The teacher is running a computer science class. She uses what she knows about computer science to try and help her students learn the best way. She engages them in the activity by making the lesson into something they find interesting, a video game. She makes it interesting because she knows when students aren't engaged they are less attracted to computer science as a whole. She allows the students to create their own with very little teacher instruction, so that they can learn better. She knows that direct instruction is a less effective model. She also learns that sometimes, CS classes can both decrease and increase certain student's interests in CT. As a teacher, she is curious about how her students will react to this. She is wondering why some classrooms have 100% of the girls wanting to take another CS class but some have 0%. She is also curious if there is a way students might be successful with the "more traditional principals first" and find a way for children to avoid boredom with that method. She is having the students use computational thinking in her classroom by having the students create their own video game using the "our project-first" method to implement broadening participation.
Good Morning Class! How many of you enjoy using the computer in your free time? Today we will be working on a project where you create your very own computer game.
I really like that idea! Games are my favorite!
Computer games are cool! I can't wait to start!
That sounds great! It is important for you guys to be interested in everything we do! To start, I am going to let you guys explore this application to make your own video game! This is a great time for you to apply your computational thinking! I want you to be as creative as you want and if you need help, I can help you learn how the program works! The Webb et al. article supports this method of teaching to get you all engaged! Letting you explore on your own, instead of me directly teaching you will allow the class to reach divergent conclusions!
I can help! You need to make sure that you have the steps in the right order! Make it say "move right" underneath "When press right arrow key!" That should get it to move where you want it to go!!
Well, I liked the idea of making my own game because I love games, but it was too hard for me, I wish that I could have had a step my step sheet on how to do it with an example. That would keep me interested but help me do better. I wouldn't do it again
I'm confused about how we make the game work? I have all the people but don't know how to make them move where I want them.
Congratulations! You made it to your destination!
I finally figured it out! That was really tough! I would never have been able to do it on my own... I like games but making them is too hard
Alright class! Can everyone tell me how they felt about this project? Do you think it would have been possible to give the instructions first without you guys getting bored, even though the "our project-first" method is proven more effective? Why might Sally and Maggie have different opinions even though they did the same activity? Some classrooms have 100% of girls that want to continue with CS and others have 0%, I wonder why. Maybe you can help me figure this out.
It was easy for me to do! I would love to do this everyday! I liked how you let us work on our own because I wasn't bored listening to directions!
I like how you made it interesting for us by making it about a game instead of steps to solve something like a math problem