We're bring you a new HSTE blog series called "Classroom Highlights"! Each month we'll visit a new school or classroom to bring attention to the amazing teaching and learning that's happening across the state of Hawai'i. This month we're visiting with Deborah Orlik, a HSTE Board member at Hawaii Technology Academy.
I'm always looking for new ways to incorporate technology into my Middle School ELA classroom. Luckily, I ran into Altino cars last summer in Oahu (on Eventbrite). Oceanit sponsored several workshops for teachers - for free. Can't beat that!
Altino cars were made by some really smart folks in Korea. They took a cool toy car and imbedded an Arduino microprocessing unit. They added all sorts of sensors, LED lights, sounds, and whatnot. And then we code that awesome little car using C. If you are teaching Arduinos, this will be a walk in the C-park for your students.
As the video shows, these 8th graders could not get enough of coding and re-coding and re-trying and trying again. It was everything you would like to see your writing students do: draft after draft after draft. Nurturing and harnessing that desire to "make it right" is a life-long journey for a middle school teacher, but the excitement in that class around the Altino cars and the coding was enough energy to light up Honolulu for a week! So much fun! Great learning!
If you are interested in finding out more about Altino cars, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can share the short story I used to connect the cars to our reading.
Deborah Orlik is a current HSTE Board member. She is also an English and Language Arts teachers at Hawaii Technology Academy.