e-media training Italy Genua 7-11 january 2019

Emedia: Training of trainers by scuola di robotica in Genoa

‘Emedia: media literacy and digital citizenship for all project is a new Erasmus + KA2 Strategic Partnerships for Adult Education project. A lack of basic digital skills is putting almost half of the European population at risk of exclusion. This project is hoping to tackle this pervasive problem by educating citizens to be active and responsible in the digital world. This is done through the production of educational booklets teaching digital practices, to be used for the training of the educators in non-formal and formal education centres. Emedia aims to guarantee access to education for everyone, regardless of their age, social and ethnic backgrounds. The Media consortium will develop educational booklets to support the training of teachers and educators in media literacy and digital citizenship for all. Each of these booklets will provide by the partners a minimum of ten hours of activities.

The aim of the training in Genoa was to write a booklet for teachers and e-facilitators to use robotics and the language of robotics in schools and in other non-formal organisations. The ‘Scuola di robotica’, the host of this training in Genoa, are supporting robotics for everyone and not only for the digitally savvy. Unsurprisingly we discussed during the training the difference between traditional schools and the future-digital ideal schools, where we have flipped classrooms and where we participated in blended learning.

Scuola di Robotica and all the partners want to convince teachers to use robotics and coding through non-traditional classrooms in order for all students to better understand the world. Since in this digital world everything is programmed from a coffee machine to an elevator, it is really important for students and teachers that they don’t get excluded of these technologies. Robotics is a fun way to talk and learn about the computer language. Scuola di robotica wants to use STEAM technology and coding for new educational pathways based on the interests of children and students and enabling them to be not only consumers but also producers of digital content. Their main mission is to develop a chain of transmission between research laboratories, education, industry and society at large, because without an effective translation between the language of science and other disciplines, communication of science is incomplete.

During the training the trainers learned to work with open source software similar to Scratch. The trainers had a programming- exercise in the Open source software Snap4arduino to launch and land a rocket. Afterwards they developed this into a game. We learned to work with extra variables like a potentiometer and temperature meter on a arduino robot.

We also worked with the European version of scratch and arduino, namely openroberto. With openroberto you could also measure the values of the potentiometer! There was another exercise with the potentiometer where the trainers could see the difference in values between salty hot water and normal water.

The aim of the training is to write a curriculum that teachers could use and it would also convince them to use robotics in classrooms. In the booklet there will be a technical part where all the different digital materials and software will be discussed. There will be different open source platforms discussed like arduino, elegoo, Rosa, Byor, Oto, Bitbloq, Raspberry Pi, Microbit, Maky makey. The free software we will discuss are Scratch3, Snap4Arduino, Open roberta, makecod, and Bitbloq. This is to make an overview over for teachers about all the different materials and softwares they can choose from to use in schools. What are the pro’s and contra’s from each material like the price, the different options, etc.

During training the methodology was also discussed and the different obstacles teachers have to implement digital skills in their curriculum. Through different exercises we talked about the ethical, legal, inclusive and sustainable challenges we face to convince the teachers. The trainers also talked very extensively about ways to attract girls in this Steam-technology, they shared some tips and tricks about how to ensure gender equality in the classroom, for example, when making groups for duo-projects.

During the week the trainers had a few reflection assignments where they had to make a preparation for a lesson with robotics in a class. Another exercise was about finding examples for good practices like the driverless car, underwater robot, smart home, robotics contest and videogames with robot An e-facilitator is a person that facilitates the digital training in digital competences centres. They work directly with trainers, tutors, moderators and assistants who are all working in digital inclusion by eradicating fear of using new technologies, thus bringing technology into people’s lives. This booklet is perfect for e-facilitators who work with schools to promote the use of robotics is schools.

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