We looked at modelling and computer programming today in I.C.T.
Modelling refers to activities which encourage children to pose the question ‘what happens if?’
Modelling software gives children the opportunity to formulate ideas and designs in a risk-free environment through a process of trial and error and experimentation. Modelling software is particularly used in spacecraft and architecture.
There are several modeling websites children can explore including 2Simulate and 2Do-It-Yourself. They provide brilliant educational resources for children that also cater for cross-curricular links too, particularly art and design and technology. I especially liked designing my own alien and bus.
The skills that are particularly associated with modelling software include:
Learning through trial and error
Coming up with ideas
Reviewing ideas and improving them
We also looked at computer programming, more specifically at LOGO. This works in much the same way as the programmable toys looked at previously. We experimented with this by typing in a series of commands to make shapes. This is a very useful resource for children, particularly for children with poor fine motor skills and teaches them the following skills:
An understanding of shape/geometry and polygons
We also looked at Scratch
“Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art — and share your creations on the web.
As young people create and share Scratch projects, they learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively”.
I had a good play around with this – I used it when working with year 7 children during my TA days in a secondary school so was already quite familiar with it. You can do so much with it – you can pick from a variety of sprites and make them do all sorts of actions. I picked a school background and made a witch glide across the sky while hanging upside down on her broomstick. It is clear that children can be really creative and imaginative with Scratch!
Ok guys, not long to go until the xmas holidays now,
Until next time,