Silvia Scandura's Learning Diary
European Schoolnet Academy MOOC "How to Teach Computing: An Introduction to Concepts, Tools and Resources for Primary Teachers"
I'm Silvia Scandura, a Lower Secondary School teacher in Italy.
My teaching subjects are Maths and Science. My background includes ten years as a researcher in botany and plant ecology, after which I became a full-time teacher.
Teaching changed my life and gave me something beyond a job: it gave me a purpose.
I'm passionate about technology and I try to use all the tools I can in the classroom, but I haven't fully explored the potential of coding yet: that's why I'm here!
Module 1, Question 1. What is the situation of computing teaching in your country?
In Italy we have specific ICT teaching only in Secondary school, while in lower grades we stick with the use of computers for educational purposes.
Primary school children mainly use Word, Power Point and Paint, mostly because these are the only tools that their teachers know... Middle school students often keep using the same tools, but it very much depends on the teacher to expose them to new learning opportunities.
I've seen that, once they discover new apps, they quickly become proficient.
There is a growing trend in Italy for computational thinking and coding, especially in primary schools, for example there has been a huge participation to the Hour of Code in 2014.
Module 1, Question 2. Identify one everday object, activity, situation, etc. for which an understanding of computing and knowledge of how to programme machines can help the students understand their world around them.
I always start talking about algorithms with the washing machine example. All kids know it and it's very easy to understand inputs, outputs and processing of "information".
Once the washing machine example is clear, it's much easier to extend the algorithmic thinking to computers, smartphones and interactive whiteboards.