Let’s build apps, video games and sites

October 2020 / April 2021
Gabriella Righetti

→ what you have done in your business
The activities of the project path were carried out both in the classroom and online. we intend to develop computational thinking using block programming languages; in addition, the creation of a website, smartphone apps and video games was implemented. The scenario aims to propose the challenges of the IT world, almost simulating working life in a computer studio. 1 pupils aged 14/15 were involved in the pilot project. Students get to know the smartphone, app and video game from passive users; we opened up a world of possibilities for them in discovering what they could do themselves (their apps, their video game, their website)

The scenario aims to simulate a kind of start-up office, in order to involve pupils in active learning, which sees them creating apps, video games and sites, getting involved and drawing on their passions, implementing goal 4 of the 2030 agenda.
Each meeting lasted 1 hour; we were two / three teachers, in order to encourage students in their work; initially, we showed them how to access the different accounts (free platforms) and then they worked as a team.

The proposed challenges (app, videogame, website) led to acquiring 21st-century skills in an active and engaging way; the pupils understood the work behind the creation of smartphone apps and how IOT is important not only to use but also to master. This discovery made them more aware and responsible also towards disciplinary goals and skills because they understood how mathematics and physics are important.
Working online was also helpful in discovering further learning scenarios.
The activities require as many resources: app inventor, Gdevelop and Google Site; however, the B4A language for building apps is also a good alternative to app inventor.
The teachers I worked with are from the math and physics department (like me) and science; the different skills and different points of view helped, in their variety, to orient the children during the activities

→ what materials and resources helped you implement the business (online)
We worked by exploiting network resources: web apps, sites, free platforms. We had to select the most suitable resources for the challenge proposed to the students for each activity and we intend to test and have other web apps tested in the future.
The activities require as resources: appInventor, Gdevelop and Google Site; however, the B4A language for building apps is also a good alternative to appInventor.
→ how did you engage your audience (online)
The activities were carried out both in a physical class and online (using meet); timed challenges or activities to be carried out in groups have been launched online

→ the pedagogical value of your business → why others should use this or similar methods with their students the methodology adopted is similar to “learning for inquiry”, an innovative pedagogical approach based on investigation, which stimulates the formulation of questions and actions to solve problems and understand phenomena. The teacher does not judge but helps and guides the students in expressing, enhancing, enhancing and acquiring both digital and transversal skills.