"This week in technology, we learned about the computer’s brain path and how it gets programmed. Andrea set it up like a game. On the floor was tape marking a path that a computer program would use to sort goods.
She had a bin filled with stuffed animals. There were two groups, cats and dogs. The computer was programmed to sort the bin into two categories, cat or dog. We played a game where each of us was a section of code. We learned that a computer can only do one thing at a time and it will do exactly what it is told to do. All the sorting of the cats and dogs went well until a stuffed cricket was introduced to the sorting program. For example, if we received the cricket and our card said, 'If stuffy == cat ' it would go to the 'false' path in the program. Then that stuffy would automatically go to the dog pile because to the computer anything that was not a cat was a dog. We learned that programmers have to figure out their coding “bugs” through mistakes (planning and testing)."
Our Technology Specialist has lofty goals for the 2017-18 school year. She is building a course that focuses on embedded system programming for the 4/5 and 6/7 classrooms. The classes will run the gamut from basic series and parallel circuits to micro-controllers, sensors, algorithms, programming, output devices, wifi, IoT, data collection and display. Our specialist will focus on helping students build tangible skills by working as a software team to design and build an original device in the 6/7 classroom and by learning basic software structure and organization with the 4/5s. Students will learn how to "think" about a problem and break it down to find a solution. Our students have taken first steps with their cat and dog (and cricket) game!