Sunday, 7 April 2013

Reflection Term 1

Wow, its been a busy term so far. New standards that I am trying to get familiar with, a new sport and Professional Development.

This year NCEA level 3 standards have been released and these mostly look at complex techniques in media, programming and information. I have two level 3 classes, one doing programming and the other focusing on media. These are two very diverse classes.
The programming class is busy working on Raspberry Pi development, How can Raspberry Pi's be used in education. There were a number of ideas that the students could choose. The interesting fact was that the students went for the supposedly easy projects. 
Digital Signage
MAME box

One thing that I am thinking about this class is that they are struggling with the lack of formal structure. As they are working on their projects, there is no formal lesson. It is more a facilitation role assisting students when they get stuck on their development. This is something the students have probably never hit before, or since primary school. I think the part I struggle with is that there is no exemplar or what they have to create, or develop. While this has been developed from the original technology Achievement Standard that had a lot of the technology process in it, it is now just brief development. So what does a new brief look like?

I am moving them through to python programming next term with an introduction to the computer science research required for 3.44 and 3.14. These are going to be bit research projects, I am looking for a scaffold to assist them with this and help me to assist them. I do feel sorry for them as this is the third year that they have had to be the first to do these new aligned standards. 

The other level 3 class have been working on photoshop techniques and content management systems. This has required them to install and setup three content management systems and evaluate their ease of use and features. Silverstripe, wordpress and joomla. As these are new technologies to students they have struggled to understand why they are developing and using these. I think I needed to give better context to this. Though it has been interesting that one student is using his installation to help with his Young Enterprise work. They needed a website and he has started developing a prototype through his account.

Level 2 has been busy with the information strand, we started off the year working on Microsoft Access, this was to give students an understanding of what a field, row, table and query were. Using this understanding they understood what was required when we started mysql. However getting use to the commands to INSERT, SELECT, UPDATE, DROP, ALTER has been difficult. next year I think I will get them to create a simple FAQ on how to use particular commands to do different things. mySQL has been a wonderful unit to teach. The students get an understanding of how databases work, especially when we link it to a webpage. Though I struggle to understand why it is worth 6 credits. I see this as being one of the simpler NCEA strand. The assessment context this year came from a student, I felt that the 700+ enteries of a survey last year was far too much. This year we are looking at a trading card database of pokemon generation one cards and a record by a flatmate on what cards he has and what he is missing. These will be displayed through a webpage interface to allow for the flatmate to be anywhere and have access to their collection.

We will move onto programming next, the students will learn python programming. Will be interesting to see if python is available on the chromebook. I will encourage students to develop on their own devices, all work will be available on moodle. I plan to make more use of moodle this year for this particular course. 

Level One Digital Technologies has just started its first assessment. Digital Information, already a number of students have asked if they can leave the course. Its too boring. Though as I say to them, we need to do this first and then it is done, and we can move onto other parts. The next part being webdesign, I am thinking of wether to use the codeavengers work, or carry on with the yoobee course. However I can see a mixture of the two going on.

I need to start thinking of the year 10 course and what is going to be needed in the future. Is it setting students up for a positive ncea course, or are students being turned off to the course.

I need to be able to develop a survey or feedback to get students to have their say on how the courses have gone so far. This would help the reflective nature of this. 

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