Tuesday, 7 November 2017

The project that was worth no credits

This year I have been working with a student as part of the independent project at school. I have been a guide to his project.

He aim was to help develop fitness using the point's parks and reserves.

The project looked at the current ideas of the powerade challenge, parkrun and apps on a phone.

It is a pretty great system he has come up with and is looking at how to develop this to an actual community project as part of next year.

But that is not what this blog post is around.

It is the learning, when this project started, he didn't want any credits from it, it was more about the learning and him wanting to develop something for the community. He is a year 12 student currently sitting NCEA Level 2. He already had the plan for what he was wanting to study this year, and what credits would fill the pieces, he already had worked on part of his level 2 pathway at year 11.

During the year he was encouraged to look outside the box, brightsparks was identified and the requirements looked at. A video outlining his project.

As part of the independent project requirements, a dragons den were presented the projects and those that were allowed to develop an individual project got the opportunity, an individual log was required that showed some form of planning and reflection, he was encouraged to take photos along the way to show his development and ideas. Out of this fell the views and perspectives social science standard.

The project was entered for Brightsparks, and he is now a finalist, in the engineering and software categories.
Update to this from brightsparks; 3rd place senior software, 3rd place senior engineering, 1st place senior best design concept.

A week before externals were to be sent away we were discussing the project, technology scholarship was talked about, would he be able to put his work together to meet the requirements. A late entry and the challenge was on.
He managed to complete the work and the timelines. We wait to see what the outcome will be.

After the submission, I started sharing the idea and the video. Since then we have found out that the ideas of the project could be submitted for PE scholarship.
It has also started being talked about within PE circles and the student has been encouraged to share his ideas and project through a podcast, The video will also be shared this week as well as part of it.

Through this project has also fallen out the Kendall Engraving Supplies Ltd Student Design Award, as the project has been laser cut through our school's equipment, this provides another opportunity to show his learning.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

developing ideas - create a computer system

Looking at the ideas of the possible achievement standards, I am working on the ideas of innovation and inspiration.

It has been good to see on the NZACDITT group that people are starting to share ideas.

The first idea is one around Aircraft Tracking.

Airways have developed some amazing software, including automation systems that allow for pilots to land in fog. This is illustrated beautifully in this clip of landing in Queenstown (where an astonishing 30% of landings are affected by fog) This is why we fly - Queenstown

We can bring some of this technology into our classrooms with a simple and inexpensive Software Defined Radio (SDR) such as this ADS-B Kit US$26 from RTL-SDR. SDRs can also be used to receive radio, tv, and to listen to aircraft and ATCs. Airways have put together the attached PDF file with steps on how we can set these up in our classrooms. They are really keen to support schools so that students are exposed to this technology.

The outcome is similar to what you see on flightradar24.com

This is great, we are right near an airfield, what a great way to start to get students interested in this as a career.
The dongle has been purchased, and what do you know, it links in with a raspberry pi. So building and developing a system to track aircraft looks high on the list of projects to do next year.

Now to start looking at how we can set this up full time.

The second idea, Make an Impact with the IoT
The teacher has been working with a vineyard in the local area, and has developed a range of sensors to probe the environment, a great starter and something that I could possible look at, however, I am also thinking about broader applications. In some ways to carry on the ideas that I gathered in Christchurch, Sensing City (trust has now closed), but the ideas are still there... https://www.arup.com/projects/christchurch-sensing-city-new-zealand

This has been one that has been on and off since I started at the school. Internet of Things. 

The network has now been built and has good coverage

Now the difficult was trying to find a kit to make this work. thinxtra in partnership with sigFox have done this, it costs about $84 to have it land in NZ.

The kit is described here

The perfect way to get started with Sigfox, the Thinxtra devkit Xkit boasts a full suite of features and accessories to empower anyone to set up an IoT solution, even with very little hardware experience. Perfect for start-ups, design houses, universities and schools, the kit has everything you need to hit the ground running using the globally available Sigfox network.

Included in the box
  • The Thinxtra Shield, with embedded sensors: temperature, pressure, light, shock and 3D accelerometer, 2 LEDs and 1 push button, 1 USB port
  • Arduino Uno R3 board clone (already plugged in the shield)
  • External 8.5 cm antenna 8.5cm for best performance
  • USB cable (to plug to a Raspberry Pi or PC or to re-flash the Arduino board)
  • Battery holder (so the kit is independent of any external power source or computer)
  • 1-year connectivity on the Sigfox global network
  • 1- year warranty. 
A great place to find what to do and how to connect and develop is here

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Challenge, developing an online system for evidence collection

Finally writing up an inquiry I worked on a couple of years ago. Could we look at better outcomes for students using ICT/BYOD to support students in their evidence, would it make a difference

How to take something that was once a paper based exercise and reflection, and to make it online.
In the staff room early 2014 talking in the staff room, one of the PE teachers talked about if it was possible to do something better, use the BYOD aspect, the students devices, and school laptops to be able to record and reflect on evidence for an achievement standard. The aim was for a NCEA Level One achievement standard to be Substituted at first, but then came Augmentation (SAMR model) with the extra improvements.

This was one schools data and approach. The school will not be mentioned in this post.

90962 Participate actively in a variety of physical activities and explain factors that influence own participation.

Clarification of the standard

AS90962: Participate actively in a variety of physical activities and explain factors that influence own participation

Updated June 2014. This document has been updated in its entirety to address new issues that have arisen from moderation.

Explain factors that influence own participation

Using ongoing reflection, student responses must provide an explanation of the most relevant factors that influence their own participation.
The explanation should include:
  • what the factor is
  • how and why the factor influences own participation
  • specific examples of how the factor influences own participation in the chosen physical activity
  • a range of factors.
There is no step up required for the explanation.

Participate actively

Students need to participate actively in a variety of physical activities over a period of time.
For Excellence, students must consistently show a high level of effort and engagement in participation. This must include students’ regular contributions to support others to be active and/or showing a sustained effort to improve. Refer to the exemplars for examples of how the practical evidence may be interpreted.

Collection of evidence

Teacher verification of students’ active participation in a variety of physical activities over a period of time is required, for example, over the whole year or at least one term. Required evidence should include observational notes, verified self or peer assessment and/or teacher recording sheets.
The teacher may consider validated self and peer observation sheets as additional evidence to support judgements.

Interpretation of evidence for Merit and Excellence

When interpreting the evidence collected, it should be noted that the step up between Merit and Excellence is on the consistency of the criteria for a high level of effort and engagement in participation.

Overall judgement

A holistic judgement should be made as to whether or not the student has participated actively/participated actively with a (consistently) high level of effort and engagement in a variety of physical activities, rather than quantitative marks such as 80% participation to achieve with Merit. 
Throughout the year the Google Form that students were filling in needed an extra frontend for students and teachers to see where they were at and what evidence was missing.

The annodotal evidence was that students were doing better. Teachers talked about more students achieving and handing in the material rather than handing in a blob of paper at the end of the year that had been sitting in their bag with the old uneaten lunches. Though we needed to see what the data said. 

In 2013, the work was handed in using booklets.
The data
Number of results 154
Not Achieved 25 16.2%
Achieved 37 24.0%
Merit 59 38.3%
Excellence 33 21.4%

In 2014, the work was recorded and reflected using a mixture of google forms and an online system to report back to students.
Number of results 158
Not achieved 21 13.3%
Achieved 35 22.2%
Merit 58 43.0%
Excellence 34 21.5%

In 2015, the work was handed in using booklets again.
Number of results 176
Not achieved 33 18.8%
Achieved 45 25.6%
Merit 61 34.7%
Excellence 37 21.0%

The annodotal evidence was correct, more students saw success, but not at the achieved level, it was up to a merit level. The evidence from students wasn't limited to a small box or lines in a booklet, it allowed students to write as much as they wanted.
Students commented on how easy it was to make sure where they were at, removed the troublesome paper that was left at home, or damaged in a wet school bag or lost. They often talked about being able to complete the work at home, or in another class when they finished their other work. 
The writing provided opportunities for students to explain how factors influenced their participation in the sport.
There was also a section added in the work that allowed feedback from teachers to put in comments about had they done enough. Once comment from a teacher using the system was, "I am able to give feedback while on the toilet". This is not something that the writer of this post recommends. But it does highlight the fact that teachers are not limited to where they provide feedback, its online, can be opened on a phone, or tablet. It is not limited to a bunch of paper sitting there to have feedback written onto and then handed back to the students. It is real time. teachers have teh opportunity to use there non contact time and quickly go through and check, and make comments on work that students can fix later that day.

This was simple enough and translated to a google form rather well. The data was designed well and was able to be transferred to a mysql table.

Design was not considered an important aspect, it was more about focussing on the content and delivery on as many devices as possible.

Enteries, while it was not encouraged to do 15 enteries, through the development of the project we talked about a finite number, as some students would need to do extra to make sure that they had worked towards the achieved level. In this case it was about there participation factors.

teacher comments

Some of the issues,
The system is not self aware, new students and changes to timetables happen all the time in schools. Needing to make sure that new students were added so they could evidence their learning needed to happen each month. At least with the google form, all the data was recorded.

Having a mix of systems. One teacher used both ways of evidencing, google forms and paper, this added to confusion on how many enteries that students had completed.

Students couldn't remember what entry they were up to if the system hadn't been updated. This was a case of going through the spreadsheet and changing numbers of enteries each month to reflect the work that students were doing. This would be fixed under the next version, which would remove the google form aspect.

When the developer leaves the school, this is always a risk and something that needs to be thought about.

While the excellence results did not have an improvement, this could be around teh literacy of the students to highlight.

Moderation, was not an issue as the eight samples of work were able to be printed out, or moderators could have access to the teacher side of this to be able to go through the work.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017


As I sit here with my mouth numb from a trip to the dentist, I have been busy reading up on my emails.
Working through the new digital technologies curriculum and the feedback has offered some interesting insights into what people want to happen, and actually happen.

Where is the big words and new technologies mentioned?

Where are the Achievement Objectives, what are these things called Progress Outcomes?

Where is the new Technologies?

I wondered these at the start of the process as well. However, it soon came to light that when working on the unit standards review, that people need to understand what these technologies are. Virtual reality and augmented realities are digital media content. They are developed to show video and images through a new means. 

Robotics is programming and electronics, through the development of these concepts and the tools, you can develop a robot to do almost anything. However the factor would be cost, and schools having to offer more engineering principles. 

The new technologies are catered for, just not explicit in the mentioning of them. 

Progress outcomes, these were something new and had many names before what they are. For me the ideas and how they have been developed show a difference, though for many this difference is hard to understand as it is new language. The exemplars would go to show hoe they can be used to support student learning and next steps. Though, I feel this is still to come in the development of the curriculum story.

To me, I feel that one side of the story is still to happen. While the workshop that I went to was primarily focused on Computational Thinking, there is still the Design and Developing Digital Outcomes. This is one area that I feel has yet to see the light of day and will be a poor cousin to the other. This is the area of interest to me. If a student comes up with an idea, this should support them in the development of it. This is where those 21st century skills really do/should show. I guess this is the creative side. The ideas of proposing and idea and then being able to design it. These are skills that area needed all the time. The ideas of design thinking, mashups and startups require this to be able to develop ideas.

It is interesting that people want to see massive changes, and in some respects those that have introduced different aspects of coding, media, and information into there schools should be seeing these changes. However, there is an issue that needs to be addressed first, what is the proportion of schools that have yet to have the change and shift. As I watched the NCEA debate at the PPTA conference, I heard many stories of schools and the design of NCEA that I wanted to shift away from. I now hear more stories about schools looking at NCEA Level One and redesigning what it looks like within their schools/community. 

Considering the work going on to change digital technologies achievement standards, should there be thoughts on packages of learning, of the siloing of skills. What about inquiries into digital technologies and the effects that it has on social behaviors? The development of knowledge and skills to support a student inquiry into either social/environmental impacts? Innovation through design - rather interesting when you consider that this is the heart of the Technology curriculum.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Unity in Diversity

Great to see these posters that the students have developed to help with a Unity in Diversity campaign at school. It has been great to see the images that they have used have been their own and shows our school and community throughout.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Thinking about different assessment ideas

Adobe have released a great idea in getting students to think about User Experience.

What a great idea for an open assessment task for student.

Design a landing page (web or mobile) on the theme “Making an Impact.” You are welcome to interpret the theme how you wish—whether your page is devoted to how you make an impact, to what makes an impact on you, or to a related topic. (If you use photographs or illustrations in your landing page, please use only those that you have taken yourself or you have the right to use.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Ordering coffee in Maori

Looking forward to using this with my next school coffee order.


Place names

Pronunciation Guide

Friday, 8 September 2017

Playing with RFID, next stages

It has been something that I have played with on and off since 2014, when I was looking at developing a project for my previous school. It has been something that I have been waiting for the technology to catch up so we can start doing some cool projects with.

Since the early days with sparkfun and a simple rfid to serial board, now through to simultaneous rfid readers now. It has been a journey of discovery and challenge. Now playing with tags that I can write specific data to.


The challenge has been to thinking how to deal with the data. In some ways, I need a way to test this in a live environment. Just to gather data to be able to go through and learn how to manage it, to store it. How to do this live and filter the captured data.
I have been starting to think about how to deal with it and been finding some algorithms to do with it.

Update: Raspberry pi has been ordered to bring the next stages of this into action.

Reading up how to pass the information from the arduino through to pi, using pyserial. http://www.instructables.com/id/Interface-Arduino-to-MySQL-using-Python/
Although I have done this with a previous project, it has been good to go thought this again to remind myself.
I also have to find the usb battery to run this, It has a 2A connection on it to run the reader.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Digital Technologies, programming NCEA 2016

One of the areas that I am interested in each year, is what is the condition of programming in New Zealand Schools.

While it has been going up year upon year, with 5884 students taking NCEA Level One programming in 2016. Up from 3246 when the standards was introduced in 2011. What does this look like nationally.

There are 430 schools that teach Technology at NCEA levels in New Zealand in 2016. I have used that as the base information.
The above map shows the areas of the country where Level One, Level Two and Level Three are taught.

Sunday, 27 August 2017


"I haven't done one of these in a while," was a comment from my hub students on Friday, neither have I.

Adventure Racing
The term started off being a challenge for me, the Get to Go Junior Hillary Challenge was coming up and we have entered this for the past 3 years. After a bit of messaging, emails, talking with students (They don't check there emails, or read the school notices) I managed to get a team together. With the help of two of the Senior Get to Go students, training started. It has been great to see the leadership and ideas that the senior students brought to this, they bring a different sense of what it means to them to be part of this squad. They are able to talk about the challenges, the way they reflect afterwards. It allows them to gather the skills to work with 7 other people when you are tired and grumpy. The positive spirit in the group and the talking in the van between the different challenges showed that they had fun, enjoyed the day. I hope that they will join the senior squad next year.

Mountain Biking
This continues with the last race mid September, I have seen my team grow and develop their racing and now showing the skills and training that they have been doing pay off. The last race showed that even the parents work together to support each other when one of our riders was injured. I help out with the timing and general organisation of the race when running, we have not had a race like this in a while where a number of things didn't go to plan, a lost rider that didn't make the start, was found, a injured rider that needed assistance, all ok, a protest due to a rider cutting part of the track. It just goes to show when you are a teacher, you can deal with more than one thing going on.

League of Legends High School League.
This is a new one for me, I am looking after a e-sports team. It has even got me playing the game so I know what is going on now. I have taught these students for the past 3 years, and I am seeing a completely different side to them now. The team work in this and communication is essential for good game play. They too, reflect after the game and talk about the strategies that they use and things that went well and not so well. It has been great seeing one of the students who has taken on the role of captain communicate and encourage his fellow team. We have yet to win a game, but that is not the objective, as with the Adventure racing, there are other objectives that we are working towards.

The MODULE I have at the moment is Mathematics and Digital Technologies where students are learning how to code. We are using snap coding, as it is an alternative to scratch, the students have said they welcome not seeing the cat when it loads up. It works within a browser, as we have mac's windows' and chromebooks within the class. The biggest thing I hear from the students is that this is hard. When we unpack this, and I am more this week as part of my inquiry, is that this is the first time that they have done anything like this. They have not had to code before. Trying to work out how to get a computer to figure out the highest number when you enter three numbers, they can look at the three numbers and say it straight away, getting them to unpack how they do it, is a little bit harder.

FX, Learning how to do editing and creation of graphics is fun, thats what they are saying. They are looking forward to the challenge of the Fair Go Kid Ad Awards and spent the day on Friday researching different ideas from the 70's to make cool again. Even looking at old ad's to see ideas that they could bring in.

Digital technologies Curriculum Workshop
I was unable to go to the teachers one of these when in Auckland, and ended up going to the parents and industry meeting, which gave me some different insights into what they are thinking the challenges of the new curriculum is. Communication with parents on what schools are teaching seems to be a partly missing gap. What is it that the community would like to see us teach?

Developing understanding of the micro:bit
Next term I am running a SPIN based upon electronics, I am using the ideas of the mindkits brainboards, bbc micro:bit and adafruit sparkfun express.
We have been lucky that a New Zealand Supplier has just started and is bringing these into the country. Learning Development is offering a bulk discount for a set of 10 micro bits. https://www.learningdevelopments.co.nz/product-page/bbc-microbit-starter-kit-10pack

I have been thinking about the next steps with this, and starting to think what are the best resources or projects that could be developed by the students. This is one of the first results when searched, https://enterprise.microsoft.com/en-gb/articles/industries/public-sector/citynext/educated-cities/7-perfect-microbit-projects-for-pupils/

Supporting other schools
I have had a number of visits by primary schools in our area looking at what their technology programme looks like and how it may link in with what we are doing as a school. It has surprised me that schools are doing the one project for all students still.
How can secondary schools support the local schools in developing the ideas while still holding onto their identity. For me, it will be the progress outcome statements that I am looking for when a student transitions to secondary. These will provide better guidance on where a student is at. Maybe something for the SiSi project to have within it.

To end this reflection, we had the political parties and people in our area talk to the senior students, it was great to hear them talk and understand what is happening.

I am still working on the ideas of the habit stick, I now have some laser printable rubber to be able to create some stamps with the hobsonville habits on them.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Computational thinking and the NZ Curriculum

Back in 2013 I took a university paper, the post was kept as draft, however, it has been interesting looking at how things have changed and where things are being put now 4 years later.

We have been asked to provide some feedback based upon a question raised through our EDEM626 course.
This is a worthy topic for this course too and our Ministry of Education too perhaps. What do you think?
Computational thinking is seen as a skill set that every child needs to develop. It is related with a number of other 21st century competencies (problem solving, critical thinking, productivity, and creativity). In EDUsummIT 2013, we aim to advance the discussion about computational thinking by focusing its core competencies, its relation with and distinction from other 21st century competences, and its place in the curriculum.

I look back to a post from 2011 http://oneteachersview.blogspot.co.nz/2011/08/computational-thinking.html Some of the links however don't seem to work, this one takes you to an informative page http://www.iste.org/learn/computational-thinking.aspx
Advances in computing have expanded our capacity to solve problems at a scale never before imagined, using strategies that have not been available to us before. Students will need to learn and practice new skills—computational thinking (CT) skills—to take full advantage of these revolutionary changes brought about by rapid changes in technology. ISTE and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) are collaborating on a project to prepare young learners to become computational thinkers who understand how today's digital tools can help solve tomorrow's problems. CT is vital to all students as we work to raise the level of achievement, prepare students for global competitiveness, and blend academics with real life.
Download the Computational Thinking Teacher Resources now. CSTA and ISTE intend for the CT Teacher Resources to reflect our commitment to the universal idea that CT can work across all disciplines and with all school-age children. The CT Teacher Resources are an introductory package of prototype materials which include:

•   An operational definition of CT for K-12 Education
•   A CT vocabulary and progression chart
•   Nine CT Learning Experiences
•   CT classroom scenarios

The Computational Thinking Leadership Toolkit is now available for download. This companion piece to the Computational Thinking Teacher Resources, includes:
* Making the Case for CT
* Resources for Creating Systemic Change
* Implementing Strategies Guide

Copied from http://www.iste.org/learn/computational-thinking.aspx

I have also looked at the csta website around computational thinking, http://csta.acm.org/Curriculum/sub/CompThinking.html

Looking through the resources http://csta.acm.org/Curriculum/sub/CurrFiles/471.11CTLeadershiptToolkit-SP-vF.pdf, what is the case for CT

CT is a problem-solving process that includes (but is not limited to) the following characteristics:
▪ Formulating problems in a way that enables us to use a computer and other tools to help solve them
▪ Logically organizing and analyzing data
▪ Representing data through abstractions, such as models and simulations
▪ Automating solutions through algorithmic thinking (a series of ordered steps)
▪ Identifying, analyzing, and implementing possible solutions with the goal of achieving the most efficient and effective combination of steps and resources
▪ Generalizing and transferring this problem-solving process to a wide variety of problems

Reading the information I am finding it interesting that the Key Competencies mention Thinking.

Computational Thinking: Combining critical thinking and the power of computing. Does this need to be explicitly said in the next version of the New Zealand Curriculum?

"Computational thinking enables a student to express problems, and formulate solutions in a way that means a computer (an information processing agent) can be used to solve them.
Students develop computational and algorithmic thinking skills, and an understanding of the computer science principles that underlie all digital technologies. They become aware of what is, and is not, possible with computing, so they are able to make judgements and informed decisions as citizens of the digital world. Students learn core programming concepts and how to take advantage of the capabilities of computers, so that they can become creators of digital technologies, not just users. They will develop an understanding of how computer data is stored, how all the information within a computer system is presented using digits, and the impact that different data representations have on the nature and use of this information."

Friday, 14 July 2017

Developing ideas for Design and Developing Digital Outcomes Progress Outcome 2

I have been thinking about this for a while, and have done some action to work on the ideas.
A couple of years ago I used the mindkits brainboards to develop the ideas of coding with some electronics. With this the arduino provides students with an understanding of how to program. So I have been thinking about this and what the next set of gear could be.

Now, the micro:bit is available. I managed to get two of these through sparkfun earlier in the term. The great thing about these is the matrix, as well as they have an accelerometer and compass.

Now, I received an email through the nzacditt network which
In case you hadn't seen this in the news: Code.org is giving low-income students a chance to learn how to code through a free course called “Computer Science Discoveries.” The yearlong course, unveiled this week at Code.org’s TeacherCon conference in Houston, will be taught by more than 800 teachers during the school year. It’s designed for students in grades 7-9 and teaches Web design, physical computing and game creation. Link to new article

The adafruit circuit playground is part of the course, now I have had an opportunity to look at and develop during the last day and I must say that I am impressed. a small board with a lot of grunt, the part I like is the opportunity for it to record data. This makes it a great start for Internet of Things opportunities.
Stick a battery pack on this and it can be used anywhere...


Now there is an updated version coming out, with some more sensors on it and a bit of reworked system, that allows for a few more languages to be used. I am more using this a gateway to electronics, something that can be easily adapted and developed, however as students learn about the sensors and what they can do, or can't do, then other alternatives need to be looked at and developed. 

How does this look in relation to the new digital technologies curriculum. Is it Computational Thinking, or is it Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes.

It is something that I find rather difficult to put in a box for now, the guidance just isn't there. 
Mind you, I have not given what the purpose of the the idea is.

With some thought on what the purpose of the outcome could be:
Develop a solution that can record a runners temperature, and what effect the run has on a person using an accelerometer. Graph the results of this. 

It is only then that I look at this is around Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes, rather than Computational Thinking. 

  • Given some parameters/criteria and tools and/or techniques they are able to make decisions (largely independently) about creating, manipulating, storing, retrieving, sharing and or testing content (developed for a specific purpose) within a fundamental system.
  • Understanding the particular roles of components in a fundamental input, process, output system and how they work together.

Students could then talk about how they could show a couple of other aspects of this, talking about better storage opportunities through a sd card, as well as being able to record longitude and latitude through a gps receiver.
  • Understanding that inputs are transformed into outputs within a fundamental system and the “control” role that humans have in this. 
  • Purposefully use an increasing range of applications (software and file type).
Some may be thinking you have aimed for the wrong progress outcome with this, considering no student currently has any progress outcomes reported against them, I think Progress Outcome 2 for Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes at year 9 and 10 is a good place to start. Considering Progress Outcome 3 is Given some parameters they are able to make decisions (largely independently) about the best tools/ techniques to solve the problem.  
How can they make the decisions when they haven't been given the learning to support those yet?

While other may look at the Computational Thinking and look at combining these, I feel they could lose opportunities for evidencing there learning.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Challenge - Digital Technologies Curriculum

Since the announcement, I have been thinking about some of the ideas that have come out from it and these are some of the ideas around some questions that we could be asking ourselves.

What would some responses look like for some of these questions?

What does digital technologies currently look like in your school for years 9-10 students?

I have written a number of posts in relation to this over the 3 years I have been at HPSS now.
For me, it hasn't been about the "toys", it has been about developing the concepts of computational thinking, as well as design and developing digital outcomes.

This is from a blog post that talks about where is the fun stuff?
my fun stuff has been brief development where students developed a brief for new training equipment to develop a skillset in PE. (no specific requirement on any tech area)
my fun stuff has been technological modelling where students have been developing ideas around an app for developing skills with the primary school students years 4-6
my fun stuff has been technological outcomes were students made a stop motion video around relationships for visual text through an english context.
my fun stuff has been elements of design creating graphic novels through an english context.
my fun stuff has been digital information using documents and sheets
my fun stuff has been digital media photoshop looking at students photo editing skills, collage development and incorporating mixed media to support the ideas required for level one.
my fun stuff has been SketchUp recreating building around the hobsonville point for historical purposes.
my fun stuff has been developing personal vinyl stickers to identify BYOD devices and who they belong to.
my fun stuff has been developing a technological outcome for 5 years through scratch
my fun stuff has been programming through ardunio using the mindkits brainboard develop prototypes
my fun stuff has been programming through python to develop games through technological systems
my fun stuff has been digital information, creating guess who through mysql console for technological modelling.
my fun stuff has been digital media through developing simple websites using notepad++ through outcome development.
my fun stuff has been teaching students about algorithms, human computer interfaces, data representation which has covered a lot of technological systems.
my fun stuff has been integrating aspects of drama into getting students to understand computer science concepts.
my fun stuff has been integrating aspects of drama into getting students to develop digital citizenship related videos.
my fun stuff has been getting students to develop landmarks/building/new recycling bin ideas through 3d printing.
my fun stuff has been students using the local area and finding out more about it to update websites, apps and develop information signage to go around our community.
my fun stuff has been getting students understanding about self driving cars through the LEGO ev-3 Mindstorms systems and learning about testing.
my fun stuff has been getting students working with digital media-video to create social action ad's that can go on the visual signage around the school.
A lot of this has taken place from the student voice we get from the students, as well as conversations that I have with students in the modules. What is it that they want to get out of school, from the area. Where will this take them. I look forward to what the students will be doing in the next couple of years with the knowledge and skills that they have obtained through technology and digital technologies.

What are some of the barriers that are currently in the way of working towards the new digital technologies curriculum?

For me, it is the difficulty of what digital technologies is to people, the community, and other teachers. This is one of the most difficult parts at present. The name itself. ind you, technology, computer science, and ICT all have baggage with them as well. The ideas that we are trying to get through to the students who at present who have high anxiety over their English and Maths results from every time they are tested or reported on.  The baggage of the technology curriculum. While strands and achievement objectives have been important, these are not evident in the new digital technologies curriculum. The move to progress outcomes will cause considerable issues within schools as they are not curriculum level. How does one show a Basic, Proficient and Advanced mastery of this? Getting schools to rethink reports for a particular learning area is going to be a challenge. I am lucky in the way that our school functions around our Learning Design Model in the way that we report. I guess it is around the conversations that we have. I need to be better at the Open Learning Conversations and sit down and talk with our principal about some of the barriers that he sees as a school.
Being the only teacher? This one is still a hard one to delve into, I was challenged in my thinking around this yesterday, However, looking at it from a different lens, I am not the only teacher in the school. There are others who have an interest, who are innovating in their practice in the school. I need to be talking with them more, developing that thinking and ideas.

How does the current timetable in your school support the ideas of the new digital technologies curriculum?
Has our timetable stopped changing? No. We are in our fourth year of operating as a school. The changing nature of our school in adding a new year level each year providing challenges and opportunities. Modules provide opportunities to work together with another learning area and provide an integrated curriculum.
Technology - Digital Technologies and English
Technology - Digital Technologies and PE
Technology - Digital Technologies and PE
Technology - Digital Technologies and The Arts - Drama
Technology - Digital Technologies and Social Sciences
Technology - Digital Technologies and Mathematics 
These are the areas that I have been working with over my time here. Through our integrated learning approach, such wonderful rich connections

It is not only just being taught through one area.
SYMTEXT uses Edison robots to get students to develop algorithms to think about how they can be successful through providing step by step instructions.
Mytimes provided opportunities for students to develop pixel art as well as developing paper based electronics.
Projects has allowed students to develop electronics, access virtual reality, robotics.

A lot of that different "stuff" has also been around what students come and ask for, be it recording, using maky maky's for HCI experiments, go pro's that allow students to record their learning. Also access to arduino's for students to develop some electronics sensor recording. Having high quality camera for students to be creative. It is having these on hand for students to develop their understanding that is outside the classroom.

Also had opportunities to work with the primary students in them developing their coding, as well as digital media.

I suppose the thinking around this, is that students learn through a more integrated curriculum, the learning of Digital Technologies is happening in other places, it is not limited to. Students Explore, Make Sense, Focus Generate, Test, Refine, and Evaluate through the Design Thinking Process whenever they are developing a Digital Outcome. How do we provide the tools and thinking to support other teachers through this.

What do the progress outcomes mean for reporting digital technologies within your school and to your parents?
We are sitting rather well around this, as we don't report achievement objectives, instead;
"Progress is reported against curriculum levels that align with Learning Area (subject) learning objectives. Students are measured against the New Zealand Curriculum, utilising curriculum and sub levels to signal the depth of thinking and understanding. This is one of the ways that we share achievement and progress with parents and whanau." - HPSS Summative Progress Report

How might you as a leader of digital technologies help promote the ideas of the new curriculum to senior management?
Have already started the conversation, I haven't gone in with the attitude of things must change, it is about listening to them and providing them the understanding. Yesterday I sat down with our principal and had a discussion with him about what he saw and heard at the cross sector forum.
------------some notes from that meeting----------

Changing feast - always changing.

Starters in conversation, how do I change the open to learning conversation.
Active listening.

Change reporting in school to match the digital technologies outcome statements.

Message from robotics, not using digital, but being digital. 
Looking at a way to capture the resources, getting our students digitally fluent, achieving these progress outcomes.

That our school be seen as a beacon of quality digital citizenship and digital ethics

Developing computational thinking

Provide connections between learning areas. 

Access through our facilities management building management system, data from energy, water use, waste. Through our community.
Need to get access to this.

How do we take the technology curriculum to all students and teachers.
The process of learning/ design thinking/ process that should drive learning for all learning areas.

Achievement Objectives vs progress outcomes.

What is the process of learning, learning design model, learning is a process. In other school learning is the delivery of stuff. Teacher and student may not understand what the process is. How do we show depth of thinking?
Some of these may be answered within just a couple of words, but as we go through the consultation period,

I for one would like to see some discussion on the questions that are in the consultation document. Especially around,

What does this mean for Technology in schools? This is one that I am trying to come to grasp with at the moment, what does this look like for me as Learning Design Leader - technology. Does the specific skills in Technology (Food, DVC, Materials) need to change? Considering the ideas of Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes, aspects of the work in these areas are now more digital based, textiles have access to laser cutter, embroadory machines, and e-textiles. DVC has access to rhino and other 3D creation packages where students are developing their drawings into imagined worlds. Materials have the laser cutter where exact measurements are being cut and accurate use of materials. The area of Technology is becoming more digitised.

For us, I believe that we are well placed for the changes.

How useful is the consultation material in considering how to integrate and adapt the proposed DT|HM content to design local curriculum for your students?
I have been thinking about what local curriculum is, one of the ideas is to use what we started off with in our school. That was about Our Community, being able to think about us as a school, our community, our region and New Zealand.
As a school we generate a huge amount of data through our Building Management System, what is it that we can gather and use through the sensors that we have already, start some interesting conversations around.
The community, while it has been talked about for a while now, getting students starting to develop their own businesses in the use of digital technologies. How do this look like in practice?
I use the community to enable students to go out and get their original content, it has been rather great to be in a space that is always changing, has public art, pretty cool historic buildings, and has some great parks. These provide opportunities for students to be creative as well as opportunities for the community to see learning outside the school.
I guess in someways it has been something we have already considered within our school. Innovate. Engage. Inspire. It will be how do we show this in a more visible way.

How might we reflect digital technologies learning in the name of the Technology Learning Area?
Technology has so many issues with names, when you say Technology outside of the education system, people already assume the use of devices and associated peripherals.
I would like to propose, Design and Digital Technologies.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Ideas for goal setting, reflection

I have been watching some kickstarter ideas, I keep coming back to how we can better help our students with the ideas of reflections and personal goals.

The idea I am looking at today is https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/53020943/the-perfect-notebook/

Online or paper based. 

Every student is different, I talked with one of Friday, she has started to write down things that she is happy for each day, as well as giving herself a star rating. Thinking about her mental wellbeing, also using a sheet to write down what is due and what is required from her classes. Asked about digital or paper, at the moment paper, because I can cross it off. It is always with me.

“A lot of tech people I know are going back to paper, because a paper planner … there’s still no better tool than a paper planner.” organization and time-management guru, David Allen, said during a recent Wired.com interview.


While many applications for time management exist, none can replace the added value of sitting down with a pen and paper. It’s just faster, way more convenient, and therefore you will actually use it.  

So happy that the while I get a physical copy of the book, I also get a PDF copy as well.

Here is what Amy Schellenbaum, Popular Science, had to say:
“Writing things down can make you feel better, mentally and physically.” 
“...Once you’ve written down all the tiny things you need to get done, you give your brain the capacity and the encouragement to actually do the things.” 
“The manual effort: It’s easy to underestimate the swell of satisfaction from making progress on something physical. To-do lists give nerds like me the thrill of checking something off. It’s a genuinely pleasurable experience.”

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Big Data and NZ Digital Technologies NCEA Level 3 idea

How do students create understanding of Big Data, what can be some of the ideas that they can understand. Plotting data on a map to understand a crash analysis database(need to register to access, research purposes). This I did a couple of years ago. Now I am looking at the ideas of infographics. One that has helped me to understand a bit better the opportunities around this is Brian Foo, the creator of Climate Change Coloring Book on kickstarter.

The Climate Change Coloring Book contains guided coloring activities that explore scientific research and data related to climate change. The goal is to encourage learning, exploration, and reflection on issues related to climate change through act of coloring.

One of the great things about his kickstarter has been the sharing of the code, the code used to generated the art in the book will also freely available to use and extend. This has allowed me to think about what data we have in New Zealand and what could be used to demonstrate the understanding.

Pushing the ideas.
Since working in Christchurch I am used to seeing in the papers the number of days that there was poor air quality. This is from http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/82329452/Canterbury-unlikely-to-meet-air-quality-standards to be able to think about what the ideas of having and showing data could look like.
Gathering data to use from http://data.ecan.govt.nz/Catalogue/Method?MethodId=98
Seems like it does not like to show data from some sites, this could be that the data is no longer being gathered.

DateTime,StationName,CO (mg/m3),NO2 (ug/m3),NOx (ppb),PM10 (ug/m3),PM2.5 (ug/m3),PMCoarse (ug/m3),Relative humidity (%),Temperature (near ground - top of mast) (DegC),Temperature 10m (DegC),Temperature 2m (DegC),Wind maximum (m/s),Wind speed (m/s)
2017-06-01,St Albans,0.354879349470139,15.7742910385132,13.4651327133179,14.1038541793823,8.67333316802979,5.43052053451538,90.6372528076172,0.032423734664917,9.91655158996582,9.94897556304932,2.42499995231628,1.32716655731201

Looking at the data, we need to gather the PM10 (ug/m3), however the data that is being collected for the code in the coloring book above is for PM25. It seems that the New Zealand measurement is PM10 http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/ED1706/S00006/air-quality-monitoring-continues-in-alexandra.htm

What students will need to understand is what is the data recorded, and how it is being used.