Digital teaching tips & tricks, ideas, examples, and general thoughts and reflections. Follow my Inquiry.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Scratch w/ DMIC style groups

Student coding applications (such as Scratch) involve large amounts of problem solving by nature. This means that many of the skills and communication strategies that we have been learning as part of the DMIC approach can cross over.

A problem instead, is that I myself don't have the content knowledge required to help them out. Many of my learners have extended themselves to the same level of proficiency as my myself, or in some cases further than I can go. At first, I thought it this was a barrier that meant I wouldn't be able to do a lot of Scratch until I was up-skilled.

Instead, I have been trying to use aspects of the DMIC approach, and learning alongside my class as one big collaborative Inquiry community.

Our lessons are very exploratory, and can look like peers, groups, or even 'expert-students' running workshops for others students.

The beautiful thing about Scratch in particular, is that it has been designed by Educators to be used for this very purpose, and in this exact way. There is already functions within the programme that let kids make tutorials and search for student made "help sheets" and "tips and tricks" within itself.

Once a new skill has been found or cracked by one our 'experts', it isn't long before the skill is picked up by the other 'experts', and eventually it will filter down throughout the class. Sometimes it's not even an expert who is the first to crack something new.

Although our lessons are not strictly 'DMIC' nor do they contain all the aspects of a 'DMIC lesson', the kids are using the same skills to collaboratively tackle a problem. I hear the talk moves being used across the class, and statements like "can show me how to do make gravity again, I keep getting confused with the y and x axis" are all too common.