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Noelene Callaghan

My Blog

My Blog

The essence of programming to teach

Posted on 30 November, 2014 at 2:50

Educators around the country are all working tirelessly to mark final assessment tasks, calculate grades, write and complete reports, mark HSC exams and modify or even in some cases, re-write teaching and learning programs.


Whilst educators are all familiar with the concepts of programming, it is actually concerning to note that many teachers don't know how to program or have never been involved in programming. In these schools, senior teachers or Head of Curriculum are responsible for the creation of new teaching documentation. Those that are developing their own skill set of programming are learning the key skills of backward mapping, learning trajectories, scoping, sequencing, learning outcomes, the new curriculum, learning across capabilities (LAC) and much much more.


The key to programming is to not only ensure that all of the skills and required content as set by the BOSTES syllabus but to cover all of the capabilities (and if NSW, cross curriculum capabilities as well as other necessary capabilities) as well as those areas that are critical to the schools plan in terms of measuring achievement. In some schools, this could be literacy and numeracy, in others it may be about embedding digital curriculums. And other schools, well, they want to include everything in addition to personalised learning and a well rounded blended learning environment that accommodates all students regardless of background, ability level or age. But don't fret, this is certainly not impossible to do. With the correct tools and technologies, creating ambitious , yet 'possible to practice' programs can be created.


I have spent much time analysing student data to determine how a structured and purposeful program that embeds digital curriculums can be embedded regardless of KLA's. By working with many other teachers and assessing the strengths of students, we are able to create tasks for students to complete using collaborative skills and tools. This simply means, that as educators, we need to create the platforms that students can use prior to learning the content. This will allow them to create a student centred learning environment that they have facilitated and the teachers primary role is to ensure that students have access to resources that will allow them to extend themselves. By created personalised learning activities, students simply select tasks from a selected few that they feel confident to complete. Students are more likely to exceed when completing these tasks as their success fate of completing class work is significantly higher. Tools that teachers may use to create these types of learning environments are based on Office 365, Google, iPad apps and much more. Whilst all tools provide different offerings to teachers and students, they can be manipulated together to create unique learning spaces. My students use a range of technological tools to create and communicate with to their peers. My students develop their lesson and spend a considerable amount of time collaborating to complete tasks. The way I communicate and converse with my colleagues is mirrored by my students. They have a chance to change the way they learn and its up to me to give them that opportunity. My 2015 programs are largely based on collaborative tools namely Office 365 and Minecraft. Integrating these tools with those previously stated will create unique digital learners.





Categories: 2014, Education, Microsoft