The Computer Science Field Guide

The Computer Science Field Guide is an online resource for teaching Computer Science to students. It is a New Zealand based project, providing  content in the form of text (both for students and guidance for teachers), images and interactives.  The project was formed because people often confuse computer science with programming. “Computer science is about tools and techniques for designing and building applications that are very fast, have great interfaces, […]

Binary in plain English

You need to teach binary as part of the curriculum, but do really understand it? The binary number system is a base-2 number system. This means, it only has two numbers, 0 and 1. You might be thinking, our decimal number system has numbers 0-9 so why don’t we use this? Well, with electronics and computer systems, they only have two electrical states, on or off. These two states can be represented as zero […]

Live holographic teleportation? Yes!

Before I get to the live holographic teleportation, which is amazing, I’ll give you a little background information. HoloLens is mixed reality. It allows you to interact with virtual holograms and real objects in your physical world with holographic technology through a headset (the lens straps onto your head and partially covers your eyes). Last year I showed my students the Minecraft HoloLens video by Minecraft Gameplay. They were totally blown […]

Australian bush fire unit using Microsoft OneNote Class Notebook

This term I had to teach a unit on Australian bush fires as part of the Year 5 curriculum. The content descriptor is: The impact of bush fires or floods on environments and communities, and how people can respond (ACHASSK114) . Previously I have taught this unit with the help of a Microsoft SharePoint page which I created for the unit. I use SharePoint as it is our whole school’s learning […]

New Surface and 2017 Surface Summit, Seattle

  In March this year, I had the opportunity to fly to Seattle to visit Microsoft headquarters for the Microsoft Surface Summit in Seattle, with my Principal, Ms Paddy McEvoy (St Aloysius College, Adelaide). We were able to connect with and talk to teachers from other countries, which was a priceless opportunity.  It was also amazing to see Microsoft headquarters and meet their collaborative team from design engineers to product managers […]

Unplugged coding: Sandwich algorithm

Unplugged coding lessons, allow you to teach the fundamentals of computer science without a computer. This style of  coding lessons were very popular about 3-4 years ago when the term ‘coding’ became the hot topic in education, and many schools had limited access to devices. However, as schools acquired greater access to devices,  I found that teachers weren’t letting go of the unplugged activities. I recall being on yard duty two […]

Getting the most out of Microsoft SharePoint for school teachers

Microsoft SharePoint is a browser based collaboration and document management platform from Microsoft. My school has Office 365 and SharePoint is part of the package. In simplest terms, it is the equivalent of have a class blog whether it be a Weebly site, Edublog or any other platform, with the advantage that it has a Windows interface (ie just like editing a word document) and the data can be hosted […]

Teaching game design using Scratch

I’ve just finished teaching a unit on coding and game design using Scratch. My students are in Year 5, 10-11 years of age and below is a video showing examples of some of the games they coded and designed. Below I have explained how my students achieved this. To begin with, I asked students to download Scratch so that we could work with the off line version. I did this […]

Use Canva.com and Pixabay.com to create tiles for websites or school projects

Below is a short video explaining how I used Canva.com and Pixabay.com to create tiles for my SharePoint page. Under the video I have explained what each of these products are. Canva.com is s a free graphic-design web based tool. Subscription is free, however, if you are asking your students to subscribe parental permission is required for students aged under 13 years. You can use it to design presentations and social […]