This week in the tutorial we were focussing on coding and how that can be learned easily in the classroom. I did find it strange that we were focussing this due to the fact I did not think it was a necessary thing for students to be learning. However, after reading the technology syllabus, it became apparent that it is an aspect that needs to be addressed. I found this tutorial fairly difficult as the concept of coding was completely new to me, although I found the experience very entertaining and challenging.
When entering the tutorial room, we were instructed to begin a game called ‘Blocky’ and it immediately became apparent that this type of computational thinking is highly effective in teaching students how to problem solve in order to get to the correct solution. Other aspects that were seen include pattern recognition and algorithm design. As stated by Valerie Barr (Barr, Stephenson, 2011) there is a very heavy need for computational thinking in the classroom, before tertiary education, as students are exposed to a computing device every single day, so the need for them to be able to use it effectively and efficiently is of the utmost importance.
We also focussed on some non-computer based skills in order to understand why computational skills are so important. One activity was the De Bono 6 block quiz, we were to form groups and put the 6 blocks into positions that were correct according to what information was given to us. We were to use our own computational skills to answer the problem. This task can be used in a classroom, but should be targeted towards older students in stage 3 and above.
To learn various skills we shown many different websites and technologies that helpful in teaching computational skills. An item that was of particular interest to me were 2 robots named Dot and Dash. These robots were used to show how coding can be used to allow actual objects to function. David, our tutor, showed us many different ways in which the robots would respond to coding from an iPad. Students would be able to use this technology to practice the various techniques that comes with coding such as loops and creating patterns. Learning these concepts in school will allow students to be more comfortable in their computational skills and give them new opportunities to discover new technologies and techniques.
|Barr, V., & Stephenson, C. (2011). Bringing Computational Thinking to K-12: What is Involved and What is the Role of the Computer Science Education Community?. Comprehensive Articles, 2(1), 48-54.|