What our students need. . . .

 

 

  • At the end of last year I surveyed our teaching staff in reference to students digital skills.

  • Emmaus is in a phase of transition with technologies – in 2016 we will have two year groups with 1:1 iPads.

 

In my time at Gilroy I lead and programmed a subject that the Principal and Assistant Principal started that was called Integrated Learning, IL started as a course designed to teach skills for learning but as our students needs changed it became a cross-curricular subject that taught DIGITAL SKILLS.

For more info on IL you can read about it here: https://moniquedalli.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/how-integrated-learning-works-at-gilroy-with-ipads/

The time has come for Emmaus students to have the same opportunity, with a timetabling success our past Principal Brad Campbell is leaving me a legacy of TIME. The hour a week class is called iLearn.

 

Because no school is the same (students certainly aren’t!) I sought to better understand from both a teachers and students perspective of what digital skills were needed. . . . (*note I did NOT edit responses, but have not included all)

 

Our 2015 year 7 students were asked:

What was your most MEMORABLE LEARNING experience this year when using technologies?
  • Playing kahoot – popular response!!
  • The iMovie we did for religion, that was really enjoyable.
  • My memorable experience this year using technology was when I was designing a room for my tech assessment in the 1st & 2nd term.
  • I think the most memorable learning experience this year when using technology is making different group projects
  • Science- We had an assignment where we had to build an Island and the class used MineCraft to build it.
What is your FAVE app:
  • Notability
  • Pic Collage
  • Popplet
Subject I use my iPad in the MOST:
  • Science
  • Tech
  • Religion

My take homes are: they LOVE creating, interactive tasks, they like apps that keep them organised and present their work beautifully. 

 

Our staff were asked:

What deficits do you see in students digital skills:
  • I think that there is a lack of core skills. We assume that as digital natives that they are aware and know how to use apps etc; however, they do need to have framing done for them and have the foundation skills placed down in front of them. There needs to be a distinction made between tool and toy; by that I mean that their various devices can add to learning rather than being a distraction. And that they can see the social networking and media devices can be used an meaningful learning devices.
  • Knowing how to find reliable sources online! Very surprised when I have worked with students and they didn’t know what a “blog” was!
  • Using the Internet to research Using Word/PPT – or Google docs effectively
  • – researching difficulties / discernment of reliable sources – accurate referencing of sources – difficulties achieving a quality product…

What digital skills would you like student to develop further?

  • Research skills that help them identify more than just the obvious webpage.
  • Ability to translate research into their own words and determine the validity of the website they use for the research
  • Smoother integration of electronic work and written book work

My take homes are: research and information seeking is an apparent concern, organisation skills are mentioned but not as prominent as authoring.

 

 

So, these holidays i have been busy working on the iLearn program, there are SIX UNITS:

Digital Native: Technologies are a big part of our lives, at the age they are at they have always known technology and are considered digital natives. This unit will set the standard of digital expectations for the course and year group in: netiquette, behaviour, rules and quality of work. Technologies DO make their lives easier and CAN enhance their learning IF used to their potential and safely. Students will connect to the network and download their school apps as part of the iPad roll out.

Copy Write: You cannot just simply GOOGLE? Research skills are important foundation skills for secondary students, they need to be able to SEARCH, DISCRIMINATE, FILTER and REFINE their research. This unit of work will look at tricks and tips to use when researching online, how to be a discriminate seeker of information AND how to implement researched content WITHOUT plagiarism.

Monster Maintenance Manual:  The aim of this unit is to demonstrate the variety of apps they have on their device and HOW they can LINK and work together to create a project outcome much like a school assessment. They will digitally submit their work, collating their final chapters as one class book using tools like BookCreator and Drive. They will write a chapter of their own that includes: image, text, audio based on the work of an existing text/author (“The Monster Maintenance Manual – A Spotters Guide”)

Moral of the Story: Each student has a story to tell, this unit looks at different ways of expressing their stories – focusing on a stop animation movie. Students will have created a movie that is produced to demonstrate a chosen MORAL or MESSAGE that is important to them, their family or community.

My Best Selfie: Students have a digital footprint. My best selfie is about promoting their LEARNING as something to be proud of. In Technology Mandatory they have started a personal blog/website, this unit will continue the work of that subject by getting students to share and promote their learning success. We will look further into Cyber Bullying and Digital Footprint, the focus is to produce a positve one!

Game On: Students are gaming consumers! This unit will demonstrate how they can create an app, a game and share it with their classmates. We might see the next upcomming developers and coders in this unit!

 

 

I have attached the programs and scope so far for you to read, evaluate, use and maybe even give me some feedback?! I need to attribute the 21st Century Fluency project for their resources and training I did in 2012 as well as the Author of the Monster Maintenance Manual book – Peter McMannis as he graciously allows us to use his book as a learning resource for students!

 

2016iLearnScope

2016DigitalNativeProgram

2016CopyWriteProgram

BOSTES and UNSW – how ICT impacts on curriculum and assessment . . .

How does ICT impact on curriculum and assessment? What a coincidence that I  presented the SAME topic TWICE in one week to TWO completely different audiences?

This week has been a busy one, TWO firsts – presenting to the BOSTES Inspector team AND to a uni class of Masters of Ed students at UNSW. The OTHER common factor between both of these events (besides being a first for me) was the topic ” Impacts of ICT on curriculum and assessment” . . .

The BOSTES presentation was with two other teachers – Gavin Hays, Assistant Principal  from Parramatta Marist and Andrew Burgess, E-Learning Co-ordinator from Lismore Diocese who operates the Online Education Centre. We each spoke about technology implementation, tools, challenges and successes in our school, the questions from the Inspector Team and Howard Kennedy (Director of Curriculum and Assessment Standards) were focused on curriculum support, access to classroom technologies, staff PD as well as supporting ICT’s with BOSTES tools such as program builder.

My own learning notes from the day were related to using PBL to heighten engagement, Google Classroom developments, challenges in selecting a good LMS and how we can teach stage related skills in ICTs throughout projects, tasks, classroom interactions and in online learning environments.

It was awesome to hear both Andrew and Gavin talk, I loved hearing about what they were doing in schools and how they were making positive changes for learning.

MY BOSTES presentation:

At UNSW I was lucky enough to be paired with Pip Cleaves in a class with 24 Masters of Ed students, John Bennett has been running similar talks with his class for the past three years – I could see the purpose and value in tonight solely by the classes questions and sharing.

Questions were related to: fitting in content amongst project work, being comfortable with trying something different, logistics, examples of KLA tasks, challenges in terms of internet connects and finance, classroom design, finding time, selecting tech tools for the right application, being a leader amongst staff, engaging students, differentiating content AND collaboration.

Pip’s experience is invaluable – her knowledge of platforms, tools, devices, classroom applications is so broad! I loved how she moved around the room and spoke with her hands! – this was novel to me as Pip and I have spoken MORE online than in real life 😉

Pip took a photo of me during the talk, being photographed while doing something like this is a little weird right? – I saved the image because one of the questions I asked of the class was “what would your students say of your teaching? & classes?” – in this photo I am looking through their eyes. Pip moved around in her zippy form, while I was more still? Being at the front of the room heavily instructing or information cramming it not something I am used to doing. So while I appreciate Pip’s gorgeous words, the image itself is JUST STRANGE!? and how I was still was strange?? – AND I did it TWICE in ONE WEEK?!

UNSW

My UNSW presentation:

It was a personal highlight to talk about the staff and students at Emmaus for the first time. Even though this is a new role and school community for me I felt so proud to share their great work with others. We are on an exciting learning journey!

My take aways from both of these presentations is that I am lucky to be in such great company professionally, likewise our students are in good hands. There are many challenges in the implementation of ICT in schools, these challenges do add another dimension to the work teachers have to do. However, each lot of presenters and audiences were focused on students learning and solving problems, the technologies that were discussed were referenced as tools to propel this.

LINKS and stuff I may have forgotten. . . . 

Example of a flipped youtube for TAS – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVUjn1QYo4g&feature=youtu.be

Teachers are using Weebly, this is what STUDENTS can do with WEEBLY – http://emmausdigitallearning.weebly.com/

MORE about the Student Techie Team – https://moniquedalli.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/student-techies-at-gilroy-voiced-2014/

Information about LEARNING INTENTIONS: http://www.assessmentforlearning.edu.au/professional_learning/learning_intentions/learning_intentions_landing_page.html

PINTEREST as a bookmarking TOOL- https://moniquedalli.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/using-pinterest-in-my-classroom/

HUGE thanks to my arty mate Jess McCarthy, she made my UNSW presso pretty amaze.

Using an iPad to do stuff . . . (other than to game and look cool)

This post has been sitting in my wordpress drafts for AGES!! — the IIATE conference from which this material came from was held towards the end of October, I presented a session on using iPads and devices in TAS to ACTUALLY DO CLASS WORK.

An article that I read towards the start of the year still really stuck in my mind whilst preparing for my session, in particular it was the closing line that shaped the way my session looked:

Now the next generation is here, already tech-literate. What do they want their school computer, or device, to help them achieve?

The challenges of BYOD: http://www.abc.net.au/technology/articles/2013/02/04/3682334.htm
So HOW can you USE a device such as an iPad to DO class work? What apps are best? Which ones are school friendly?
 
Bellow are my session resources, a document FULL of tried, tested and implemented apps that can be used to do HEAPS OF STUFF!

Page_1Page_2

PDF FILE- doin’ stuff on an ipad — > Share this, pass it round, or drop me a line to let me know what you do!

I am presenting at the SchoolstechOz conference in September 2014, my sessions on the saturday will look at how mobile devices such as iPads can be used to capture, present and enhance assessment tasks across all subjects and stages in our curriculum (although my session will be iPad focused, it could benefit teachers using BYOT and BYOD programs).


SCHOOLSTECH OZ

 

The full program is here: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/ehome/schoolstechoz/program

Gilroy goes GOOGLE!!

Today I ran the FIRST lot of Google Apps training for Gilroy staff, the training was run in period sessions in small faculty groups. The Google apps are run through our new landing page CLASSM8 – it was a busy day exploring the apps we have available to us and an exciting start to our Google journey.

The key focus of today was to: demonstrate the TOOLS and APPS that GOOGLE host that could enrich our resources, add to our teacher tool kits and to find ways to make us more efficient!

 

Each faculty had a session that was tailored to them based on their curriculum and existing levels of technology implementation. Some highlights from todays sessions were:

  • Using Google Drive INSTEAD of Edmodo library!

Edmodo is a common LMS for us at Gilroy, however, its file storage system does not suit all staff. SO – I demonstrated how ALL of the files required for a unit could be stored in ONE resource folder in a Google drive. Then the LINK for that folder could be shared on Edmodo with students! This means that ALL file types can be supported regardless of file size (PDF, docs and videos) AND if the file link is shared with teachers they can ALL add in cool resources that students either use in class or as extra material to study/revise.

  • Using Google Calendar to manage faculty events

Faculties such as PDHPE and CAPA run many activities over and above their class load – I demonstrated how Google calendar could be used to manage faculty events such as rehearsals, try-outs, training, games and performances. They key idea behind using Google Calendar in a faculty is that MANY staff could edit/admin the calendar and MANY students could subscribe on their devices and be reminded of events they are involved in!

  • Using Blogger with class groups

Blogging is an excellent way of getting students to write and digitally author their work, blogs can have a public audience or they can be used as a means to check and practice responses. We found lots of purposes for blogging today – responding to articles with an argument, analysing artworks, journaling a process, documenting a PIP, collating a digital portfolio and general online “showing off” !  – we used theYear 7 Blog as an example of how students LIKE to write online and compared the features of both KidBlog and Blogger.

  • Using Google Groups to communicate across campuses!

I demonstrated how Google Groups would be a perfect tool to start a cross-campus dialogue between students. For example Groups could be used in a Visual Arts classroom to discuss artworks by students across different schools- WHY? to encourage a dialogue that expresses a written opinion and to also listen to others (outside their class-group), and to independently talk about something that could be topical or subjective (ie: tackling something difficult WITHOUT teacher prompting). It would also practice safe digital communication (still easily moderated by a teacher administrator) and encourage collaboration.

 

Other google tools beyond apps that were shared today: 

 

 

What do YOU use Google for in your classroom?? 

Sings *students are doin’ it for themselves!

The concept of peer coaching is a no-brainer. I know from experience that students helping students peer-peer in a classroom or school context works. It builds confidence, relationships and in a busy classroom it can ease the demand of teacher centred assistance and keep the pace of a lesson moving forward. Some students even PREFER to have peer assistance, I know “there are no silly questions”, however, putting a hand up and a spotlight on yourself to ask a question can feel daunting for some – so if it wasn’t for peer support questions sometimes by shy individuals may never get asked!!

Based on all the positive experiences I have had with peer-coaching situations I put forward the idea to “hire” Gilroy Student Techies for 6 month contracts in 2014 to support our iPad program. This sounds all very formal, and the process was in order to be fair! Current year 7’s were asked to “apply” knowing that only EIGHT would be selected based solely on their application. The application was a Google form that outlined simple scenarios that they may encounter as a techie – asking them to respond with solutions of how they would help!

Untitled

In planning WHAT the class techies would/should do I was very cautious of them NOT losing out on class time, the students selected are hardworking and would then see this leadership role a negative experience if this was the case. A tough balance between using them efficiently and too much!

In 2014 the year 8 Student Techies will be used at Gilroy in the following manner:

  • One year 8 Techie will be in each year 7 homeroom to solve tech issues at the START of the day so as to minimise their impact on classes (typically a busy time as I have homeroom myself and site Technicians are assisting years 8-12 with laptops)
  • Support staff at the 2014 iPad training day for year 7 students
  • Help demonstrate effective iPad/technology use as a young school leader
  • Assist by being an additional member of the Year 7  Tech- Support Edmodo page to help with online questions

I am really looking forward to this initiative being a part of the reason why our iPad program will see student success – not just for those students that are Techies, but for all the opportunities that the Techies could potentially help in!

Chrome VERSUS Safari on the ipad

There has been MUCH discussion on this topic over the past week since ipads have come to school in year 7’s bags.

I know where my opinion stands, and was asked to write a newsletter article stating pros/cons from an education point of view. Here is my two cents, feel free to disagree, you know where the comment box is- I may not reply 😉

 

Year 7’s are getting into the swing of things with ipads- and there has been MUCH debate over which browser is best to use. This debate is much like an “apple versus android” dispute (it goes round and round in circles, pros and cons of each). But let’s look at it from an EDUCATION and CYBER SAFETY point of view, and here is what matters to OUR KIDS:

 Safari

  • Works with parental controls, allows for safer browsing, blocks explicit content if controls are set as such
  • Browsing history can be stored for reflection (and deleted too)
  • Slow processing speeds when loading webpages with lots of content
  • Works REALLY well with government initiative for cybersafety (reinforces our Pastoral and Integrated Learning program)
  • Downloads PDF files as necessary- does require an extra step than Chrome to do so
  • Easily collects bookmarks and offline reading
  • Default browser on ipad, all links automatically open in Safari, there is no changing this setting
  • Syncs favourites/bookmarks across mobile devices

 

 Chrome

  • Upon download, comes with a “age restricted warning” upon download to confirm you are over 17 (is this an attempt to say “there’s explicit content on the internet, not our fault if you access it??)
  • Can easily “incognito” browse so that history is not stored
  • DOES NOT enforce parental controls applied on the ipad
  • Happily plays flash content on sites
  • Quickly loads pages and downloads files/attachments

SO . . . they are SOME of the facts that are MOST relevant for our students, overall CHROME is a better performing browser. BUT, in my opinion SAFARI is a safer experience, this is also a school endorsed recommendation. Discuss this with your children, explain what and why we want to protect them on the internet.

Do you have the CYBER-SAFETY button installed on their ipad?? – – – -> http://www.dbcde.gov.au/online_safety_and_security/cybersafetyhelpbutton_download/install_apple

And in the true spirit of the internet, browsing and meme’s – I created one fitting:

meme