24 January 2018

Computational Thinking & Creative Coding With Micro:bits

Here’s an interesting way to get a creative learning experience that explores the Digital Competence Framework, using a tiny programmable computer, called a Micro:bit.

We asked Kath Morton, a creative agent in the Lead Creative Schools scheme, to tell us more about the creative opportunities brought by coding in the classroom:

“One of my favourite quotes is “Creativity is intelligence having fun”, by Albert Einstein, and this sums up computational thinking really well.

Computational thinking is not thinking like a computer or even the sole domain of a computer scientist or a coder. It allows us to solve problems, design systems, create and innovate. And learning to make things by coding them to do something is a great exercise in computational thinking.

I run sessions for pupils that take them through the process of creative coding, and making things with a Micro:bit that could solve a problem or create something purely from the imagination.

The activities are kinaesthetic with pupils learning by doing, playing with possibilities and having fun.

Computational thinking needn’t be limited to computing lessons, it is something that can be developed across the curriculum – it can be applied and explored in D&T, art, English, music, mathematics and other subjects.

Pupils who can think computationally are better able to conceptualise, understand and use computer-based technology, and so are better prepared for today’s world and the future.

What I love about coding with children is it gives them the opportunity to practice their critical thinking skills, using logic, abstract thinking and adaptive thinking to solve a problem.  Also, you’re actively involved in generating ideas, elaborating on others ideas, making your own things, and being original.

I find it’s often best if the teacher is in the classroom as well so that they have an opportunity to develop their professional practice and experience a pedagogy that is perfect for teaching computational thinking and coding.

So my role is not so much as a traditional teacher but as someone who will provide the resources, the language and the experience of learning, creating and making something using coding.”

It sounds like a fascinating way to bring creativity to the classroom. To find out more, get in touch with Kath on kathmorton70@yahoo.co.uk or call 07711581479.

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