The TACTIDE EU STEM project
TeAching Computational Thinking with Digital dEvices
Keywords:Computational thinking, teachers, curriculum, STEM, learning scenarios
One major challenge the educational community is facing relates to how to effectively integrate computational thinking (CT) concepts and ideas into a particular school curriculum. Acquiring CT-skills by means of STEM offers rich opportunities within studentsÂ´ education which may lead to learning gains. Previous research has shown that, to maximize the appeal and potential of CT learning environments, a precondition must be set first. The materials used must invite problem-based, inquiry-based and self-discovery learning, must be used without creating misconceptions and, above all, must give students the opportunity to acquire knowledge that can be directly transferred to everyday practice in an accessible manner. All the above puts demands on teachers who carry out learning and teaching in these environments. The EU funded TACTIDE project has tried to incorporate relevant curricular components into a coherent task, implementing assignments and challenges across different subjects and curricula of three different European countries. Based on the analysis of each national curricula, common topics have been identified and sub-scenarios have been developed. These sub-scenarios have been conceived to promote the integration between the topics mediated by CT. To achieve this objective, a greenhouse scenario has been conceptualized and designed towards teaching CT, by the use of microcontrollers such as the BBC micro:bit and the Calliope Mini, as an overarching STEM-topic. Using available sub-scenarios, a Moodle-course for teachers was developed for daily school activities to which other subjects in the core curriculum were interconnected in order to integrate CT skills and abilities. Scalability across different school levels and heterogeneous groups of learners, especially focusing prior knowledge, have been considered important design elements.
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