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Ten students from elementary school „21. maj”, Podgorica, have been intensively working on the development of a teaching tool that will help students with learning difficulties to better master the material, since April 2019. At the third national competition in programming using micro:bits, they had the opportunity to present their project "My friend - my teacher" and win a high second place.

At the very beginning of the interview, Jelena Ostojic, their mentor, tells us that the students are very satisfied with their success and that they started preparing for the regional competition with an even stronger motive. "With this project, we support students with special educational needs. We aim to master the concept of numbers up to 10 with the help of classmates. We have been able to create a simple teaching tool that will allow children with learning disabilities to better understand counting and encourage better socialization of students." They are going to the upcoming regional competition with the same project, with minimal correction: "In addition to counting, we realized that children recognize shapes (circle, square, triangle). The corrections are technical in nature, while the code remains unchanged."

Teachers at their school have used methods of critical thinking before, but with the "21st Century Schools" programme they have complemented not only the methods (mind maps, question matrix, six hats,...) but also the interactive platforms (kahoot, tarsia,...) that they use in teaching. "Learning in our school has become active, interesting and fun. At the beginning of the 21st Century Schools project, a "21:bit" programming club was formed in the school. It initially had 10 members and at the beginning of this school year we have 8 new younger students. The Programming Club has become a place where members, in addition to programming, explore, develop, review and realize their ideas."

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During the development of the project "My friend - my teacher", the importance of linking the real sector with the education sector was also addressed. Elementary school „21. maj“ established cooperation with the NGO Politehnika whose members selflessly passed on knowledge to the students, primarily for the technical part. After the competition, they accepted Amplitudo's offer to advance the project, where they held a couple of joint meetings and came up with concrete ideas for improvement, both technically and in the way the project was presented. "Collaboration with real companies is important to us. In addition to getting acquainted with the companies themselves, students are given the opportunity to develop skills that will link the acquired theoretical knowledge to the practical. There is cooperation between the real and educational sectors, but it is at a low level," said Ostojić.

The project with which we won second place in the national competition was done by the final grade students. They transferred their knowledge and experience after the competition to the younger members of the Programming Club. The younger members of the club are from the 2019/2020 school year are introduced to micro:bit and its capabilities. We are currently in the process of collecting ideas for the following projects.