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#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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Demystifying the Digital Technologies Curriculum, F-6 (Part 1)

What a fabulous article. One of my colleagues shared this with me this morning… Just in time as I’m running a PLT with my staff tonight about the new Digital Technologies Curriculum. Saves me so much time re-wording it myself! Thank you!

Compute It Simple

I ran a PD recently for a Primary School whose staff were trying to wrap their heads around the new Digital Technologies Curriculum that is intended to be active in Victorian Schools next year. I think the staff would forgive me for saying that they found the language in the curriculum a little daunting.

I based the PD heavily on the PL-in-a-Box slides provided by CSER at the University of Adelaide. I didn’t have anything like the time required to put resources together on my own, so PL-in-a-Box was a heaven sent opportunity to help this school out without spending hours developing supporting materials in my mythical free time.

I thought I would be working my way through the slides, but it rapidly became clear that the language of the curriculum itself was proving rather difficult to interpret. So we spent much of the time working out way through the

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4 Startups Revolutionizing the EdTech World

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From online micro-tutoring to photographic tours back through history, educational technology is giving children new ways to learn… read original post here

12 Gifts for Next Generation Coders 

Originally posted on Tech Crunch. These coding ideas are fabulous. Certainly some I want to try next year with the kids at STM as we explore the endless possibilities and the world of coding! 

https://techcrunch.com/gallery/12-gifts-for-the-next-generation-of-coders-this-holiday/

Ideas for Using SeeSaw in the Classroom

I’ve started using SeeSaw with our Grade 1 and Prep students. The feedback has been positive so far. This is a great article to share with colleagues! Thanks!

using seesaw in the classroom coverDid you just say, “What is SeeSaw?”, well then start here and pop back after!

Now that we are all up to speed, I want to share some ways I have been using it in kindergarten. Many of these ways can be modified to work with your grade level as well! This is just the tip of the iceberg, so come back for more ideas in the future!

Bring parents in on fun celebrations!

Not all parents could attend our 100th Day Extravaganza, but they could at least get a glimpse! We made some awesome and tasty necklaces that would likely never make it home, so I sent pictures and some videos with a couple clicks!

seesaw ideas 1 Making cereal necklaces with 100 pieces for 100th Day! Sent to parents via SeeSaw!

I recommend signing in to the teacher account for this since you are the one taking the pictures. This gives…

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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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