Sunday, 26 December 2010

year 13 web

I am looking at moving the year 13 course to a course that more looks at web 2.0 tools and developments. Students need to look at these things a little bit more to find out where things have come from, most students don't realise where we have come from and are unable to reflect on a sites design and audience to well.

Introduction to Web Design Using Microsoft® Expression® Studio 4: Module 1 History and Future of the Web

So I am looking at a number of modules that have been developed and using the guiding questions in each for the students to reflect on at the end of each lesson.

Introduction to Web Design Using Microsoft® Expression® Studio 4: Module 3 Designing for Communication

Students struggle with designing for communication, yes they can design a webpage, but what does it communicate.

Introduction to Web Design Using Microsoft® Expression® Studio 4: Module 6 The Design Process

The design process, students need to understand where this fits in and what is required in their own work

Introduction to Web Design Using Microsoft® Expression® Studio 4: Module 7 The Production Process

As normal, design and production almost go hand in hand, so these will go together quite well.

Introduction to Web Design Using Microsoft® Expression® Studio 4: Module 8 Web Publishing and Maintenance

The last module is one that students never think about at all until that last moment when they go to hand it in, who will look after it, how will they look after it. Maintenance is now more important than actual design, it is also something that people forget in our organsiation as well whenever I look at our own school website. It is a place to communicate with your target audience.

There is one other course that I am looking at this year, which is financial literacy, it is something that I am having to do...

Achieving your childhood dreams

Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams  - 02/05/2009
With equal parts humor and heart, Carnegie Mellon University Professor Randy Pausch delivered a one-of-a-kind lecture that moved an overflow crowd at Carnegie Mellon University - and is now moving audiences around the globe.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

something different for next year

After another year of the three day learning around project 72 - get lost! I have found it pretty hard this year which resetting up and doing the development work again.
Although the students feedback has been positive, I am after another challenge. I think I have the beginnings of a challenge that will be somewhat different and go along the lines of the initial project guidelines.

The design principles
  • Projects should provide interactive, engaging learning activities which strengthen 'learning to learn' capabilities.
  • Projects should help students to make authentic, relevant connections between their learning and the world they live in.
  • Outcomes should conclude with an evaluation, using learner-derived indicators of successful learning and opportunities to celebrate achievements.
The following concepts also guided the design of projects:
  • opportunities for curriculum coherence by making links within and across learning areas
  • timetable suspension, allowing for increased scope and choice for learning
  • students and staff learning collaboratively
  • opportunities to nurture creativity and innovation
  • enhancing staff collaboration and collegiality
  • creating opportunities to connect with the needs and interests of junior students
  • multi-literacies in a knowledge age and opportunities to consider new approaches to assessment.
(Also the following adapted from Claxton, 2006)
  • problem solving tasks that encouraged reflective thought and action
  • actively questioning the learning, including traditional and less familiar types of questions
  • making links to real life contexts where outcomes and solutions genuinely matter
  • designing challenging and authentic tasks that provided multiple opportunities for students to learn.
This is an idea I last looked at a couple of years ago and have been thinking about as an extension project, possibly for a holiday programme or for a media/solutions class. Though I think the year 9 and 10 programme would be a good introduction for the students. We can look at the technology curriculum and use the development of the project. .

The more I start looking at teaching as inquiry through the the more I start to wonder why we are using these terms at school when we don't fully understand them, the development that is required to start meeting these outcomes requires reflection.

Monday, 8 November 2010

definition of an unwebsite

A couple of weeks ago I came across a tweet on twitter that talked about an unwebsite, I have struggled to find a definition of what a unwebsite is...

until now

A gradual movement towards a distributed web presence from a monolithic 'website'...

Sunday, 7 November 2010

e-asTTle integration answers

I have been contact with e-asTTle and our SMS provider, it seems that the SMS - asTTle integration ran ahead of itself. Below is the response...

The very first build of e-asTTle ran ahead of itself andf built a web service integration for SMS data exchange, but based on the one for asTTlev4. My team knew the limiations of this, having only ever got it to work for a few Integris schools. It is not the right pattern to ask SMS vendor to develop to, there was always supposed to be a better method coming (using ESIS). There has never been sufficient development resource to revisit this and put in place the exchange as it should be.

So why have it in the program and listed as a resource in all its documentation.

Monday, 25 October 2010

A new job decription

I have been thinking about this for a while, a former student gave me an idea today. We have an IT manager, a technician and now a helpdesk operator.
I no longer have time for my networks systems work, though I still want to push something through as I see it is a need within the school.

Web admin/infrastructure manager. With all the changes and developments that I push through each year, let me count so far
intranet development - editor and administrator, wordpress
arts and culture website - administrator, wordpress
portal website - editor  and administrator
access it library - content management system
subject option selection - own development mySQL/php
inquiry based learning selection - own development mySQL/php
KnowledgeNET moodle - developer of course and subject sites
google apps infrastructure manager - manages the google apps site at school
moodle - manager of the department moodle installation.
e-asTTle - administrator of the institution site
myportfolio- administrator of the institution site
SMS - administrator of the iPhone/iPad installation

If I keep thinking I think there will be a couple more. Who is responsible for these areas in other schools, is there a specific role in schools for someone like me?

Friday, 22 October 2010


We are currently working a number of projects at school to help assist our students in their digital life.
We are looking at a IdP solution to link in our schools active directory, knowledgeNET, Google apps, myportfolio, and access-it. The reason for this is these are the four products that we are starting to use most within our learning.

Developments are working steadily and we have now been approached by our school LMS to be one of the pilot schools to get this going. This for me is great, but for our technician is a struggle as he is starting to find a number of things getting taken away from him, or is he. I see this as a free up of time to develop valuable resources, maybe I should get him programming in php and mySQL so I can leave a number of the projects that I run each year up to him. Option selection and our inquiry based learning are two that I can think of, though I am starting to wonder if we will need these developments anymore with the latest google apps that are being offered now.
I am also aware of what is required to get these things up and going and that it requires multiple parties to be talking to each other, just when one of the cogs drops things do go stale.
I need to get a meeting with our paperCut expert to go through and tidy up our printer costs.

I am also working with the integration of our schools SMS into access-it library which has been an adventure, the latest update was supposed to allow this to be an easier experience, but the developers have now removed the latest update from the site as they work through a number of issues, I don't think we have emailed them this much before. Currently having issues with the xDBC drivers?

Clickview is currently processing all of our videos and making them available for wireless computer use, which is going to take approximately 3 weeks to go through and convert our database of resources.

The other parts of my teaching are currently looking at the literacy requirements of the students, the year 13 web design students are currently developing a resource to assist students in doing there reading logs. One of the things that I liked is the idea of facebook to show the number of books that a student has completed as a way of getting students to compete against each other to get it done, will have to look at the code that will be needed to do this

e-asttle, import issues, we are currently working through an issue with e-asttle. We can not import our students correctly at the moment, this went from being a first level helpdesk inquiry to a vendor issue within 15 minutes. It has been an issue for a month now and still things have not really progressed.

Though on another tack with e-asTTle, I have been in contact with the bridging projects person at the ministry to investigate Single Sign On as an alternative login method than what we have now which is tricky and for the staff involved difficult to manage.

When will the Auckland Museum make there PUBLIC SSID open for people to use, make your website freely available for people to use within the museum as a way for the public to find out more about the exhibits and the collection that is housed.

I will stop there for now, just one thing more 67 does not equal 95.

Thursday, 14 October 2010


The registration for the inquiry based learning project has started up once again, with some small issues that I forgot to sort out. Student id number went from 4 digits to 5 digits this year and I managed to forget that this was the case, with a small number completing there selection yesterday it gave me a chance to look at what I had done, and managed to work out that there was the issue, a quick fix on two of the database tables, then removing those students that had already made there selection, luckily only affected two students, though it did affect he ability for 356 students to login.

Numbers, with 200 students having completed their registration of interest 25% of the students so far want to do the Get Lost project, Hopefully these numbers change with the other 504 students still to complete.

Planning is now underway for one aspect of the get lost programme and it has been affected by a kilikiti tournament at the auckland domain on the 1st of december. Also I plan to get a hold of next bikes to grab 10 bikes for an activity in the domain.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Curriculum around Small Basic

Small Basic is, in my opinion, one of the really cool platforms for introducing programming to younger students. A simple IDE, a simple subset of BASIC, and built in turtle graphics all resonate with me. And a number of teachers around the world seem to agree. One thing we have been lacking though was some real curriculum support. Well that has changed. A set of 21 PowerPoint presentation with imbedded notes for teachers is now available. There are other resources available on the Small Basic page of the Beginning Developer Learning Center as well. If you use this curriculum or anything else associated with Small Basic would you let me know please? Also any feedback about what we can do better or differently. Thanks

Google Code-in

Participating Open Source Projects

Watch this space for updates on the organizations that will be participating in the contest this year. We announce the organizations on November 5, 2010.


Google Code-in, Google's contest to introduce pre-university students to the many kinds of contributions that make open source software development possible, is starting on November 22, 2010. We are inviting students worldwide to produce a variety of open source code, documentation, training materials and user experience research for the organizations participating this year. These tasks include:
  1. Code: Tasks related to writing or refactoring code
  2. Documentation: Tasks related to creating/editing documents
  3. Outreach: Tasks related to community management and outreach/marketing
  4. Quality Assurance: Tasks related to testing and ensuring code is of high quality
  5. Research: Tasks related to studying a problem and recommending solutions
  6. Training: Tasks related to helping others learn more
  7. Translation: Tasks related to localization
  8. User Interface: Tasks related to user experience research or user interface design and interaction
Stay tuned to the Google Open Source Blog and subscribe to the contest announcement list for updates.

cache ideas

Looking at what we are going to doing at the end of the year, i had a look at, there now seems to be a number of traditional caches at the domain which could be suitable to be used for the programme, though I think we may still place our own out for students to use this year, though i have started to look at the guidelines of hiding a cache, and it is required to be 161m away from another cache...

Wednesday, 29 September 2010


I think sometimes, probably more often than not.

I have a favourite youtube video, it is one that apple made that get staff to think about where they see themselves in their school, what makes it great. It is called, Think ahead.

I like the end part of the video, where it has three statements;
Think big,
Thing bold,
Think ahead.

Do we think big sometimes or do we crush our dreams, ambitions, that teachable moment,
Do we think bold enough, or do we just think regular?
Thinking ahead, with so many unknowns, are we able to think ahead.

We have so many choices, options in our classes, are we able? What is the final goal?

Also, I want to put this out there, is it something that should be explored?

This is just an blue sky idea at the moment,

I want to try something different with the year 9 ict class in term 4

I want to use with yours and mine year 9 students, just to get them to look at what they have done during school that week.

I want them to blog once a week, I know that you are doing with with your seniors, but i also see that we are going to have to do this next year with our junior ict classes.

The simple questions:
What have you done this week?
What went well?
What didn't go well?
What could you improve?
What are you doing next?

Though i would love too see some of these questions more focussed around justin hinds key competency PowerPoint.

I see atoned 20 minutes of there lesson being used for this, it will also mean I have something to go to Peter with and work around getting more time in year 10 classes if he sees that there is other benefits from the course.

This can be started by the students focussing on there learning in our class, but I can see it opening up to what is working well in the school, I also see it opening up to some interesting experiences around project 72 and getting the students to reflect on there experience.

As i said this is only a blue sky idea at the moment, there is still some thinking to be done.
I am also looking at this as being a way to work out on how to embed practice in the school when we get the net books, imagine period 5 on a wendesday when all year 9 and/or year 10 students jump online to blog about there week at school.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Top 25 Ed Tech trends

1. Touch Screens
Taking touch screens out of fast food establishments, and making that software affordable for every classroom and new device is long overdue. Touch Screens are here, and if it takes a few more dollars to add the feature—do it. Whether on notebooks, whiteboard, slates, or displays—touch is intuitive.
2. 3D Technology
There are different ways of doing 3D, with glasses, on display screen, one or two projectors. This technology is improving, so that it is now a viable classroom tool. The curriculum for 3D lags, but should catch up as more developers get education serious about this teaching tool.
3. Cloud Environments 
Making teacher and student desktops 24/7 Web-available is only part of what a cloud environment can offer. This is not just having a tech product online; it is looking at delivering useful and seamless tech solutions, and at an incredibly low price. Naysayers present the data safety issue, but there are solutions there, too. Looking to the clouds is happening. Discussions are needed to define it better, but it certainly is something district leaders can understand.
4. Cell Phones/Smartphones 
You can’t even call them phones anymore. They are handheld computers, with more capability than most computing devices in schools today. Preventing their use at schools isn’t an option. Some schools will provide them, and other schools will figure out how to manage student-owned.
5. Apps
How many apps do you have? Good question to ask students, teachers, and administrators today. Life is getting easier for developers of apps, which until recently used to be too tightly controlled by a few very large companies. The race is on to create more, and on the education side—educators and students will benefit. Apps can easily supply everything from a measurement converter to a student magazine subscription.
6. WiFi and Broadband 
There are still many places where a connection to the Internet is better with a string attached to two cans, but it’s getting better. Figuring out how to get the Internet, which is now pretty much part of an education right, has the attention of the big broadband firms, but needs a nudge to get the discussion revved up. Yes, it may require a bit of Washington help for that, too.
GUI (pronounced gooey), or graphical user interface is not new. Many non-geeks use the term today, because that’s what separates software and hardware from those that are great to use, and those that are impossible to use. For kids and teachers it may be under the hood tech, but companies that get the GUI right and make it easy—sell products. Running something out of the box has gotten realistic—and expected.
8. Slates/Tablets/Convertibles
The modern day slate, whether used with a stylus or finger touch has become another way to teach a class from anywhere in the class, and to get students away from desks, too. Convertible devices offering a tablet attached to a laptop present a more traditional way to go. There will soon be more slate devices to choose, and when the pricing gets appropriately low—that will make a difference for districts.
9. Netbooks 
These light-running Web machines can’t be considered new anymore, but they continue to be great student computing devices. They’re inexpensive, and their battery life is almost scary-long.
10. Response Systems
Many companies have jumped into the response system market. These little gadgets once were just voting or polling devices, but now there are texting solutions, too. With a little practice, most teachers can gather data—on the fly—during a lesson—and report the findings immediately, redirect teaching, and finally upload it all to grading or an SIS location.
11. Interactive Presentation Solutions
We’re moving away from linking the word interactive with just one piece of hardware. The key today is having a total interactive solution in a classroom. That could be a whiteboard solution, along with teacher stations, a tablet, a projector, a document camera, and teamed up with devices in student hands. Don’t forget audio and media controls, as well as dynamic software for lessons and tying everything together.
12. Paperless Solutions
Most think printing less when thinking paperless. Now, if you’re a printer company, that doesn’t necessarily, keep you off a top trend list. Multifunction is the name of the game. While it’s true that printers still print, multifunction machines can do much more. They are becoming district, school, and teacher management devices. Beyond scanning documents, the “new printers” can create assessments, score them, and input data into student information systems, as well as e-mail the information to parents. Many districts are setting them up to manage district forms.
13. Education Communities
Whether it’s a few teachers creating a personal learning network (PLN), or many teachers joining larger organizations—teaching communities are a must. Education companies know that, and are offering, or thinking of offering these communities as part of purchasing packages. Beyond teacher chats and videos on how to use a particular product, the resources, and lessons/templates make them worthwhile. The best of these are all educator, and the worst can be merely commercials. Avoiding the latter brings educators and districts back for more.
14. Resource Portals Educators
love links (URLs) to resources they can use. While hunting for URLS in a traditional search can benefit the few, who are good detectives, having sites that are dedicated to posting great and useful resources for educators are bookmarked and shared. Go to resource portals pay off.
15. Professional Development
Professional development delivery methods have changed, and more companies are offering it. Whether specific or general, educators expect professional development, and administrators plan how to deliver it. More and more, professional development has moved out from the four walls and to the 24/7 delivery method. Video plays an important part. Schools no longer need to be closed, nor substitute coverage provided, so workshops can happen.
16. Alert/Notification Solutions
Contacting everyone, whether it’s just a simple message about an open house, a need to close school due to weather, or emergencies, such as a lock down situation is a necessity. There is no way a school secretary can do that today. Tying SIS, parent contact information, school/district communication, and doing it in many ways, and in many languages has to happen—immediately. These solutions have become quicker and more robust. If your district is talking security cameras on buildings, they’re also talking alert and notification systems.
17. Online Courses/Virtual Schools
Going online for courses used to be just for credit recovery and distance learning. It still works for getting more kids across the graduation stage, and filling in for lost classes due to budget cuts, but virtual learning is now considered mainstream. There are many reasons, including more individualized attention, great video demonstrations, and interactive lessons, but the bottom line is that for many students, offering learning 24/7, away from the 4 traditional walls—works. The virtual student population is growing.
18. Video Conferencing Solutions
Gone are the days of expensive tools to do video conferencing with other classes, schools, and countries. Almost every computing device is set up to do it today—and to do it easily. Some companies are providing better hardware to do it, too. The difference today, over the “can you hear me now” software and hardware experiences of the past—is it works—and you don’t have to be a computer guru to do it.
19. Social Media
You may not agree that social media tools, such as Facebook and Twitter have a place in schools, but they are becoming a simple connection for educators nationally and internationally. Sharing a lesson, a link, a suggestion, a how to, or just a hang in there on Twitter or Facebook has become part of an educator’s daily routine. As for use in the classroom, that’s still up for debate.
20. Battery Life
We need to thank some incredible tech experimentation for a lot, but more than anything for the boost in battery life. First probably noticeable in netbooks, it is almost unreal to think we’ve gone from batteries that would maybe go an hour to those that are pushing past 10. This is great news for the 6-hour school day, and back-to-back class schedules.
21. Video
Everyone can do video today. Just as everyone learned digital photography and simple editing, video options are becoming necessities. Many educators think of video as an expected component to daily lessons—certainly their students do. There are companies that fill video needs for those lessons, and it has become increasingly easy for teachers and students to add their own.
22. Security, Network Guarding and Management
Making networks secure and keeping students cyber safe can keep district tech leaders up at night. Options for gate keeping a district’s tech investment at a central location, using fewer tech support specialists can do it, and without breaking the bank. Classroom management tools can do the same for labs and classroom environments, where the number of computers to control has increased, and down time is not an option. It has also made it possible to create thin client computing environments that have no lag in computing power. Stringing together many monitors off of one sufficiently set up computer can be budget smart.
23. Assessment and RTI
Assessment and what to do with them continues to be the big education question,. Today, there are many methods and ways competing to most effectively test and prescribe to student needs. There is always the overhanging warning to poorly performing districts and schools as well, which keeps RTI providers on their toes. Some companies have added assessment and response to intervention to their solutions, while other companies provide it as their sole solution. While it’s a district preference and choice, all are Web-based today, because keeping data in a file drawer doesn’t get it shared—and acted upon.
24. District Websites, Blogs, Branding and Media
How a community perceives a district is important. Creating a public presence demands that a district and school have online place. It can’t be stagnant; it must be active. Media and branding are good for businesses, and also for education. Some districts have people who can do these things internally, but there are a number of companies that can help create a very professional look for districts to share with the community. The key is that these sites need to share, but also look professional today. Gone are the days of slap something up—just to get there. Today, the Website represents the district more than ever.
25. eReaders
Some would argue that a netbook would be better than an eReader in class, because it can do more. Well, if you just want something to fill a reading need in class, or in a resource room, an eReading device makes sense. Downloading books is simple and inexpensive, and eReaders are easy to use. Look for more of them in class. It’s always about using the right education tool for the right situation.
Note: Thank you Nano Tech 
Small is definitely better. Devices, screen sizes, and gadgets are smaller—taking up less classroom real estate. Teachers, students and administrators are pretty much wearing technology today.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Guidelines for Effective Adolescent Literacy Instruction

Guidelines for Effective Adolescent Literacy Instruction

I am posting them up on my blog as I cannot find any description of information anywhere else about these. They have been made up by a provider - team solutions

1. Instruction provides students with extensive opportunities to engage with a wide range of appropriately challenging written text.

2. Instruction is differentiated to address individual literacy need, interests & experiences.

3. Effective literacy instruction clarifies and shares literacy learning intentions and criteria for success.

4. Instruction provides students with specific feedback about the language aspect(s) of their learning.

5. Instruction supports students to make effective use of how texts are organised (e.g. heading, different paragraph structures).

6. Instruction develops students’ skill to make links to prior knowledge and/or build necessary background knowledge

7. Instruction develops students’ vocabulary and vocabulary-solving skills.

8. Instruction develops students’ skills to employ key comprehension strategies.

9. Instruction develops students’ skills to flexibly use and integrate written, oral, and visual modes.

10. Instruction develops students’ skills in both receptive and productive language use.

11. Instruction develops students’ skills to engage with text beyond a literal/factual level.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

m-learning and class

Sorry, I don't really know what title this would come under, but I came across this today on twitter from someone,

november- classwork should become homework and vice versa with the cellphone being the backpack. now that idea can blow room full of minds! 

it has got me thinking and I hopefully will come back to this blog and reflect on the statement a little more

it is from a presenter that works here

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

subject option choice .8a

carried out changes to the database and index page due to the changes of levels instead of years. Some stuff to still do surronding information that will be displayed to the students. Preloading of some students subjects needs to occur, this is the new6 field in the students table.

Sunday, 11 July 2010


I went to a conference on Wednesday about mlearning, this was through the university of waikato.

One of the sessions I went to has still got me thinking.

these were some of the questions that were posed to us in groups. some of these I would love to use with teachers in some ICTPD later in this term.

Ahh, the slide that almost got me in some serious trouble, the first brown line in this slide talks about a digital curriculum.

Monday, 28 June 2010

scratch resources

I am about to embark on something different,

1) Programming concepts and skills supported in scratch(pdf) (doc)
What problem solving, project design skills, fundamental ideas about computers and programming, and specific programming concepts does Scratch support (and for the latter does not support)? This is an excellent summary, highly recommended, you need to download for the examples (code snippets) provided too, which are really good. Also notethis discussion thread on the Scratch forum about this document, especially the comments by kevin karplus and responses by natalie, the document author, to his suggestions

Scratch supports these Specific Programming Concepts:
sequence, iteration (looping), conditional statements, variables, threads (parallel execution), synchronisation, real-time interaction, boolean logic, random numbers, event handling, user interface design

Scratch does not currently support data structures (arrays, etc.), procedures and functions, recursion, inheritance, defining classes of objects, exception handling, parameter passing and return values, text input, file input/output

2) Scratch Programming Projects
Ten excellent projects described in just the right amount of detail, with requirements and extras:

  1. "Chasing/Eating" (Pac Man Type Game)
  2. Red Light/Green Light
  3. Pong
  4. Target Game
  5. Communication Project
  6. Animation of a short story
  7. Virtual Musical Instrument
  8. Virtual Board Game
  9. Basic Space Target Game
  10. Shape Drawing Robot (Polygon Robot)
3) Shark eats fish
Introductory tutorial, clearly explained with screenshots

4) Comparison of different languages (thread in Scratch forum)
This comment by pkimelma presents a well thought out sequence for teaching Scratch using a games theme.

Other comments in this thread compare Scratch with Phrogram (which has 3D graphics), Alice, Starlogo and others.

5) Kevin and Abe Karplus Scratch page looks to have a nice collection of scratch exemplars

resources of ideas for development by students

1) Use the Letter shapes to write your first name on the page. Then introduce some special effects such as making the letters wobble and change their appearance.

2) Point, click and move
Make an object both point and glide towards the mouse position when you click on the stage
Hint: Motion > point towards
Hint: Sensing > mouse down?

3) Make Dan or Anjuli or Cassy or ballerina dance to a beat, using all of their dance shapes. Include a suitable background that changes colours as the lights flash.

4a) Make two animals have a forwards and backwards conversation
Hint: Use broadcast, (ask for help if you don’t know how broadcast works)
4b) Make it an interesting conversation with each animal speaking at least 3 times and making gestures too

5) Make a sprite gradually grow in size and then shrink

6) Make 2 different balls move around on the stage
a) the first ball moves in straight lines but bounces randomly whenever it hits the edge
b) the second moves randomly, gliding from one position to a new random position continually

7a) One sprite chases another sprite around the stage. The first sprite moves in straight line but bounces off the edge randomly. The chasing sprite chases the first sprite but is moving slower.
b) Extension – if the chasing sprite catches the other sprite then it says something sensible and makes a suitable sound

8a) Play all the different drum sounds automatically
Hint: create a variable for the drum number
b) Extension – keep recycling through all the drum sounds automatically

9a) Count down on a timer. A rocket takes off when you reach zero
Hint: Use the number icons in the letters folder
9b) Your rocket has pulsating exhaust and disappears at the top of the screen

10) Add, multiply or subtract two variable numbers
Hint: Just to do addition only you will need 4 variables: firstNum, secondNum, answer (computer calculated) and myAnswer (human calculated)

11) Variable coloured squares
a) Write a script that can draw a square of any size
Hint: Make a variable for the side length
b) Use the variable square script to draw a series of square with variable sides, with a single click
c) Now add variable pen colour and pen shade to the variable square script and use it to draw a variety of different coloured squares, with a single click

12) Draw lines of random thickness in random directions with random colours. The pen must be lifted up and moved for each new line.
Hint: pen group contains set pen color, set pen size, pen up, pen down
Hint: colours range across the spectrum (ROY G BIV) starting with red = 0. There are about 190 colours in total and you need to display them all!

13A) Make a race
a) choose two suitable sprites, they must have at least 2 costumes to simulate motion
b) the sprites move at random speeds, you can’t predict the winner
c) make a finish line, using a new sprite is best
d) suitable background music
e) when the winner crosses the finish line it announces that it won
f) reset scripts to start again

13B) Extension: Make it a multi-lap race, the number of laps can vary
g) make a variable to set and count the laps (use this on just one of the sprites otherwise you will be counting the laps twice)
h) use “x position” with an if tile rather than “if on edge bounce” to manage the turning and lap increase value
i) hide the finish line so that it only appears for the final lap

14A) Play the scales on a piano
a) Check out the sound > play note tile
b) Teacher has supplies a graphic of a keyboard. Import it to your scratch project.
c) Program the computer keyboard so that it plays a series of notes on the piano keyboard
d) As the notes are played alter the keyboard graphic to make it appear they are being pressed and they revert back to blank when the key is released
e) Add some suitable background graphics

14B) Extension
f) As the notes are played a sprite dances to the tune created by the notes, ie. each note triggers a particular movement
g) The names of the notes are spoken by a new sprite as they are played
h) Find a way to play ALL the notes on the keyboard

for more ideas

Monday, 14 June 2010

Where am I at

1 reports
2 Application development
3 Course design
4 future

1. reports are now coming to a close, yes those dreaded things that teachers spend a whole lot of time to complete, for students to read in less than 10 seconds, and then the wonderment if they get home for parents to read and see. that's if they get to see the reports. These have bee a struggle for me this year as the changes with the Students Management System and they way school does reports have hit. I was not at school last year around this time, and I will tell you something, it is a shock for them to come up, get proofread, make changes to the ones that are needed, and deal with those staff that start getting angry at you for making there jobs harder because you kept him/her within the comment, ok that one was not me.

2. Application Development
Changes to the option choice selection need to be made by Thursday night, with a new layout and design this year we need to make the changes, though one slight problem... I got given the change document last Friday. I have yet to get my head around the changes and still have not been told what to do with the new subjects, as well as who needs access to it. I will get a large amount of work done tomorrow on it, when I get myself around excel and create the 10-15 course for each departmentt that they can put in. though i now see one giant problem just typing this in, I have year level subjects and school wants to change it to level subjects, maybe I need to create a form that staff can put the information into in google apps that I can then take and put into my system, I don't think that this is gonna work too good right now.

3. course design
oh man are there some changes coming or what, with the introduction of digital technology in the technology curriculum, means that we are having to redo some of our courses. the biggest change will be to the year 11 course, or at our school the Level 1 course. We are looking at three sections of the new standards, Digital Information, Digital media, and Programming and computer science. Though I have no idea what language or media we are going to use yet. but we have also been asked to look at the progression of courses for the future as well.
We have some time coming up in which we can talk about this as a department and make the changes that are needed to support the New Zealand Curriculum 2007.

4 future
can't say anything yet, still in the process of writing.

Ok, Ok, I got runners up in a award for innovative programme, now one of the things that this is about is a course that looks at environmental issues at the school, we have a stream down the back, students are to design an application to record the data that they collect down at the stream, Now I have not had time to get this implemented yet, though term 3 and 4 will look just about right, and it can carry out next year as well. It is a case of getting the students on task and developing there creative thing at the moment.

The book and moodle course that I am using for the programming course and working well, though they slower students are starting to slacken off and the motivated students are getting crazier in there programming, and the exercises are getting harder. I have an issue around some of the students not doing as much as they could do, because I cannot move them, if I move them it affects the year 13 cprogramming class as well due to I am using virtual hard drives to do teh work.

I would love to play around with some more software, especially when it comes to flow charts. I want to get Visual Studio Learning Pack 2.0 as I can see some applications within it useful.

I really want to play with
Visual Programming Flow Chart is a supplementary teaching tool designed to help students understand program control flow. It generates flow charts for functions and saves them in the JPG picture format. This tool is easily activated from the Visual Studio Integrated Development Environment (IDE) by simply right-clicking on a function name and choosing “Generate flow chart…” from the context menu. The resulting flowchart can be customized by changing its colors and other effects. This visual tool provides an intuitive way to explore source code, to examine its control flow, and to identify logic errors.

Monday, 10 May 2010


I have been working on a moodle course for the year 12 programming class. It has been  couple of years in development, but finally this year I developed a 148 page book full of homework, assessment tasks, interface guidelines, and incorporated some english work.
It has been developed in the school LMS as part of the trail, however it has not been smooth sailing. The issues around the setup and development has lead me to question why I am using such a resource.

The department has there own moodle server running as part of our system, the reason why we did this was that we could not wait for the LMS provider to allow us access, so we installed it and have been using it ever since.

It requires the odd update and installation of users, but we have this down to an art now. However the school one is managed through an interoperability websync, which is causing issues. I am starting to question why we even have this as it just is not working to its best. We always seem to be bug finding and finding configuration issues.

I am getting to the point where I am going to leave the schools LMS.

The latest is surrounding professional development. I sat in a PD session where people where showing off what the system could do, and heard more about what it could not do. And I was thinking the entire time, but it can do this, it can do that. It is the person running it within the school that keeps saying no it can't. They do not even know what it can do.

I would like to take all my work off it and move it to the other installation, but I think I need to carry on doing what I am doing, running the course through the current installation, but I will be backing it up and doing a restore on the department installation.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

twitter feeds

an idea for future twitter feeds for any event 

Saturday, 20 March 2010

busy times

We have just completed one of the largest exercises at school, e-asTTle testing.
This involves testing all year 9 and 10 students in their reading and numeracy skills. The reading test was done on paper, and required the students to sit a 50 minute test, and then for the multichoice results to be entered into the e-asTTle program. Whereas the Maths department did a purely online test which required access to computer rooms, and the students to login and sit the test. I think I outlined the issues surrounding the online test in a previous post last year.
We never seem to be able to get a successful import from out student management system into e-asTTle. A number of issues surrounding NSI numbers caused this testing to be delayed a week due to an update in our student management system and ENROl sis not want to talk to each other properly, also information that the previous schools put into ENROl was not accurate enough. We have a number of students that seem to change names when they enter secondary school. So all these changes had to be entered.
e-asTTle have an issue surrounding NSI Numbers and ENROl as well. For every 100 students imported, it pops up and error, which normally requires you to remove the students NSI number from the e-asTTle csv file and upload it. Though you cannot export a student from the SMS without a NSI number. Catch 22 situation.

Once we had a successful import it was all on,
Issues surrounding the next set are school related,
Failure of communication from deans on changes to Year 10 classes, all the login papers had been printed and supplied to teachers, this also meant that a number of students in the english tests could not be found by the data entry people which required the test to be reassigned to students and marked by me.
Also meant that some year 10 maths teachers did not have the login codes for students, which meant issues for IT support to be in the room at the start of all tests.
Year 10 Maths test had a written answer question, which required it to be marked before the scores were released to teachers. Marked over 660 questions, which if you take too long or press the wrong key, you have to redo again.
Getting access to computer rooms, we selected two rooms to carry out the test, but already some of these had been booked already so early in the term, which does place some stress on planning and development of lessons.
Technical Issues surrounding internet access, this was resolved after the first day due to the virtualisation project over the holidays.
Assembly for all female students in year 10, which impacted on the test, meant there had to be a catch up later one.
Catch ups, organsied catch ups, but some teachers failed to read emails, or not understand to just send the student, they did not need the login sheet, as we have all the details available to us.
More understanding by the teachers why this is so important,
Training for teachers on how to set there own test and run it.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Catch up

It has been a while since I have last posted,

I have been busy getting the schools google apps domain up and running this year, with the changeover of student logins to an new schema, though I can see this needing to be changed again next year with possible changes throughout the sector.

The other stuff we have been working on is getting moodle in schools up and going, this has been a great benefit to the department as this is where we can see things moving to in the future. We already have other departments wanting to jump onto our server to make use of the various features. is a new one that we are trying out with the art department as a way to keep an electronic prortfolio. We signed up yesterday and already have the students in and starting to put work up. It has been a bit of a mission to get the usernames and passwords up, as our temporary passwords for students did not meet there criteria.

e-asTTle has also been a thorn in my side this year, with the requirement of NSI numbers to be included, and not having all this going straight away with our SMS and ENROL is has caused it to be put back a couple of weeks. Maths department are doing it online with multichoice questions, though I had to mark 500 students maths papers this morning due to there was a written question still left in the test. English are doing there reading test on paper and getting outside people to enter the results in e-asTTle. It was due to a professional development meeting yesterday morning that we realised that these haven't been entered yet, as they want to present the results next week.

Other things have been going on as well, but that is another post...