Students will be able to...
Document their technology learning journey
Self-reflect on the joys and challenges of technology learning
Appreciate software development as a process
Students may come to the course with many stereotypes/myths, about what they can do, or can't do. Minority groups may experience greater hesitations and apprehension about technology. By keeping a learning journal, for self-evalaution and self-reflection, students develop confidence. They will notice what skills they already have, what they have gained over time, what they are capable of learning, what their personal interests might be, and what they would like to learn in the future.
It's ok not to know everything. There is always something new to learn. Just take one step at a time.
Have students do self-evaluation journalling at different stages during the course, such as:
first week of course, after unit 2, after unit 4, and last week of course
On Journal Writing days, teachers can omit bell work, and provide students with 10 minutes to do their writing.
Welcome, attendance, (omit bell work), announcements
Journal Writing Time
A shortened regular class
Debrief and wrap-up
Students should have individual notebooks, a registered blog space, or worksheet handout to journal with.
Teachers can provide a list of guidance questions (see below), or a survey that contains these questions.
Beginning of the course
Introduce students to the idea of a Learning Journal
Create a schedule of when, or how frequently, students are to write in their Journal
Self-evaluation and reflection questions
Beginning of the course entry
What tools and technologies have you used before?
On a scale of 1-5, how confident are you with them (5 being super-confident)
What do you look forward to learning in this course?
What are your worries and concerns about this course?
What new technical skills have you gained since last time? (list them out)
What other skills have you gained? (creating a plan, drawing a graphic design, giving a presentation, etc.)
What did you feel you could do better with, or spend more time mastering?
Looking at the new skills you have gained, or practiced, how do you feel about it?
What did you like best about the course so far?
What other skills would you really like to learn?
What do you not like the most about the course so far?
End of the course entry
If you were to give advice to a new student who will start the course, what would it be?
Was learning new skills easier, or harder than you thought? Explain.
What are your project or design interests?
Would kind of skills would you like to learn next?
What kind of future jobs might use these skills?
Like learning any new skill, or language, it takes time to get the hang of things. In computer programming, it's very normal, for a section of code to not work the first time.
Here are a few tips to help you enjoy the journey:
Tip #1: If something doesn't work, don't be discouraged! It's part of the process. In fact, even experienced programmers spend alot of time "debugging" (finding logic errors) in their design and code. It's detective work. This is when you can practice crictial thinking steps of breaking down the problem, isolating the error, analyzing the values of variables, step by step. It can be frustrating. But it's also really fun and rewarding, when something "works"! Savour those moments. Stay calm, and carry on.
Tip #2: Don't be afraid to ask for help - from peers and teachers. In fact, professional developers frequently consult different focus groups online to ask questions, and share solutions. One popular developer community is Stack Overflow https://stackoverflow.com/
Share learning journey with peers
At the end of the course, ask each students to share a few key points with the class. This could be done during a end-of-term fun or party day. They can refer to their final Entry page in their Journal.
Celebrate each student's progress in their learning journey!
Let's celebrate your learning journey! Don't let stereotypes, myths, or negative messages affect your motivation to learn technology, whether it's coding, creative user-centred design, or project management, and everything else in between. Don't just be technology "consumers". Be equipped to create and build your own uses for technology. The essentials skills you learn in this course will empower you to use technology in meaningful, ethical ways, for a better future.
This exercise could also be conducted in the form of a series of online surveys. The survey should allow for written responses, so that students are free to enter their own thoughts.