New Offers from InfoSphere - School Laboratory for Computer Science in Times of Corona-Pandemic

11/11/2020
  Visualisation of "The InfoSphere in times of the Corona Pandemic Copyright: Christina Schramm

Originally, the Schülerlabor welcomes whole classes and courses from a wide variety of schools. This is why the pandemic presents big challenges for the InfoSphere. It is clear that nothing can replace the personal contact that we maintain with children and young people to get them excited about computer science. Apart from the social aspect, the pupils not only use our teaching and learning materials, but also our technical equipment. A B-O-B-3 robot, for example, cannot simply be soldered at home. We would like to continue to make this practical, motivating experience possible, even if only to a very limited extent, by visiting individual schools. Of course, in this context, we always ensure that hygiene rules are observed and take into account the current constantly changing situation. At the same time, however, we would like to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the new situation. Digitalisation is currently more necessary and profitable than ever before. Therefore, we are working on converting some of our modules into online formats. We have already very successfully realised a combined online version of our modules "Programming the first app - getting started with App Inventor" and "InfoSphere goes Android" as part of the MINT-Schüleruni, the Schnupperuni and Girls go MINT + Sport. In this online module, children and young people programme their first drawing app and small games on their home PC using the MIT App Inventor 2. They are supported by our supervisors via zoom. In this way, we not only provide a playful introduction to app programming, but also promote a future competence: the use of video conference software. Furthermore, in order to reach as many target groups as possible (including primary school), we have developed new self-learning offers in the form of guiding programmes. The guidance programmes developed so far include:

  • „Blaulicht, Reizwort-Maschine, Sprite-Pong und Co. – deine ersten Schritte in der Programmierung mit dem Calliope mini“,
  • „Es war einmal... – Märchen programmieren mit Scratch“,
  • „Einführung in die Programmierung mit Java“ und
  • „Einführung in die Automatentheorie“

In this context, we have also published new video tutorials, for example explaining the Scratch-Online-Editors, and have set up a support email address: infosphere-support@rwth-aachen.de

All materials are CC BY-SA 4.0 licensed and can therefore also be used by teachers for their own (distance) teaching.