Tag Archives: STEAM

Read: Why coding should at the centre of the curriculum⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Read Why coding should at the centre of the curriculum
Coding develops cognitive skills, problem solving and analytical thinking ("computational thinking"). By introducing and developing these abilities from primary school onwards, we create the building blocks and thought processes necessary for robotics and AI. This is not about displacing traditional subjects but, rather, changing the emphasis. Coding can comfortably sit alongside other subjects, especially those with a creative slant, reinforcing the development of key skills through multiple channels.

Coding develops cognitive skills, problem solving and analytical thinking (“computational thinking”). By introducing and developing these abilities from primary school onwards, we create the building blocks and thought processes necessary for robotics and AI. This is not about displacing traditional subjects but, rather, changing the emphasis. Coding can comfortably sit alongside other subjects, especially those with a creative slant, reinforcing the development of key skills through multiple channels.

Digital skills: Why coding should at the centre of the school curriculum | Tes

Coding certainly can develop cognitive skills, problem solving and analytical thinking. A lot of other things can too. I think it is difficult.

Any class will present a wide range of learners. Designing or adapting lessons to try and get as many of them in the right zone to develop these skills is tricky. If you don’t get this right coding is neither productive or fun.

The article notes:

. Coding can comfortably sit alongside other subjects, especially those with a creative slant, reinforcing the development of key skills through multiple channels.

I’ve certainly found that putting coding into a context can lead to more fun and success. By adding elements art or making to a coding project more pupils are involved in problem solving, collaboration and creativity.

A difficulty in managing this might be the perceive need to be an expert in several different areas. I’ve certainly found myself in situations where I’ve not be completely confident around some of these areas.

The article acknowledges that covid has had an effect:

It is a reasonable assumption that this immersion in IT and technology is preparing young people for a digital future and teaching them the skills they will need.

But we need pupils to be creators as well as users:

there is a largely unrecognised digital difference between the users of technology and the creators

I think there is also a gap around literacy and the problems that the mixing of commercial and educational interests in technology. A lot of the uptake in digital solutions lacks any questioning of the provides of these solutions.

This is something I am not very sure I’d know where to start with? Perhaps Coding is not ‘fun’, it’s technically and ethically complex:

In just a few years, understanding programming will be an indispensable part of active citizenship. The idea that coding offers an unproblematic path to social progress and personal enhancement works to the advantage of the growing techno-plutocracy that’s insulating itself behind its own technology.

Tinkering – Cardboard Automata⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

At School we just used @TinkeringStudio’s Cardboard Automata project to do some ‘cardboard engineering’ I was pretty pleased with the way it came out. I was fairly prescriptive with the first mechanical parts and gave almost no advice for the creative bit.

Working with a multi-composite class made this pretty interesting. If I’d just had p6-7 I would have probably given them the instruction sheets and let them get on with it helping where needed. As it was I managed to split work into sections and gave verbal and demos for each without, I hope, frustration the older children too much.

We managed to incorporate a fair bit of maths (measure, division, shape) along with skills for work, problem solving and creativity which I think justified the time spent. I hope to try out some of the other TinkeringStudio projects.

There is a quick video of some of the finished results on the class blog.

Rube Goldberg Machine⤴

from

What’s a Rube Goldberg Machine? Well, until today, I didn’t know either. Think of the crazy inventions in Wallace and Gromit or the device that opens the gate door for Chunk in The Goonies, after he does the truffle shuffle! Rube Goldberg was an American cartoonist who drew cartoons that depicted the completion of simple tasks in ridiculously complicated ways. In the UK we would also call it a ‘Heath Robinson contraption.’

Why am I talking about this? Because of this music video by Ok Go www.youtube.com/watch?v=qybUFn… which has a crazy Rube Goldberg Machine. It was used as part of an inspirational in-service workshop by Alison Drever of Education Scotland. The bizarre intricacy and success of the machine was an analogy for successful curriculum design and development. Curriculum development/progression in schools is (or perhaps should be) messy, fun, creative, lots of small connections, different pathways, risk taking, seat of the pants and more.

This is all good and well, but I have now spent the rest of my evening watching YouTube videos on Goldberg Machines. Lots of examples here on Rube Tube! www.rubegoldberg.com/rube-tube… And a favourite of mine for the Goldieblox toy company. www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIGyVa…

There is also a whole other world of educational resources and Maker Faire possibilities on this site too. www.rubegoldberg.com/education… Including a cool app that I’ve downloaded. I LOVE all this kind of stuff. The Maker Faire community have got some brilliant ideas. And now I really want to try and make a Goldberg Machine in school. Anyone else fancy it?

Image: CBS news

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