Scaffolding engagement with educational technologies to develop computational thinking in year 1 girls

Fiona Mayne, Belinda Bath

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to disrupt traditional thinking about the appropriateness of educational technologies such as Makey Makey, Micro:bit, Ozobots and Minecraft Education Edition to teach computational thinking to young learners. It draws from a theoretical background of foundational learning theories of constructivism, constructionism and connectivism which are used to illustrate the importance of digital literacy and digital fluency in the context of coding and computational thinking. The tenets of computational thinking are discussed and applied to a local research vignette that involved a collaboration between a class of Year 1 girls at an Australian independent school and a class of Master of Teaching preservice teachers in an Australian university. The findings illustrated that students were provided with opportunities to develop a wide range of computational thinking skills and that in each of the four learning experiences, students were exposed to an average of eight out of ten aspects of computational thinking. While the lessons were scaffolded in the examples as 'hot housed' intensive group learning experiences, this research highlights the benefits of students working on a project, rather than first learning coding concepts prior to being granted access to the technology. This chapter has implications for teachers who wish to take a connectivist approach to integrating graphical, tangible and hybrid technologies to develop computational thinking in young learners.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTeaching Coding in K-12 Schools
Subtitle of host publicationResearch and Application
EditorsTherese Keane, Andrew E. Fluck
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Pages81-96
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783031219702
ISBN (Print)9783031219696
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2023

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