On the recently held regional coding competition in April, children from Sv Kiril and Metodije school from Skopje won the prize for team work. Read an interview by their teacher Pavlinka Gorgieva.
- Why do you think digital skills are important for the future?
Digital skills can provide new ways of working. Technological advances will continue to provide new ways of working, so improving digital skills is one way to help our pupils respond to them in the future. The businesses that accept those changes will benefit from the very solid, appropriately educated staff who will want to cooperate, communicate or create and find new tools that will enable them to perform their duties more efficiently in their jobs.
- How do you use the micro:bit device in the teaching and what are its advantages?
Through an ambitious series of new programs, partnerships and projects, we, as teachers, put emphasis and attention on digital creativity as never before and help in building the digital skills of our pupils. The beginning of the project, among some of the teachers, was accepted sceptically, but later the micro:bit device successfully fit into many teaching lessons in different subjects. As a teacher of mathematics and physics, I often find the opportunity to use these smart devices in order to keep the attention required of each pupil individually.
- Is the use of micro:bit devices possible at different levels of education?
Every pupil with whom we meet during the school year is a new book that is worth reading. The micro:bit device can be used to easily understand and memorize it. Everyone behind hides a story from which we the teachers learn a lesson. Micro:bit is a smart device that can be reduced to a basic, but also much more complicated algorithm, which can be thought and work by pupils from different levels of education. Specifically, it is a lesson in natural science with the fifth grade, where the pupils had the task of planting a plant and monitoring its growth depending on few variables, temperature, quantity of water, and therefore programmed a micro:bit for temperature measurement. Analogously, eighth grade pupils made a fire alarm sensor that emits sound and water when smoke and higher temperatures occur. The children can, and they know how.
- Can micro:bit devices be used as a means of acquiring the skills of logical thinking, enhanced learning and problem solving in all disciplines?
I can freely say that our children, that is, the generations we work with and those who are yet to come, are generations of smartphones. Often, the main topic of conversation is a game on which they spend a lot of their time, is it fun or not. When they themselves made a very simple game "Snake", they changed the way they see things and the opinions about everything they came into contact further. Through only one game, they realized the importance of logical thinking and the resolution of various problems, which means that these skills can be improved.
- Can you say that the use of micro:bit affects younger generations in a way that motivates them to be more creative and more interested?
As pupils of the 21st century, young people using mobile phones can much simpler and easily access information, so their flames are quietly disappearing to constantly explore and learn new things. By using a micro:bit, young people are enabled to actively and more interested in entering the sacred digital skills through which they will walk independently and more faithfully.
- Does the use of micro:bits computers encourage collective learning and group work?
Digital literacy does make us experience new challenges every day, and our pupils even more. When talking about coding, each more serious project involves teamwork, whereby pupils learn another skill that they can then mention in their CV. Also, joint efforts in finding a common way to overcome the current problem motivates and strengthens their self-esteem.
- Can learning about micro:bit computers better save students for employment?
The 21st Century Schools Program, designed and implemented by the British Council, gave us the opportunity to face the challenges of the 21st century. We, as primary school teachers, know and understand the importance of interactive teaching and how to implement it and thus enable our pupils to develop new skills. Our pupils have new skills, this program enables critical thinking, problem solving and coding skills, strengthening their teamwork and creative abilities, providing them with better chances of future employment and perspective.