Friday, 30 May 2014

Digital Technologies, subject or....

In 2007 computing and information management existed in schools. This also started off the Digital Technology Guidelines, a subject was born. In 2009 this subject came into being, Digital Technologies. 

Digital Technologies consists of 5 strands, Digital Information, Digital Media, Programming and Computer Science, Digital Infrastructure and Digital Electronics. All of this is held within the Technology Curriculum.

The NZC 2007 puts eLearning, a pedagogy in development. Page 26 of the New Zealand Curriculum. 

We have a change of the ICT PD within schools that was offered, and it is changed to Blended eLearning. 
In 2013 we have a change. Learning with Digital Technologies. I believe I know where this came from(Though I could be wrong). It came from a Principal who went on a sabbatical and didn't research Digital technologies and its part of the curriculum and education. Mind you it does sound like a pretty cool name. 

The report is available here that has 52 mentions of digital technologies.

Now, this is where the problem exists. We have been asking for support from the ministry to help support a new curriculum area, help develop resources for teaching and learning, help assist teacher to build capability and develop a future focussed subject.

we get information that there is large amounts of money going into development of teachers
Education Ministry-funded professional development addresses digital technology in two ways, according to Pauline Barnes, the ministry's group manager of curriculum, teaching and learning.
The first is in the use of digital technology across all learning areas, and all externally contracted professional development funded by the ministry must include outcomes directly related to expanding the use of digital technology.
"In addition to this, there is specific professional development provision available for teachers of digital technology at school, cluster and national levels," she says.
This is not the case.

This is why I am annoyed at the whole thing, and I keep getting fobbed off by the Ministry about this.
Mind you it is great to see these types of tweets, 


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Thinking and the NZC

Critical and creative thinking are essential in technology education, as is the development of a high level of awareness of the nature of thinking underpinning any decisions. Being able to step back from a situation and answer questions such as ‘what is happening?’, ‘why is it happening?’, ‘should it be happening?’ and ‘how could it be done differently?’ rely on sophisticated thinking skills.

These thinking skills are required across all three strands of technology education. Such thinking is essential for making informed decisions that are based on ethical, as well as functional grounds, allowing for an understanding of fitness for purpose, as well as explorations of the fitness of any stated purpose.
For example, opportunities for the enhancement of such thinking are clearly identifiable when:

  • undertaking technological practice within innovative problem solving situations 
  • understanding the nature of technology through exploring examples of existing technological outcomes or developments, debating contentious issues, or projecting into alternative scenarios 
  • developing key technological knowledge that is then used to evaluate within technological modelling, or to explain how and why products and/or systems work

Creative thinking is critical for problem solving and our imperative is to foster creative thinking, collaboration and the development of digital skills. Today, it’s not about what you know, but what you make – it’s all about the ideas.

With the wide array of tools available today, creativity is now going digital. A transformative change is needed to integrate creativity in education – for us to educate our future generations and prepare them for the road that lies ahead.

Creativity is no longer an elective, it is our future.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Looking at ethics in Software Engineering, NZC Technology

I have been challenged tonight through twitter to see if this type of material could be used within our classrooms.

Now the issue is how does this work within our curriculum,
Bring up the support material for New Zealand Curriculum - Technology, 2007

The link above is for the Whole entire support material for Technology, now when I do a find "ethics"
Only 8 references to ethics exist in the material, 
The first 5 relate to various parts in the explanatory papers.
The other three...
Components of Nature of Technology: Indicators of Progression Level 5
Components of Nature of Technology: Indicators of Progression Level 8

and The Relationship between Technology and Key Competencies.

Relating to Others and Participating and Contributing 
Technology programmes provide opportunities to develop ongoing and mutually beneficial community relationships critical for developing student competency in relating to others and participating and contributing. 
Because of the inclusion of a range of knowledge and skill bases in technology, both technological and those from other disciplines, it is common practice in technology education to draw expertise from the community and/or industry. Inviting people in as valued experts provides a meaningful opportunity for the development of relationships with a range of people from local and extended communities. Students also often work alongside service organisations, local businesses and other community groups to meet an identified school or community need. This type of working relationship allows all parties the opportunity to develop a better understanding of the ethics, beliefs and understandings of respective groups and individuals, and thus enhance future interactions. 
All technological practice and resulting outcomes are situated in specific social and physical environments, resulting in both opportunities and constraints. Conflicts and the need for collaboration are common factors that students in technology have to deal with. In turn, students become empowered to operate across a wide range of social groups. This is key to increasingly sophisticated technological practice, and the development of a broad and critical understandings of technology’s role in contemporary society.

After going through and looking through the support material, and looking at the material in I would struggle in how to deliver this in an intermediate classroom. But here is the kicker, I teach Secondary, some of this would develop an interest in the students and being able to go through something like this would be beneficial.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

How will Bluetooth Technology help Christchurch?

What can be done about all of this? Last week, Jim Harland, regional director of the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), proposed a possible solution. Bluetooth technology could show where cars were headed once they left the northern corridor and were absorbed into the city.

Harland's team will use information gathered from bluetooth technology to analyse where people are going from the northern corridor.
The technology picks up a mobile device in a car and tracks where it goes.
"This gives us a real-time information - how long different trips take and where people are going," he said.
Regional Land Transport Strategy Monitoring – the meeting agreed to pursue the 
bluetooth/eRUC method to attempt to measure regional and inter –regional journey time 
reliability. NZTA are rolling out more Bluetooth monitoring sites and we may be able to 
expand this to include the regional strategic road network. It may be beneficial to get 
someone from BECA consulatants who are working with NZTA on the national Bluetooth 

monitoring to speak to RLTOG. 

How can we use this technology at School?

Saturday, 3 May 2014

What is the biggest game changer in education

I came across this post today, what is the biggest game changer in education....

I hate this question. You hear things like MOOC’s, tablets, the Flipped Classroom, coding, gaming, social media, blah blah blah, and how they are going to change everything that we do. If you are going to pick a single “thing” that is a game-changer in education, it is the Internet. This is not just for education, but for everything. Honestly though, this is years ago and I think that many of understand the opportunities the “World Wide Web” has provided to us in so many facets of our life. That being said, that “game changer” has already happened.

The real game changer isn’t something external; it is internal. It is the way we think and grow. It is moving from that “fixed” mindset about teaching and learning, and moving to the “growth” mindset. It is thinking differently about education and understanding that all of us as people need different things to succeed. To some students, the “Flipped” model is hugely beneficial, while to some others, gaming is going to push their learning to a new level. Some learn better in isolation, while others excel in collaboration. There is no single “thing” that is a game changer. If there was, we would have figured it out and adopted it by now. We have to stop looking for standardized solutions to try and personalize learning. Our mindset towards teaching and learning has to be open to many approaches, not any single one.

If I was standing in front of you and speaking, I would say the following:

The biggest game changer in education is not out there (as I point all around me). It is in here (as I point to my head, but symbolizing all of our brains, not just mine) and has ALWAYS been in here (pointing to my chest, around the heart area).

I am not trying to be hokie, but I am sharing what I believe. Change is the one constant that we will always have in our world and if we do not grow and learn to embrace it, then we will become irrelevant. This mindset towards learning is only one part of the solution; making the connections with our learners is also equally (if not more) significant.

Do we need to look at all of these new “trends” in learning? Absolutely. This is not an anti-technology rant. In fact, it is the opposite. Innovative teaching starts with innovative thinking. We have to look at all of these things around us, ask questions, learn, be open to the opportunities that many different technologies give to us and our students, and help them work for our kids.

The “game changer” is, and always will be, being open to new learning opportunities, doing something with them, and making that human connection to our learners.

The best teachers have always done this, and will continue to do so.