How iPads Enhance Creativity in Middle School Engineering, Design & Innovation
From October 25, 2021 to November 19, 2021, Grade 7 and 8 students in Ms. Isabel Law’s Engineering, Design, and Innovation class worked with a class set of iPads during their unit on Algorithms and Programming as well as their unit on Design and Technology. Students worked with three major apps on the iPads. One was the Lego Spike Prime app that provides Block Programming, Proper Programming (Python), and Building Guide options to help students’ learning.
In Grade 8, students used the Thunkable app on the iPad, a free, user-friendly tool for beginners to learn how to develop an app. Thunkable is a Block Programming based tool with a variety of layout options for app developers. It’s an easy way to learn app development without a proper programming background knowledge and syntax structures. Students also used the Mimo app that has templates for beginners to learn basic HTML and CSS programming. Mimo is an Integrated Development Environment app, which contains a built-in “preview in browser” function so website developers can easily render their webpages and make corresponding amendments while constructing websites.
Students are expected to put together their basic skills that they learned in each small unit in the EDI class. They then develop a final project by following the Design Thinking Framework. Here are the steps that to help students to developed as Empowered Thinkers and Effective Communicators, two of our Expected Schoolwide Learning Results:
All projects have different stages of work that involve Social, Personal, and Applied Learning, AIS’s Learning Models. Students have to use different apps and tools from the iPads to capture their learning evidence and be able to use it as an effective communication tool. i.e. airdrop photos and/or videos after editing on iPads for their group or individual work, developing blueprints and design screens by using Apple Pen and specific apps, testing the app development results on iPad as a mobile device. They must work together for some projects, assess individually through applying discrete skills in their final projects.
All projects have different stages of work that involve Social, Personal, and Applied Learning, AIS’s Learning Models. Students are able to be Creative Communicators and Innovative Designers and make connections with the real world or society.
Not only are these skills important for EDI but transferable to the future. Students are able to be Creative Communicators and Innovative Designers and make connections with the real world or society. They are able to apply their design cycle skill when developing a project idea by using the Design Thinking Framework. The design techniques such as Colors, Typography, Layout and Compositions and Images that they learned in the EDI class are benefits for any presentation work.