The Impact of an Integrated Literacy and Design Activity on Student Attitudes Toward Coding
Keywords:Elementary Education, Coding Integration, Computer Science Education, Literacy Integration, Engineering Design
Coding is a growing and important area within Design and Technology Education and is also one of the arenas of education where the most significant effort is being given to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion. To introduce young learners to coding and engineering design, a pioneering curricular unit was designed for upper elementary schools, intertwining literacy within its framework. To reasonably fit in the already overcrowded standards for elementary schools in the United States, the integration of multiple subjects was a defining feature of this unit which we termed “Digital Storyboards.” Digital Storyboards integrate engineering design, literacy, and coding into one unit which emphasizes students’ ability to design, develop, and automate an illustration from a favorite story using a variety of electronic elements including LEDs, copper tape, and micro:bits. Students are intentionally taught core content from literacy (the elements of a story), engineering (design), and computational thinking (variables, loops, Booleans) while they create and program their own digital storyboards as part of a 10-week unit in class. While initial implementations of digital storyboards in one classroom positively impacted all students, a more significant impact was discovered with female students specifically – an important idea since females are traditionally underrepresented in coding. Following our pilot work, the digital storyboard project was expanded into 16 classrooms with more than 200 students. Our findings, as well as the practical implications for teachers engaged with elementary and secondary content related to literacy, engineering, design, and computer science, will be shared.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Scott Bartholomew, Mrs., Mrs., Ms.
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