Designing IoT Applications in Lower Secondary Schools
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The paper reports on a case study where four groups of lower secondary school students participated in a workshop and undertook the demanding role of designers of Internet of Things applications. In doing that, they made use of a dedicated inventor toolkit, which facilitated students' creative solutions to problems that can appear in the context of a smart city. From a pedagogical point of view, the workshop format is in line with the experiential learning approach. The paper presents a holistic student assessment methodology for this nice domain. In particular, to analyse the impact of the workshop for the students we used four different approaches: artefacts analysis of students' design solutions, classroom observations, a post-test and a survey. The results indicate that the intervention has promoted an effective teaching methodology for the basic conceptual and design aspects of the IoT for these lower secondary school students, but it hasn't addressed equally effectively the attitude-related aspects. Nonetheless, the participant students perceived the intervention as very satisfactory in terms of the IoT concept knowledge, smart cities learning, and problem-solving skills acquired, as well as in terms of enjoyment. The paper concludes on the learning gains of the intervention and discusses the motivation aspect for the teacher as well as for the students in this highly innovative learning experience.