Digital Learning News

June 26, 2014
by rcrellin
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Invent to Learn

Our guest blogger this week: Wendy Macpherson, Digital Learning Branch

Last week teachers from 30 DEECD schools participated in a day of hard fun and problem solving at Invent to Learn workshops across Victoria led by DrMakey Makey. Gary Stager. 

The workshops began with the case for project-based learning, making, tinkering, and engineering. Participants looked at examples of children engaged in complex problem solving with new game-changing technologies and then explored the breakthroughs in science education, and the global maker movement that are combining to create rich learning experiences.

Participants had a chance to take on the role of learner and tinker with a range of exciting new low- and high-tech construction materials that can be used with students. At the end of each workshop teachers shared how their experiences and learnings could be applied back in their schools.

The team from Warrnambool College decided they would like to expose all staff to the ideas of making, tinkering and engineering by setting up a ‘Maker Corner’ in their staffroom where staff could play and experiment with new materials

As a starting point, the team from Matthew Flinders Girls Secondary College are exploring how they can create a new hands-on technology subject that combines digital, materials and food technologies with science, engineering and mathematics. This will be the starting point as they explore how constructionist principles and an explicit focus on thinking can be applied to other subjects.

Silverton Primary School teachers resolved to take another look at Scratch (a programming language for students available on the EduStar image) and see how they could use it to program Lego constructions to respond to commands.

All teachers had fun with:

  • Soft Circuits, using conductive thread, sewable coin battery holders and felt to create wearable electronics projects.
  • Interactive Greeting cards using conductive paints
  • Makey Makeys which allow students to connect anything in the real world to computer software that respnds to keyboard input
  • Arduinos which allow student to build electronics projects using an arduino, breadboard, jumper wires, LEDs etc
  • Probot, a small robotic car that can be programmed to move and draw.
  • Turtle Art a computer drawing program inspired by Logo programming language

To helScratch  Legop you bring the new Digital Technologies curriculum to life explore these and many more ideas on the Invent to Learn Website  especially the Invent to Learn / Stuff page. Gary Stager will be returning to Victoria in August. Please contact Wendy Macpherson for further information <macpherson.wendy.w@edumail.vic.gov.au>

Gary Stager and Sylvia Martinez co authored the new book, Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom.invent to learn

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