Strategies to get kids to start thinking

There are 3 main points to this blog post: (1) Failure is OK, (2) Think outside the square and (3) Persist. These are then followed by some practical teaching ideas. We need to teach our students how to think and this can be achieved. One of the first concepts I think teachers need to teach students is that failure is OK. They need to understand that failure is part of […]

STEM: ABC Splash Resources

ABC Splash has a wide range of STEM resources. You can search via year level, Reception to Year 10, or you can search via topic. The STEM topic categories include: coding, robotics, nanotechnology, design solutions, engineering, construction, Makerspaces, careers and STEM news. Types of resources include videos, discussions, Digibooks, teacher ideas, games, articles, audio and links. The videos are great as most of them have suggestions of things to think […]

TGM- Team Girls Movement, promoting girls in technology roles

TGM is a non-profit organisation promoting positive female information technology role models, to encourage and raise awareness of technology careers options for girls. This organisation was founded Jenine Beekhuyzen. I saw Jenine deliver a key note at the EdTech SA conference and witnessed how committed and enthusiastic she is about the program. The program is based on an inspiring book which shows different personalities of women who work in the […]

EdTech SA JVillis Digital Technologies R-Y6 Resources Presentation

I am presenting today and tomorrow at the EdTechSA conference. Below is a copy of my presentation (before slight edits were made last night) and underneath the presentation, you can download a copy of my Australian Curriculum Reception to Year 6 Digital Technologies Scope and Sequence. Sharing is caring, but I do ask that you do not upload my resource to any other website, of course you can link to […]

Y6- Secondary Lego Unplugged Coding and Data Activity

Earlier this year, I attended a conference, we were seated in rows and certain rows were asked to turn around and introduce themselves  to the person sitting behind them, alternate rows didn’t turn around.  My first reaction was, ‘Oh no’, I am an introvert and these types of activities are normally well out of my comfort zone. Taking a deep breath I did so, then we were told that we […]

Opening a can of worms for Secondary Teachers: Safe online use, whose responsibility is it?

The safe and responsible use of information and communication technology is easier for primary schools than secondary schools. Why? Simply because for the majority of primary schools, students have the same teacher for each subject, therefore it is often covered as part of the health and or technology program by the class teacher. However,  in secondary schools, students have different teachers for different subjects. So, whose responsibility is it to […]

Grok Learning: Coding beyond Scratch?

Grok Learning is an online interactive platform which offers coding modules in various programming languages (ie Blockly, Python, SQL and HTML/CSS) for students in year 3 to secondary. Each Grok module guides students to develop computational thinking skills, using a step by step walk through approach for each problem. It isn’t free, but there are a range of different payment options available. However, all content is free for teachers (and pre-service […]

Scootle’s Language and Learning Space, often an overlooked resource

Scootle’s Language and Learning Space offers free teaching resources for Australian language teachers of Chinese, Indonesian and Japanese, all of which are aligned with the Australian Curriculum. Furthermore, it is free. Visit the site and view a trailer, and or sign up. If you already have a Scootle account, you can use your existing details to log in. You can enrol your students and customise their learning according to skill […]

Integrate Coding with other subjects

Coding doesn’t have to be a stand alone subject. With the heavy demands of a full curriculum, finding ways to integrate subjects not only allows teachers to cover more content, it makes learning more meaningful for students.  Here are two unplugged (coding without devices) activities, followed by two Scratch suggestions. Firstly, I like to integrate coding with English through the genre, procedure writing. As I blogged previously, one of my favourite activities is […]

How might you help students understand pi?

Many students can tell you that the numerical value of pi is  3.14… But do they understand what it actually means? Before I teach students what pi is, (for my Y5 higher achiever students), I give them an investigation to see if they can work it out for themselves. Firstly, they need some back ground knowledge. I explain that the circumference of a circle is its perimeter or length. The distance […]