In the JS Library Makerspace, we aim to develop students love of learning through hands-on learning by challenging the thinking process.
It is “a holistic approach that links the disciplines so that the learning becomes connected, focused, meaningful, and relevant to learners” (Smith & Karr-Kidwell, 2000, p. 22).
To celebrate our first week of our newly renovated library (which includes the Makerspace) the students were offered the opportunity to participate in the Global Day of Design (26th April #GDD16). Over three days, we offered three design challenges based on literature.
As a part of the Design Process, the students worked in groups to complete the challenge and then reflected on the learning (all in 30 minutes!).
The students were also exposed to the engineering design process which includes identifying a problem, developing ideas and solutions, and sharing these solutions with others.
Huff n Puff
Designing a bridge for the Billy Goats Gruff
Shake it Up
Designing an earthquake proof building
The Sky is the Limit
Paper plane designs
(Stealth: longest flight time in air)
toothpicks, masking tape and 3 marshmallows
playing cards and ½ metre of masking tape
Billy Goats have to be attached to a marshmallow.
Have to use all the toothpicks
Have to use all the playing cards.
1 A4 piece of paper
Some of the students’ thoughts:
Need to keep it stable and safe and so we used two cards per wall
We thought of strategies to keep the building up
All the parts have a function
Triangles have more stability than other things
Thought about the ways to stabilise and use all the cards
To use the triangle method not the cube
The ICT Mentors for 2016 were introduced to the Design Thinking concept and were available as support for the groups. They exhibited a wonderful enthusiasm and attitude to their role. Well done.
Digital Learning Day is an excellent way to celebrate the ways that our students engage with the world. In education, technology has changed the world we interact with each other – from the classroom to the world.
“Education is evolving due to the impact of the Internet. We cannot teach our students in the same manner in which we were taught. Change is necessary to engage students not in the curriculum we are responsible for teaching, but in school. Period.” – April Chamberlain
“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is most important.” – Bill Gates
On Monday 27th April, select students from Year 3, with the support of the Year 6 ICT Mentors participated in a PROGRAMMING WITH APPS session.
The students were introduced to the following concepts:
What a program is
How a computer ‘thinks’
Computer languages and visual programming
They experimented with following instructions and thinking computationally through the use programmable Bee-Bots and the Bee-Bot app. These tools are excellent for reinforcing directional and procedural language.
Through the use of visual programming apps, the students also learnt to create simple programs. Apps like Daisy the Dinosaur and Kodable support students to learn to code by solving puzzles. The ability to problem solve is a critical and creative skill for students to develop.
The students were now ready to create their own program using Scratch Jnr. This app has a drag and drop interface designed specifically for programming with younger children.
The students were given the task to collaboratively design a simple story, selecting an appropriate setting and writing an interaction between characters. This task made connections between the story writing process and computer literacy through programming. The ICT Mentors supported and directed the younger students exceptionally well at this stage.
This term select students in Year 1 & 2 had the opportunity to explore with WeDo Lego robotics. Students explored the features of the software, developing problem-solving skills through experimentation with Lego and were exposed to what it means to think computationally through programming.
Students reflected on the experience -see the PADLET below.