NOEL's Corner #CScourse
How to Teach Computing MOOC
PE, ICT and Science Teacher K12 and K9
www.colegio-abaco.com (Madrid, Spain)
2014/2015 introducing programming and robotics (Lego EV3) in the school
1.1 What is computing?
Computing in primary schools in Spain is growing up during last decade.
We usually have ICT rooms, ICT Coordinators and recently some tablets and wifi.
By the way we teach digital literacy and IT from a few years ago.
Computer science is a part of technology, a subject of Colleges, not in Primary schools.
This year we've started to hear something about coding, Madrid region government has introduced coding at the institutes for first time ever.
In my school (private with public funds) we've introduced programming with Scratch in K9-K10 and robotics in K11-K12.
1.2 Why teach computing?
Doing an investigation about all of the school objects that depends on computing.
What we can do without them? Computing is esential to hold on our way of life.
How a movement monitor can turn on the lights when we go into?
In my school we've introduced Programming with Scratch and Lego EV3.
1.3 What should we focus on in our teaching? Skills
We're working on energy, each group have to investigate about light, sound, electricity, magnetism. During the tests in STEAM room, they've to record video, explain the investigation steps and demostrate how works it. Analytical thinking, perseverence, team work and communication skills are esential.
Resources and ideas
- Decomposition: Breaking a task or problem into steps or parts.
- Pattern Recognition: Make predictions and models to test.
- Pattern Generalization and Abstraction: Discover the laws, or principles that cause these patterns.
- Algorithm Design: Develop the instructions to solve similar problems and repeat the process.
Teaching without computers, it's possible!!
Developing Collaboration in Computing
I love this video, it's cool and real! In my school we work always in groups of 4, using Kagan structures.
Also we work in pairs during programming and robotics classes and it's real "two heads think better and more". The idea of driver&navigator is perfect, also another possibility could be work being student&teacher.
As my colleagues has written, I think in primary it is not a problem beacuse boys and girls work together and enganged in all subjects, it depends more on the teacher than computing.
If we use working in pairs, mixing boys and girls, doing awesome activities and connecting subjects with students life we'll have good recipes to teach computing.
Linking computing to other subjects
For me computing is a basic skill that can help any subject to be linked with the others or to improve the way to learn.
A few years ago we made an etwinning project with a french school. We presented our traditional games to the other country students, we worked during PE and English lesson, practicing games, recording videos (edited after) and preparing documents that explain the rules.
Using robots across subjects
We've started with educational robots this year, we've Lego EV3 and we use in Key11 and Key12 courses as independent subject, because is easier for us to organise the schedule.
Link it to Maths and Science is natural and very powerful, in my opinion for the rest of the subjects it is not the best resource (slower o more complicated for languages, music, etc than other resources).
Students are extra motivated using robots, I agree with Tullia, made mistakes it is a part of the process not a problem. I add the skill of resilience as a very interesting competence.
Educational Robotics Activities
Since september 2014 we teach robotics with Lego EV3 in ages 11-12. It's our first experience and it's being very nice.
We've started working with little problem solving, it takes them not more than 1-2 sessions and involves a few instructions and 1 sensor.
After first three months we proposed a very big problem, the children have to prepare robot to drive through a circuit, using several sensors, movement intructions and conditional sentences. Was great and fun!
Game design tools
I know and also I've worked in Scratch projects but I collected a very simple idea, using Presentations to develop literacy, creativity and imagination creating tales.
My little project, an example of a program to check english vocabulary.
Teaching internet search, web editing and computer networks
We use Google Apps every day, our students have one school account with Gmail, Drive, their own Youtube Channel, Calendar and Sites.
We've many devices as Ipad, laptops, PC or mobile phones to work with, and our students in primary are able to edit video and audio (audacity, Imovie, Youtube capture), share documents via Drive, create QR codes or RA made in Aurasma.
We want to improve our experience promoting personal portfolios using students blogs or something like this, it will be our next step.
Digital Literacy & E-safety Resources
We're very concerned about this issue, when they start with google account we provide them some instructions and rules to make safer the internet experience:
- Rules about passwords, how to select, not to share, routines of changing it
- We set up gmail not allowing emails from or to outside of our network
- We use always apps and webs that allows login with google accounts, never creating new users
- We colaborate every year with police internet safe program, they visit us and talk about the risks and consequences of phising, etc.
- We organize parents conferences, they're part of the problem, they provide phones early and they arent able to control the use of these devices.
- Finally we've included some ban/fines in the school agreement of behaviour