29 September 2015

Extract from Future Learn- Computer Science (CS) MOOC

I wondered what/how ICT is taught in the UK so I am doing this MOOC.....at the end of week 2 I had to do an assignment.  
The task involved using the following website and choosing a game/application to create/plan a lesson from.....
The lesson must state the target student, I choose KS3 (12-14Yrs old)
state the objective from the UK syllabus and state where peer learning will occur.
This is my lesson http://bit.ly/1MBUcEo      I can use this lesson with my TY students.  I submitted my assignment and then received one to correct.  But I did not learn much from the first one so I corrected 5, I learned something from 3 of them.   So the learning process is dependent on other teachers, I found the forum is a valuable source of information and a good way to make new contacts.

Lesson 2 included a  video from a secondary school, showing a ICT class where the teacher had students working on minecraft to demonstrate logic gates, Makey Makey kits and Kinect, and scripting in a virtual world (scratch like interface).  Much of this technology  is unavailable in my school but also think managing such diverse programs simultaneously would be a challenge for me!  But what is noticeable, are students in Ireland being exposed to such technology and/or are we falling behind our neighbours.  
Anyway just finished week 2, have 4 more to go so I will keep on learning!!  

Summary and key websites:
In September 2014, a new curriculum began in schools in England, with the aim of preparing pupils better for life after school in the 21st Century. 
The new curriculum puts a clearer emphasis than before on three core areas. 
  • Computer science - how computers work and how to write algorithms and solve problems to eventually create a computer program.
  • Information technology - how data is represented and managed on computers.
  • Digital literacy - how to understand digital information and interact with it safely and appropriately.
Lesson plan for CS in secondary school
Learning objectives could be  distinguish by:
All students:           Debug simple program 
Most Students:       Write a program for a purpose  
Some Students:       To use repetition and if functions in programs

Worth looking a BBC bitesize:

I found the forum excellent and learned a lot from other teachers on what worked for them and they shared resources...
 Another teacher recommended this course for explaining CS.

Another teacher recommended 

Lesson 2
When introducing new concepts, focus on key words, with written explanations..could use worksheets
Model and demonstrate:  debug a programme, find creative commons info on a website.
Encourage independence-problem solving
Facilitate pupil to pupil interaction.....'learning partners' or in some schools they have 'digital ambassadors' older kids teach younger kids.
Summarise learning outcomes at various stages during the lesson, to help student self assess.

from another teacher  @UCCSEd

Seymour Papert’s groundbreaking book Mindstorms, about how computing develops thinking.

Jeremy Kubica’s Computational Fairy Tales, a quirky but interesting read. This is an optional reading for the course.

teachers comments
"When I was at school I was told that "computers don't think and don't solve problems." The only thing they can do is to recognize numbers "1" and "0." This premise helps us to develop computational thinking."

"part of computational thinking requires you to "think" like a computer. Here are a couple of aphorisms I like... 
The question of whether computers can think is just like the question of whether submarines can swim.  ~Edsger W. Dijkstra
A computer will do what you tell it to do, but that may be much different from what you had in mind.  ~Joseph Weizenbaum"

for coding and debugging elements of the curriculum.

However there are many coding environments which can be run from an iPad such as Scratch Jr, the Bee-Bot app, Hopscotch and the Code Academic app. The touch screen and drag and drop interfaces make accessing simple coding activities much easier.

Computational thinking for SEN 

Logic Gates

Computing lessons that promote learning effectively are active and participatory. There are five key aspects of the lessons that promote learning in this way:
  1. They get off to a clear start. The teachers build on pupils’ existing learning and rehearse familiar concepts with the pupils before they move on to something new.
  2. The teachers set clear objectives using subject specific vocabulary. Computing has a subject-specific vocabulary just like other areas of the curriculum Some of these words will be totally new perhaps, like ‘debug’ and others might not be new, but have different meanings in the context of computing.
  3. Lessons include ‘off screen activities’ to support pupil learning. It is especially import for pupils to understand the relationship between the code and something happening on screen, and often the best way to get this across is to move away from the screen and into the physical world. In the early stages of computing in Primary schools, learning is often off screen, using programmable toys. As the curriculum progresses into the Secondary phase, concepts are applied in more abstract settings
  4. When pupils are debugging ready-made code blocks this is a powerful form of learning – it develops the crucial skill of problem solving. This is bit like taking apart a model to understand how it is made and it means that pupils can make changes to the code, like changing the distance a sprite travels or costumes, and see the effect immediately. Trial and error is a major way that pupils learn to program.
  5. Pupil to pupil learning is important, and successful teachers give lots of opportunities for this to happen. Teachers have also found that if they use freely available software, pupils can download it and practice their skills at home.

Digital Literacy

Small basic

23 September 2015

Using the PDST ePortfolio template(via google sites) to help integrate ICT

The link below shows our objectives regarding how we will integrate ICT in the English classroom for 1st and 2nd year students.  We team teach for one of the English classes so our foremost aim is to teach English and our secondary aim is to use ICT skills to enhance learning. We have access to a computer room.
Additionally, we have a study hub of 5 computers in an open access area(lunch area) and we hope students will work on those if they do not have ipads or internet access at home.  We want to be able to give homework and enable students to research outside of class.  So far the study hub is being under utilised, the hub was installed at the end of May so we need to train students to use it.  
This is the plan and we will evaluate it as the year progresses.  We decided to use the PDST ePortfolio template this year as they know more than me so hope to learn something from them!
To access the template

13 September 2015

How to collate & share CPD via Google Sites

I believe that attending an inservice can be futile unless, I use the new information straight away in class or I record it so it can be referenced at a later stage.   Last term I started compiling useful information omitting any verbosity.  The purpose of this site is primarily for my benefit and to extend the lifecycle of the CPD.
It can be shared with other teachers so either they may use the information gathered or based on my summary they could decide to attend the inservice/teachmeet the following year.

My CPD site......


Handout explaining how to create the site..


7 September 2015

My Google site to help integrate ICT in the classroom

To facilitate the gathering of information from twitter and other sources, I create this site.  Thus enabling me to collect and synthesize data in a meaningful way.  It includes blooms taxonomy, editable graphic organisers, creative commons, and so on...


Reflection on Business CPD day 2

I created this draft last March but never posted it,  I am posting it now as a means of revision. Additionally, I attended an NCCA inservi...