What’s your role at your school?
I am the Supervisor of Instructional Innovation in the Colonial School District.
How have you used littleBits in the past?
We started using littleBits in the Spring of 2014 in our 5th grade Social Studies unit, “Inventors and Inventions.” Since then, we have embedded littleBits into our 2nd to 8th grade technology curriculum.
What has worked best for you?
Having the Pro Libraries made a huge impact by ensuring that our students had enough Bits to create and design prototypes.
How do you plan to use littleBits this fall?
We will continue to embed littleBits into our core technology curriculum in grades 2-8. We are looking forward to using littleBits with our Makey Makeys, and the Makey Makey Bit in our 2nd grade Creativity and Designing unit.
“Watching the students work together to solve the problems we present them is very inspiring”
What kinds of skills do you think your students learn using littleBits?
The most important skills learned are collaboration, communication and problem solving. Watching the students work together to solve the problems we present them is very inspiring. It takes teamwork and creativity to be successful on our performance tasks at each grade level. Our students also use the engineering and design process to continually test and improve on their designs.
What do your students enjoy most about littleBits?
After observing a number of classes in grades 3-5, I would say that the common theme is their ability to apply their creativity and imagination. Bits provide our students with the ability to be as creative as they wish and to design, test, and redesign their inventions. When leaving one classroom, I overheard a 5th grade student say to the teacher, “Mr. Willson I have been waiting for this my whole life!” In today’s “high stakes” testing environment, it is great to see our students playing and having fun while learning.
“Bits provide our students with the ability to be as creative as they wish and to design, test, and redesign their inventions”
What’s the coolest invention your students have created with littleBits?
The coolest invention thus far was the prototype pulley that could pull a wheelchair up a ramp. The way the students scaled the prototype and then had to describe how they would apply it in a real-world environment was very impressive.
What advice would you give to people just starting out with littleBits?
Don’t underestimate your students’ ability to understand technology. I had the opportunity to visit Drexel University’s Game Design and Replay Lab where I saw graduate students working with littleBits. I could see that littleBits was scalable and appropriate for use by K-12 students. When I built our scope and sequence, I thought the wireless Bits and cloudBits should be introduced in 7th and 8th grades based on readiness. But this year, my 4th and 5th grade students were using the wireless and cloudBits like pros and were trying to figure out the Arduino bits. Needless to say that this summer we are revamping our scope and sequence.
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