MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node is hosting a series of teacher-training courses on App Inventor and computational thinking sponsored by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, aiming to train 200 teachers in Hong Kong.
The course uses a blended learning model. Participants go through a series of tutorials online to learn App Inventor and the CoolThink curriculum at their own pace. Then they meet face-to-face to discuss pedagogical questions in groups and do hands-on programming projects.
Participants come from a variety of backgrounds. Some are experienced ICT teachers while others are complete beginners, with their focus in other subjects such as English, chemistry, music, etc. Also participating is a teacher in charge of career counseling, who wants to understand more about coding and technology so that she can better help students choosing careers and courses.
The course features lots of group discussions and sharing from experienced teachers. Elements such as computational action, debugging challenges, group projects are also incorporated.
In the post-workshop survey, participants described it as a great opportunity to work with other like-minded teachers and learn from each other’s experiences. These discussions help them to reflect on how to effectively deliver computational thinking concepts, practices, and perspectives.