Grade 3 students make interactive books
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Grade 3 students make interactive books

When talking about computing lessons and projects most people instantly think of devices and coding. This, however, is just a small part of it. Computing is also about facilitating and enhancing the interactivity between people. Devices can be used to give users different interaction experiences.

By Ana Yao, computational thinking teacher and librarian

To give our students the experience of enhanced interactivity, ISUtrecht uses resources and tools such as SamLabs. Working with SamLabs teaches our students to use coding, computational thinking concepts. They learn a lot by tinkering with programmable electronic blocks.

Making interactive books

Students from grade 3 at International School Utrecht made interactive books through computer coding.

The grade 3 students coded interactive picture book using SamLabs. They started by choosing a real and tactile picture book from the library. By using SamLabs software, students were then able to create a more interesting and engaging reading experience adding sounds to their book’s narrative.

This computing project happened in a sequence of lessons where students first learned how to use and code the sounds in the SamLabs software. They then had to integrate their learning to create of an interactive book. During the creation process students were expected to test and debug – finding coding errors and correcting them – in their interactive books.

Buddy reading

To enhance the experience the grade 3’s showed and read their interactive book to kindergarten students. For this activity, the older students needed to develop good organisation and communication skills. Organisation skills, because when they were reading their story, they needed to know which button to press to play the correct sounds. And communication skills, because they needed to speak clearly and find ways to engage young listeners.

Empowering experience

The buddy reading of an interactive book was a lovely and empowering experience for the grade 3’s who gained a lot of confidence in their ability to interact with both people and devices. It was also an important experience as it showed students that technology serves a lot more purposes than just entertainment.