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

 

 

                                            

 

 

Decoding code without touching a computer.

 

As a novice in the world of coding, I was looking for activities that made sense to me. Starting where most children start their learning journey, I went back to Foundation skills to look for inspiration.

To understand the abstract idea of something (a symbol) representing something else, I searched for concrete materials, to express the idea. What I found was a ‘decoder’.

This is a simple activity you can do with students to teach some basic principles of coding, without touching a computer :). A good confidence builder, children who believe they know nothing about coding, will be provided with opportunities to be successful. Strong links to History – decoders and deciphers were used, pre-computers, to communicate.

Subject:           Digital Technologies

Year Level:      4-5

 Strand:            Knowledge and understanding

Sub strand:      Representation of data

Data can be represented in different ways (ACTDIK008)

Data is represented using codes (ACTDIK015)

Strand:              Processes and production skills

Sub strand:      Producing and implementing

Select, and safely use, appropriate components and equipment to make solutions

To incorporate the use of computers and digital technologies in this activity, children can be directed to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the USA’s website and engage with their online decoding games. The decoding games build on the same principle the children have just explored with their own handmade decoders.

The use of this resource extends and expands the children’s experience with coding in an historical and real world context.

 

Resource links.

 http://frugalfun4boys.com/2014/04/15/code-activity-kids-make-spy-decoder/

 https://www.teacherlists.com/blog/de-coding-coding/

http://igamemom.com/kids-activities-learn-coding-without-computer/

https://www.cia.gov/kids-page/games/break-the-code/code-1.html

General capabilities: Literacy, ICT, Numeracy, Critical & Creative thinking, Personal & Social capability

Links to other learning areas: History, Maths, Art

 

To make a decoder, you will need: 

School technology

  • Cardboard
  • Coloured pencils
  • Scissors
  • A compass
  • A pencil
  • A ruler
  • A paper fastener
  • A fine tip marker

 Step 1:  Cut out three circles per decoder out of cardboard.  You will need one that is 8cm in diameter, one that is 6cm in diameter, and one that is 4cm in diameter.   Note:  The size of the circles is very important!  If you change the size of the decoder, you will have to change the measurements for marking off the letter sections.

Detail is important in this step

 Step 2:  Colour your circles with coloured pencils, if desired.

 Step 3:  On the largest circle, make small pencil marks on the outside edge.  You should end up with 27 sections. Detail is important in this step! 

 Step 4:  Poke a hole through the center of the largest circle and the middle circle.  Attach them with the paper fastener.  The best way to find the middle of the circle is to use the compass. Then, use the ruler to draw a straight line from the paper fastener to each edge mark.  Again, detail is important.  You really want each of the sections to be equal in size, or your decoder will be difficult to use.

 Step 5:  Write the alphabet on the outside circle and put a ? in the 27th section.  For the middle circle, you can either write the alphabet in order or mix it up. Then add the smallest circle to the decoder.

 To write a message:

First, set the code.   There are several ways to set the code.

  1. Set the decoder where the “A” on the outside circle matches the first letter of the day of the week.
  2. Use a “code word” with each message and set the decoder where “A” on the red circle matches the first letter of the code word.
  3. Or, come up with your own system!

To write a message, find the letter you want on the outside (red) circle and write down the corresponding letter on the middle (blue) circle.

 To read a message, find the letter on the middle (blue) circle, and write down the corresponding letter from the outside (red) circle.

Have fun decoding 🙂

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

Scratch

Subject: Digital Technologies

Year Level: 5-6

Links to other Learning Areas: Literacy, Numeracy, The Arts, HASS and Science

Links to Cross Curricular Priorities/ General Capabilities: Numeracy, Critical and Creative Thinking, ICT.

Platform: Desktop/Laptop

Cost: Free

ACARA Links:

  • Design, modify and follow simple algorithms involving sequences of steps, branching, and iteration (repetition) (ACTDIP019)
  • Implement digital solutions as simple visual programs involving branchingiteration (repetition), and user input (ACTDIP020)
  • Acquire, store and validate different types of data, and use a range of software to interpret and visualise data to create information (ACTDIP016)
  • Examine the main components of common digital systems and how they may connect together to form networks to transmit data (ACTDIK014)

Scratch is a Coding program that can be used in the classroom, to teach the basics of coding computers, however can also progress into more difficult coding projects as well. Scratch can be used by students will varied levels of capabilities, and is a fantastic tool for peer mentoring.

The program is both an online program accessed through Google Chrome (or FireFox) and can also be downloaded as a program onto any Desktop/Laptop computer.

The program allows uses to create stories, games and animations. Scratch could be used as a platform for students to present assignments as well as create interactive quizzes and games to be shared with peers.

The online version is fantastic, as it has tutorials for students (and teachers) of different levels of ability. The tutorials go through step-by-step processes in order to achieve the set out goal.

https://scratch.mit.edu

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

Educreations in a Year 3 Classroom

What is Educreations?

Educreations is an app that allows students and teachers to share ideas, collaborate and learn new things. It is used for flipped learning in the classroom.

How to use Educreations

You can capture your ideas by recording your voice and iPad screen to create video tutorials that students and their peers can access any time.

 

 You can import images, documents and other videos as well to help teach a concept, or explain an idea.

 

With Educreations, you also have the option to share your recording to social media, Google Drive, email and YouTube. It is a great way to share student work with parents or to incorporate flipped learning.

 

Educreations in a Year 3 Classroom 

On a previous practicum I used Educreations in a Year 3 classroom during a mathematics lesson. Educreations was used to gain a deeper understanding of the thinking students have when solving a mathematics equation.  I gave students a simple mathematics equation and they used Educreations to write, draw, and explain their thinking aloud when solving this equation. It allowed me to be able to gain an understanding of the thought processes students have and how I could address any misconceptions they may have had. 

___________________________________________________________

Curriculum Links 

Subject: Digital Technologies
Year Level: 3
Curriculum Links/ Content Descriptors:
Digital Technology 

  • Digital systems and peripheral devices are used for different purposes (ACTDIK007)
  • Create and communicate ideas and information safely (ACTDIP013)
  • Create a sequence of steps to solve a given task
  • Develop and communicate ideas using labelled drawings and appropriate technical terms

General Capabilities:

  • Critical and creative thinking 
  • Computational thinking

Links to Other Learning Areas:

  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Literacy

Link to Educreations Website:

https://www.educreations.com/

 

Mind Meister Map
https://mm.tt/825798724?t=EXBgBuUy3G

By Amy Anderson

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/

Coding Basics and Commands – An Inside Look at Cargo-Bot – JOSH GARDINER

Subject: Digital Technologies

Year Level: 6

Strand: Processes and Production Skills

Sub Strand: Digital Implementation

Content Descriptor: Implement and use simple visual programming environments that include branching (decisions), iteration (repetition) and user input (ACTDIP020)

Link to the Resource:

https://twolivesleft.com/CargoBot/

 

Cross Curriculum Priorities and General Capabilities:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • Critical and Creative Thinking (CCT)
  • Personal and Social Capability (PSC)

Links to Other Learning Areas:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science

A Classroom Activity Using this Resource:

Cargo-Bot is a fantastic tool to introduce your students to coding through everyone’s favourite form of gambling; the claw machine. That machine that always look so easy to play, so easy to win, how could you possibly lose?

Claw machines aside; Cargo-Bot is an intuitive piece of software that sees your students applying simple movement commands in a sequence to reach a target or end goal. This follows the simple path of what coding is. A list of commands that will result in a specific outcome.

This piece of software introduces students to these basic concepts. They have to apply certain understandings to reach the end goal.

The students can explore and interact with the software in a safe environment as it provides a visual learning experience; you can see what commands are being performed and you can adjust where needed to complete the correct series of commands.

How to Use this Resource:

  • Cargo-Bot is exclusive to Apple iPad formats.
  • Once you have downloaded the app.
  • Launch the app on your device.
  • The software follows a progressive system in that it the levels start of simple and become more complex as your progress through the levels.
  • You can monitor your progress and improve on your previous scores by achieving efficient commands.
  • Play in collaboration with others or individually to reinforce specific skills.

 

By Josh Gardiner

Pre-service Teacher

Edith Cowan University

Perth, Western Australia.

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