Xay Saysana Brings Coding to the Classroom!
|Innovation Coach Website|
|Buffalo Trail Public Schools|
|Location: Alberta, Canada|
“Students should feel like their time is important and what they are learning matters.” That’s why Xay Saysana, Innovation Coach and Tynker Blue Ribbon Educator, learns constantly: Armed with edtech tool knowledge, Saysana helps teachers design meaningful coding learning experiences. For Saysana, crafting unforgettable moments of understanding starts with why, involves choosing the right edtech tools, and succeeds when tools and activities align with desired outcomes–a blueprint for any teacher who wants to teach coding!
Start With “Why”
It’s no small choice to integrate coding into a school’s curriculum:
As the case for teaching coding in school mounts, many districts have yet to get behind this movement. Saysana and his co-coach, Heather Rentz, know it’s important to never introduce an edtech tool for its own sake; instead, they focus on growing students intellectually through tools. Their choice to join the teaching coding movement came about organically as they asked questions: “Coding at [Buffalo Trail Public Schools] grew from finding out what teachers were teaching. How could we get the students to demonstrate learning without a worksheet or poster-board?”
Choose the Right Tools
Tynker helps BTPS students do just that, as Saysana and Rentz have discovered. When explaining students’ experiences building Mars rovers and coding them with Tynker, these Innovation Coaches pointed out: “Students used different robots, but were able to program their movements all with Tynker.” Saysana also feels that Tynker helps students achieve BTPS’s overall educational goals: “We want our students to be critical thinkers and reflect on their learning. Using coding in the classroom encourages collaboration, communication, innovation, problem-solving, and personal growth…The Tynker platform give us a way to manage this type of learning, and keeps things interactive and engaging.”
Align with Desired Outcomes
At BTPS, teachers use coding to craft a variety of exciting learning moments for students. Take for example a 6th grade math class, where students learned how to measure angles as they: designed a track that contained specific types of angles, constructed a track for robots to run on, and used Tynker to program the robots to run the course correctly.
Or a 10th grade math class, where, working with the teacher, Saysana helped design a golf course project so students could demonstrate understanding of linear functions with coding and Sphero.
It’s these kinds of experiences that Saysana and Rentz help facilitate as they educate teachers about Tynker and other coding tools. Thanks, Xay Saysana, for showing educators around the world how to approach coding in the classroom. We can’t wait to see how you continue to use edtech tools like Tynker to get authentic learning in the hands of students!
Check out Saysana and Rentz’s Innovation Coach website for great STEM integration resources for your classroom!