Using the PrimaryConnections Science Program to Teach Technology

Using the PrimaryConnections Science Program to Teach Technology

Learning Area

Design and Technology

Year Level

Four

Strand

Technologies Contexts

Sub-Strand

Engineering principles and systems

Forces, and the properties of materials, affect the behaviour of a product or system (ACTDEK011)

This is from the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) however the equivalent for the Australian curriculum can be found online.

Link to the Resource

Hard Copy ($42):

https://www.primaryconnections.org.au/shop/2PC405-BK

Online resource available on Scootle for free; however, you will need to create an account:

http://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/viewing/S7161/Package-it-better-2012/index.html

To watch PrimaryConnections in action within the classroom click here and it will take you to their YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmx-UK7n-78qwCi4tnJYdDQ

Cross Curricular Priorities

Critical and creative thinking (CCT), Personal and social capability (PSC)

Links to Other Learning Areas

Science, Literacy, Mathematics

Some Background on the Creators

The Australian Academy of Science has linked science with literacy through the innovative program that is PrimaryConnections. The many lesson ideas and units created through PrimaryConnections use an inquiry-based approach to develop students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in both science and literacy; however, many of the lessons can be adapted to suit teaching different aspects of the curriculum. To find out more, please visit the PrimaryConnections website at https://primaryconnections.org.au/about.

Using this Resource

Whilst this resource is set to a quite specific year level and section of the curriculum, it is very easy to implement in the classroom. The program is an eight week course that is designed to cover an entire section of the year four chemistry curriculum. However; looking deeper into the content and tasks required of the students, it is actually a program that coincides very closely with the technologies curriculum. The program is essential lesson plans that include diagnostic, formative and summative assessments; with sequential lessons that build on each other with every activity. The entire program is extremely hands on, with each child being placed into groups and assigned a role, which is linked to improving personal and social capabilities. It caters for visual, audible and kinaesthetic learners. Much of the work is already done for you, it just needs to be adapted to have more of a technology focus if you so desire. If year four is not your year, PrimaryConnections offer science programs for every year level K-12, all of which have ideas on how to teach lessons based on technology. It is just up to you to adapt the program accordingly!

Plant Tycoon: How to replace a real life garden with a virtual one.

Plant Tycoon: How to replace a real life garden with a virtual one.

Learning Area

Design and Technology

Year Level

Although this game is targeting the curriculum for the younger years; unless you are experienced with playing the game I suggest it be used by years 3/4 to revisit the concepts learned in earlier years.

Strand

Technologies Contexts

Sub-Strand

Food and fibre production – Plants and animals used for production have basic needs, such as food/nutrients, water, space, protection (ACTDEK003)

From from the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA).

Link to the Resource

http://www.bigfishgames.com/games/2135/plant-tycoon/?pc

Can be purchased online for $10 through Big Fish Games; however, once it is purchased once it can be downloaded as many times as needed!

General Capabilities

Information and communication technology (ICT) capability and Critical and Creative Thinking.

Links to Other Learning Areas

Science, Literacy

Using this Resource

Plant Tycoon is perfect for classrooms that want to teach the values of planting a garden but simply do not have the space or resources. The game allows students to create their own garden in a virtual world. They can water and fertilise their plants while also making sure they are getting enough sun. Plant Tycoon also allows the students to experiment with cross-pollination – seeing how the DNA of plants can combine in a simple way and make new creations come to life. Although creating a physical class garden would be ideal, not every class can do this. Plant Tycoon allows the younger years to learn about the basic needs of plants and the production of growing different types in real time which is different to other garden-based virtual realities. It also incorporates the learning of sustainability and economics with plant production; displaying to the students how plants need to be bought and sold to increase revenue. This resource is cheap and its real-time running makes it feel more true-to-life. It is relaxing, challenging and students can create at their own pace.

A Quick Video

Below is a video of some in-game action. Don’t be deterred if it looks too complex – it is much simpler than it looks! From 0:00-1:20 the game shows how  ‘people’ purchase the plants. This video is just to display how interactive the game is and how many different plants can be created; but as the teacher it is possible to restrict the game play to just growing the plants if you so desire.

ClassDojo a must!

 

ClassDojo a must!

 

Technology

Strand: Digital Technologies

Sub-strand: Knowledge and Understanding/Digital Systems

Year 4 Content Descriptor: Digital systems and peripheral devices are used for different purposes and can store and transmit different types of data (ACTDIK007)

ClassDojo is a behaviour management tool that aspires to create a positive classroom using technology. It is a communication application that reaches parents/caregivers at home, work, on their android/Iphone or email. It allows sudents and teachers to send messages, pictures and videos as well as assigned positive and negative points in which the students receive.

I believe this is a great technological application that encourages positive behaviour and ensures that the lines of communication between the teachers, parents and the students stay open and are accessible for everyone. It creates a positive support network for the students, parents and teachers.

Resource site: www.classdojo.com/

Class Dojo

Year: Lower to upper primary

What is this? Class Dojo is a app that aids with behaviour management, as it helps monitor and guide student behaviour. It can be used by both the teacher and the students. It enables students to become responsible for their own actions, reactions and behaviours and can also help develop students’ ability to self regulate. This app can help create a sense of belonging in the classroom as students are shown as a whole class and can even be broken down into groups. This app can be used for more than just behaviour management however, as it can be used as a timer, as an attendance record, track homework and it has an instant messaging system to be used to keep in contact with parents. Parents can ask queries and seek responses from the teacher, and they can even be updated through the class blog. All students have the ability to post on the class blog but posts require teacher approval. In this way students are able to have access to their dojo from home, and the site even provides custom QR codes for students to scan in order to reach their dojo. As of last year, teachers are now able to use the site to send other teachers resources, which keeps the resources in one easily accessible account. The site also provides an introduction video for students and a letter to parents explaining how the app works. Not only is this a wonderful app that is beginning to be used in many schools, but it is also 100% free, making it easy for whole schools to adapt due to the lack of cost.

Here are some praise and examples for how other teachers use this app:
https://www.classdojo.com/en-gb/wall-of-love/?redirect=true 

Image result for class dojo avatars girlsHow this app aids with behaviour management: In this app, the teacher enters their class list into the app. Each student is represented with a customise-able monster avatar. The teacher can give individual or groups of students points and select a specific reason why from a list of observable behaviours (eg. listening, participation). Points can also be deducted from students. The app can either be displayed on an interactive whiteboard so that all students can view it, or can be operated from a computer, iPad or iPhone. This makes the app portable and provides access from where ever the teacher may take the students within the school. To make the app most effective, teachers should negotiate with their students a list of desirable behaviours that they can achieve points for. This way all students are aware of what behaviours they should demonstrate and creates a sense of accountability. Students can also be broken up into groups (either as desk groups or even spelling/maths groups, etc.) and can give group points. The points can be reset whenever the teacher chooses, for example at the end of each day or week. What the teacher chooses to do with the points is completely up to them. They can provide students with individual rewards or can even decide to give out whole class rewards. Reward systems and needed points can be tweaked to suit the year level.

Image result for class dojo rewards whole class

 

 

Application in classrooms via the use of the curriculum: I have seen this app effectively implemented in a range year levels, such as year 2/3 split class and even a year 5 class. However I will relate this to the year 4 curriculum.

Year 4 curriculum (SCASA)

Subject: Technologies

Strand: Digital Technologies

Sub-Strand: Knowledge and Understanding/Digital Systems

Content Descriptor: Digital systems and peripheral devices are used for different purposes and can store and transmit different types of data (ACTDIK007)

This content descriptor was chosen because aspects of the app directly relate to this. The app enables teachers to track, mark and keep record of student homework. Students each have their own individual accounts, which students can use to upload their homework and assessment pieces. The uploaded work is presented as a portfolio, and allows parent and peer access.

References

Class dojo. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.classdojo.com/en-gb/?redirect=true#LearnMore

School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://k10outline.scsa.wa.edu.au/home/p-10-curriculum/curriculum-browser/technologies/digital-technologies2

Kahoot!

Related image

Year: Middle to upper primary

What is it? Kahoot! is an online quiz game, in which students can either play individually or as teams from multiple devices. The teacher creates an account and can create customised quizzes relating to the content the class has been learning. The teacher projects the quiz onto the interactive whiteboard. This allows students to view the questions, as questions are only view-able from the teacher account. Each game has a unique pin-code, and the students log into the game using the pin-code. The quizzes are a multi-choice platform, where students answer questions via selecting the correct answer (represented by both colours and symbols) from their device. Students score points for accuracy of their answer and for the fastness in which they answer. It is a great resource to use to test students’ knowledge as a summative task while incorporating ICT. Images and videos can also be added to the questions.  At the end of each answer, students are provided with a graph of results, showing how many people chose what answer. These results remain completely anonymous to the students.

Image result for kahoot

Image result for kahootTeacher Link: https://getkahoot.com/

Student Link: https://kahoot.it/#/ 

Application in classrooms via the use of the curriculum: I believe that this app would be most effective for students in middle to upper primary, but could possibly be modified for use in year 2. We will be looking at year 3-4.

Subject: Technologies

Strand: Digital Technologies

Sub-Strand: Digital Technologies Processes and Production Skills

Content Descriptor: Plan, create and communicate ideas and information independently and with others, applying agreed ethical and social protocols (ACTDIP013)

This content descriptor was chosen because aspects of the website can relate to this. Students canhelp plan and create quizzes with teacher help and test their peers.

Introduction to Design and Technology Process and Engineering

http://splash.abc.net.au/home#!/media/1575277/

 

Year: 5-6

Curriculum areas:

  •  Technology and Society

           How people address competing considerations, including sustainability when designing products, services and environments for current and future use (ACTDEK019)

  • Design and Technology Processes and production skills

         Designing

Design, modify, follow and represent both diagrammatically, and in written text, alternative solutions using a range of techniques, appropriate technical terms and technology

 

It is always important for students to understand why they are learning something. To introduce them to the why we learn about design and technology we can talk about an Engineering career. The following video will also assist students in understanding how the design process works and prepare them for the inevitable mistakes that can occur.

This video can be at the start of a unit as an engaging hook for students. From here students can learn about sustainability and propose solutions to problems that face today’s society in relation to food production.

 

Popplet

Subject: Design Technologies

 

Strand – Processes and Production Skills
Sub strand – Designing
Develop, communicate and discuss design ideas through describing, drawing, modelling and/or a sequence of steps.
General Capabilities:

  • Literacy
  • ICT
  • Creative and critical thinking

Links to all other learning areas
Objective:
Popplet is a visual tool that allows students to show ideas. It is an engaging tool used for mind mapping, graphic organisers, timelines and other forms of visual organisation. Popplet focuses on brainstorming and can also be used as a presentation tool.

How to use this resource

  • Register with Popplet
  • Begin by developing a project by creating a popple.
  • Add text by clicking on each popple.
  • Videos and images can be imported from Facebook or YouTube, or any file saved on the computer.
  • The drawing tool is used to write notes or sketch.
  • Other users can leave feedback using the comment function.

iMovie

Subject: Digital Technologies

 

Year Level: Year 1 – 6

 

Strand: Digital Technologies Processes and Production Skills

 

Sub-strand: Using digital systems

 

Link: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/imovie/id377298193?mt=8

 

Links to all other areas

 

Objective:
Students can use technology to visually show creativity and individuality. The editing tools on the app allow students to create a variety of different types of movies which they can then show to the rest of the class as a project.

 

How do you use it?

  • Import video using clips from your camera
  • Import images or music
  • Edit clips
  • Combine clips into a movie
  • Add effects or titles to clips

 

Ways to use it in the classroom:

  • Creating visual presentations
  • Using for projects
  • Video reports
  • News telling
  • Story telling

WebQuest

Image result for ship clipart

First Fleet Web Quest

Subject: Technology

Year level:  Foundation- year 6

Strand: Digital technologies

Sub-Strand: Processes and Production skills

Links to other learning areas: English/ history

Content Descriptors: Identify and explore a range of digital systems with peripheral devices for different purposes, and transmit different types of data (ACTDIK007)

A classroom link: This can be used effectively in a classroom setting for students in year level from year 3- year 6. This particular activity idea however focuses on the age year 3 age group.  It is and effective way to incorporates the use of technology as well as heavily relating to the history component of the curriculum.

How to use this in the classroom: With the growing use of technology being used in today’s classrooms it is important to try and incorporate a many aspects as possible into everyday learning.  A fantastic way for students to incorporate technology into their learning is through the use of a WebQuest. There are many different ways to create such a document through the use of apps and different online programs. Though find it just as easy to use Publisher as many students are already familiar with this program. This activity requires the students to create an informative and fun way for other students to find out information on a particular topic. A WebQuest is a lesson that is formatted in a way in which most or all the information that learners work with comes from the web (internet). These particular WebQuests can be created using various programs that includes links to websites. With year three this may be used to link to the history curriculum, this can be achieved by the students creating a WebQuest on the First Fleet. Once this is complete the WebQuests can be completed by other students. This is a great activity for students to work either individually or in pairs.

Program: Publisher  with web links to the internet

Technology as if people and planet mattered

Technology saving millions of lives.

As simple as a smoke extraction system?

Over four million people die each year after inhaling smoke from kitchen stoves and fires.

Most victims are women and young children. But these are deaths that could be prevented – using simple solutions.  

Have you been looking for authentic content?

Technology as if people and planet mattered – catchy title? I was hooked…

Who would have ever known that the world of Technology was so HUGE!  It’s not really enough to write just one or two blog posts for a university assignment, to reflect the distraction that all this new information has inflicted on my days.

With a strong passion for justice and equity I am thankful for the Australian Curriculum, General Capabilities for giving me permission to incorporate Ethical Understanding, Intercultural Understanding, Personal & Social capability and Creative and Critical thinking into my professional life as a teacher. Whilst I am thanking the Australian Curriculum, let’s say YAY!! for the Cross-Curricular Priority of Sustainability.

If you are looking to broaden your perspectives on Technology and its uses, check out this website. http://practicalaction.org

“Practical Action is an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) that uses technology to challenge poverty in developing countries.

We find out what people are doing and help them to do it better. Through technology we enable poor communities to build on their skills and knowledge to produce sustainable and practical solutions- transforming their lives forever and protecting the world around them”.

Subject:                 Design and Technologies

Year Level:          Teachers of all year levels

Strand:                  Knowledge and understanding 

Sub strand:         Technologies and society

Technologies contexts

  1. Engineering principles and systems,
  2. Food and fibre production
  3. Food specialisations
  4. Materials and technologies specialisations

Strand: Processes and production skill

Sub strand: CREATE SOLUTIONS

  1. Investigating and defining
  2. Designing
  3. Producing and implementing
  4. Evaluating
  5. Collaborating and managing

Using this resource…

Build your content knowledge and be supported with ready-made resources.

Practical Action is just one of many organisations promoting the positive use of technologies in developing countries. It offers many ideas and resources to use as inspiration for your technologies content. A free book (link below) on the subject of social justice is also available through their website. Supporting power point presentations and resources from Practical Action can be found on the TES website.

https://www.tes.com/member/PracticalAction

“A powerful new book sets out the need for looking at technology from human and environmental perspectives, and how to change the status quo”.

http://practicalaction.org/rethink-retool-reboot

Free download of the book at this address

http://www.developmentbookshelf.com/doi/book/10.3362/9781780449043

An article on Technology perspectives from Simon Trace – author of Rethink, Retool, Reboot

https://www.eiuperspectives.economist.com/simon-trace

 

Did you know?

‘that burning an open fire in your kitchen is like burning 400 cigarettes an hour”

Dr Kirk Smith – Professor of Global Environmental Health.

BE CHALLENGED AND BE INSPIRED