e-Learning coordinator, Sandy Bornholdt, talks about how they teach STEAM in their school. They introduce different elements of STEAM each term, starting by teaching students how to be responsible users of IT.
Throughout the year we cover off all those elements of STEAM so we don’t actually teach it all in one hit. So for example, in Term 1 our mahi was all about teaching our children to be responsible users of IT.
In Term 2 we moved into an engineering phase. So that was about building, making things, using electronics and they participated in an event called eEPro8 . So we broke everything down into tiny little chunks to build their base knowledge.
In Term 3 what our STEAM programme looked like, we had a focus on designing digital outcomes. So we participated in the MADE award events. A big part of our process is actually thinking about the audience. We produce everything that we do in te reo Māori. We’re taking it to a predominantly Pākehā audience so how do we tell our message true to ourselves in te reo Māori, but also be aware that the audience, that 90% of the audience may not be able to understand te reo Māori. So we have to think in levels when we’re designing our product. So pretty much what that looks like is we’ll subtitle everything, so in that instance the collaboration from the teachers is really important so we each come to the table with our own set of experiences and expertise. The classroom teachers drive that part of the curriculum and the kaupapa so that we’re being true to who we are as a full immersion kura.
One of the aspects of our co-lab approach is supporting the learning outside of the face-to-face time that we’ve got with each other. Every class has a Google classroom, they come in here, do an initial set of learning, they can go back into their classroom, they have access to the resources, any of the media that we used back in their classroom so that they can carry on with that learning outside of that face-to-face time that they’ve had with me. So we really used the Google classrooms to add that continuity to what we’re doing in our face-to-face sessions. The class go back and carry on the mahi that they’ve learnt in here so that when they come back the next time, we can go to that next step, or we can do that next learning sprint.
One of the ways that we hope that we’re using technology effectively is actually to meet the needs of all our learners. That Universal Design for learning approach, we want to represent the learning in different ways for the tamariki. That might be really hands-on, computer science unplugged type stuff, that might be representing something in our Google classroom using YouTube. Through our design learning model, really that design process and those learning sprints are what help us to meet the needs of all our learners. We don’t just start at one point, deliver the curriculum and carry on through it, we go back and we reiterate multiple times in multiple ways.