And now the continuation of the previous blog.
As I mentioned there are ten micro:bit kits, and that allows me to have ten teams. Each team chose a different project and they had three weeks to finish them and present a quick three-minute summary of their experiences and results.
In the end 9 out of the 10 teams finished their projects. Not only that, but most of the teams decided to modify the original projects and add extra instructions, giving them their own spin.
This is my quick uptake on the experience:
Pros: A) All the students were excited, happy, motivated, interested and asking questions on how to solve their problems. B) One of the most outstanding results was perseverance: In two cases one of the teams had to check their work and try again and again (15 times), while another had a similar experience (18 times); they did not give up, and when they told me about this, they seemed tired, but happy and proud of their efforts. C) They discovered they were able to keep at it until they got the result they expected. This is the type of lesson I very much want them to learn, specially when dealing with programming and technology. D) I was very happy to see most of the girls were really interested and empowered by this new ability they were able to put into practice. E) the students seemed pleased whenever the rest of the students moved forward and asked for a chance to use their projects.
Cons: A) Both the students and I need to practice more, paying special attention to the more complex projects that require an equally detail oriented coding. Some of the instructions on how to develop the projects were not as easily understood as others. B) Not all the teams were able to communicate well amongst themselves (the tenth team fell into this category). C) They did not check their projects well enough before choosing them, resulting in last minute changes. D) Since I only get to see them once a week, some of them would forget what they had learned in last class, which meant they were falling behind schedule. Time management is an important ability they need to keep developing.
In the end, some of the most outstanding projects were: Step counter, Banana keyboard, Rock Paper Scissors, Love meter.
The three-minute presentations were good, and the Q&A follow up was inspiring.
In the end, I would say this was a great first experience and I will keep helping my students discover these abilities and qualities in them. I have really enjoyed this last weeks sharing the ups and downs of the Micro:bit Adventure with my students. I know have a better understanding of the requirements, needs, problems, questions, and challenges that using a microcontroller like this has. That’s not to say that I have prevailed on all problems and challenges, however, I do think I have a better standing, and I am willing to continue this path.
Thank you Element 14, for trusting me and giving me the chance to learn how to use the micro:bit and have the opportunity to share this with my students.