Sue Hartman Brings Learning to Life with Code!
“The kids love to see how their coding translates to the action of an actual object, not just an avatar on the screen.”
At Danbury Middle School in Marblehead, Ohio, one teacher is using coding to make a difference in students’ lives. Sue Hartman, Grades 5-8 Computer and Technology Teacher, facilitates experiences where students understand how code influences physical devices like drones, learn programming concepts in a tailored way, and strengthen knowledge of academic subjects as they code. We’re proud to have Sue Hartman as a Blue Ribbon Educator! Read on to learn more about this inspiring teacher.
As programming is used to power more and more devices, it’s vital that students understand how code makes those devices function. That’s why Sue teaches her students how to fly drones with Tynker. “The kids love to see how their coding translates to the action of an actual object, not just an avatar on the screen.” This kind of learning is perfect for cross-grade collaboration, as older students help younger kids perform tasks such as making a drone perform tricks.
As Sue shares her students’ experiences with others, more schools are getting excited about the authentic learning drones can enable: “[A]fter presenting a session at the state tech conference highlighting my students’ work with drones, several districts have contacted me for more information about starting a similar program in their schools.” Sue also uses Tynker’s Augmented Reality course with students to further help them see how digital and physical worlds intersect.
As students have started coding, they’ve discovered that learning to code helps them in academic areas: “For several of my students who don’t usually do well academically, the opportunity to code and do something non-traditional often is their positive connection to school. I have seen several kids who tell me they ‘can’t do math’ figure out the angles, proportions, rates…without a lot of effort because it has relevance, instead of just being another problem on the page. Once they gain confidence and find success with these activities, they begin to see how what they are learning can be applied to their other classes and their learning blossoms.” In this way, coding provides the opportunity for students to learn using different modalities, thus appealing to different learning styles and needs. It’s a differentiation tool that unlocks students’ abilities in ways that other forms of teaching and learning might not.
We’re so excited that Sue Hartman is part of the Tynker community as a Blue Ribbon Educator! She’s truly making technology knowledge accessible to students and helping them get future-ready.
Read our previous post about Tynker Blue Ribbon Educator Laurie Guyon, who uses coding as a tool for transformational learning!