Written by Rachel Brujis, BSD Education
Technology activities should always focus on having three things:
- Competency – you learn something new about technology and the world
- Context – the activity is relevant and interesting, not a worksheet
- Collaboration – it connects you to your peers or the world around you
These are our underlying principles – and we apply them whether we are working with Year 3 students or Year 3 teachers. However what are the additional key steps that we take to tailor our activities so we can engage an 8 year old and an 18 year old?
Young children thrive with hands on, sensory experiences. At early ages we start with hands on activities – many of which are offline – to build their computational thinking. Rather than worksheets we encourage them to 3D print objects, enhance their shoes with technology or build circuits with their hands.
Many of these projects continue work for older students but we extend them to create useful and genuinely functional everyday objects, full fashion shows or entire robots with advanced skills.
Teenagers love to take risks. This is how they learn – by trying something new, learning to accept feedback, and focusing this to improve or take an even bolder step. Rather than trying to limit risks, we encourage teenagers to take more risks. To try something harder. To build a project that is more daring. To share their ideas about how to change the world with more people. We create a safe space for teenagers to take risks and dare to do something greater as result.
Young students love to have support from their teachers. They want to be engaged directly and are often happy to learn something new from their peers or an adult. Teenagers prefer a bit more autonomy – to be challenged, make mistakes themselves and learn from it. As students age, in BSD’s online platform, we use machine learning to provide real time feedback in a safe way.
How do you adapt your lessons for different ages? Let us know!