Few would deny that new models of learning are required to better prepare our students for life and work in the 21st century. Current research shows that innovative teaching is required to support students’ development of the skills that will help them thrive in life and work. It is important to connect the design of a learning activity with the requisite skills.
With this in mind, our plan in Code Club was to come up with an authentic real world challenge for the girls to undertake. We wanted the students to implement their ideas and designs for an audience outside of the classroom. A perfect ‘customer’ for the project was the Waimarama Surf Club.
The Waimarama Junior Surf Programme had grown so much that they were having trouble utilising the data and information collected from their members. They wanted to see if someone could come up with an innovative solution to make the collection, accessing and application of the information easier.
The girls’ task was to develop an app to present to the Junior Surf Director by the end of Term 3. The students worked through the following steps to complete the project:
- Interview the client to find out their needs
- Learn about database structure and management
- Develop an app to present to the club for testing
- Receive feedback and make iterations to the app
The expertise was kindly provided by Andrew Norris, our code club parent volunteer. His information technology knowledge, especially around the function of databases, was fundamental to the project. We were able to utilise the programme Filemaker, which runs the school’s student management system KAMAR.
In the end we had one student complete this very challenging project. Amelia Dear is only in Year 8 and saw the whole project through. She was able to meet with the Director of Junior Surf, Jarrod Lowe, and present a fully functioning app for the club to use. Amelia even explained the workings that went on behind the design.
The benefit of this type of project is best summed up by Mr Lowe:
“It is great to see Amelia have the opportunity to develop and present a solution for an issue we had at the ripe old age of 13. I wish I had the opportunity to experience this type of real learning when I was at school.”
Amelia was also asked for her feedback around the project:
“I really liked doing this project because it was very interesting to learn how to create an app. It was great that we were able to make something that the Surf Club are going to use,” Amelia said.
We are very proud of all the students involved in this project and, in particular, Amelia’s accomplishment. She already has a plan in mind for her end of year Passion Project: To create a Performing Arts website. Innovation is alive and well at Woodford – watch this space!
Ms Toni Dunstan, Director of Innovation