The “Making at School” Project: Planning Interdisciplinary Activities

Authors:Bernadette SpielerTobias M. SchifferleManuela Dahinden

Abstract

“Making” as a “do-it-yourself” and tinker mentality provides motivating and interdisciplinary ways to experiment and fosters transversal competences such as computational thinking skills. The joint innovation project “Making at School” (https://explore-making.ch; 10/2021 – 9/2023) of the Zurich University of Teacher Education (PHZH), the University of Zurich, and the CreativeLab Zurich is developing various interdisciplinary teacher training courses on Maker-Education for K12-teachers. In addition to a first basic module in spring 2022, advanced modules will be offered in autumn 2022, e.g., Digital Fabrication I (lasercutter, 3D printing) or BioTinkering. Preliminary cardboard and digital versions of a Making planning framework to support teachers in Making are already in development, evaluated, and will be improved using a design research approach together with teachers and (inter-)national experts.

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Exploring Making in Schools: A Maker-Framework for Teachers in K12

Bernadette Spieler, Tobias M. Schifferle, Manuela Dahinden

ABSTRACT
In recent years, the Maker movement has surged in popularity and has become attractive for didactic research. Exploration, creativity, open learning spaces, and problem-orientation are the foundations for successful Maker-Education. While the relevance of Making in higher education is slowly being recognized, it is still uncharted
territory for most schools. As part of the “Making at School” project, the Zurich University of Teacher Education, together with the University of Zurich and the CreativeLab Zurich, is committed to creating interdisciplinary modules for Making, e.g., in biology, computer science, or handicraft. The main goal is to help teachers to develop a Maker mindset by providing ideas for designing their own projects. This paper presents a preliminary planning framework that is evaluated by (inter-)national experts in Making. This first assessment shows that the framework is described as useful and appealing, but still too complex to be used in schools.

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[in German] Online-Lehre zu Zeiten von Corona: Kein Problem für die Informatik-Didaktik?

Bernadette Spieler

Zusammenfassung des Beitrags: Die Informatik-Didaktik ermöglicht es, unter Einsatz vielseitiger Technologien neue Unterrichtsideen zu entwickeln, die dann gemeinsam mit Schüler*innen kreativ oder auch spielerisch umgesetzt werden können. Um Informatik auch im Schulunterricht zu verankern, streben viele deutsche Bundesländer die Integration eines Pflichtfaches Informatik an, so auch Niedersachsen: An der Universität Hildes-heim können Lehramtsstudierende Informatik als Erst-/Zweit-oder Drittfach seit 2016/2017 wählen.

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[in German] Gendersensible Gestaltung eines Computational-Thinking-Kurses mit Hilfe des PECC-Modells

Bernadette Spieler, Zurich University of Teacher Education, Centre of Education and Digital Transformation, Zurich, Switzerland

bernadette.spieler@phzh.ch

Zusammenfassung:  Die Gesamtanzahl der Studentinnen und Absolventinnen in der Informatik ist sehr gering und der Bedarf an Fachkräften insgesamt im Bereich der Informatik kann nicht gedeckt werden. Die Forschung weist auf verschiedene Faktoren für den niedrigen und sogar abnehmenden Anteil von Frauen in der Informatik in Industrieländern hin. Genannt werden unter anderem psychologische Ursachen, soziale Faktoren oder strukturelle Bedingungen. Diese Erklärungen haben eines gemeinsam: Sie erkennen das Alter zwischen 11–15 Jahren als die wesentliche konfiktbildende Phase bei Mädchen an, in der das Interesse an Informatik entweder abnimmt oder anfangs nicht geweckt wird. Kenntnisse in Informatik sind für die Zukunft unerlässlich, doch spielt die Informatik in den meisten Lehrplänen des europäischen Schulsystems eine unbedeutende und unzureichende Rolle und bezieht sich meist auf die Nutzung des Computers als kontextloses Werkzeug.

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Episode/Interview “techshelikes” Podcast

Have you heard the latest techshelikes podcast episode with Bernadette Spieler? I’m particularly excited about this episode because Bernadette and I have one thing in common: We both work in computer science didactics. In the conversation, Bernadette talks about what computer science education is all about and how she lives her vision of “supporting children” as a software developer and eventually as a computer science educator, setting a good example for a job with purpose and impact in computer science.

Link to the podcast episode (in GERMAN): https://techshelikes.co/bernadette-spieler/

3 Computer Science Professors – 3 questions

In 2021, the year in which Switzerland celebrates the 50th anniversary of women’s right to vote, positive effects towards more gender equality can be seen on many levels. The PHs play a key role with the training of future teachers. The Swiss Association for Computer Science in Education SV!A presents three female computer science professors at once:

Dorit Assaf, PH FHNW , Mareen Grillenberger, PHSZ, and Bernadette Spieler, PHZH.

See the article (in GERMAN):

Six new professors [German]

In a small, festive setting, Rector Heinz Rhyn presented the six new professors of the PH Zurich with their certificates from the University of Applied Sciences Council. Congratulations to Anja Sieber, Bernadette Spieler, Barbara Getto, Tobias Röhl, Michael Geiss and Patrick Bettinger!

Link: https://phzh.ch/de/ueber-uns/Medien/News/2021/09/sechs-neue-professorinnen/

Michael Geiss, Patrick Bettinger, Barbara Getto, Tobias Röhl, Heinz Rhyn, Bernadette Spieler, Anja Sieber

The Science Behind the Art of Engaging: Online Tutoring in Games and Coding

Bernadette Spieler, Zurich University of Teacher Education, Centre of Education and Digital Transformation, Zurich, Switzerland

bernadette.spieler@phzh.ch

Abstract: In programming, students usually have different prior knowledge, expectations, and approaches: While some have a stronger need to work collaboratively, share their work, and proceed systematically, others like to search on their own and tinker without needing immediate help or guidance. During periods of restricted physical presence at school locations such as during the Corona pandemic, individual digital solutions were needed to provide online a pedagogical motivation, and different levels of support.

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