Independent Project – SiMPLE

Well as I mentioned in my last post I was planning to interact with the SiMPLE program and complete a independant project and I have got to say I think I did reasonably well for a newbie.  Prior to beginning my design I decided to read all the tutorials associated with the use of the program.  These were very easy to read and I engaged with them quite well.  In order for me to be remotely successful at this task I needed to print out the specific codes which the system uses in order to begin my digital design journey. 

During the reading these tutorials it became very clear to me that the older the child the more complete and engaging the designs could become.  Each tutorial explains the many different aspects until the final one which instructed me on how to make and implement my own codes successfully. 

Once I had finished reading these I then thought about the Australia Curriculum: Technologies and how could these particular program integrate itself successfully into a primary classroom environment.  Within the digitial technologies content structure I feel this program connects with student learning by encouraging the development of knowledge and skills with regard to:

– how data is represented and structured symbolically (Australian Curriculum Assessment & Reporting Authority, 2013);

– collecting, managing and interpreting data when creating information, and the nature and properties of data, how it is collected and interpreted (Australian Curriculum Assessment & Reporting Authority, 2013);

As I continued with the project I realised that I could complete very basic coding, such as placing three helicopters on the screen in different location using different colours, changing the colour of the background and writing words on the screen.  These projects, as basic as they sound, took some time for me to complete as I was unsure of how to write the code and a number of times I needed to address errors which followed.  As my primary interests within the education sector revolve around early childhood, I wanted to make sure that this program was useful to Prep through to Year 3 students so I again consulted the curriculum (Draft Digital Technologies) document – scope and sequence to see if it was at all possible to link it to a lower grade level.  The document clearly indicates that my simple low leveled design cohesively matches “follow describe, represent and play with a sequence of steps and decisions needed to solve a simple problem” (Australian Curriculum Assessment & Reporting Authority, 2013).  This made me realised that I don’t have to be perfect at completing this task as long as I form a deep understanding of what it is I am wanting to complete and learn from the errors that are made. 

I really feel that this program has so much potential for us in a primary school environment I think I am definitely placing this within my teaching tool kit as there may be a day in the not so near future that my students will be creating and designing their own programs.  As teachers it is likely that we will probably the ones who implement our students programs for future generations to learn from.

Please watch this video, it really explains why we as teachers need to implement technologies into our teaching and learning environment.  Ask Bill Gates and Steve Jobs!!!!

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