Jodie Moore:- The Rockhampton Grammar School
Paul made the course interesting and practical, starting the day with an excellent summary of why this type of technology is so important for us to use with students, in order to engage with their world. We were able to use our own student work and see the application for our classrooms. When I got home and showed my family, my 6 year old daughter promptly started making her own puppet shows - a big wake up call.
A couple of great stories from Kids Connect
Kids Connect is a success and moves to Yeppoon
Some workshops in Caloundra
Here are some resources you might find useful.
I have put together a book to help people if they want to have ago at Project based learning which outlines how we created Kids Connect. There are also other very useful resources available in the collection called My One Best Thing which were written by a group of Apple Distinguished Educators.
During my career I've witnessed many fads come and go in Education so is coding just another fad? I believe educators will come to understand that it's foundational to learners in today's world not a fad. A quick search on LinkedIn will reveal that 12 of the most promising jobs in 2017 are in the Tech area. There has been an increased emphasis placed on the teaching of STEM in our curriculum as a recognition we need to have our learners have the foundation to meet the challenge of entering the workplace. I would argue we need to add Arts to this to make STEAM, so we recognise the importance of creativity.
So how do teachers justify teaching coding in their already overcrowded curriculum? Teachers need to understanding that coding allows students to apply mathematical concepts and gain valuable feedback in the process. When students are engaging with coding they are in fact encountering may concepts in maths that were difficult to understand but because they are getting feedback, they can easily understand the concepts. Two examples: - My year twos were working using the app Tynker to create a conversation between 2 characters. They wanted one of the characters to move towards the other one. We looked at a variety of ways to solve this problem using the block code available, including 'move a number of pixels'. We also looked at the position on the screen, and some of the children realised that the 'x' and 'y' positions changed, so they experimented with the "move by 'x' and 'y'".
In my year 1 class, they were set the task to get Scratch off the moon and back to earth. To do this, they needed to have Scratch walk over to the rocket but the rocket needed to wait for scratch arrival. They experimented with the Timer block to achieve this result which was a practical demonstration on time.