I was lucky enough to witness the initial stages of a Project that began as an idea at a StartUp weekend in Melbourne in November last year. Code the Future aims to ‘connect developers with educators to help students learn how to code’.
It sounded like a good idea and personally having little confidence with the technical side of things I could see no down side to signing up. Our school community are very open to connecting with people who can enhance our learning and here was another great opportunity.
My first contact with our mentor was excellent as immediately he had an idea that was raising the bar beyond the possibilities I had explored – suggesting we experiment with Arduino . If nothing else was to be gained, his introduction to our students raised their awareness of an area of technology most take for granted.
My intention with this project within our school is that we will :
- expose students to more facets of digital technologies
- light some passion in certain students
- connect to outside experts (extending the possibilities beyond our skillsets)
- benefit from and demonstrate the power of volunteering
- activate the Digital Technologies curriculum in a small way
- allow the project to evolve organically
- create an ongoing relationship with our mentor and maybe more to model to students the benefit of connecting
- model to the students as teacher learn and problem solve alongside them
- support particular students who thrive on these types of open ended activities
- use a secure online space to share questions and learning
It is early days but seeing the excitement on certain little faces when the Starter kits arrived and were unpacked and checked out was a good indication that we are on to something good.
We established an Edmodo group and sent some kits home over the holidays – already the conversations have begun and I am once again struck by the power of connecting. My role as a teacher is transformed by being the intermediary and I love it !
Some of our student responses so far :
Are you wondering about Arduino now ? Here is a short Introductory tutorial and a cool example of what can be achieved :