Monday, 18 November 2013

Learning and Challenging

These would be two words that describe this year.
Learning, I took up the challenge this year to do a University Paper, this is a special topic paper run by the University of Canterbury, EDEM626, Curriculum Implementation for Computer Science. This has been a challenging experience as my writing is an issue. I am a repeat sixth former, something that I say to my students. The paper was developed earlier this year and I couldn't believe when it was announced that it was going ahead. This was something I had to do. I have been a teacher for 10 years, I can do the Digital Information, Digital Media and Programming. It is the Computer Science that I never had an opportunity to do through my Polytechnic courses. Though looking at this now it should never have stopped me. The Google funded CS4HS as well as the materials created by the University of Canterbury Computer Science department. I guess it was just a confidence issue. Something that I have had to get past when doing the paper. It has been challenging doing a 30 credit paper when also having a full time job as well as association work.

Challenges, supporting two conferences this year, an NZACDITT association run symposium in Auckland, as well as a combined TESAC Conference in Wellington. I have also been challenged in my thinking by others in the google group. But challenged in the classroom has been one of the biggest factors. My year 13 students this year have gone through massive change. Digital Technologies Achievement Standards in both media, programming and generic technologies. I think this has been one of the hardest years as the students have been the test students for the last three years. I have also not been confident in what I am teaching them, have I done the right thing, why are the students not engaged with what they are doing?
Level 3 python was probably one of my biggest challenges, a new course, a new programming language and the last time I had ever written a program to develop buttons and GUI on screen was java many years ago. Though I was impressed at one student who had a chat with his father and managed to incorporate an API into the program to do the currency conversion.
Getting access to servers has also been another challenged, with BYOD and having to allow access to the server for the SSID has been a challenge. Though I think the server could be about to have issues as when a large number of students access it at once its goes incredibly slow and managed to show 150% usage.
We also have the challenge of an elearning class next year, something that has been two years in the making.

Learning and Challenging,
I took up a challenge this year to offer more externals in my area.
Level one Digital Information, Level One Computer Science, all Level one students
Level two 3 Digital Information, an entire class doing Level Two computer science.
Level 3, one Digital Information, the rest Level 3 computer science.
This has been a huge learning curve.

Though I have also been looking lately at the Level One Digital Infrastructure, I have been looking at my current courses and looking at the time, credits and learning involvement. This is something that I need to consider. Digital Infrastructure 1.50 looks at students being able to demonstrate knowledge about the insides of a computer. Something they are interested in. I have had a couple of year 12 students talking to year 9 students about building computers, something they are research and talking about all the time. So, why not engage the students in the learning and provide them a bit more information. I struggle with the fact that these standards have been designed with CISCO IT Essentials in mind.

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