Last Thursday grade 5 welcomed the developers of the hugely popular Toca Boca series of apps. Working together for the whole afternoon, we covered various topics and broadened our knowledge of what it is like to work in the industry. As a grade level we have been focusing on coding during IT lessons this school year. So, the chance to meet app developers was a fantastic opportunity for the students. What’s more, it was great to see how star struck the students were of people who have jobs that are only going to become more common and more needed. We began the afternoon by offering feedback about the “Toca Town” app, since the app is designed for younger students but is also played often by older students, too. Our feedback was therefore important as it gave the developers greater awareness of the reasons why. It also allowed the students to think critically and offer creative feedback.
Our students then started thinking about how they would change the app and what features they would add. The creative ideas were fantastic to listen to! We then moved on to look at the way in which apps are designed, from the story boarding stage, to the design and finally the programming. This was great for our students to see that the blocks of code they have been using in Scratch are really carrying out the same commands as the code that the developers used to create apps that are popular worldwide. We finished the session by story boarding our own versions of apps, which we will be using in our IT lessons using Scratch.
The Toca Boca team kindly donated Toca Boca characters that we can import into Scratch to allow our students to make their own sample versions of Toca Boca apps.
A huge thank you to the developers for visiting us, and a huge well done to all of our grade 5 students for their excellent participation!