|1 to 4||Understand how computers work, how they are represented in the student’s environment, and how humans communicate with them. Learn the importance of algorithms and how programs execute through precise step-by-step instructions
Introduction to the Dash Robot and the Google Blockly Programming Language. Develop simple programs to instruct Dash to complete tasks while learning debugging, pattern recognition, and loops
|5 to 8||Reinforce algorithms and the need for precise and unambiguous instructions. Appreciate alternative algorithms and use logical reasoning to compare their efficiency and utility
Introduction to MIT’s Scratch programming environment through progressive learning exercises that will cover events, sequencing, loops, and messaging. Students also learn to create an interface between traditional and digital art expression
Design and develop a digital story using Scratch and present the result to the rest of the class
|9 to 12||Introduction to conditionals (IF, THEN, ELSE statements) and their uses in computing
Introduction to variables and their uses in computing
Introduction to game design and developing a simple computer game
|13 to 16||Introduction to key Design Thinking concepts and its use in game/story design
Undertake a creative project to design and develop a computer game/story using the design thinking process and solving for real world constraints
Share the concept, game and the design process with the class through a Start-up-like Pitching Session
|17 to 20||Understand that a combination of hardware and software components make up computer systems
Explore this relationship through the use of the Makey Makey micro-controller by developing a simple hardware-software interface
Engage in a mini-Hackathon to design and develop a complete hardware and software controller system for the game that was made earlier
Lesson Plan Summary
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
We empower primary school children to create with technology through computer programming (coding), robotics and design thinking. Children today use technology mostly to play games or watch videos. We want them to use it to make things and to express themselves. 65% of primary schoolers will do jobs that are not invented yet because of technological change. We must prepare them for this future
2. What is Introduction to Computational Thinking (ICT101)?
This is our foundation course which is designed to excite students to create with technology and lose their fear of technical subjects such as coding and design. The course is designed to appeal both to girls and boys. We do this by not setting a defined end output – such as developing a shooting game or a racing game – as this will appeal only to some students, and not others. Instead, we guide the students to come up with their own ideas for expressions and work with them to develop the required thinking and technical skills to achieve these ideas. At the end of the program, a student will be able to confidently build simple computer games, digital stories or digital art expressions
3. What tools and equipment will you provide the students, during class? Is there an additional cost for these tools/equipment?
All students will be provided computers, to enable them to express creatively. In addition to computers, students will also work with robots (Dash) and tablet computers, to grasp various computing concepts and hone coding skills. Students will also get to tinker with MIT developed invention kit, Makey Makey, and explore the interface between software and hardware. Various software tools like MIT’s Scratch, Google’s Blockly, etc. will also be made available to the student, which they can also use at home! Throughout the course, the student will have access to various Create Lab learning materials, aimed at enriching his/her learning experience. The cost of using all these equipment and tools is included in the course fees and there will be no additional charge for the same
4. How long will the course last? What happens during school exams, holidays, etc?
The ICT101 course spans 20 classes, of 2 hours each. The class calendar is finalised after taking into consideration the school’s schedule for holidays, exams, etc. and every effort is made to accommodate students’ hectic schedules. Given above, a typical course lasts 5-6 months, depending on the school’s schedule. Create Lab assures you that it will hold all 20 classes to complete the course, and provide the students with a great learning experience
5. Are you a Scratch class?
The focus of our program is empowering 21st Century Skills: Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication & Collaboration. We use Scratch as a platform for this, along with Dash Robot, Makey Makey etc. To use an analogy, rather than purely teaching students how to use Word or Excel (which is a technical skill that may become obsolete), we focus on inspiring students to use these tools to write poetry or tell stories (which encourages them to think and become creative)
6. Do the students assemble kits?
No, we don’t use kits. Our programs are largely open-ended where the students learn at their own pace and create using their own imagination. The program is designed so that the knowledge gained in class can be applied anywhere to create, imagine and continue learning through freely accessible online tools. There’s no need to buy expensive kits or software
7. What’s next after completing ICT101?
8. How big are your classes?
Our curated learning experience allows a maximum of 20 students per class with a 1-to-10 teacher-student ratio
9. Who develops your programs?
All our programs are developed together with academics from Oxford, MIT, National University of Singapore (NUS) and the University of Auckland. Our Academic Board has over 85 years of pioneering technology experience, given TED talks, and hold patents in areas such as artificial intelligence & technology-enabled learning
10. My child has learning differences/ special needs. I’m worried he/she will not be able to take part?
At least 20% of Create Lab’s student population has learning differences. So please don’t worry! Because our programs are designed with individual creativity in mind and our class sizes are small (1 teacher to 10 students maximum), we are able to give a significant amount of personalised attention to each child. Also for many students with learning differences, the technical aspects of coding and robotics provide them with an outlet that traditional subjects cannot. We have seen many such students thrive in our environment