Hack the Flock

 

My students have been exploring Micro:bits in grade 9 Science the last few days. I gave them no instructions except: “Here is the website.” and “Be careful with them.” They rose to the occasion, as students do when you let them. Note that these are students who spent the fall semester with me in Geography doing inquiry-based learning and now we are doing Science together. I have a high level of trust for these beautiful people. They made basic “press the button and a word is displayed” and then, Magic 8 balls (lots of fun and laughter using that), rock, paper, scissors and many more things. No one has successfully used the bread board yet, but they are close. To be frank, I don’t know how to do it. At all. I didn’t even know to tell them to turn it on again with one of the buttons after uploading the program turns the Micro:bits off. But one of the kids figured it out. I also know very little about coding but I know it’s important and want to expose the students to it. Today, one of my students excitedly stated, “I coded a program! And it worked!” and it made my heart sing. They are teaching me. I almost don’t want to “connect it to the curriculum.” But alas, soon, we will be drawing circuits and calculating power and energy. This brings me back to my first day on campus at UofCalgary and I was playing around with an interactive display where touching the screen changes the actions of the moving “boids” or digital birds and someone came up behind me and said, “You can change the code too.” It was the professor (@pratim123)who created the program and display (and, eventually, taught one of my courses) and he intentionally created it for the public to “Hack the Flock.” I had no idea how to hack anything and, when he opened the code, I only changed the colour because that was pretty obvious. I remember feeling quite out of my league. I also did not have the agency or skills to play around with the code just for fun, like my students do. #100LSreflections #100dayproject 7/100 #swipeleft for more

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My students have been exploring Micro:bits in grade 9 Science the last few days. I gave them no instructions except: “Here is the website.” and “Be careful with them.” They rose to the occasion, as students do when you let them. Note that these are students who spent the fall semester with me in Geography doing inquiry-based learning and now we are doing Science together. I have a high level of trust for these beautiful people. They made basic “press the button and a word is displayed” and then, Magic 8 balls (lots of fun and laughter using that), rock, paper, scissors and many more things. No one has successfully used the bread board yet, but they are close. To be frank, I don’t know how to do it. At all. I didn’t even know to tell them to turn it on again with one of the buttons after uploading the program turns the Micro:bits off. But one of the kids figured it out. I also know very little about coding but I know it’s important and want to expose the students to it. Today, one of my students excitedly stated, “I coded a program! And it worked!” and it made my heart sing. They are teaching me. I almost don’t want to “connect it to the curriculum.” But alas, soon, we will be drawing circuits and calculating power and energy.

This brings me back to my first day on campus at UofCalgary and I was playing around with an interactive display where touching the screen changes the actions of the moving “boids” or digital birds and someone came up behind me and said, “You can change the code too.” It was the professor (@pratim123)who created the program and display (and, eventually, taught one of my courses) and he intentionally created it for the public to “Hack the Flock.” I had no idea how to hack anything and, when he opened the code, I only changed the colour because that was pretty obvious. I remember feeling quite out of my league. I also did not have the agency or skills to play around with the code just for fun, like my students do. #100LSreflections#100dayproject 7/100

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