So, with the Digital Technologies Curriculum – we have two choices. We can take on board custom designed, packaged solutions and ‘deliver’ them or we can go to the effort of understanding the curriculum, collaborate with others, allow ourselves time to explore links with other learning areas and then design the learning experiences that suits our own learners.
I’ve seen beautiful evidence of the value of the latter lately.
As a school we’ve been looking at the Digital Technologies Curriculum for around 18 months but working effectively in both the ICT and DigiTech space for much longer. We have had some formal learning sessions and are now in a year where each teacher will be assessing some aspect of the curriculum.
At the end of last year, a teacher in Yr 4 preparing some mapping co-ordinate activities realised the value of designing an activity using robotics. She came to me with her idea, we considered our resources (and the ones she already had) and she created a learning experience which has since involved every class in Year 4. This involved using Dash robotics and some blockly coding to move the students around a map of Australia.
A Year 2 teacher, passing the activity and seeing us using the Yr 2 class robots (Dash), realised that a similar idea could support her own children’s work in mapping and then went away and designed her own. This involved lots of opportunities for children to articulate the language around grid coordinates and direction, the pass a ‘drivers licence’ for using their Dash robot and then to use the ‘Go’ app for Dash Robots to plan a route visiting parts of Australia and to control Dash to follow this path.
This was done with the children this week, we have since discussed how to tweak it and we will do the second round of it soon.
And this is what I love and this is what I value – teachers knowing their kids, knowing the curriculum and then creating and designing experiences that will support one or more parts of it. Importantly, what comes next is just as important if we look across a whole school – the collaboration that can occur between teachers which allows these ideas to grow, spread, take root, change and get better each time.
Hats off to my teachers and the organic nature of good teaching.