Digitech Play & Learn

It’s been a log time since the last Techie Brekkie but wow! What a great way to get back into the swing of things. This week was all about the new digital technologies curriculum and playing and experimenting with some new devices that can be used to support student systems and computational thinking. What we found out however, was that digital technologies is also a great way to foster student and teacher critical and creative thinking.

In the beginning the staff were fascinated with the Bee Bots. These are programmable robots that require some ‘If this’, ‘Then that’, computational thinking. Staff commented that they could see huge potential in teaching mapping, directions, and co-ordinates with prep through to grade 6 students. 

The Dash and Dot was also a huge hit. This amazing little robot requires the learner to program it using blocky code language. It’s a fast mover and we worked out that it can talk!

Staff were interested in the science behind the Makey Makey a controller that connects to your chromebook which can then be connected to various objects. These objects can then control sound or objects on the computer. The pastry drum and banana piano were highlights.

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There is something mesmerising about the Ozobots. It could be the way the glide across the paper or perhaps the artwork that is created as part of coding and computation.

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We only touched the surface with this Techie Brekkie. The BitsBox app building books will be next on the agenda as well as seeing what other digital solutions could potentially be created.

iMoving

What a great turn out for PD this morning!

Matt and Toby gave us all a run down of iMovie and some of the basics with the primary tip being this – find the child in your class who is an expert at it and learn from them!

With iMovie, it’s all about taking some time to have an explore and discover what you can do for yourself. And if still in doubt, seek out an expert.

There are tonnes of online help resources and plenty of videos on YouTube but here is one to get you started:

 

QR Codes

What a lovely learning group we had for the first Techie Brekkie for Term 4. It was great to see so many staff members up early and ready for learning (and pastries!)

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Matt ran through QR codes and an easy to use site where you can generate your own QR codes, download and save them to your computer and also track how many times the code has been scanned. While there are many free and paid-for QR generators online, the one we chose to present was SnapVu.

While there are many, many different ways to utilise QR codes in schools some of the more popular uses include:

  • Providing a hyperlink to a research website, video or file that you want students to view online.
  • Easy access to school website, blogs, documents for the school community
  • Scanning to share work – if there is a finished product on display at an open evening, there may be a QR code scan to a video about how the product was made.
  • Checking answers – students can complete tasks and then scan a code to check an answer and correct their own work.
  • Scavenger hunts – as seen at Bell’s eSmart Day!
  • Digital reading resources – have a basket or wall in your literacy space with QR codes linked to digital texts (as seen at techie Brekkie)

Some links to other reads and ideas about QR codes in Classrooms:
Emerging Ed Tech – Ways to use QR Codes in the Classroom
Pinterest Board: QR Codes in the Classroom
40 Interesting Ways to Use QR Codes in the Classroom (not all suitable for our school)

*** The next Techie Brekkie is scheduled for TUESDAY 27th OCTOBER and will be looking at iMovie.

Term 4 Techie Brekkies!

The first techie brekkie for the term will be tomorrow (Wednesday 14th October) and will cover the sometimes mysterious QR codes. Whether you are in the classroom or an office admin you are welcome to come along at 8am to learn about Qr codes, what  they are used for and how you can generate your own.

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Don’t forget that every techie brekkie you attend counts towards your Professional Development hours. If you attend regularly it can count towards 25% of your yearly PD requirement!

Prior to the session it would be a good idea for you to go to www.snap.vu and create a free account there. This will enable you to dive straight in to creating your own QR codes during the PD. See you there!

 

Matt Explains Everything

This morning at our Techie Brekkie Matt conducted a brief intro to the awesome app, Explain Everything. Some of the staff who have already been using this app in class shared what they’ve done too. It was great to have quite a few staff this morning, talking tech and sharing at this PD.

Great Google!

Techie Brekkie this week was presented in a different format. We had the 4 members of the ICT Team covering a slightly different aspect of Google Drive, Docs and Sheets.

Matt took control of the iPads and ran through how Google Drive works on the iPad as it differs slightly when on a tablet or mobile rather than a computer. This will be useful for both staff and students, especially when it comes to collaborating, sharing and saving work.

Toby’s group explored how Google Docs can be used to provide feedback on student work. We looked at the ‘comments’ tool as well as the ‘suggesting’ function. ‘Suggesting’ allowing teachers to do propose changes to student work which can then be ‘approved’ or ‘declined’. Finally, we looked at how teachers can view the ‘revision history’ for a document, so they can look at the progress made during different draft stages.

Megan looked at Google Sheets (similar to Microsoft’s Excel) and how to use Conditional Formatting to colour code cells and make it easier to see the data that’s being presented. You can format any data in this way but she has found it particularly useful in looking at individual answers to questions from a student activity as demonstrated in the video below:

Andrew looked at our Bell PS Google Shared docs. We discussed how find documents, create documents, and share them with staff and students within our Bell PS Domain as well as people outside our domain.

 

All of the ICT Team are more than happy to chat to you about any techie stuff so if you missed a techie brekkie and want to catch up on something, come and see us or email and make a time to chat!

 

 

The First Techie Brekkie for 2015!

The first Techie Brekkie for the year was held last Thursday morning (12th Feb) and was focused around Global2 Blogging. We broke into two groups in order to make the most of the allocated time and cover aspects suited to various ability levels from never blogged before to the more experienced blogger.

Group 1 looked at the blog composer. Using the toolbar to add a new post, formatting the text on a post and inserting media (primarily photographs or student work).

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Group 2 explored how to add team members to the level blogs. We also explored how to best insert multiple images to a post using the Gallery function. Finally group 2 looked at various widgets that can be used in the blog sidebar. One of the most useful is the “subscribe via email” tool. This tool allows followers (parents and friends) to add their email address so that they automatically receive updates to the blog.

We look forward to a successful year of Techie Brekkies with lots of tech tips and tools being shared not just by the ICT team, but by all.