Feed aggregator

Code: Echo–Programming Challenge

Computer Science Teacher Alfred Thompson - 14 April, 2014 - 22:19

Using a coding challenge as a promotional event for a movie? This is a new one on me but it looks interesting. What I especially like is that they are sharing resources that students can incorporate into a game.

Here is a chance for your students to use their coding skills to win big!

Summer family movie EARTH TO ECHO is hosting "Code: Echo": a Challenge for students K-12 to create a game inspired by the film. Students can download assets and get creative.
In each category there will be:

  • 1 grand prize winner ($5,000.00 + hometown screening)
  • 1 runner-up prize winner ($2,500.00)

Students of all ages, a team with up to 4 friends, or an entire classroom.

Entries are due May 2nd. Start coding at www.codeechomovie.com.

Categories: Planet

Summer Work for Computer Science and Robotics Instructors

Computer Science Teacher Alfred Thompson - 14 April, 2014 - 22:15

If you are a member of the CSTA you should have received this announcement via email. BUT if you didn’t or you are not a CSTA member (why not?) I thought this worth sharing.

Summer 2014 Employment Opportunities: Computer Science and Robotics Instructors

The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY) is seeking instructors for summer programs. CTY offers challenging academic programs for highly talented middle and high school students from across the country and around the world. Information regarding our summer programs can be found at www.cty.jhu.edu/summer. Positions are available at residential sites (room and board is provided in addition to salary) at various locations (see below) on the east and west coasts. A commuter site is also located in New York City.
We are currently seeking individuals with expertise in a number of Computer Science, Computer Programming, and Robotics courses. Graduate coursework is a desired qualification for instructor candidates.  Experience working with young students is a preferred qualification.

Active instructor openings at residential locations (room and board is provided in addition to salary):

  • Introduction to Robotics (5th and 6th graders): Bristol, RI and Chestertown, MD
  • Foundations of Programming (7th – 10th graders): Easton, PA
    ·         Fundamentals of Computer Science (7th – 10th graders): Lancaster, PA
  • Active instructor openings at commuter day site locations:
    • Introduction to Robotics (5th and 6th graders): New York City, NY

For detailed course descriptions, please visit

2014 Program Dates:
Session 1: June 29 - July 18
Session 2: July 19 - August 8
For a full list of locations and dates, please visit

More Information
Job Responsibilities, including salary:


To apply, please visit

Please email resumes and inquiries directly to Peter Bruno, pbruno1@jhu.edu (Introduction to Robotics) or Joshu Fisher,jkfisher@jhu.edu (Foundations of Programming and Fundamentals of Computer Science).

Categories: Planet

Achieving Sustainable Classroom Innovation with @ajjuliani @djesposito and @stevenjmogg

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 14 April, 2014 - 21:05

I love this conversation with A.J. Juliani @ajjuliani (Tech Coordinator) with his teachers Rosie Esposito @djesposito and Steve Mogg @stevenjmogg and  from Wissahickon High School, Pennsylvania. It is consistently a top school and their pattern of innovation shows why.

Who will want to listen to this show?

If you want to understand how to promote innovative practices and helping teachers level up, you’ll want to listen.

I love listening to Rosie and Steve share insights into their thought process of innovation. Innovation is a mindset not a destination and the more we can hear real teachers talk about how they innovate, the more we can adopt that mindset ourselves.

Listen to Every Classroom Matters “Achieving Sustainable Classroom Innovation”

Listen to “Achieving Sustainable Classroom Innovation”

Every Classroom Matters is a bi-weekly Internet Radio Show by Vicki Davis on BAM Radio network dedicated to excellent education. Listening will help you teach with better results, lead with a positive impact, and live with a greater purpose. Subscribe.


The post Achieving Sustainable Classroom Innovation with @ajjuliani @djesposito and @stevenjmogg appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog.

Categories: Planet

Design Thinking: A creative process for school change

Edte.ch Tom Barrett - 13 April, 2014 - 20:56

During one of my workshops last year in Boston, Brad Ovenell-Carter (@braddo) put his visual notetaking skills to action. I took his lovely summary drawing and used ThingLink to add layers of information and elaboration.

In the future I am keen to share more about my experiences of design thinking with school leaders, teachers and other organisations in blog posts here. But I thought I would make a quick start by sharing this little graphic. I hope you find it useful and let me know if you have any questions.

Categories: Planet

Myths of Technology Series: “Technology Will Replace Face-to-Face Interaction”

The Principal of Change George Couros - 13 April, 2014 - 01:43

For ISTE 2014 in Atlanta, I will be presenting on the “Myths of Technology and Learning”. As I am really thinking about what I will be sharing at the conference, I wanted to write a series of blog posts that will help myself and others “rethink” some of these statements or arguments that you hear in relation to technology in school.  I will be writing a series of blog posts on different myths, and will be posting them on this page.  I hope to generate discussion on these topics to further my own learning in this area and appreciate any comments you have on each idea shared.

A fear for many is that the continuous interactions that we have with one another through technology will replace face-to-face interaction.

Sometimes it seems that we forget our own childhood and that we had many peers that had trouble with interactions before mobile devices were the norm.  Technology did not inhibit them from speaking to others, nor do we need to necessarily think less of someone who may be an introvert.  People have different strengths and some actually thrive in isolation.  Their issue or our issue?

What some teachers have done is use technology to actually give students a voice and options that they didn’t have before.  I thought it was brilliant to see one teacher use Google Forms to do a simple “check-in” with students to give them the opportunity to share what is going on in their lives to ensure that she could help them in any way possible.

What this actually facilitated was the opportunity for the teacher to get to know her students better through the use of technology and she saw it as a way of actually enhancing their face-to-face interactions.  Some students are fine going up to a teacher and sharing some of the struggles that they have in their lives, but from my experience, those students would actually be in the minority.

Instead of accepting that some people are more open than others, we have often tried to force students talk to a point which would be our ideal.  Many educators, including myself, used to give marks for “participation” in class discussions to push our students to talk.  What this would often do would force some kids to speak when they are totally uncomfortable, and not facilitate anything that would be beneficial outside of the classroom.  With others that continued to not talk, tying marks to their “lack” of participation, only makes them feel worse and punishes them for sometimes being shy.  Is this really helping the problem?

We have to see that for some students, technology actually can provide them the voice that they have never had before.  I spoke to one student that said the use of social media actually inspired them to start speaking publicly because they developed confidence through a medium that worked for them.  I think of how many students would benefit and feel more comfortable talking in public when they would be allowed to use a medium that works for them first.

Then you have the other argument that the constant use of technology actually takes away the ability for some students that are already social.  The reality with many people are social, means they will actually connect both online and offline.  Social media has not made me any less social when in an “offline” environment.  In fact, it is quite the opposite.  I now feel that I am always comfortable going to any conference on my own as I will know people there that I have connected with through Twitter.  Instead of simply going to workshops and being by myself, I now can easily find a group of friends and connect with them in person.  This only started happening for me when I started using social media and if anything, it has actually made me more social in face-to-face settings.  Before I would have never gone to a conference on my own, and now, I don’t even think twice about it.

What I have also seen is that technology and social media has actually given people the opportunity to connect with others that have similar interests or experiences.  I was moved, as many were, by the video of two girls that were both born with one arm, connecting continuously through Skype.  Although they had never met, they considered each other “best friends”, and talked constantly, even though they were on opposite sides of the world.  The moment they finally met was inspiring, and to say that this relationship is lesser because it started and grew online, would most likely be an insult to these two, as it would be to others who have met some of their best friends and partners online.

It is pretty amazing to see the opportunities we have to connect, see, and learn about one another because of technology, but sometimes the ease of use leads us to take it for granted.  As I see my nephews and nieces grow up through my brother’s sharing of their lives, our conversations are much richer and deeper each time I see them.  I know more about their lives and feel that even though I am living far away, I am still able to watch them grow up.  I would take opportunities to see them in person over online interactions, but since I do not always have that option, I will continue to enjoy connecting with them through technology in-between visits.

Technology can give us the opportunity to enhance face-to-face interactions, not replace them.  We just have to take advantage.

Categories: Planet

7 Ways to Use Canva to Create Compelling Graphics

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 11 April, 2014 - 21:22

Canva is a tool to create infographics, social media graphics, and more. If you need to gain traffic, you need a graphic. Canva is to graphic design what the Keurig coffee maker is to drinking coffee. It is free, but they make money by having stock images you can buy for $1 a piece if you want them. Everything I did was free. Here are some ways I’ve used Canva in the last 24 hours along with a tutorial video at the bottom on how to use it.

1. Promote what is happening in your classroom or area of work

Create memories or share what students are doing RIGHT NOW in powerful ways. I’ve done this with the featured image on this blog post above.

2. Report on Progress and Build Your Image

I’ve been asked to promote our new building project in the elementary school and quickly made this image in Canva to share with our school community.

This graphic is of the building at the elementary school. Remember that graphics are more widely shared and seen on Facebook, Twitter, and Beyond and they’ll be shared more if you include a graphic in your update. Canva lets you do that. People like this and it gets shared beyond your immediate page. I just checked and this image shared yesterday afternoon has been seen by 444 people. That is more than we have students in our school. Great PR.

3. Promote an Event

Our Grandparent’s Auction is Coming Up Saturday. I have a series of graphics that we’re sharing to promote this event.

NOTE TO READER: The Grandparent’s Auction raises money for building projects at the school. Here we’re pointing out our current project and reminding everyone of the times. This was sent out through Facebook and our blog.

NOTE TO READER: Harness the power of powerful moments and let the principle of transference work in y our favor. Here we have our basketball coach of our girls varsity basketball team raising her arms in victory when we won state this year. Plus kids. We love them. Another reminder of our auction

4. Point out websites or tools you’re using.

This is another piece I used to promote some student work. Links seem to get lost in status updates. I think this is a better way to do it.

NOTE TO READER: Websites we’re using in Class – made with Canva. Oops, I see that I messed up on the text — I’ll fix before sharing with parents. I want parents to know about the websites and the locations of our collaborations this month.

5 – Promote Positive Messages

Again, sharing graphics and quotes about what you believe is a fantastic way to promote your school or your own beliefs and thoughts as a teacher. Every like or share is someone spreading your message further. Plus, it is great to have more positive in the world to counter the negatives that come across our feeds every day!

Readers Note: Promote positive messages relating to your school or organization.

6- Update Graphics for Your Website A new banner

New “Featured In” Graphic

Update the graphics for your website. I have been struggling with Photoshop and my header graphics, so I played around last night and came up with a header (now on this blog) that is pretty close to what I’ll end up using. I also worked on the “featured in” graphic and again, am pretty close. I’ve got some alignment issues and a tweak on the “Featured in” Word.  It won’t let you do transparent png’s so you’ll still need PhotoShop for knockouts. (If you don’t know what a knockout is, don’t knock yourself out, it isn’t that important for you.;-)

7 – Redo Your “Identity Graphics” for Social Media

This is where many of us need help. While there are makers for Facebook covers, etc. you have to go into each one and create. You can have the same graphics in canva and making a new image is a snap as you pull them together. The only thing you need to know how to do, as I share in the tutorial video below, is to customize the color to match your website or blog.

How To Video for Canva using Facebook Identity Graphics

8 – Have students share their eportfolios and create graphics of all kinds

I was tweeting about Canva and teacher Deborah Morgan shared her thoughts on Canva.

@coolcatteacher @canva Love me some Canva…as do my students.

— Deborah Morgan (@deborahbmorgan) April 10, 2014

9 – Graphics for serious bloggers

If you’re a serious blogger, this app is for you too. As Deborah and I tweeted back and forth, uber-blogger Guy Kawasaki (author of APE – a great book for Self Publishers) and he shared this with me and Deborah.

@coolcatteacher @deborahbmorgan @canva I missed Canva for a while too then @PegFitzpatrick showed me the light…

— Guy Kawasaki (@GuyKawasaki) April 10, 2014

Why Canva Belongs in Your Classroom and Personal Toolkit

If you’re like me and you tinker with a lot of apps, it is rare that I find one that keeps drawing me back in all day long. There was such a backlog of things I’d been fighting with that I needed to do — publicity for the school, new header for my blog, new Facebook graphics, it is such a relief to finally be able to do it. I also like that I don’t need so many apps to be able to do basic work for my blog – I can use just one.

I agree with you, Deborah — Love me some Canva too!

The post 7 Ways to Use Canva to Create Compelling Graphics appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog.

Categories: Planet

'Simple error' that left millions at risk

The Age Technology - 11 April, 2014 - 12:22

Robin Seggelmann introduced the major web security flaw "Heartbleed", but he denies he did it on purpose.
Categories: Planet

Ed Tech Crew 245 - Holiday Edition

The EdTech Crew - 11 April, 2014 - 11:41

Tony and Darrel catch up for a school holiday show. They discuss Microsoft's new iOS apps, the Heartbleed SSL bug, NAPLAN testing online and lots of listener contributed links. Enjoy :)

Categories: Planet

My Students Are Not Me

Computer Science Teacher Alfred Thompson - 10 April, 2014 - 22:47

Sometime in elementary school a teacher taught number bases. I was fascinated. It was interesting. It was fun. It made perfect sense to me. I spent hours converting numbers from one base to another. For some reason base 5 and base 7 struck me as a lot of fun. I played with Binary and Octal as well. It just came easy. Lately I have been teaching (or trying) Binary to my students in our Explorations in Computer Science class. My students are not (to no ones surprise) me.

Some of them get it quickly. Some of the get it after a bit. And some of them just seem to think I am crazy. I have to remind myself that not everyone sees things the same. I have a lot of Resources For Teaching Binary Numbers (that is one of my most read posts BTW) and I am using a number of them. There is no one right way that works for everyone. I think I’ll keep trying.

I’m teaching classes and objects to my programming class these days and seeing the same sort of thing. Some people get it right away while others struggle.

Honestly I struggled with some of the concepts for a while myself. This is a big topic and I find that different people struggle with difference aspects of it. Why do we send messages for example. (see Don’t Just Grab the Wheel, Ask the Driver to Turn) The difference between getting methods and setting methods for an other. Again what was easy for me may be hard for others. And what was hard for me may come easy for others. I have to remind myself of that. It’s not all me and it is not all them.

There is never one right way to introduce a concepts to students. This is seldom more true than with computer science topics. So many of them are very far outside of a student’s previous experience. They often don’t have a good context to start with. It is up to me as a teacher to provide some context, some purpose, and to try and find enough ways to explain things that most (shooting for all) of my students to “get it.”

This as much as anything else is why teaching is so hard for some many people. It is easy to fall into the trap of saying “This explanation worked for me so it should work for everyone.” Well I think I’ll go now. I’m going to look at a video that may help some of my students.

Categories: Planet

How to avoid 'Heartbleed'

The Age Technology - 10 April, 2014 - 15:50

What is the Heartbleed security flaw, how does it affect you and what can you do to avoid it?
Categories: Planet

Myths of Technology Series: “Technology Makes Us Narcissistic”

The Principal of Change George Couros - 10 April, 2014 - 15:23

For ISTE 2014 in Atlanta, I will be presenting on the “Myths of Technology and Learning”. As I am really thinking about what I will be sharing at the conference, I wanted to write a series of blog posts that will help myself and others “rethink” some of these statements or arguments that you hear in relation to technology in school.  I will be writing a series of blog posts on different myths, and will be posting them on this page.  I hope to generate discussion on these topics to further my own learning in this area and appreciate any comments you have on each idea shared.

As a teenager, I remember seeing my friends after they came home from a vacation and going through a ton of pictures that they had just taken after their trip. Sometimes I would be mesmerized, and sometimes I would be thoroughly bored. Some pictures were amazing, and some had a thumb covering the shot. The roll of film didn’t allow you to delete, so you had to take the good with the bad.

I experienced this as most had in my generation, but was this an act of narcissism or simply was it an act of wanting someone to care? I would say the majority of people that I know share things and want to know others care, whether it is sharing pictures of their family, trips, or their own ideas. Many people love to share, while also enjoying being acknowledged. When my sister-in-law shares images of my nephews and nieces growing up, or even of her own life, I do not see it as a narcissistic act. In fact, those images allow me to connect with my family that I was not able to experience even 15 years ago. What may be seen as narcissistic to some, is gold to others We just have the option whether we want to look or not.

When I saw this video of a young boy asking for a single “like” on his first YouTube video, I thought, “is this a narcissistic kid or someone who just wants to know somebody cares?” I have no idea of this kid’s situation, but I remember being an awkward, chubby kid, and having that feeling that I would wish someone would pay attention to me. I was teased mercilessly and wanted to be recognized for doing something well, not for being overweight and I wonder how this audience can actually shape someone’s own self-perception in a positive way.

So what happened when the boy got a single like? Well he was so excited that he made another video asking for 3-5 likes, and ended up getting millions.

We tell kids to embrace themselves, yet when we see them share “selfless”. we label them as inward focused. Is this their narcissism, or is this our insecurity.  I actually saw one educator talk about how one student out of a panel of ten should be commended for giving up his smartphone and stated, “Wouldn’t every parent want a child like him?”  What does that say about the other kids?

And what about selfies?  A “Dove” commercial challenged the notion of selfies about being narcissistic and actually a way to celebrate ourselves, no matter what shape or form, as being beautiful.  The film tries to paint a different narrative on what a selfie can actually say to a young woman:

The film, directed by Academy Award-winner Cynthia Wade, dives right into the heart of Dove’s brand mission: Convincing young women that the things they hate most about themselves are the features that make them most beautiful. The twist is that the high school girls are assigned not just to rethink their own selfies, but to give their equally self-loathing moms a selfie lesson too.

So instead of painting kids as “narcissistic”, why not help them see themselves in a more positive light?

Personally, I love this picture taken by my brother of his three year old daughter Bea taking a selfie.  If you know Bea, she is a very confident young girl, while also having a warm and loving heart.  Is any of that bad?  Is this not what we would want for our kids as they grow up?

There are definitely people who are out there that are narcissistic, but technology didn’t do that to them, it just gave them an audience.  Instead of painting everyone with the same brush, I think it is important to take an inward look at ourselves and see why people sharing themselves would bother us so much.

Categories: Planet

The canals of Mars that never were

The Age Technology - 10 April, 2014 - 13:06

What were the "canals of Mars", and why don't we hear about them today?
Categories: Planet

Bad moon rising

The Age Technology - 10 April, 2014 - 13:03
Most of us have watched a sunrise. Few have seen a moon rise. Even fewer have witnessed a bad moon rising such as will be able to be seen at sunset on Tuesday, April 15.
Categories: Planet

Making the News - English (7,8,9,10) - ABC Splash - http://splash.abc.net.au/livestream/-/l/1090302/making-the-news

Oz/NZ Educators Diigo Group - 10 April, 2014 - 11:17


  • "Want to be a reporter? Join ABC News journalist Del Irani as she takes behind the scenes of a newsroom and shares rare insights into the skills you need to find and tell the story. Sign up to the Splash newsletter for details of our 90-second news storytelling challenge, where you will tell the story. #ABCSplashLive" - Roland Gesthuizen

Tags: ABCSplashLive, ABCSplash, media, journalism, news, storytelling, event

by: Roland Gesthuizen

Categories: International News

Malcolm Turnbull locks in multi-technology NBN

The Age Technology - 10 April, 2014 - 07:49

Government gives new instructions to network builder without waiting for the results of key reviews.
Categories: Planet

Tasmanian tiger's cousin a more fearsome killer

The Age Technology - 10 April, 2014 - 07:00

The Tasmanian tiger had the fierce name, but new research has found a distant cousin was a far more ferocious killer.
Categories: Planet

Daily Education and Technology News for Schools

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 9 April, 2014 - 21:03

I’m rushing around right now after Spring Break and teaching 6 classes. Yep, I said 6. It is a struggle to keep things together, but I thought you might want to take a glance at 7 things that may interest you including national Poetry month, some Google Forms, and an interesting discussion on the privacy you can expect on open Wifi.

Today’s inspirational thought is that I hope you’ll be the rainbow in someone else’s cloud. As teachers, we impact so many students every day. We should be the kind of people that students WANT to be around. Would you want to be around yourself? How do you handle life and your profession in general? We can all change and improve. Our subject may be hard but our face doesn’t have to be. We can be the kind, loving, encouraging people that our students need us to be. You don’t have to be a hugger or emotional to be someone who loves kids. They know it if you do.

Have a great day!

Your friend,

Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher

7 Resources and Sites to Improve Your Practice Today

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

The post Daily Education and Technology News for Schools appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog.

Categories: Planet

Don’t Just Grab the Wheel, Ask the Driver to Turn

We’re learning about classes and related topics like data hiding and using methods rather than public data in my programming class these days. One of the students asked why we couldn’t just access public data from calling programs. One hears that all the time.

I asked him if when he was a passenger in a car he would ask the driver to turn or would he grab the wheel and turn it himself. I’m not sure is sunk in right away. The analogy didn’t seem to hit him as smoothly as it did me. The more I think about it the more I like it though.

We want the methods in a class to take care of the actions. We, the programmer using objects of that type, really don’t want to be making assumptions about how everything works internal to the class. There may be factors we don’t know about. Just like as a passenger in a car we may not be aware of things the driver is aware of.

The driver knows how responsive the car is, what sort of traffic there may be around the car, and a bunch of other things that we as a passenger may not be aware of. We’re much better off asking the driver to turn and letting them do it their way than taking things into our own hands.

This may be an analogy I can develop and use. Maybe it will help me to convince my students of the wisdom of data hiding and passing messages and requests.

Categories: Planet
ACCE Major Partner
ACCE Partners
ACCE Partners
ACCE Partners
ACCE Partners