The Digital Corps comes to the Allentown Learning & Engagement Center

The Allentown Learning & Engagement Center has been a host site for Remake Learning Digital Corps for two seasons. Now the young people have some feedback.

The Allentown Learning & Engagement Center (ALEC), a project of the Brashear Association, provides young people in Pittsburgh’s Hilltop communities with a space that’s all their own. Brashear’s Amber Rooke recently shared this post about the Digital Corps at ALEC.

We have had the amazing opportunity to be a host site for the Sprout Fund’s Remake Learning Digital Corps program, twice! We participated in one class, once a week for 8 weeks. Our students love this program and always look forward to it every time.
Don’t know what Digital Corps is? Watch this quick video to learn more:

 

Over the course of the 8 week program, our students learned how to manipulate code, learn basic machine functions, build their own robots and more. It became a reward for good behavior because all of our 5th graders could not wait for our Tuesday sessions with their Digital Corps teachers, Ms. MK and Mr. Mike.

Each session built off the last session. They played educational games to understand functions the first week which set the foundation for lessons to which the instructors would refer back to each lesson. The students seemed to understand the way the technology worked from when they acted it out in a game.
This was a great learning tool to see in action. When students act or participate hands on in a lesson they are more apt to retain the information, and in a way have become the teacher as well.

Our students really seemed to like the hummingbird kits and had a lot of fun manipulating the technology to work for them and and their desires for a specific robot.

The best part of the program, for me, was watching two particular students. Student A tends to excel in school, at homework and likes to spread knowledge to anyone who will listen. Student B experiences great difficulty when it comes to homework, reading and following basic directives in a classroom setting. Student B came alive in this class, he quickly grasped the concepts that were taught and jumped ahead immediately without needing further instruction. When I asked Student B if he had done this before he replied “No, It’s just easy, Ms. Amber!” Student A struggled and needed frequent assistance and often sat back and gave up or expected the teacher to do the project for him.
It was amazing to see how the roles were reversed given the environment and the task. A constant nod to Ingnacio Estrada who stated:
“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, 
maybe we should teach the way they learn.”
Ignacio Estrada

I also appreciated how empowered our girls felt after each class.  Back in October, before the program started and after hearing the class description, one of our girls commented that this was a boys class. We discussed that this was not true, girls and boys can both excel at technology based programs and so much more.  After each class the girls would excitedly tell me all about what they did and how much fun they had.

We have greatly appreciated all the hard work and effort that Ani Martinez, Digital Corps Program Manager, has poured into this program as well as the many Digital Corps instructors.

We look forward to doing it again in the future!


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