Six lessons for one goal: implementing digital competences in the school
The Fun@Science project, which originated from the meeting held in Perugia in October 2018, involved 17 lower secondary school pupils and 4 primary school pupils.
30 hours of extracurricular activities divided into 6 lessons, during which students were able to experience the digital approach as a tool to learn through workshop methods and constructive of their knowledge, using what ICT can offer in support of a more effective and close learning.
- Each lesson had the same pace so that it could become habitual and a sharing of expectations, (warm up) involving students developing activities related to the goals of the day.
- Provide practical instructions on how the day will develop and on the objectives established (giving clear instructions, check if they have understood, development of new skills, facilitate the work of the students.
- Autonomous practical activity (giving clear instructions and letting the students work independently)
- Closure (give time to the groups to tell what they did during the module).
The first two lessons were dedicated to the introduction of the Fun@Science project, to the discovering of the potentialities of the shared network, of the internet connection, of the access to In3Dire through Raspberry, the access to SugarCAD and its main functions, to the 3D modeling program and to the reflection on which and how many projects could be realized starting from the acquired knowledge or from the difficulties of study.
Once it was agreed to operate, first of all, with mathematical concepts, it was proposed to work with recycled material – because working with digital does not mean having only a technological tool in hand – to build a board game, a boxed board with mathematical operations (sum, multiplication, division, subtraction), to design the checkers and the dice.
The fun was guaranteed both by the surprise for the proposal and for the construction activity, pleasantly carried out in small groups. Although it may seem like a secondary activity, this work encourages people to know how to think and build an object, to use creativity, to know how to get involved, thus creating the conditions to live in a cooperative/collaborative environment and to make shared decisions.
Finally there was the translation of the board game with the SugarCAD program, a significant approach, because after the first moments of confusion, of failures, students began to realize the simplest rules behind the program, and between game and challenge, almost all of them have managed to create small graphic objects.
Then, one of the first contents addressed, were the angles and the theorem of Pythagoras. Divided into pairs, the kids then started to work again with the program SugarCAD. The previous experience made the work more agile, supported also by the teacher who guided the group step by step, also with the support of graphic elements taken from online or specifically designed.
This time all the groups were able to create a product that was still only designed, but the degree of satisfaction made them happy. The brainstorming that follows at the end of each lesson, has given a positive feedback both of some knowledge acquired and of a better understanding of mathematical content.
The other lessons have developed similarly, generating digital products of physical type: levers, inclined plane, of chemical type: molecules, biological type, cells.