For my students, they only need to be using computational thinking in non-computerised learning outcomes. So this means without using technology or devices in the learning. Of course you can use them, but as my students had never heard the term 'coding' or computational thinking before we went and unpacked these in basic activities. My students were so engaged in the learning activity!
We have been learning how to 'think like a futurist' and had a robot arrive in our classroom that has been prompting us to think of futuristic type activities. That is why there is a cute little robot in our activity. So how did we start?
First we obviously unpacked the language that we would be using (directional positions) and then identified what our left and right were. This was the hard part as so many students were confused over which was their actual left!
We then started with whole class learning with computational thinking, giving instructions to get our robot from his beginning position to his spaceship. This was great discussion to begin with as we had lots of confusion over left and right again.
Check out the video below of our first inital discussion prompts!
Once we had a few practices, I then introduced 'space rocks' - parts of the board that our robot can't go on or through to add some difficulty. This really made students think about what they needed to do and where they could go. We continued to work on problems in groups with students taking turns being the designer and the coder. Moving the robot and spaceship around the board in their own positions to create their own algorithms. This was the best part as students were able to do their own thing! They then had to write the instructions down on their whiteboards for each of their designer or coder problems.
Check out this quick video of these group members explaining their work!
Once we had finished our group work, we moved onto creating our own individual boards with the robot, spaceship and spacerocks. We created a success criteria for what they needed and how to present it, ready for our learning presentations this week with our families! Can't wait to share our finished products with you once we have completed them this week!
A few months ago I did a website post covering some key resources that I had created around using Digital Technologies within the junior school. I had created a LTP that covered teaching these skills with the senior school but hadn't got around to sharing it.
So here we are. A more generic looking LTP that provides you with key ideas for creating future focused learners but using the 4 C's. A way of lifting digital technology practice in the classroom.
The aim of this plan was to create ideas, links and draw attention to areas that linked to the 4C's that teachers might not have known or realised could link in. When talking to a few teachers, they were unsure what the 4C's were and how these could shape our students. This easily breaks down with key links, WALHTs and deliberate acts of teaching that could be used in the classroom.
Feel free to use this plan in your classroom or teaching practice. When sharing, please share the link to this post when sharing the links. Please do not recreate any of the information or planning you find - this plan was created by myself and full credit needs to be left at the top if in use.
Wow. Where to begin! In this website post I will begin to share my journey from last week that highlights the incredible time I had in Sydney at the Google Innovators Academy. It was beyond amazing - words literally can not describe how fantastic it was!
I will share all that I can - what I remember, what we did, how to get in...it all!
So to even get in you first need to submit your application with ideas around what a need or problem you see in your learning context. Mine was all around 'How can we create a programme to help teach key ICT and google skills to junior students. Of course going into the application, this is such a broad problem to have and they really make you unpack it once you're there.
The application also consists of recommendations from current google innovators and also a serious amount of questions you need to answer to consider if you are the right fit. Check out my innovator application video below.
Now before you even get there, you have work to do. Online meetings, discussions, goal setting and more! This sets the scene and helps you really unpack your problem and root cause. This was the best part, as it heightened your desire to want to be there and helped focus your mind on the task.
Arriving on the first day was so surreal! All you could see was keen and excited educators ready to get started on this journey together. Everyone was introducing themselves to each other, trying to remember everyones name and getting to meet people you had been talking to online in person. We scored some free Google swag which was amazing also - I used my Google backpack on my first day back at school today.
Once we started, we had group challenges, group work and individual activities to complete in our time there. It was all targeted around our goal, technology or our journey that we were about to undergo. We were fortunate to listen to some amazing speakers that shared their expertise, knowledge and great feedback with us all.
We spent most of the time eating and drinking coffee. Which was definitely a highlight!! The unlimited food everywhere, and countless amazing places that Google actually had inside their buildings.
Apart from the eating and drinking, we spent the other time working on our projects. This stemmed from our initial question or problem that we worked into our goal, project and end point that we wanted to create.
My initial question ended up changing to:
How might we remove teacher input totally and leave technology teaching up to students?
This allowed me to explore what could really come from this project and open up new opportunities for me in this problem. I want to create something that all junior students would find beneficial and felt that this 'how might we' question would not be too broad or too specific. This helps it not be easily answered either along my project journey.
My project has now been led down a new path - creating a series of technology themed picture books that target key ICT skills for students and teachers in a junior classroom. Definitely not what I thought I would create! Fingers crossed for the journey ahead!
Overall, 150% recommend applying if you are looking to meet some amazing educators from across the world that will make you think about and question everything you have done and will do in the future. I really can't summarise enough how though provoking it was; how much I have learnt about myself, my teaching, and my future; and what an amazing place Google is itself. The atmosphere they create while you are there is just such an incredible vibe - you really want to visit or go and work there.
This amazing quote from Stuart Kelly really highlights what you should do and think about in the future.
What should we keep doing? What should we stop doing? What should we start doing? - Stuart Kelly
If you are interested in watching the livestream recording of our graduation, watch the Youtube video below! It will show you everyones project pitches including some quick snippet interviews with innovators at the event.
I am specifically 25 minutes into the video if you are looking for my project pitch!
If you are interested in applying then get onto it! You need to apply before the due date and to a cohort that is close to your area! I was fortunate that #SYD19 was was this year and close to my home - New Zealand.
Check out this Google site with all the information about the other innovators accepted and our application videos also.
Have a question about my time there, the application or anything Google? Send me an email below.
Last year I created this slide deck for a staff meeting in my Junior Team with a recording of it attached above. This is just a youtube of the slide deck if you prefer to listen rather than read. The slides show how easily you can break down those tricky key terms in your practice or classroom.
Above are two plans that I created for my team also. The first plan is a junior devices ICT use LTP that provides ideas, tips and links to a range of things that can be taught in the classroom in all ICT areas.
The second plan is a junior coding LTP that provides ideas, links and resources for teaching coding in a junior classroom.
Both of these are in pdf form but can be moved into google docs form. Please do not share these files without permission - you are welcome to share the link to this post. Both of these were created by myself and full credit needs to be left at the top if in use.
There are plenty of other resources available including more that I have created in this folder link (pictured above). These include specific examples to the Digital Technologies curriculum that can be used in your classroom.
When sharing, please share the link to this post when sharing the links. Please do not recreate any of the information or planning you find - both of these were created by myself and full credit needs to be left at the top if in use.
Google Docs is great for using in the classroom for both teachers and students. It has huge opportunities for collaboration, ease of use and making connections to others across the world. It is an online version of a similar app - Word, but with the data and app save online in the 'cloud'.
At my school I am introducing and implementing work using Google apps in class. A part of this is unpacking google drive and the apps that go along with it. This is a pdf I created that unpacks a little bit more information on what it looks like, the tools and how you can use it.
Check out this easy to read pdf attached below. It just provides you with quick snippets to show you an insight on how it works. Great for those who are unsure on how complicated it can be or how to use the tools.
Reading Timer Slides
Reading Timer Slides
This resource is the template for what I use in reading time. A powerpoint set up - each slide is set up with automatic timers, transitions and sound effects to move through a literacy programme without teacher interaction. Simply choose your slide length, add your tumble pictures or words and you are off. Click present and it will transition through the powerpoint and conduct your reading session!
-powerpoint with 5 minute rounds set up (automatic transitions, sound effects and timers).
-powerpoint with 10 minute rounds set up (automatic transitions, sound effects and timers).
-powerpoint with 15 minute rounds set up (automatic transitions, sound effects and timers).
-reading timers that I created if you want to change and add in other times
-instruction sheet pdf
This is so easy to use once set up and students can follow this on your TV, display or device.
Please note, that each powerpoint slide is pre-set to the timer video added. If you delete this and add in another one, you will need to change the video playback option to automatic and adjust the transition timings.
This comes as a zipfile so please ensure you have the software to unzip it.
Google is amazing! They have so many apps that are perfect for use within education that really enhance learning opportunities within the classroom. Google apps for education can transform learning activities and help students create, collaborate and extend the walls within.
Alongside this Google has a great 'Be Internet Awesome' programme to help students gain the skills to be safe when using the Internet. Be Internet Awesome teaches kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence.
Be Internet Awesome is broken down into five sections:
1. Be Internet Smart - share with care
2. Be Internet Alert - don't fall for fake
3. Be Internet Strong - secure your secrets
4. Be Internet Kind - its cool to be kind
5. Be Internet Brave - when in doubt, talk it out
These five sections make up the programme to teach students about internet safety. The programme takes you on a tour through each of the different sections where you complete activities and games to learn the skills. Its named Interland.
At the end students can even get a certificate for completing their journey or digital badges! Teachers, there is a curriculum to guide you and your students along the journey with a pledge that can be sent home to continue the conversations at home too.
Check out all the information about it here on Google.
Here is a very short and simple video that I created showing you how easy it is to create your own QR codes and cute little background pictures. These could be done for anything really in your class - books, videos, information videos for writing, topic studies! It really isn't limited!
Don't want to make your own? Check out the PDFs below of some that I have made that you can use in your classroom!
I've come across lots of teachers asking how to get Seesaw started or set up in your school. Obviously every school is different and will look different to each teacher. But it is always important to have consistent expectations that teachers know, understand and agree to to ensure consistency across the school.
At my school, we first rolled it out across a few classrooms to test it out, gain feedback and see how students experienced it within their learning. Then we rolled it out school wide. But we needed to get some expectations to ensure teachers knew what was expected of them with this new technology being introduced. So we gathered as a staff meeting and really unpacked what it will look like, what was reasonable to begin with for teachers and students, and what the learning being shared would look like.
Our expectations were written into an online policy guidelines so that teachers were clear about what was happening. Our expectations for 2018:
To have two posts minimum a term
Can be in any curriculum area
Can be individual or group based post
It must have a WALHT or SC. This will help parents understand what the post is about and what learning was happening.
There was also guidelines about what happens if students were to post inappropriate things, places for questions and also conferences.
This really helped me (ICT Lead Teacher) and other teachers be clear about what was happening when using Seesaw.
If you would like to view this document as a Google doc please view it here. Please see my other Seesaw blog posts for other areas of implementation that can help you get Seesaw started in your school!
Mrs Priestley ICT blog is a place to read, download and view ideas!