This final lecture focussed on different visual programming environments that are appropriate for classrooms. These environments are created as websites or applications and include but are not limited to Scratch and Blockly. These programs involve people using blocks to move characters from point A to point B, C, D, E and so on, as the tasks become more complex. This movement is associated with characters relocating in an animation or story. Characters can also be repositioned in games and mazes.
Computational Thinking is people’s ability to solve-problems to make computers follow step-by-step instructions. People then use these problem-solving skills to create new technologies, which I believe is the main purpose of the Digital Technologies Curriculum. Twenty-first century students must understand methods of creating new technologies because of the ever-changing nature of technology. These students must also learn how to work collaboratively to solve problems. As computer literate individuals, students will be required to use problem-solving skills, while working with others to develop solutions to local, national and global issues, such as Sustainability and diseases. For example, how can technology be used to assist with creating a sustainable future or develop cures for Cancer.
Classroom Activity- Bee-Bots- Pre-primary
- Inside the classroom, students will create a maze out of wooden blocks, match sticks or pop-sticks (in partners or groups of three depending on number of students in the class).
- In their partners or groups of three, students will then individually program the Bee-Bots to move through the maze.
- Students will explain to the class how they made the maze, programmed the Bee-Bots and the direction the Bee Bot moved, using positional language, such as forward, right, left, backwards, around and through.
- Students will have to be taught or scaffolded (Bruner, 1983; Vygotsky, 1984) on how to create mazes and to program Bee-Bots.
- Students working in pairs or groups of three, will allow for collaborative learning, which is promoted in Vygotsky’s (1984) Social Constructivism.
- Students follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004).
- Students describe position and movement (ACMMG010).
- Students understand the representation of the location of places and their features (natural and man-made) on simple maps and models (ACHASSK014).
- Students could compare Western maps to Aboriginal symbols for different (natural) features and explore why different natural features need to be protected.
- Students deliver short oral presentations to peers (ACELY1647).
- Students identify some features of texts including events and characters and retell events from a text (ACELT1578), for instance Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins- a picture book related to positional language.
- Students can identify how daily and seasonal changes in their environment affect everyday life (ACSSU004), such as how natural features have changed overtime.
- Critical and creative thinking
- Personal and social capability
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
- Student groups could be mixed-ability for peer-scaffolding.
- Students can choose how and what to make their mazes out of.
- This activity can be very time consuming.
- Only a few students may actually complete the activity in a session.
- Students would require quite a bit of scaffolding.
- Students may get distracted and play with the blocks, match and pop-sticks, rather than completing the task.
Older year levels-
- Blue-Bots could be utilised to adapt this activity for year 5 and 6 students.
Students could create a program and send it to the Blue-Bot and