This issue of ICTEDUMAG is proudly brought to you by Learning with Technologies
Hook, Line & Tinkercad
Interested in 3D printing? Learn the ins and outs
Can a Chromebook be your Daily Driver?
Read our user review to see if this is possbile...
Empowering Teachers to Innovate with Technology
News, updates, resources & lesson ideas ready to use today
Access and search all our content at our new look website
Coding Book Review
Learn how you & your students can code a sandcastle
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Hook, Line & Tinkercad
Where in the World?
Learn how to use Google My Maps
Can a Chromebook be your Daily Driver?
Unsure how the Google certification works? Ben explains how...
ISSUE 6 / APRIL 2019
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Make Other Classes Green with Envy!
What is the #1 thing to help keep your family cyber safe?
A must read newsletter piece for your school community
Coding Book Review
Learn how you & your students can code a sandcastle
Screencastify - Part 1 Teachers
A must have tool for all teachers. Learn how you can use it in your practice
table of contents
G Suite Updates
The most useful G Suite updates for teachers and students
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If you're like any of us in the teaching game, Term 1 has been a blur! We hope you've enjoyed getting to know your new students whilst doing your best to innovate with technology.
We've been busy innovating and iterating in our own way. Like any good design process, we have continued to seek feedback and make improvements to ICT EDU Magazine. There have been two major changes since last issue:
1. We have changed our tagline (and our overall focus) to include all teachers, not just 'leaders' of technology. So please encourage any interested colleagues to join the community by subscribing.
2. Most significantly we have just launched a brand new website/blog:
You can now view all of our content on the web and importantly search for past articles by keywords.
Ooh...and we have our best ever giveaway, check out the last page for details.
Marty & Tser Lin
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Tser Lin Hetherton
ICT Edu Magazine
PO BOX 3035
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Technology in Education
FROM THE EDITORS
In an attempt to make workflow even easier, Drive is introducing the ‘Priority’ page.
With search, ‘Recent’ and ‘Starred’ already there to help you find files easily, I’m not sure what the benefit of this new feature will be? Personally I’ll be ignoring it. It’ll appear in your Drive shortly and will include:
Priority: a machine learning list of suggested files (nearly identical to the current ‘Quick Access’ we already have in My Drive)
Workspace: where you can group together a whole range of files into a single place
It’s now easier to insert images in cells in Google Sheets
Previously images had to be inserted via a formula (=image). Now the familiar insert image icon and menu item is available. Perfect for pictographs and using spreadsheets with images in the classroom, as well as for teachers.
G SUite updates
Search within Drive got a little makeover
I always advocate using search rather than double clicking through the file structure within Drive...it’s undoubtedly heaps quicker. This process has just got a little bit easier. Now when you click in the search bar you have:
Suggested search queries
Your top collaborators (with their profile pics)
File types and recent history
Due out later this year, Sphero's latest robot offering for schools looks phenomenal!
ICT EDU Magazine has helped fund it through Kickstarter, so keep an eye out for future issues where we'll feature one of the first reviews in Australia.
new age sphero
Book a Demo
Buy a Jamboard
Written by Guest Writer - Bess Naughtin
I’m always on the lookout for picture books that help me unpack the Digital Technologies curriculum, so I was really excited to come across ‘How to Code a Sandcastle’ by Josh Funk.
Funk is a software engineer and children’s book author and for some strange reason, never considered combining these two skills until writing this book. It’s a match made in heaven if you ask me!
‘How to Code a Sandcastle’ is the story of a young girl named Pearl who is at the end of her summer holidays and yet to successfully build a sandcastle. When she calls upon her robot friend to help her out, Funk starts seamlessly unpacking the concepts of sequences, loops and branching as Pearl gives the robot instructions.
After reading the story, I gave students some code of their own and we headed to the sandpit. I’d prepared a sequence of pictures (from the book) for the Preps to follow and the 1/2s were given the same pictures as well as a flowchart that matched Pearl’s instructions. Students could then choose which “code” they wanted to follow as they built their own sandcastles. Ideally I would have given them some Scratch-style blocks to follow but my graphic design skills (or lack thereof!) let me down!
A follow up lesson, which I called ‘How to Design a Sandcastle’, shifted the focus a little to include more design technologies. In this lesson the students used iPads to
film time lapses of themselves designing their own sandcastles. I think this is a great way to document projects and share understandings (especially when students are building with LEGO or other construction materials) and it worked particularly well in this lesson.
In short, this book is funny, clever and relatable enough to make tricky concepts not seem so tricky. It’s sequel, ‘How to Code a Rollercoaster’, will be released in August and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!
‘How to Code a Sandcastle’ is available for online purchase at Booktopia.
HOW TO CODE A SANDCASTLE: BOOK REVIEW
ISSUE 5 / JANUARY 2019
You may have heard of Google Certifications or seen on someone’s email footer ‘Google Certified Educator’. What is it? And why should I take the time to join the club? We asked Google Certified Educator (Level 1 & 2), Trainer and soon to be Innovator, Ben Sandison to shed some light.
I actually felt a bit of a rush when I took the certification exams for Level 1 and 2 of the Google Certification courses. Putting my knowledge and skills to the test was like a perfect affirmation of what I was doing in my classroom and school.
My first impression of the Fundamentals Course (Level 1) content was that it actually had some depth. I was able to make connections between what I already knew as good professional practice; using G Suite to enable meaningful collaboration and expanded learning. The two courses focus on three main areas of teacher proficiency: Professional Growth, Time Savings and Student Learning.
Fundamentals Course/ Educator Level 1
‘Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity’ is one of the modules you will undertake during the course work and it aptly describes the purpose of the training. Using case studies, and linking to real classroom scenarios helps you, as an educator, to immerse yourself in the content. When it comes to taking the exam, the multiple choice questions and some fun digital role-play provide a fantastic opportunity for educators to demonstrate their proficiency with G Suite tools to enhance learning and teaching.
Advanced Course / Educator Level 2
A “combination of learning content, assessments and experience one must demonstrate in order to become certified” is the basis for the Advanced course on this certification journey. Level 2 goes beyond the basic G Suite tools and looks at how to combine different elements of the G Suite to enhance student outcomes. Again, there is an exam at the end of this course, but after completing the modules and their respective ‘Unit Reviews’, your confidence will be sky high and the exams feel more like an exciting challenge, than a flashback to your high school exams.
More than anything else, becoming a Google Certified Educator opens you up to a whole new world of like-minded, passionate educators through a dedicated Google Group; where people share their passion for using technology to enhance the learning of young people. And if this reason isn’t enough, you get to display (aka showoff) your own badges in your email footer!
For more info and heaps of resources, check out Kasey Bell’s resources.
Written by Guest Writer - Ben Sandison
PART 1: FOR TEACHERS
Written by Guest Writer- Maria Long
How I have used Screencastify in my classroom...
I recorded my lesson on Screencastify prior to teaching the class so that I can use more time working one-on-one with students or have more time teaching a focus group. Similar to the 'Flipped Learning’ model.
I have found Screencastify particularly helpful when teaching students who have learning difficulties or who have trouble with processing instructions. I can use Screencastify to explain what I would like students to do and that allows them to listen to instructions as many times as they need. This takes the pressure off students who feel embarrassed to ask for help or who are unsure of what to do.
Before Screencastify, I spent my valuable teaching time repeating instructions. Through the use of Screencastify, I have more time to "teach effectively”. I recently used Screencastify for my new arrival student who had never been to school nor knew any English. I recorded many lessons on Screencastify, which meant that my time was not taken up by explaining everyday words in English and allowed me to attend to the other students in my class. I would highly recommend that teachers use this in their classroom, especially when there are many students in our classes who need extra assistance.
Making the recordings is like each student has their own personalised teacher.
Other suggested uses for teachers:
Record a video of the day’s instructions for a relief teacher. Simply share the video with your students through Classroom or email and they have clear, concise instructions.
Record feedback on a student’s piece of writing. Simply have their writing piece on the screen and record your feedback & suggestions. This video is then shared to the student so that they can immediately get to work acting on your feedback. No more waiting to conference with every student!
Want to learn more?
Become a “master” in just 1 hour with the FREE online course taught by fellow teacher, Matt Miller.
In issue #7 we'll feature Part 2: Screencastify for students.
When evaluating any tech tool or app for the classroom, two considerations top our priority list. Does it genuinely enhance learning? Can it be used cross-curricular?
For this reason, let us introduce an absolute must in your classroom: Screencastify
What is it?
Free Chrome extension and therefore compatible with Windows, Mac or Chromebooks
Records the screen and microphone
Videos are then stored automatically in your Google Drive
CYBER safety for your school newsletter
Schools are often faced with dealing with online issues such as Momo! Whether it be Momo, inappropriate social media apps or online bullying, the key is supporting parents to be best equipped in this digital space. This week's newsletter piece focuses on communication, the #1 key to managing cyber safety.
Download and add to your newsletter this informative and empowering article for your parents and families.
This issue's techie brekkie is just one simple, yet awesome tool for teachers and students!
Photo editing is not only fun but can be utilised across each and every curriculum area. Check out the brand new Pixlr X in this month's techie brekkie.
If you're new to the concept of Techie Brekkies, check out this blog post by EdGalaxy.
BRING a cyber safety expert to your school
We caught up with experienced teacher and leader Pam Nicholls. Pam has been in education since we were wee children and it is so refreshing to meet a leader of her experience who is in tune with how to use technology to support and enhance learning. May this be a testament to all teachers that learning never stops and your teaching practices must change and evolve. Thanks Pam!
Our leader snapshot this issue features St Luke's Learning & Teaching and Digital Technologies Leader, Pam Nicholls.
Written by Guest Writer - Will Sederino
When I was a youngster (35 odd years ago!) the world seemed to be such a big place. Even 20 years ago when I travelled through Europe, contacting the family meant paying through the nose to use a landline telephone! Travelling overseas meant you were pretty much uncontactable unless you wanted to be found. Move forward to the present day and it’s a much different story!
The world is a much smaller place than it used to be.
With the ever increasing amount of classroom tools available to communicate, collaborate and connect with the world, students' understanding of their place in this world has changed considerably over time. Tools such as Google My Maps have given students an insight into other communities and different parts of the world they wouldn’t normally have access to.
Google My Maps also has the ability to make us more familiar with our own backyard! I love using My Maps to make lessons much more relevant and real for the students! Here are some examples of that…
WHERE IN THE WORLD?
Google my maps
Google My Maps is a tool that allows users to create a personalised editable Google Map of their own! It uses the same “Google” technology that allows programs such as Google Maps to work.
The main functions that this tool offer are:
The ability to drop pins and add markers to your map
Personalising these markers
Measure distances and areas
Upload a Google Sheet with longitude and latitude data on specific items (e.g. Active volcanoes of the world)
Adding different layers on your map for a variety of different topics (used similarly to sub-headings)
Mapping a personal holiday and experiences
Creating a visual time line explaining significant events
Written by Guest Writer - Garreth Wigg
The idea of making anything using our 3D printers and building with Lego would send most K-6 students into bewildered excitement. Whenever I have jobs on the go, students flock to the printers and stare in amazement at the process occurring before them.
I recently had the pleasure of working with Year 3 on a project that focused on the properties of sahpes, measurement, design, materials as well as persuasive techniques in language.
The design challenge was to plan, build and sell a new piece of Lego.
Students would create their own Lego kit that was ‘missing’ a piece that Lego had not yet designed. Their task was to create that new piece using a 3D printer and then ‘sell’ it to Lego through a persuasive pitch scenario, Shark Tank style.
I have sometimes found that teaching and learning aspects of 2D shapes and 3D objects can be a bit tricky to conceptualise and link to anything of real value to students. As an introduction, students were given a design challenge to construct and replicate particular objects with a limited amount of Lego. Questioning such as ‘what did we need?’ and ‘what could we have built if...?’ was a great way to lead into the design brief.
Before students started working on their Lego design, I assigned them the task of designing and building a simple bubble wand. This allowed students the chance to sandbox and become familiar with the TinkerCAD interface and its tools. The amount of printer filament needed for this was quite minimal and students were excited to be taking home a product they had designed and share their excitement with peers.
Measuring individual Lego bricks and Lego creations I had pre-made, students could demonstrate their prior knowledge of measurement, shape and object recognition. This assessment of knowledge and understanding informed me of what specific concepts students needed to be introduced to in order to broaden their depth and understanding. When students looked really closely at the Lego, they were quite astonished by the intricacies and precision of the pieces.
The focus on formal units of measurement, the need for precise measurement and the tools we use to measure really enhanced students’ engagement. With pre-planning involved, I made sure to have designs pre-built that were ‘off’ by 1 or 2mm, to show how only the slightest error can result in a design success or failure.
Investigation was undertaken about the types of pieces Lego has already created, with students asked to consider why particular parts are more popular than others. This, along with the design process and their reasoning for the creation of their new Lego piece, formed the basis for their Shark Tank presentation.
HoOk, line & TINKERCAD
The presentation itself was to be completed in 2-4 minutes and students were allowed to use any tools at their disposal for the presentation. Students spent time working on their scripts, which was a great chance to develop stronger literacy skills.
Initially, students were disheartened when their designs did not print as they had hoped. Having students believe that I was more interested in the process, not the success of the final product took some time for students to grasp, especially for the perfectionists amongst the cohort.
Some technical FYI:
We use the browser-based service TinkerCAD for prototyping and creating 3D models. It has a very simple interface and entry-level ease of use, with account setup being super easy if students already have a Google account. Students access this via Chromebooks.
We have access to two 3D printers, both of which have a maximum build volume of 120 x 120 x 120mm. This proved to be adequate for the projects and designs we have undertaken over the last two years. We use the UP Mini 3D printer which has proven to be a very reliable and user-friendly machine.
Students upload their .STL file in Google Classroom. This allows easy access for me when viewing and/or printing their work.
When printing, import the print file into the UP printing software on an iMac. The accompanying UP software is very user-friendly and intuitive.
I tried to make sure that student pieces were kept to a surface area of 9cm2, to print multiple jobs at a time
Some considerations for next time :
Making sure students can log into TinkerCAD and their Google accounts in a timely manner
Model and allow more time for peer feedback with their Lego kit creations
Place less emphasis on a finished product and more emphasis on a believable prototype
Raise the stakes a little and make the Shark Tank showcase of their work into a bit more of an event with invited guests, etc.
A greater emphasis on persuasive language, listening, talking and body language
I’d love to hear about how other K-6 teachers are using 3D printers in their teaching and learning.
Anyone else 3D printing? Share your ideas, photos and more on Twitter & don't forget to tag @MrGWigg.
We have been looking for a Chromebook teacher device ever since… ever!
Chromebooks for students have saved the budget so why not Chromebooks for staff? It seemed like a far stretch for teachers asking them to switch from their beloved MacBooks or Windows laptops to a Chromebook. Why would you give up a powerhouse machine and a retina display to work on a slow, laggy, pixelated screen that only runs Chrome OS?
Read on to find out more...
CAN A CHROMEBOOK BE YOUR DAILY DRIVER?
Chromebooks have always been marketed as a tool for students and not so much for teachers. Well, we’re in 2019 and everything we use is practically cloud based and Google driven. At ICT EDU Magazine, we took a personal 2 week challenge to see if we could use a Chromebook as our daily driver. We also had a few teachers road test a Chromebook in their day to day teaching operations. Gather around, the results are in:
GMail & Hangouts/Meet: well they're Google, so they're perfectly compatible
Microsoft Outlook, Team & Skype: flawless
CREATING & DESIGNING
DAY TO DAY USE
Emailing, video conferencing, cheeky chatting during office hours #never;)
Creating: worksheets, graphics, voice recordings, videos and editing photos
Tasks completed on a Chromebook by teachers
Google Docs, Slides, Forms, Sites
Hundreds of tabs open
Watching YouTube videos
Looking for resources online
Connecting/casting the Chromebook to the IWB/interactive panel
Using an interactive panel while the Chromebook is connected and using Jamboard
Printing (conflicted with some school setups)
Content created with:
MS Word Online
There were small drawbacks that teachers experienced when using the Chromebook:
We had an issue with printing, however this could be easily overcome using a 3rd party software like PaperCut.
Teachers wanting to use a particular font (Vic Modern Cursive) and not being able to be installed on the Chromebook.
Particular software not working as it is only made for Windows and Mac, however using the Google Play Store we were able to find a tool that was similar (if not better).
The overall performance of the Chromebook was fast and snappy and met our requirements. We did however road test the brand new Acer Spin 13 which just dropped this year #latest #greatest.
So all in all, YES is the answer to the following question: Can the Chromebook be a teacher’s daily driver?
If you’re seriously thinking of moving your teachers over to a Chromebook to save the dollars then be tactful in how it is achieved. We had a few comments from teachers who weren’t fond of the idea, particularly having to learn a new way of doing things. Our recommendation is purchasing a higher end Chromebook which will set you back about $800-$900 dollars but will be worth it in the long run.
Manufacturers like Acer, HP and Lenovo have launched a few models that could definitely work as a teacher daily driver. Our requirements for teachers using Chromebooks are:
Minimum 13” screen
The screen must be full high definition
Looking for a device for your staff? Here are some Chromebook devices currently available on the market:
Acer Spin 13 - $949 ex GST
HP Chromebook 14 G5 - $545 ex GST
Lenovo 14E Chromebook - $442 ex GST
1300 550 717
Our Grade 6 writer, Mohan, sheds some light on using green screens in the primary classroom. Whether you have iPads, laptops or Chromebooks, we have a tool for you.
Perfect for Chromebooks (as well as Windows or Mac using Chrome)
Green screen only available with ‘WeVideo for Schools’ paid version, per student per year cost of approx $7
Paid version of WeVideo also includes a teacher dashboard to manage and easily see all student projects in your class plus the ability to work collaboratively.
WeVideo works really well with green screens- it is actually called ‘colour keying’ in WeVideo. Make sure that you are recording with an iPad or camera (not a webcam) to help keep the
video quality high. You can then upload the video to your Google Drive (or elsewhere) to use in WeVideo. When you get a good video, WeVideo is awesome to add motion text, good music, transitions and relevant images.
How to colour key (greenscreen) with WeVideo:
MAKE OTher classes green with envy!
Co-written by Guest Student Writer - Mohan
$4.49 or half price when using VPP
iPads have many apps available for green screen use, though the best app I have come across is Green Screen by Do Ink. Do Ink allows you to change the backdrop and keep changing it to what your green screen requires before recording. The only thing that stands out is that you have to record in small parts with only one backdrop each. You can however choose to use more than one backdrop in a video but have to know at what time you want it to change. When combining videos, you can use iMovie to stitch together the parts. iMovie isn’t as good as WeVideo, though it still has some things all editing programs have. iMovie only lets you use media from the camera roll. If you are using Google Drive or similar things, you are able to download files and then import to iMovie.
Lesson plans and ideas galore for Do Ink
Lighting is very important. Green screens work as a solid colour. As soon as shadows, wrinkles or bright lighting comes in, it changes the colour in parts and the green screen doesn’t work well. Avoid shadows and it will look great.
Make sure the green screen is flat and smooth. If you need to, even tape it down to a wall with shipping tape. It will hold it down and it will be easier to work with.
Have a large screen so you can have small groups of students, not just one or two
You can’t wear green. If your school uniform has green (like mine), it is best to bring in a change of clothes.
Mohan’s Ideas for the classroom:
Visit to space
Travel back in time
Act out word problems to bring maths to life
Conduct interviews – real or imaginary
Unsure what to assign your techie to do these April holidays? Get them to clean out the server cabinet.
At plexusIT, we pride ourselves on our workmanship. A neat tidy cab means efficiency and best practice.
Talk to us about assisting your school with technical services.
"Hey Google.....who won the ICT EDU Magazine's Issue #5 giveaway?"
Google: "Jason Tang"
This issue we have our best ever giveaway, check out the following page for all the details!
JOIN THE TEAM:
5 STAR winner
We are proud to have a growing team of talented guest writers and would love you to join us!
We're looking for thought leaders in the EdTech space to be official ICTEDUMAG Guest Writers.
All you need is passion, an idea and a willingness to share. We are particularly keen to see lesson examples, photos, videos and how you have brought an idea to life. It can be anything that utilises technology to enhance learning and teaching.
If you're interested, simply send your article or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch.
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