August 20, 2014
by rcrellin
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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.

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August 12, 2014
by rcrellin
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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.

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May 28, 2014
by rcrellin
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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).

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May 20, 2014
by rcrellin
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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.

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May 13, 2014
by rcrellin
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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/

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May 7, 2014
by rcrellin
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Mathematica, computer-based math and the new era of STEM with Conrad Wolfram

Conrad Wolfram Session: Free 27 May 2:30-3:30 at Bastow

Mathematica is a powerful global computation system that can handle all the various aspects of technical computing–and beyond–in a coherent and unified way.  It is industry standard software used in the sciences, engineering, commerce, computer science and software development.

Conrad Wolfram, physicist, mathematician, businessman and technologist is Director of Strategic Development and European Co-Founder/CEO of the Wolfram group of companies. Conrad is also the world’s leading advocate for a fundamental shift of maths education to become computer-based, arguing that this is the key way to address issues in global maths education and move forward.

His widely acknowledged 2010 TED talk  laid out the rationale and roadmap for this rethink and the same year he founded computerbasedmath.org (CBM) to drive implementation of the change.  The movement is now a worldwide force in re-developing STEM curriculum and in February 2013 it was announced that Estonia would be the first partner country.

 

Wolfram Research and Mathematica Software

The Wolfram Group specializes in pushing boundaries at the intersection of computation, maths and knowledge, including making Mathematica software, the Wolfram Alpha knowledge engine (powering knowledge answers for Apple’s Siri), the Computable Document Format (CDF) standard, the newly announced Wolfram Language and forthcoming Wolfram Cloud.

Since 2011, Mathematica has been available to all Victorian DEECD secondary students and teachers via the eduSTAR image.

The importance of math to jobs, society and thinking has increased exponentially over the last few decades. Meanwhile, maths education globally has slipped backwards. Why has this chasm opened up? Computers are the key to addressing this challenge effectively – when computers do the calculating, people can work on harder questions, try more concepts, and play with a multitude of new ideas.

Conrad Wolfram will discuss his major project to build a completely new curriculum in mathematics with computer-based computation at its heart – covering the rationale for the change, how it’s being manifested and how Victoria is well placed to be at the forefront.

Who should attend Conrad Wolfram’s Session? 

Anyone with an interest in mathematics education, in particular, school leaders, teachers and teacher educators, system representatives, policy makers and education researchers should attend. This is a unique opportunity to hear from one of the leading global thinkers in mathematics education and technology here in Melbourne.

Session Details and Registration:

  • May 27, 2.30pm – 3.30pm
  • BASTOW 603-615 Queensberry Street North Melbourne
  • Register here  PLEASE NOTE: This is a free event. When you register and get to the payment section just choose credit card or invoice payment and it will progress through to a zero invoice and not require any payment.
  • A number of regional venues will also be linking to the presentation via Polycom video-conferencing.
  • Contact Peter Maggs maggs.peter.j@edumail.vic.gov.au for further information or polycom details.

OTHER MATH TED TALKS

Check out this collection of videos – 8 Math talks to blow your mind. Mathematics gets down to work in these talks, breathing life and logic into everyday problems. Prepare for math puzzlers both solved and unsolvable, and even some still waiting for solutions.

Support for schools using Mathematica

A range of resources are available to teachers on FUSE and the Digital Learning Showcase.  The Wolfram Mathematica website also has a great range of free online tutorials and support materials for teachers.   In 2013 schools from all over Victoria received Mathematica professional learning via Polycom Video conferencing.

Using Mathematica in the Classroom:

Print version: Conrad Wolfram Session

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April 24, 2014
by rcrellin
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Using Digital Tools in the Classroom – Online Professional Learning

An online professional learning program related to using a range of digital tools in the classroom has been developed to meet request from schools.

Focus areas will include:

  • Beyond classroom walls – Web conferencing (2 sessions)
  • Social media in teaching and learning (2 sessions)
  • Mobile devices across the curriculum (1 session)

You can choose one or two focus areas or take part in all 5 sessions.

Online sessions will be held on Blackboard Collaborate and will be 45-60 minutes in length.  Each focus area will run for approximately two weeks and will encourage teachers to link in with other professionals to share experience and ideas.

Participants will need to book sessions using the link below before the 20th of May, 2014.

To register for one or all of the courses click here.

For the PDF information sheet to display in your school (similar to below) please click this link – Using Digital Tools in the Classroom

For more information or enquires please contact Penny Rowe on 03 9651 3017 or email rowe.penelope.m@edumail.vic.gov.au

Webinar date/time

Focus Title

Presenter

Target audience

Wednesday, 21th May 2014, 4pm

 and

Wednesday, 28th May 2014, 4pm

Beyond Classroom Walls – Web Conferencing

These sessions will support teachers to use web/video conferencing tools such as  polycom, Lync, Skype and Blackboard collaborate and connect with other teachers outside of your school community.  This course would be very useful to those schools that have recently received a Polycom unit and would like to learn how to use it better.

Register

Anne Mirtschin, Virtual Conference Centre Coach

All school staff

Register

Thursday 5th June 2014, 4pm

 and

Thursday 12th June 2014, 4pm

Using Social Media in Teaching and Learning

These sessions will explore how social media can support and enhance teaching and learning.  This course will help teachers to develop a better understanding around using social media safely with students, exploring some of the concerns and misconceptions.  It will also help teachers who are unfamiliar with social media to learn about how it can be used for tasks such as professional networking and information gathering.

Register

 

Mel Cashin, Digital Learning Consultant

All school staff

Register

Wednesday 18th June 2014, 4pm

Mobile devices across the curriculum

This session will explore using mobile devices, such as iPads, in the classroom in creative ways.  We will consider the value and use of various apps across all curriculum areas including video, animation, recount, storytelling, and augmented reality.  There will be opportunities for discussion around how to overcome barriers such as the transfer of data, connecting, creating a multi-device environment and implications of particular apps.   

Register

 

Penny Rowe Senior Project officer, Digital Learning Branch

All school staff

Register

 

 

 

 

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April 9, 2014
by rcrellin
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Students leading the way

Schools can empower students to help build the capacity of their peers, staff, and the wider school community in the use of digital technologies by providing and promoting ICT leadership opportunities and by showcasing students’ digital work.

By training ICT mentors and student experts, or encouraging students to work alongside their teachers and help them learn new skills, schools give students recognition and positive attention and help them develop a positive profile as tech savvy kids.

Victorian schools are already exploring options for students to assist in the development and leadership of digital learning policies.

  • What can teachers do to encourage students to mentor and support each other and their teachers to use technology?
  • How can students contribute to the professional learning of their teachers?
  • Why would teachers involve students in planning and decision-making?
  • How can student skills and understandings in the use of technology be leveraged to supplement technical support processes already in place?
  • How do online tools and spaces support student reflection and learning?
  • How do collaborative learning spaces support students to connect, collaborate and co-create knowledge?

Competitions

  • Nominations for the 20th national iAwards are now open to all segments of the ICT industry. The iAwards honour the achievements of the student and the school through state and national exposure.
  • ACMI’s Screen It is Australia’s national film, animation and game making competition for school-aged students. Designed to encourage imagination and inventiveness in primary and secondary school students.
  • Trop Jr is a filmmaking competition and free outdoor festival for kids 15 years and younger.
  • The Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM) Awards celebrate the best of Australian and New Zealand screen content from the education sector and screen industry professionals.
  • RoboCupJunior Australia is a project-oriented educational initiative that supports local, regional and international robotic events for young students.
  • Young ICT Explorers is a technology competition for primary and secondary students to submit their best ICT project. This competition is sponsored by SAP, Group X, NICTA and Swinburne University. It aims to inspire creativity and innovation while encouraging students to consider a career in ICT.

Leadership Events

  • The Global Education Conference is a collaborative, inclusive, world-wide community initiative involving students, educators, and organizations at all levels. It will take place online from 17 – 22 November 2014.
  • The Digital Demons – Playing by the Rules program saw elite footballers and Year 9 students discuss how they can behave safely and responsibly online.
  • EcoCentre Education team members can visit schools and inspire students to reconnect with their local environment through creating, installing and monitoring nest-box homes for wildlife.
  • Adobe Youth Voices is the Adobe Foundation’s signature philanthropy initiative empowering young people to ‘Create with Purpose’.
  • Kids Congress is an award winning technology and learning conference for 9-12 year olds. The conference challenges the digital generation and their teachers to take part in fun, problem-solving workshops using cool software and technology. What’s unique about this event is that it’s run by kids, for kids.

More Resources

Kids Congress Bendigo

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March 27, 2014
by rcrellin
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3D Printing

Guest blogger: Penny Rowe,  Digital Learning Branch

3D printing i3D printers 2s becoming a more widely used technology in schools, with the lowering costs and strong connections to science, engineering and maths.  Quantum Victoria is taking the lead in this area and offers cutting edge professional development and student programs to guide both teachers and students through the process of using the device.  From building to using 3D printers; students and staff develop a deeper understanding of 3D modelling and printing.

Quantum Victoria was established by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.  With a diverse team comprising of highly skilled teachers and education support staff Quantum offers workshops and training which is innovative and tailored to enhance access and learning with technology.

On March 6 and 7th Quantum Victoria held a two day professional development workshop for teachers to learn how to use a Solidoodle 3D printer, which they were then able to take away with them to install into their prospective settings.  This was made possible through a partnership grant with DEECD.   Schools were invited to participate in this initiative with the hope that they would embed this new technology across Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics within their schools.

3D printer 1 During the training teachers were guided by the highly skilled team at Quantum.  The process started with learning how to set up and calibrate the device, connect and communicate with the computer, instructing the printer what to print.  We sourced 3D models from the internet on http://www.thingiverse.com, as well as being taught how to use a range of software packages to create our own 3D models.  These included MeshMixer, OpenSCAD, SketchUP Make, and Sculptris, all of which was free to download from the internet and required various levels of skill.

It was an excellent two days of training.  All in attendance, teachers from both primary and secondary school settings, rural and metro locations, went away excited and empowered to use this device to enhance learning in their school communities.  There was rich conversation and collaboration among the participants about how the device could be used in the classroom to enhance problem solving and thinking skills and make real world connections with their students which attributed to the success of the two days.  Teachers also have an opportunity to share their ideas and lesson plans with each other through the online community established by the Quantum team.

As part of Education Week, Quantum Victoria are running Modelling and 3D Printing sessions for Years 7-9 students on 20 May. See Calendar of Free Activities for this and other events.

To find out more information about 3D printers and the programs at Quantum Victoria please contact: Soula Bennett via email at: soula.bennett@quantumvictoria.vic.edu.au or for more general information on 3D printers the Digital Learning Branch.

While not related to Victorian education – this video shows the potential of 3D printing technology, in this case to create 3D prosthetic limbs.

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November 18, 2013
by rcrellin
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2013 eLearning Excellence Awards

The sixth eLearning Excellence Awards of the eLearning Industry Association of Victoria was held last week.  The K-12 sector had a great range of finalists with the Royal Children’s Hospital winning this category with their Create, Explore, Learn App.

Create Explore Learn at The Royal Children’s Hospital (Winner K-12 sector)

The Royal Children’s Hospital is home to some amazing animals and artworks. Can you find the 5 special features hidden in the app? Slide your fingers across the app home screen to explore the exciting world of the RCH. Once you have found all 5 zones, a button for each of them will appear on the app home screen next time you open it, so you can return to your favourite activities again and again!
The Create Explore Learn app shares the art and animals of The Royal Children’s Hospital with children all around the world. The app encourages children to create their own artworks, explore the vibrant spaces of the RCH and learn about the artists, designers, zoo keepers and divers who all play a role in making the RCH a healing space and a learning place.

 

 

Fatigue and Recovery (Finalist K-12 sector)

Developed in conjunction with preeminent  PE expert Robert Malpeli, this interactive program gives students an opportunity to be involved in an engaging story that draws out the concepts behind fatigue and recovery in elite athletes. This interactive program is a clever hybrid of linear storytelling and interactive challenges that must be completed in order to proceed.  The story is exciting and engaging, told from the first person perspective (with the student as the camera’s point of view), with lots of action, intrigue and exciting plot twists. The interactive challenges relate directly to what is happening in the plot and becomes an extension of the story itself – directly involving the student in what is happening on screen.

 

Chinese Language Learning Space (LLS) (Finalist K-12 Sector)

The Language Learning Space supports teachers and students of Chinese language in Australian schools. It contains over 300 language resources, 15 professional learning modules and over 10 hours of videos. It brokers free access to tutoring based in China, to substantial resources like The Dragon Trilogy, to Rosetta Stone and to networks. Users can upload their own resources and create learning pathways. The student section includes links to 30 curated learning challenges that conclude with a quiz and graphic novel narrative set in China. The website is a LMS meets CMS mash-up, the first of its kind produced by ESA.

Released in July 2013, the site has already received very positive responses from language teachers. The consistent feedback is that the site is unique in collating so many resources in one place and that the LLS has provided many ways of inspiring students to continue to study Chinese.

AITSL Illustrations of Practice (Finalists Community and K-12 Sectors)

The AITSL Illustrations of Practice project brings together two key national education organisations, the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) and Education Services Australia (ESA). Working closely together to realise a core AITSL remit, to support the ongoing professional learning needs of Australia’s teachers and school leaders, AITSL and ESA worked on a program to develop, quality assure and publish 240 Illustrations of Practice over a three year period from 2011 to 2013. An Illustration of Practice is a three to five minute video vignette showing authentic teacher practice at a particular Standard and focus area drawn from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST).

The outcome of the project is an online professional learning experience for teachers at the AITSL web site and enables various education stakeholders to gain a powerful snapshot of current, authentic teacher practice from across the nation.

 

Presidents Award: Time Lens   (Finalist Community sector)

While not in the K-12 category, this app from Museum Victoria is a great one for students use when they visit the museum. Built by a curious curator, the Time Lens takes would-be explorers on a scavenger hunt around Melbourne Museum to discover some of the treasured objects and hidden gems of the museum’s collection.

The free Time Lens app represents a targeted way to use mobile devices to help families explore the collection objects, exhibitions and themes presented throughout the museum. Incentive and reward is provided through unlockable badges and light hearted animations, but the intent of the app is not to be an experience that takes place solely on the screen of the device, instead being a mechanism to guide families to points of interest within the museum and give them launching off points for discussion around the significance of each object.

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