Esports is the Here & Now
Let the games begin!
This issue of ICTEDUMAG is proudly brought to you by Learning with Technologies
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Empowering Teachers to Innovate with Technology
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Exclusive interview with Australia's newest esports competition for primary schools
VR For the Classroom
VR Classroom. A how and where to begin guide...
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Bee Bots - A Junior Classroom Essential
Let the begins begin!
VR For the Classroom
VR in your classroom. A how and where to begin guide...
ISSUE 11 / FEBRUARY 2020
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Welcome back to all of our valued readers for a huge 2020! We are very excited to be continuing to share innovative ways to enhance learning with technology for a third year.
In 2020 we will be releasing just four issues, one at the beginning of each Australian school term. You can rely on a fresh set of ideas, inspiration, tips and tricks to kickstart each term. As we aim to grow our readership we ask that if you like what we're putting out into the world, then please recommend us to a colleague...much appreciated!
This issue has a number of exciting additions including our very first student competition, more downloadable posters than ever before, an exclusive interview and sensational contributions from guest writers.
Also look out for our new partnership with Edgalaxy - a website where you'll not only find all of our back catalogue of articles, but a plethora of useful resources for teachers.
Have a sensational 2020, Marty & Tser Lin
Tser Lin Hetherton
HEAD OF DESIGN
Tser Lin Hetherton
ICT Edu Magazine
PO BOX 3035
Tser Lin Hetherton
Technology in Education
FROM THE EDITORS
Last year we shared a link to join the beta release of rubrics for Classroom but now they’re available to everyone! With the new features, teachers can:
Create a rubric as they create an assignment.
Reuse rubrics from previous assignments rather than creating them from scratch.
Export and import Classroom rubrics to share with other teachers.
Grade student work with a rubric from both the student listing page and Classroom’s grading view, where instructors can select rating levels as they review the assignment.
This is a gradual rollout starting Feb 3, so keep checking back and it will be there soon!
How to use the new rubric feature in Classroom.
G SUITE UPDATES
If you need to forward a bunch of emails to someone else not originally included in the thread, this is a simpler way to do it rather than “forwarding”. You can now send emails as attachments so that they can be read like a text document, including any attachments. I tried this today and it is a superior workflow IMHO. Read the update post here.
Check them all out in more detail here.
Choose between different styling options for buttons.
A few small but practical updates to Google Sites functionality and layout:
If you are looking to browse and search our entire back catalogue of ideas and inspiration, you'll now find us at EdGalaxy.
Simply use the search box and keywords to get started.
Add captions to images in an image carousel.
Set a transition speed for an image carousel.
#LIKEABOSS WITH THESE POSTERS
Starting Term 1 with explicit teaching of how to use a Chromebook will set your students up for sweet, sweet success.
We've designed these posters based on years of experience introducing and using Chromebooks in the classroom. Download, CTRL P & enjoy these MUST HAVE posters.
Download Freebie - Chromebook Trackpad Gestures A4 Poster
ISSUE 11 / NOVEMBER 2020
Download Freebie - Chromebook Trackpad Gestures
11" Chromebook Wallpaper
Download Freebie - Chromebook Like A Boss
A4 Landscape Poster
Written by Guest Writer - Elizabeth Moran
UK based company Avantis released their all-in-one virtual reality headset in January 2017. Unlike other VR devices for the classroom, ClassVR has produced a headset with its own internal processor and front facing camera, eliminating the need to add your own mobile device. Its open platform supports both augmented and virtual reality curriculum content and its other unique features really enable a collaborative approach to teaching and learning.
ClassVR immerses students in a spectacular 360 degree, multi-sensory environment that truly brings interactive learning to the classroom. The inclusive ClassVR Teacher Portal offers pedagogically sound virtual reality content, curriculum-linked activities and lesson plans. It is very easy to navigate and includes a ‘community’ library featuring uploaded content from users across the globe. As a teacher, I love that this platform gives both students and educators the opportunity to create, share and upload their own content.
From a laptop, teachers can control what their students are viewing, but there is an option for students to navigate their own VR experience by using simple ‘select’ gestures or pressing the buttons on the side of the device.
The online support from ClassVR is extremely comprehensive and they offer clear, accessible instructional guides that make the introduction of VR to your classroom a positive experience for all.
In addition, ClassVR is compatible with CoSpaces, an online platform that enables teachers and students to build their own 3D creations, animate them with code and then upload them to the ClassVR headsets to explore in both VR and AR. The process involves a ‘drag and drop’ action to move objects from the library to the project space and then animate them with various coding options.
CoSpaces has a free licence option but they also offer a Pro Package with amazing features and tools to create unique, interactive worlds. My own Code Club students have produced extraordinary projects and shared them as resources for use across all our year levels. They have also published their creations globally in the online CoSpaces gallery. It has been an incredibly empowering and engaging experience for these students and has inspired them to be not only content consumers but content creators.
Although the purchase of 16 ClassVR headsets was a significant investment for our school, the impact they have had on our students’ learning has made the decision a worthwhile one. A year on, the level of engagement from students and the sheer joy on their faces when they see the devices arriving in their classroom has not diminished in the slightest. I’d say that’s a pretty powerful indication of how ClassVR has enhanced the learning experience for every one of our students and I’m confident that they will continue to embrace and explore the many possibilities ahead.
“The only source of knowledge is experience”.
- Albert Einstein
Junior school teacher, Haley O’Meara, shares her term-long project that yielded mind boggling images taken by 7, 8 & 9 year old students:
Working as an Atelierista, founded in the Reggio Emilia approach, is very different from the role of a classroom teacher or specialist. It is about tracing childrens discoveries through their art and the materials they use, expanding and deepening their learning. In this project, Seeing Life Differently, the idea was simple: How do we take the ordinary and using the medium of photography change perspectives? We used what was at hand for our children, this happened to be the camera app on an iPad.
The students were introduced to a range of photography concepts to help them discover different perspectives. These concepts included:
Close ups: moving in close to your main point of focus so all the attention is on the object/subject and no impact is lost with negative space in the background.
The ‘Rule of Thirds’: this is about dividing your shot into thirds, horizontally and vertically. The basis for this theory surrounds the tendency for the human eye to gravitate to intersecting lines.
To help the children explore this we turned on grid lines in the camera app and we were able to then line up our object/subject to the left or right of the frame or the top or the bottom.
Using frames: this can isolate your subject, block out unwanted items and give the image depth. Frames can be man-made, natural or even our own body.
Lines: our eyes are drawn along lines in images.Thinking about where and why you place lines in your image will change how people see it.
Creating Depth: having fore, middle and background detail will add depth to your image as well as draw the eye through the picture.
Bird’s-eye view: photographing a subject from directly above. The students also enjoyed experimenting with a worm’s-eye view, photographing from directly below.
Black and White: although the iPad doesn’t allow you to view in B&W as you shoot (you can on an iPhone), you can easily add a filter afterwards in the Photos app. In this we explored light, dark and shadow.
Childrens images were printed off and collected in their own photographic portfolio. They were able to articulate the compositions they had used, what they felt was an interesting photo and why, as well as outlining how their skills had developed over the project.
We then had an exhibition to showcase their photography. Each child, using a critical eye and the ideas of photographic composition, chose 2 images they felt had changed perspectives.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your school’s iPads and get started. The results will astound !you
iPADS through a different perspective
Written by Guest Writer - Haley O'Meara
FACT: Nearly every school has iPads
FACT: Every iPad has the camera app
QUESTION: Why aren’t we using this amazing, open ended, cross curricula, creative app more thoughtfully?
STUDENTS IN ACTION
Quotes from students:
“Perspective is your opinion”
“I like that you can only see the glue gun, the background is not important”
“My perspective has changed, I no longer see a lamp, I see a volcano”
“Using a camera offers a different way of looking at the world, good different”
“Normal things become really cool, you look at them with a different perspective”
“The ordinary becomes imaginary”
THINK YOUR STUDENTS WOULD LOVE TAKING PHOTOS WITH IPADS? Check out our student competition on the back of this issue.
STUDENT ACTION SHOTS
Esports is the Here and Now
With a worldwide market bigger than the movie and music industry combined, digital games are a global phenomenon. Why then, if they are such a huge part of the world that we live in, aren’t primary schools embracing video games?
ICT EDU Magazine spoke with school teacher Dan Martinez, who is the spokesperson for The FUSE Cup (Federation of United Schools Esports). The FUSE Cup is a new Australian initiative aimed at engaging primary school students in competitive video gameplay, more commonly known as esports, as a way of developing positive gaming habits and fostering better digital wellbeing for students.
ICT EDU Magazine: What is the current state of inter school esports competitions in Australia?
Dan Martinez: In Australia there’s not much at a primary school level for esports, there just isn’t. There’s a lot at the higher levels for years 9,10,11 and 12 and some that have been around for a while. I can see a gap for junior school kids who already love gaming.
IEM: What is The FUSE Cup?
DM: It’s a nationwide network of schools connected in providing young students with an opportunity to participate in a safe, supportive and structured national esports competition while developing positive gaming behaviours and digital wellbeing. We have four key values: integrity, strength, inclusion and teamwork. And we’re also tying in expectations around how you behave at school actually matters and that representing your school is not a right but an opportunity.
IEM: What devices & games will students be playing?
DM: It will be console based games which are really simple for schools to manage as well as an affordable price point. We’ll be using Nintendo Switch where schools can purchase a kit, join a local division and get involved in a national competition. This year we have three competitions based around different games: Mario Kart, FIFA20 & Rocket League. FIFA20 and Rocket League are titles that are actually used in professional esports circuits and Mario Kart is just because it’s a classic and everyone loves it! We want to build a positive environment around games that are age appropriate and non violent because we’re looking at bringing kids in who would like to play, as well as bringing their parents on board to understand what this esports is all about.
IEM: Logistically, how will it work for schools who want to join The FUSE Cup in 2020?
DM: Schools will compete within a local division, where one school is the host for the competition day. There will be one competition day in each of Terms 1, 2 and 3. Schools will be given time to prepare their students before the event and come and represent just like you would for an athletics, or any other sporting, competition. Individual schools choose how they want to train, some do after school, some do lunchtime. They can invite many students to come along and whittle it down to find the best 3 or 4, depending on the title, to represent at the inter school competition. If there is more than one division within a state, then regional winners progress through to a state final. The best from each state then progress to a national championship held in Melbourne in August 2020.
Image courtesy of Hillcrest Christian College, Gold Coast
*flights and accommodation are paid for by The FUSE Cup to enable interstate teams to attend national finals.
IEM: Will there be a boys and girls division?
DM: Absolutely not, all together. If we’re talking about inclusion, we want everyone working together in collaboration but also competing against one another.
IEM: There can be a very “toxic culture” (as described by my 13yo nephew and avid gamer) in the gaming community. How does The FUSE Cup plan to combat this?
DM: Our competitions are all face to face, there’s no online component. So what we find through that face to face interaction is that students have to be inclusive, they have to collaborate in real time, shake hands and wish each other luck- just as it is in any other sporting environment. We also provide schools, players and parents with very clear behavioural guidelines that need to be discussed, agreed to and signed by players. That’s where our partnership with the Chiefs (an Australian professional esports team) comes in. We can replicate what the standards are at a professional level so that kids grow up knowing you can’t be disrespectful or say racist, negative or abusive things. We even have a behaviour management system that includes yellow and red cards just like any other sport.
IEM: The World Health Organisation recently added “gaming disorder” as a recognised illness. With increased community concerns, how will The FUSE Cup encourage balance and allay fears of parents?
DM: We spend a lot of time talking about ‘digital detox’, ‘digital wellbeing’ and we have structured breaks so that we’re teaching the students it’s not healthy to play for seven hours straight! We’re looking at this as an opportunity to model positive gaming behaviours. We’re providing a safe, structured and supervised environment where students can learn the values of integrity, strength, inclusion and teamwork along with gaming. If we’re not providing our students with a structured, organised gaming environment early on, the risk is that they’ll go down that (addiction) path. We’ll also be inviting parents into the process, all our resources are geared towards parents as well as students. We’ll be supporting schools with practical tips, tricks and guidelines around ways that schools can implement our esports competition in their school.
IEM: What do you see as the major benefits to students & schools participating in The FUSE Cup?
DM: The motivation and engagement we find in students who are involved in esports versus those that aren't is phenomenal. The students who are really into esports are often otherwise overlooked and may have never represented their school in anything. All of a sudden here’s an opportunity for those students to participate and feel valued as members of their school community. Another benefit is the confidence students get from knowing ‘hey my school actually cares about things that are of interest to me’ and this in turn increases school connectedness.
IEM: As schools, we’re often driven by curriculum, curriculum, curriculum! Where does esports fit in?
DM: The General Capabilities are often left for students to get by osmosis, whereas that’s not how it works. We’ve actually aligned esports very heavily to the General Capabilities and provide ideas to schools to say these are the things that can be taught and targeted as part of an esports environment.
Image: Coomera Rivers State School, Gold Coast
IEM: Where do you see The FUSE Cup in 5 years?
DM: We have plans to bring on schools in Asia to create an Australiasian super league!
TO FIND OUT MORE OR SIGN
YOUR SCHOOL UP FOR 2020:
Image courtesy of Saint Stephen’s College, Gold Coast QLD
To Touch Type or Not?
try to practise 5+ times per week
never look at the keyboard
even if it seems hard at first, keep trying as it’s worth it in the end!
Here at ICT EDU Magazine, we are made up of one fluent touch typer (Tser Lin) and one advanced hunt and peck sort of typist (Marty). If you are considering if you should be encouraging and supporting your students to touch type from an early age...our answer is YES.
Student Perspective by Jacob (Grade 6)
Touch typing is using muscle memory not sight. Muscle memory is when your muscles remember how to do something without thinking about it.
If you can’t touch type it’s called “Hunt and Peck”. This is where you use two or more fingers to type and you’re looking not at the screen but at the keyboard, this can lead to neck pain. That’s one of the reasons that I wanted to learn touch typing.
I wanted to learn how to touch type because of my teacher. Whenever we’re brainstorming ideas we’ll see Tser Lin typing 60wpm (words per minute) and will get the work done in a blitz, so I took up the challenge of touch typing!
Pros: Swift typing, don’t need to concentrate on typing (you could even be watching tv!).
Cons: Time. Depending on how much time you spend each session, you might learn it in a week or a couple of months.
My touch typing journey has been quite fun. I try to practise for half an hour to an hour or more! But practising on tutorial websites isn’t enough so I started touch typing at school when we used the Chromebooks, even at home when I did my homework, and in no time I could type fluently. My speed now averages 20wpm to 30wpm.
Here’s a list of touch typing websites to try:
The Typing Cat
How to Type
ICT EDU Magazine recommends TYPING.COM
uses Google login
blends tutorials with fun games
can easily set up a class and monitor student progress
The best time for students to touch type is the in the morning before the start of the school day bell (5-10 minutes)
Persist with touch typing
Hold touch typing competitions to be crowned the Typing Ninja!
Written by Guest Writer - Cassie Paganis
I recently had the pleasure of using Bee-Bots in my P-2 classes. These exciting programmable robots have now become a ‘must-have’ in my classroom. They are a great tool to teach junior students the fundamentals of coding and are an excellent way to engage students in daily tasks across the curriculum.
When introducing the Bee-Bots to my students all they wanted was a chance to explore what they could do, from making them turn in circles, moving them through the grid and even racing them in our school hall. I encourage you to just let the students play and explore the very first time you show them Bee-Bots - their questions, comments and observations will be enlightening.
After using the Bee-Bots several times, I found that the students worked best in pairs or groups of three to complete activities. Before programming the Bee-Bot, the students always had to discuss and create the algorithm using arrow cards (see image opposite).
This gave the students an opportunity to determine if their algorithms needed debugging and identify any patterns.
Some of my favourite activities using Bee-Bots
Retelling Stories - Transform your time honoured retelling of a story into a fun and interactive experience. Students placed a variety of images from picture story books under the transparent mat and used the Bee-Bot to move to each image, pause at that image and give the student the opportunity to explain the significant part of the story. (Tip: this activity can be paired with a video recording as an assessment tool or to be shared with parents).
Sequencing and Ordering Days of the Week and Months of the Year - Students placed day or month cards under the transparent mat and using task cards students answered a variety of questions about the days of the week and months of the year. Once confident in their answer, students used arrow cards to create an algorithm and programmed their Bee-Bots to travel to the answer corresponding to the questions.
Estimation - Students created a start and finish point and estimated how many moves forward it would take for the Bee-Bot to get from start to finish and tested their estimations. A simple but fun activity targeting the mathematical concept of estimation in an engaging way.
Mapping and Location - An area in which there is so much you can do and lends itself beautifully to Bee-Bots. My students used images from the story of Little Red Riding Hood to create a map for Little Red Riding Hood to get to Grandma’s house. Their aim was to use the Bee-Bot to visit the forest, meet the wood cutter and avoid the wolf to get to grandma’s house safely.
A Junior Classroom Essential
We did not have enough mats to use with our Bee-Bots so we created our own using a large laminating machine (much cheaper than buying them!). Creating the mats was an easy process. Simply run empty laminating sheets through the laminator (we used an industrial laminator) and using a meter ruler and permanent marker draw a grid on the sheet with squares 15cm x 15cm in size. We’ve also heard of schools using clear plastic from Bunnings or Spotlight.
GET STARTED WITH BEE BOTS IN YOUR CLASSROOM AT
EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SPECIALISTS
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Screencastify Just got even better!
Screencastify has long been our favourite FREE screencasting tool for the Chrome browser and it is now even better! Normally “freemium” versions of products lose features over time in a bid to get you to cough up for the paid version. Screencastify have done the opposite and we thank them on behalf of educators and students the globe over. Check out the new features:
If you don’t use Screencastify already, install it from the Chrome Web Store and get recording! Also, check out our previous amazing articles all about using Screencastify.
Keeping students safe online is undoubtedly a shared responsibility between schools and families. Therefore we strongly encourage you to keep your parents informed at every possible opportunity.
This issue we have an A4 info page you can add to your school newsletter to ensure you are supporting the important partnership. This edition the focus is communication and includes practical tips for parents to ensure they are setting their families up for success.
Simply download the article and add to your newsletter or even send out on your parent app - job done!
What are you doing for World Safer Internet Day?
Whether you do something small in your own class or gather the school to collaborate, it is the perfect opportunity to focus on this important topic. This year's theme is: Together for a better internet.
If you're in Australia, check out the super resources available at the eSafety Commissioner website:
TERM 1: FULLY BOOKED
TERM 2: LIMITED AVAILABILITY
TERM 3: DATES AVAILABILE
TERM 4 : DATES AVAILABLE
National Future Schools Festival
Where: Melbourne, VIC, Australia
What: “2020 brings a refreshed, interactive and immersive experience where everybody participates on the expo floor with high quality PD at the best value.”
Cost: $350 AUD for early birds ending Feb 7 (then jumps to $500)
ACCE (Australian Council for Computers in Education) National Conference
When: April 16-17
Where: Melbourne, VIC, Australia
What: Being presented by DLTV’s DigiCon this year, you’ll find the best Australia has to offer in terms of teaching and learning with technology.
Cost: $715 AUD for Melbournians but discounted for interstate or country attendees (also 1 day registration available)
Where: Sydney, NSW, Australia
What: EduTECH is back in 2020, with a core theme of “Disruption, Creativity and Diversity”.
“This festival for education brings over 10,000 people across the entire education and training sector together to learn, debate, exchange ideas and be inspired.”
Cost: $750 AUD for early birds
When: June 28- July 1
Where: Anaheim, CA, USA
What: Join over 16,000 fellow attendees (including ICT EDU Magazine!) at the biggest technology & education conference in the USA.
Cost: $550 USD
STUDENT PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST
GET YOUR PD CERTIFICATE HOURS
RECEIVE YOUR PD CERTIFICATE
OUT IN APRIL 2020
All entries will receive a certificate of participation or merit.
Winners will be notified via teacher's email.
Entries close on Friday March 27th.
If you've read this far you've clearly taken the time to read this amazing publication and filled your head with boundless professional learning. To reward yourself and satisfy those teacher PD hours, click below to receive your very own certificate for the hours spent learning.
THEME: "My school from a different persepective"
Conditions of entry:
photo must be taken using an iPad (or tablet)
can be colour or black & white
no student faces allowed
there are 3 categories: JUNIOR (F-2), MIDDLE (3-4), SENIOR (5-6)
there will be a winner in each category ($50 JBHIFI voucher)
guest writer, Haley O'Meara will judge & the decision is final
CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT STUDENT ENTRIES