Parrot Airborne Cargo Mars Mini Drone

Daniel has made a demonstration video using the Parrot Airborne Cargo Mars drone. The video demonstrates some of its features as well as explaining the app Tynker which can be used to program and control the drone. This app is on our class set of iPads. While the app allows you to control Parrot brand vehicles it is also a coding app that teachers may find useful as alternatives to Daisy the Dinosaur, Kodable and Hopscotch.

Please note: I have only recently put the app onto the iPads and did not 
realise extra content had to be downloaded into the app (all the Tynker 
projects). This cannot be done through our filtering. So I will need some 
time to download the programs at home (15 programs per iPad x 30 iPads). 
Once these programs are downloaded they will work without the need to 
access the Internet so our school system will not be a problem. I have 
tried this process with the program Daniel used to run the Parrot Drone 
and it worked. Students can also be save their coding locally to the app.

To find out more about Parrots mini drones click here.

To read a review click here.

To find out a price click here.

 

PBAS STEM 5 – VicSTEM

It is important to watch and learn from what others are doing. The Victorian Government have a VicStem page which provides some great resources including:

  1. digital curriculum resources page for teachers. The main part of this page has icons linking to topics which include “Why digital technologies?”, “Where to start”, “Designing the learning”, “Teaching and learning resources”, “Assessment” and “Find out more”. The right hand side of the page has all the links found within these larger icons. The teaching and learning resources provide content descriptors, lesson ideas, online resources, videos, ideas to try and units of work. Covers Foundation to Year 10.

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2. The digital curriculum resources page includes links to six school case studies.

3. Victoria has six Science and maths specialist centres. This page provides information about each of the six centres – Bio Lab (sport and human performance), Earth Ed (earth sciences), Ecolinc (environmental teaching and learning), GTAC (Gene Technology Access Centre – life sciences), Quantum Victoria (physical sciences and maths) and VSSEC (space science engineering centre). Making connections outside of our school environment is an important part of the STEM approach. What industries and organisations do we have in South Australia that can support the teaching of STEM?

There are more links and information on the VicSTEM page including VET and higher education, mentoring and career pathways and partnerships with other organisations.

The VicSTEM page provides a useful resource for schools and partnerships looking to develop and move their own STEM programs forward.

PBAS STEM 3 – Technologies

In PBAS STEM 1 – What is STEM and what does it look like?  it is clear that while STEM projects can be enhanced by expensive high-level technologies STEM does not have to rely on these technologies to be successful (see the Year 2 STEM project video). The focus of STEM should always be on making connections between STEM subjects, challenging students, testing ideas and creating innovative solutions to real and complex problems. The idea of purchasing a range of expensive technologies and then assuming these make a good STEM program is a mistake. It is important to consider and understand how each piece of technology can support STEM at PBAS. How can it foster curiosity, problem-solving, creativity, trial and error and innovation?

PBAS already has a range of technologies including iPads, MacBooks, CAD, computer suites, robotics, Bee Bots, tech machinery and tools and standard science and maths technologies that have always supported our programs. I have put together a selection of videos that show a range of technologies for us to:

  1. consider developing further, for example, Lego robotics and Bee Bots and
  2. consider purchasing as new technologies to PBAS.

Raspberry Pi

 Raspberry Pi School Projects

Pakuranga College using UPBox 3D Printers 

Roland Stika Printer 

PicoBoards and Scratch 

Creating a gaming console with Picoboard and Scratch

Lego Mindstorm Robotics 

How to create a program – Lego Mindstorm 

Awesome Lego Machines

Using Bee Bots for Numeracy 

Weather Station Kit

Green Screen Kit

Educational Drone Kit

Little Bits Electronics 

Create Chain Reactions 

PBAS Stem 2 – Redeveloping the use of IT spaces

The previous STEM post (12th September) discussed what STEM was and how it could look at a classroom level. You can read this post here. In this STEM post I want to discuss the IT spaces in our school.

A range of discussions have occurred during this year specifically about redefining the spaces we have dedicated to IT. This has mostly occurred at leadership and within the Teaching and Learning SIP group. What is needed now is the input of all staff who have a stake in using these spaces and ideas about how they could service the learning needs of our students more effectivley.

The ideas in this post are just that, ideas. Nothing is final and everything is up for discussion. Including the obvious one (as you will see below) – do we need a canteen?

Below is a plan that shows the current Year 12 room, Computer Suite 1 and the canteen. The plan includes the following redevelopments:

Computer Suite 1

  1. The wall between computer suite 1 and the canteen is removed creating better use of the hallway (dead space). This would allow for two robotics tables to be included in the work space (one 3×1.6m and one 3x1m)
  2. Storage can be created below the robotics tables to keep robotics equipment. This equipment is currently kept in tubs on the floor of the tech room.
  3. Two LED screens (strategically placed) that show what is on the main teaching screen. This supports students who are the furthest away from the main screen allowing them to clearly see what is being discussed or shown to the class.
  4. Whiteboard walls. To the right of the main screen create a whiteboard wall that is a 3.5m long for use by the teacher or groups of students as a planning space to share ideas.

Year 12 Room

  1. The year 12 room becomes computer suite 2. This helps to centralise our computing facilities while providing an extra space (storeroom attached) for the storage of IT equipment including printer cartridges, materials for 3D printers and decal machines, paper, maker space materials and computing components used for building and designing and Bee Bots. This storage room while not in a brilliant position alleviates the need to have storage taking up space in the IT teaching areas.
  2. The wall between the two suites would have a 3-5m window installed allowing students and teachers to be visible (mostly) regardless of which room they were in. It would also provide a feeling of a more open space. This window may also have the ability to be opened (sliding panels).
  3. A new entrance door for this room would mean that classes would not need to enter the new suite 2 via suite 1.

Canteen

  1. Remove all internal walls and relocate the switchboard (currently on one of the centre walls in the canteen). This would create an 8x5m classroom space.
  2. A classroom that has a flexible furniture arrangement. The tables shown in the image have 4 height adjustments so potentially all year levels could access the room, the tables can also be manipulated to change the seating configurations depending on group sizes and task requirements (each table has 2 castors for easy movement). One or two flip tables may also be considered as a way of creating more floor space when not needed but available to be used if a bigger class needed the space.
  3. This classroom could be a Maker Space. Like the current primary wet area is used for students to build and create this maker space could be a place where students can come together to use, and learn to use materials as well as develop creative projects. The important idea is that it is a place that can be used for a range of activities with changing and flexible educational goals and creative purposes. Typically the space will; 1. Foster play, exploration and group learning, 2. Encourage collaborative learning where educators and students pool their skills and knowledge and share in the tasks of teaching and learning, 3. Develop a culture of creating as opposed to consuming. Two immediate examples of learning that come to mind are the school’s Bee Bots and PicoBoards (used with Scratch programming software). Many great kits and resources are available now to help schools develop effective maker spaces.
  4. Whiteboard walls. Depending on what was most suitable creating whiteboard walls would allow for student planning, explaining and discussion of ideas.
  5. Green screen technologies on the MacBooks and iPads provide students with opportunities to produce great videos. Paint a wall in this room green (floor to ceiling). Create a moveable green floor panel that could be stored elsewhere but brought in when students required it.
  6. This classroom could potentially be home to some new technologies the school is considering. These technologies include 3D printers , a decal printer and laser cutter. There is an alcove in the bottom right of the canteen space which could house the decal printer and 3D printers. Depending on our technologies and the space available it is possible that the 3D printers could be placed in suite 1.

 

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The x’s on the plan indicate a computer.

It would be great to have staff voice their opinion in the comments section to help generate discussion which will help this process move forward. A chance to discuss this in a staff meeting will also occur.

Human Rights – Civics and Citizenship

Teaching the topic ‘Human Rights’? Then here are two great resources that provide stand alone units or will supplement programs you may already run. Click on the blue title to be taken to the website.

Youth For Human Rights

This website has a whole section for educators and provides hard copies of programs as well as digital options including an iPad app.

“The Youth for Human Rights Education Package is designed for elementary, middle and high school students. It may be used as a full course or as a supplemental resource within another curriculum.”

Youth For Human Rights Website

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Youth For Human Rights iPad App

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Civics and Citizenship Education

A complete program which provides PDF handouts and links to online resources.

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Australian Curriculum Human Rights Links 7-10

Year 7 Civics and Citizenship Australian Curriculum:

  • How Australia’s legal system aims to provide justice, including through the rule of law, presumption of innocence, burden of proof, right to a fair trial and right to legal representation (ACHCK050)
  • How values, including freedom, respect, inclusion, civility, responsibility, compassion, equality and a ‘fair go’, can promote cohesion within Australian society (ACHCK052)

Year 8 Civics and Citizenship Australian Curriculum:

  • The freedoms that enable active participation in Australia’s democracy within the bounds of law, including freedom of speech, association, assembly, religion and movement (ACHCK061)

Year 9 Civics and Citizenship Australian Curriculum:

  • The key principles of Australia’s justice system, including equality before the law, independent judiciary, and right of appeal (ACHCK078)

Year 10 Civics and Citizenship Australian Curriculum:

  • The Australian Government’s role and responsibilities at a global level, for example provision of foreign aid, peacekeeping, participation in international organisations and the United Nations (ACHCK091)
  • How Australia’s international legal obligations shape Australian law and government policies, including in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ACHCK093)
  • The challenges to and ways of sustaining a resilient democracy and cohesive society (ACHCK094)

Computer Science Unplugged

Want to teach digital technologies to your class but not sure were to start? Maybe this website can help you. Computer Technologies Unplugged is a collection of free learning activities that teach Computer Science through engaging games and puzzles that use cards, string, crayons and lots of running around. It requires no access to computers!

The website is suitable for lower primary aged students through to senior students and provides a downloadable book, activities and a wide range of videos to support the teacher in the classroom.

Below is a video example of an activity that supports students learning about Finite-State Automata (a Finite-State Automata follows a set of instructions to see if the computer will recognise the word or string of symbols). Sounds complicated but once you view the video it becomes clear. Click here to see the PDF of the activity that goes with this video (for ages 9 and up).

Thanks to Graham Cox who alerted me to this great resource.

Coding for Kids

What is coding and why is it useful?

Coding allows us to create computer software, apps and websites. A computer can’t function without someone installing code so that it can function in the way that we want it to. In a technology rich world the skill of coding is valuable.

In the US alone there’ll be a million more computing jobs than computing science graduates by 2020.” Reference – abc.net.au , “Coding crisis: getting tech skills taught in schools”. I realise we are not the US but you get the picture.

“The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) shortage – In Australia we’re already languishing near the bottom of the OECD in creating students interested in S.T.E.M.. Australia actually imports more STEM graduates than it educates at university.” Reference – abc.net.au , “Coding crisis: getting tech skills taught in schools”.

What do we do at PBAS?

Currently at PBAS we do very little around Coding and Programming although we have had and used Lego Robotics for a long time and dabbled in the use of BeeBots. This has tended to be at higher year levels or to select groups rather than across a wide range of students.

With the introduction of iPads we now have a resource that is easily accessible and able to introduce and help us teach concepts around coding. The apps Kodable, Hopscotch and Daisy the Dinosaur have been put on the iPads during the holidays and offer a range of coding options from junior primary to senior secondary. The Kodable app also provides teacher learning guides to assist with the app.

Where does coding fit in the Australian Curriculum?

I have had a look at the Technologies – Digital Technologies R-6 Australian Curriculum and found where where this learning fits. I have created a single A4 page that outlines this information for teachers. Click here to see this document.

I have provided some videos below to help with the introduction of the coding apps on the iPads.

Primary staff meeting Week 2, Term 2

In addition to this post I am also planning to discuss coding in the week 2, term 2 Primary team meeting. I am hoping we will have the chance to play with the iPads to see how the coding apps work and discuss the idea of teaching students simple coding concepts.

Kodable

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Daisy the Dinosaur

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Hopstcotch

Hopscotch

Australian Curriculum Resources

Thank you to Trish Boschetti for sending out the following links to websites set up by the professional bodies associated with the following subjects areas: Arts, maths, science, English, history and geography. The professional associations responsible for the following websites are: Australian Association of Maths Teachers, Australian Science Teachers Association, Australian Association for the Teaching of English, Australian Literacy Educators Associations, Primary English Teachers Association, History Teachers Association of Australia, Australian Geography Teachers Association and Education Services Australia.

These sites have been developed specifically to link directly to the Australian Curriculum.

AC

Arts -POP

There are five art forms specified in the Shape of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts. They are Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music, and Visual Arts. Arts-POP shows how each art form makes a distinct contribution to cognition by drawing on each child’s senses and imagination. Each art form is valued equally within the generic learning area of the arts. Arts-POP website

About Arts-POP

Home page Arts-POP

GeogSpace

There has never been a more exciting time to study geography, with it being a subject vital to the education of every young Australian in the 21st century. GeogSpace has been designed to provide materials to support primary and secondary teachers in implementing the Australian Curriculum: Geography. It has been developed by AGTA’s team of practising geography teachers, dedicated to ensuring all schools across Australia have access to a unique resource that reflects best practice using current technology and pedagogies. GeoSpace Website

Home page GeogSpace

AC History Units

AC History Units presents 8 units developed by the History Teachers’ Association of Australia to support teachers in the implementation of the Australian Curriculum: History (years 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10). Unit 1, Teaching History, is a foundation unit, providing a brief introduction to the discipline of history. It ‘unpacks’ the skills and concepts, surveys approaches to teaching and provides an essential framework for the other units. Units 2-8 focus on topics relevant to particular year levels and are designed to provide very practical support in the form of teaching programs, sample ‘learning sequences’, a wide range of resources and assessment ideas. AC History Units Website

Home page AC History Units

English for the Australian Curriculum

Materials here comprise 12 year-level units of work, with 12 sequences in each, written by teachers and educators from a range of states, territories and educational settings. The writers have been guided in composition and worked as a team to collaborate in producing some 850 new elaborations of curriculum content, all supported by digital resources and interactive worksheets. All materials have been reviewed by teaching and curriculum specialists to ensure the highest standards in a clear and accessible resource that exploits the Australian Curriculum and can help reinvigorate the teaching of English and literacy. English for the Australian Curriculum Website

Home page English for the Australian Curriculum

Science Web Australia

The Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA) in partnership with Education Services Australia (ESA) has prepared 15 units of work to support teachers in the implementation of the Australian Curriculum: Science as part of the Supporting the Australian Curriculum Online (SACOL). The units are designed for students in years F–10. These units have been written by experienced teachers using resources that are available online. Each unit consists of an overview, five lesson plans, and additional links and resources. Extension activities for gifted and talented students will be included for the units in years 7–10. Science Web Australia Website

Home page Science Web Australia

Top Drawer Teachers – Resources for teachers of mathematics

Big ideas   The big ideas that underpin the mathematics are explored and explained.
Misunderstandings   Some common misunderstandings and their causes are described and analysed. There is teaching advice, and activities, designed to avoid or correct these misunderstandings.
Good teaching   Key content is explained thoroughly. There are suggested teaching approaches and many suitable activities. You will find videos, slide presentations, worksheets, digital learning objects and more.
Assessment   Aspects of assessment are discussed.
  Activities   Student activities that appear in other parts of the drawer have been collected here. However, many of the pages contain further suggestions and ideas for other activities.
Downloads   All downloadable files, such as student worksheets, teacher notes, activity templates and video transcripts, are available here.

Pertinent professional readings are also included and accessed through the AAMT website. Where relevant, links have been made to the content descriptions of the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics. Top Drawer Teachers – Resources for teachers of mathematics

Home page Top Drawer Teachers – Resources for teachers of mathematics

 

 

The Australian Curriculum and Scootle

ACscootle

 

The other day Paul alerted me to the fact there is now a link between the Australian Curriculum document and Scootle. When you look at the content descriptors for a particular year level and subject area you can find the Scootle link by clicking on the letter/number in the brackets found at the end of each individual descriptor. By clicking on this you get an elaboration of the content descriptor. As well as the elaborations you also get a link to the Scootle website which then lists all their relevant resources that have a link to the content description you are looking at.

What is Scootle? Is it worth creating an account?

Paul mentioned to me that he got some great You Tube links when programing for his term 3 science. It is very convenient to be able to click on a link in the elaborations (on the AC website) and be taken to a list of resources connected with that section of the curriculum (on the Scootle website). As a staff we have had a brief looks at Scootle a few times over the past 2 years but as a reminder here is a basic explanation of what Scootle provides:

  • This site provides resources for teaching the Australian Curriculum.
  • It is sorted by subject area (not just AC subject areas) and year levels
  • The site provides the following search types – learning objects, images, audio, video, collections, teacher resource, assessment resource and data set.
  • The site allows you to create your own personalised learning paths which save resources in folders for future reference.

Below is a more detailed info graphic explaining Scootle.

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To create a Scootle account log into Scootle by clicking HERE. Once on the Scootle page you will see in the top right hand corner “New to Scootle? Teachers can register here!”. Click on this link and follow the prompts to create your account.

Click HERE to access the Scootle user guide. This is in PDF format and can be saved to your PC. This document can help you with any questions you have about Scootle including how you create Learning Paths for you and your students as well as how students access the content you find on Scootle.

What is 21st Century Learning?

The following video helps to describe what it is to be a learner in the 21st Century. The video highlights some shifts in focus which are perhaps more valued now in education than they were for the majority of the 20th Century. This is not meant to be a definitive list just a chance for you to consider how you teach your children, and what your classroom looks like in relation to the things listed and mentioned in the video.

  • Love of embracing change
  • Curiosity and a questioning disposition
  • Collaboration
  • Being reflective
  • Technology and specifically the impact of mobile technology
  • Skills for creativity.
  • Change of focus from students consuming content to students creating content using new media technology.
  • Learning happens everywhere. Traditional school strucutres and timetables are slowly changing to be more flexible in a world where we can communicate anywhere any time.