Discover the ins and outs of the latest Acer education Chromebook
START CODING WITH SCRATCH JR
COMMENTING LIKE A PRO
Download your free classroom poster to get your students collaborating
Designed for Australian primary school leaders of technology
News, updates, resources & lesson ideas ready to use today
Differentiated PD for you to lead in your own school
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Guide to Commenting
Acer Spin 11 Review
Read the full review on the Acer Spin 11. Is it your school's next device?
Featured iPad App - Apple Clips
Coding for Littlies
Itching to code? Start with Scratch Jr. Find out the positives and drawbacks.
ISSUE 2 / AUGUST 2018
It's coming, find out more and take a look at the preview.
15 Techie Brekkie
16 Leader Profile
19 Cyber safety
G Suite Updates
The most useful G Suite updates for teachers and students.
About ICT Edu Mag
Find out more about the magazine and our motivations for its creation.
table of contents
Your Next PLT
Ok, so you have some allocated time to run in-house ICT PD with your staff. But what to present? And how? And why?
Here's hoping you are well rested from a deserved mid year break and Term 3 has started superbly! A big thank you for all the positive feedback and messages of support since our first issue in June. Proud to share we have over 200 subscribers and to celebrate this we have an exciting giveaway (Chromebook!) as part of this month's issue.
As always, we'd love your feedback (good or indifferent) or ideas for future content, there's a link on the last page, please click it.
If you are on Twitter, we'd love to connect with you (links below) and use #ictedumag when sharing the love.
If you and your school are interested in any further PD or just want to discuss where to next, then shoot us an email below. We have a range of professional learning offerings, but most importantly, they can be totally customised for your individual school. We enjoy working with fellow passionate and enthusiastic educators (and you must be one if you're taking the time to read this!), so if you feel your school could do with a spark in the edtech sphere, please reach out.
Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy issue 2 .
Marty & Tser Lin
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HEAD OF DESIGN
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ICT Edu Magazine
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FROM THE EDITORS
Ok, so you have some allocated time to run in-house ICT PD with your staff. But what to present? And how? And why?
your next plt
Here’s an idea you could run with that is suitable for all grade levels, all tech abilities, it’s all prepared for you, your staff even earn a cool badge and won’t cost a cent!
Screencasting is one of the most powerful, yet simple to use, tech tools that can genuinely enhance the learning and teaching at your school. So what better way to learn about screencasting than to watch a series of “flipped lessons” made for teachers to use the Chrome extension Screencastify. My suggestion is that you (as the ICT leader) complete the 60 minute online PD first so you know what everyone is in for and then introduce it to your staff. The beauty of the structure (5 units with a series of short, all between 1-3 minute, videos) is that it caters for the diverse learning needs of your staff.
Those who have used screencasting previously can go straight to the advanced videos, others can start from the beginning. In my opinion, this offers a solution to one of the greatest challenges of running staff PD...catering for diverse ICT abilities. At the end of it all, teachers can complete the 20 question quiz in order to receive their certificate and an exclusive badge...everyone loves a badge (even encourage staff to add the badge to their email signature to show it off). So what are you waiting for? Get your staff mastering the screencast!
Google Form Theme Customisation
Forms is such a versatile tool in schools and we all know teachers love making things look pretty! So now you can customise the look of Google Forms, well, more than you used to.
Why not try branding one of your Google Forms with your school logo to give it the professional touch.
Create a copy of sites in New Google Sites
It’s taken a while but this very useful function has arrived. I see the most useful purpose would be making templates that students can then “copy” so that they have their own site. They are then structured and set out in a way that can save time and suit the task. I can also see potential for staff heads of departments all using the same template for their resource sites.
There's always lots of new features each month in the world of G Suite. We bring you the best of the bunch, focusing on those that are most useful for teachers and students.
G SUite updates
Google Docs, Sheets & Slides Activity Dashboard
Ever wondered if someone who you shared a Doc with actually opened it? Big Brother (aka Activity Dashboard) allows you to do exactly that. Note that any user has the option of going to “PRIVACY SETTINGS” (at the bottom of the Activity Dashboard) and turning off their viewing history from being traced for either this Doc or all Docs/Slides/Sheets. It may be worth discussing as a staff as some may see it as an invasion of privacy, therefore showing them the option to disable it may be warmly received.
The other (less invasive) feature of Activity Dashboard is the ability to email some or all of the collaborators on a Doc. Simply tick the users and you can compose and send an email without leaving the Doc itself.
NB: you can enable/disable this feature in the Admin Console (Apps>Drive & Docs)
Want to be the first to use Docs new Spelling & Grammar check?
You can sign up your domain (must be an admin email address) to be an early adopter for the all new Spelling and Grammar tool in Docs. It will underline grammar errors in blue... bit like what we've always had in MS Word! To sign up: g.co/GrammarEAP
No login, easy to startup
iOS, Play Store & Chrome OS (only thing it doesn’t work on is Windows and Mac)
Minimal literacy demands on the user (perfect for F-2)
Same colour blocks as Scratch, therefore perfect stepping stone for middle and senior years
Success comes quickly
Easy to integrate oral language elements
Cross-curricular compatibility (from literacy to maths to inquiry)
Families can be encouraged to install it on home devices so that learning can extend beyond the school day (parents love a more purposeful use of “screentime”!)
No individual accounts, therefore projects can be accessed by all
Only saved locally, therefore need to return to same device each time
Finished work can’t be exported (ie. can’t be showed off at home or shared via Seesaw...unless you film one screen with another)
with SCRATCH JR
Coding for littlies
Never used it before...here are 9 simple to use activities to introduce it to your class
Printable colour posters of all the blocks (PDF)
Once you have the basics down pat, try these 3 sequences (collage, story & a game)
Scratch Jr - Foundation Level
Aim: Understand the different way in which waste should be disposed of
Vocabulary: Rubbish, landfill, compost, recycling
Task: Use Scratch Jr to create an interactive presentation that explains how different waste should be treated.
To add a character using the camera, insert a shape and then use the camera tool. Watch this clip to learn how
NB. once you've taken the photo, you can resize the corners of the shape to fit snuggly.
lesson idea - READY TO USE/MODIFY
Choose a sprite to be the main character
Add 3 new blank sprites and use the paintbrush tools to write the headings
Repeat step 2 for three different pieces of rubbish (e.g. apple core, paper, texta)
You can use rectangles or circles depending on the object.
Click on each piece of rubbish to code
Code: when clicked, record voice ("Apple cores go in the compost because.....")
Code: Move towards the appropriate heading
Code: Shrink as though disappearing
Repeat for each piece of rubbish
Display on full screen
Invite other classes to come and test out the programs
Congratulate the young computer scientists!
Click on your main character
Code: when green flag block followed by a speech bubble block with an intro message and instructions (e.g. "Hi, click on the rubbish to find out more")
DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES CURRICULUM - F-2
Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems - Investigating and defining
Recognise and explore patterns in data and represent data as pictures, symbols and diagrams - Representation of data
Collect, explore and sort data, and use digital systems to present the data creatively - Collecting, managing and analysing data
Everything about the Acer Spin 11 is built for education!
ACER SPIN 11 Chromebook review
Boasting a ruggedised exterior, full rotating hinges, touch and stylus capability coupled with dual cameras (front and world facing), this machine is ready to transform learning. We mentioned in Issue 1, that a new generation of Chromebooks is here. It’s the Acer Spin 11.
As soon as you open the Acer Spin 11 lid, you notice that it’s a quality machine. The lid continues to open as it’s on a rotating hinge (very sturdy); immediately changing how students interact with the Chromebook. The Spin 11 boasts different modes of use, clamshell (traditional laptop), tent mode (great for presenting to peers, teachers and parents on a table), flat lay and tablet mode. It’s versatility appeals to all learners and suddenly you realise that the Spin 11 is actually a Chromebook 2 in 1 machine (half laptop, half tablet).
The 11 inch screen is Gorilla Glass #toughmudder and is made by Wacom (specialists in graphics tablets). The screen is sensitive and responsive to the stylus and touch; good enough to meet our expectations for the classroom. The inclusion of the stylus is a game changer for education and I am expecting we will see more and more Chromebooks being sold with styluses. Suddenly it means students can now draw, write, record and annotate their understandings (as an image/screen recording).
The keyboard experience was second to none with well spaced keys and a quality build. The trackpad is okay however it could be improved in the future. The trackpad was not as responsive as I would have liked. Minor drawback. I found myself having to repeat the same actions to navigate around and sometimes completing some forced clicks.
The unit has 2 cameras (front and world facing) which you can easily toggle between. The idea of having 2 cameras on a Chromebook is brilliant. This would allow students to take photos of their work instantly without having to get an iPad and without having to rely on the front facing camera #awkward. This does sounds good however the world facing camera on the Spin 11 produced low quality pictures similar to images taken on the first Nokia camera phones (see photo samples here).
The Google Play store is available on the Acer Spin 11 which means a plethora of apps for students to use to support or extend learning. Learning, gaming and productivity apps along with the touch and stylus makes this a beast of a device to use. Even with game play, drawing, listening to music and multi-tasking the Chromebook held up nicely.
The battery life on the Acer Spin 11 lasted 1.5 days with teacher use - emails, calendar and working on documents. After a quick charge, I was able to resume work. It can easily handle a students daily workflow of surfing the internet, looking for images, GIFS and memes, a couple of sneaky retro games, using apps, creating slides and documents and checking email.
Price: $455 ex GST
The final question that needs answering is, would I buy a fleet of Acer Spin 11 Chromebooks for my school?
Notes to Acer - Improvements for next time include better camera, trackpad, HMDI port for display and a garage for the stylus
Using the touch functionality on the Acer Spin 11 - Created by Anton
STUDENt perspective STUDENPERSPECTIVE
Click to read the full review
ICT Teacher, St Gabriel's Reservoir
Student, St Anthony's Alphington
"I chose the Acer Chromebook Spin 11, purely for the additional camera allowing the screen to be bent back and used in a similar fashion to an iPad. "
"We especially loved that the Spin came with a stylus for even more precision on our computer art."
"I do however miss the HDMI outlet and have had to get an adaptor for it to plug into my Promethean interactive whiteboard."
Thanks to Learning with Technologies (LWT) for providing the the Acer Spin 11 Chromebook for review.
"The Acer Spin 11 has an advantage compared to other Chromebooks on the market with two cameras. One on the keyboard and one on the screen. "
"The Chromebook lasted me a full day on a single charge at school with me on the Chromebook for most of the school day."
Acer Spin 11 Chromebook
COLLABORATING THROUGH COMMENTING
Answer: They allow for collaboration
Although one of the biggest benefits of technology is the ease of which collaborative learning can be established, students are not innately able to collaborate effectively. We’ve all seen activities where students are commenting with “Cool”, “Nice one”, “Great job”, “huh?”. In order to unlock the real benefits and enable a learning activity to flourish with ideas, meaningful feedback and thoughtful comments, teachers must first establish and teach “how” and “why” we comment. Quality commenting encourages higher order thinking (analysing and evaluating) from not only the person leaving the comment but the student receiving the feedback.
To support students in developing quality comments, we've created this free downloadable poster with prompts to help scaffold. Thanks to Taylor Ganley (@tabs_belella3) for originally sharing this idea.
Question - What do Google Docs, Slides, Classroom, Flipgrid, Padlet and blogging all have in common?
Download and print the free poster - A Guide to Commenting
We are proud to announce after multiple iterations, the ICT Edu Magazine is our Google Innovator Project. We were both lucky enough to be accepted into the Google for Education Certified Innovator program in #SYD17.
We wanted to create a resource that is purposeful, relevant, ready to use and draws on the knowledge of experts. Our aim is to support ICT and Digital Technology leaders in primary education.
Issue 2 has been a labour of love, with countless hours of researching, compiling, writing and designing the new look. In order for this project to maintain momentum, we ask that if you find the content even a little bit useful, helpful or empowering, then please share far and wide and encourage others to subscribe.
scratch 3.0 is coming!
Click on Techie Brekkie and make a copy to customise
Our favourite coding program is about to launch a new & improved version, with a fresh look.
Don’t be alarmed though...all the familiar blocks and functions will remain the same but exciting to see some new features... particularly iPad compatibility!
The beta was launched on August 1st and you can try it out yourself right here.
Keep an eye on future issues of our magazine for a full review, detailing all the additional features and how they can be used in the classroom.
Grab a cuppa, get techie and learning something new.
Last issue we featured Bouncy Balls in our Techie Brekkie. Much feedback has suggested that there are a number of classrooms having their IWB/TV transformed into a noise monitoring ball pit!
This issue the Techie Brekkie features 2 tools you can introduce to your classroom tomorrow as well as a productivity tool for teachers.
Remember, Techie Brekkies should be informal, free of curriculum jargon and best of all...actually provide real coffee (not out of a jar!).
If you're new to the concept of Techie Brekkies, check out this blog post by EdGalaxy.
School: Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, Mosman NSW
Job Title: Year 6 teacher and Co-ordinator (Digital Technology, Gifted Education and Religious Education)
Years teaching: 11
Success: We have had a number of successes at SHM in a short amount of time. Three things that were particularly successful is the foundation of our iPad BYOD program across Years 3-6, launching Chromebooks as an option for teachers and students across the school and introducing a school owned iPad program to K-2. One of the highlights of my role is working with teachers who are enthusiastic to embrace technology to improve student outcomes and increase engagement.
In your role, what are the biggest challenges and how do you try to embrace them?
It is always difficult to ensure that we have the best tools for our teachers and students to use. With the fast pace at which technology moves, it can be challenging to be across what is going to be the most efficient, the most useful or the most accessible for both teachers and students. Luckily, I have a number of colleagues who are interested and enthusiastic about ensuring they are continually undertaking professional development (both offered by the school and independently) to ensure we have the knowledge and tools to meet our teaching and learning needs.
Favourite tool/app/website/resource of 2018: Flipgrid is a seriously cool tool. As student voice is so absolutely crucial in our work, we need a tool that allows us to hear from students (in a simple, accessible and fun format for them!) at any time of day or night. The fact that it is cloud-based and offers mobile, tablet and desktop solutions for students and teachers makes it a winner. Think of Padlet, but in video form!
Apple Clips example showcasing Acer Spin 11 Chromebook
Apple Clips - Bench the other content creator apps
Purpose: Content creation
For: P-6 and Teacher Use
You have probably never heard of the Apple app, Clips. Just so you know, you’re not alone as I accidentally stumbled upon it whilst searching for another app. It’s time to put the spotlight on this app as it’s a goodie for content creation. It’s time to bench the classroom favourites PicCollage and iMovie and play with someone else for a change.
Clips is like an easy version of iMovie. Straight into the app, you are greeted with the on screen camera; ready to capture learning and magical moments (video/photo). You can then dress your footage up with a whole bunch of content like images, video, stickers, emojis, labels, posters (like a theme) and filters. Your students will definitely need exploring time as there are so many design options #homeworktask.
My favourite part, as a teacher, is the fact you can record video. For example, a science experiment and say vocabulary such as bubbling, hot, reaction and it will create live subtitles (text on screen) while you talk. It’s like auto captioning. It was pretty responsive and accurate with my speech however just be aware of some words.
Make good looking content in under 10 minutes.
Apple Clips could be used for student reflection, recount, a quick advert and even to dress up Seesaw posts.
FEATURED ipad app
Suitability: Year levels 5-8
What’s it all about: Unlike other cyber safety resources for upper primary, it is not focused on stranger danger, spam emails and online privacy (topics that are already covered in depth by various resources). What I like about The Lost Summer is that it is made for an Australian audience and the fact it focuses on personal and social capabilities, an area that up until now was distinctly lacking any current and engaging teaching resources. Modern graphics and a mock smartphone interface make the game very much aimed at teens and pre teens. The game is broken into five chapters (only 3 released as time of publication) which each focusing on a different area of digital intelligence. Students play the role of a different character in a fictional, futuristic Australian city where drone racing is king. After navigating a series of challenging social exchanges, students are then given a score based on their choice of responses throughout the chapter. As a reward for completing each chapter, a drone racing game is unlocked (a nice carrot to dangle!).
The game is accompanied by a thorough teacher’s guide, complete with chapter overviews, key learnings and even links to the HPE curriculum.
Devices: iOS, Android, Windows or Mac
(*NB. Not compatible with Chromebooks unless they have Play Store compatibility and you’ve enabled it).
Check out The Lost Summer
Modern interface that mimics a smartphone screen with a social media feed.
One of the many "choices" students have to make when faced with challenging social situations.
Upper primary cyber citizenship resources were in need of a fresh look and that's exactly what the Office of the eSafety Commissioner released in July.
WHOLE school approach to cyber safety
"With great power comes great responsibility"
As we utilise the amazing power of technology in the classroom, school's also have a responsibility to support students becoming responsible digital citizens. This, most schools do very well through the range of resources available to teachers through sites like www.esafety.gov.au.
But, when your students walk out the gates at 3.30pm they are exposed to a range of new digital risks that parents are faced with.
Is your school supporting your parents and families through opportunities to learn?
Are you proactive in educating parents before online issues become school issues?
Download the cybersafety piece and include it in your school newsletter (choose the poster or full article).
This issue your ready-to-go newsletter piece has been written by an experienced psychologist and mum, Carley McGauran. With Fortnite's rise to prominence, she addresses the ever present issue of gaming, screentime and tops it off with tips to set boundaries in the home.
So simply download the PDF and submit it to be added to your school's newsletter.
Education Consultant, Google Certified Trainer and Primary School Teacher
NOW TAKING BOOKINGS FOR:
TERM 4, 2018
TERM 1, 2019
Enquiries & Bookings:
0403 530 221
Where to find helpful information
"It was wonderful to have both the technical and psychological side of cyber safety"
Parent- Holy Family School
Current trends in child/teen online behaviour
Managing devices in the home
"Marty and Carley warmly welcomed our parents and created an environment where everyone felt comfortable to ask questions and engage in a shared conversation."
Principal- Richard Jacques
"I found the presentation extremely valuable and took home so many simple messages and resources from Carley that our family can immediately implement."
Parent- St Roch's School
Keeping safe online
Keys to parent-child communication
"An evening that provided some spine chilling reality checks."
Parent- St Roch's School
inform & empower parents
Unsafe apps & minimum age
90 minute Parent Information Session
Including Q&A and extensive parent take home resource
Managing conflict around digital devices
Psychologist working with young people/families and a mum of three!
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