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10 Formative Assessments Tech Tools to Put to the Test in 2015 | edutechchick

Oz/NZ Educators Diigo Group - 44 min 7 sec ago


  • "Technology, as an instructional tool, can be especially powerful when used to conduct formative assessments because technology has the ability to provide feedback in a very timely manner" - Rhondda Powling

Tags: formative assessment, tools, educational technology

by: Rhondda Powling

Categories: International News

Learning and Cognitive Load - An Introduction

Classroom 2.0 Diigo Group - 4 hours 36 min ago


  • What does it mean to have learned something? What occurs within the individual as they are learning and what changes occur as a result of that learning? At some point in the teaching/learning cycle we need to ask this question and ponder our definition of learning and the consequences that follow from our conclusions. - Nigel Coutts

Tags: education, learning, teaching

by: Nigel Coutts

Categories: International News

Why I focus on #DigitalLeadership Instead of Cyberbullying

When we constantly talk to kids about cyberbullying, what ideas are we putting into their heads? We have a constant focus on “here is what you can’t do”” as opposed to here is what you can do?

For years, I have been writing about the concept of Digital Leadership, and shared this definition in 2013:

Using the vast reach of technology (especially the use of social media) to improve the lives, well-being, and circumstances of others.

This little video reminds us how small actions can not only improve the lives of others, but they can easily spread.  That influence on others is a powerful trait of leadership, and something we should focus on when talking to our students.  It is not about what we can’t do, but more importantly, what we can. This belief in ourselves and our students can make all of the difference.

Categories: Planet

July 2015: My Reading

Darcy Moore's Blog - 1 August, 2015 - 09:34

Two weeks of holidays certainly provided time for more books this month than last. I continue to enjoy the pleasures of rereading and science fiction, as well as some light but thoughtful travel books and tomes exploring historical wisdom on how to live – and win elections!

High Possibility Classrooms

Dr Jane Hunter has written a very, very good book for education students, teachers and academics interested in pedagogy and technology. Technology Integration and High Possibility Classrooms* is engaging and warmly written. The author, “an early-career researcher”, creates very detailed thumbnail sketches of the teachers she worked with in the classroom and illustrates their particular professional contexts with great humanity. One has the feeling that both the research and the book have been an absolutely genuine labour of love for Dr Hunter.

Why another book on technology integration? Dr Hunter answers her own question as follows:

Many texts offer suggestions on why laptops make a difference, or how teaching in a digital age must be done and why creative, technology-enhanced classrooms are better than those that don’t have all the bells n’ whistles. Most suggest ways for teachers to use technology to engage students. Only a scant few are grounded in a robust theoretical framework, and probably of those technology integration models that are celebrated, it is TPACK, or the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge framework developed by Mishra and Koehler (2006), that is the most well known. This book is different because I offer a new model known as High Possibility Classrooms , or HPC, for technology integration in learning and teaching in schools. Its origin stems from research in a doctoral study of exemplary school teachers’ knowledge of technology integration. Analysis of data from the teachers’ classrooms was developed into a series of case studies of early years, elementary, middle and high school classrooms. Each carefully constructed case study details how the teachers conceptualised their knowledge of technology integration and what is fresh in their approaches, and includes what the students in the classrooms thought about being learners in such spaces.

I applaud the idea of encouraging ‘high possibility classrooms’ and know that most teachers really want to make the opportunities provided in their classrooms something special as often as possible. This kind of language is understandable to all and anyone, parent or grandparent, would want their children or grandchildren in the classrooms of teachers who create such environments.

The book is worth having just for the bibliography but the case studies that take us into Gabby, Gina, Nina and Kitty‘s classrooms (with theory in mind) are the best parts. I especially enjoyed learning about Gabby’s infants classroom. It was wonderful to read about a teacher’s philosophy that emphasised the importance of ‘flow’ and more of us need to recognise how essential it is for students (and the teacher) to be in the moment. The other comment from the teacher in this first case study that resounded was her notions of ‘unfinishedness’. Learning is messy and in an era of standardisation it is important to recognise that not every activity results in a completed product. My own children were lucky to have an imaginative, creative kindergarten teacher who incorporated theatre and performance but in a very low-tech manner. Gabby’s classroom, with her use of technology for recording and presenting, would help students to achieve really high standards. It was easy to imagine the children examining the video footage of their performances discussing collaboratively how they could improve. It is also great to sense that the celebration and joy of their creativity comes across as more important. This chapter should be read by all those lighting the fires of imagination in 5-7 year olds.

I encourage educators to consider buying the book after checking out the first 24 pages here. My pre-service teachers will certainly find it useful for their next assignment in both a theoretical and practical sense. I hope they read it!

* I requested a review copy from the author after hearing the book was launched this year and explored a range of edtech integration models, including SAMR.

The Game of Life

There’s always a self-help section in the local bookstore but recently I’ve noticed that ancient authors and classic texts are being raided for jewels of wisdom. You can read these ‘wisdom of the classics’ like books to find out about what Plato or Aristotle, Confucius or Marcus Aurelius may have thought about ensuring happiness, long-life or avoiding gout. They must be selling well but I tend to just browse in the bookstore to glean some pearls rather than part with cash.

He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Having said all of this, I was happy to order a copy of The Wonderbox: Curious Histories of How to Live by Roman Kryznaric via booko.com.au after stumbling across a review. It is a very readable book about ‘how we should live’ – although occasionally the authorial presence is a little clunky – with many fascinating historical references that had me bending back pages as I read it in the sun after mornings spent snorkelling. The book is now a little worse for wear. My highlights included:

  • Adam Smith‘s empathy and his book that predates The Wealth of Nations, The Theory of Moral Sentiments.
  • ‘annihilation of space and time’ by the telegraph and Morse code
  • the development of consumer culture
  • the nature of work
  • domestic life and gender roles

How to Win an Election: An Ancient Guide for Modern Politicians by Quintus Tullius Cicero is the book I enjoyed most this month. This two thousand year old tract, by the brother of the famous Roman orator, Cicero, is an absolute treasure. Written to Cicero as advice about the upcoming consular elections in 64 BC, it feels very fresh and frighteningly familiar. Some of his advice includes:

  • diligently cultivate relationships with men of privilege. Both you and your friends should work to convince them that you have always been a traditionalist. Never let them think you are a populist.
  • a candidate must be a chameleon, adapting to each person he meets, changing his expression and speech as necessary.
  • if you break a promise, the outcome is uncertain and the number of people affected is small. But if you refuse to make a promise, the result is certain and produces immediate anger in a larger number of voters. Most of those who ask for your help will never actually need it. Thus it is better to have a few people in the Forum disappointed when you let them down than have a mob outside your home when you refuse to promise them what they want.
  • remind them of what scoundrels your opponents are and to smear these men at every opportunity with the crimes, sexual scandals, and corruption they have brought on themselves.

You will be please to know that Cicero won the election. You can listen to an interview with the translator here.

Philip K. Dick

Back in the 1990s, I read many of Philip K. Dick’s novels and short stories. He was very prolific, considering he died in his fifties, so there’s plenty more for me to read. I had focused largely on his later books and those adapted for the big screen rather than the pulp sci-fi he pumped out at an unbelievable pace in the late 50s and 60s.

The Man in the High Castle (1962) was the only book I read from this early period and it was always my favourite of his novels. When I heard that it was being adapted for television by Amazon my expectations were very low but the pilot, although quite different from the novel, was surprising good and led me to reread it. It seems, and I do not know of anything earlier, that Dicks established the genre of alternate history with this exploration of America ruled by the victors of WWII, the Japanese and Germans.

I read Martian Time-slip and Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said in quick succession. The latter is archetypal Dick – distorted realities, forgeries, loss of identity, paranoia, genetic engineering, totalitarian rule, philosophic musings aplenty – and prime for film adaptation. The resolution, unfortunately, is weak. The former, I would never have read except it is listed at this site as the blogger’s favourite PKD novel. I am really glad I read it, although I would not rank it that highly. It is quite a gem and has enthused me to read some more of PKD’s early ‘pulp sci-fi’.

Philip K. Dick: In His Own Words by Gregg Rickman is really readable. It is also difficult to find and I thank the staff of Kiama library for tracking this down and organising an inter-library loan. Rickman interviewed PKD, at great length, just prior to his death. The author had been impressed with Rickman’s essay detailing the evolution of his writing and felt his legacy would be well-represented by such interviews. There’s many interesting insights into Dick’s thinking about his writing, politics, reality and some amusing thoughts about the film, Bladerunner. Dick refused to write a new version of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, renamed to reflect the title of the film, for publication at the time of release forgoing a huge amount of money. This must have been a temptation but he just couldn’t stomach the idea. I found it interesting to see the original names of Dick’s novels (as they were often changed by his publisher). The nature of publishing sci-fi in the 1950s and 60s is also a theme throughout the interviews.


Hemingway and The French

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway is absolutely worth reading (and it approaches being a century since publication). On the train each morning to work I felt transported, completely immersed in 1920s France and Spain from an American perspective. I haven’t read much Hemingway other than his short stories and The Old Man and the Sea probably due to the whole macho big game fisher/hunter image that I associated with the writer.

This novel, which Hemingway always felt to be his most important, is what a reader wants from a book. I was completely in the world of a work of art true to its own laws and rhythms. I will now visit some of his other novels such was my enjoyment of this one.


Oh, I thought Anthony Catanzariti likely to enjoy these images of Hemingway.

Click to view slideshow.

One of the modern French words for an intellectual is clerc (a member of the clergy), and the positions held by an intellectual have been consistently defined through concepts such as faith, commitment, heresy and deliverance.

There is also the association, in the French republican tradition, of the idea of citizenship with learning: the philosopher Condorcet wrote that the ‘first duty of society towards its citizens is public education’.

How the French Think: An Affectionate Portrait of an Intellectual People by Sudhir Hazareesingh is a mixed read. I really enjoyed the opening of the book but found myself becoming bored with explorations of the occult that seemed to just go on an on. Despite that I finished the book and felt it worth reading, if only as I am generally interested in learning more about French culture, history and politics (more on this in my August reading post). As an aside, the first time I was in Paris, August 1994, it seemed such a comfortable place to spend time aimlessly. Considering my French was non-existent, I felt totally at home and had several weeks exploring and reading meeting, quite a few Parisians, as well as other travellers who taught me a great deal. I stayed in a Vietnamese student hostel and prior to this, had not really thought about French colonialism at all other than cursorily when studying the Vietnam, or American War.

There’s something quite intangible about the French I admire and I was hoping Hazareesingh’s book would help me understand more deeply. The controversial Michel Houellebecq would probably be the author that I am most enthusiastic to read his latest novel the moment it is translated. Atomised, although aspects of the content are very challenging, was a revelation. He touches topics that need exploration that others haven’t even the courage to think about let alone publish on. In a political sense, I still remember applauding French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin’s speech in the United Nations in New York on whether to sanction the use of force against Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq (2003):

Villepin declared – prophetically – that a war against the Iraqi regime would have catastrophic consequences for the region’s stability: ‘The option of war may appear a priori the most effective. But let us not forget that, after winning the war, peace has to be built.’ Stressing that ‘the use of force [was] not justified,’ he ended by expressing his faith in the capacity of the international community to build a more harmonious world: ‘We are the guardians of an ideal, the guardians of a conscience. The heavy responsibility and the immense honour which is ours should lead us to give priority to peaceful disarmament. ‘Villepin’s speech was welcomed across the world, typifying as it did a shared collective aspiration for a different kind of politics, grounded in humanism rather than force.

The speech threw down the gauntlet to George Bush’s America and Great Britain. It seemed like the French were the only nation to stand up to what was clearly going to be a breech of international law and one that no Australian politician – or should I say “deputy sheriffs” – would have the fortitude to make to make such a speech.

A few more…

I will be walking around the Isle of Man, The Lake District and around the South Downs next month. I will also have the best part of a week in London, a city I know as well as any – which is to say there’s lots, endless amounts, more to explore. Quiet London by Siobhan Wall is a good little travel book with ideas for all kinds of reflection within the city. The photography is a very pleasing aspect of the guide.

The best bits of The Monocle Travel Guide Series: London are the essays. There’s good pieces on wild parks, free museums and strolling the city. I also like the opening, at a glance, map and the walks section. I am tempted to get hold of the next two in the series, on New York and Tokyo.

A Brush With Nature: Reflections on the Natural World is the first book I’ve read by veteran broadcaster and environmentalist, Richard MabeyIt wont be the last. This collection covers a couple of decades of Mabey’s articles on a range of topics, including many political ruminations about issues concerning the natural world. He is very readable. I am keen to to pursue his biography of Gilbert White.

What have you been reading this year? Here’s what I have read so far in 2015.

The post July 2015: My Reading appeared first on Darcy Moore's Blog.

Categories: Planet

School’s out Friday

Lucacept - Jenny Luca - 31 July, 2015 - 21:59

This caught my eye this week. It’s Jeff Scardino’s relevant resume video. Jeff is senior creative at Ogilvy & Mather and professor at the Miami Ad School in Brooklyn, and his creative approach to the traditional resume has seen him score eight responses and five meeting requests from ten job applications lodged. Here’s the approach he took;

He designed what he calls the relevant résumé — a résumé littered with your failures, bad references, and non-skills.
His personal one highlights several losing pitches during his time in the advertising industry, “missed honors,” his inability to remember names, and even romantic failures from his time at Ohio University…

In today’s world, creativity may be required to make you stand out from the crowd. I’m wondering, how many career’s advisors are tuned into thinking like this? What are we doing in schools today that might be helping our young people learn to stand out from the crowd?

Not enough, I suspect.

Have a great weekend. Contemplate your failures and find a way to make them work to your best effect! :)

Categories: Planet

The Ultimate Guide to Gamifying Your Classroom | Edudemic

Oz/NZ Educators Diigo Group - 31 July, 2015 - 16:42


  • "A gamified classroom has many benefits. Students are required to think critically, problem-solve, consider alternative solutions, and analyze information from multiple sources. Gamification, though, is no easy chore and you may need a lot of support along the way. Our best advice is to smart small, dive in, see what works, and tweak your plans along the way. We’d love to hear about your experiences with gamification in the classroom" - Rhondda Powling

Tags: gamification, games in learning, learning, classroom activities

by: Rhondda Powling

Categories: International News

Teacher Recommended: 50 Favorite Classroom Apps | MindShift | KQED News

Oz/NZ Educators Diigo Group - 31 July, 2015 - 16:19


  • "The annual list of apps that educators favor this year shares some commonalities with last year’s favorites. Teachers tend to drop apps if they become too expensive or sometimes if the updates are so overwhelming that they no longer know how to use the product. It’s a delicate balance:" - Rhondda Powling

Tags: apps, classroom activities, tools, list, educational technology

by: Rhondda Powling

Categories: International News

The “Basics” and Innovation

The Principal of Change George Couros - 31 July, 2015 - 12:08

I heard a story once that really resonated with me (I will share it as best as I can from memory), in where an artist is creating art on the street, and a person walks by and wants a picture drawn of themselves.  The artist shares the price of fifty dollars to the patron, to which they agree, and so they start to draw.  Ten minutes later, the artist completes the beautiful piece that is so amazingly creative.  Even though the patron is very happy with the creativity and the high quality of the piece, they challenge the cost of fifty dollars, believing that something that took such a short time to create should not have the high price tag.  The artist responded, it took me ten years to be able to do it in ten minutes; much of the work that I have done to be able to draw this picture so quickly, you have never seen.

This story really resonated with me as I was reading article after article tonight about the battle between the “basics” versus “innovation” in education.  It seems that you may be on one side or the other, but here I lie in the middle.  To be able to be innovative in any area, there often needs to be a fundamental understanding of basic concepts.  To be a great musician, at some point, you would have had to learn some basic concepts of music.  The speed that you may have learned them in can vary from person to person, but you learn them.  The best writers in the world at some point learned how to read and write.  There are always exceptions to the rule, and I am sure that the real life Matt Damon from the movie “Good Will Hunting” exists, but this is not the norm.

I believe that the “basics” in many areas are still important in our world, and maybe sometimes I guess that is an assumed notion. But I also think that many students didn’t learn the “basics” in the way they were taught when I went to school.  I think about those students and then how we have access to so much information in our world from educators, parents, students, and communities, that the opportunities to help as many kids as possible is something that we need to access and capitalize upon.  But I also think about my own experience in school, and even though in grades one to probably around grade seven, my marks were usually in the top three of all students in my classroom, yet I never felt smart enough because I wasn’t ever number one.  Being ranked in school continuously led me to the Ricky Bobby belief that “if you’re not first, you’re last”, and I kind of mailed it in for the rest of the time as my student, was barely accepted in university, and struggled academically for years.  I knew the basics but never really saw myself becoming anything.  I never saw myself as a writer, a mathematician, a scientist, or anything academic.  And do you know why I went to university?  Because my parents made me go.  Not because I had an epiphany when I was six years old that I was going to be a teacher and did everything to get to that point.  My parents expected me to go to university so I did, and after four years of floating around, I then decided to go into education.  I took six years to get a four year degree.

So why did I do well in my first years of school? To please my teachers.

Why did I get through university? To please my parents.

And why did I become a teacher? Because I didn’t really know what else to do.

At about the age of 31, was the first time I identified myself as an educator not by profession, but by passion.  That took someone tapping into my strengths and interests, and helping me see those things in myself.

At about age 35 is when I first viewed myself as truly a learner. And now five years later, I am starting to see myself as a writer.  In eighteen years of school as a student, writing paper after paper, I never once saw myself as a writer, but at the age of 35 where I felt I could finally explore my own passions, did I even start to really go deep into my own learning.  And after almost 1000 posts am I starting to see myself as a writer.  I am thankful that I have found a love for what I do, and I do not see it as a “job” but as part of my being.  That is a beautiful thing.

Did my experience of school help me get here?  Absolutely, and I am thankful to so many teachers who spent so much time helping me to create the opportunities that I have today.  Without those “basics”, that were not only reinforced in my education, but also at home, amongst a myriad of other factors, I would not be doing what I am doing today.  The question I have though is why didn’t I see myself as those things earlier? More importantly, as an educator, how do I help students see themselves in that light as well.  Believe me, as someone who believes powerfully in the notion of “innovation in education”, I still cringe at spelling mistakes.  I hate them.  I would love kids to be able to know their times tables, not simply discount them as something a calculator will do for them.  But here is the thing…You might know how to read and write, but that doesn’t make a you writer.  If you are a writer though, you know how to read and write; that’s a given.

As I think about the next time someone challenges me with the question, “what about the basics?”, my thought is that there are so many educators that not only want that for our students, but so much more.  My parents came to Canada not to provide the same opportunities that they had back in Greece, but to create something better.  That is my drive as an educator; to create a better version of school than what I experienced.  It is not that I think less of my own  teachers as a student, but that I want to build on what they have done.  My hope is that the future teachers of the world will not recreate what this generation has done, but make something so much better.  Is that not our wish for each generation? To do better than what we have done?

What made the artist spend ten years to be able to draw the picture in ten minutes?  It was not only practicing the basics, but at some point, they were inspired and saw themselves as an artist. Hopefully schools can be a part of that spark.

Categories: Planet

Musings on Blogging

Attending several conferences this summer I have talked to any number of people about this blog. Several people told me how much they appreciated the blog which made me feel very good. One person told me I blogged faster than they could read my posts. Another person asked why I was blogging less than I had been. Of course there is no one right rate of posting. I follow blogs with several new posts a day and others that post once a month (or less). And every thing in between. Bloggers post at a rate that works for them and that is great. I value all the blogs I follow.

Conversations also made me think about why I blog. Generally I blog because I feel like I have something to say. Sometimes that is an idea I am working through or a projected I am attempting. Writing them out helps me focus my thinking. And if I’m lucky there will be comments and those almost always help me refine my thinking. Sometimes these are ideas others can use – or at least I hope that is the case.

Other times I blog about things I am learning and events I am attending. I love learning about new tools, programming languages, projects, and other resources. There are so many good ideas from so many people at conferences, workshops and other events that I am lucky enough to attend. I feel like I have an obligation to report on them for those who are not there. It also helps me firm up the learning in my own mind.

My favorite posts are the ones that share ideas from other people though. After that, those that link to useful resources. My Monday Morning links posts are part of that goal. I love to link to interesting articles, new resources and especially other educator blogs. When I read interesting and helpful blog posts I feel like I have to share them.

According to the analytics I get something like two thirds of the traffic to this blog comes from search engines. That is typical for blogs BTW. By linking to good resources I am contributing to their getting more search engine love. In the short term a link from one blog to another may give a little boost in traffic right away. That’s great and everyone loves that. In the long run though each link creates more and more search engine based traffic. That makes those resources easier to find. I also hope that the blogs I link to get more subscribers and other regular readers. The community of computer science education bloggers is too small so those of use out there need to make sure we all get some attention.

Speaking of search engine traffic, my most read posts this year have been ones I wrote a while ago. Tops on that list is Programming With Blocks which I originally wrote in December of 2012 but have updated frequently. That is from search engine traffic. No one pages that deep into a blog. Apparently a lot of people are searching for that sort of information. I like to think I have a helpful resource there.

Lately Interview Questions for Computer Science Teachers, written back in March,  has been getting a lot of search engine traffic. I suspect more schools are hiring CS teachers these days. I hope that is what that traffic means.

My goal though is to be helpful. If that happens some of the time I’m a happy blogger. Thank you to the people who have told me they found something helpful, useful or interesting in my blog. It’s what keeps me going.

Categories: Planet

Code Club at Clifton Hill Primary School - YouTube

Oz/NZ Educators Diigo Group - 30 July, 2015 - 17:52


  • "Explore Code the Future's first code club. David, a software engineer, and Kate, a teacher at Clifton Hill Primary School in Melbourne, Australia, show us around their weekly code club." - Rhondda Powling

Tags: code, coding, primary school, code club, youtube

by: Rhondda Powling

Categories: International News

Trying to dig deep with a flipped classroom | Innovative pedagogy – Dean Pearman

Oz/NZ Educators Diigo Group - 30 July, 2015 - 17:48


  • "The flipped classroom allows the class to dig a little deeper into active learning. It’s a big misconception that the flipped classroom is about making videos and placing them online, sure that’s one part of it. It’s an important part of the puzzle as its forces you to focus on the explicit content you would like students to know. Making a 5 – 8 minute lesson isn’t easy, but it certainly makes you consider what your learning objectives are . The real power of the flipped classroom is what happens the next day in class. The flipped classroom opens up opportunities.
    My main goal is to go deeper and have students participate in a richer active learning experience where I become more of a coach to guide their learning. The classes become much more collaborative in nature where students are solving complex problems with an emphasis on higher order and critical thinking skills."
    - Rhondda Powling

Tags: classroom activities, flipped classroom, pedagogy

by: Rhondda Powling

Categories: International News

4 Educational Apps That Schools Love | EdTech Magazine

Oz/NZ Educators Diigo Group - 30 July, 2015 - 17:42


  • "Educators weigh in on their schools’ favorite Google Play for Education apps." - Rhondda Powling

Tags: apps, classroom activities, learning, GoogleApps

by: Rhondda Powling

Categories: International News

7 Skills Students Need for Today’s Classwork | Ask a Tech Teacher

Oz/NZ Educators Diigo Group - 30 July, 2015 - 17:38


  • "Classrooms are infused with technology. Many lessons ask students to use for online or digital tools.
    Accomplishing this so it serves educational goals isn’t as much about knowing how to use the tools as constructing knowledge in an organic, scalable way.
    To prepare students to make the cerebral leap between tools used for a particular project and tools available as-needed requires preparation in eight areas discussed in this post." - Rhondda Powling

Tags: skills, classroom activities, learning

by: Rhondda Powling

Categories: International News

Lifehacker Pack for Chrome: Our List of the Essential Extensions

Oz/NZ Educators Diigo Group - 30 July, 2015 - 17:25


  • "Google’s Chrome browser is packed full of an incredible amount of extensions that add all sorts of functionality. It’s tough to sift through the store to find what’s useful though, so Lifehacker has put together a collection of the best Chrome extensions." - Rhondda Powling

Tags: Chrome Extensions, Lifehacker, list, chrome apps, educationnal, educational technology

by: Rhondda Powling

Categories: International News

Putting Student Programmers To Work

I love CS Teaching Tips. I follow them on Twitter and Facebook as well as visiting the web site from time to time. Full list of links at the bottom of this post. Anyway, not long ago they retweeted someone’s suggestion of having students write a program to randomly pick students to call on. And that go me thinking.

I wrote my own program to randomly select students to call on some time ago. I really like it. It saves who has been called on from use to use and supports multiple classes. It even looks pretty good for an Alfred designed program. But the more I thought about it the more I thought that having students write their own versions would make a good project. Actually perhaps even two projects.

The first one, perhaps early in the semester, could have the names hard coded in to an array. That would be a nice fairly simple array program. A later version could read the names in from a file and perhaps dynamically build a list of objects for the display.  Either way we could have an interesting discussion about features and functions and how they  could be developed. It would be a program that should have some relevance for students.

We could also modify it to create randomly selected teams. (An other feature my program has though it could use some improvements) That is a program students could use for their own team selections.

There are probably other programs that teachers could use that would also make interesting projects. I’m thinking a timer app might be useful and interesting. Maybe a Binary timer if I am feeling particularly evil. What other sorts of teacher useful programs would make good projects?

Categories: Planet

3 Questions To Help Measure School “Success”

The Principal of Change George Couros - 30 July, 2015 - 03:07

Yesterday I had a great conversation with a school district administrator about how we measure “student success”.  As I thought about this, one of the ideas that lingered in my mind is the difference between measuring student success, or measuring the impact of school and our organizations on success.

But then there is the word “success”.  What does being successful mean?  Many schools will share statistics regarding how many of their students go on to post-secondary, but if a student has a college degree but is unhappy, compared to a student that didn’t go to college and is, do we deem that a success?  The other part of this is what role did school play in this?  We state there are many factors outside of school that play in the success of a child, so would school be the sole reason a student goes to university?

The success of a school should not only be measured by what students do when they are there, but their impact on what they do after they leave.  We also have to realize that the word “success” is not necessarily one that we can define for our students.  As discussed with my colleagues, their impact on society also has to be a part of this.  You can make a lot of money, be happy, or both, but are you a positive contributing member of the community?  Again, this is not necessarily for a school to determine, but could be looked through the lens of the student.

As a survey to students after they leave school, here are three questions we could ask them to determine how we have done as schools, whether it is 1 to 100 years after the fact.

1. Do you consider yourself as a successful, contributing member to society?

2. Why did you give the answer above?

3. What impact do you think school had on your answers?

The answers will not be in nice and neat little packages, but they would tell us a lot about what our schools are doing.  These three questions would not only give us some powerful data, but the shortness of this survey leaves it more likely to be answered while compiling some powerful quantitative data.

These questions could be a good start, but I would love your thoughts.  How would we measure our impact on student success after they leave our schools? What questions would you ask?

P.S. This video below REALLY challenged my thinking on what being “successful” means. It would be a great video to discuss with staff and students and what schools are trying to do. Are we trying to replicate the same world we live in, or help our students to create something better?

Categories: Planet

3D and Aerial Imagery Comes to Google Earth for Android | Android 4 Schools

Oz/NZ Educators Diigo Group - 29 July, 2015 - 17:49


  • "Google Earth is a great app to have on an Android tablet. It can be used in many ways in schools. Google Earth for Android now has an upgrade in the form of 3D and aerial imagery.
    The update will allow you to navigate in 3D through different areas. There are short tours of places. Much like a tour in the desktop version of Google Earth, the tours on the Android version of Google Earth include snippets of information about the places that ymanyou virtually visit." - Rhondda Powling

Tags: aerial, imagery, Google earth, android, GoogleApps, 3D

by: Rhondda Powling

Categories: International News
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