Protocols: Safe Havens for Discussion

Education protocols are guidelines for efficient, respectful and productive discussions about teaching practices. Though many different education protocols have been developed, all attempt to provide participants with a safe space for sharing and improving their own or others’ teaching and coaching practices.

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Accessible & Adaptable Computer Science Instruction

As Computer Science becomes part of K-8 instruction, teachers will need to adapt lessons to make them accessible to students with a broad range of physical, learning and neurological abilities. In the current module of our class, “Digital Learning Environments,” I wanted to examine how the ISTE Standard for Coaches 3, indicator d, “Select, evaluate, and facilitate the use of adaptive and assistive technologies to support student learning” (ISTE, 2011) could be applied to teaching Computer Science.

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Physical Computing

Figure 1: Garden creatures created by 4th and 5th graders come to life using BBC micro:bits connected to ultrasonic sensors and motors.

Physical computing – programming small microcomputers and combining them with electrical and non-electrical materials – engages students in ways that coding alone doesn’t. Intangible onscreen code suddenly makes something happen in the real world: a wheel turns, a light goes on, a point is scored and displayed above the soccer game you’ve built. In the process, students collaborate, solve real world problems and see for themselves how the devices we use in our daily lives really work.

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