CODING AND ROBOTICS SYMPOSIUM 2022: Making coding and robotics accessible for all learners

Posted on November 24, 2022

A symposium that involved teachers, academics, and researchers to explore Coding and Robotics implementation at school level. Wednesday, 28 September 2022 saw a LLITUP dream come true as we hosted Coding and Robotics enthusiasts during the Coding and Robotics symposium. We welcomed about 60 people in the F-lab and had an additional 50 to 80 people who joined the different sessions online.

Attendees appreciated the well-integrated Hyflex mode of presentation of the day. Opportunities for discussions, future collaborations, and true excitement about the good work being done in the field
were evident. The day’s programme was filled with hands-on activities, the sharing of wonderful practices and practical insights. After Prof Callaghan’s welcoming and introduction, Prof Jean Greyling of the
Nelson Mandela University and Tangible Africa shared his thoughts on It’s not about coding: The unplugged story. He also introduced the audience to the tangible coding game Tanks. Up next, was Mrs Anita
van Vuuren who shared valuable insights about the demystification of coding in her online presentation titled Educational heuristics for designing an online TPD intervention to demystify coding.

Prof Marietjie Havenga and Dr Suki van Zyl from the North-West University presented an online presentation showcasing their work of integrating Coding and Robotics across different university-level subjects. They use, amongst others, tools like LEGO Mindstorms EV3, Micro:bit and 3D printing. The title of their presentation was Programming and robotics to develop self-directed learning. Up next, we had an explorative discussion where Mrs Erna Erasmus from AROS and Ms Nadia Swanepoel from UP shared their experiences, challenges, and dreams of Coding and Robotics module design for undergraduate teachers. It showcased different ways of approaching this task and led to valuable tea-time discussions and

The tea break’s enjoyable eats and drinks refreshed us to engage in Prof Ronel Callaghan’s session about Coding and Robotics as enabler for interdisciplinary teaching: The LLITUP story. Attendees in the room had a short hands-on play session with the Bee-bots, while online participants were shown what was happening across the room. After this, Dr Patricia Gouws from UNISA shared the value and practices of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for teacher training, also aimed at Coding and Robotics. Her presentation was titled The use of MOOCs in support of Coding and Robotics advancement. After lunch, three further speakers shared their in-practice experiences. Mrs Marietjie Havenga from Skuilkrosies presented
Coding for preschoolers. She focused on five coding terms that preschoolers can understand and provided exciting photo evidence of this from her own work with the young children. Mr Felix Spies from Split Second Science Education Foundation shared six key pieces to success in a rural setting. This relates well to the symposium focus of making Coding and Robotics accessible within different communities.

His presentation was titled A case study of robotics academies in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality, Northern Cape. Before the day’s end, Mr Keith Gibson from Collegiate Girls High shared
the value and practices of developing learners’ problem-solving skills in his online presentation titled Problem-solving: Learning to walk before the robot runs. The symposium situated LLITUP as a
place to soundboard ideas for innovative implementation of Coding and Robotics in the Basic Education sector, as well as a research partner in the Coding and Robotics focus area. The future and what it
promises for Coding and Robotics teaching is exciting!

- Author Annèl van Rooyen, Jody Joubert and Prof Ronel Callaghan

Copyright © University of Pretoria 2024. All rights reserved.

FAQ's Email Us Virtual Campus Share Cookie Preferences