At ISTE 2019, SAM Labs is releasing the innovative Learn to Code Course Kit — a block-based coding curriculum for grades four through eight — that integrates with micro:bit, the handheld, programmable micro-computer, and Workbench, the student programming canvas. Click to Tweet.
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The new SAM Labs Learn to Code Course Kit for grades 4-8 is a block-based coding curriculum that integrates with micro:bit and Workbench. (Photo: Business Wire)
All of SAM Labs’ products feature hands-on, standards-aligned courses designed to develop students’ computational thinking skills through interconnected, Bluetooth-enabled blocks and digital applications. With the micro:bit integration, students master the basics of coding and computer science, visualizing key subject knowledge and data through testing and improving the configuration of physical blocks.
“Our courses have been wildly successful at delivering the depth of learning that only emerges as a result of authentic problem solving and hands-on experiences. We prepare students to have a stronger foundation in computational thinking, a version of the scientific method that’s self-correcting and geared toward innovation,” said Dr. Hilary Aylesworth, vice president of product at SAM Labs. “With Learn to Code, we’re adding the upper elementary and middle school companion to our signature STEAM course for Pre-K-5. We anticipate Learn to Code will be as popular and effective for these students as our STEAM course is for younger learners.”
Learn to Code comes as a classroom set for 30 students with wireless Bluetooth-enabled blocks of buzzers, light sensors, sliders, and micro:bits that connect through the Google-acquired Workbench app. Using a Learn-Do-Reflect cycle across more than 50 aligned lessons that blend theory, application, and reflection, students work step-by-step to develop mastery of algorithms, loops, functions, and important soft skills such as critical thinking and collaboration.
“The kids are learning but not really realizing how much learning they’re doing,” said Sarah Gerhardt, a teacher who uses SAM Labs courses at Shorewood Elementary School in Burien Washington. “It’s also great that I’m able to incorporate coding, computer science, and even art into this work without doing an extra lesson. The kids naturally want to create works of art that go with their projects.”
Micro:bit Educational Foundation is equally excited by this collaboration. “SAM Labs’ Learn to Code courses focus on student learning by providing the resources educators need. With more than 50 lessons aligned to the CSTA Computer Science Standards, more students can express their digital creativity in the physical world through the magical combination of micro:bit and SAM blocks by using the Workbench coding software,” said Hal Speed, Chief of Global Engagement at micro:bit.
Learn to Code Course Kit is available for teachers and school leaders in a limited release on June 24 at ISTE 2019, which is the largest education and edtech conference in the United States. At ISTE, see Learn to Code Course Kit, STEAM, Maker kits and more at the SAM Labs Booth 1644.
See a video of SAM Labs products https://youtu.be/N3dOC26Ah5Y.
Online press kit with images and backgrounding here: http://prez.ly/cLbb
About SAM Labs:
SAM Labs creates kits that bring together hardware, software and curriculum for engaging, hands-on learning experiences for all students grades K-8. SAM Labs kits include everything teachers need to teach STEAM and coding in an accessible, fun, standards-aligned, and interactive way without needing to be coding experts themselves. Learn more at SAMLabs.com. Follow us on Twitter and Pinterest.
About Micro:bit Educational Foundation
The Micro:bit Educational Foundation is a not-for-profit organization with the vision of inspiring every child to create their best digital future. Originally developed by the BBC, the micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer that makes learning coding easy and fun while enabling students to express their creativity. The micro:bit is available in over 60 countries with a large community of organizations providing teaching resources, software editors and hardware accessories. For more information, visit www.microbit.org