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!

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

 

 

                                            

 

 

Investigating Food and Fibres – Primezone

Investigating Food and Fibres – Primezone

Investigating Food and Fibres by Primezone is a unit of work resource. 

Resource Location:
http://www.piefa.edu.au/units/foodandfibres.pdf

Cost: Free!

Resource description This unit encourages students to investigate how foods and fibres are produced. It includes sections on foods and fibres we use; how food and fibre are obtained; their production systems; and technologies and processes used to assist in their production and the contributions they make to societies. As the unit progresses, the emphasis shifts to investigating how the family and cultural group students belong to produce different foods or fibre. Students interview a member of their family to obtain this information and in turn share recipes, ingredients, methods and equipment suggested by the families with the class.

Year levels: 3 and 4

Design and Technologies Strand: Design and Technologies – Knowledge and Understanding –

ACARA Content Descriptor: Investigate food and fibre production and food technologies used in modern and traditional societies ACTDEK012

SCSA – Food and fibre production

Types of food and fibre produced in different environments, cultures or time periods, including the equipment used to produce or prepare them (ACTDEK012)

Cross Curriculum Priorities – Sustainability

OI.2: All life forms, including human life, are connected through ecosystems on which they depend for their wellbeing and survival.

OI.3: Sustainable patterns of living rely on the interdependence of healthy social, economic and ecological systems.

Using the unit

The unit can be used in a number of ways. It will be of most benefit to teachers who wish to implement a sustained sequence of activities following the inquiry stages identified in the About the approach section of this unit and content descriptions in Years 3 and 4 in Design and Technologies as stated in the Australian Curriculum.

Selecting activities

At each stage several activities are suggested from which you are encouraged to select the most appropriate for your purposes. Not all activities in each stage of the unit need to be used. Alternatively, you may add to or complement the suggested activities with ideas of your own. It is suggested that teachers create a hyperlinked unit. Organise the digital resources for your class’s use on a website or wiki or provide them on your interactive whiteboard.

Additional information

The flexibility of this resource facilittes the teachers ability to target the learning to her class and differentiated abilities within the class. Although the resource is specifically designed for the one SCSA, ACARA outcome it is noted that it can be adapted for use in other year levels. Furthermore, the resource is easily adapted to include the Digital Technologies curriculum.

For example,
Year 3 – Digital Technologies

Knowledge and Understanding:

Different types of data can be represented in different ways (ACTDIK008)

Processes and production skills

COLLECTING, MANAGING AND ANALYSING DATA

Collect and present different types of data using simple software to create useful information (ACTDIP009)

Create and communicate ideas and information safely (ACTDIP013)

Investigating and defining

Create a sequence of steps to solve a given task

Designing

Develop and communicate ideas using labelled drawings and appropriate technical terms

 

 

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

Scratch Project Editor

Coding using a sequence of steps

Subject: Technologies

Year Levels: 3-6

Strand: Digital Technologies: Processes and production skills

Sub strand: Digital Implementation: Use visually represented sequenced steps (algorithms), including steps with decisions made by the user (branching) (ACTDIP011)

Link to the resource:

https://scratch.mit.edu

Cross-curriculum priorities and general capabilities:

Numeracy

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability

Critical and Creative thinking

Links to other learning areas:

Mathematics, Science

A classroom activity using this resource:

This resource is a great way to introduce, or extend, students’ ability to code and develop their design and computational thinking skills. The resource can be as simplified or extensive as each student requires, making it suitable for a large variety of age groups. Students maintain engagement as they create a sequencing of operations that are of interest to them, including character choice, setting, movements, etc. Students are required to generate a sequence of animations by choosing individual steps to create a whole animation. It encourages students to use their systematic, creative and logical thinking skills, and to identify how to break down and evaluate coding skills. Students can easily access this site using computers, iPads or mobile phones. It provides clear instructions and hints for how to create a wonderful animation.

How to use this resource:

Firstly, you will need to visit the website provided above. You will come to the home page.

You then need to select “Create” at the top

Then it is simple. Select your aviator, and plan a sequence of animations for this aviator by using the codes available. You can change the settings, change the aviator, change the type of actions performed by the aviator.

There are tutorials on the right hand side if you need assistance.

Add aviators, movements and sounds to create your fun animation.

You will require wifi to operate this website.

KidzVuz and the Technologies Curriculum

KidzVuz and the Technologies Curriculum

Looking for a fun, innovative, and interactive way of introducing vlogging to the classroom?

Look no further!

Kidzvuz is a safe, carefully monitored site where students from ages 7-12 can Vlog on 🙂

Firstly,

What is this term ‘Vlog’?

A vlog is in fact, a Video Blog. 

As defined by Cambridge Dictionary:

[It is] “a record of your thoughts, opinions or experiences that you film and publish on the internet.

So what is Kidzvuz?

Kidzvuz is a site that facilitates the skills and knowledge for vlogging. Students can use this site to watch, review and create their own vlogs to express their passions and ideas. KidzVuz heavily promotes their philosophy of “letting kids have their say.” Prior to being uploaded, every video and comment is reviewed and approved by the site administrator to ensure a safe, appropriate and positive online environment is kept.

A classroom activity for this resource:

Vlogging opens up many opportunities in the classroom for students to express their interests and opinions confidently through technology. The subject students decide to vlog about can be chosen by the educator or by the students and it can be done individually or collaboratively. In the year 3/4 band description, it is outlined that students need to “develop an understanding of why it is important to consider the feelings of their audiences and apply safe practices and social protocols agreed by the class that demonstrate respectful behaviour.” When introducing Kidzvuz to the classroom, these areas are great to cover and for students to understand the power of influence they can have in their vlogs.

How to use:

Students will need to primarily sign up with the educator/parental consent since this site is heavily supervised. This will then grant access for students to upload vlogs they have created in class to the site for teachers, parents and peers to view. Students can provide encouragement, question or provide constructive feedback to their peers (peer assessment) by commenting on others’ vlogs.

Additional Resources:

Although this may seem like a ‘kid only’ zone, don’t be deceived! There are many resources available for teachers and parents alike! There is a parent blog associated with the site here. In this section, educators and parents can share ideas, resources, advice etc.



The ‘Nitty Gritty’

In alignment with the Australian Technologies Curriculum:

Subject: Technologies

Year Level: 3/4

Strand: Digital Technologies

Sub-strand: Collecting, Managing and Analysing data

Collect, access and present different types of data using simple software to create information and solve problems. (ACTDIP009)

Link to resource:

https://www.kidzvuz.com/

Cross Curriculum Priorities and General Capabilities:

  • Literacy (LIT)
  • Numeracy (NUM)
  • Communication Technology (ICT Capability)
  • Critical and Creative Thinking (CCT)

Links to other learning areas:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy

Present Ideas in 1, 2, 3 with PREZI!

Subject:

Design Technologies

Year Level:

Recommended use for upper primary, however activity is for year 5.

Strand:

Knowledge and Understanding

Sub-Strand:

Technologies and Society

Content Descriptors:

How people address competing considerations when designing products, services and environments (ACTDEK019)

Links to other learning areas:

Digital Technologies – communicating ideas collaboratively online, applying agreed protocols.

Humanities and Social Sciences – exploring why people work in groups to achieve their aims.

General Capabilities:

Literacy – developed through the presentation of the finished product.

Information and Communication Technology – developed through its use to access, create and communicate ideas in a solution based and collaborative manner.

Critical and Creative Thinking – developed through the generation and evaluation of ideas during the mind map creating process.

About the Resource:

Prezi is an extremely engaging and entertaining way to deliver presentations and ideas through mind maps. Its effectiveness can be attributed to the ability to create and deliver ideas throughout the world – including your classroom today! The fourth stage of the design process is experimentation, and this is exactly what this app allows. Ideas can be built virtually, while still remaining visually appealing and so incredibly simple! One of its many perks is that students can work on the same presentation simultaneously, via different log-ins. This means that students can work on their delegated tasks and then allow their peers access to their ideas – inviting feedback and growth of ideas. This app allows students to experiment and evaluate their ideas together, working towards a more desirable future.

Cost: FREE! As long as the school has internet access and a public setting is used.

Classroom Activity:

Objective – students will work in groups to create a mind map on Prezi, which they will present to their peers. The mind map will be exploring environmental campaigns and components that have contributed to its success.

Tips & Tricks – Provide the students with one of the many examples provided by Prezi of a mind map. – Make sure students are aware of how to navigate Prezi first! – A follow up activity could include a mind map of a campaign designed by the students, utilizing their knowledge of successful components to create it.

Link to Resource:

https://prezi.com/signup/public/

References:

https://prezi.com/signup/public/

Kodable

Subject: Technologies

Year Level: Pre-primary-5

Strand: Digital Technologies

Sub Strands:  

  • Process and Production Skills
  • Knowledge and Understanding

Content Descriptors Examples:

  • Digital implementation – (year 3) Use visually represented sequenced steps (algorithms), including steps with decisions made by the user (branching) Create and communicate ideas and information safely
  • Representations of data – (pre-primary) Data can have patterns and can be represented as pictures and symbols

Cross Curriculum Priorities and General Capabilities:

  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy

Links To Other Learning Areas:

  • Mathematics
  • The Arts (Media Art)

 

 

Kodable is a fun and engaging coding website designed for use by teachers and parents (click HERE to launch the Kodable website). It can be set up for use as a class technology teaching tool where students can work through coding levels that gradually increase in difficulty. The results are recorded and can be easily accessed by the teacher to monitor the individual students progress.

It is easy to set up and use and the bright graphics and easy to follow instructions make it very user friendly. Students use directional symbols in the correct order to instruct the Kodable monster which way to move throughthe maze. Reward coins can be collected along the way and use to purchase new monsters

There are structured lesson plans for each year group for the teacher to follow and detailed resources that support the lessons. Each child has an individual login so the site can also be accessed at home.

The “Kick start” introductory offer contains 6 weeks of lesson plans and online activities. After this time the cost is $300 for 42 weeks of student lessons and scaffolded curriculum (US curriculum).

Kodable – Coding and the Curriculum

 

 

Subject: Digital Technologies

Year Levels: K-5

Strand: Digital Technologies Processes and Production Skills

Link to resource: https://www.kodable.com

Cross Curricular and General Capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking and Information  and Communication Technology (ICT)

Curriculum links: Design a user interface for a digital system, generating and considering alternative designs (ACTDIP018)
Design, modify and follow simple algorithms represented diagrammatically and in English involving sequences of steps, branching, and iteration (repetition)(ACTDIP019)

Implement digital solutions as simple visual programs involving branching,iteration (repetition), and user input (ACTDIP020)
Manage the creation and communication of ideas and information including online collaborative projects, applying agreed ethical, social and technical protocols(ACTDIP022)

Using Kodable: Kodable allows students to understand
and how the coding system works. Using Kodable will allow for students to develop excellent – Problem solving skills – Higher level thinking skills – Collaboration skills – Communication skills – Critical thinking skills.

Finally, within Kodalble your students will learn the fundamentals of every modern programming language in a fun and inviting way. Within Kodable there is an exciting learning guide free of charge for you to download and create a sequence of learning for students within your various year levels.

Digital Technologies Hub

Put the User in User Interface

Year Level: 5 and 6

Subject: Technologies – Digital Technologies

Strand: Processes and Production Skills

Sub-strand: Digital Implementation

Content Description: Design solutions to a user interface for a digital system (ACTDIP018)

Link to Other Learning Areas: English and Science.

General Capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding, Personal and Social Capability, Literacy, Numeracy, ICT capability.

Overview: “This learning sequence aims to support understandings of the importance of quality design and design principles in creating an efficient and effective user interface.”

The learning sequence includes the following:

  • Learning hook – video and discussion
  • Learning map and outcomes – create glossary
  • Learning input and construction – Links to Human Interface Design and to videos
  • Learning demo – Activities and worksheets
  • Learning reflection – Activity

Students discuss the elements of both confusing and clear interfaces and share examples. The suggested activities provide opportunities  for students to think critically about the purpose and importance of design using real-world examples. They design and problem solve through engaging activities in The Chocolate Factory – Human Interface Design.  “Students analyse how the doors might work most effectively for a group of users with specific needs.” Catering for specific audiences and needs is a wonderful way to link to General Capabilities – Ethical Understanding and Personal and Social Capability.

 

This video provides a great overview of User Interface Design. It was created for year 7/8 teachers however contains clear and relevant information that would also be meaningful for year 5/6 students.

 

References

Resource and images from: https://www.digitaltechnologieshub.edu.au/primary-teachers/getting-started/put-the-user-in-user-interface
Resource link also available through Scootle: https://www.scootle.edu.au

Blog by Stephanie Joshi