Reading and Storytelling with coding and educational robotics in secondary school

The Italian project, Reading and Storytelling with coding and educational robotics in secondary school, coordinated by Scuola di Robotica and implemented with funding from the Centro per il Libro e la Lettura (Centre for Books and Reading), has begun. The project involves Reading Literacy Education for secondary school teachers using innovative tools for digital natives.

Digital natives have acquired different technological storytelling tools than traditional ones. Reading promotion activities must take this transformation into account by utilising the benefits that these tools can also bring in terms of accessibility.

The rules of the composition of a text, a piece of music, a set design for a film or video are universal, governed by the structure of the human mind in acquiring concepts made intelligible precisely because of that given form (or format). Hence, whether one starts from coding to programme a visual narrative or from reading for the sake of reading, the paths are similar. Technology becomes a great motivational tool and educational robotics adds the concreteness of doing.

Coding and robotics technologies enable the updating of teaching methodologies on reading, text comprehension, storytelling, critical sense, communication and expression skills, and multilingualism. Reading texts and other content formats are nowadays, especially for young people, using digital technologies that require a competent and responsible approach but that, if used with the right criteria, can promote different skills and foster learning in students with different abilities.

The application of these technologies to the promotion of reading has several advantages:

  • engaging many students who would be far away from it
    favour dyslexic or disabled students
    expanding the use of different storytelling formats, and an interdisciplinary approach to reading
    develop new ad hoc assessment methods
    discover hidden talents that cannot be manifested by more traditional means
    foster a love of books, reading and writing through Project Based Learning activities
    develop transversal skills such as teamwork and creativity.

A 36-hour training course will be offered to the Teachers and Referents of the participating libraries, including online modules and in-presence workshop days at the schools participating in the network (which also includes libraries and reading promotion associations). The course will combine traditional reading education tools with innovative methodologies and hands-on workshops using low-cost digital and robotic technologies to make reading and storytelling interactive and engaging (books will be chosen after a survey among participants).

The course will provide skills to create multidisciplinary educational paths using open source software and the technological tools that the project will make available, and methodologies to promote reading as a tool for inclusion and acceptance of diversity.

During the workshops the books will be discussed, and animated by becoming physical landscapes, scripts, and each page can be transformed into action, group work, distribution of theatre parts, etc. An online PLATFORM will also be created that will collect the training materials and products made by the participants so as to become a place for exchange and comparison.

Finally, the TEACHING MATERIAL will be made available to all teachers and presented during the Final Online Dissemination Event.

At the end of the course, a MANUAL will be produced with didactic units explained step by step to be used in the classroom on the basis of the texts used during the course (including those chosen by the teachers during experimentation in the classes).

For information: operto@scuoladirobotica.it

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