It’s all about education and innovation. The last of Oceanit’s 2018 Altino summer workshops wrapped on July 28th on Maui, concluding a six-cohort tour of our state. The Altino Coding workshops have now reached well over 200 teachers from across the state, to introduce them to coding for the first time. The teachers became students as they learned to code and program the Altino autonomous car platform.
Altino Coding uses a sensor-laden robotic car that can be programmed to drive and perform other actions, autonomously. Oceanit brought the system to Hawai’i from South Korea, inspired by what we saw there: Altino being used to train non-technical teachers in coding and computer science in an effort to spread computer science across their country.
As we look to the future, our belief is that technology and innovation should be a cornerstone of a resilient economy for Hawai’i. As South Korea adopts computer science a mandatory class in 2018, Oceanit was amazed to see that Korean students will have a coding class every year from K-12. We believe this exposure to coding and creative problem solving is the necessary education that the next generation will need to be great innovators.
Our goal is to teach 5000 teachers over the next several years, each potentially reaching 50+ students, meaning that we can bring coding to all of Hawaii’s ~200,000 students. We hope to accomplish this goal within five years… and 2018 was a great success and step towards that goal!
Oceanit’s Altino program brings together teachers at a complex level (elementary, middle, and high schools) in a combined six-day workshop to learn coding over four days, redesign their lesson plans to include elements of computer science in two days, and earn three professional development credits from the Hawaii State Department of Education while doing so. The workshops held were:
- June 7-9 Honolulu Complex at Stevenson Middle & Kaimuki High
- June 18-23 Kauai Complex at Wilcox Elementary School
- June 25-30 West Hawaii Complex at Kealakehe Intermediate School
- July 5-13 Castle Kahuku Complex at Castle High School: (http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/38644144/teachers-learn-to-code)
- July 19-26 Nanakuli Waianae Complex at Nanakuli Elementary School
- July 23-28 Maui Complex at UH Maui College: (http://www.mauinews.com/news/local-news/2018/07/crash-course/)
Since 2016, Oceanit has focused on training teachers who can bring coding lessons to subjects like Math, History, Social Studies, English, and other core curriculum areas. Coding is our means to create more creative problem solvers – and by training teachers, we tackle the number one barrier to computer sciences in our schools: a lack of trained coding teachers in the U.S. (source: Gallup/Google Study 2016 – https://services.google.com/fh/files/misc/trends-in-the-state-of-computer-science-report.pdf)
At our workshops, teachers not only learned to code but also improved teacher collaboration within their complexes. Elementary, Middle, and High Schoolteachers met and worked on curriculum development together, testing and providing feedback for one another. This approach supports student development across grades and schools as the collaboration between complex teachers builds continuity for the students. On the sixth day of each workshop students are brought in to test and give feedback about the new curriculum.
“This course, and more importantly the instructor, helped to build a better understanding of syntax coding. It took me more time to catch on to the logical thinking that was required to create my program, so I would have enjoyed more time to play. The instructor was wonderful. He was engaging, calm, receptive to the classes needs, and more specifically for me finding a way to reach me. I will not forget the sandwich model he used to help visualize the format. Mahalo, I truly enjoyed my time in this course!” – 3rd grade teacher on the island of Hawai’i
“I really like how this training incorporated time for portfolio completion and most importantly, time for lesson plan creation and development. Most times, after PD training, I’m excited about the new content I’ve learned, but then become frustrated when I have to plan integration of new content and skills on my own. It was really nice having such a collaborative space where teachers shared their lesson ideas and were given input from others. I got lots of ideas for my own lesson and my own classroom that I’m excited to use. I also really appreciate how during the learning of the coding part (days 1-4), the teaching was very explicit and clear; as a TOTAL novice coder, I was able to code my car for autonomous driving! That’s so nuts! Mahalo, mahalo, mahalo.” – Kindergarten teacher on Oahu
“I liked how I was able to walk in the first day without any knowledge about coding – besides the fact that codes tell the computers to do something – to now at Day 6, I am able to teach the basics of coding to elementary students. I felt all the instructors were extremely helpful, patient, and facilitating without telling us too much.” – 5th grade teacher Laie Elementary
“I like knowing more about C+ language programming and all of the functions of the Altino car. What if we were to make computer programing a mandatory class for all students to take? I wonder how I can influence other teachers at my school to get their students involved in a coordinated effort around computer programming.” – 10th grade teacher on Kauai
Maui Cohort Altino Coding class
A live test at West Hawaii Altino coding
A visit from Governor Ige at the Maui Altino class