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

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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

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January 27, 2016
by Sandy Phillips
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Join the first STEM Brainstorming Day

Join the Design and Technology Teachers’ Association (DATTA) Vic for their first STEM Brainstorming Day.  They invite primary & secondary educators to  explore technologies as a key area for the delivery of STEM learning & teaching in Victoria.  On the day participants will;

  • Investigate STEM initiatives, both at home and around the world
  • Explore successful ACARA-funded STEM projects from local schools
  • Hear from maths & science teachers’ perspectives
  • Brainstorm possible STEM projects for your own school
  • Write up and benchmark  projects against the Technologies, Mathematics and Science curricula 

When:

9.30am – 3.00pm

Friday 15th April

Where:

150 Palmerston Street, Carlton, VIC, 3053

There is no cost to attend this event, but all participants must register.

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January 21, 2016
by Sandy Phillips
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Blogging with your students course for teachers

Would you like to learn more about blogging with students?  The Edublogs team is running a free course on blogging with students.

Global2 is the Department of Education and Training blogging platform which is hosted on CampusPress by the Edublogs team.  All step by step instructions in the series are with Edublogs and CampusPress users in mind.

teacherchallengebadge

Whether you are new to blogging, or want a refresher on all of the features that blogging can offer, come join the four week crash-course and the Edublogs team will guide you through the process of blogging with students.

The course covers:

  • Setting up class and student blogs
  • Teaching quality comments and posts
  • Working with widgets
  • Images, copyright, and creative commons
  • Connecting with other classes
  • Tons more! including mobile apps

How Does It Work?

The Edublogs Teacher Challenge is completely free of charge.

Each Teacher Challenge session lasts for 30 days, with 2-3 tasks per week that will be sent to you via email. The first challenge is sent when you signup.

When you finish the Teacher Challenge, you receive a badge to proudly display on your blog and a certificate of completion which you can use towards your professional development hours.

Thanks to Sue Waters for the post and the course.

Enrol For Free Now! 

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September 2, 2015
by Sandy Phillips
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Classroom ready: Demonstrating the impact on student learning of initial teacher education programs

The paper Classroom ready: Demonstrating the impact on student learning of initial teacher education programs is intended to stimulate discussion about how teacher education programs in Australia can demonstrate their impact on school student learning.

The paper highlights the importance of, and proposes requirements for, evidence of impact to help Australia’s teachers be their best. The paper builds on the strengths of the current national approach to accreditation of initial teacher education programs and the work of states and territories. The paper has been informed by three stimulus papers developed to promote thinking about approaches to accreditation based on evidence of impact.

Your feedback

AITSL is inviting anyone with an interest in initial teacher education to read the paper and respond to the three questions.

  1. Which of the proposed components of evidence of impact would convince you about the quality of initial teacher education programs?
  2. What components of evidence of impact should be mandatory, and which should be optional?
  3. What evidence of impact could initial teacher education providers feasibly collect?

Have your say

Submissions will close on: 11 September 2015 at 5:00pm AEST

AITSL will provide a summary of submissions on the AITSL website. Submissions will contribute to our ongoing work in the Strengthened accreditation of initial teacher education programs.*

 

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September 1, 2015
by marcellinus
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Teacher Training in Junior FIRST® LEGO® League

Do you have students in the Junior part of your school who are really into LEGO? Do you feel that you need to catch up on the latest LEGO resources for you classroom? Would you like some support in finding out more?

Then this opportunity could be for you!

2015 CS4HS Teacher Training in Junior FIRST® LEGO® League

With support from Google, FIRST® Australia will be holding Junior FIRST® LEGO® League teacher training!

We will be holding one day workshops on Thursday the 24th of September and Friday the 25th of September at Macquarie University. Training will include information on FIRST, Jr. FLL, and the WeDo™ kit. Teachers will then get to try it for themselves before we host a teacher – Junior FIRST® LEGO® expo at the end of the day. Morning tea and lunch will be provided.

Each school:

  • can send up to two teachers.
  • is committing to having at least one Jr. FLL team for the 2015/2016 season.

Final round of applications closes on Friday September 11th.

Access Applications Here!

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August 31, 2015
by marcellinus
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Classroom of the Future Webinar dates and topics Term 4, 2015

Social media for learning – the Yammer experience

7th October, 4:00-4:40pm

In today’s hyper connected world students are creating deep networks in social media. The potential power of social media in learning is immense but how can schools harness the benefits of social media while still maintaining a safe online environment? Throughout 2015 Charles La Trobe P-12 College has been trialling the Yammer network to provide a safe social learning space for students and teachers. This webinar look at the use of Yammer in the College and the variety of ways it has been used to improve student learning outcomes.

Suitable for all teachers and school leaders interested in using social media for learning.

 

Respond via Eventbrite

http://tinyurl.com/phqyvhs

 

STEM in schools – setting up a maker space and club

21st October, 4:00-4:40pm

The importance of STEM is a growing trend in education. Where can schools start in integrating STEM practices and learning in their curriculum and spaces? The makerspace and maker club are a great entry point for schools looking to establish student centred making and creating. This webinar will share the experience of Charles La Trobe P-12 College in establishing a maker movement. Spaces, equipment, pedagogy and curriculum will be shared in this webinar.

Suitable for all teachers and leaders interested in helping students make and create.

Respond via Eventbrite

http://tinyurl.com/ndm4mbz

Coding in school – where to start? (Targeted at primary schools)

4th November, 4:00-4:40pm

Coding is an excellent way to both engage students deeply in learning and develop their problem solving skills. But where should teachers and students start? This webinar will share the experiences of year 3-6 teachers at Charles La Trobe P-12 College in implementing coding in their classrooms using visual block based applications (Tynker, Scratch and Hopscotch). The presenters will share pedagogy and lessons learned, and participants will learn that anyone can implement coding in their classroom.

This webinar is particularly suited to Primary School teachers.

Respond via Eventbrite

http://tinyurl.com/oddkdbj

Leading digital change in schools – lessons for digital leaders

18th November, 4:00-4:40pm

Leading change is challenging. Leading change in digital learning is more challenging again. Choosing platforms, devices, professional learning, coaching, frameworks, and engaging reluctant teachers – the list goes on and on. In this webinar the lessons learned from the Classroom of the Future project will be shared and discussed.

Suitable for all school leaders and teachers who want to lead the improvement of digital learning.

Respond via Eventbrite

http://tinyurl.com/ozluaph

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August 30, 2015
by marcellinus
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Education in Games Summit 2015 – A Gameful World

gamefulAs part of the International Games Weeks being held in Melbourne in October the ‘Education in Games Summit 2015 – A Gameful World.’ will provide Victorian Primary and Secondary teachers with a unique opportunity to hear from some of the leading players in the game development industry.

Date: Thursday, October 29

Time: 8.30am – 4.30pm 

Venue: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre

For: Primary & Secondary Teachers 

Cost: $90 (ex-GST) *Includes access to Day One of PAX Australia 

Summit Registration: http://bit.ly/1K0bFCt

Workshop selections: Please click here to add your workshop selections

Full Program: Program: A Gameful World

Flyer: Education in Games Summit Flyer

The Summit will explore the clear links to learning and teaching in Victorian classrooms and the resources available for teachers to explore.

For further information please contact the Digital Learning Branch digital.learning@edumail.vic.gov.au

The Summit will provide:

  • A snapshot of the game development industry and a strong focus on the broad range of creative careers open to Victorian students
  • Stories behind successful game developers and their impact here in Victoria and internationally
  • Clear links to STEM and the latest information about the new Digital Technologies curriculum for Primary & Secondary schools, including an overview of the resources and support available to teachers.

Summit Keynote Speaker – Dr Steffen Walz Dr Steffen Walz is an Associate Professor at RMIT University and the founder–director of RMIT’s Games & Experimental Entertainment Laboratory, the GEElab. At the GEElab, an international team of researchers scrutinizes the potential (and pitfalls) of play, games and game design elements for non-entertainment purposes.steffan Steffen is inspiring and teaching the next generation of game-developers and problem solvers. Summit Workshops Workshops will be run by classroom teachers, academics and games industry experts, including from Google, Microsoft, Intel, Unity and the Game Developers Association of Australia. Areas covered will include: Minecraft, Virtual Reality & Kerbal Space Program Coding with Scratch, Unity Games Curriculum, Literacy through Game Book Adventures, Gamification & Creating Games, Microsoft TouchDevelop, Intel Galileo, Games as Text, Curriculum Links and Engaging Students through Games. For further details on the summit workshops follow this link: Education in Games Summit_Workshop Outlines Registration includes access to Day One of PAX Australia – October 30 As part of their Summit ticket participants will also be eligible to attend the first day (Oct 30) of PAX Australia (www.paxaustralia.com.au) held at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. PAX is a festival celebrating games culture and it connects the world’s leading game publishers with their most avid fans. The first day of PAX will involve a number of education related panels & speakers from around the world.     Presented by Creative vic amcidet  

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August 28, 2015
by Sandy Phillips
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2015 ACHPER Conference – Health, Outdoor, Sport & Physical Education

The Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER), Victorian Branch invites teachers to join a vibrant ‘community of practice’ by attending this year’s

ACHPER Conference

26-27 November

Monash University, Clayton

Now in it’s 29th year, their premier professional learning event continues to support, enhance and advocate for highest quality Health, Outdoor, Sport and Physical Education for Foundations – Year 12 teachers. Here is just a sample of the sessions provided at the conference which support teachers to integrate digital technologies into their programs.
ICT in Physical Education​​

  • Using iPads/tablets to your advantage
  • Physical Education Apps to reinvigorate your programs
  • ​Technology to increase activity
  • Flipped classrooms – what does this mean?
  • The power of social media as professional learning
    For full details go to the ACHPER conference site
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August 27, 2015
by Sandy Phillips
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Global Collaboration Day, September 17, 2015

Global Collaboration Day 
Join 1,000’s of educators for the very first ‘Global Collaboration Day’ – September 17, 2015.
Full details on website – Global Collaboration Day  use the hashtag #globaled15 globalday

Global Education Conference
The 2015 Global Education Conference will be held November 16-November 19.
All details on the Global Education Conference website.
Applications now open for presentations.
The entire conference is virtual and will take place online in webinar format. Sessions are held around the clock to accommodate participant time zones.

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