... and why JackBord is the solution!
It is understood that Edtech, authentic learning, and ensuring equitable outcomes for minority and disadvantaged groups, occupy New Zealand educators' minds nowadays.
The workforce of the future needs more scientists, engineers, IT, more diversity and creative minds. There are insufficient numbers coming through from schools, who have found it difficult to provide STEM subjects to minority and disadvantaged groups and girls (who make up more than 50% of the population!), because of this inequity we are missing out on the very group who can make a difference in industry and world at large.
JackBord delivers on all of these imperatives.
JackBord is an educational system that breaks down the barriers to teaching and learning.
Teachers love that someone understands their own and the needs of students of all abilities, and that it provides authentic learning. JackBord also provides an opportunity for teachers' own personal learning and development, as many do not have the tech skills.
What sets the JackBord apart from other systems is that it was designed and developed by a teacher/engineer who has both ADHD and Dyslexia, who knows from personal experience how difficult learning can be. He therefore set about doing something about it and created the JackBord, to remove barriers to teaching and learning to ALL students from ages 9 and up , with that starting age getting younger and younger!
From the outset JackBord has been about making learning easier for all while not trivialising it. Students start off learning basic electronics in a very hands on manner. Next they use the JackBord's simple short commands to make their electronics knowledge come alive whilst introducing a programming aspect.
The small building blocks, continual hands-on activities and incremental learning keep students of all dispositions engaged, happy and learning, providing a perfect platform for problem solving and teamwork.
Whilst we don’t pretend to deliver the curriculum, we endeavour to align activities so that educators can usefully weave them into students' learning achievements and to inspire JackBorders into creating their own cohorts (e.g learning and / or competitor groups) activities which they can feed back into the JackBord eco system for others to benefit.
We think JackBord is the authentic learning experience that students can begin with at primary school taking them through to secondary school (including bridging the current “hole” at Years 9 & 10), through to the workforce. Children all demographics and different learning abilities quickly engage with JackBord and teachers are finding it very useful;
Dyslexia and other reading related issues make the task of reading and writing a real chore, which is why all of our major teaching and learning materials have accompanying videos. This allows students of all abilities to have equal access.
Overseas research has shown that children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), tend to gravitate toward science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) when given the opportunity. This, in part, is because these children are often good at understanding and working with rules and derive joy from structure and visual learning.
The visual nature of the JackBord, its documentation and the extensive use of photographs could help to encourage those students with autism that have a visual preference. The very tactile and physical nature of the JackBord and the activities lends itself to those more inclined towards kinesthetic learning. Autistic children are often good at understanding and working with rules. The commands used for the JackBord can allow students to use this strength to develop new skills, which could provide a more approachable experience. Students with autism can grow to excel in many fields including: programming, engineering, data science, physics and game design to name a few. Because of their discovered, unique and valuable abilities children with different learning abilities such as Autism and Aspergers will find themselves accepted into wider groups resulting in opportunities to improve communication /teamwork /social skills.
Dyscalculia is a cause of maths weakness in many students and can be a common comorbidity with dyslexia and ADHD, especially in the context of long-term, short-term or working memory or with sequencing. Maths is an area in which the JackBord could be used to make the abstract concepts in mathematics more physical / kinesthetic through the use of the JackBord and the JacKano (metal construction parts etc), Octagon programme / commands and extensive easy to read documentation and videos.
Culture is also an integral part of learning and for a student to see instructions in their native language is of enormous importance for them and their communities. To this end we are planning to translate our resources into TeReo.
Just about everything we do, is based on the following principles: