Since coding became a compulsory element of the curriculum in Australia, we at Trinity College have been exploring how technology can bring the subject to life. We wanted to show coding to our students in a way that really captured their imagination and sparked their interest.
Coding is an excellent activity which helps prepare our students for future careers, but it’s also a great way to teach soft skills like problem-solving and lateral thinking. We believe that building confidence in our students and equipping them with the skills to creatively approach new challenges will stand them in good stead for the future, and we found that using interactive front-of-class displays like the ActivPanel helped the students to hit the ground running with coding.
By using the ActivPanel to vary our activities and teaching methods, we’ve really engaged students with the learning process.
How the ActivPanel fits into our coding lessons
We introduce the students to coding at a young age, so it’s important to make sure that we keep it fun. The best way to keep their interest at this stage is to ensure that they can see real-world outputs once they’re finished.
Our year 2 students work with robots, and we help them to visually plan out codes that will guide their robot through a maze. We use the ActivPanel to design the mazes by working with Microsoft Excel before creating them in the classroom.
As the students develop their skills, we start to introduce coding languages like Scratch. We use the ActivPanel to view sections of code and to plan out flowcharts so that we can predict the outcome and discuss any syntax errors in the code before trying it out.
It’s really important to us that the children have the chance to work together – education is a social activity, and we encourage the students to discuss their projects. By bringing coding to life at the front of the class, we can keep everyone engaged and we have a great starting point for group activities.
Some of our students have become so interested in coding that they’ve gone on to compete in the First Tech Challenge at national and international level, and have come back with awards to show for it!
We’re very happy with how our students have taken to coding – it’s a brilliant, engaging activity that teaches them a whole host of useful skills which will support them in future careers and wider life. The ActivPanel is helping us to deliver coding sessions that are as enjoyable as they are intuitive, and we’re always looking for new ways to innovate.