September 12, 2019
September 12, 2019
September 6, 2018
by Deb Hicks
Registrations are now open for the 21st Student Blogging Challenge beings on October 7, 2018.
The ten-week challenge begins on October 7 and wraps up before the Christmas break in mid-December.
Each week, there will be a new post published with some materials to learn about blogging e.g. writing posts, commenting, using images etc. There will then be a choice of tasks that students or classes can complete to develop their skills while connecting with other blogging classes worldwide. Participants can register as a class or as an individual student. There’s also the option for teachers to volunteer as a commenter throughout the challenge. This is a great way for students and teachers to learn about blogging!
April 10, 2018
The Victorian Indigenous Engineering Winter School is on again for 2018!
Following the successful 2016 and 2017 programs, four Victorian universities are again collaborating to bring you the Victorian Indigenous Engineering Winter School (VIEWS).
VIEWS is a week-long program offered by The University of Melbourne, RMIT University, Swinburne University and Monash University where students experience first-hand the work of engineers, meet Indigenous engineering professionals, discover pathways into engineering and explore four university campuses.
This is an exciting initiative that will change your students perspective on engineering and open up a world of possibilities.
Applications for this program are now open and close on Friday May 25th at 5pm.
Places in this program are strictly limited, so get in early as this is an opportunity not to be missed!
For more information on the program and a registration form for your students please visit: http://www.eng.unimelb.edu.au/engage/indigenous/views
September 26, 2017
June 23, 2017
What skills do young people need in the era of computers and automation?
Conrad Wolfram physicist, mathematician and technologist, is Strategic Director and European Co-Founder/CEO of the Wolfram Group of companies. The Wolfram Group is driving innovation across data science, modelling and maths through technology and solutions. This includes the highly regarded Wolfram Mathematica, Wolfram Alpha Pro, SystemModeler and Wolfram Programming Lab – available to all Victorian Secondary Schools.
Conrad is also widely known for his thought leadership in reforming education using modern technology. He founded computerbasedmath.org to fundamentally rethink and rebuild the mainstream maths education curriculum, introduce computational thinking and combine with coding how computers can be assumed. The resulting major change is now a worldwide force in re-engineering STEM.
Conrad Wolfram is visiting as a guest of the Department of Education and Training through Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership.
Conrad Wolfram Virtual Classroom Session
This is a unique opportunity for your teachers and students to hear directly from Conrad online.
9:00am – 10:00am Friday 21 July
Link: https://connect.vic.edu.au/wolfram/ to connect on the day, or register your interest to receive a reminder email.
Horizon: Maths Matters – Advancing Maths Education for the Future
Join Conrad Wolfram for a panel discussion on how we can ensure mathematics education is relevant and meaningful. Polycom option available.
Horizon_ConradWolfram – more information
Wednesday 19 July, 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Conrad will challenge thinking about how we deliver mathematics in Victoria’s schools with the aim of disrupting preconceived notions of maths content and delivery.
19 July – Secondary
20 July – Primary
More Wolfram Mathematica Professional Learning
Wolfram Mathematica for statistics and data analysis
Learn how Wolfram Mathematica and Wolfram Alpha Pro can support the teaching of statistics and data analysis in this one day session with Craig Bauling from Wolfram Research. This workshop is suitable for Victorian Secondary Teachers who have a basic understanding of Mathematica.
When: Monday 24 July, 9:30 – 3:30
Location: John Monash Science School
May 5, 2017
The Leigh Hobbs “Author Talk” on was shown today on ABCme – it was very exciting as included as part of the program was footage from a Polycom session with the Sydney Opera House and the following Victorian Schools:
- Bridgewater-on-Loddon PS
- Tempy PS
- Dederang PS
- Mooroopna PS
The program is available on ABC iview now, but will only remain on iview until 4th June 2017 http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/author-talk-leigh-hobbs/ZW1071A001S00
How can you get involved?
YABBA is a fantastic virtual program, free for all Victorian Government Primary Schools, so if you haven’t signed up for this project as yet, why not?
You can join in with online sessions with Authors, vote on most popular books. You DO NOT need a Polycom unit to participate and technical support available upon registration.
Our next author session is on 16 May with Sally Rippon. Leigh Hobbs with be talking with students again on 8 August.
Find out more:
April 27, 2017
Technology is changing the way teachers teach and students learn. Please join us and other education leaders to explore how Apple technology and new learning experiences are changing the education landscape, making learning more accessible, relevant and personal.
- Hear from visionary leaders who have created a learning environment with Apple where students excel.
- Find out how iPad and Mac combined with engaging digital content can help you facilitate new approaches to learning and teaching.
- Experience a variety of educational apps, Multi-Touch Books and learning resources — and see how they can support your school’s technology program.
- Discover the essential elements for creating an enhanced learning experience with Apple.
3 May, 2017
1:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Catholic Leadership Centre,
576 Victoria Parade
East Melbourne, VIC 3065
February 16, 2017
Discover Office 365 in the Classroom
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)
November 16, 2016
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.
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
November 4, 2016
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.
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
Jan Brugard from Wolfram Research will be hosting this session with an aim to create Victorian mentors.
- 28 November – Kensington Town Hall
Download the wolfram-professional-learning-nov16 flyer to find out more
Download the Wolfram Software