Directed Learning With One Screen


A simple rocket navigation game I use to teach clones, velocity movement and broadcasts.

"What do I do?", my student asked for the eighth time that session. I reminded them that I needed more information to help them. "What was the last thing you did?", I asked and they replied with a description of the last step they had completed before falling behind. Was I moving too fast? Was there a language barrier in play here? I was teaching Scratch to five students but I had been given a challenge. The course was titled Scratch 2, a second session for students who had completed the first course, however I found myself with two beginners. This was our fourth session and I was struggling with engaging both sets of students. My experienced students were interrupting and acting out out of boredom. As this was a paid course I wanted to give the level two students the experience and information I had taught past classes but I had to slow my pace to explain everything to beginner level.

The colour-coded organization of Scratch blocks does help if the student can not see or hear the colour.

"What do I do?", they asked again. I saw the color of their screen change by the reflection on their face. Was that an alt+tab? I realized that they may not be able to see me demonstrate. "Are you looking at my screen?", I asked. I watched the screen reflection change color again as they navigated back to our zoom window. I had thrown this student into the thick of building a Lander styled game. My walkthrough of the interface had been brief. It made sense now. If the student couldn't see me demo they wouldn't know that the block I was moving was a purple one from the looks tab. They didn't know the colour difference between a move block and an event block. Other students had had access to two screens. One to work, and one to watch me with. This student must have a small laptop to work with. I showed the student where I had pulled the blocks I was working with from. This student was basically following along with audio only. I realized I had to be more descriptive with my language and not rely on visual aids. With this realization I was able to better lead this student move forward with my planned material. I had to halt less and could better engage both levels of understanding. This accommodation allowed me to help my beginning students catch up to the class level, boosting their potential.

This hammer was heavy.

I'm Dean. A professional musician and video editor now sharing my experience with my students and the world. I blog mostly about music, technology and how to integrate these subjects in educational situations. I teach Scratch, Python, and am fluent in Adobe Creative Cloud.

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