We love Micro:bits at Code Rangers. They're easy to code, they're cheap, and they don't need to be connected to a computer. When we use them in a classroom there is lots of collaboration, discussion and many 'a-ha' moments 💡.
At Code Rangers we're fascinated with language recognition and translation at the moment, with many of our students exploring chatbots and voice-activated personal assistants in class.
We wanted to share a simple app project using Thunkable. When we sat down to write a step by step guide we realized it was SO simple a video worked even better. Follow along and in ten minutes you can design and code a handy Android app to translate phrases between languages.
The NSW Education Standards Authority announced in December that coding will be part of our primary school children's curriculum from 2019.
Teachers have 2018 to learn, plan and get familiar with the new concepts in the curriculum. Coding professional development will be the new black! Coding falls under the digital technologies learning area, which is part of a new Science and Technologies Syllabus for all students in years K to 6.
I’m visiting Silicon Valley for the first time next week, as chaperone for a team of girls called ‘Reading Republic’. They’ve been students at Code Rangers for a while, and show curiosity, drive, and perseverance in spades, and their hard work has led them to take part in the Global Technovation Challenge. Along the way they’ve been a part of the Tech Girls are Superheroes Competition, and been introduced to amazing mentors, and competition’s amazing founder Jewella, aka Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen.
We’ve been given an agenda for the week ahead with visits to tech companies and opportunities to practice pitching in front of some of the best. But that’s not what has me excited. The thing that’s really making me count down the days is that I’m going to meet the future. By that I don’t mean driverless cars (don’t get me wrong, that’s going to be a great field trip.) I’m going to meet eighteen other teams of girls who, just like the Reading Republic girls love making stuff. They love collaborating. They’ve spent over a year of their short lives finding solutions to problems in their local communities, problems aligned to the United Nations sustainable development goals. And they’re all going to be in one place.
I’ve looked on the map at where they’re coming from, and it’s global - Asia, Europe, Africa, South America, Australia and North America. They’ve identified problems that matter to them - from female genital mutilation, to pre- and postnatal care, recycling and improving literacy. They’ve identified solutions, and now they’re coming together to refine those solutions, and meet experts who can help get these solutions off the ground. They’re going to learn about what life is like outside of their own bubbles and daily lives, and get a first hand glimpse at this global community we know we’re all a part of, but often struggle to really get a hold of.
Think about what that will look like. And sound like! While it’s been a year of hard work for the girls to get this far, I really think next week’s summit is just the start for them. They’re going to come back from Technovation with a broader perspective of the world, and with encouragement and support to keep working on their projects.
The problems they’re working to solve are so varied, but Technovation also looks to solve one further problem - why do so many girls with spark and passion and smarts decide not to pursue science or technology studies at university (let alone choose these professions)? Once all these girls return to their homes they’re going to be able to tell stories of the amazing work being done globally with tech to improve our communities. They’re going to shine as examples of the opportunities to excel in STEM, and they’ll be rockstars in their local communities, where other girls can see what they’ve done, and set out on their own journey of problem solving, creating and collaborating.
Now THAT’s what has me super excited. (I’m sure that Google HQ with it slides and dinosaur fossils is going to be really cool too.)