The term started off being a challenge for me, the Get to Go Junior Hillary Challenge was coming up and we have entered this for the past 3 years. After a bit of messaging, emails, talking with students (They don't check there emails, or read the school notices) I managed to get a team together. With the help of two of the Senior Get to Go students, training started. It has been great to see the leadership and ideas that the senior students brought to this, they bring a different sense of what it means to them to be part of this squad. They are able to talk about the challenges, the way they reflect afterwards. It allows them to gather the skills to work with 7 other people when you are tired and grumpy. The positive spirit in the group and the talking in the van between the different challenges showed that they had fun, enjoyed the day. I hope that they will join the senior squad next year.
This continues with the last race mid September, I have seen my team grow and develop their racing and now showing the skills and training that they have been doing pay off. The last race showed that even the parents work together to support each other when one of our riders was injured. I help out with the timing and general organisation of the race when running, we have not had a race like this in a while where a number of things didn't go to plan, a lost rider that didn't make the start, was found, a injured rider that needed assistance, all ok, a protest due to a rider cutting part of the track. It just goes to show when you are a teacher, you can deal with more than one thing going on.
League of Legends High School League.
This is a new one for me, I am looking after a e-sports team. It has even got me playing the game so I know what is going on now. I have taught these students for the past 3 years, and I am seeing a completely different side to them now. The team work in this and communication is essential for good game play. They too, reflect after the game and talk about the strategies that they use and things that went well and not so well. It has been great seeing one of the students who has taken on the role of captain communicate and encourage his fellow team. We have yet to win a game, but that is not the objective, as with the Adventure racing, there are other objectives that we are working towards.
The MODULE I have at the moment is Mathematics and Digital Technologies where students are learning how to code. We are using snap coding, as it is an alternative to scratch, the students have said they welcome not seeing the cat when it loads up. It works within a browser, as we have mac's windows' and chromebooks within the class. The biggest thing I hear from the students is that this is hard. When we unpack this, and I am more this week as part of my inquiry, is that this is the first time that they have done anything like this. They have not had to code before. Trying to work out how to get a computer to figure out the highest number when you enter three numbers, they can look at the three numbers and say it straight away, getting them to unpack how they do it, is a little bit harder.
FX, Learning how to do editing and creation of graphics is fun, thats what they are saying. They are looking forward to the challenge of the Fair Go Kid Ad Awards and spent the day on Friday researching different ideas from the 70's to make cool again. Even looking at old ad's to see ideas that they could bring in.
Digital technologies Curriculum Workshop
I was unable to go to the teachers one of these when in Auckland, and ended up going to the parents and industry meeting, which gave me some different insights into what they are thinking the challenges of the new curriculum is. Communication with parents on what schools are teaching seems to be a partly missing gap. What is it that the community would like to see us teach?
Developing understanding of the micro:bit
Next term I am running a SPIN based upon electronics, I am using the ideas of the mindkits brainboards, bbc micro:bit and adafruit sparkfun express.
We have been lucky that a New Zealand Supplier has just started and is bringing these into the country. Learning Development is offering a bulk discount for a set of 10 micro bits. https://www.learningdevelopments.co.nz/product-page/bbc-microbit-starter-kit-10pack
I have been thinking about the next steps with this, and starting to think what are the best resources or projects that could be developed by the students. This is one of the first results when searched, https://enterprise.microsoft.com/en-gb/articles/industries/public-sector/citynext/educated-cities/7-perfect-microbit-projects-for-pupils/
Supporting other schools
I have had a number of visits by primary schools in our area looking at what their technology programme looks like and how it may link in with what we are doing as a school. It has surprised me that schools are doing the one project for all students still.
How can secondary schools support the local schools in developing the ideas while still holding onto their identity. For me, it will be the progress outcome statements that I am looking for when a student transitions to secondary. These will provide better guidance on where a student is at. Maybe something for the SiSi project to have within it.
To end this reflection, we had the political parties and people in our area talk to the senior students, it was great to hear them talk and understand what is happening.
I am still working on the ideas of the habit stick, I now have some laser printable rubber to be able to create some stamps with the hobsonville habits on them.