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Computational thinking and coding through app development

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Duration: 2:46

Frankley School students explain how they used MIT app inventor to code a fishing Siri app. They developed computational thinking skills in the process.

The students are programming, they're learning about algorithms, they're learning about debugging, they're learning about input/output, and they're learning about aspects of coding like loops, variables, and controllers. So it fits really well into that aspect of the technology curriculum.

Student 1: 
This is MIT app inventor and this is what we use to code our app. And this is how the app would look on your phone. This is our fishing Siri. So if you click on the fishing Siri it'll take you to this page. And if you have really slippery hands or something it's a hands free way. You only have to tap once. So this is when you talk into the fishing Siri and then it will take you to the page.

Student 2:
It will tell you all about snapper a normal snapper and a red snapper. 

There's a group that were developing a fishing app and they recognise that fisher people did not want to get their phone dirty when often they had mucky hands. So they developed a fishing Siri which tapped into the speech aspect of their phone

Student 2:
If we're in the central area of North Island we would press that one. It's mostly like a GPS.

Student 1:
Button 1: So when the “Button1” is clicked it will call the “TinyDB1” which will store the value in the current location. 

Computational thinking to me is the ability to put together a set of logical instructions that meet a purpose. It's about thinking logically, being able to sequence your code and then being able to debug your code and look for the parts of the code that don't work.

Student 1:
Well it's sort of just with the coding if like the blocks aren't connected together, or there’s something that we've missed. That's how you find the bug. When we fixed the bug our app was working smoothly.

Students get through the difficulties with the coding just through trial and error. They were able to talk me through the code and I learned a lot off them. They're very much the experts in the class and they surpassed my knowledge.

Student 3:
Databases are a bit hard.

Student 4:
The hardest thing in coding probably. Ask Mr. A, he couldn't do it. And he's gonna be jealous when Kayla figured out how to do it and it works.

Student 1:
It was really fun, it was a really good experience. Because I never knew that coding could be so much fun and that it could teach you so much. If I worked in technology I would definitely want to make more apps. I really enjoyed making them. Maybe some more that will actually get on the App Store.

Tags: Primary, Technology, Collaborative learning, Coding, Future focused learning, Project based learning, Makerspace, STEM/STEAM, Design, Computational thinking, App development, Software for learning