Future Skills Set for AIT IS Students

Future Skills Set for AIT IS Students

By Kanda Yaemboonruang and Thiwari Werayasobprasong

Grade 6 students from AIT International School (AITIS) are the first in Thailand to try Build Something Different (BSD) – an online computer coding learning platform developed by iGroup, as part of its ICT curriculum. After six months, the students have become familiar with HTML, JavaScript and CSS languages that they are able to create their own webpage, quizzes and games!

What sets BSD apart from other coding lessons out there is the fact that it integrates the ‘critical thinking’ component into its approach, helping students to truly ‘Build Something Different.’

“For the students, they need to learn critical thinking. Coding is a basic of technology, one of the very important subject areas as of now in the world. In Thailand, AITIS is the first primary school which uses the BSD online learning platform,” said Mr. Pote Narittakurn, also known as Mr. Lee – the founder and CEO of iGroup who provided BSD education to the school as part of the MoU signed with AIT. Mr. Lee is also an AIT alumnus at School of Engineering and Technology, the 1974 graduate batch.

Phyo Thiri Win, AIT IS Grade 6 student, shared her experience learning to code with BSD:
“All projects required two things, HTML and CSS. The HTML was like the backbone of the code since you can’t do anything without it. The CSS is used to decorate the HTML, usually used to make a website look appealing to a viewer. Some projects required JavaScript. The JavaScript was used so that a viewer can interact with your project. Like the Hangman game or the Trivia game. We also made websites and an eye chart. We used the CSS for animating a fish also. The simplest one was called Patterns with Nested Div Elements. We had to use the doc element to make a pattern,” said the young programmer.

As the first school in Thailand to provide BSD online learning platform, AITIS teachers are also new to it.

“Coding is new to both of us, students and teachers. I had to be trained to code before I introduced the BSD to 22 students in Grade 6. The teachers also learn with students. Even though coding is not easy for young kids, but the way BSD has been designed makes it very easy,” Ms. Vinita Saluja, an ICT teacher said. She also added that through learning of coding, her students now have a chance to practice critical thinking, learn to solve problems by themselves, and also help their friends.

AITIS incorporates coding into social studies. The students use coding skills to design webpages and display knowledge of social studies as their webpage content. The webpages created by Grade 6 students are showcased on AITIS website (www.aitis.ait.ac.th). Through this learning experience, young boys and girls can already see their future opportunities. Some of them said they could create online shopping sites, become a game developer, get multiple jobs and also get a part-time job as website creator while studying.

Chevan Stuart Punyaratabhadu, a student in Grade 6 shared, “First time when the teacher said that we have to learn coding, I thought it would be very complicated, but BSD Online is much easier than I thought. I think after I graduate from AITIS I will still keep learning coding. I can learn it at home. After I have learned all the basics in school, I can teach myself the higher level of coding in the future.”