Remote teaching tool to effectively teach coding in middle school and high school

It was spring break when the reality of the pandemic set in. The provincial wide lockdowns came abruptly and like many educators, my spring break turned from one of relaxation to sheer panic as we prepared to pivot to remote teaching. There was little time to adapt our lessons and after trial and error we realized that some units or lessons would not be transferable from the brick and mortar system they were developed for. I needed to find a remote teaching tool to effectively teach coding in middle school and high school that could also be used when we transitioned back to in-school learning. 

I had already been testing out different coding tools but so far had not found an effective one. So I was excited when I discovered for three reasons:

  1. The content and skills directly aligned with curriculum requirements and in some aspects were even ahead of educational technology trends combining and embedding Coding, Virtual Reality, Design Thinking & Computational Thinking into every lesson.
  1. Incorporation of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) skills made C3D both engaging and challenging for students
  1. C3D provided me with the resources and support I needed to adapt my lessons to online teaching confidently despite having limited knowledge of coding myself.

1. Content and Skills

C3D immediately stood out from other programming tools. It uses familiar block based coding (e.g. Scratch and Blocky), but it also provides an option to “peek” behind the blocks and allow for students to see and write in javascript. Having this feature built into the software helps students to bridge the jump between visual and text based programming.  

C3D Visual & Text Based Coding
C3D Visual & Text Based Coding

Another feature that I found separated C3D apart was it’s virtual reality (VR) component. VR requires a set of goggles, which initially was cost prohibitive, until Google Cardboard released affordable viewfinders to fit the average cell phone (See a list of all affordable viewfinders here). Google also came out with VR expeditions, a great free resource to explore different environments and useful as a lesson “hook” or introduction to a new unit or topic. However, Google Expeditions recently announced they will be closing their site and focusing more on Augmented Reality (AR) with Google Arts and Culture, further adding to the void of accessible VR Edtech and coding in middle school tools.

Educators know that lessons utilizing all three primary learning styles (auditory, visual, and kinesthetic) not only benefit the diverse learning needs of students, but also provides deeper learning across the Cognitive, Psychomotor, and Affective domains as students engage more deeply with the content and skills. C3D coding coupled with the VR technology supports this kind of learning that is not easily achieved and becomes even more valuable as a remote learning tool.

Learning Pyramid
Fig. 1. The Learning Pyramid from Education Corner. Accessed 29, November. 2020.

C3D stands out from other remote learning tools by removing the passive learner and providing students a hands-on approach to construct their own VR worlds, making the learning more meaningful as students can apply their own knowledge and experiences. Moreover, using the C3D Facilitators Guide, students engage in problem-based learning by designing and programming VR worlds that tackle real world problems. The Facilitators Guide applies design thinking and computational thinking, iterative processes that create space for students to fail and learn through trial and error. 

C3D Computational Thinking Example
C3D Computational Thinking Example
C3D Summative Assessment Example
C3D Assessment Example

Lastly, C3D works with other third party softwares like Tinkercad, a computer aided design (CAD) software often used in conjunction with 3D printing. Tinkercad allows students to flex their creative muscles and create their own 3D models to import into their virtual worlds. 

C3D Assignment Example
C3D Assignment Example
Tinkercad Modelling Example
Tinkercad Modelling Example

2. Engaging and Challenging

C3D as a learning activity incorporated STEAM throughout the unit and takes coding in middle school to the next level. Following the suggestion of the Facilitators Guide, I assigned one of the Applied Technologies questions from the BC curricular competencies.

To break down this complex task, students followed a Computational Thinking approach. Here students applied SCIENCE processing skills by observing, inferring, and predicting outcomes of their code. They engaged with different hardwares (some students used mice for the very first time) and software TECHNOLOGIES like Tinkercad. They used ENGINEERING concepts of perspective and structural analysis to build objects to scale.

And finally, students applied MATHEMATICS to manipulate objects by using x, y and z coordinates to position their objects and rotation planes and axis to move their objects around. With just the guiding question provided to them, students were afforded full creative license when designing and programming their virtual world. A perk of using VR is that students can let their imaginations run away and truly get ARTistic with their characters and storyline.

C3D Teacher Dashboard
C3D Teacher Dashboard

3. Resources and Support

Perhaps the most compelling reason for selecting C3D was the educator resources that it came with. Programming and coding are fairly new to me so I was hesitant to try something brand new while simultaneously navigating online learning. However, I quickly found my lesson planning was reduced as I was able to follow along with the Facilitators Guide. Additionally, using the tutorial videos took some of the teaching off my plate and allowed students to progress at their own pace without getting frustrated or bored. My favourite aspect of using C3D as a remote learning tool was using the teacher dashboard to monitor student progress in real time and pinpoint which students needed extra support and which students were excelling and could use additional challenges.

Upon reflection, C3D did more than just help me transition to remote learning, it leveled up my teaching. Initially trepid to tackle coding in middle school, I now feel confident to teach programming, modelling, and virtual reality thanks to the teacher resources and C3D’s ability to be an effective remote learning tool. Whether the future of education remains a brick and mortar environment or evolves to a hybrid model, is a valuable resource that I will continue to use to teach students the 21st century skills they need.

Author- Kelly Nichols

Kelly Nichols

Kelly is a high school educator and founder of EdTech Consulting

  1.  Freeman, A, et al. NMC/CoSN Horizon Report: 2017 K–12 Edition. 2017,
  2. “Google Cardboard.” Google, Google,
  3. “Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies 8.” Building Student Success – B.C. Curriculum, BC Ministry of Education, 2020, 

Why a Cross-Curricular Approach to Teaching is the Future

Cross-curricular teaching

This Summer I had the opportunity to intern with as a Remote Marketing Intern this Summer. What drew me to was the product and its mission ‘To make coding education accessible and engaging’. I loved how the concept of Cross-Curricular Teaching was the foundation of the product. 

As a student I often find myself asking ‘How does what I’m learning apply in the real world?’ or ‘When will I ever need this?’. Education for a long time has been an isolated experience. For example, when you study maths you usually look at theorems and formulas but rarely are you taught how it translates into the real world. 

And for a lot of students, not seeing the purpose or relevance in what they are learning can be a demotivating factor and result in low engagement and enthusiasm. Cross-curricular teaching is often seen as a way to address the problem fragmentation and isolated skill instruction in education.

My earliest memory of Cross-curricular education was in primary school, 4th class. Every morning before we started the school day, my teacher would name a country and the class would respond with its capital. After 6 weeks of this exercise, the class collectively knew the capitals of 30 countries in the world, which was impressive for a group of 9-year-olds. 

My teacher decided to take the exercise a step further and instead of just memorizing the capitals of the countries we also learned about the histories of the capitals. This was a great way to link geography and history together in one project and added another dimension to our learning. What I loved was that the learning wasn’t separate, but rather tackled simultaneously.

Cross-Curricular Education and C3D

Understanding and knowing how to code is becoming increasingly important as we see technology permeate into different facets of our society. Introducing students to these fundamentals is just as important as reading, writing and maths. 

Cross-curricular learning allows for more inter-connected lessons that capture your students’ imagination and coding is a great medium to spark creativity. An area that has always fascinated me is the intersection of coding and art. 

As a kid, I was always interested in and fascinated by animation, visual effects, storytelling. I would spend my free time writing short stories and creating my own comic books. The day I discovered a lot of my favourite films and games were brought to life using technology and coding everything clicked.

I had discovered a new medium to tell stories and create art while developing a valuable skill. This is passion and interest is what really drew me to C3D. Teachers using C3D are provided with the tools and lesson plans to help their students express themselves and explore their creativity. while understanding the fundamentals of computer science. 

Benefits of Cross-Curricular Teaching

Encourage critical thinking and reasoning

Moving away from merely memorizing facts, Cross-Curricular learning encourages students to make their connections and draw their own conclusions based on the material encouraging critical thinking and reasoning.

It can also lead to enhanced problem-solving abilities which are a valuable and desirable skill to have in the workforce. 

Cross-curricular teaching provides a meaningful way in which students can use knowledge learned in one context as a knowledge base in other contexts in and out of school

Create an environment for teamwork and collaboration

Cross-Curricular learning prepares the way for students to learn and work together, which is more reflective of real life. Very few people do their jobs without collaborating with co-workers, so this type of instruction is a training ground for future interactions. 

Through interdisciplinary studies, students can collaborate with one another, which serves as an enhancement for acquiring new knowledge. Teamwork paves the way for new discoveries. It allows students to share realizations and new ideas. 

Group members can experience multiple viewpoints, which leads to a better understanding of the material and human interaction. By keeping an open-mind, students can learn to be adaptable and take a human and empathic approach to problem-solving.

Increase student motivation and engagement

When teachers relate theory to the real world, they are able to encourage their students to embrace the subject matter. Once students learn how to apply their knowledge, they begin to see the value in learning. A greater appreciation of the learning process leads students to become active-stakeholders and life-long learners.

Interdisciplinary teaching can increase students’ motivation for learning and their level of engagement. In contrast to learning skills in isolation, when students participate in interdisciplinary experiences they see the value of what they are learning and become more actively engaged


In conclusion, cross-curricular education has benefits for both students and teachers. Being able to provide students with the real-world context to their learning is crucial in enriching their learning experience. Not only does it help them excel at school but it prepares them to be valuable employees in the future.


Codeca CEO showcases C3D to young innovators at Science Fair Foundation BC

Codeca CEO showcases C3D to young innovators at Science Fair Foundation BC

 [NEWS] Codeca CEO showcases C3D to young innovators at Science Fair Foundation BC!
BC Business article

Science Fair Foundation BC holds the 2020 Youth Innovation Showcase to help youth to showcase their innovative solutions to industry, academia and investors.  BC Business article announces Codeca CEO, Tomoko Okochi, has been invited to teach young innovators how to showcase their ideas and express their creativity using C3D on May 21st. The winners from three age groups, 12-15, 16-19, and 20-24 will take home $5,000 at online finals this spring. 

Codeca is proud to support the youth challengers by providing the workshop and we are excited to meet everyone there. 

“Move to online platform expands reach for the Science Fair Foundation’s Youth Innovation Showcase”

Alyssa Hirose,
BC Business
April 27


Science Fair BC hosts C3D workshop for Youth Innovation Showcase

CEO Tomoko

By Tomoko Okochi

Have an idea and want to take it to the next level?
Learn how to code and create your own Virtual Reality (VR) world and express your idea in VR in
Science Fair Foundation BC‘s Youth Innovation Showcase workshop our CEO Tomoko Okochi will be teaching on May 21!…

“C3D is a wonderful tool to blend programming with artistic creativity”

Jacob Tran


Ciirve is offering C3D classes

Ciirve offers C3D lessons

CIIRVE is an employer-funded wellness program that enables organizations to support employees through delivering enrichment education for their children.

CEO Tomoko

By Tomoko Okochi

CIIRVE is an employer-funded wellness program that enables organizations to support employees through delivering enrichment education for their children. C3D is partnering with CIIRVE to deliver C3D lessons to children of employees of CIIRVE customers. 

Be the employer that everyone wants

Support your employees working from home by offering their kids quality learning opportunities.

CIIRVE’s mission is to promote learning and engage kids online with curated and enriched curriculum. CIIRVE complements children’s traditional academic experience with enrichment education. Children are immersed in curated online learning experiences under the guidance of a high-quality educator. They do this by grouping children of similar ages into small classes and by making online learning interactive and fun. 

C3D team is proud to be a part of CIIRVE offering.
Contact to find out more.