November 11, 2016
by rcrellin
0 comments

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

Print Friendly

January 21, 2016
by Sandy Phillips
0 comments

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! 

Print Friendly

July 30, 2015
by Sandy Phillips
0 comments

The Adobe Creative Cloud for schools

With the growing interest in developing creativity amongst our students, teachers are looking for digital solutions to embed within their curriculum planning. As BYOT (Bring Your Own Technologies) and Cloud based platforms become increasingly popular across Victorian schools, it is important as a teacher to model digital literacies across all curriculum areas. Finding the right resource or software to meet student needs has always been a priority for teachers.

adobe

In the coming months the Digital Learning Branch in partnership with Adobe Education is providing great opportunities for teachers and students to explore the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of resources.

If you are using mobile devices in your classroom already jump in and try Adobe Voice and Adobe Slate. These free apps will give your students the freedom to create dynamic, beautiful multimedia presentations and webpages to share their learning.

You can find some great examples at the Adobe Education Exchange or better still upload your students work in FUSE and share their stories.

 Teacher workshops – What is possible with Adobe Creative Cloud?

Monday August 10: Two sessions 1.30 – 3.30 and 4.30 pm – 6.30pm

REGISTER FREE: http://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/what-is-possible-with-adobe-creative-cloud-tickets-17946525541

 Join Adobe as they share the possibilities of Adobe Creative Cloud in the classroom. Victorian teachers are seeing their students creativity come to life with the latest offering from Adobe Creative Cloud.

The Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) is the most up to date versions of what was the Adobe Creative Suite plus lots more. The most recent of Adobe’s industry standard web design, print, audio and video applications are available to download via CC as well as new applications like Adobe Muse and Edge Animate for great HTML website and animation without the need for coding skills.

This workshop will provide an overview of what is included in the Adobe CC and how educators & students around the world are working the CC applications to enhance the way they communicate.

To make the most of this workshop, download the trial version of Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 and Adobe Muse.

More information about Adobe Creative Cloud software can be found via:

http://www.adobe.com/au/creativecloud.html

 

Print Friendly

July 29, 2015
by Sandy Phillips
0 comments

Students and teachers connecting to learn

Virtual conferencing opens doors to new learning and teaching opportunities beyond the classroom. Victorian students and teachers have access to a flexible suite of virtual learning tools enabling them to connect, interact, share and learn with others outside of their classroom and school.

Students and teachers connecting to learn

Virtual conferencing enables you to:

  • deliver subject-specific curriculum to students anywhere in Victoria and beyond
  • interact and authenticate learning by bringing experts and specialists into your classroom without leaving your school
  • stream cultural, scientific and literary events directly to your classroom
  • create your own networks of learners, anywhere around the worldsmall image of booklet shows several students in yellow shirts
  • build intercultural understanding and a sense of global identity

Getting started

Virtual conferencing can be accessed via the internet and allows for participants in multiple locations to interact using audio, video, screen sharing, file sharing, application sharing, a shared interactive whiteboard, polling or instant messaging. Victorian schools have access to many virtual conferencing tools including:

 Full Details

Print Friendly

September 9, 2014
by rcrellin
0 comments

iPads for Learning: online professional learning registration

The Department’s Virtual Conference Centre is providing four iPads for Learning short courses for teachers and leaders who are using iPads in their teaching and learipads3ning. Each short course will contain three sessions, with each one hour session building upon the previous session’s learning. Each course focuses on a different aspect of using iPads:

Two courses, iPads for New Users and Publishing with iPads,  are open now for registration. Short Course 1: iPads for new users     Click here to register for this course      Short Course 2: Publishing with iPads  Click here to register for this course

The short courses will be facilitated by Andrew Del Mastro. Andrew is a member of the Apple Consultant’s Network trained to deliver Apple PD (APD). Scroll down to see how to connect.

Short Course 1: iPads for new users     Click here to register for this course     

 Session One: Introduction to the iPad
 Date: Wednesday 8th October 2014
 Time: 3.45 p.m.
 Content: This session will introduce participants to the basics including; how to navigate your iPad, how to organise Apps, how to download content, and how to setup your iPad in the Settings area. Setting up Mail and Calendars will also be demonstrated as with other tips and tricks to ensure you’re on the way to using your iPad effectively.

6184101

polycom

 Session1BACKCHANNEL –http://todaysmeet.com/intro6184101
 Session Two: Ready to Start Creating
 Date: Wednesday 15th October 2014
 Time: 3.45 p.m.
This session will look at creating and storing content including how to manage photos, videos, documents and music. Cloud storage and sharing will also be discussed as well as how to use iCloud to back up your device.

 6184101

polycom

session2

BACKCHANNEL –  http://todaysmeet.com/create6184101

 Session Three: Ready to Start Exploring Content
 Date: Wednesday 29th October 2014
 Time: 3.45 p.m.
This session will explore the rich ecosystem of digital content including how to discover great content including apps, digital teaching resources, online teaching materials and other useful resources.

6184101

polycom

Session 3

BACKCHANNEL –  http://todaysmeet.com/explore6184101

 Short Course 2: Publishing with iPads

Click here to register for this course

Session One: Introduction to iBooks Author
Date: Thursday 16th October 2014
Time: 3.45 p.m.
Content: This session will introduce participants to iBooks Author the most powerful digital publishing tool available. The basics will be covered including how to lay out a book, adding text, video and images as well as saving and sharing your work. The session will also contain an introduction to building interactive widgets.
Required: iBooks Author for Mac
    Blackboard

Participant Connection URL 

Session Two: iBooks Author: The Next Level
Date: Thursday 23rd October 2014
Time: 3.45 p.m.
Content: This session will delve into tips and tricks and how to supply your end user with an immersive interactive experience. From using hidden pop-ups to creating colour pallets and master pages this session will look at the fundamentals of designing a truly interactive book including all of the interactive widgets contained within iBooks Author as well as the website bookry.com. This session will also include information on how to publish you book to the iTunes Book store.
Required: iBooks Author for Mac
Optional: Free account at bookry.com
   Blackboard

Participant Connection URL

Session Three: iBooks Author: Custom Widgets and iTunes U
Date: Thursday 30th October 2014
Time: 3.45 p.m.
Content: This session will focus on the software iAd Producer and Book Widgets. This software allows users to create custom interactive widgets. iAd Producer allows the user to build widgets from scratch without any coding required while Book Widgets offers a large selection of templates to follow. This session will conclude with an introduction to iTunes U and how it could be used to distribute your iBooks and other content.
Required: iBooks Author for Mac
Optional: iAd Producer and Book Widgets
Blackboard

Participant Connection URL

These short courses will contain three sessions, with each one hour session building upon the previous session’s learning. All of the courses will be supported with materials accessible via the Department’s iTunes U campus. Each session will require access to the Virtual Conference Centre tool being used for the session; an iPad with the latest iOS installed and some sessions may require additional resources as indicated.

Andrew has designed ongoing Professional Learning programs for Primary and Secondary Schools looking to integrate technology into their teaching and learning practice. With a focus on using new digital tools to produce engaging communications Andrew facilitates a hands on approach to learning. Andrew has also produced multi-touch books for Disney Australia and the AFL Players association.Resources:

Contact: digital.learning@edumail.vic.gov.au

Download this information as a PDF  iPads_for_Learning_Short_Courses

 

Print Friendly

August 20, 2014
by rcrellin
0 comments

National Literacy and Numeracy Week

National Literacy and Numeracy Week is running from 25 – 31 August in 2014. It is an Australian Government initiative that runs in partnership with state and territory governments.  During this week many schools run a range of fun activities for their students to help them explore literacy and numeracy.

At Huntly Primary School students are using technology to support their writing by publishing narratives, explaining concepts and peer assessment.

Some useful links:

Literacy Resources

  • FUSE packages for Early ChildhoodPrimary and Secondary students provides resources to learn about the future of books, writing and reading, create and share poetry mashups or tell people what you think, or find out what others have read.DigiPub maths
  • DigiPubs link to English resources, software, apps and classroom ideas.

Numeracy Resources

  • FUSE packages for Early ChildhoodPrimary and Secondary students will get them engaged with interactive and real life maths.
  • FUSE eBookBoxes contain lesson plans, interactive resources for AusVELS F-10 and VCE
  • DigiPubs link to Maths resources, software, apps and classroom ideas.
  • 8 Math talks to blow your mind. Mathematics gets down to work in these Ted talks, breathing life and logic into everyday problems. Prepare for math puzzlers both solved and unsolvable, and even some still waiting for solutions.

Conference – English, Arts and Technologies: Literacies for Lifelong Learning

The Australian Literacy Educator’s Association, Victoria and Australian Centre for the Moving Image annual one-day multiliteracies conference is on Friday 12 September 2014.  The conference will explore authentic learning and contemporary teaching strategies that draw upon multimodal resources and tools – from traditional multimodal texts such as picture books through to user generated moving image texts – along with some of the grammar, or codes and conventions needed to become proficient speakers, readers, viewers, writers and creators.  Find out more and register.

Print Friendly

August 12, 2014
by rcrellin
0 comments

Mystery Skype

Our guest blogger this week is Erin Jackson from Kennington Primary School

What is Mystery Skype?

Mystery Skype is a game played through Skype between two classes. Each class aims to work out the location of the other class, by taking in turns to ask yes/no questions. The winner is the first class to work out the location of the other.

Students take on different roles while playing the game. There are many websites that list different roles that can be undertaken, but I like to keep it simple. I have:

  • 2 scribes, who record information on a whiteboard
  • 2 speakers, who sit in front of my laptop, asking and answering questions
  • Researchers – all other students use their iPads to research and come up with questions to ask.

The Benefits

The first, and probably most obvious, benefit of playing Mystery Skype is the improvement in students’ geographical knowledge. It has helped to improve my students’ mental maps of the world and to improve their understanding of where we are in the world. It has also helped them to develop their knowledge of different cultures around the world.

Secondly, there are many mathematical benefits, such as map-reading, directions and time zones. Playing Mystery Skype often highlights concepts that we, as teachers, may take for granted that students understand; for example, what the different lines on Google Maps represent.

Mystery Skype also lends itself well to the English domain. The game naturally requires students to listen attentively to the questions and answers, whilst building on their comprehension, research and visual literacy skills. They develop their ability to ask ‘good’ and ‘follow-up’ questions, as well as whole-group and small-group discussion skills, such as negotiating.

Finally, my students have a high level of engagement when playing the game. My students often ask when we will have the next Mystery Skype and are always excited to come to school if they know we have one organised. They work together as a team and feel a real sense of pride and excitement when they are able to work out where the other school is.

Where to start

Start by creating a Skype account and joining ‘Skype in the Classroom’ (http://education.skype.com). Go to #MysterySkype and send out some messages to teachers you might like to skype. I usually send out about 5 messages with a given time and date, as not all teachers will reply or may have other commitments at that time. I also give the time in my time zone and convert to their time as well. Once a teacher replies, add them to your Skype account and you are ready to go! You might like to send them a message through Skype on the organised day to ensure the other grade are still able to participate in the game.

Some tips

For Grade P-2 students, try beginning by playing Mystery Skype with local schools or other schools in the same state. For Grade 3-4 students, try other schools in Australia or capital cities/major towns in other countries. For older students, use towns/cities outside of capital cities in other countries. I aim to choose places that fit with my Integrated Studies topics, such as Thailand when we were studying Asia for Geography or a school on the Ring of Fire when learning about earthquakes. You might like to prepare something to share at the end, such as 5 facts about your town.

For more information about Skype or other virtual conferencing in schools see the DEECD Virtual Conferencing and Skype in the Classroom webpages.

Print Friendly

May 28, 2014
by rcrellin
0 comments

Seven ways to use technology with purpose

Lynn Davie sent this blog post to the team for discussion, as I read through I thought it was really interesting and had some good points for schools.  Lynn posed the following questions:

  • Do you agree with the author?
  • What would be on your list?

We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

The following post is from AJJuliani.com – Teach Different

Why are you using technology? Or more importantly, how are you using technology to better the learning in your classroom and/or school? If you are like me, then you’ve had your fair share of technology screw ups. Projects that didn’t make sense (but used the tech you wanted to bring in). Activities that were ruined by a crashing website or some technological problem. And of course you’ve probably dealt with the students, parents, and teachers that want to do things “the old way”.

In order to make sure you are using technology the right way, you must first “start with why”. If your students understand the “why” behind your technology use, then the class will have a purpose and technological glitches and issues can be worked through. If they don’t understand the “why” then any small issue could turn into a major problem.

Here are 7 ways I’ve been using technology for a purpose in my classroom and as a staff developer in my school. I’m sure there are many other ways to use tech with purpose, but these are some of my favorites!

1. To Collaborate in Real Time

Remember when Google Docs broke onto the scene? It was magic. Students writing and sharing in real-time, able to see what the other students are doing and saying, while still working on your own part of the project or activity. Flash forward 7-8 years and now “real-time collaboration” is a must for most online software. This type of technology allow project-based learning to be monitored, documented, and done outside of the school hours.

At my school we have been using Microsoft OneNote (as well as the Google products) to collaborate in real-time. Whether it is staff planning together, students working together, or a combination of both…this technology has so many learning purposes.

2. To Reflect and Share

I used to have my students journal in their marble notebooks. And during certain activities I still do (like Writer’s Bootcamp). However, what’s nice about having students journal online and share “in the cloud” is the ability for their classmates to see what they have to say.

This is why I suggest blogging throughout the year, and not just as a project. Make blogging a part of your student’s life and you’ll be able to see which topics, ideas, projects, and activities really impacted them. Sometimes it may not be what you thought…and sometimes their simple act of sharing will bring the class together in ways you never could have imagined.

3. Better Research

After I finished writing my Master’s thesis on ‘peace education in the 21st century’ I talked with my mom about her writing process in graduate school. It sounded awful… She would have to go to the library, find a resource, read almost the entire resource, make copies of the pages she wanted to use, and literally “cut it out” and “paste it on” her typewritten document.

Technology has made research simple and more time efficient. I’m not talking about typing a question into google, I’m specifically focused on searching journal databases like ERIC through places like Ebscohost. A nice search phrase will turn up hundreds of peer-reviewed results which can be sorted many different ways (such as by date or full-text article). Those articles that you choose can then be automatically scanned for your keywords, read the specific parts you want, and use what is applicable with a simple copy and paste and proper citation already set up and ready to go.

How often do we really teach students how to research in today’s world? Or do we expect them to learn on their own like we did?

4. Write and Re-Write

Using tools such as Google Docs, the new Microsoft Word, or Draft students are able to write and edit on the fly. They can get feedback from peers and teachers…and then choose whether or not to accept that feedback on their writing. Technology has changed the writing process in much the same way it has changed the research process.

The most important part of writing is the revising and editing. Yet, we often take it for granted. Instead let’s use the technology to track what types of changes students have made, and if they are making the same mistakes in their writing over and over again. That way, the “re-writing” process can have a direct impact on how much they improve and change some of their writing habits over time.

5. Make Something (that matters)

This may be my favorite way to use technology with a purpose. Students now have the ability to make movies, songs, pieces of art, websites, apps, games etc–with technology. However, too often we ask students to make something that does not matter. We ask them to make a movie or poster or presentation that has no direct impact on the world around them.

Instead, let’s challenge ourselves to start making technology matter. Make iMovies that can be uploaded to Youtube and have a purpose. Make games with a meaning. Make apps that matter. Yes, there is a time for fun and games. But if that is all we use technology for in school…then we shouldn’t be surprised when that is all students use technology for once they get out of school.

6. Keep a Digital Record

Digital portfolios are a must. Not because colleges will want and need them in the future (which is happening sooner than you think). Not because it is a cool way to show off what you’ve done in class. Digital portfolios are a must because they show learning growth.

The best way to show how much a student has learned is through a digital portfolio. You can look back over time and what they’ve created, written, and done in school. And how that work has improved (and in what ways) throughout their schooling. When students know their work will be on display and recorded, they also take pride in what they do because it will last.

Ask yourself, are you making “digital fridge art” or something worth keeping?

7. Mastery Assessments

Think about the last time you gave an assessment. I’m sure you prepared students for it during class, gave them materials to study, and supported them during the assessment. However, there were definitely a few students who struggled on this assessment. What happens next? You can either give them a re-take, give them another similar assessment, or say that is there only chance.

If you gave them a digital assessment you’d be able to see exactly which questions they got wrong in comparison to the entire class. You could see how much time they spent on the question and if the answer they chose was way off base…or close. You could tailor a new assessment based on just the problems/questions they got wrong and make sure they achieved mastery on those topics before moving forward.

Technology should change the way we do assessments forever, yet sadly many of us still give tests the same way we did 10 years ago. This is a tech purpose we can’t avoid any longer.

Innovative Teaching Challenge #5: Use technology for a purpose. The next time you use it in class make sure you explain the “why” to your students. This is an important step that we often forget to do. Also, we want to hear how you are using tech in your classrooms.

A.J. Juliani

This is the fifth post in the “Innovative Teaching Challenge” series. You can read more about the series here, or learn more about my class story in my upcoming book: Inquiry and Innovation in the Classroom: How 20% TIme, Genius Hour and PBL Drive Student Success (coming on  June 17th).

Print Friendly

May 20, 2014
by rcrellin
0 comments

Video Conferencing with VCE Biology

Our guest blogger is Britt Gow, Hawkesdale P-12 College

The Digital Learning Team congratuates Britt, winner of the Lindsay Thompson Fellowship at the 2014 Victorian Education Excellence Awards

Teaching Unit 3 and 4 Biology for the first time in a small, rural school is a big responsibility. Although the class is small (only eight students), they are all keen to do their best and achieve an ATAR score that enables them to be accepted into the tertiary course of their choice, including nursing, physiotherapy and a Bachelor of Science. Although there are plenty of paper-based and online resources available, there are few other teachers in the local area to share ideas and teaching strategies with.

HawkesdaleIn Melbourne, beginning teachers have the advantage of the Biology Teacher’s Network and professional development at locations such as the Gene Technology Access Centre. Our class was invited to attend the “Body at War” program for the World Day of Immunology at GTAC this year. For our students, this means getting up at 4.00am, travelling up to one hour to the Warrnambool train station and then a three hour train trip, returning home at about 11.00pm, after the three hour return trip. Otherwise, an overnight excursion, staying at the Melbourne Metro YHA, which adds to the significant cost of travel.

This year, our Year 12 Biology class has had two opportunities to participate in video-conferencing using the Polycom equipment, connecting with the Gene Technology Access Centre. There are several programs available, and we were able to access the “Signalling Molecules” and “Hendra Virus” workshops. Both sessions included hands-on activities and student worksheets, with resources provided well in advance by GTAC. Both presentations were delivered by experienced teachers, with excellent images, animations and explanations.

The excellent image quality and audio allowed the GTAC presenters to see and hear all that was happening in the classroom, asking and answering questions just as if they were in the science laboratory. Although students were, at first, a little reluctant to interact with the presenter, this is how they would react with a guest speaker in the classroom as well. Students agreed that both sessions were valuable learning experiences that assisted them to understand and apply biology concepts. For me, it is an excellent professional development opportunity that enhances my ability to teach the Unit 3/4 Biology course. And all without leaving Hawkesdale P12 College!

This post came from Britt’s global2 blog – Technoscience for teachers, which has some great advice about using ICT in the classroom.

Print Friendly

May 13, 2014
by rcrellin
0 comments

Leaving the Earth – Mars

Our guest bloggers: Chris Tambakakis and Gene Geoffrey, Doveton College

Leaving The Earth – Mars is a cross curriculum program Soundgarage has developed for the students in Year 7 at Doveton College. The program is based in Humanities with major links to Science, Art, Music, Robotics, English, Food Technology and Drama.  The premise is simple. The world is no longer inhabitable. As a result humans must migrate to Mars where individual tribes must form a new society.  Using Design Thinking as a basis for learning and creativity students plot their own journey into a new world.  On the first day of term one the Year 7 students attend their first assembly.  At the end of the assembly this one minute film was played.

Background:
Our experience at Doveton College has shown that using a “Gaming” approach usually ensures high student engagement. The use of Imprudence Virtual World offers an opportunity to tap into the interest base of the students by using the medium of a “gaming” experience to deliver curriculum. Our Students are required to apply their ICT knowledge and skills.We use the virtual world as a tool to enhance the learning experience of students, it has given them the chance to apply their learning to “virtual” real life situations.

The program has a main focus on Civics and Citizenship. The project is designed to develop cooperative learning strategies and teaching techniques. It challenges students to solve problems in a group dynamic to achieve a desired outcome.

The project poses this problem: Unfortunately the tribes face a huge issue, the Earth has been decimated by man, and Earth is no longer livable. The only chance for survival is to leave the Earth and build new human colonies on Mars.

The goal of the project is survival of the tribe and successful resettlement on Mars.  All students are a part of an earth tribe, they will develop a tribal identity and culture. As a group they will be required to design, build and supply a space transport pod that will transport the tribe and all their needs to Mars.

Once the tribes arrive on mars the development of a new society will begin. Tribes will need to rely on their own members and member of other tribes for survival. Using an inquiry through line of Leaving the Earth – Mars all curriculum subject areas can tap into the topic and use the project as a point of reference for teaching topic related concepts.

For more information visit the blog at: http://dovetonlive.blogspot.com.au/

Print Friendly
Skip to toolbar