Monday, 21 September 2015

Innovation Generation

Many of the Innovation Generation are deeply worried about the future of the planet, seek healthier lifestyles, and want to make a difference more than they want to make money. But they are swimming against the tides of tradition. A lot of parents still harbor hopes that their children will persue prestigious careers and be economically better off than they are. Too many teachers and employers still reward the "old school" behaviours of deference to authority and striving for "success", conventionally defined - and count on carrots and sticks for motivation. The result is that many in the Innovation Generation are skeptical of adult authority and the institutions that their elders have presided over. School is a game the Innovation Generation knows they have to play to get "credentialed", but they do it with as little effort as possible. Most have no desire to climb the corporate ladder and wait twenty years to do something interesting or worthwhile. They have no patience with worksheets or busywork. They have dreams and ambitions that demand time and space - and active nurturing.  
The problem is that many of those in their forties, fifties and sixties who work in established institutions don't make the time and space for the younger generation's dreams and ambitions. Leaders of conventional schools and businesses don't know what to do with this Innovation Generation. These young people have different dreams, different aspirations from their elders.
Page 19, Creating Innovators, Tony Wagner

Why am I posting this,
When I read this book it kept striking me that what we are doing within the Technology Curriculum and Digital Technologies needs to change. No longer is it ok to give the students the same project and expect an outcome. Why are we not allowing students to develop websites with a social need for example.

Last year a student wanted to make a change, help end child poverty.
This was picked up by the Internet Party who pushed it out through their social media.

Allowing students time to develop outcomes and think of new ideas is what is required in schools. It is amazing when I think of the work and time that students put into developing their ideas in class, developing programmes that supported an issue around spelling, a security system in a house through a raspberry pi due to a break in of a fellow student. These projects are ones that I would have never thought of. Students being able to have the confidence to talk about these projects and develop the understanding of skills and knowledge required to make these projects work. A lot of people will talk about the final outcome, few will talk about the process that it takes to get there, the failures along the way.

I meet with my Hub students today and asked them about their successes this term, all were able to talk about them and why they were successes. When I asked the question about failure,  they struggled to talk about them.
You are going to fail - and likely more than once. If you don't fail, then you are probably playing it too safe. Failing hurts like hell - especially failing in public. But you will learn some of your most valuable lessons from failure - far more from your successes. As you reflect on the causes of your failure(s), you will come to better understand yourself - your strengths and weaknesses - and you will adjust your aspirations accordingly. You will also become clearer about what it is you are trying to do and what is required to make it work. Think of failure as iteration, as learning.
 Page 246, Creating Innovators, Tony Wagner

Monday, 14 September 2015

An open letter to NZ Universities - Digital Technologies

Good evening,

We are now 15 years into a new century of education, the 21st century. Through this, we have seen a major change in the education sphere in New Zealand. National Certificate Education Achievement, this has allowed for students to seek better opportunities in courses, though there seems to be very little that schools do that you wish to change. In 2011 a new subject was created, Digital Technologies, yet looking through the marketing material, these students that take the subject in secondary schools as a background subject are missing some of the key information.

The University of Otago background subjects guide is one
Computer St
and Computer Studies is mentioned.

I am going to say, this has not been around since the end of Sixth form Certificate.

Canterbury University
When you enter digital technologies into the search engine, you get a whole lot around education and e-learning. When you see the information science, you read, While we do not require students to have studied digital technologies at school

Then you see... If you enjoyed Digital Technologies and Media Studies at school, you might like to study the following subjects at UC: Astronomy;

It seems that the University of Canterbury links Media Studies and Digital Technologies together...


Victoria University, Congratulations!!!
Fantastic! You deserve a Bouquet!

University of Waikato
This is a little bit more difficult, however for Computing Degree as mentioned in this, more around Mathematics requirements.

Auckland University
Where do I start...

Entry requirements for Computer Science

Students are not required to have studied any sort of computing at high school to be able to major in Computer Science at The University of Auckland.

It is good preparation for prospective computer science students to study level 3 NCEA in Mathematics or equivalent. Physics can also be useful.

It is however... 
15 Points
Computer Science Fundamentals
This is the entry course to Computer Science for students with prior programming knowledge. It focuses on data structures and efficient ways to manipulate data. Topics include: a brief recap of programming concepts, recursion, regular expressions, data interchange, abstract data types, linear data structures (lists, stacks and queues), non-linear data structures (heaps, hash tables, trees), searching and sorting.
Prerequisite: Achievement Standards NCEA Level 3: Digital Technologies and Programming: 91637 Develop a complex computer program for a specified task, 91636 Demonstrate understanding of areas of computer science, or equivalent, or Departmental approval
Restriction: COMPSCI 101, 105

Is it possible to be able to update your material to include aspects of Digital Technologies, the subject to help build interest, parents perceptions, and careers advisors information.

Thank You.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Time to play - mytime v0.0.14

It has been another good night of development, I now have the days running separately and two choices per day. Data is now being feed into a selection database, where if a student has already completed it it overwrites, otherwise it adds in a new row of data.

Thought I had a problem with the display of some data, but it was the way I set it up to test to make sure that if the mytime coordinator did not want to have a selection on that week that it would not be displayed.

Added in the ability to change weeks within the system, could have been done a bit cleaner with a for loop, but leaving it for now...

Now to get the next parts in, 
Guided Learning 
Numeracy support.

Should it be a second choice... if a student is either going to be away, wanting guided learning, note only one a week, meeting with a teacher or numeracy support, these should be first choice only. Second choice is something else..

Note: only one guided learning a week. This is possible as I can tag it to stop it coming up again in the following days.


I have now included a check to make sure that you cannot select the same item in 1st and 2nd choice. This will be made red and developed a bit more, but for now.
I am also developing a way to check for guided learning only to be entered once, this is taking a little bit longer to sort out with the logic needed.
Also check it with a student logging in today, had to change his password as I could not remember what the cipher is for login.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Time to play - mytime v0.0.3

I finally feel like I have some time to play,

I am currently playing around with the idea of what learnPath is all about...

I started off with a habit evaluation from one that we started off at the beginning of the year, but now it has changed as the we include and think about what it is developing, or showing.

However the big one for me at the moment is around the mytime, I have started developing the code for it, and I have been rethinking and developing it once I get a piece working. I was running at 173 lines of code, now down to 83, including comments.

Playing around with data and display
Each week our mytime changes, this has been included in the development of database, it reads the year, term, week and day, at the moment we have mytime run for 3 days, however I have developed it so mytime can run each day. I am thinking about wether to show individual days or select all days on one screen, select second options on the next.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Transforming Assessment Praxis

I am on a pilot of a new NZQA Best Practice Workshop model, which is around Transforming Assessment Praxis.

While it hasn't been all inspiring, as most of the work that they have been talking about over the last five weeks has been ideas that I have been working on with my students for the past couple of years. It has made me more aware of what we are trying to do at HPSS. Knowing the learner and working with contexts.
As well as looking at Naturally Occurring evidence
While watching the three hour session tonight that I missed last week, around What currently drives you current assessment practice, What students value, Future shifts, Modes of assessment and naturally occurring evidence. I have been sent two assessments to moderate by another teacher, looking at these tonight and putting the ideals that I have been working through, I have been able to make some changes to evidence statements. While it is an assessment in Digital Information, database creation, the assessment is written in such a way that it allows for a student to develop their own context, yet also offer ideas for those students that can't think of one, or it does show the students what the rigour of the assessment should be. Having the conversation with the teacher on the phone while modifying the assessment through Google Drive has allowed for some great conversations to happen about how the assessment could be delivered, and what contexts should be included to help develop students ideas around rigour.
Evidence statements have now been changed to allow for a screencast of the database working by the student to show how it would function.

But the highlight of the work was on area of the assessment that had been developed which was on to show skilfully or efficiently as required as part of the step up of the assessment. This is the masterpiece of the assessment in my opinion, without even knowing it or putting it in for assessment sake, this allows for naturally occurring evidence of the technology level 2 achievement standard around planning to be included. So a 6 credit assessment, is now a 10 credit assessment.

In the presentation I was watching tonight, was included some information on overlaps. This is something I think originally looked at when the assessments came out, however I think I was turned off at the amount of evidence required by the standards. Having a better understanding of the standards now and evidence required through my role in the subject association helps me to now develop better assessment outcomes. A feature of what we are looking at as part of the Workshop15 in the holidays. To many teachers are talking about the amount of evidence needed for assessments now. Why are we not thinking smarter and allowing the technologies that we use everyday to assist us.

I know look forward to the next two weeks where I get to put my plans for the task into action and develop an assessment resource 

Things to consider …

Prior to writing your assessment resource, you will need to consider the following:
  • Your goal
  • What the student voice has told me
  • Student input into context
  • Knowing my student
  • Documents which will inform my assessment resource (Achievement Standard, Conditions of assessment, Clarifications documents)
  • Modes of assessment
  • Variety of ways to collect evidence
My Goal, to look at how naturally occurring evidence and authentic contexts can help develop engaging learning that can be used for overlaps of assessment.