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Noelene Callaghan

My Blog

My Blog

Cheat Sheet: How to maximise using Google Apps For Education (GAFE) in the classroom?

Posted on 8 November, 2015 at 16:10

Google Apps for Education (GAFE) is one of the more popular platforms that schools are integrating as part of their digital curriculum. Ensuring teachers are aware of all of the tool available and have sufficient professional development to be able to use them with their students to enhance their teaching and learning opportunities. GAFE is a cloud based computing option that is inexpensive for schools to implement. More importantly, it can be used on any type of device that has Google Chrome installed on it thus supporting the technological hardware platform of the school.

 

In order to maximise use by these apps by both the educators and students in your school, it is recommended that an Intranet page is created and used on all school and student devices as their designated home page. This will not only encourage all stakeholders to use the apps, but to make it much easier to access them regularly in class.

 

It is recommended that for complete success, the implementation of Google Apps For Education is a whole school initiative and is used by all teachers in every KLA. The school technology support officer will be required to work with the Head of Technology for streamlined integration.

 

What are the main apps that are used?

 

Google Classroom
Google Classroom is the online space for students to access and submit their classwork. Google Classroom now allows multiple teachers to team teach and add announcements and assignments (with due dates) for their students to view and download. More importantly, teachers can upload worksheets for their students to complete and Google Classrooms has the ability to create a file for each student. Each student receives their own worksheet that is automatically saved to their Google Drive. Google Classroom also allows students to post comments and communicate with their teacher about any work that is posted. Additionally, students can submit their work by using the ‘turn in’ function which allows their teacher to mark and grade the work and provide the student with immediate feedback.

 

Google Drive
Google Drive is online storage. All teachers and students save their work here and are able to share their work with one another (pending they use a school based email account). This is an alternative to using Google Classroom to share work. However, encouraging students to use Google Drive to create new files (docs, sheets and forms) will streamline how students create and complete their work in every lesson.

 

Google Sites
Google Sites is a great tool that can be used as an alternative or as a compliment to Google Classroom. This online website creation tool gives teachers the flexibility to generate their own digital resources for a particular lesson or for an entire course. With the correct teacher management software, Google Sites can also be used as an eFolio as it permits students to embed Google Docs, Slides, Sheets and Forms. It must be noted that in NSW DET, only students in years 9-12 are able to create a Google Site from scratch (all other students can only add to a website once a template is created by their teacher).

 

 

Google Docs, Slides, Sheets and Forms
Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Sheets and Google Forms are available to all school stakeholders. Google Docs, Slides and Sheets are the Office alternatives for Word, Powerpoint and Excel. These online documents contain almost all of the functionality as their alternatives. Add-ons for each of these tools can be downloaded via the Chrome Store. The best part of these tools is that they connect to one another allowing the student to link and embed their work together forming a larger scale piece of work.

 

Increased Productivity
GAFE is renowned for increasing productivity as teachers and their students can collaborate in real time and are able take the initiative to self-direct their own work and by taking ownership of their work. Educators who use GAFE report that their students now enter class and without any prompting from the teacher automatically turn their devices on and access their work via Google Classroom. Others are using GAFE to support their Flipped Classrooms and project Based Learning activities. Ultimately, teachers are encouraging their own students to create more of their own work as opposed to simply complete worksheets and the tasks that are set by teachers.

 

If you are interested in using GAFE at your school, there are many sources that you can contact for assistance, case studies and training. GAFE also offer an online community that helps you stay connected with the latest developments of their tools and the latest resources created by teachers that you can use. There is also a Peer Community connecting educators with one another.

 


 

 

 

 

 

The Latest Updates to Google Classroom

Posted on 11 October, 2015 at 18:15

There have been several exciting updates to Google Classroom over the last few weeks.


Google classroom Updates:

Google Calendar: Each class has a calendar, and work with a due date is automatically added to the calendar. Teachers and students can view the calendar in Classroom, or in Google Calendar on their computers and mobile devices.


Share to Classroom with Chrome: Students and teachers can use the Share to Classroom Chrome extension to share web content to to their classes. Teachers can use the extension to instantly push web pages to all students in a class, or create an assignment or announcement in Classroom.


Ask and answer a question: Teachers can post a short answer question to students in the class stream at any time, with options to allow students to edit their own answer, and to see and reply to classmates’ answers. Students answer the question in the class stream, and teachers have the option to grade answers.


Reuse a post: Teachers can reuse existing posts (announcements, assignments, questions) from a current or previous class.


Move a post to the top of the class stream: Teachers can change the order of posts in the class stream by moving any item to the top of the stream to give it priority.


Visual refresh: Classroom has a new simplified design for creating and posting assignments, announcements, and questions and for viewing assignment details. The design updates enable quick and easy access for teachers and students.


Mobile notifications: Students can see immediately when a teacher creates a new assignment or announcement, comments on a student’s post, or grades or returns an assignment. Teachers can see immediately when a student comments on a post or sends the teacher a private note and when the teacher is invited to teach a class.


How to maximise using Google Apps For Education (GAFE) in the classroom?

Posted on 7 October, 2015 at 20:05

Google Apps for Education (GAFE) is one of the more popular platforms that schools are integrating as part of their digital curriculum. Ensuring teachers are aware of all of the tool available and have sufficient professional development to be able to use them with their students to enhance their teaching and learning opportunities. GAFE is a cloud based computing option that is inexpensive for schools to implement. More importantly, it can be used on any type of device that has Google Chrome installed on it thus supporting the technological hardware platform of the school.

 

In order to maximise use by these apps by both the educators and students in your school, it is recommended that an Intranet page is created and used on all school and student devices as their designated home page. This will not only encourage all stakeholders to use the apps, but to make it much easier to access them regularly in class.

 

It is recommended that for complete success, the implementation of Google Apps For Education is a whole school initiative and is used by all teachers in every KLA. The school technology support officer will be required to work with the Head of Technology for streamlined integration.

 

What are the main apps that are used?

 

Google Classroom
Google Classroom is the online space for students to access and submit their classwork. Google Classroom now allows multiple teachers to team teach and add announcements and assignments (with due dates) for their students to view and download. More importantly, teachers can upload worksheets for their students to complete and Google Classrooms has the ability to create a file for each student. Each student receives their own worksheet that is automatically saved to their Google Drive. Google Classroom also allows students to post comments and communicate with their teacher about any work that is posted. Additionally, students can submit their work by using the ‘turn in’ function which allows their teacher to mark and grade the work and provide the student with immediate feedback.

 

Google Drive
Google Drive is online storage. All teachers and students save their work here and are able to share their work with one another (pending they use a school based email account). This is an alternative to using Google Classroom to share work. However, encouraging students to use Google Drive to create new files (docs, sheets and forms) will streamline how students create and complete their work in every lesson.

 

Google Sites
Google Sites is a great tool that can be used as an alternative or as a compliment to Google Classroom. This online website creation tool gives teachers the flexibility to generate their own digital resources for a particular lesson or for an entire course. With the correct teacher management software, Google Sites can also be used as an eFolio as it permits students to embed Google Docs, Slides, Sheets and Forms. It must be noted that in NSW DET, only students in years 9-12 are able to create a Google Site from scratch (all other students can only add to a website once a template is created by their teacher).

 

 

Google Docs, Slides, Sheets and Forms
Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Sheets and Google Forms are available to all school stakeholders. Google Docs, Slides and Sheets are the Office alternatives for Word, Powerpoint and Excel. These online documents contain almost all of the functionality as their alternatives. Add-ons for each of these tools can be downloaded via the Chrome Store. The best part of these tools is that they connect to one another allowing the student to link and embed their work together forming a larger scale piece of work.

 

Increased Productivity
GAFE is renowned for increasing productivity as teachers and their students can collaborate in real time and are able take the initiative to self-direct their own work and by taking ownership of their work. Educators who use GAFE report that their students now enter class and without any prompting from the teacher automatically turn their devices on and access their work via Google Classroom. Others are using GAFE to support their Flipped Classrooms and project Based Learning activities. Ultimately, teachers are encouraging their own students to create more of their own work as opposed to simply complete worksheets and the tasks that are set by teachers.

 

If you are interested in using GAFE at your school, there are many sources that you can contact for assistance, case studies and training. GAFE also offer an online community that helps you stay connected with the latest developments of their tools and the latest resources created by teachers that you can use. There is also a Peer Community connecting educators with one another.


Ngurrara - Australian Aboriginal Interactive Storybook

Posted on 7 October, 2015 at 20:05

This truly amazing app details a Dreamtime story about the Ngarluma people in both English and in the Ngarluma language. This free iOS app is suitable for students of any ages and is an excellent way to engage students in learning about Aboriginal education in a digital format. This app not only supports the learning of Aboriginal culture and history, but gives all users the ability to learn indigenous linguistics with the capability of creating a unique piece of work using the information in this Dreamtime Story. The app also allows students to complete interactive activity and will have your students asking for more.

 

 

How can I use Skype in my classroom?

Posted on 7 October, 2015 at 20:05

Skype is renowned for connecting people globally to communicate via video conferencing mainly for personal reasons. However, Skype has launched ‘Skype in the Classroom’ which is aimed at all schools (regardless of Stage) that connects classrooms from all over the world.

 

Skype in the Classroom enables students and teachers to communicate with others using various functions and tools which are all offered by Skype.

 

Collaboration Tool
Skype in the Classroom is not solely aimed at students. It also provides teachers with the opportunities to connect with other teachers to participate in professional learning activities. There are regular sessions scheduled that you can sign up for as well as nominate to provide a professional learning session to other educators.

 

A key resource here is “Mystery Skype”. Here teachers from different schools can connect and allow their students to communicate to each other and slowly build relationships over time. Great for playing initial games as to where they are located around the world to solving real world problems, this tool is recently renowned for a school in USA assisting a school in Africa on how to purify their water using the resources that they have.

 

Guest Speakers
Skype in the Classroom has many arrangements with partners that allow guest speakers to participate in calls with your students. They range from TOMS entrepreneurs to Children’s Authors to Expert Speakers from TED. These guests each have a biography on Skype in the Classroom so you can determine which guest speaker is most relevant to your teaching and learning needs. There is also contact information allowing teachers to contact them and negotiate times to meet online and what content you would like them to focus on.

 

The Children’s authors are able to read the story to your class or for older students, provide them with an insight as to how to write.

 

Virtual Excursion (Virtual Field Trips)
A key feature of Skype in the Classroom is the connection that they have with vast places of interest all around the world. By using this feature, you are able to take your class to a Museum in Germany providing them the opportunity to learn about its artefacts as though they are actually there. In some instances, a real tour guide will use their device and take it around the place of interest whilst communicating with your students. This is a great way for your students to leave Australia!

 

How to create digital resources for Aboriginal Education?

Posted on 7 October, 2015 at 20:00

The inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures is now a recognised part of the Australian Curriculum. As stated by ACARA;

 

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures priority provides the opportunity for all young Australians to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, deep knowledge traditions and holistic world views. This knowledge and understanding will enrich all learners’ ability to participate positively in the ongoing development of Australia through a deepening knowledge and connection with the world’s oldest continuous living cultures.

 

Although there is focus on this particular area during NAIDOC Week, the learning of indigenous cultures and histories can be learned at any time of the year. Introducing dreamtime stories and artwork are usually the most common types of lesson activities that are practiced in the classroom and they are no doubt informative and practical. However, they are typically teacher centred and don’t always give the student an ability to develop their knowledge past the objective of the lesson. So, with this in mind, how do we create student centered digital resources?

 

Create a Sway
A Sway is a new free web-based presentation tool that allows students to create outstanding presentations that are easily accessible and can be embedded into digital portfolios and other presentation tools (such as Microsoft Powerpoint). This tool uses guided technology that helps students create interactive pieces of work and is suitable for any age to use individually or collaboratively. Moreover, the teacher can create an account and have access to the sways.

 

Create an Animated Storybook
There are numerous apps that can be downloaded via iOS and Android that allow students to create storybooks. Using these apps to create an animated storybook about a dreamtime story, how indigenous cultures use numbers xxx and how this can be used in a maths unit is easy to execute. Many students have been using these apps personally which allows them to extend themselves in their overall design. Further, these animated storybooks can be used in peer mentoring projects or as part of future indigenous assemblies.

 

Create an App
Schools are creating their own App to showcase the efforts of their students in relation to aboriginal education. These apps are designed for teachers and students outside their actual school to learn about the issues at hand and encourage others to develop their own resources.

 

Create a Video
Creating a music video or short firm is a great way to encourage collaborative learning. Using apps or specific movie making software, students can create their own storyboard, record and use post production techniques to master their video. Again, this being a showcase piece, videos enable students to develop an excellent understanding of the content, a high ICT skillset as well as the ability to work with others.

Magnificent Microsoft Education Exchange

Posted on 11 August, 2015 at 2:10

Celebrating NAIDOC Week 2015

Posted on 15 July, 2015 at 22:30

In 2015, the theme for NAIDOC Week is "We stand on Sacred Ground; Learn, Respect and Celebrate". NAIDOC Week is celebrated at Rooty Hill High School by all students attending a whole school assembly that includes a special guest as well as having the opportunities to work together in a specially designed NAIDOC Week Do Now Activity. Each faculty within the school also design and facilitate their own KLA based NAIDOC Week lesson.


This year in ICT, students were asked to re-create Dreamtime stories using technology. Students used Google Images, Google Slides, Google Docs and Snagit to search for a sacred Australian Indigenous site, write a script and then record a dreamtime story explaining the formation or history about that site.


The lesson began with students discussing what NAIDOC is and its symbolic meaning to Australian Indigenous people. We then watched an animated dreamtime story called Tiddalik the Frog. After watching the clip, we identified and discussed the symbolic meaning of the dreamtime story and discussed why this story is used instead of others.


You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.




We then used Google Images to find an Australian Indigenous Sacred Site that could be used as our background for our Dreamtime Story. This was inserted into Google Slides (my example below)




Students then wrote their script in Google Docs and Recorded their story using Snagit..


You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.



All work was turned in via Google Classroom. This work will be showcased via the School Website page (Indigenous Education).


This lesson not only engaged students but gave them deep understanding of the perspectives of Indigenous cultures. A lesson that I am very happy to share and re-do with many classes

Why encourage students to code?

Posted on 2 July, 2015 at 8:25

1. What do you think empowering kids to create the apps that they themselves or others of their age use will bring to the quality and usefulness of the app created? E.g. could it increase the adoption rate, capture workflows that only kids could think of etc?

Children and Teenagers are creating apps that adults can not. This is due to a number of factors but mainly due to the limitations that adults possess in living in a technological world. Children are increasingly finding it difficult to access the information that they need or want the overall process to be simpler. And using app-based applications is ideal for children whom rely on devices such as smart phones and ipads/tablets. As these are their primary technological resource, accessibility to ‘anything’ must be readily available.

 

Children are also much more competitive than adults. Children who continue to develop multiple apps simply do it to better their previous attempt of creating an app. As children enter high school, they realise the potential of creating apps and take it to a next level. These teenagers typically create extensions or apps that will form part of their overall portfolio of work.

 

 


2. What coding languages do you recommend kids start off with? Why?

There are a number of languages that children can begin coding with. Ultimately, children should select a software that they have unlimited access to. In most instances, this software will determine the language that children will learn and master.

 

The most common coding languages that are accessed by children are those that are associated with games. For example, children who use Minecraft typically use Java. Java is one of the most accessed coding languages available and certainly allows children to develop their coding skills throughout and after their school career.

 

 


3. What sorts of skills could coding bring in terms of abilities children of today need? E.g. creative thinking etc.

Coding provides students with many of the dimensions of 21st Century Learning. In addition to critical thinking skills of computational thinking and problem solving, coding require kids to use numeracy skills such as probability, patterns and statistics to determine the next lines of code and how that code will influence the final product. Probability of prediction is a huge consideration when coding as one needs to ascertain, for example, what the steps are for a character when walking around a field.

 

Contrary to belief, coding provides students with social skills. It provides them the ability to converse using sophisticated language (using formal words) and also gives those individuals deemed as shy or introverted with a voice that they may not necessarily have (at home or in the classroom).

 

 


4. What advice would you give a young primary school student taking up coding in terms of career advice?

My advice would be to find a software program that you can use either at school or at home and begin coding. It is best to have an adult who knows what you are doing and they don’t necessary need to know anything about coding. This is purely to help you technologically and to ensure that you will always have connectivity and accessibility.

 

As many children code whilst they are playing games, joining a group on your favourite game may link you to other players of the same age and you can begin sharing your experiences or troubleshoot any problems that you are encountering. This will help you develop your skills whilst having a lot of fun.

 

Another great thing to do is get a teacher involved. Your teacher may be able to set up a coding club that could continue throughout your years at school and perhaps lead to work experience opportunities, meeting experts and more.

 

 

 

 

App Review - OneNote

Posted on 2 July, 2015 at 8:20

If you are an avid OneNote user and also enjoy using multiple devices to do your work when you are on the go, an app that will allow you to maintain consistency and efficiency in your work is the OneNote app. This app allows its users to add Notebooks, pages and more to their OneNote account which can then be accessed in its full synced version on your own computer. Depending on the type of phone that you own, you may also include images, videos, links and hand drawn text onto the OneNote app which makes it one of the most universal note taking applications available at this time. Available on both iOS and Android at no cost, this is certainly a tool that all teachers should consider downloading and using with their students.

 

App Review: Manga-Camera

Posted on 2 July, 2015 at 8:15

There is a significant number of students becoming increasingly interested in Anime and Manga. Anime is a cartoon originated in Japan has developed considerably in the space of comics, magazine and animations, A great way to include these cartoons and images in the classroom is by using an App that photographs you and converts it into a Manga. Manga_Camera is free App that is available on both iOS and Android and has numerous settings that can even allow students to create a Manga Magazine by using photographs. Suitable for any age, Manga_Camera is an app that can be used to illustrate any topic for any KLA.

 

 


 

 

 

Daily Edventures | Noelene Callaghan, MIE Expert from Australia

Posted on 10 June, 2015 at 21:00

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.


Courtesy of Daily Adventures

A week of Educational Minecraft

Posted on 5 June, 2015 at 0:50

This week, I have used Minecraft quite a lot in my TAS class. The experience has been incredible and has further taught me the arts of flexibility, creativity and patience. 

Feel free to view the blogs by myself and by myself students at our blog page: callaghan-minecraft.blogspot.com.au


When collaboration in the classroom is very different to collaboration in a teaching program

Posted on 24 May, 2015 at 20:05

Informing educators about the importance of embedding student collaboration into classroom practice has been a top priority for many Australian educators and experts for some time. unfortunately, the message of what 'collaboration' actually means has been lost amongst messages of 21st Century Learning, flipped learning techniques, and other terms that many simply associate with jargon as opposed to the latest teaching pedagogies. Collaboration is universally defined as a coordinated, synchronous activity that is the result of a continued attempt to construct and maintain a shared conception of a problem.

Microsoft and Google have both introduced classrooms that promote collaboration regardless of the device that students use via Office 365 and Google Docs respectively. Moreover, these product suites include not only Microsoft's Office products, but additional Apps that encourage critical thinking, enhance numeracy and literacy whilst providing teachers with overall administrative permissions that allows them to view their students work in real time. . Moreover, these product suites include not only Microsoft's Office products, but additional Apps that encourage critical thinking, enhance numeracy and literacy whilst providing teachers with overall administrative permissions that allows them to view their students work in real time.


Microsoft Australia and New Zealand have joined Microsoft world wide in establishing an educators network 'Microsoft Innovative Expert Educators' which has targeted the top technological teachers in Australia and New Zealand. The overall focus of this program is for its Expert Educators to share their expertise with their peers, schools and other educators in an attempt to work towards attaining a common goal of creating pure collaborative learning environments within schools. True collaborative environments are seeing students create work simultaneously on the same document using different accounts. This is significantly different to a group of students sharing a device (typically a PC) and completing a group assignment. This is also different to students working on the same document and then emailing it to each other for others to work on it. True collaboration permits any number of students share their ideas in real-time. By learning this skill in the classroom, students will develop long-life skills that they can use outside of class time and apply to even non school based projects. Whether it is formal or informal education, learning typically requires participation in a social process of knowledge construction. Knowledge emerges through a network of interactions, and it is distributed and mediated by the people and the tools that they use for interacting. Perhaps this is what prompted Microsoft to purchase Minecraft. Minecraft is a great collaborative tool that educators students about numerous syllabus based topics through play. Web 2.0 tools such as these provide students to share their ideas via text as well as verbally which provides them with additional opportunities of communicating with a clear student voice.


Thus, in order to enhance the collaborative practices that exist in your classroom, it is highly recommended that you consider introducing at least one activity by the end of the school year to provide you with a succinct understanding of how it can be embedded long term in future years.

 


 

How to start a Makerspace in your school

Posted on 21 May, 2015 at 21:30

Minecraft & Kahoot.it Good Start

Posted on 21 May, 2015 at 21:20

Documenting our progress in Minecraft

Posted on 14 May, 2015 at 19:05

The work that we are doing with Minecraft is now becoming widely followed by educators globally. My students and I are documenting what we do to inspire other schools to take up this initiative. All of our blogs can be found at http://callaghan-minecraft.blogspot.com.au/



How to engage students with gaming

Posted on 12 April, 2015 at 1:45

In recent years, there has been much debate as to whether games should be introduced into classrooms or not. Opinions regarding how the validity and academic credibility of the games are often divided and deemed as controversial. This is perhaps due to the manner in which they are used within our own home. We typically think of games in the sense of the Xbox, the wii or downloadable apps for our mobile devices.

 

Further, games aimed at school age children are often considered to be violent, uninformative and without great purpose. However, games at any capacity have been proven to increase literacy levels, gross motor skills as well as increase an individuals ability to think and act critically and creatively (which is inline with the National Curriculum capabilities).

 

In recent years, more and more teachers are introducing traditional and online games to engage students as well as to teach and develop new content. They use competitive exercises, either pitting the students against each other or getting them to challenge themselves in order to motivate them to learn better. Further, games often have a fantasy element that engages players in a learning activity through a storyline. Games can also be used to facilitate student centered learning environments as well as flipped classrooms.

 

This is supported by much research that advocates that gaming is increasing student results as well as their ICT skills. A survey by Games and Learning Publishing Council quotes Din Heiman from BrainPOP in their findings that;

 

“We’ve learned that if you provide teachers a place to find quality learning games, games that engage and challenge students, tie directly into their curriculum, and play on the prevailing classroom devices within the boundaries of their lesson period – you will be literally overwhelmed with the response”.

 

 

Two gaming programs that I use with my students are Kahoot.It and Minecraft. I use these two games for different purposes as well as sparingly so that all students learning needs are met throughout the course (there are many students who do enjoy Minecraft but are not overly passionate on using it daily, so blended learning environment is offered to them. This allows them to succeed using different digital tools).

 

 

Kahoot.it

Kahoot.it is a great game to test the pre-knowledge and post-knowledge of students. This game requires the teacher to create a quiz or survey before the class and allows the students to select their answer. In this game, there are no right or wrong answers which is great as an engagement tool at the beginning of the lesson as it can be used to prompt conversation and debate.This game requires all students to have their own device as well as for the teacher to be able to project the questions to the class. If your teaching device has Mouse Mischief downloaded onto it, you can also use it to enhance the effectiveness of the game.

 

 

Minecraft

Minecraft is more than a game for boys. It is a virtual setting that enables its users to strategically build architecture and more using a grid. This means that everything built on a large scale resembles images that look pixelated. At Rooty Hill High School, Minecraft began as a ‘club’ that a small number of students participated in during lunchtimes and after school. This began as part of a Microsoft Transformation Project that allowed this and 4 other schools from Australia and New Zealand to participate in a collaborative learning environment using “Mineclass*” (it should be noted that a wifi modem was purchased and used in order to reach the external server). Minecraft gave these participating students an opportunity to extend their already mastered skills and complete new challenges that they have never attempted to complete before. This group of students documented their progress which can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/minecraftrhhs/

 

Once both the supervising teacher and the students developed their Minecraft skills, an investment was made to purchase a Minecraft Edu server and licence so students could access it whilst at school via the NSW DEC internet gateway.

 

Minecraft Edu

Minecraft Edu is extremely similar to Minecraft. Although students are reserved at first when using it, they soon discover that few differences exist and that they can do the same things as using Minecraft. This also gives students who do not have personal Minecraft accounts an opportunity to play the game in a safe setting. At Rooty Hill High School, Minecraft Edu is being introduced into teaching and learning programs to support project based learning. Currently it is being used in Year 9 IST to build a setting for their robotic video. In Year 7 TAS (Multimedia), it is being used to create student’s ‘ideal home’ that they originally designed in Google Sketchup. This simply gives students an additional tool that they can use to complete their projects.

 

What is observed is that students are much more engaged, focused and determined to complete their work. Students are even asking if they can ‘stay in the classroom during lunch’ to work on their Minecraft builds. Our experience using Minecraft Edu is blogged at http://callaghan-minecraft.blogspot.com.au/

 

 

*If your school is interested in participating in Mineclass, please go to www.mineclass.org for more information

 

It's in the Maker Space Stats!

Posted on 7 April, 2015 at 5:30

Found this today and feel as though that this could really direct me in my set up of a Maker Space;


A survey in 2013, Makerspaces in libraries, indicated 36% of the respondents were planning on providing a makerspace in their library.


Makerspaces appear in most types of libraries – 9% are in school libraries.


The top 15 technologies or forms of making, that were included in their makerspace were:

 

  • Computer workstations 67%
  • 3D printing 46%
  • Photo editing 45%
  • Video editing 43%
  • Computer programming/software 39%
  • Art and crafts 37%
  • Scanning photos to digital 36%
  • Creating a website or online portfolio 34%
  • Digital music recording 33%
  • 3D modeling 31%
  • Arduino/Raspberry Pi 30%
  • Other 30% (included knitting, Lego, etc.)
  • Animation 28%
  • High quality scanner 28%
  • Tinkering 26%

 


How to create Personalised Learning Activities

Posted on 6 April, 2015 at 7:20

Personalised learning starts with the learner and asks the question, “What does this student need to understand, and how best can that happen?” Such an approach is becoming more and more significant in the classroom as 21st Century Learning skills are being embedded into curriculums and into classroom learning. This student-centered approach builds around the notion of recognising the vast differences in students. It is an authentic need to know.

 

So how do I create a personalised learning activity?

 

Step 1 - Determine the Learning Outcome

This step is no different to organising any other lesson. First thing required is to determine your learning outcome and learning intention.

 

Step 2 - Ascertain the final product

Next, the teacher needs to determine what the student is to submit. For example, if the task requires a literacy outcome, part of the teaching and learning activity will require a reading or writing component.

 

Step 3 - Which teaching model is most appropriate for my students?

There are a number of teaching models that you can use in your classroom. What is more beneficial, is that these all support various pedagogical approaches. The most common personalised learning activities are

• 5 W’s

• Blooms Taxonomy

• Blooms and Gardner's Multiple Intelligences Grid

• Learning Across Capabilities

5W's questions students on Why, What, When, Where and How? This is a great task when students are to curate information or a project based on parameters that they may select themselves.


Blooms Taxonomy personalised learning activities allows students to complete tasks at particular learning stages. This provides Gifted and Talented students the ability to extend themselves whilst supporting students whom are receiving additional assistance in the classroom. Activities range from lower order thinking to higher order thinking.


Blooms and Gardners Multiple Intelligences Grid is a matrix that combines Blooms Taxonomy with Gardners Multiple Intelligences. Students can select activities based on their preference of learning and their ability levels to demonstrate critical thinking and deep understanding.


Learning Across Capabilities personalised learning activities break down the ACARA National Curriculum capabilities to provide students with more structured and outcome based learning tasks. This new style of teaching and learning is being integrated into schools across Australia.

 

Step 4 - Work out which digital resources can be used to create the work

We all have a list of technologies that we enjoy using and a list of tools that we would like to try. This is a perfect opportunity for teachers to introduce new learning tools. To find out about new tools that teachers are using, using social media sites such as twitter and LinkedIn are a great way to determine which tools are more successful at engaging students.

 

Step 5 - Create the learning Activity

The templates and completed examples for each of these personalised learning opportunities can be found online (Check with Chelsea if this is ok). Create the task with all of your students abilities in mind. Don't forget to include to include tasks that students can complete regardless of learning ability or personal knowledge. If students have an individualised learning plan, it should be referred to throughout this process.

  


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