Sunday, 8 March 2015

Uni of Greenwich Professional Development Day

Tomorrow I'll be delivering a 'Professional Development Day' for a group of PGCE students from the University of Greenwich. I will be informing them about the new computing curriculum and showing examples of best practice through my school's use of technology.

I am very much looking forward to seeing what the new breed of teacher already knows about computing, particularly as they only know the new curriculum. It shouldn't surprise me to find that a generous number of them are more 'tech savvy' than myself...

The plan for tomorrow will be to spend about 20 minutes discussing the new curriculum and the future of education. I will then spend a generous amount of time on a range of resources that we use in school - approximately 15 minutes each.

Planned resources:
  • iPad apps for coding: Bee-Bot, Daisy the Dinosaur, Kodable, Scratch Jr and Hopscotch
  • Other iPad apps: Explain Everything and Book Creator
  • MinecraftEDU
  • Scratch (will probably go through my coordinates lesson)
  • MaKey MaKey, Python and Raspberry Pi
Below is a copy of tomorrow's Prezi:

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

My ADE 2015 Application Video

Last weekend, there was an amazing buzz on my Twitter feed. The deadline for the annual Apple Distinguished Educator institute was looming and it seemed everyone was talking about it! There are some amazingly talented people out there...

I've been reading on many blogs and Twitter posts that the application process is a great opportunity to reflect on your current practice as a teacher, and they are all absolutely right. I found myself digging deep into the last few years to unearth my successes (and failures too, of course!)

I have not even joined the ADE community yet (fingers crossed though!) but the 'togetherness' I witness on Sunday night has got me very excited for the future. Everyone was wishing each other well with their applications, and best of all, sharing their application videos! I spent a huge part of Sunday evening watching clip after clip. Each one as inspiring as the last!

So here is my ADE application video. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed watching everyone elses! :)

Coding with a Positive Message!

I recently discovered some fantastic printable Scratch coding blocks and thought they would be great for some CSunplugged work! They are available to download here.

This evening I had a little idea. What if you could take some of these Scratch blocks and use them to create a positive message of encouragement for your pupils? I decided to give it a try, and this is what I came up with... while True:

This is a nice message that helps children understand a tiny bit of technical vocabulary around coding, but also gives them a useful message about never giving up! It reminds them that they may not be successful straight away, and that if that is the case, they should TRY AGAIN and work harder to reach their goal!

I wonder what other positive messages can be created using these Scratch blocks? I'd love to see what others can create!