Over the last term, Year 5 have been working on a unit that was designed by the teachers. As an ‘Early Launch School’ for the new Digital Technologies Curriculum we have been working as a school to discover alignments between this curriculum and other areas of the curriculum. With the overarching idea of Creating Preferred Futures, this curriculum supports students to be creators of digital solutions.
Geography has provided us with an authentic context for the students to become creators. The students, through their Geography study identified the natural disasters affecting our area of Queensland and then surveyed their community to assess their readiness for this types of disaster. They then set about designing a solution that would educate our community.
Yesterday was a presentation day for some of the students in Year 5 with their digital solutions. We also had a special guest – Emily De La Pena – from CodingKids, who visited to provide some additional feedback in terms of the design and functionality of the digital context.
The students presented a range of solutions and discussed how they would improve their solution next term and the things they learned through the process.
Scratch quizzes in which people were educated about the importance of having an emergency kit.
Scratch games in which the user had to identify elements of a good emergency kit.
MBot robots which were designed to sense water height after a flood and to close a boom gate.
Makey-Makey solutions which were coded to encourage people to select appropriate items to take with them in a hasty departure.
This unit was a brilliant way for us to experiment with this curriculum – it enabled us to do and see a number of things:
- experiment with using a ‘partner’ curriculum area in the design of a unit that incorporated Digital Technologies
- observe the capabilities of the students in terms of their creation ability
- explore the types of technologies that are suitable for the creation of digital solutions
- become co-learners with the students
- experiment with the assessment and reporting aspect of this unit
We will publish some more detailed explanations of the students’ work soon!