Our students have been taking part in our new after school Computer Club initiative. Our Computer Club takes place on Mondays and Tuesdays from 3pm – 4pm and is currently open to students in the Senior room.
During the first term the students have been exploring learning about Computer Science through the Google CS First online programme. The programme is split into themes, ranging from Fashion Design to Game Design and Animation. Using laptops and headphones the students follow online video tutorials in order to create short programmes.
While learning programming skills the students are also exposed to higher order mathematical concepts including loops, if-then statements and variables. Students also practice Computational Thinking skills including Algorithmic thinking and debugging, which is very essential when their programmes go wrong.
During term two and term three, once the students have developed their technology literacy using Scratch we will move towards knowledge construction and knowledge creation by introducing new technologies such as ‘Makey Makeys’, ‘LegoWedo’ and ‘Microbits’.
The school recently launched its very own ‘Youtube’ channel. Initially the channel is being populated with short instructional videos in Gaeilge and Maths. Over time expect to see some of our students creating and presenting their own educational videos online.
You can find our Youtube channel at the following address:
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Our students have recently begun using Google Class as part of their learning. Using Google Class provides students with full access to G-suite apps which include, Google Docs – a word processing application, Google Slides – a presentation application, Google Sheets – a spreadsheet application and Google Forms – a data collection application.
The students have begun to type up assignments in class, design and deliver presentations based on topics they are researching and will also begin to become acquainted with the many affordances of learning to use spreadsheets.
One other interesting development is that our students now have online access to each curriculum subject, meaning they can explore the curriculum subjects in their entirety, independently of the teacher. What this means is that students will soon have the possibility to focus in on areas of the curriculum which they wish to explore more in depth, in turn developing their skills as an independent learner. It is planned that the students will be given time to explore their own interests in the curriculum during SOLE learning activities. The acronym S.O.L.E. stands for self-organised learning environments.
The senior room were fortunate to have a visit from Dr. Richard Millwood. Dr. Millwood has been working in the area of Computer Science since the 1970’s and is a Trinity College Dublin alumni. During the visit the students were tasked with building a Dance Mat using Makey Makeys and the Scratch programming tool. The students were also tasked with creating a Rock, Scissors, Paper game using a microbit.
Using the Makey Makey the students had to create a short programme using Scratch which would enable a musical note to be played upon a student touching a piece of paper. The pieces of paper were attached to alligator clips which in turn were plugged in to a laptop. Each time a student placed their foot onto a piece of paper the computer programme would play a note.
Using a Microbit and makecode.org the students had to create a short programme which would enable a wearable device to display either a rock, paper or scissors, when shaken. The students had to write a short piece of code, download it to the Microbit and then attach the Microbit to their arms. After shaking their wrist the led display on the Microbit would demonstrate a variable of either a rock, paper or scissors.
The school would like to extend its thanks to Dr. Richard Millwood for visiting our class and engaging the students in 21st century learning. We look forward to seeing you again in the near future!