The first networked elementary computer lab in British Columbia was located at Fernwood School in the late 1980s where students were fully engaged programming with Logo and Hypercard in problem solving situations. Students worked in small groups with advanced concepts like recursion—which most adults would find challenging.
Skip to 2017 and we see engagement, problem-solving and technology challenges thriving in Andrew McPhee’s Fernwood classroom. Below is a second instalment excerpt by SET-BC Service Coordinator (for SD #61, 62, 63, 64, 79) Charlotte Friend:
Students confidently explore how things work, plan experiments and pursue new ideas, thinking and re-thinking when things don’t go as planned. In their own version of “genius hour” students constructed a track for a Sphero robot to follow, made a weather report using the Do Ink app and green screen, created a target and programmed the drone to launch and shoot at it. Andrew emboldens their creativity, eager to answer their questions but challenging them to seek their own answers and explore options. Students can be heard to happily exclaim: “Hey, I read the manual and found out…” “That was a cool idea to make a weather report.” “Hey, look what I did!” and “Just a sec, I’m going to do it again!”