Computing is a creative human activity that engenders innovation and promotes exploration among students. It can change the way children think, what they learn, and how they interact with peers and adults.
Unfortunately, most children use computers only occasionally at school — and usually only when their teachers want to add variety or rewards to the curriculum. Unfortunate children use mostly drill-and-practice software, their teachers stating that their goal for using computers is to increase basic skills rather than develop problem-solving or creative skills (Becker 1990, Hickey 1993).
Scratch and App Inventor is a programming language and an online community where students can program and share interactive materials, stories, games and animations with people around the world. When children create using Scratch they learn how to think creatively, work collaboratively and reason systematically. Its goal is based on boosting logical thinking and introducing children and teenagers with basic programming knowledge and skills by using video games and Smartphone apps.
Since videogames from game consoles like PSP or PlayStation play a pivotal role in many students’ lives, why not taking advantage of them to boost their learning? The proposal is very easy: creating a simple video game using Scratch that introduces teacher to programming and sets the necessary foundations to foster logical and creative thinking.
This course will foster programmes knowledge among teachers that allow them to create animations, stories, games and interactive multimedia activities in an intuitive manner.
The methodology used is “learning by doing”, a hands-on approach based on research activities.
Therefore, the course has a very practical approach. Each of the participants will have the possibility of creating a game of their own so as to practise Scratch and App Inventor features and be able to pass this knowledge on to their students. Participants will be briefly introduced with a theoretical overview, combined with practice, on programming without code by means of using blocks.
Participants will get a critical overview of the different kind of tools that might be used regarding the learning objectives in each context; they will be able to choose the best tools according to the educational circumstances.
By completing this course, participants will be able to:
- Acquire new competences that enable them to improve their students’ knowledge and skills.
- Introduce their students programming languages and the digital era.
- Develop new teaching methods and programming tools to improve their teaching and their students’ learning.
- Improve their digital competences and skills.
- Generate new job expectations among their students.
- Stimulate logical thinking and introduce basic knowledge on IT programming through video games and mobile phone apps.
- Create interactive their own Smartphone app with App Inventor.
- Get a general overview on how to use technology for teaching/learning.
- Get a critical view of the different tools they can use depending on the learning objectives – they will be able to choose the best tools according to different educational contexts.
- Get a practical introduction to programming without code by using blocks.