Submitted by Lynne Hanlon, Teacher, Bowen Road Primary School
I don’t consider myself a digital technologies ‘expert’ by any means! Just someone who believes students must be taught 21st century skills, think creatively, work collaboratively and be engaged in their learning. Digital technologies can be the vehicle to achieve this!
In 2017 I completed the Digital Technologies MOOC and this really challenged me to extend my understandings. I found that the online format of the MOOC that was divided into relevant sections, with many short video clips and web links, enabled me to engage in the MOOC at times that were convenient to me. I could undertake a short session or spend longer, depending on my other demands at the time. It also clearly clarified the difference between ICT and Digital Technologies. Many of the staff at my school have since undertaken the MOOC.
This year I was keen to borrow some items from the CSER Lending Library and was provided with some Makey Makey kits. I then watched some youtube clips about how best to use Makey Makey to upskill myself. I have now worked with a group of students from all of our upper primary classes to allow them time to explore the Makey Makeys. As a way of introduction we first looked at conductors and insulators by making quiz cards that use strips of foil to allow the simple circuit to pass through and light up a globe. This provided opportunities to learn about circuits in a hands-on way before looking at the contents of the Makey Makey kit. As a group we watched a five minute video introducing the Makey Makey and its key features. Then away they went!
I was amazed at their enthusiasm and how quickly they worked out how to make it work and were doing a variety of things with their kits. One girl said, “I didn’t think I would like this but it is fantastic!” After the first session a student went home and ordered his own Makey Makey online!
They are developing their digital technologies skills and showing increasing competence in being creative and not being concerned when things don’t work properly the first time. They understand this is part of the process!
This recent experience has further confirmed to me that I don’t need to be an expert: just willing to provide opportunities, in a supported environment, to my students so they can develop these very important skills and attitudes.
If you would like to share your school’s experiences with CSER MOOCs, CSER Lending Library or Professional Learning workshops, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!