One of the workshops we have had running this term as part of the Young Innovator Program is ‘Micro-Makers’ – a workshop series aimed at supporting students to develop skills in identifying a problem and creating a digital solution to solve it. This series of workshops was designed by Emily de la Pena of Coding Kids.
Elias, featured in the video below, followed such a process supported by the talented tutors and coaches from ‘Coding Kids’.
So, what was the process that Emily’s coaches and tutors used to support the students to create their digital solution?
First of all the students immersed themselves in thinking about how they could change the world. They listed three possible dreams associated with these possibilities. They then identified three problems they might like to solve as part of this dream. Their next step was thinking of three ideas for a solution to one of these problems which lead to them designing a prototype that might represent a solution to this problem. An action plan was then developed with names of people responsible for each action and the specific skills that would be needed.
The Digital Technologies Curriculum is very process oriented. Students, when learning within this curriculum area are creating solutions and in assessing their learning, teachers need to gather evidence of their thinking, their ability to solve problems and their ability to collaborate with others. So what are the really valuable aspects of this process?
- an ability to identify the type of thinking that is needed at a particular stage in the design process and being able to have tools and skills at hand to be able to complete the appropriate work. For example, thinking divergently is appropriate at a particular stage of the design process and thinking convergently is likewise, appropriate at different points – both being integral to solving important problems
- an ability to identify the skills that are needed to complete actions
- an ability to be able to identify ones own skills so you can be matched to appropriate actions
- an ability to solve problems and to ‘hold ideas lightly’ so that you are not adverse to further iterations of your prototype.
Within the Australian Curriculum, Digital Technologies, this process is represented in this way:
Investigating and defining
Generating and designing
Producing and implementing
Collaborating and managing