August 7, 2018
by rcrellin
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Get your students blogging with the Student Blogging Challege

Student blogging challenge

Student blogging challenge

All teachers and students in DET schools have free access to Global2. This is a blogging network that has been established for over a decade. It’s powered by CampusPress which is the sister service of Edublogs. Global2 is based on WordPress and is designed for education with 24/7 email support.

If you want to learn more about blogging with the option of connecting with classes around the world, you might be interested in the Student Blogging Challenge.

The ten week challenge runs twice a year beginning in March and October.

Victorian teacher and global2 blogger, Kathleen Morris is running the next Student Blogging Challenge. It begins on October 7 and wraps up before the Christmas break in mid December.

Each week, there will be a new post published with some materials to learn about blogging e.g. writing posts, commenting, using images etc. There will then be a choice of tasks that students or classes can complete to develop their skills while connecting with other blogging classes worldwide.

If you’re interested in taking part in the Student Blogging Challenge, head over to https://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/ and subscribe for email updates. Registrations will be open during the first week of September. Participants can register as a class or as an individual student. There’s also the option for teachers to volunteer as a commenter throughout the challenge. This can also be a good way to learn about blogging.

Participants can complete as many of the tasks as they like and in any order.

If you’re looking for other opportunities to get started with Global2, the team at Edublogs and CampusPress invite all DET teachers to take a look at the following self-paced courses which have just been updated.

For Teachers https://teacherchallenge.edublogs.org

  • Blogging With Students — This course guides you through the process of setting up a class blog
  • Personal Blogging — Learn how to set up a personal/professional educator blog
  • Building Your PLN — Become a connected educator using a range of different tools

For Students https://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/

  • Student Blogging Bootcamp — This self paced course guides students through the process of setting up and using their blog. You could assign this to your students prior to starting the Student Blogging Challenge if you like.

If you have any questions about global2, the Student Blogging Challenge or the Teacher Challenge courses, contact global2@edublogs.org

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July 16, 2018
by Jillian Brown
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Exploring the Unknown: Victoria’s Nova Rover Team Competes at 2018 University Rover Challenge

After competing in the prestigious University Rover Challenge, Thomas Shiels, Operations Team Lead for Victoria’s Nova Rover Team, reflects proudly on the team’s journey and successes.

“Nova Rover Team is the first Australian Team to compete at the annual University Rover Challenge (URC). The URC is a competition where top university students from around the world compete to engineer an original rover for use on the surface of Mars. The URC competition is held at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah and is considered one of the most challenging robot competitions in the world due to the harsh terrain, the difficulty of the tasks, and the logistics of transporting equipment there. As a first-year team, we were delighted that our work and sacrifice placed us 14th out of the 96 teams who applied.

The team was founded in 2017 after a group of six of us got together and decided that there were no outlets for students interested in space technology or Mars rovers. We made a detailed proposal to the Monash University Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and were entrusted with funds and a workspace. We expanded our team to fifteen talented and ambitious students and many students reduced their course load or deferred their studies in order to give their all to the team. In order to make up for our relative lack of experience in building rovers, we decided to construct two rovers. Our first rover was shown off during Monash University Open Day 2017 and provided a way to test our suspension, motors, steering and control systems. After learning much from this prototype rover, we constructed our final competition rover which we designed to be easier to transport and more robust.

It was incredibly exciting to arrive at the Mars Desert Research Station and have our rover drive. A Mars rover is a rather complex robotic system, which can make it quite volatile in terms of issues and debugging. Fixing a problem usually isn’t too hard, but finding the problem is a real challenge when the device has so many layers of hardware, electronics and software to peel back. We learned that the key to building robust systems is to prototype, test, assess and redesign. We also learned that it is important to not only design for functionality, but to also design for convenient debugging and testing. It was this philosophy, and the willingness of team members to stay up late fixing problems, that allowed our rover to perform on the competition days.

With the recent founding of an Australian Space Agency, which seeks to forge partnerships with industry, we feel there is no better time to follow your passion for space and robotic technologies. Our position at Monash University has been solidified by our successes in Utah and we wish to include more students in our project going forward. We hope that Nova Rover Team continues at Monash University for many years and can provide the outlet for students with an interest in space and robotics to innovate and build their ideas. During the second half of 2018, we are planning to take our rover to schools and events and allowing students to control our rover using virtual reality. If you wish to get in contact with us about an outreach opportunity, please email novaroverteam@gmail.com.

Our successes would not have been possible without the financial support and faith of Monash University’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Science and Boeing Australia.”

 

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July 13, 2018
by rcrellin
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Waste away – the future of garbage

Free panel discussion

Waste away – the future of garbage

The EPA’s third annual National Science Week panel event topic for this year is Waste away – the future of garbage.

Waste has been a hot topic for Australia and Victoria over the last 18 months. Public debate has surrounded:

  • how we can reduce our waste at home
  • how business can assist in reducing waste, which has led to a plastic bag ban in Victoria and many bars banning plastic straws
  • waste stockpiling in Victoria
  • China’s ban on recycling imports
  • how we can repurpose waste, such as using waste to make other products, like road base, or using waste to produce energy.

This year they have gathered a panel of experts to discuss the future of Victoria’s and Australia’s waste. Is it truly waste or is it a wasted resource? Can science help us improve our waste reduction and management?

The panel discussion will be directed by questions posed by the audience, both in person and through the web-stream.

The panel includes:

  • Ms Ruby Chan, Inventor of ‘Moducware’
  • Mr Mark Glover, Director and CEO of Renewable Carbon
  • Mr Barry Sullivan, Business Development Manager, Renewables Downer Utilities Australia
  • Dr Trevor Thornton, Lecturer, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University.

Register now to join this public debate either in the live audience at the Melbourne Museum or by web-stream!

 

Thursday 16 August 2018


12:00 PM to 2:00 PM


Melbourne Museum
11 Nicholson Street
Carlton Vic 3053
View the map.


RSVP:
attend in person
OR
join event online (web-stream)

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July 6, 2018
by rcrellin
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Using Google Apps in your classroom

Schools can provide students and staff with access to Google Apps for Education online services at no cost through the Department. Professional learning sessions for Term 3 have been announced to help you get the most out of the software.

‘Getting Started’ Workshops

A full day workshop is available to support school leaders and teachers just starting out, as well as those who have been driving their own learning with G Suite. Participants are introduced to the key apps in the suite, presenting a school focused approach in their use for administration, learning and teaching. The workshop will provide tips and tricks, while discussing a holistic set up for different learning environments and settings.

Sessions dates and locations

  • 8 August – Castlemaine
  • 15 August – Flemington
  • 23 August – Corio
  • 18 September – Flemington

 

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June 19, 2018
by rcrellin
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Kids Conference 2018

This years Kids Conferece will be held 20th November 2018 at Australian Catholic University.

Do you think your kids would like to present?

The Kids’ Conference 2018 Workshop to be held on Tuesday 28th August hosted by The Royal Society of Victoria with Cultural Infusion.

This workshop aims to provide prospective facilitators and student presenters with an opportunity to bring History, Science Geography or English project ideas and develop them in preparation for the Kids’ Conference on 20th November 2018 at Australian Catholic University.

Please note places are strictly limited. Up to 5 students and 2 teachers per school can participate in the workshop program.

There will also be a dedicated session for teachers to support their facilitation role as a PD component of the workshop.  Please find attached a Guide, Flyers and please follow this link for further information: http://www.acu.edu.au/about_acu/faculties,_institutes_and_centres/education_and_arts/kids_conference

Registrations for this workshop open on 25th June and close on 7th August 2018.   You can register up to two staff and your nominated students (5) for the Workshop.

If you are unable to attend this workshop, but would like further information about the Kids’ Conference initiative, please feel free to contact Stephen Spain Convenor: stephenspain@acu.edu.au

 

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June 15, 2018
by rcrellin
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Mars2020

Our Guest blogger is Mark Gleeson from the Victorian Space Science Education Centre

Attention all potential interplanetary travellers!

Meet Adrian Brown. He’s the Deputy Program Scientist for Mars 2020, and his fields of research include astrobiology and remote sensing spectroscopy. He’s also an expert on Mars.

For one hour he will transport you to the Red Planet, and you will have the chance to fill the shoes of a Mission Controller from NASA.

Adrian completed his PhD studies at the Australian Centre for Astrobiology. If you are interested in his PhD research on hyperspectral mapping of ancient hydrothermal systems in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, you will find the web site, and many linked resources, here.

Session Details

Mars2020 – A behind the Scenes Look at the first aircraft carrier to Mars

Tuesday 10 July, 7:00 – 8:00pm

VIctorian Space Science Centre

400 Pascoe Vale Road

Strathmore

Find out more and register

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June 14, 2018
by rcrellin
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MSEdumeet

Prepare for an amazing day of learning, inspiration and play.

Microsoft Australia will be holding our brand new series of Educational Meets aka “MSEduMeets” across the country this year, aiming to accommodate a fantastic day of fun while learning, inspiring and playing with like-minded educators.

WHEN: Tuesday, 10 July, 2018 | 09:00 AM – 03:00 PM

WHERE: National Gallery of Victoria

First up, join one of the Learn sessions, run by teachers, for teachers, that will explore Microsoft technologies such as Minecraft, OneNote, Windows, Office 365, Teams for Education, STEM, and/or Skype in the Classroom. During this session you will explore a range of strategies, ideas and tools.

Then prepare for the Ignite sessions where teachers will showcase (in no more than 7 minutes) the amazing work they are doing in their classrooms and schools with Microsoft technologies. You will then have the opportunity to speak to at least one of those teachers during round-table Q&As.

We wrap it all up in the Play session where you will have a series of challenges to complete. There will be something for everyone from surviving the night in Minecraft to inventing with Micro:bit to 3D modelling, plus much more!

Find out more and register at: https://aka.ms/msedumeets

 

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June 12, 2018
by rcrellin
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Bringing the best children’s television into your classroom

Victorian DET teachers and students have access to some of the best Australian-made children’s television and curriculum resources developed by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation in the FUSE portal.

Make the most of the content by attending free professional learning at the fantastically creative offices of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation in Fitzroy.

Primary Teachers – download flyer

Secondary Teachersdownload flyer

 

 

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May 24, 2018
by rcrellin
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Meeting Additional Learning Needs in Your Classroom Using Technology

Windows 10 offers a range of functions to help students independently manage their own learning including:

  • Ability to edit text directly from a photograph or pdf.
  • Take photos of a whiteboard or other object to save as a word doc and edit.
  • An immersive reader that allow students to alter text to make it larger, change the background and spacing, identify nouns, verbs and adjectives.
  • Text to speech function in a range of languages, including an option for an Australian accent.
  • Easy to use speech to text function.
  • Scaled back internet browser (Edge) that removes distractions and allows students to annotate on the screen.
  • An increased range of options through Microsoft editor.

Microsoft are running a free professional learning session on 28 June for teachers to get hands on with some of these tools. At this session teachers will:

  • see how Windows 10 and Office 365 can transform their students’ educational experience and personalise learning
  • experience Learning Tools watch it improve reading comprehension
  • learn how students can demonstrate their understanding using inputs other than keyboarding and text and be equipped with productivity and collaborative tools, and skills they will use throughout their lives
  • navigate these tools and tailor them to their students’ individual learning needs.
“As a teacher, I am constantly on the hunt for technology and tools that give students with additional learning needs an environment that is personalised, differentiated and yet as close to their peers’ experience as possible… With Windows 10 and Office 365, I have been able to find and use many of the accommodations that I have been looking for making consumption of materials, content creation, collaboration and organisation possible for students using the same technology and tools as their peers.” – Robin Lowell, Special Education, Science and Mathematics teacher.

Further Reading

Register for the free professional learning session.

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May 22, 2018
by rcrellin
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Regional STEM Education Conference 2018

 

The fourth annual Regional STEM Conference will be held in Wodonga on Monday June 25.

Early bird registrations now open

Register by the end of May to secure the early bird registration price of $50 inc GST

Presenters include:

  • Maria James, Curriculum Manager – Science, VCAA
  • Michelle Rayner, The Patch Primary School
  • Jackie Bondell, OzGrav
  • Jenny Ashby, Department of Education
  • Pauline Rogers, Essential Assessment
  • Dr Seamus Delaney, School of Education, Deakin University

Primary focused sessions include:

  • Rocketing into numbers and words
  • Level up story telling across the curriculum
  • Essential Assessment masterclass
  • STEM in the outdoors
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Approaches to Integrated STEM – Mission to Mars
  • STEM learning through robotics and CAD

Secondary focused sessions include:

  • Introduction to the Wolfram Suite for STEM
  • Implementing the revised VCAL Numeracy curriculum
  • Taking it to the field – collecting primary GIS data in a digital age
  • The language of science: do you have the energy?
  • Developing scientific literacy – turning science articles into assessment tasks
  • The logbook & scientific poster in VCE sciences
  • Immersive science: using virtual reality and interactive apps to introduce space science

A more detailed preview is on the website with the full program to follow.

There are still some spaces in the program for sessions. If you would like to offer a session, or know someone else that might, please get in touch by reply email as soon as possible.

Other upcoming events

  • North East Region Design & Technologies Group Meet Up, May 31, 4pm
  • GIS for Schools, June 13, 2018 8:30am

More information is available via our website.

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