It’s a brand new month and that means… another exciting line-up of techtivities (tech+activities)! You can add these into your growing to-do list now that we’re out of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert). 😉

Before we get started, let’s begin with September’s #TechFact on memory technology.

Did you know that One Petabyte (PB) = 1024 (TB)? To put this in perspective, a 50PB hard drive could hold the entire written works of mankind from the beginning of recorded history in all languages!

In fact, in 2017, Facebook, Google and YouTube accounted for approximately 35,000 PB of data generated – you could actually store our cumulative recorded history 700 times over! 😲

Image of Memory Cards
Memory cards are one of the items we store our data in. Credit: Unsplash

Are you ready for September’s Techtivities now? Keep scrolling to discover what you and your family can indulge in this month!

Google Doodle Champion Island Games (Tokyo Olympics 2020)

Feeling the Olympics blues? You can still experience it with Google Doodle. Google came up with a creative way to mark the start of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 – that is with an animated athletics game called Doodle Champion Island Games!

The role-playing game is filled with seven sport mini-games, legendary opponents, dozens of side quests and more! You will join the cathlete (cat-athlete), Lucky, to defeat each sport champion and collect all seven sacred scrolls. 

With its retro visuals, the game is reminiscent of the old Game Boy days and serves as a good past-time activity! Isn’t it so awesome how technology can be used to create such projects to complement and hype events like the Olympics?  

Google Doodle Champion Island Game GIF

Details:
Includes: 7 mini-games, side quests and more!
Price: Free
To find out more, click here.


Rainforest Lumina

As restrictions ease, why not plan an educational time to the zoo for your family? You can go on a mesmerising multi-sensory journey into the lush rainforest of the Singapore Zoo – the Rainforest Lumina! They’ve got 10 zones that are complete with immersive audiovisual and lights that will dazzle both young and old.

You will get to meet the Creature Crew, a heroic group of eight virtual animals who will accompany you on your adventure. From an orangutan to a white tiger, pangolin, hornbills, and more, they will help keep you #woke on eco issues! 

Described as a “multimedia night walk on the wild side”, it is now in its third and final season since starting in 2018 – don’t miss out on this opportunity to experience it! It’s so amazing to see the kind of events that can be made when we bring technology into it – this Tech x Nature event is just spectacular – and gets you wondering more about how else technology can intersect with other aspects of life.

Image of Rainforest Lumina

Details:
Includes: An immersive multi-sensory journey into the lush rainforest of Singapore Zoo
When: Until 13 February 2022
Price: Child – $14, Adult/Youth – $18, Local Senior Citizen – $14
Learn more or sign up here.


Learning Beautiful’s Coding Meets Science Webinar

Learning Beautiful Singapore has a series of webinars that you can watch to broaden your understanding of computer science – they’ve conducted some on interesting topics like Montessori at Home and All About Pixels!

Their last one: Coding Meets Science will go live on Saturday, 4 September at 10am! You can join the Co-Founder of Coding Lab, Candice Wang, as she shares the importance of STEM and how you can begin laying the foundation in your children’s lives. 😉 If you’ve got any burning questions on STEM, you can send them in and get them answered in real-time too!

*Recommended for parents with kids ages 3 to 9 

Coding Meets Science Webinar banner

Details:
Coding Meets Science takes place on Saturday, 4 September 2021 at 10am (Click on ‘Going!’ if you can make it 😉)
Location: Facebook Live
Price: Free
Includes: Hour-long webinars (recorded)
To find out more, click here.


Don’t miss out on our October Holiday Coding Camps

Are you all set to welcome the month of October? 🙌 Let your little one discover a new skill with us when they join our exciting October Holiday Coding Camps! 

Coding is a good activity that your child can try out as they get to improve their logical thinking and computational skills. Here’s an overview of what we got: Our primary school students can start off their programming journey with Scratch (ages 7-9) or App Inventor (ages 10-12), while our older kids get to explore Python, a global top 5 programming language (ages 10-12 and ages 13-18!)

You can choose to join our classes physically at any of our centres or online at the comfort of home! Either way, you’ll get to experience our award-winning curriculum. 🏆

Post PSLE Coding Camps Banner

Details:
When: 11-15 October & 18-21 October 2021
Location: Online, Parkway Parade, Bukit Timah (KAP Mall)
Price: $375.25
To find out more, click here.

If you haven’t seen our previous techtivity recommendations, check out our August #TechtivitiesOfTheMonth, which includes more cool tech-related activities you can do with friends and family!


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

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Ages 4-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

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Many of us probably remember sitting in classrooms, listening to our teachers as we sat quietly and took notes. What if we told you that silent classrooms are a thing of the past? At the heart of the Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) approach, asking lots of questions is the best thing a student could do. 

Globally, IBL is growing in popularity and in fact, it is central to Coding Lab’s teaching methodology – it works even better with the help of technology. Let’s dive into what IBL is, its benefits and how it’s important in enriching our Coding Lab students’ lives!

What exactly is Inquiry-Based Learning?

Inquiry Based Learning
Our inquisitive students love exploring new topics with technology

Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) is an educational strategy where students take a more active approach to their learning through asking questions and finding their own solutions. It’s quite different from what we know – students are now at the centre of teaching and take charge of their own independent learning. Of course, with the right encouragement and guidance, they will be empowered to tackle problems and be motivated to find their own answers.

IBL follows an inquiry cycle. Students will first get acquainted with the topic, then formulate their questions and decide what they want to find out. Through investigating and experimenting, which is key to IBL, they are able to make their inferences and then share their findings with others. Throughout the inquiry process, discussions happen not only at the end, but constantly throughout as reflection and insights from others can help improve the process.

Sounds familiar? Yes, IBL is influenced by The Scientific Method that we were introduced to in our Secondary school’s science lab experiments and research papers in University. Here’s a helpful infographic to navigate your way! 

Inquiry Based Learning IBL Inquiry Cycle Process
Click to enlarge this infographic

Many countries have adopted IBL in their education systems. In Ontario, Canada, and the Dutch school system, IBL is used to teach reading, with impressive results and improvement.

Other benefits include the increase in students’ self-perceived confidence in research skills and effective communication – even six months later. It can also have a significant and positive effect on the building of technological knowledge and the development of problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making abilities.

The best part about the inquiry cycle? The more they know, the more they will get thinking about related topics, and the deeper their hunger for knowledge will be. But they know how to find the answers themselves!

How Inquiry-Based Learning and Technology go hand-in-hand

IBL might sound a little tricky and complex, but with technology, it’s a lot easier to carry out. IBL has shown to be an effective method – so, where does technology come in?

Educator Salena and student in our Young Computer Scientists mBot class
Our curious Young Computer Scientist tinkering with Scratch and mBot

You might have heard of a time where people had to physically go to libraries to search for books and encyclopedias. Today, open access to search engines have condensed everything into a device, such as your phone, laptop or tablet. Students now have the world at their fingertips with a simple search.

But how do we get children to start questioning? At Coding Lab, we pique their curiosity with things that they are interested in, such as with games that they love. We get them to start wondering, “How do these games work? Why does the character jump when you press space?” We make sure that we facilitate the inquiry process – we ask them questions to get them thinking, and they get to ask us too. It helps that they can search up their answers, but we don’t want our students to just copy codes, we emphasise on the understanding of codes.

Incorporating Inquiry-Based Learning: What can we do?

Got questions? Our passionate educators have answers.

Technology doesn’t only help with finding the answers, we can do experiments with it and so much more! We know that learning becomes more fun when games are involved, and students get to experiment and find out the answers by watching their guesses play out. Want to understand math concepts like geometry or physics? Play games, code with Scratch or explore Minecraft’s virtual world, and you can learn and experiment individually or in a team.

Another way that technology helps is when we put our heads together for discussions, which are important and should be ongoing throughout the inquiry process, and everyone gets to chime in. Tools such as Poll Everywhere and Survey Monkey have made it easier for participation (especially the shy ones), and online productivity tools elevate learning to the next level. From real-time collaboration with Google Workspace and Padlet to asking questions anonymously on Mentimeter, you can leave no stone unturned!

Now that you understand how technology and IBL work together, you can see why Coding Lab has chosen to make it central to our curriculum and teaching. Every feature of our classes has been carefully designed to allow our kids to flourish, and it’s why IBL is part of our teaching philosophy. Let’s cultivate resilience in our children and teach them the ability to hunt their answers down with the power of Inquiry-Based Learning!

(Written by Nicole Loo, Edited by Zulaikha and Cheryl)


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

Awards (600 x 129)

We are honoured to be the winner of multiple awards
Thank You for your support.

Hop on board the Coding Lab train! Click here to get our monthly newsletters straight to your inbox.

Ages 4-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

Call us at +65 6528 2282
Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
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Let’s get to know our wonderful educator, Salena Arsad! Having had experience teaching core subjects with the Ministry of Education, she decided to broaden her horizons and challenged herself to learn and teach programming at Coding Lab. Her bright and cheerful disposition is sure to encourage her students to learn as best as they can! 

Hi Salena, tell us more about yourself!

Team Photo - Salena, Educator
Salena, always cheery and caring, has been enriching children’s lives since 2017

Hello, I’m Salena and I graduated from Nanyang Technological University with a Master of Education specialising in Developmental Psychology!

It’s amazing that you graduated with a Master of Education! How did your passion for education ignite?

I would say that my passion for teaching appeared gradually. Just before I got my undergraduate degree, there was this period of uncertainty whereby one would decide which career path to follow. My family and friends suggested that I should try teaching because of my character and personality. I was sceptical but took a leap of faith and it kind of snowballed from there. Now, I’ve set my mind that teaching is my path.

What made you take the leap from teaching core subjects in primary schools to teaching programming at Coding Lab?

I guess a bout of bravery to dive into something entirely new. I just felt that it was time for me to challenge myself and see whether I would be able to open up and pick up a whole new world of knowledge. It’s never too late to learn a new skill!

Why do you think it is important to teach coding to our kids?

Salena looking at her student playing his app happily
With a Master of Education, Salena inspires kids to learn through fun

Over the years, there’s been this continuous shift towards a more technologically inclined society. From the initiation of coding classes as a Primary 6 post-PSLE programme to the recent Home-Based Learning during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, we can see why we need to be tech-savvy in order to survive in the coming years. 

That’s why I think that it is important to teach coding to kids as it will give them a head start to live in this type of society. Of course, in coding, there are other aspects such as analytical skills and problem-solving skills, and all these are relevant in everyday life too.

What encourages you to keep teaching?

What keeps me going is the determination to learn as much as I can (in coding, teaching, and even from my students!), my intrinsic motivation to nurture the future generation and the sense of satisfaction I get when I see positive end results. Plus, where else would you get a group of children who would look at you starry-eyed and wowing as they realise that they are learning interesting materials? But classes are not always fun and games! There are some instances of seriousness, and there will also be excitement and laughter. 

“Where else would you get a group of children who would look at you starry-eyed and wowing as they realise that they are learning interesting materials?”

What is your most memorable teaching experience thus far?

Salena teaching two excited students something on the laptop
Educator Salena excites her students in their learning journey

One of my most memorable teaching experiences was during a Young Computer Scientists class. Our project that day was one that would draw circles in different sizes and colours. When I showed my students the demo project and pressed random keys to create a random artwork, they were immediately mesmerised and couldn’t wait to programme it. 

As they coded, there were countless “Wow”s and “Wah”s from so many students. One particular student was so intrigued and touched that he got to learn something so cool that he started thanking me for teaching him this fantastic project. I was so amused at his reaction that I remember it to this day. 

Finally, what do you enjoy doing in your free time? 

I’m an avid reader so I enjoy reading a variety of materials such as fiction books, manhwa (South Korean comics), and manga. Random fun fact: I finished reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in 8 hours straight back when I was in Primary 5. I was such a bookworm even as a kid. Besides reading, I also enjoy exploring new places like cafes and limited-time attractions. It’s so fun to wander around new locations and get lost along the way. What an adventure!

Thank you, Salena, for sharing your exciting journey with us! We know that you’ll continue to inspire and impart worthwhile coding knowledge to our young and budding coders.


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

Awards (600 x 129)

We are honoured to be the winner of multiple awards
Thank You for your support.

Hop on board the Coding Lab train! Click here to get our monthly newsletters straight to your inbox.

Ages 4-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

Call us at +65 6528 2282
Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
Chat with us via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger