In this week’s episode we chat social justice, culturally responsive and relevant pedagogy and equity with grade 8 teacher Zohrin Mawji and a few students in her class.
This or That Online Coding vs Robot Coding?
Nicole and struggled with a definitive answer on this one, explaining how robots give students immediate concrete feedback on their code, but that online apps like Scratch can actually be more versatile. Also, many robots can now be used with Scratch so you can have the best of both worlds! Whether online or with robots there are many options for coding at different levels for different grades and different complexities. We mention Scratch, MicroBit, Lego Mindstorms, Sphero, Dash & Dot, and vex robotics. Bottom line: there are lots of considerations to make when choosing how students may be introduced to coding, right down to their personality.
What’s New in EML?
Nicole shares a discussion she had with a secondary principal and teacher librarian about adding or upgrading different learning spaces in the school. The conversation was not a “we want a makerspace” conversation but rather, what might the process be for determining what spaces would best suite the needs of students and teachers for the type of learning we would like to see. A teacher/student committee is being created to survey the school, take a look at innovative spaces that already exist in Peel schools and some post secondary institutions and then to put forward a proposal.
Emily shares her experience working with a grade 3 teacher who reached out wanting to try something knew. They settled on trying Dash Robots. After a quick tutorial going over the major functions of the Dash, students got a chance to play around for a half hour before a nutrition break. During that time Emily and the teacher co-planned how the Dash could be used as part of an activity related to perimeter. Students taped down shapes, coded dash along the perimeter making note of the distance, and took pictures to document their learning along the way. Afterward students used PicKids to mark up their images, and add text.
From the interview
The Future We Want (Peel Intranet Site)
Equity and Inclusive Education Resources (Peel Intranet Site)
Putting Faces on the Data – Michael Fullan
The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
Make global connections. Bring in current events from around the world, or connect your class to others on Twitter.