Putting UDL and PBL into Practice with Media Making
I was recently asked how I introduce a new technology like micro:bits to student, so I thought I might write a blog post with some of my thoughts about this.
The BBC micro:bit is an inexpensive electronic circuit board designed for students to learn electronics and coding. It includes buttons and lights and sensors that lend themselves to creating amazing interactive projects. When a student connects the micro:bit to a computer with a USB cable, they can quickly program the board with new interactions using beginner-friendly code environments, such as Microsoft MakeCode.
Over the past few years, we’ve watched the popularity of micro:bit skyrocket in our educator community. The board’s rugged, yet friendly design holds up to repeated use and the curriculum developed by the Micro:bit Educational Foundation is top-notch and easy to implement.
I've recently created this graphic to capture my pedagogical approach to learning through creating and making. The framework has evolved from personal experience with teaching and learning and from the opportunity to learn with and from talented educators over the years.
One way that I introduce the micro:bit is by having students engage in a few rounds of Rock Paper Scissors. This gets the whole class warmed up and thinking about fun. It is a game that most learners are already familiar with so it connects to prior knowledge.
During the Create Confidence phase, I like to teach students how to learn on their own using the MAKE CODE tutorials.
I encourage students to go through the DICE tutorial as it has so much potential for enrichment and expansion. Once they understand how to navigate the various resources at their finger tips, they can continue to grow their confidence on their own.
Once students are starting to feel some creative confidence, it is time to challenge them to apply their skills and MAKE SOMETHING MEANINGFUL. This can take on several forms. I often refer to this list from a respected colleague, Michael Pope.
Today's world is filled with rich media --media that is being used to communicate, entertain, and persuade. It makes sense that we would use it to teach children. In my French speaking home, we certainly learned to speak English from the media that we watched on our television or the radio shows we listened to.