A couple of years ago I used the mindkits brainboards to develop the ideas of coding with some electronics. With this the arduino provides students with an understanding of how to program. So I have been thinking about this and what the next set of gear could be.
Now, the micro:bit is available. I managed to get two of these through sparkfun earlier in the term. The great thing about these is the matrix, as well as they have an accelerometer and compass.
Now, I received an email through the nzacditt network which
In case you hadn't seen this in the news: Code.org is giving low-income students a chance to learn how to code through a free course called “Computer Science Discoveries.” The yearlong course, unveiled this week at Code.org’s TeacherCon conference in Houston, will be taught by more than 800 teachers during the school year. It’s designed for students in grades 7-9 and teaches Web design, physical computing and game creation. Link to new article
The adafruit circuit playground is part of the course, now I have had an opportunity to look at and develop during the last day and I must say that I am impressed. a small board with a lot of grunt, the part I like is the opportunity for it to record data. This makes it a great start for Internet of Things opportunities.
Stick a battery pack on this and it can be used anywhere...
Now there is an updated version coming out, with some more sensors on it and a bit of reworked system, that allows for a few more languages to be used. I am more using this a gateway to electronics, something that can be easily adapted and developed, however as students learn about the sensors and what they can do, or can't do, then other alternatives need to be looked at and developed.
How does this look in relation to the new digital technologies curriculum. Is it Computational Thinking, or is it Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes.
It is something that I find rather difficult to put in a box for now, the guidance just isn't there.
Mind you, I have not given what the purpose of the the idea is.
With some thought on what the purpose of the outcome could be:
Develop a solution that can record a runners temperature, and what effect the run has on a person using an accelerometer. Graph the results of this.
It is only then that I look at this is around Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes, rather than Computational Thinking.
- Given some parameters/criteria and tools and/or techniques they are able to make decisions (largely independently) about creating, manipulating, storing, retrieving, sharing and or testing content (developed for a specific purpose) within a fundamental system.
- Understanding the particular roles of components in a fundamental input, process, output system and how they work together.
Students could then talk about how they could show a couple of other aspects of this, talking about better storage opportunities through a sd card, as well as being able to record longitude and latitude through a gps receiver.
- Understanding that inputs are transformed into outputs within a fundamental system and the “control” role that humans have in this.
- Purposefully use an increasing range of applications (software and file type).
Some may be thinking you have aimed for the wrong progress outcome with this, considering no student currently has any progress outcomes reported against them, I think Progress Outcome 2 for Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes at year 9 and 10 is a good place to start. Considering Progress Outcome 3 is Given some parameters they are able to make decisions (largely independently) about the best tools/ techniques to solve the problem.
How can they make the decisions when they haven't been given the learning to support those yet?
While other may look at the Computational Thinking and look at combining these, I feel they could lose opportunities for evidencing there learning.