I find that the best way to encourage/foster collaboration in programming is to ensure that groups of students are undertaking an authentic, rich task – this gives them a reason to keep problem solving, debugging, striving for a wanted goal.
The Young ICT Explorers competition provides just such a task: it poses the challenge 'Find a real-life problem, and solve it using digital technologies'. Students then do exactly that! Their design solution could be a prototype (a useful design concept) or a final, finessed product.
For the competition my students have used a variety of digital technology products including Makey Makey (combined with Scratch), Edison robots (programmed using EdWare drag-and-drop block language), Spheros (programmed with a menu-based language) and Arduinos (programmed using Snap4Arduino, a block language based on Scratch).
When designing their solution, teams have set their own goal so they do work together with a shared purpose: my students have demonstrated remarkable resilience and persistence when working collaboratively for Young ICT Explorers.
3 plus ones, 1 comments
- Rebecca Vivian: Great advice Philippa!
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