May 28, 2015
by Jillian Brown
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Concluding Education Week 2015 and Using Scratch in your Classroom

thanks to Penny Rowe from the Digital Learning Branch for this week’s blog post

The Great Victorian Coding Challenge, hosted by DET last week was a huge success, with 132 schools across the state registering. Congratulations to our three winning schools, Watsonia PS, St Kilda Park PS, and Mitcham PS who were the lucky ones to be randomly drawn for the prize, a specialised visit to Quantam Victoria.  All students demonstrated impressive skills using the coding software Scratch, available through EduSTAR.

Three different coding challenges inspired teachers and students to engage in the challenge, with webinars offered in preceding weeks to support teachers and students to confidently get involved.  The coding challenges targeted different age groups, and included creating a character to draw different shapes, animating a character to explore a maths concept, and creating a game to explore a maths concept. All competition entries can be viewed here:

Screenshot. (48) Success comes in many shapes and sizes, and the challenge saw students not only develop coding skills, but also collaborate amongst themselves and between schools, engage in problem solving, and applying critical thinking to their tasks. DET Digital Learning received a range of positive feedback from teachers and students, excited about the challenge, painting a picture of students engaged in their learning across the state.  One teacher reported that

“…the grade has had so much fun working with Scratch – this is our first time ever… I am really proud of all of them (entries).  The grade wants to continue with making monthly challenges for each other on Scratch so I think we have only ‘scratched’ the surface!”. 

Another teacher reported

“We only started using Scratch at the beginning of the term but the students are very excited and motivated to use it. We had the first few weeks using the Scratch cards so they could learn how to do some basic things but, since I’ve let them work in groups to create their entry project, the excitement has increased amazingly. All I hear when I walk around is “I wonder if we did this…” or “How do I do this….and they often go back to the cards for help or break down their problem into smaller parts. Many groups are madly coding…”.

If you missed out on this year’s challenge, and haven’t used Scratch, it is worth taking a look at the Scratch site. More and more schools are discovering the benefits of using it as a learning tool. Scratch enables learners to create stories, games, and animations, and share their projects globally through its online community. One of the greatest benefits of Scratch is that it can be used to meet learning needs of all stages of learning…and it’s free. Scratch-2-editlarge
Here are some links to the resources provided to schools to support them with the challenge, they may be helpful with getting started with Scratch:
Help resources for teachers and students:

Support webinars were hosted both with teachers and students.  They were recorded and for later viewing.  They can be accessed by using the links below:

The PowerPoint presentation from the webinars can be accessed here. Use them to discuss the challenge with your students or to find out helpful information about the challenge. The success of the Coding Challenge and Education Week has been well received within the Digital Learning Branch, but probably the greatest triumph has been that so many more of our students across Victorian schools have been exposed to the joys of coding.

The success of the Coding Challenge and Education Week has been well received, but probably the greatest triumph has been that so many more of our students across Victorian schools have been exposed to the joys of coding.

May 14, 2015
by Jillian Brown
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Opportunity to build collections of resources to support teaching and learning in Victoria

Contributions are being sought from teachers across Victoria to create engaging and useful resource packages aligned to AusVELS for FUSE  https://fuse.education.vic.gov.au/

FUSE_primaryResource packages can be developed to support all learning areas, and should also support the use of digital learning.  Resources can be developed for teachers or students or both.

CRT costs will be available to pay for time.

If you are interested in contributing to build our bank of resources, please email digital.learning@edumail.vic.gov.au by Wed 27th May, 2015.

Templates and guidelines will be made available to contributors.

May 11, 2015
by Jillian Brown
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Professional Learning for Teachers and School Leaders – Digital Technologies and Resources

DET Digital Learning Branch has announced a series of Professional Learning sessions for School Leaders and classroom teachers, to be delivered in Term 2.

There will be two different sessions focusing on Digital Technologies and Resources: one hour ‘taster’ sessions for School Leaders and three hour ‘digging deeper’ sessions for classroom teachers.

The one hour sessions will provide a taster for School Leaders (including ICT leaders, Leading Teachers & Principal class) through exploring digital content, blogging, and tools for connecting and collaborating through FUSE, Global2, DigiPubs, and virtual conferencing to support student learning.

PL_jbTuesday 28th May, 4:00pm – 5:00pm, Mt Erin Secondary College, Frankston

Tuesday 2nd June, 4:00pm – 5:00pm, Laburnum Primary School, Blackburn

Tuesday 9th June, 4:00pm – 5:00pm, Bimbadeen Heights PS, Mooroolbark

Bring? BYO laptop or tablet

Cost? No cost

Register http://tinyurl.com/npcgu6u

 

The three hour sessions for classroom teachers dig deeper, harnessing blogging, digital content in FUSE, interactive web 2.0 tools, coding and programming and more to support student learning.

Thursday 4th June, 2:00pm – 5:00pm, Knox Park Primary School

Tuesday 9th June, 2:00pm – 5:00pm, CASES Training Centre, Dandenong

Bring? BYO laptop or tablet

Cost? No cost

Register: http://tinyurl.com/qzx6w2q

 

May 7, 2015
by Jillian Brown
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New times for ‘Students Making Good Choices & Great Online Communication’ webinars

New times have been announced for the two web conferences on ‘Students Making Good Choices & Great Online Communication’. These web conferences are targeted at Years 4, 5 and 6 students. They will be hosted by the Department of Education and Training (DET) and presented by the Cybersmart Outreach team. These sessions are available for all schools. Schools may choose to attend either or both sessions.

Session A – Making good choices online Thurs 28 May, 9:30am – 10:10am

Session B – Great Online Communication  Weds 10 June, 9:30am – 10:10am

To read more about these web conferences, visit http://diglearning.global2.vic.edu.au/2015/05/01/students-making-good-choices-great-online-communication-webinars/

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May 5, 2015
by Jillian Brown
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ICT Planning for School Leaders – dates for NEW workshops announced!

ICT

Digital Learning Branch and the Information Technology Division have announced NEW dates for the ICT Planning workshops. These full-day workshops walk school leadership teams through the process of developing a long-term school ICT plan that:

  • addresses the Learning and Teaching goals of the school
  • develops a sustainable ICT plan that meets the needs of the school community
  • ensures a coherent team approach to ICT planning involving school leaders, ICT Coordinators, curriculum coordinators and technical support staff.

ICT Planning Tool

The basis of the day involves stepping participants through the DET Online ICT Planning Tool that enables the school to produce a customised ICT Plan that brings together SIPS data, the school learning and teaching goals and budgetary considerations.

Principals, Learning Technologies Coordinators and Specialist technicians can access the tool using the link: http://www.edustar.vic.edu.au/sips/ (Department credentials required to login)

Benefits of attending an ICT Planning Workshop?

View the short video below where school leaders who attended ICT Planning Workshops last year talk about the benefits of the workshop day and the online ICT Planning Tool: http://fuse.education.vic.gov.au/?XH7FW9

Who Should Attend?

This is a workshop for school leaders. It may involve ICT or Curriculum Coordinators or classroom teachers involved in their schools ICT planning. Whilst a school technician may accompany a school leader, the school technician should not attend as their schools only representative.

Term Two ICT Planning Workshops

26th May, 9.30am – 4.00pm
NEVR – Eastern Ranges School (Ferntree Gully)
Workshop Registration Link: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/may-26th-ict-planning-workshop-eastern-ranges-school-plc-tickets-16812134547

29th May,  9.30am – 4.00pm
SEVR – Moe Regional Office
Workshop Registration Link: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/may-29th-ict-planning-workshop-sevr-moe-office-tickets-16797564969

3rd June, 9.30am – 4.00pm
SWVR – Bainbridge College (Hamilton)
Workshop Registration Link: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/june-3rd-ict-planning-workshop-bainbridge-college-hamilton-tickets-16812355207

11th June, 9.30am – 4.00pm
NWVR – Weeroona College (Bendigo)
Workshop Registration Link: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/june-11th-ict-planning-workshop-nwvr-weeroona-college-bendigo-tickets-16812398336

NOTE: All Workshop Registration links can also be found at: http://fuse.education.vic.gov.au/?5N5WL5

 For Further Information Contact:

Peter Maggs, Senior Project Officer
DET – Digital Learning Branch
maggs.peter.j@edumail.vic.gov.au

May 1, 2015
by Jillian Brown
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Students Making Good Choices & Great Online Communication Webinars

To register for one or both of these sessions go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/detonlinesafety

We invite you and your students to attend two web conferences targeted at Years 4, 5 and 6 students. Each will be hosted by the Department of Education and Training (DET) and presented by the Cybersmart Outreach team. These sessions are available for all Schools. Schools may choose to attend either or both sessions.

Session A – Making good choices online Thurs 28 May, 9:30am – 10:10am (Teachers can login at 8am) The presentation will assist students to: * help students think before spreading content that may upset others * include scenarios where students consider the best choice of action * introduce the TEC – Think, Evaluate, Choose tool to achieve the best outcome for everyone  * encourage students to discuss choices with a trusted adult With the help of classroom teachers, the presentation will feature polling and interactive questions. Students will also be able to use back channelling technology to share ideas and opinions on their own devices Session B – Great Online Communication  Weds 10 June, 9:30am – 10:10am (Teachers can set up at 8am) The presentation will assist students to: * Understand why online messages can be easily misunderstood * Recognise that messages can be hurtful even when this may not be the intent * Understand that non-verbal behaviours help us receive messages more than volume, pitch or words * Consider when teasing crosses the line and becomes harmful and hurtful  * Identify appropriate responses to someone communicating inappropriately Please note that the class teacher is required to organise 2 student volunteers prior to the presentation.  During the Virtual Classroom, the trainer will instruct the students to speak to their class (only) for 30 seconds about their best holiday. With the help of classroom teachers, the presentation will feature interactive questions and discussions.

To get ready for the session go to the Game On resources http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/Kids/Watch%20Videos/gameon.aspx CaptureInformation of how to access the event via Blackboard Collaborate, including the link will be emailed to teachers at the email address they include in their registration.  We will run a drop in session for teachers, the night before the event 3:30 – 5pm to test their technology set up. Victorian Government teachers wanting support with any of their web conferencing tools including Blackboard Collaborate, Polycom, Lync and or Skype are encouraged to contact the DET Web conferencing coaches Gallagher.Ben.J@edumail.vic.gov.au

mirtschin.anne.a@edumail.vic.gov.au

walsh.sally.j@edumail.vic.gov.au

**For teachers or parents wondering about the age of their student and the relevance of sexting in these sessions I refer you to the research contained within the Victorian Law Reform’s Inquiry into sexting (Page 30) featuring data on children as young as 12.  http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/committees/lawrefrom/isexting/LRC_Sexting_Final_Report.pdf To register for one or both of these sessions go to   https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/detonlinesafety

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