Former Coonabarabran High School student, Annie McKinnon, has returned to where it all began, sharing her knowledge of information and communications technology (ICT) with local students through a series of workshops.
An initiative of dLux MediaArts, the national dLab program and uses the immediacy of technology to respond to topics unique to whichever location it is operating in.
It explores themes of a social, environmental and scientific nature through creative frameworks to increase digital literacy.
Fifteen students, from Years 8-10, participated in four workshops held throughout the year, gaining a valuable insight into aspects of Annie’s dynamic career.
Annie said “Thinking Machines” aimed to foster ideas, critical thinking and problem solving through visualisation, design and making.
“In the first workshop I gauged the interests of the students, what computer languages they already knew and the issues they had identified in town that needed addressing,” Annie said.
“We then honed in on their ideation tools by encouraging students to think outside the box - they came up with some wild and imaginative answers.”
Students have also created a Rube Goldberg Machine, as well as developing a motion- sensor street light prototype to reduce light pollution and unnecessary use of electricity.
During the final workshop in early November, students focused on visualising data and created another prototype that explored the way students arrived at school.
“It’s a playful way of surveying people because it is interactive,” Annie said.
“The students have some wonderful ideas and they have become very confident in their work and this project-based learning style.
“It’s a different way of thinking and preempts what they will be studying during Years 11 and 12 as part of the curriculum.”
Former resident, Annie McKinnon, has conducted a series of digital literacy workshops with students at Coonabarabran High School through her role at dLux MediaArts.