In early March, prior to the COVID-19 social distancing restrictions and subsequent lockdown, students from a rural Victorian primary school visited the Warrnambool campus of Deakin University for a day focused on using technology to design and code, and were introduced to elements of digital technology, and then used their new skills to assist teachers with the tech.
The Kids Teaching Teachers Digital Technologies research project is funded by Data #3 (ASX:DTL) in a partnership with Lenovo “in a commitment to foster professional learning and improve digital advocacy for teachers”.
In the program, the primary school students were introduced to simple micro-controllers with motion sensors, which they learned how to code, and the final prototypes were aptly named ‘petometers:’ step counters for their personal pets.
Throughout the exercise, the students used Lenovo devices to construct and test prototypes for use on a variety of animals, then explaining to the teachers how the technology worked, and helped them create their own step counters.
The research project, facilitated through Deakin University, was established by Data #3 to “respond to the challenge of providing meaningful and accessible professional digital learning to teachers”.
Established as a 3-year pilot from 2019-2021, Kids Teaching Teachers Digital Technologies focuses on disadvantaged schools in South West Victoria.
“We are really excited to be introducing technologies to these students and assisting teachers in developing these valuable skills amongst students,” said Taryn Trass, Lenovo National Practice Manager at Data #3.
“The role of technology in student learning only continues to grow, and we’re proud to be able to help bring these learning opportunities to students and teachers alike.”
Julianne Lynch, Associate Professor of Education at Deakin University said “Skills in designing and evaluating digital technologies are essential for students, both as potential vocational skills and for productive and critical participation in society”.
“Additionally, the digital technologies curriculum promotes character traits and thinking skills necessary for problem-solving and innovation, that are important for students regardless of the pathways they choose.”