Your Stories - Watsonia Primary School, VIC
"I tend to learn with the kids” says Digital Technology Specialist and classroom teacher and CSER MOOC participant Ingrid.
Ingrid connected with the CSER project in 2017, completing the F-6 course and hosting a staff professional learning session at her school and then proceeded to borrow Beebots from the Lending Library. “The Lending library provided access to equipment that is hard to come by in our small, lower socio-economic school” she explains.
When the Micro:Bits arrived at the beginning of 2019 they were very excited to continue learning new things. They began by following tutorials on Makecode website. “We worked with the Name Badge task, kids helped each other. I tend to demonstrate three quarters of the process first and then let the students tackle the tasks at their own pace. Some finish quickly and then help others. “
Next they worked through the Paper Rock Scissors task which was more challenging but the kids loved it. They all wanted to complete it so they could play the game. Ingrid believes that the game playing aspect is a great way to connect to their lives and is highly motivational.
She explains, “We had been working in the Scratch environment for a few years and the skills learned there are transferring to the Makecode world very easily. Having the opportunity to have a class set of Micro:Bits through the CSER Lending library makes the sessions work very smoothly - access makes such a difference.”
The next lesson was creating step counters - it was a highlight with students After coding their Micro:Bits, students compared and analysed the data collected - comparing their data to their fitbits data. They tried running with them in their hands and then “ found it was most successful when it was in our socks”. They now plan to create wearables.
One student Mason said ,” It’s not a fit bit - we now have MicroFit”
They were chuffed that they can create their own device. “Moving students from being consumers of technology to being creators and innovators using technology.” is a real highlight of this device.
The school, has two teachers who take stand alone Digital Technology / ICT lessons and it was therefore really beneficial for all classroom teachers to work with CSER Project Officer Celia Coffa to understand and explore the devices and consider links to their classroom practice.
“ It’s all thanks to the CSER Lending library opportunities” says Ingrid.