Useful links

How to Teach Coding Like a Granny – Joel Speranza“The digital technologies curriculum is here and everyone is trying to figure out how to teach the thing. Particularly the coding bit, that’s the steepest learning curve for most teachers and with good reason. As students we experienced math, science, english, humanities, PE. But coding is different. Most of us are simply too old to have experience with coding in a school setting. We haven’t seen teachers teach it before and suddenly we’re being asked to teach it ourselves?”

code-it | Junior Computer Science “This site offers computing resources produced by Phil Bagge. You can click on the CS Planning link for a selection of computer science and information technology resources suitable for primary pupils.”
What makes an excellent programming curriculum? | code-it “Programming projects should reflect a wide range of different programming genres, those that arise for example from mathematical, literacy, music or gaming backgrounds. Variety helps a broad spectrum of students to realise that programming can be relevant to their lives.”
Ideas for Using Minecraft in the Classroom | Edutopia “Minecraft is no longer a new tool in the field of game-based learning. Because Minecraft has such open possibilities and potential, teachers have been experimenting with different ways to use it in the classroom for a while now. Some teachers use it to teach math concepts like ratios and proportions, while others use it to support student creativity and collaboration. (Minecraft Education Edition, which launched on November 1, 2016, has additional features for collaboration.) There are some ideas here about some of the ways you can use Minecraft in the classroom:”
Designing Quality Infographics: Tips, Resources and Inspiration “Infographics are graphic visual representations of data and information. They can assist in explaining complex information, numbers or data quickly and effectively. There are some tips for designing quality infographics as well links to some resources and ideas for inspiration.”
88 Assistive Technology Tools for Struggling Learners. Learning Specialist and Teacher Materials – Good Sensory Learning: 88 Assistive Technology Tools for Struggling Learners This post talks about 15 different types of assistive technology that can benefit struggling learners with links to the authors favourite tools. There are links to a more comprehensive discussion of these technologies as well.
Tony Wagner’s Seven Survival Skills – Tony Wagner These skills are familair to thise in educations, Each of the seven are defined by business leaders in their own words. They are: Critical thinking and problem-solving. Collaboration across networks and leading by influence. Agility and adaptability. Initiative and entrepreneurship. Effective and written communication. Accessing and analysing information. Curiosity and imagination.
A Great Visual To Help You Integrate Visible Thinking Routines in Your Class ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning One way to create a thinking cuture in class is to use “Visible Thinking, as a learning approach. This makes extensive use of thinking routines in class.These routines are simple structures( eg a set of questions or a short sequence of steps, that can be used across various grade levels and content. The way they become routines, versus merely strategies, is to use them constantly in the classroom so that they become part of the fabric of classroom culture. The routines become the way students go about the process of learning.” Included here is a great infographic created by Langwitches.
eSafety Homepage | Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner Australian Govt site: “Enhancing online safety for children” The Cybersmart Schools Gateway is a great resource for teacher planning and houses a wide range of cybersafety information and teaching resources for primary and secondary schools. These accessible and engaging materials are designed to help schools develop and implement a holistic approach to cybersafety. Includes the popular Cybersmart Outreach program to book professional presentations to teachers, parents and students on cybersafety. Administered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
Word Search Generator :: Create your own printable word find worksheets @ A to Z Teacher Stuff Simple to use this enables you to create your own custom word search worksheets. There are a variety of options available including font size, font style, lowercase or uppercase letters, grid shape, word placement, and more to customise you creation.
Puzzle Choice – Crosswords, online and printable puzzles and games “PUZZLE CHOICE offers online and printable puzzles and games. Choose from many different types of printable and online CROSSWORDS. There is also a daily US style crossword. You can play WORD SEARCH puzzles or see the WORDPLAY section for anagrams, offers brainteasers and other printable word games. The ONLINE GAMES section has jigsaws, mazes, memory games and a choice selection of classic puzzles and games. Kids young and old can visit the KIDS’ CHOICE section for a variety of puzzles and games for all ages.”
Lawstuff Australia – Know Your Rights – – Topics – Sexting This page explains the legal implications for sexting in Victoria. For example – If under 18, you will not be put on a sex offenders register in Victoria unless you are already on a sex offenders register in another state. Not all states have the same law. In NSW you will be put onto a register even if under 18 years.

Lawstuff Australia – Know Your Rights – – Topics – Photos & Videos on Your Phone “This page explains the laws that apply when you use the photo or recording functions on your phone. It also explains what you can do to stay out of trouble and your options if someone has an inappropriate photo or video of you.”

Digital Literacy and Learning in the United States | Pew Research Center “In this report, we use newly released Pew Research Center survey findings to address a related issue: digital readiness. The new analysis explores the attitudes and behaviors that underpin people’s preparedness and comfort in using digital tools for learning as we measured it in a survey about people’s activities for personal learning.”
8 digital life skills all children need – and a plan for teaching them | World Economic Forum Today digital skills are an essential part of a comprehensive education framework. The challenge for educators is to move beyond thinking of IT as a tool, or “IT-enabled education platforms”. Instead, they need to think about how to nurture students’ ability and confidence to excel both online and offline in a world where digital media is ubiquitous. Like IQ or EQ – which we use to measure someone’s general and emotional intelligence – an individual’s facility and command of digital media is a competence that can be measured. We call it DQ: digital intelligence. And the good news is that DQ is an intelligence that is highly adaptive. DQ can broadly be broken down into three levels: Digital citizenship. Digital creativity. Digital Entreneurship”
Diigo – Budd:e Cybersecurity Education – Secondary Teacher Resources The secodary tschool teacher page that discusses how to use Budd:e site. Created for Australian students the Budd:e Cyber Security education package comprises a series of media-rich and interactive learning activitie. The package comprises two learning modules – one for primary students and one for secondary students. These can be used to assist students adopt safe and secure online practices.
Budd:e Cybersecurity Education – Secondary Created for Australian students the Budd:e Cyber Security education package comprises a series of media-rich and interactive learning activitie. The package comprises two learning modules – one for primary students and one for secondary students. These can be used to assist students adopt safe and secure online practices.
Bullying. No Way! Bullying No Way! is an educational website for Australian school communities and the general public. As well as providing information for individuals, the website provides online curriculum and other resources to support the bullying prevention work of schools. Cybersafety resources and information aimed at children, parents and teachers are provided on the website.
eSmart Schools | National Centre Against Bullying “Developed for Australian schools, eSmart is an easy-to-use, evidence based and tested system to help schools manage cybersafety and deal with cyberbullying and bullying. The eSmart system provides a framework for schools to implement whole-school culture and behaviour change relevant to the smart, safe and responsible use of digital technologies. eSmart is an initiative of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation.”
What We Do Offers a cybersafety module for middle primary students delivered in schools by Life Education. bCyberwise has been developed in partnership with McAfee to educate children on how to stay safe online and develop positive online communication skills. bCyberwise includes online resources to support teachers in the classroom.
Student Wellbeing Hub – Home This is a one-stop shop for information and resources underpinned by the National Safe Schools Framework. The Hub assists school communities to nurture student responsibility and resilience, build a positive school culture, foster respectful relationships and support students who are impacted by anti-social behaviour, including bullying and cyberbullying.
Top 10 Tools for Creating Digital Quizzes ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning An annotated list that is a “collection of some of the most popular quizzing tools that have covered in this blog. Be it a flipped, blended, virtual or even traditional classroom, the tools  below will enable you to easily create interactive quizzes, questionnaires and polls to share with students in class. “

Teaching code via our “coding club”

We have recently started a junior coding club at our school, after not managing to have a subject put into the year 8 curriculum. It is interesting how to see how each week a few more boys are joining our ranks. It was also great to have some of our year 10 students offer to work with the younger boys as mentors and teachers. It has been many years since I have really worked in this area so it is a big learning curve for me but with the good will of the students we are all learning together  and having fun at the same time.

I thought I would include the infographic below. It sums up some of the questions we had to face when we wanted to introduce coding into the junior curriculum. Sometimes it is very frustrating but in the long run there will be a greater acceptance that coding is a useful skill for all students. It can encourage and develop a range of skills in our students: problem-solving, logical thinking, interpretation of data/information, innovation and original ideas,  abstract thought and creativity. Our students will learn to be creators, not just consumers at the mercy of other developers, or at least better understand the world they inhabit.

I still argue that we should  Teach coding to students, it’s an important skill. (A post I wrote 12 months ago). More articles are being written and research undertaken  that also support this view. One interesting article I read back in August was Coding overtakes French as UK’s most popular second language in primary schools. The headline alone piqued my interest.

So we continue with the coding club and lay the groundwork for all students to have access this most useful way of developing a range of skills. 
Teaching Coding in Classroom

Courtesy of: AssignmentHelpNet

Teach coding to students, it’s an important skill.

Our Minister for Education has been praising the review of the “National Curriculum” This report has caused quite a lot of angst across the board but  technology in particular may well be phased back, especially before year 9. Whilst most agree that there is a  crowded curriculum many do not believe that studying  ICT contributes to a this unnecessarily. Many will argue that ICT skills are fundamental and it is critical that they should form part of the core curriculum, along with numeracy and literacy, in this increasingly digitized world.

Today I came across this well designed together infographic that explains how teaching coding to students, even young students, has several benefits and  why teachers must teach coding to their students. It is offers a very good argument for teaching the skills.

It was created by Kodable and is an iOS app that teaches children various coding and programming concepts through a variety of maze activities.The free version allows users to play the first 30 levels (Smeeborg World) for free.  The Pro version (has a small fee) offers full access, giving you a total of 4 Worlds. I have only seen the work of others as I use microsoft and android options.

Please include attribution to Kodable with this graphic.

5 Reasons to Teach Kids to Code

A few links to other posts/tools that might be useful:

7 Apps for Teaching Children Coding Skills Digital learning specialist Anna Adam provides a quick overview of seven apps that are appropriate for teaching younger children one of the most critical 21st century skills: coding.

Ten Resources for Helping Students Learn to Code and Program  by Richard Byrne on his blog Free technology for teachers. Very well explained uses for 10 tools.

Engaging 6th Graders With Coding A guest post on Richard Byrne’s Free technology for teachers where a teacher discusses how she approached teaching coding to her class.

Scratch Tutorials provides guidance on getting starting with Scratch with kids. Scratch is a website from MIT specifically for kids. Kids can program stories, games, and animation. It’s so empowering for kids to be able to learn how to build their own programs.

A useful pinterest board is Coding or Programming for students that collects all sorts of resources.