Digital Learning News

February 20, 2017
by rcrellin
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Support for the Digital Technologies Curriclum

The Victorian Curriculum F-10 has been designed to provide practical opportunities for students to explore the capacity of information systems to systematically and innovatively transform data into digital solutions, through the application of:

  • Systems thinking – the relationship between people, digital devices and society when developing solutions.
  • Design thinking – designs that are intuitive to users of all ages and abilities.
  • Computational thinking – the precise steps and decisions that need to be made to code a solution

Where to start

  • The Digital Technologies DigiPub provides advice about the curriculum, making links to current practice and getting to know the terminology.

Curriculum Resources

Professional Learning and events

About the Digital Technologies Curriclum

The Digital Technologies curriculum is part of the new Victorian Curriculum. The Foundation to Level 10 curriculum provides a single, coherent and comprehensive set of prescribed content and achievement standards. All government and Catholic schools are required to implement and report on the Digital Technologies curriculum from 2017.

The new curriculum area should not be confused with integrating the use of ICT across all curriculum areas.

ICT across the curriculum is about students developing digital skills and knowledge to investigate, create and collaborate across all curriculum areas. They also learn safe and responsible use in managing and operating ICT.

Digital Technologies is a specific curriculum that focuses on students thought processes in order to unravel problems, and then design and generate digital solutions.

Students will learn how computers work and how to create digital solutions for real-world problems and challenges with computational thinking, which uses systematic solutions to solve problems, part of this is developing a working knowledge of coding.

Download the fact sheet for more information.

February 16, 2017
by rcrellin
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Discover Office 365 in the Classroom

Discover Office 365 in the Classroom

  • Learn about Office 365 for schools and uncover how it works on any device
  • Explore the possibilities for teacher and student collaboration & productivity
  • Explore the power of OneNote for learning Discover how to get started at you school

Through this hands on workshop, attendees will be immersed in the DET Office 365 platform and accessing their OneDrive to experience real time collaboration with Word, PowerPoint & Excel. A focus on the ultimate collaborative digital notebook, OneNote, for students and how to create Class Notebooks. You will explore the new Learning Tools feature in Office designed to support learning with reading and comprehension, discover formative assessment tools such as quizzes and surveys with Microsoft Forms and how to easily get started with Flipping & Blending your classroom with Sway and Office Mix.

What to bring: A fully charged laptop, TO Number & EduMail Password.

All sessions run from 9:30 – 3:30

6 March – Microsoft Office, South Bank 

14 March – Silverton Primary School 

23 March – Mansfield Secondary College

28 April – Frankston High School

15 May – Microsoft Office, South Bank

22 May – Geelong (venue TBC)

 

February 1, 2017
by rcrellin
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Wolfram Professional Learning

We have a sessions to suit everyone:
1. Face-to-face sessions with Craig Bauling in March
2. Virtual Programme with John Monash Science School starting next week.

Face-to-face Wolfram Hands-On Start Mentor Training

Victorian teachers are invited to exclusive professional development seminars delivered by Wolfram educators to support the use of these tools in the classroom. Numbers for each session are limited so get in early.

This hands-on course will provide teachers who are new to the Wolfram Language the basics for using the Wolfram tool suite within their classrooms. At the completion of this seminar attendees will be recognised as skilled Wolfram technology users. This training is suitable for teachers in all STEM areas.

  • Wednesday 1 March – John Monash Science School, Clayton
  • Thursday 2 March – Kensington Town Hall
  • Friday 3 March –  La Trobe University, Bendigo

Wolfram Mathematica Virtual Training Program

Series 1 – Mathematica Skills PD These sessions will give participants the skills required to tackle all required Mathematics for VCE Mathematical Methods Units 1-4. You will be shown how to use the software to answer exam-style questions, how to introduce Mathematica to beginning students, and how to create worksheets in Mathematica for your students to use.
Free for Victorian Government teachers and $280 for Non-Governmnet teachers.
This course will be repeated in Term 2.

Term 1 – Tuesdays & Thursdays over 4 weeks Start Time – 3:40pm – 4:40pm Mode – Online

Term 2 – Every Thursday over 7 weeks Repeat session in Term 2 beginning on Thursday 20th April (Technical Orientation) with the first PD Session on Basics commencing on Thursday 27th of April, concluding on Thursday 1st of June. These will be 1 hour sessions each week commencing at 3:40pm.

 

Series 2 – Wolfram Mathematica PD Pedagogy

This set of four lessons are designed to demonstrate how CAS (Mathematica) can be used to introduce and explore complex mathematical ideas. Activities will be designed in such a way that will encourage student-centred learning. Sample activities and corresponding Mathematica files will be demonstrated. Participants will write and share their own resources as part the course.

Term 2 – Every second Tuesday over 7 weeks Start Time – 3:40pm – 4:40pm

Mode – Online

 

January 4, 2017
by rcrellin
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SOLO Taxonomy Sessions

SOLO Taxonomy

The SOLO Taxomomy (Biggs & Collis 1982) has provided a valuable vehicle to identify and support deep learning opportunities in many NPDL schools. It has shown the relationship between surface and deep learning and the importance of scaffolding learning for both.

This workshop aims to provide schools with further tools, ideas and practical strategies to help teachers plan and implement the SOLO taxonomy in their classrooms.

Pam Hook is one of the leading advocates for the SOLO taxonomy and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to share.

To find out more and register:

 

 

December 15, 2016
by rcrellin
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Hilltop Hoods’ Interactive Music Video

The Hilltop Hoods have teamed up with Google to make a powerful interactive video for their song Through the Dark, written about a father supporting his son through Leukemia.

The video is made entirely of code and allows users to tilt and rotate their phones to navigate through the “dark” (fear) and “light” (hope) worlds. Users can also interact with the video on a desk top through a trackpad or mouse.

“Using 3D cameras mapped to the phone’s accelerometer, the film uses mobile technology combined with 3D modelling and animation to capture the sense of a world turned upside down”

 

November 16, 2016
by rcrellin
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The Kids’ Conference Offers Students an Opportunity for Digital Innovation

Our guest blogger is Dr Jo Clyne, History Teachers’ Association of Victoria

The Kids’ Conference was founded in 2011 by Stephen Spain from the Australian Catholic University and Dr Jo Clyne from the History Teachers’ Association of Victoria. It is sponsored by the Australian Catholic University and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Kids conference Carrum PS

In the past, digital technology has been very much the domain of information technology and science teachers. In these classes, students were provided with opportunities to build robots, assemble Dick Smith electronic kits and play Space Invaders. If history teachers felt a bit jealous, they could always be comforted by a resource cupboard full of pottery shards, diorama-making materials and colourful posters of historical figures spouting inspiring quotes.*

Advances in technology have completely reconfigured the educational landscape and the nature of subject-based learning. The integration of digital technology is now the responsibility of all teachers. As a consequence many history teachers struggle to envisage how they can develop the same ease with technology as their scientific colleagues.

In creating the Kids’ Conference, our overarching objective was to provide an opportunity and the inspiration for history teachers and students who wanted to use digital technology more meaningfully in their classes. As seasoned conference delegates and presenters, we knew the value of learning through the sharing of ideas and projects. As a child, I viewed conferences as Very Important Adult Business – but do they need to be?

The premise of the conference was to hold a forum where school students of all ages could present a finished project about history using innovative technology that could be shared beyond the safety of the classroom. The project had to be innovative and about history – and it had to be good.

In the first year we assembled eight primary and secondary students who presented their projects in a two-hour block to a small audience of teachers, pre-service teachers, staff from cultural organisations and academic staff from a cluster of Victorian universities. Six years on, the program is now conducted over a full day with primary students in the morning and secondary students in the afternoon.

How do we define ‘innovative technology’?

After the first year, we realised that teachers and students around Victoria had very different ideas about the concept of ‘digital innovation’. We have since placed a very strict ban on PowerPoint as an ‘innovative technology’. It was mind-blowing in 2004, but in 2016 we can do better

The Kids’ Conference provides students and teachers with a forum to showcase innovative projects, including those involving game coding, app development, Minecraft, augmented reality and the use of techniques and applications such as green screening, Puppet Pals, Book Creator and stop motion.

A favourite conference moment was when a senior student demonstrated the notetaking app he had developed to help his class study for a VCE history exam, and teachers began to immediately download it onto their phones. A winning scenario for the historically-minded student entrepreneur.

What could go wrong?

Organising conferences with student presenters can sometimes be a challenge. What if they get stage fright? What if they cry? What if their digital project doesn’t load properly? Will the students travelling from regional areas get to the conference venue on time? What if presenters are subjected to non-constructive criticism from the audience? Is it fair to ask students to stand up in front of an audience – a concept many adults struggle with?

Stephen and I were both justifiably nervous when our youngest presenter, all of seven years old, stepped up to the lectern. However, our fears were unfounded – she sailed through her content with the confidence of a professor emeritus. Indeed, I still show her presentation at teacher professional development training.

Do participants enjoy it?

Our conference evaluation forms from that first year were extremely simple – they included three thought bubbles or ‘sound bites’ and a question: ‘What did you think of the Kids’ Conference?’. However, the response from both students and audience members provided the sort of positive feedback required to know that we were on the right track.

‘I’ve never been more excited to use technology in the history classroom. See you next year!’

‘An inspiring student-led experience…not to miss!’

‘As a pre-service teacher this is the perfect day to demonstrate creativity and best practice in the history classroom.’

‘Very informative regarding what technology students are finding most beneficial to their learning.’

‘Hearing from both primary and secondary students was priceless. It’s great to see growth through the age groups.’

‘Who are these students? Where do they come from? They are the world’s future leaders and they come from our classrooms. Very impressive students.’

‘So great to hear kids excited about history.’

‘Made me think creatively about setting assignments and assessment tasks.’

‘Can’t wait to bring some of these ideas to my own classroom!’

‘A great experience for teachers and students to share learning.’

‘Learning first hand from other students was inspirational.’

‘Positive reinforcement of teachers as well as students.’

‘Audience was really engaging and supportive.’

Six years later and the evaluation form is still exactly the same. We’ve continued to use the format for other combined student/adult events. We’re also yet to receive a single negative comment about the conference. It seems to bring out the best in both presenters and the audience.

Is it worth it?

Some of the highlights for me have been a student presenter who shared details of her learning disability with the audience as a preamble to showcasing her project. Because her disability made it difficult for her to write fluently, making a film allowed her to express her ideas. Her point was that technology had allowed her to excel in history, where in the analogue classroom she might have been dismissed as ‘not good at history.’

Each year we have students with disabilities – such as those with Asperger’s syndrome, a condition that can affect their learning and communication – participating in the conference. These students find their voice through technology and the conference empowers them, along with students from our gifted and talented program who appreciate the opportunity to spread their wings. ESL students have also featured heavily in our program.

Full disclosure: the Kids’ Conference is messy and unpredictable to organise. But every year after the last student speaker has finished and received their framed certificate we think ‘yes, this is worth it’ and start planning for the next year.

Click here to register if you would like to attend the 2016 Kids’ Conference. Students and pre-service teachers can attend for free, but they still need to register online.

*I actually really love pottery shards, diorama and historical posters.

Dr Jo Clyne
Manager of Education and Consultancy
History Teachers’ Association of Victoria
Twitter @joclyne1
joclyne@htav.asn.au

November 11, 2016
by rcrellin
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Quick, How Might the Alien Spacecraft Work?

This is a great blog post from Dr Stephen Wolfram about his experience working with film makers on the set of the movie Arrival.  The script involves communicating with aliens in binary, analysing alien handwriting and using physics formulas to understand an interstellar spacecraft.

The interesting aspect of the article is how they worked through the issues as they would in real life using current tools such as Mathematica. A great resource for Digital Technologies.

 

GeoGraphics[{Thickness[0.001], {Red, GeoPath /@ (List @@@ EdgeList[NearestNeighborGraph[landingSites, 3]])}, Table[GeoDisk[#, Quantity[n, "Miles"]] & /@ landingSites, {n, 0, 1000, 250}], Red, GeoStyling[Opacity[1]], GeoDisk[#, Quantity[50, "Miles"]] & /@ landingSites}, GeoRange -> "World", GeoProjection -> "WagnerII", GeoZoomLevel -> 3]Establishing Communication

Read the full blog post here.

To find out more about Mathematica see http://www.digipubs.vic.edu.au/pubs/wolfram/home

November 4, 2016
by rcrellin
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Wolfram Professional Learning

Victorian teachers are invited to exclusive professional development seminars delivered by Wolfram educators to support the use of these tools in the classroom. Numbers for each session are limited so get in early. mathematica-11-spikey

 Wolfram Hands-On Training

This is an exciting opportunity to learn directly from Wolfram staff and ask questions about using Wolfram tools with students to support computation and coding instruction in the classroom.

  • 22 November – Geelong Grammar, 10am-4pm
  • 24 November – Nagle College Bairnsdale, 10am-4pm
  • Further sessions will be offered in March 2017 – details TBA

Register at: http://www.wolfram.com/training/special-event/hands-on-start-to-mathematica-victoria-mentors/

SystemModeler

Jan Brugard from Wolfram Research will be hosting this session with an aim to create Victorian mentors.

  • 28 November – Kensington Town Hall

Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/wolfram-systemmodeler-tickets-28776521350

Download the wolfram-professional-learning-nov16 flyer to find out more

Download the Wolfram Software

October 27, 2016
by rcrellin
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History and Digital Technologies supporting great student learning

History and digital technologies come together with these fantastic programs run by History Teachers Association of Victoria 151124_kc_princeshill_ps

Kids’ Conference

The Kids’ Conference is coordinated by the Australian Catholic University and the History Teachers’ Association of Victoria. It provides a platform for tech savvy primary and secondary school students to showcase their History and Geography digital projects to a diverse audience of educators and peers.

  • Tuesday 29 November 2016
  • Australian Catholic University, Fitzroy Campus

Click here to book or view further conference details. School students and pre-service teachers attend free, but must still reserve a place through the website.

COMPETITIONS

National History Challenge

The National History Challenge is a research-based competition for students. It gives students a chance to be an historian, researching world history, examining Australia’s past, investigating their community or exploring their own roots. It emphasises and rewards quality research, the use of community resources and effective presentation. Students can develop their research using a range of digital presentation styles including website building, podcasts, app development, film making, Minecraft, virtual reality or using a range of functional apps. The competition is free to enter and open to students in prep to year 12. Click here to find out more.

The Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize

Do your students fancy a free overseas trip to places of significance where Australian soldiers have fought? Students have the option to develop a response using a range of digital or multimedia presentation styles and could find themselves winning the trip of a lifetime! The Spirit of Anzac Prize is a free competition open to year 9/10 students in Victorian schools. Click here to find out more.

Thanks Dr Jo Clyne for providing this information. htav-logo

October 6, 2016
by rcrellin
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Wolfram software available now

mathematica-11-spikeyAll Victorian secondary schools are now able to access the Wolfram software suite, thanks to a three-year agreement made with the Department.

The Wolfram suite of products includes powerful learning tools across science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and is internationally recognised as the global industry standard for engineers, economists, scientists and mathematicians. The suite has four unique applications in the areas of computation, problem modelling, coding and more:

  • Mathematica: Computation software with a broad range of functionality including graphical, geometric, numerical, symbolic, financial and statistical computations.
  • SystemModeler: A complete physical modelling and simulation tool to explore system behaviour across multiple domains.
  • Alpha Pro: A powerful tool for finding answers through dynamic computations on built-in data, algorithms and methods.
  • Programming Lab: An environment to learn programming language and modern computational thinking.

The licence arrangement covers all school and personal devices for all secondary school teachers and students. Each product can be downloaded individually on student and teacher devices using a vic.edu.au or education.vic.gov.au email.   Find out more and get your licence here or go to the eduSTAR software catalogue and search for Wolfram.

Limited professional learning places are available for Secondary Science and Mathematics teachers on Friday 14 October in Carlton.

system-modellerprogramming-labwolfram-alphamathematica-11-spikey

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