I’ve had another cracking day today!

I’ve been at the Salford TEN Centre again, this time supporting Derek (RM) as he delivered a ‘Control’ session to a group of year 4/5s (8-9 years old?). He started by talking about the sort of things which are ‘controlled’ in everyday life. The kids were great and came up with all sorts of ideas. They were then introduced to the kit we were going to play with. Well – not so much ‘play’ as ‘construct’.

The morning’s task was to follow pictorial instructions and to construct a crocodile.

The crocodile was then controlled by means of some software which they programmed by dragging and dropping ‘start motor’, ‘hold motor’, ‘reverse motor’, ‘add sound’ etc. controls onto the desktop. The crocodile then opened and closed its mouth as a sensor told it to.

After dinner, they were given a choice of about ten other models they could build and were set free! It was an absolute blast. Between them, they made each possible model.

This time instead of following printed instructions, they followed instructions online. Although many of the young learners still sought assistance, they did so less often than they did in the morning. Whilst I realise that they were inexperienced in the morning, they were also less reluctant to go back through the online instructions to check their progress than they were with the paper ones. They felt much freer using online instructions than they did using paper ones. A lesson for us?

They made all sorts of things, birds, monkeys, goalies, cranes, spinners – all sorts. Fabulous.