Category Archives: primaryteaching

#TechInAction Workshop Announcement

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#TechInAction Workshops

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Although we are yet to finalise the workshops we will present at #TechInAction, here is a sneak peek of some of the content areas you can expect to see on the day! Click here:

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#TechInAction

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Remeber back in 2015 when I held my ‘GAFE in Action’ Day? Well, guess what? This year I’m working with staff and students to showcase something bigger and better!

Are you a GAFE (Google Apps for Education) school? Are you interested in GAFE? Are you currently in the process of adopting GAFE? Or do you have absolutely no idea about GAFE and really want to learn about it?

Heard about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) and wondering how you can implement all of these elements within your Curriculum?? Or do you just want an amazing learning opportunity to see how successful technology tools can be used from K-12? If so, then this is an opportunity for you and your students.

St Thomas More is a Catholic Primary School located in the heart of Hadfield. Here at St Thomas More, we have been using GAFE for almost 8 years and it has changed the way we collaborate, assess and communicate with students, parents, and colleagues. We would love to share our journey and experiences with you because sharing and learning is what teaching and learning are all about.

We were recently featured in the Catholic Education Office Melbourne ‘Director’s eNews Vol. 8, No. 2 – 23 February 2018 for the amazing work our students have been doing. Students have been building APPS to make a difference in the world and the local community. Read more here.

Most professional development days only involve teachers… And that’s about it. We want to give our teachers and students the opportunity to showcase their learning and show you and your students how GAFE and other digital technology platforms have changed their learning experiences. Schools are a place for kids right? So why not get them involved?

We’re working together with Google and Source Central to put together this fantastic event. You’ll get to see TECH in Action! This event will be run by the students and teachers of St Thomas More Primary School, the Source Central Technical Support Team, and you’ll possibly get to meet some real Googlers too! Teachers and students will run practical workshops throughout the day. You’ll have the opportunity to decide which workshops you want to attend. We want to show you how to use GAFE and other Digital Technology tools in a practical way. You’ll learn about the many ways you can use the G-Suite Apps, Coding platforms and robots, App creation tools across the curriculum and most importantly, how to have fun!

Come along and see how we use Digital Technologies in the classroom in an efficient and easy to manage way. You’ll also hear about our journey, and how we got to where we are today. Come and experience our ‘whole school approach,’ and see why St Thomas More has been so successful in using Digital Technologies to enhance student outcomes.

Please note: This will be a BYO device event

Watch this space for agenda and keynote speakers to be announced!

https://sites.google.com/stmhadfield.catholic.edu.au/techinaction/home

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Digital Technologies… And Life

I recently heard Dr Jordan Nguyen speak at a PD I attended. All I can say is that he was extrem001.jpgely inspirational! I’m going to use what I learned from him to drive the 5/6 Inquiry unit in a direction I never imagined! This unit will focus on STEAM and we’ll be looking at how Digital Technologies can change the world and make a difference to lives. Children need to understand that Digital Technologies isn’t just about ‘coding’ and building/playing games. There’s so much more to be learned. It’s about using these tools and skills to actually make a difference.

The aim will be to get students to work in teams (just like they would be expected to in the real world!) They’ll have a project on their hands that will require them to design something that could potentially change lives. The image to the right explains some of the roles students will take on.

I’m also working on teaming up with Source Central Partners and some of the guys from Google to showcase how we use Digital Technologies at St Thomas More. The GAFE in Action day was so successful in 2015, we want to take it to the next level! The aim is to have kids showing off what they’ve learned through this Inquiry. They’ll be marketing the event with us too! Watch this space. I’ll share the journey and experiences with you. I don’t to give too much away just yet:)

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Why Every Millennial Should Learn Some Code

Hello, all!

I’ve been doing some research about coding and came across this fantastic article that was published in Forbes Magazine.

Why Every Millennial Should Learn Some Code

Next week, I will be holding a coding Curriculum day with my staff and I’m ready to have questions fired at me!

  • why is coding important?
  • why should we have to teach it?
  • how can I teach the kids if I don’t know how to code?

You all know what I’m talking about… Right? Answering their questions with, “It’s in the curriculum and you have to,” just won’t cut it! I want to provide teachers with some evidence. They need to be able to see the reality. Coding is becoming part of everyday life. We’re teaching kids and trying to prepare them for jobs that don’t even exist yet.

Just thought it was a valuable article to share with all you other techs. Happy reading:)

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I’m Back!


Hello everyone! It’s been so long since I’ve posted… I’m slightly ashamed of myself, but certainly have a great excuse… I’ve been on maternity leave. Although it’s been a while since I’ve been in this space, I can assure you my brain hasn’t stopped ticking! Between late night feeds and nappy changes, I’ve still managed to think about education (is that sad lol?) 

I won’t officially be returning to school until next year but have so many exciting things in the pipe lines. 

Next year I’ll still be working in my IT role and aim to hold another GAFE In Action event (didn’t realise the domain for this has expired. I’ll get it back up and running). Last years was so successful. I plan on including students again, holding similar workshops and defiantly want to showcase some of the exciting things that have been happening at STM. 

One of the things I’ll also be focusing on next year is coding! Yep! I’ll be tackling that by the horns. I’ve been playing around with Ozmo and am so excited to use it with the kids. The Coding Club has been so successful, that next year, every student from prep to 6 will have the opportunity to explore and learn through code. After all, it is the way of the future. So watch this space! 

I hope the rest of the year is exciting and eventful, as well as relaxing. I know it’s a crazy time of year with reports, but it’s also a great way to spend quality time with the kids as Christmas approaches. 

Enjoy what’s left. I look forward to posting fresh ideas in 2017! 

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Talk with your audience—not at them—with Slides Q&A

So it’s certainly been a while since I’ve posted. Time got the better of me, but I had to share this! Today I came across this post on Google+ about a new feature that Google Slides has released. A colleague of mine was also really excited when the Q&A feature popped up on her presentation in the classroom. We had to give it a go! Kids loved it, we loved it, and it documented everything that was happening. Give it a go!

Read the original post here…

https://docs.googleblog.com/2016/05/slidesQA.html

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10 Things to Help Start the New School Year

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Well… It’s that time of year again. Back to school! Back to school commercials and radio ads are everywhere. We’re certainly being reminded. As we approach 2016, the first thing that comes to mind as a teacher is, “What am I going to do to set up a positive environment?” “How will I ensure I get to know my kids for who they are?” We all want to do our best and provide the best learning opportunities. The start of the year, I think, is the best time to set up the learning environment you want.  Positive start. Positive year. So I’ve compiled a list of things for you to use in the classroom:

  1. Set up a space in the classroom/learning environment where kids can share photos, personal stories etc throughout the year.
  2. Ensure your students know from day one that mistakes are welcome.
  3. Burry ‘I can’t.’ I always begin the new year by having students write down something they think they’re ‘really bad at,’ or ‘can’t do.’ They’ll look at you oddly in the beginning but the impact is worth it. Once students have written what they can’t do (I also join in), share what they have written in a circle. Then tell them to rip up and stomp on it. Once the fun is over, have children put all the ripped pieces of paper into a box and burry them somewhere. You can also just hide them in a secure place. Then at the end, discuss how we don’t say ‘I can’t’ in this classroom because anything is possible. You’ll see throughout the year when kids say, ‘I can’t’ other students will pull them up and remind them that we buried ‘I can’t.’
  4. Talk about the power of positivity and the power of the mind. I find doing this in the beginning of the year helps eliminate some of that self doubt. It also allows the kids to understand that as their teacher, you believe in them. Displaying something simple that says, ‘If you think positive things, positive things will happen,’ helps the students to understand that they’re thoughts are very powerful.
  5. Ask your students what they expect from you as a teacher. You can do this with some poster paper and sticky notes. I even allow students to comment on one another’s thoughts.
  6. Have the students write a letter to their future self. They can state goals, favourite band, colour, friends etc. Things they’re excited about for the year. Anything really! Then collect them and give them back on the last day of school. They love reading them.
  7. Laugh with your students and talk to them about yourself.
  8. Provide Brain Breaks by using things like Go Noodle.
  9. Watch Kid President videos.
  10. Smile at your kids everyday 🙂
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GAFE In Action

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So it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I haven’t been MIA… I’ve been happily working on the GAFE In Action event which consumed by every minute. And can I say, it was completely and totally worth it! Friday’s event was so successful. I am so overwhelmed by the positive feedback and support I have received. It’s really made me realise just how powerful and important it is to involve students in Professional Development Days. School is a place for kids. They need to be involved more. I have never seen my students so excited to teach. We provide lots of opportunities for them to teach on another in the classroom, but they have never been given such a ‘real’ experience. Providing them with the opportinuty to teach teachers and students from other schools really showed them how much they knew about GAFE. They were proud of themselves and were able to realise just how much they knew. They really were the experts. It was also rewarding to invite other schools to St Thomas More to see how we use GAFE across the school. Teachers need to work together inside and outisde their own schools. GAFE In Action really confirmed this for me. Thank you again to everyone who attended, supported me and ran workshops on the day. It wouldn’t have been possible without you. I have shared presentations of workshops I presented on Friday with you. A big thank you to Eleni Kyritsis who also inspired me with her passion towards Genius Hour. Another big thank you to Chris Harte and Brett Moller who were Keynote Presenters. You kick-started the day perfectly!

Thanks again:)

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1BPNKtXtaaFeDrJ3iwgCET-KrQ9Hrr5eP-D2yX3ixdTM/embed?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000“>

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Kksr1INRcbu_UXZ-tJij2w6qbCI8aL-qsLLOzPNnhqo/embed?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000“>

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GAFE In Action Keynote Speaker

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Guess who’s joining us as another Keynote Speaker at the GAFE In Action Day…

As Leading Teacher for Personalised Learning at JMSS, Chris Harte’s role involves the development of learner portfolios, team teaching, pedagogies for real and virtual flexible spaces and the formative use of data. He is also involved in the design and implementation of Emerging Sciences Victoria, a virtual science school serving Victorian students. Read more here…

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