New teachers rocked the blogging workshop this morning!
I left CISM in the summer of 2016 to explore the other part of the globe. It was an exciting chapter in my career but there was a calling to come back home. 3 years after, I am back to the school where my love for educational technology began.
It was a different (and emotional) feeling seeing old faces – teachers, staff, and, most especially, students. I started at CISM in 2010 as a Lower School Librarian turned Digital Literacy teacher. The little kids I taught in my first year are now all teens. I was excited to see them again, as they were to see me!
This school year, I am teaching Digital Literacy 101 and Basic Robotics Programming for Middle School, and Mobile Creativity and Advanced Robotics Programming for High School. Digital Literacy classes, along with Art and Music, are now offered as elective courses for middle and high school students. Although a different setup from what I was used to, the Electives program may be a better way of leading students to the path which they would want to pursue for the future.
It is a fun way for students to learn what they are passionate about, and I am stoked to be teaching them and learning with them!
What if instead of just watching students spend too much time using apps on their mobile devices, we create a way to make those passive moments active learning experiences?
In the continuing effort of the Digital Literacy program to develop creative makers out in school, students from Gr. 9-10 learned about using the App Inventor. With App Inventor — a joint project of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab and Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory — anyone can build an app for an Android phone just by using a web browser and either a connected phone or an emulator.
It was a surprise what students were able to create out of the programs. Apps created ranged from a basketball game (which I discovered was similar to Facebook’s hidden game on messenger), quiz game for kids, mini golf game, to space game. One pair was able to create a game suited for one of the family’s food business. Another created a Choose Your Own Adventure kind of game. There is just endless possibilities with the App Inventor.
However, more than seeing students take ownership of their learning, observing how they have developed critical thinking skills and being engaged in what they were doing were more than enough reason to using this tool.
Here are snapshots of student creations: