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 Planning & Programming Expectations

As semester 2 approaches I thought it was timely to remind staff of the expectations around programming.

Teaching staff are expected to pass in a unit outline for curriculum areas that they teach. For staff who are new to this process please have a look at teacher unit outlines kept in the staffroom or catch up with me personally.

There is a standard proforma which can be accessed on the Admin drive in a folder called Programming Proforma. Staff are free to hand up their unit outlines on their own planning tool as long as certain basic requirements are met, which include:

  • Teacher name, Term/Semester, Year level, Year
  • Content outline/major topics
  • Assessment tasks/evidence
  • Resources
  • Pedagogy focus

The expectation in term 3 for program outlines:

  1. Teachers will email their program outlines to their line manager by the end of week 1 term 3.
  2. Place a digital copy of the program outline in the Admin drive\CURRICULUM AREAS\select the appropriate subject and year level folder. It is my intention is to phase out the paper copies stored in the staffroom.
  3. Program outlines can be for either term 3 or semester 2 (term 3 & 4).
  4. All SACE subjects are exempt from this process. SACE has its own process for submitting Learning and Assessment Plans. SACE plans are to be saved in Admin drive\CURRICULUM AREAS\SACE\2014.

At some point early in term 3 there will be some discussion about modifying this proforma to include the Australian Curriculum. This could be a one page addition to our current proforma that includes the Achievement Standard and content descriptors for that subject and year level. This page would involve no writing for teachers just the requirement to highlight the aspects of the Australian Curriculum relevant to the unit in question. Click on the link below to view an example of how this could look.

Click here to see the Year 7/8 HPE Australian Curriculum cover sheet that will be considered as an addition to the program outline currently handed up by teachers at the beginning of each term/semester. The intention of this document is to assist teachers to track how effectively they are covering the Australian Curriculum. Please view this document and consider if it is a worthwhile addition to our current documentation for 2015.

Please note:

  • If you want to view the link above you need to unblock the computer you are on i.e. go to You Tube and use your curriculum login to unblock that site (you may have to do this twice to make it work) and then click on the link above. Alternatively you could do it at home.
  • Individual teachers will not have to create the Australian Curriculum sheets. Adele Keleher has already completed many for R-7 and I will develop the 8-10 versions for each subject area.

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 – , “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 – , “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.




Daisy the Dinosaur

Screen Shot 2012-08-12 at 6.28.24 AM



PBAS Student Free Day – Friday 17th May

This post is for PBAS staff with regards to the student free day to be held on Friday of week 3, term 2 at PBAS. This day will be focusing on Learning Design and Comprehension (questioning & inferencing). Ali Newbold and Trish Boschetti have been a part of the planning for this day and will be joining us on the day to assist with its running.

The day will provide staff the opportunity to learn about how to improve their planning/programming process through the use of Learning Design and also give staff the opportunity to work with Ali on our Site Improvement Plan goal around comprehension (inferencing and questioning).

Learning Design – some teachers will be familiar with this process and used it to varying degrees to program and plan. It is something that is a Regional focus and it is my understanding that it will be a part of the Regional student free day to be held Friday 7th June. Learning Design is a process that assists teachers with their ability to program and plan effectively (a core part of the teaching and learning cycle). Last year I wrote a series of posts on Learning Design. Click here if you would like to scan through these to find out more about Learning Design prior to the day.

Comprehension – as part of our Site Improvement Plan we have made a commitment to focus on comprehension and in particular questioning and the higher order thinking skill of inferencing.

Structure of the day

Teachers are asked to bring the following on the day:

1. A program that you are very familiar with (preferably a program you are running or will be running this year). This could be a program you have used or are intending to use later in the term/year. You will be using the Learning Design process to redevelop or develop this program.

2. Any resources that you require to assist you with your planning for that program.

3. The appropriate year level content, elaborations and achievement standards for the Australian Curriculum. If your subject area is not finished yet bring the draft paper for your subject area. You can access these documents online on the day. However, if the Internet goes down you will not have a key starting point for your Learning Design program. Organising a hard copy or downloading the PDF version onto your iPad may be worthwhile. This is very easy to do just ask if you are not sure.

4. The programing proforma that you want to use to plan your program on.

I hope this clarifies the intention of our student free day early term 2. If you have any questions let me know.

Programming and TfEL/Australian Curriculum Staff Meeting week 2

Please note the following changes to our structure in terms of who is working with who and on what.

This term sees the following:

  • R-6 staff working on AC maths
  • Tanya, Allan and Ed working on 7-10 AC maths
  • All other secondary staff working on the TfEL process. Same staff as term 1 with the addition of Justin and Nick.

Next Wednesday was to be our first TfEL & Australian Curriculum meeting of term two. This was poor planning on my part as secondary staff have parent teacher interviews through this week. This means for those staff involved in parent teacher interviews there will be no TfEL or AC meeting. If secondary staff do not have any (or many) interviews then it would be great if they were able to continue working on TfEL or the AC if possible – staff can make this decision on an individual basis.

For primary staff the planned meeting with Trish Boschetti will go ahead on Wednesday at 3:30pm. Last term Paul emailed me what staff wanted Trish to cover in this upcoming meeting which I forwarded to Trish. This meeting will take place in Kim’s room.

Just a reminder for staff to ensure their programs for term 2 are placed in the folder in the staff room and that they are saved on the Admin drive in the Curriculum Areas folder. Thanks.

PBAS Programing 2012

In 2011 PBAS developed a common programing proforma. This process involved:

  • Discussion as to why this was needed and how the proforma would look as an R-12 workable document.
  • Discussion time was given late term 2 during R-5 and 6-12 meetings to discuss proforma.
  • Term 3 was used as a ‘trial’ for staff to try out the proforma. Some staff programs were placed in the staffroom so teachers could see how others had used them.
  • At the end of term 3 discussion occured at a whole staff meeting about positives and negatives of the process.
  • Leadership made the decision to use the proformas in 2012.

Process for Programing 2012

Step 1

Access planning proforma and complete programs by week 2 of each term. Programs can be completed as term or semester programs. Access the programing proforma on this site through the link on the side bar – this will take you to Google Docs. When it opens click on FILE – DOWNLOAD AS – WORD – OPEN then save to your own files.

Step 2

Save program to the CURRICULUM folder in the admin drive. Save in the appropriate subject and year level folder using the following format to save your document YearTermSubjectYearLevel.

Step 3

Print and place in the leaver arch folder situated in the staffroom under the correct subject area.


A double sided A4 document will be in pigeon holes to remind staff of this process as well as why the process is important.