This term, the SMGS Junior School continues to create opportunities to develop critical digital literacies as they work with new technologies as part of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) focus. Last term, our Year 6 students worked on a term-long project within Minecraft Education. It is now K-5’s turn to interact with and develop a greater understanding of technologies that they see infused into their daily lives. Our School Mission is to develop a love of life and learning. Our teachers believe in this and model themselves as life-long learners through the newly formed partnership with the Learning Innovation Department. The timetable sees each class, with their class teacher too, visit the STEM room in the Senior School, where they join together as teachers and students to learn alongside Mr Frize, Director of Learning Innovation. This is an opportunity for new technology to be explored and developed as an authentic gateway to deeper understanding of both hard and soft skills. While students are developing their understanding of technology and practising soft skills, such as perseverance, communication, collaboration and problem-solving, teachers are able to assess the technology in action as they look for relevance and purpose in integration opportunities within other key learning areas.
At the moment we are working with powerful yet easy-to-use Bluetooth technology called SAM Labs. This amazing technology allows students to understand computer science concepts such as inputs, processing and outputs through hands-on Bluetooth blocks that interact with a user-friendly software solution. Students program their blocks to achieve different tasks, all the while communicating their intent, collaborating with partners and problem-solving every step of the way.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that we are having A LOT of fun along the way.