.

Program Outcomes

After completing this program, participants will be able to:

  • Create learning experiences for students using existing and emerging tools and technologies
  • Collaborate with other educators on the design of digital learning experiences and learn about leading edge research
  • Identify design-focused activities that promote student engagement using digital tools across curricular contexts
  • Experience digital learning from the student perspective
  • Experiment with and discuss how to assess student learning when they use diverse digital tools to show what and how they know
  • Connect with other educators around digital and computational learning, skills, lesson plans, tools and resources

ADST Curriculum

With BC’s curriculum in place, school districts must find ways to ensure their students are proficient in the core competencies by the end of their K-12 learning journeys. Applied Design, Skills and Technologies (ADST) is now a part of the BC Curriculum – the goal of which is to foster the development of the skills and knowledge that will allow students to create practical and innovative responses to everyday needs and problems – and Computational Participation plays a key role in this learning.

CP2 is a cohort-based program. There will be 4 ateliers throughout the school year, each with two meetings on consecutive Thursdays. Meetings will be held from 4PM – 6PM (PDT), online through Zoom.


Atelier 1 | December 2 + December 9, 2021

Atelier 2 | January 20 + 27, 2022

Atelier 3 | February 24 + March 3, 2022

Atelier 4 | April 21 + 28, 2022

Atelier Descriptions

Atelier 1: Introduction to Computational Participation and Competencies
In these first two sessions we’ll introduce the key concepts we’ll be working with, unveil our approach to support your learning/doing/playing, cover expectations, and model our play and tinker approach with some open access computationally interesting software/tools. We will emphasize from the start how to think about assessment, and explore how to do that through this series.

Atelier 2: Engaging Storytelling
The session will begin with an in-depth exploration of why stories, what they can do, and how stories can be used in all aspects of the curriculum to support academic and socio-emotional learning. Then we’ll turn to making our own stories, playful, personal, political, and/or whatever you want to imagine, modeling a tinkering and doing approach to using Twine. Nearly three decades ago, Kieran Egan argued in his book Teaching as Storytelling that stories can be used to teach “any content more engagingly and meaningfully” (Egan, 1989). In this session, we will explore the power of stories as a tool for teaching and supporting the acquisition of computational participatory competencies. Following Egan’s provocation, we will explore storytelling through the non-linear, online, and open-access interactive program Twine (

Atelier 3: Making and Mindfulness
Well before the global pandemic it was clear that many young people are struggling with mental (and physical) well-being. This session will bring together mindfulness and making as a means to support socio-emotional learning and well being for students. Mindfulness will make up the first of three intersecting themes that run through the session. The second focuses on the neurophysiology upon which mindfulness and mindfulness skills are based, and the third theme of the program — making — will connect the first two through a making project. Throughout the program, the core content (mindfulness and neurophysiology) will be connected to what we will be making, and will aim to reflect and develop participants’ understanding of the core content. In keeping with makerspace pedagogy, the making of an artefact will be hands-on, creative, and support solutions-oriented thinking.

Atelier 4: Designing Assessment
Responsive to the needs and interests of the group, this atelier will bring it all together through responsive, design oriented assessment discussions. By this point, many of you might have tried to implement one of the tools you would have tinkered, played with and discussed in one of our Ateliers. In these final sessions you will report back — showing your designs and/or your students, reflecting on processes, practices, curriculum connections, and importantly, assessment.


Dr. Jennifer Jenson

Professor, Digital Languages, Literacies & Cultures
Department of Language & Literacy Education

Nora Perry

Graduate Academic Assistant
Edith Lando Learning Centre

Irina Tursunkulova

Graduate Academic Assistant
Edith Lando Learning Centre

David Roy

Senior Program Assistant
Professional Development & Community Engagement


  • Fees: $175 + GST per person OR $500 + GST for a team of three from a school district/organization.

Seats are limited in this program. Early registration is strongly recommended.

Register now via the button, below!

NOTE: If you are registering a team of 3 from your school or district, please contact our Program Assistant David Roy at for registration details.


We accept payment by credit card or debit card. If your school district is supporting your registration, contact us for other payment options. Please note that should UBC cancel the course, a full refund will be issued.

Are you participating at part of a school or school district team? Contact us to learn about team grant opportunities.

  • Cancellation Policy: All courses are subject to minimum enrolment. If a course is cancelled due to low enrolment, registration fees will be refunded to you in full. If you are planning to travel to attend this course, we recommend you do not confirm your travel arrangements until it is confirmed to run. Review the FAQs for Non-Credit Course Registration.

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