Innovators - Julie Linden
K-5 | Technology Skills | App & Robot
Julie Linden is a Technology Facilitator at Aurora East School District 131. They have been using Wonder Workshop since the fall of 2016.
What setting are you using Dash & Dot in? Classroom, after school, library, tech center?
Right now, they are used in an after school tech club and our fourth quarter is dedicated to coding. Our tech teachers use them with all K-5 students for 4-6 weeks.
What made you choose Dash & Dot?
We chose Dash & Dot because they were appealing to students because they’re cute and the accessories that come with them. We got them last year and the kids were very excited to use them.
How would you describe the implementation process for Wonder Workshop?
We started slowly with it. We’re getting ready to do a training within the next couple months. We have about 13 tech teachers and we’re working on integrating them into their lessons. We were excited because we got the curriculum last year and we got the new challenge cards this year.
How have students reacted to Dash & Dot?
They’re excited. They get giggly, they smile, they cheer. They can’t wait to come back next time to use them.
What are you overall thoughts on Dash & Dot?
I really like them. They’re appealing to the kids. The apps are easy to use, they’re easy to teach. Kids at any grade can use them. You may do a basic Blockly lesson with K-2 students or we can expand to do other apps and mazes that 3-5 students can do.
I don’t think I can say enough about how appealing and easy they are to use for kids. If it’s not easy, you’ve lost them. The ability to be a bulldozer or a xylophone makes it a lot of fun. As long as it’s fun, they’re learning.
Any plans for with Wonder Workshop going forward?
Yes, we’re going to be adding on to our Dash & Dots. We’re also going to be purchasing SAM Labs with grant money. We may have the possibility for some of our schools to become a STEM or STEAM academy, so we’re looking at Kano as well.
Do you have any tips for any schools looking for grants?
We are very fortunate because we have grant writers here who look out for that. They are absolutely wonderful. I’ve been blessed with the amount of grants they have gotten. Technology and coding is such a big push. Companies like to see money being used for coding materials. Sometimes I just Google what grants are out there, as well.