With Digital Technology now apart of the Design Technology Curriculum, the Ministry of Education wants students to know about digital technologies and understand the decisions people make when they use them and create them. It’s important that students have opportunities to be innovative designers and creators of digital solutions – moving beyond solely being users and consumers of digital technologies. Students should have opportunities to critically assess the impact of existing and new technologies on society and the environment. (http://technology.tki.org.nz/Technology-in-the-NZC)
At Meadowbank School, teachers provide opportunities for children to practise and develop their computational thinking (CT) skills as well as design their digital solutions (DDDO). There are some great activities, on paper and online, which will consolidate your child’s learning at school. Please click the links below to find out more.
Hello Ruby, created by Linda Liukas, is a wonderful way to engage children in understanding the technical world in which they live. Hello Ruby is a collection of games, activities and stories which are creative and colourful. Go on amazing adventures with Ruby and learn about how to break down problems and solve them. There are lots of activities for Children from Year 1-3 in the PLAY section and the TEACH section gives a good overview of the aspects of computer science.
If you have children in year 1 and Year 2 and they have access to a family iPad then download Scratch Junior – its a free visual block based coding program where you can create stories, make games and show information in an interesting way!
Using lego is a brilliant way in which children can visualise their ideas, create structures and build their own worlds!
A Lego maze is a good way to start developing game design. Is there a way in and out? What are the rules and objectives?
Using Lego Bits and Bricks children can plan their path around each setting.
SpriteBox is a fun way to learn about giving step by step instructions, in the correct order, using blocks or instructions. Think through the problems on each level, as well as how instructions could be made clearer if repeated or grouped together.
If you have children in year 1 and Year 2 and they have access to a family iPad then download the free example – SpriteBox Code Hour.
This site has a variety of visual music experiments that are easy to use and children can compose melodies in no time at all. Song Maker is a great way to start, create a repeating pattern by clicking the squares and change the musical instruments.
Scratch is an online code platform where children from all over the world can create interactive content in the form of stories, games, artwork and music.
At Meadowbank School, students in Year 3-6 have individual Scratch accounts where they can present their learning in different ways. Students use a computational approach, apply mathematical skills and knowledge e.g. using coordinates, to design a digital outcome that meets their goal.
Code.org is an American organisation that promotes Computer Science for school aged students.
Short term and long term courses have been created for students.
Short term activities include an hour of code around specific subjects or interests, e.g. Minecraft or Artificial Intelligence.
Long term activities are comprised of unplugged and plugged courses to be completed over a number of weeks.
The courses cover a variety of areas from Cyber safety to understanding binary code.
The American Grade K-5 is similar to New Entrants to Year 5.