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Over the past couple of weeks, I had some interesting questions from educators.
The first was from a math teacher asking me how I would use technology at the high school level with advanced placement students.
The next was from a teacher talking about using technology in a school where devices are used by students in relation to gangs.
My response to both of them was the same; I have no idea.
I thought about it more though, and the appreciation I have for these teachers is through the roof. Both of them were asking questions on how to get better and how to make the learning better for these students. Was there a way that technology could create better experience for both of these teachers. In short, yes, but there are better people to answer these questions and give guidance than myself. But they are on their way to a continuous journey of becoming better. It all starts by asking questions to move forward, not to stand still.
The first step in becoming innovative is the thinking, not the tech. In fact, the tech doesn’t necessarily mean you are innovative at all; it just means you are using technology. There are far too many positions where the person in charge of “innovation” is really looking at how they use technology in the classroom, and ultimately nothing else. They treat the word “innovation” as a buzzword, and nothing else, when it is so much more than that. It is a different way of thinking and doing. As long as educators continue to seek answers to questions that are ultimately benefitting the students in front of them, the further we will go in education.
It is your thinking that creates solutions, not any technology.
Is everyone back at school now? After a couple of short weeks school happens all five weekdays this week. I think I’m ready for a full week. Getting back into the full swing of things takes me a while. Looking around school I am not the only one. Hopefully you are all doing fine. Here are a few links to get your week started,.
PiBakery Dramatically Simplifies Setting Up the Raspberry Pi Looks like some useful software for people using the Raspberry Pi.
What's an algorithm? by Harvard’s David J. Malan I may use this in class.
Using Makey Makey with TouchDevelop looks fun and easy
This Walmart Worker Built The Company An App In His Spare Time via @cora @buzzfeednews Are we in the golden age of the non-professional developer? Maybe we are.
Microsoft is betting that a more neurodiverse workforce is better for business by Vauhini Vara via @FastCompany About a special program to recruit and retain employees on the Autism spectrum.
Students ask me why people create new programming languages regularly. In this article developers of emerging programming languages shed light on their thinking. 3 New Programming Languages: What Their Creators Say
- Free interactive learning object creation tool with a focus on creating scenario-based learning - Kerry J
by: Kerry J
Categories: International News
I had the pleasure this week to be a guest on Code4Kids, a webinar series with Kelly Moore. Kelly is a teacher and tech coach in Melbourne, and she asked if I’d come on the show and talk about the use of Scratch to help teach computational thinking and coding. Well, you might know I’m a bit of a Scratch fanboy so I didn’t take too much convincing!
Rather than just talk about theory stuff, we actually created a classic but simple guessing game in Scratch during the live show. I thought this was a good example because it uses quite a few fundamental programming constructs such as sequencing, looping and branching, etc. It also makes good use of Boolean comparisons, if-then decisions, and reassignment of variables. Throw in some simple maths like random number generation, greater than and less than operators, and it’s the start of some simple yet sophisticated Scratch coding.
It was nice to get some comments from the livestream viewers that they learned something from watching.
If you’d like to check out Kelly’s channel and her other videos, head on over to her Code4Kids playlist
And if you’d like to check your own Scratch skills, you can take the 15 question Scratch Quiz I mention at the end of the video… just head to bit.ly/scratchquiz and take the quiz… your results will be emailed to you immediately thanks to Google Forms and Flubaroo!