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

 

 

                                            

 

 

Kodable

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Subject: Technologies Year Level: Suitable for all years

Strand: Digital Technologies Sub strand: Digital Technologies Processes and Production Skills

Recognise and explore patterns in data and represent data as pictures, symbols and diagrams (ACTDIK002)

Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004)

Overview of Kodable: Kodable makes learning to code fun for students. They must drag and drop commands to program their fuzzy character to get through a maze. By doing this, they learn problem solving, computational thinking, sequence, conditions, loops, functions and debugging. These are skill necessary for learning any programming language.

Kodable includes interactive tutorials for each new concept. Students can learn new programming terms and logic without any adult assistance. The tutorials are completely voiced and walk kids through the first problem in each new lesson.

You can also download the app for free on your iPhone, iPad or tablet!

For more information and to purchase visit: https://www.kodable.com/resources

 

 

Edison Robot

Edison Robot

Subject: Digital Technologies

Year Level: F-6

Strand: Both Digital Technologies processes and production skills and Design and Technologies

Sub strand: The Edison Robots can be used across all ages and many strands and sub strands of the Western Australian Curriculum.

Link to the resource:

http:// meetedison.com

https://www.mindmeister.com/823700803#

Cross curriculum priorities and general capabilities:

Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social capability, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Literacy, Numeracy

Links to other learning areas:

Science, Mathematics, English, The Arts

Interesting information about this resource:

Western Australia’s Scitech hold inexpensive Professional Learning workshops throughout the year which enable teachers to upskill themselves not only on the technology supplied by the Department of Education in the new technology kits but also more (ie Beebots, Dash and Dot robots, Edison robots, Makey Makey kits, Sphero robots, Hummingbird robotics kits, mBots, Lego EV3, LittleBits). Scitech workshops are often recognised by the Teachers Registration Board of WA as professional learning hours.

Qualified staff from Scitech will also attend schools and run incursions introducing the Edison Robots to the students and teaching them the basics.

Edison Robots have wheel encoders which allow Edison to travel specific distances at exact speeds. Edison is able to  turn to specific angles (using EdPyApp.com) and drive straight. It has a clutch in each gear box that prevents damage to the gears if the wheels are forced around. It has long range obstacle detection and a clap sensor. Edison comes with graphical programming software (EdWare) and newer software is often realised to complement EdWare ie EdPy – a free Python based programming environment for Edison which is designed to introduce students to a written programming language.

Other features of the Edison Robots are:

  • FREE robotics lesson plans
  • FREE robotics activity mat
  • FREE EdBooks
  • LEGO® compatible
  • Easy to use – suitable for all ages

A classroom activity using this resource:
Introducing the Edison Robots into the lower primary classes as a “toy” not only gains the students’ interest but it also enables the teacher to use computational language within the classroom in a less intimidating game situation.      

In small groups the teacher can guide the students to design a bulldozer using Lego pieces attached to the Edison Robot. Once designed and built they can then use the programming software (with the help of the teacher) to instruct the bulldozer to move extra Lego pieces from one area to another. Ideas are only limited by the imagination, you can even program it to do a drawing by attaching a pencil!

How to use this resource:

The Edison Robot can be purchased through https://meetedison.com, this site is also where information on using this resource is found.

The programming can be done using numerous free software applications and is easy to do due to the drag and drop graphical icons.

The robots are able to be updated with the free firmware updates that will fix bugs or add new functionality.

Interactive Water Wall by Celia

Learning through Playing: An interactive way to get pre-primary students to problem-solve and work collaboratively.

Image retrieved from: www.pinterest.com

These water walls are amazing fun for Foundation years to year 2.

Year:

  • F – Y2

Subject: Design and Technologies

Sub strand: Creating Design solutions by:

  • Investigating and defining
  • Designing
  • Producing and Implementing
  • Evaluating
  • Collaborating and managing

The teacher can make it as elaborate, involved and complex as they want or keep it very simple for the younger years.

All you need is:

  • a trellis and
  • some PVC pipes along with
  • funnels,
  • u-bends,
  • T-pieces and
  • other containers lying around. This is great for recycling.

The kids can just play with the water station, or the teacher can give explicit instruction like: “Make a path for the water to run from the top to the bottom with minimal splashing.”

You can have a measuring jug with a set amount of water and then the same measuring jug at the end of the zone. This way the students can plan and engineer a way to have the maximum amount of water return to the bottom measuring jug. This is an innovative and interactive activity for kids.

Image retrieved from: www.pinterest.com

Image retrieved from: www.pinterest.com

Here is a video link to a DIY kids water wall. Have a look how easy it is to make and at the same time recycle.

If you have more time and want to be more creative, check out the Better Homes & Garden video clip:

Ivers states that technology in the classroom encourages cooperative learning which then increases metacognition, motivation and performance. This will then lead to an overall positive attitude towards learning. She also proposes that using play in learning in young children will create collaborative skills that is imperative to learning (Ivers, 2009). When technology is introduced to young children though play-based activities, learning is enhanced since they are having fun. They do not even realise that they are learning.

Image result for metacognition

Image retrieved from: http://cbsd.org/Page/15473

 

Ivers, K. S. (2009). A Teacher’s Guide to using Technology in the Classroom (2nd ed.). Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited.

Babble Dabble Do

Babble Dabble Do 

Subject: Design and Technology

Year Level: Year 4

Strand: Design and Technology

Links to resource or website:

http://babbledabbledo.com/

Links to other learning areas

Science

Technology

Mathematics

Art

Review:

Are you game enough to make Oobleck with your students?

Know how to make marbled milk paper?

Challenge your students to find different ways to balance paper triangles!

One, two, three…Stixplosion!

Babble Dabble Do connects students by engaging their creativity, offering endless activities as Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics collide. Although online lessons are ready to be implemented into classrooms to support curious and inquisitive minds, parents can access the website too.

A former Architect and furniture designer, Ana created the website as a means of compiling fun, challenging activities that encourage imagination and creation in the minds of children.

Divided into the four areas of

  • Art for Kids
  • Science for Kids
  • Engineering for Kids
  • Design for Kids

Babble Dabble Do fosters a desire to question, inquire, investigate and most importantly, take steps to problem solve through setbacks and obstacles. With activities that directly link to the Australian curriculum Design and Technologies, Science, Mathematics, Arts, as well as opportunities to implement Digital Technologies, Babble Dabble Do is a ‘must’ in effective teaching and learning.

Facilitate and cater to the creative needs of your students by bookmarking this website!

Image retrieved from http://babbledabbledo.com/

JPearce

Lego Education

Subject: Digital Technologies

Year Level: 3

Strands: Digital Technologies

Image retrieved from https://education.lego.com/en-au/product

Links to the resource:

https://education.lego.com/en-us

https://education.lego.com/en-au/product

Links to other learning areas

Science

Mathematics

 

As an educator, have you ever felt something missing from your teaching, that one thing that connects you to your students’ thoughts and imaginations? Do you facilitate students’ expression of creativity and inventiveness? Is your planning reflective of opportunities for students to articulate their inspirations and aspirations? For generations, Lego has endorsed the importance of accelerating childrens’ imaginations through creative play. With the mission statement of ‘Inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow’ Lego has moved from the confines of our homes and into the classroom with Lego Education.

Lego Education introduces WeDo 2.0, a valuable resource where students are encouraged to explore and build brick by brick, and then innovate through computers and coding. From the moment they begin building, students are engaged in the process of computational thinking, using digital software to problem solve as well as their curious imaginations to create. To begin with, students follow instructions of what to build, how to build it and step by step sequencing using the accompanying computer program. Once they understand the basic framework of Lego Education, they are then free to explore using their imaginations to create.

YOU are facilitating their learning of design and digital technologies as they imagine, create and play. YOU are providing valuable moments for your students to access digital technology in a meaningful way, with determination and purpose.

How to use this resource

Students follow the steps to assemble their creations.

Teacher assists in connecting to an iPad or laptop.

Log into the LEGO Education software.

Students use coding to manipulate and control their creation.

 

 

MineCraft Education Edition

WHAT IS MINECRAFT: EDUCATION EDITION?

Minecraft: Education Edition is an open-world game that promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving in an immersive environment where the only limit is your imagination.

Student Engagement

Minecraft: Education Edition brings the classroom and curriculum to students in an environment they are already comfortable with. It offers the same Minecraft experience many students enjoy already, but with some additional capabilities that enable them to collaborate in the classroom, as well as support for educators to deliver learning activities within the game.

Collaboration

Minecraft: Education Edition is designed so that students can work in teams to solve problems, or as a whole class to master challenges within the game. Engaging in collaborative work teams and learning environments that foster cooperation in the classroom helps prepare students for their futures.

Creative Exploration

People learn naturally through a combination of observation, trial and error, and play-based practice. An open-learning environment like Minecraft allows students the freedom to experiment and challenge themselves. Much like in real life, there are no step-by-step instructions — students must try, fail, and try again to achieve the result they want.

Tangible Learning Outcomes

To create a fully inclusive classroom, educators are challenged to create learning activities that cater to all types of learners. Learning-by-doing gives students a sense of accomplishment when they can demonstrate their knowledge. And in Minecraft: Education Edition, educators are able to map projects and activities directly to specific learning outcomes and curriculum standards.

WHAT CAN YOU DO IN MINECRAFT: EDUCATION EDITION?

Game screenshot - characters in the game collaborating.

Collaborate on projects with classmates.

Game screenshot - portfolio with two photos. One photo of a minecraft character titled 'friend' and a photo of a temple titled 'big temple.'

Document your work, and share in class.

Game screenshot - selection view of all available skins that come with the Education Edition for characters.

Personalize your game!

Game screenshot - town guide example, showing a description entered by a teacher for students to see, with link.

Effectively communicate learning objectives in-game.

Game screenshot - world scene with red border blocks with a tour guide standing by them.

Play in a secure environment along with your classroom community.

Game screenshot - town guide example.

Ask helpful guides for more information, including digital resources.

 Year Levels

Year 1 to Year 12

Subject Areas

Art, History, Computer Science, Geography, Health, Technology, Maths.

By Candice Ambrose

‘Makey Makey’ makes kids go crazy!

‘Makey Makey’ makes kids go crazy!

Ever wanted to become an inventor? Ever seen children bored out of their minds when they have the perfect opportunities to create imaginative play or craft something amazing like you did in your childhood? Well, look no further than the tool ‘Makey Makey’. ‘Makey Makey’ is just like an electrical board, or square piece of metal with different ports in it which have alligator clips extending from it to link to other objects. It is sure to engage our 21st-century tech-savvy children!

The idea is simple. Plug the board into a laptop or computer using the USB cord attached. Then, connect ANY object which can conduct even the smallest amount of energy (I..e bananas, pens, water bottles, playdough) to the alligator clips, and ta-da you have a unique keyboard! This device can create any object into one which controls your laptop games and apps. Check it out via this video:

 

To implement this amazing piece of technology into your classroom, I have the following tips for you:

  • Follow the ‘Primary Connections’ Physical Sciences program, and extend their understanding of forces and electrical energy by allowing students to play with their ‘Makey Makey’. This device specifically links to Grade 6 Physical Sciences Primary Connections Textbook “It’s Electrifying!’ however it is able to be used by all middle to upper primary aged students. Lower primary students may need extra support and supervision.
  • Allow students to play with the device themselves first, and grouping them in small groups to not only develop their investigative thinking skills but also their personal and social capabilities, which is a general capability from ACARA and SCSA curriculums.
  • This device allows students to use all the Processing and Production skills from the Technologies curriculum on SCSA as well as links directly to the grades 4, 5 and 6 curriculum links in the Engineering Principles and Systems Design and Technology context (ACTDEK020 – ACTDEK020). It also directly links to the grade 6 curriculum of Science (ACSSU097).
  • Remember to explain and directly teach safe handling of ‘Makey Makey’
  • Give students goals to work towards in small groups (I.e. make the biggest piano you can) to enhance students general capabilities of critical and creative thinking, and Information and Communicative Technologies (ICT)

 

Follow this link to view the different apps which ‘Makey Makey’ can link to:

www.makeymakey.com/apps

Other unique technologies created by the same inventors:

Drawdio – make anything you draw become a sound system! www.web.media.mit.edu/~silver/drawdio

Singing Fingers – the app which uses your sounds to paint pictures! www.singingfingers.com

Have fun exploring the world of inventing and inspiring your students!

Link to an overview of the Design and Technology Curriculum by Caitlin Phoebe: http://https://www.mindmeister.com/826317863

 

 

 

 

Architects in the Classroom

Architects in the Classroom


Imagine being able to design any room or area with a vast range of materials and resources right at your fingertips.

This is all possible using Floorplanner

In the classroom…

This program is engaging and interactive. It uses digital technologies for creation and design. Begin by giving students an authentic project. This can involve students redesigning an area in the school, a community area, their bedroom or anywhere their imagination takes them. Through the program, students are able to be creative and innovative. They are given the opportunity to engage confidently with and responsibly manipulate designs as they create solutions for their area. The floorplan program can become part of a bigger project involving students choosing and locating resources, calculating budgets, measuring the area and selecting appropriate sized objects to fit.

Images retrieved from http://floorplanner.com/

Using the floor planner…

  1. Create a free account using an email address.
  2. Start in the ‘Build’ tab to find the tools to start drawing your floorplan. The room can be drawn wall by wall or room by room.
  3. Add surfaces for outdoor areas to the floorplan if required.
  4. Place structural units (windows, stairs, doors) into the floorplan.
  5. After the plan is drawn out the rooms can be decorated using furniture and materials.
  6. The floorplan can also be organised with custom dimensions and labels.

Tutorial



Curriculum Links (SCSA 2017)

Subject: Technologies

Year level: 6

Strand: Design and Technologies processes and production skills

Sub-strand: Creating solutions by designing

Select appropriate materials, components, tools, equipment and techniques and apply safe procedures to make designed solutions (ACTDEP026)

Link to resource: http://floorplanner.com/

Cross curriculum priorities and general capabilities

Critical and creative thinking (CCT),  Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Sustainability

Links to other learning areas

Art, Mathematics

CODE Artist

Subject: Digital technologies

Year level: 5

Strand: Digital technologies processes and production skills

Sub strand: Digital implementation

Link to resource: https://studio.code.org/s/artist/stage/1/puzzle/1

Cross curricular priorities and general capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Numeracy,  Information and Communication Technology, Literacy.

Link to other learning areas: Art, mathematics.

A classroom activity using this resource:

Students could use this activity to create an artwork that incorporates geometric shapes and patterns into mathematics lessons. Incorporation of Art and Numeracy subject areas within a technological context allows for computational thinking, differentiation, engagement and motivates students to become creative, scaffolding critical thinking opportunities. Teachers could encourage students to first engage with the tutorial as they follow the step by step introduction, and then ask students to create their own code that others have to explore. This activity could also be used flexibly as students can create visual representations (via shapes) of chosen concepts in other learning areas they are currently involved in. This resource is available on iPad, iPhone and computers.

How to use this resource:

Open the link presented above.

  • Read the introductory bubble that help to introduce the game.
  • Choose the block with the correct action on it and place it into the work space.

  • Press the orange button labelled “run” and see if you are correct.

  • If you are incorrect, follow the hint and prompts until you correctly place the blocks
  • Continue onto the next shape, developing your shapes skill set and artistic flare.