With the growing search for qualified professionals in the exact area, teaching in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) areas is gaining importance. In parallel, it appears that drones are an increasingly present reality in the civil area; however, there are few scientific studies of their application in the pedagogical environment, and their insertion is still practically nil in the school environment. Thus, this work aims to analyze the feasibility of using a set of technologies based on drones, designed based on the theory of significant learning through the use of active methodologies. The study was carried out with 30 high school students and followed a line of quali-quantitative analysis, in which the quantitative data were collected from the results obtained in a pre and post-test and the qualitative ones through recordings during the interventions, observations of the researcher, and a semi-structured press interview. Finally, a triangulation between the methodologies was carried out, looking for congruent aspects between the different techniques used. As a result, it was found that the workshops with the platform based on drones helped in the understanding, construction, and interpretation of the content covered, and it can be concluded that there is a significant relationship between the use of the technological set proposed in the pedagogical process and the possibility of significant learning in the STEM areas by the students.
Due to technological advancements, robotics is findings its way into the classroom. However, workload for teachers is high, and teachers sometimes lack the knowledge to implement robotics education. A key factor of robotics education is peer learning, and having students (near-)peers teach them robotics could diminish workload. Therefore, this study implemented near-peer teaching in robotics education. 4 K10-11 secondary school students were teachers to 83 K5-6 primary school students. The intervention included 4 3-hour robotics lessons in Dutch schools. Primary school students completed a pre- and post-intervention questionnaire on their STEM-attitudes and near-peer teaching experience, and a report on their learning outcomes. Interaction with near-peer teachers was observed. After the lessons, a paired-samples t-test showed that students had a more positive attitude towards engineering and technology. Students also reported a positive near-peer teaching experience. Conventional content analysis showed that students experienced a gain in programming and robotics skill after the lessons, and increased conceptual understanding of robotics. The role the near peer teachers most frequently fulfilled was formative assessor. Near-peer teachers could successfully fulfil a role as an engaging information provider. This study shows that near-peer teachers can effectively teach robotics, diminishing workload for teachers. Furthermore, near-peer robotics lessons could lead to increased STEM-attitudes.
This study investigated the role of using unplugged computing activities on developing computational thinking (CT) skills of 6th-grade students. The unplugged computing classroom activities were based on the Bebras challenge, an international contest that aims to promote CT and informatics among school students of all ages. Participants of the study were fifty-three 6th-grade students from two public middle schools in Istanbul. The unplugged computing activities involved the tasks with three different difficulty levels covering the CT processes found to be common in CT definitions in the literature. To evaluate students’ CT skills, two equivalent tests were constructed from Bebras tasks considering the same parameters (difficulty levels and CT processes). The results showed that students’ post-test scores were significantly higher than their pre-test scores. There were not any significant differences between students’ scores in terms of gender, and there was no interaction effect between students’ CT scores and their gender.
The objective of this article is to present the development and evaluation of dETECT (Evaluating TEaching CompuTing), a model for the evaluation of the quality of instructional units for teaching computing in middle school based on the students' perception collected through a measurement instrument. The dETECT model was systematically developed and evaluated based on data collected from 16 case studies in 13 different middle school institutions with responses from 477 students. Our results indicate that the dETECT model is acceptable in terms of reliability (Cronbach's alpha ?=.787) and construct validity, demonstrating an acceptable degree of correlation found between almost all items of the dETECT measurement instrument. These results allow researchers and instructors to rely on the dETECT model in order to evaluate instructional units and, thus, contribute to their improvement and to direct an effective and efficient adoption of teaching computing in middle school.
This paper deals with the process of expanding the virtual secondary education school network, aiming to provide daily basis, online teaching. The context of this research is the ESR funded Eastern Finland Educational Network Project, which is a network of 36 high schools providing courses via web-based learning environments. The project is a shared activity between teachers and researchers. The aim of the present study is to investigate teachers' technological pedagogical content knowledge by finding out what kind of pedagogical solutions the teachers use while designing and carrying out online teaching. In this study thirteen online courses were analysed and based on the analysis, four different course design patterns were found. The most general approach in course designs seems to be teacher centred, focusing on well guided individual learning processes. There seems to be need for development of teacher technological pedagogical content knowledge, to support approaches of more collaborative course designs.