Inspiring the Creativity of "Digital Natives"
Nowadays, we are in a technologically driven, giant, tightly connected global society. "Generation Z" is regarded as one of the "digital natives" and has been integrated with this era since birth. Their lives have long been more than just the physical world they live in, and technology has unleashed a powerful force in this new digital world.
Children who "grow up with technology in their pockets" enjoy the digital creations of others, but more importantly, how can they move from being enjoyers to creators and improve their digital productivity? In the daily class, our teachers make full use of digital teaching methods to guide children's extensive exploration and healthy growth in the digital age. Meanwhile, our abundant after-school programs offered by Huitong Studios tin this semester includes several programming-focused courses that use programming as a creative tool to help "digital natives" understand the underlying logic of digital society and experiment with technology for digital creation.
Scratch 编程入门 Basic Scratch Programming
针对小学三四年级低年段的学生，学校开设了“Scratch编程入门”课程，帮助学生们踏入图形化编程的世界。Scratch是麻省理工学院“终身幼儿园（Lifelong Kindergarten）”团队在2007 年推出的图形化编程工具。它的编程语言简单易懂，有助于发展儿童的逻辑思维能力。
For students in the early grades of third and fourth, the school offers "Basic Scratch Programming" to help students get started in the world of graphical programming. Scratch is a graphical programming tool introduced by the MIT Lifelong Kindergarten team in 2007. Its programming language is easy to understand and helps develop children's logical thinking skills.
The children have learned the basics of Scratch - adding the background of a story/game, creating several different characters, and most importantly understanding the role of each block module and its applications. Based on this, the children has tried to combine the functions of the different modules with what they have learned in other class. For example, they combined the paintbrush module with their knowledge of geometric shapes in math class and instructed the computer to draw geometric shapes with different characteristics; by applying the variables module, the children added different variables to implement the lever balance test in science class.
The most interesting part of the exploration process was that every time the teacher gave an example of a programming script, everyone would try to find bugs and keep challenging themselves to try to write programs that could achieve more functions than the teacher's program! In a scenario where a character hurdle was implemented, the students found that if they wanted to achieve relative movement of the character by repeated movement of the background, they should not use the same background continuously, but should change several different backgrounds to make the movement more realistic. The children's spirit of inquiry and challenge always brings many surprises to the teachers.
Python入门《我的世界》建筑师 Python and Minecraft
针对小学五六年级高年段的学生，学校开设了“Python入门《我的世界》建筑师”课程。Python是一门众所周知、横跨万千领域的编程语言，各种数字化场景的应用背后，无不充斥着Python 的身影。Minecraft （我的世界）则是一款风靡全球的创作平台，创作者可以基于其沙盒的理念尽情搭建梦想之作，唯一能限制住他们的只有想象力。以Python为笔，同学们将在Minecraft 的沙盘上搭建起一座座世界知名建筑，创造出独属于自己的建筑。
For students in the upper grades of G5&6, the school offers an "Python and Minecraft" course. Python is a well-known programming language that spans a wide range of fields and is used in almost all kinds of digital scenarios. Minecraft is a popular creation platform that allows creators to build their dreams based on its sandbox concept, and the only thing that can limit the creators is their imagination. This course will lead students to use Python as a pen to build world-renowned buildings and create their buildings on the sand table of Minecraft.
In the first half of the semester, students have completed learning the basics of Python. By learning the basic Python language features, the students were able to define different data types and use various data types and custom functions to solve a variety of problems including calculating the area of a graph, outputting complex text content, and traversing lists and dictionaries. They were also able to design several classes and subclasses, which allowed for more structured code.
The teacher said that the students could only write about ten or twenty lines of code in the beginning, and some of them looked overwhelmed by the development tools. Today, however, students can write nearly 100 lines of code in a class, which is a very impressive achievement. Programming is never easy and the process is tedious, everyone showed patience and perseverance.
What impressed the teachers, even more, was that the students were always able to let their imagination fly and think about what they could change through programming. Some students envisioned how to make some mathematical operations easier through programming, some were able to simplify real problems into mathematical models and solve them through coding, and others recognized the limitations of computers and the infinite nature of human intelligence. The development of these mindsets is invaluable for the student's future learning, and we look forward to them harnessing their programming skills to create their ideal world in Minecraft.
Python高阶 语音识别和人脸识别 Python and Reinforcement Learning
The course "Python and Reinforcement Learning" is designed for middle school students with basic programming skills. In this course, students will learn the basic principles of speech recognition and face recognition. On top of that, students will also learn how to write programs for speech recognition and face recognition using python and learn the power of programming and AI.
Currently, the students have been able to program some of the more complex mathematical calculations and functions and have gained a deeper understanding of computers as a technological black box. They will then carry out the study of AI theory, understand the underlying logic of AI, and eventually write an AI application using their programming skills and AI models. We believe the endless imagination of the students will help them create amazing works!
The teacher said that the logical thinking skills and imagination shown by the students always shine through. For example, when outputting some complex text content, the students were able to transform a complex problem very smoothly into a concise mathematical model and implement it through code. When it comes to artificial intelligence, the students were able to talk about everything from small applications to big philosophical questions. Will artificial intelligence become human if it continues to evolve? What is a human being? Will humans be a program too? Is it all a coincidence that code consists of simple zeros and ones, and that humans are also controlled by DNA consisting of simple base pairs? A variety of questions floated in the minds of the students, constantly inspiring them, and giving them motivation.
"Currently, what they learn in class will give students some tangible skills, but in the longer term, the knowledge system, technical concepts, and philosophical thinking they build today will have a profound impact on their future lives." As the teachers say, the process of learning programming is not only about mastering skills, but also about cultivating a digital mindset and learning problem-solving strategies and logic. We look forward to seeing the children stay on top of the wave of the digital age, improve their digital productivity through continuous practice, give full play to their initiative and rich imagination, and ultimately realize their self-worth and create greater value for society.