11 augusti 2014

My master plan to PCs and Peripherals

This fall and already next week (August 19th) I will start a three week/90 lessons cours at the subject "PCs and Peripherals" to our new Datanom (Business Information Technican) students. I'm not comfortable with this subject, I feel that I don't master the subject well enough. But as the ultimate resource I can't say no, I have to do what USMC does: improvise, adapt and overcome.

So lately I've been reflected a lot how I learn best myself, what sort of didactics I would be comfortable with and what does my students expect. 

One important thing I won't be able to escape from, we literally must open computers and look, investigate the parts. But I also know that too much theory will lose their interest and I know most of them are going to start play games instead. And it will be easier now as my school will start with this 1:1 laptop program this fall. Easier to play during class and easier to use it as an opportunity if you have the guts.

Last week when we discussed Minecraft and this article I got great response from Whokey Hook who had several thoughts that I better just quote. 

As Marc Prensky once said about preparing kids for 21st century success (in his talk “Engage me or Enrage me part 1”): “The key point is, that we do it before the end of the 21st century!” […] “We live in the 21st century! Why shouldn’t we be taught in 21st century ways?!”

It’s a big mistake to ban things from education they’re so passionate about. Henry Jenkins gave a very great interview about that topic once: Big Thinkers: Henry Jenkins on New Media and Implications for Learning and Teaching.

Surprisingly due to my age of 45 I would say I agree and would myself been loved to learn in a 21st century way when I study the same education back in 2007. Of course I should use games, of course I shouldn't ban things the students (or I) are so passionate about.

As the red thread during this course my students will be allowed to play a game during classes: Minecraft. That would also be the only game I will allow. 

And what to do with Minecraft and students that age? 
Building a redstone computer.
One of the computers I've been looking at is bennyscube's awesome tutorials.

Most of them who I have asked about advice had said that would be to hard and to complicated. I guess not. Last year I had two students building a calculator each, first as a challenge but they did it for fun. Without tutorials.

Except not only getting the goals what comes to the course I also will be able to follow the SAMR model and I believe the unintentional learning would be very useful for the students in upcoming courses as binary counting and object-oriented programming.

I believe youth today learn in a different way than the way I myself were taught, thanks to video games as that is the primary entertainment thing now days. Therefor I believe I as a teacher have to change my didactics so I make my lessons more interesting and I hope this is a road that would be a hit. I also believe it's going to be possible and interesting to give them fact of computer (history, OS, facts and stuff) as we do the Minecraft project.

My colleagues who use to have this course has a different opinion than me what to learn (surprise surprise!) and most of them also have the motto: "Sharing is scaring!" 

There has been one who has been willing to help and suggested lots of topics like history, how a computer works, what every part is and more so I have some theory to gamificate with Kahoot! 

What comes to the part opening up a computer I will have my students to pick one part each and document it deeply. Together they will put together a manual sort of with youtube-links and text.

The last week there has been lots of articles about games and learning in the Swedish news, this one of course which sounds as a glass of wine a day will keep you healthy. But also a University study that you will gain important English skills while play video games.

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