Classroom Activity Highlights

Shalom from Israel! We wanted to make a blog post about our teaching experiences this past week.

This is what a typical day at Loop looks like: the students come to campus, the mentors assign coding challenges for the day, and the students work on the tasks for 2 hours with mentors’ help and online resources. With the 4 of us here, their schedules vary day to day.

Some days, we just do the same job as the Loop mentors and help students with their coding challenges. They are assigned tasks like creating a camera app and displaying the photos taken within their Android app, or storing and retrieving data from SQL. We walk around the room seeing if any student needs help. Our students are very respectful and eager to learn, so it makes our job easy and worthwhile!

Our students asked us at the end of class one day if they could take a picture with us!

Last Thursday, we held our lessons on Scrum methodology, user story, and prototyping. We tried to make our lessons as interactive as possible.

First, Ariel talked about the Scrum methodology and how it’s applied in the major tech companies worldwide. She did an activity that enforces understanding of sprint cycles with an example using WhatsApp (the most popular messaging app in Israel). The students were very engaged in ranking important features within the app and sharing reasonings behind their choices.

Ariel presenting the Scrum sprint cycle (with her new Loop hoodie 😉 )

Second, Christina talked about the importance of user stories. She emphasized how important it is to interview your audience when developing a product, since it is the best way to identify the users’ goals. After the lecture, we asked the students to come up with their own “user story” by prompting them to a few questions to ask themselves and target audience. Christina also provided the students with a template to define the user story for each student’s product idea.

Christina presenting the importance of knowing the target audience (I don’t know why the colors look weird in the photo…)

Third and lastly, Kalyn presented about what MVP (minimum viable product) is and how to prototype products. After defining some terms and explaining the importance of each of them, she showed an example of paper prototyping she did herself in a class. Walking through the sequence of paper prototyping helped students understand what it is and why it is important. We asked the students to come up with their MVP and bring their paper prototypes for the next session so that we could provide feedback.

Kalyn presenting about prototyping
The Super Loopers and a few mentors listening to our lectures

The students seem to have enjoyed our interactive lessons! 🙂 Emily will be presenting later this week, and we hope to update more on her lesson when it happens!

The mentors at Loop have been organizing a few activities at the end of class for us to get closer to the students. We split up into teams with equal number of Loopers and MIT mentors on each team and play games like Google Feud and the Higher Lower Game. We also have time before and after class to talk to students about their lives, and we really enjoy getting to know them on a personal level.

On Sunday, we held individual sessions with students and gave feedback on their MVP ideas and paper prototypes. We spent about 10 minutes for each student and provided additional technical support for a few. We were impressed by how much they absorbed from our lessons on Thursday! All their prototypes were detailed just enough, and they remembered all the tips we mentioned.

We (the MIT mentors) working with students one-on-one for their app ideas

We feel lucky to be able to work with these talented, motivated, and respectful students, and we hope to grow even closer to them in the next couple weeks! 🙂

Sometimes, we’re being goofy behind students

Our adventure continues… 🙂

Written by Kalyn Bowen

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