Category: Tayside

Inspiring Digital Enterprise Awards, Grove Academy

iDEA Awards, Grove Academy

Gavin Pyott, PT Computing Science

I became aware of the iDEA awards by chance when it was first launched 3 years ago. I can’t explain how glad I am that I did. The programme is so well written and produced that all learners are drawn into the modules and are keen to do more. Due to the positive impact iDEA had with classes in my department l began promoting the awards and encouraging others to use it within their schools. As a result of this l was awarded the title of Teacher Ambassador from iDEA.  

The Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award, known as iDEA, is an international programme that helps students develop and demonstrate digital, enterprise and employability skills.

Since its launch, iDEA has established itself as the digital equivalent of The Duke of Edinburgh Award. The iDEA awards are recognised by universities and employers so are a great addition to any student’s CV.

The iDEA awards allow students to map their knowledge and understanding of the digital world through a series of modules (badges).

The badges have been designed to unlock new opportunities and raise awareness of the diverse range of careers in our digital world, all the while allowing students to gain an industry recognised award to help them stand out from the crowd.

To achieve a Bronze Award, students need to earn a minimum of 250 points, including at least 40 points in each of the core categories of the curriculum: Citizen, Worker, Maker and Entrepreneur.

CITIZEN BADGES cover digital awareness, safety and ethics.

WORKER BADGES introduce tools and techniques which are useful in the digital workplace.

MAKER BADGES cover digital creativity and building and making in the digital world.

ENTREPRENEUR BADGES explain how to originate ideas and bring them to life.

GAMER BADGES investigate gamification techniques and help people learn how to make games.

These badges are all very informative and explain complex concepts in a straightforward, easy to understand, way. All badges are designed to be interactive, allowing pupils to answer questions as they go, building up their knowledge step-by-step.

To help track student progress iDEA have launched ‘organiser codes’ and the organiser area. This allows you to provide pupils with a simple code to add to their iDEA profiles. This will then pull the progress charts for each pupil together into a handy, easy to use spreadsheet.

After completing the Bronze award, many pupils volunteer to move on to the Silver. Unlike Bronze, the Silver award has been written as a series of topics. Each topic is story-based with students being guided through a real-life scenario as they discover the skills required to progress.

Due to the amazing quality and excellent writing in the badges in the programme the target audience range has really been opened up. I have successfully delivered the iDEA award in S1, S2 and S3. We now have pupils is S4-6 who are also tapping into the programme as it has caught their attention. iDEA also works great in an upper primary setting. My own daughter liked the look of the badges and had a go herself. She successfully completed the Bronze award in Primary 6 and completed her Silver when in Primary 7. Not wanting to stop there she completed a total of 50 Bronze badges to become ‘Badge Champion’ and completed the remaining Silver topic to become a

‘Silver Star’. This determination to complete the modules has been replicated by students in my classes who applied the Pokemon ‘got to get them all’ approach to the badges and awards. I have to admit, I have done this too! The iDEA badges are so interesting and informative I found I couldn’t stop either! As an introduction to a new concept (block chain) or to brush up existing skills the iDEA Award is great CLPL for staff too.

Mr Pyott has created a Sway which will give you a full introduction to the work and process involved in using iDEA and his top tips. To view click here.

To see more from Mr Pyott you can visit his Twitter feed on @MrPyott

To see more from Grove Academy, please visit their Twitter feed on @Grove_Academy

You can find out more on iDEA Awards via https://idea.org.uk/ 

Guest Bloggers D Keenan and M Brough DCC

Our Lockdown Journey as ESO for Digital Learning

Our Lockdown Journey as ESO for Digital Learning

By Meg Brough and Dave Keenan

In January 2020 we gained the title ‘Education Support Officers for Digital Learning.’ After interview, it was decided we would job share for the duration of our secondment opportunity. We would each be allocated 2 days a week: one together, one independently. (Dave is PT Modern Studies and Meg teaches English and Media). This was totally manageable, right?

We sat with the previous Digital ESO Jenni for days, our heads spinning with new information about Computing Science, Computational Thinking, 3D Printing, Glow security and CRIS. We would be covering Jenni’s role when she moved to Education Scotland and were determined to learn as much as possible from her and keep continuity. “You have to make this job your own,” she said. Oh, how little we knew!

We began to support schools in Dundee, working with them to embed a robust digital infrastructure in schools and throughout the Authority. We developed a calendar of CLPL opportunities, attending meetings and enjoying the best part of the job – meeting new people. By the end of February we were steadily gaining confidence and making great contacts.

In March 2020, the schools closed and every practitioner in Scotland had to switch to engaging with Digital Learning. Our job started to creep into every aspect of our lives. The question of whether we were ready for this was irrelevant. It was imperative to provide our practitioners with the skills needed to continue to provide a high standard of education for our children and young people.
We had a few weeks to prepare for the impending closure, so we finished small jobs we had started and then moved on to creating help sheets and resources. Meg worked on creating the Dundee City Council Online Learning Hub. We didn’t want to restrict our support to staff, but to provide a central location to support pupils and parents too. This site would house Learning Resources, Information about Online Safety and Help with digital tools such as Glow. The website has been separated into sections for Staff, Pupils and Parents, and each houses information and links relevant to each kind of user.

We quickly realised that the volume of queries and support required couldn’t be managed by email alone. Dave had the idea of setting up the DCC Education Digital Support Team and adding every teacher in Dundee. No easy task! This was an area we could store our help sheets and answer any queries.

This grew arms, legs and many other limbs. So much so that the practitioners who were supporting us with Learning Resources had to split off into a separate support team. We worked with DCC’s amazing Pedagogy team to create a site where staff could access CLPL Opportunities and Learning Resources, which left the purpose of our Team purely for digital support. Since the creation of the team on the 6th March, we have had 1,268 active users leaving 258 posts. What is more impressive though, is that from those posts we have had 591 replies. This demonstrates a pattern we have noticed. We, as owners, are not the only people who are answering queries. By starting this support group we have upskilled staff to be able to answer each other’s questions. This fits in very well with our vision to promote Digital Leadership throughout the Authority.

We often see a peak in engagement within our Team when we host our Webinars. We have hosted a few webinars which have focused on setting up online classes, setting and marking assignments in Teams… the list goes on! Along with our own home-made efforts, we have hosted hundreds of staff in webinars with Ian Stuart from Microsoft and this is helping us build our MIE base across schools.

Staff uptake of MIE CLPL is really taking off and school managers are looking at how to take everything to the next level with Digital Schools, Microsoft Schools and Incubator status.We have also created a YouTube channel to house our tutorial videos. Reflecting on the help sheets we had originally made, we found it much easier to demonstrate how to use a digital tool by sending a link to a video. We were so fortunate that the Accessibility and Inclusion service provided us with videos which have been translated into Arabic. Our most popular video has been a guide to using Microsoft Teams Assignments and Immersive reader through Glow for pupils. Teachers have been sharing this with their pupils and have found it useful to see what their pupils are seeing.

The May Inservice day was planned to focus on Supporting Learners with Additional Support Needs. Our original plan was to deliver training to our Digital Leaders and in turn they would deliver this to their own school staff on the Inservice day. This was going to be a perfect example of the ‘Train the Trainer’ model we wish to develop. Our Digital Leaders are representatives from each school who have a vested interest in Digital Learning and who want to work with their colleagues to embed Digital Learning as a key component of the curriculum. As all events on our CLPL calendar had to be cancelled, we had to re-evaluate how to provide this kind of training. Instead used this situation to our advantage and tried to reach a wider audience by creating a presentation of all kinds of digital tools that could be used to support learners with ASN. In our Staff version we included links to training guides (such as the Microsoft Educator Centre) as well as information about how to use these in the classroom.

In our general guide we also included information about how these tools can be used at home to help parents and learners. We included information about Accessibility Tools on iPads, as well as Microsoft and Google products. We also plugged CALL Scotland who are fabulous at providing advice on these kinds of products. We had an extremely positive response towards this, particularly from members of the ‘Supporting Learners’ Microsoft Team which we have supported the Accessibility and Inclusion Service to set up. The effort from the AIS Team is just one example of the impressive work we have seen practitioners take on in order to up-skill themselves to provide the best support possible for our young people.

Unsurprisingly, we have seen the number of Digital Leaders across the authority rise as more staff realise the value and exciting opportunities involved with Digital Learning. We have set up a new Team for Digital Leaders who will be offered many training opportunities to support their schools in their Digital journey. We had aimed to work with select schools to achieve a Digital School’s Award and embed a digital infrastructure. We imagine that many of our schools, if they continue to engage with these digital tools, will be more than deserving of a Digital Schools award. A large part of achieving this is teaching Cyber Resilience and Internet Safety as a standard part of the curriculum. The first remote training opportunity our Digital Leaders will take part in is ‘Safe and Empowered’ training delivered by Jess McBeth from SWGfL. This is an excellent course which we attended as part of our own original training which takes the negativity away from conversations around internet safety, instead empowering young people to make responsible decisions online. We have really enjoyed working remotely with external partners to provide them with ways to engage with schools and staff remotely.

We also try to keep up to date and network with members of other authorities. Social media has been an excellent way to do this. We have also enjoyed taking part in the weekly Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert catch up on a Friday morning. This allows us to chat to other Microsoft Edu enthusiasts and try to emulate good practice we see in other authorities.

We continue to meet virtually, together and with partners (sometimes with the addition of a three- year-old climbing on Meg’s head) to develop the Digital Skills of all stakeholders. This week we have written a paper on “Effective Remote and Digital Learning in Dundee City Council” which we hope will complement the recovery plan of our authority as we move to into a Blended Learning environment. This outlines our vision for moving forward; we plan to build on the fantastic skills our educators have acquired and to make Digital Learning standard practice in every classroom in Dundee.

Finally, we’d like to extend our thanks to all staff in Dundee City Council for showing such passion, enthusiasm and resilience in the face of such an horrific situation. Personally, we can take so many positives from the lockdown situation which completely justify the hours we have put in! Digital Learning has exploded in Dundee and although we advise on the practicalities of using such tools, it is the practitioners who teach us all about the innovative ways to use these tools to deliver High Quality Learning and Teaching opportunities. From Virtual Sports days to online STEM challenges we are constantly amazed by the quality of Remote learning in Dundee and the positivity of our educators.

For helpful links, information or just to check out what we are up to, follow @DigiLearnDundee on Twitter.

@DigiLearnDundee@missmbrough@davekeenan8

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Jayne Mays, Fintry Primary – Online Learning with STEM Challenges

Jayne Mays, Fintry Primary
Jayne Mays, Fintry Primary

When the prospect of a lockdown became apparent I, as an RCT teacher for the whole school, began to panic. My main concern was how will we be able to continue to develop the skills that they have spent the past 9 months working on with myself in Digital Technologies/STEM?

So when the lockdown resulted in both home and online learning, I had to think outside the box. I was aware that not all of our children would have access to a device to participate in online learning or even have the tools to complete the schemes of work we had planned on doing in the coming weeks.

 

For the home learning packs, I created STEM Challenge Grids – one for infants (P1-3) and one for upper (P4-7) classes, which you can see below. These grids encompassed previous learning since the beginning of the session, allowing the children to consolidate their learning. They were encouraged to share their progress with us via our school twitter account, or through an email (which we then shared, with permission, to our twitter feed).

 

 

I then had to start thinking of ways to continue the STEM learning as the lockdown progressed and the above grids would be getting completed.

This was when I decided to brave the camera and give the whole school STEM challenges twice a week (a Monday and a Thursday), each week would focus on a different letter of STEM for both challenges. This allowed the children to experience some old and some new learning in fun ways. The videos I make are done in one take, whether it works or not, and if it doesn’t work I will often keep persevering until I get it right so they see the process of evaluating and adapting, or if I would like them to figure it out without me giving them the answer, I will stop and challenge them to complete it better than I did!

These challenges are posted on our school twitter feed and the Microsoft Team channels for our P4-7 and ESA children.

Some of the challenges that we have had so far include:
★ Creating a ramp for an easter egg that smashes the egg at the end
★ Creating a paper ball using origami (which also doubled up as a water balloon)
★ Scavenger Hunts – maths and electronic focus
★ Designing a BeeBot and then creating a maze for it to go through, writing with 3 different levels of code ★ Chemical Reactions with Vinegar and Bicarbonate of Soda
★ Pushing pencils through a bag of water
★ Fitting through a piece of paper
★ Creating patterns
★ Growing a rainbow
★ Completing Barefoot online games
★ Completing Hour of Code games

Similar to the grids, I encourage the children to share how they got on and the feedback from the children has been great. They have been up for the challenges set, and some have even replicated the videos I’ve made (and done them so much better!). The children sometimes share videos or photographs of their challenges at different stages through email, uploading to Teams or the school twitter feed.

Through these STEM challenges, the learners and their families are exposed to different areas of STEM and are enjoying it. Which will definitely help us in the future as we drive STEM forward within our setting – so maybe rather than being apprehensive about how we would continue developing skills we had worked so hard on since August, I should have been jumping for joy as now they learners can share their STEM learning experiences first hand with their families and get them involved!

Jayne Mays

Twitter  @jaynemays__

To view the full sway including videos and grids, please click the link below.

(Glow account required)

Go to this Sway
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Craigie High School’s Digital Journey during Lockdown

 

Craigie High School’s Digital Journey During Covid-19 Lockdown

Before Covid-19, Craigie High School was looking to improve digital engagement for both pupils and staff. We werein the process of self-evaluating and looking to work through the Digital School’s award just as Covid-19 closed our schools. We had created a Digital Teacher Learning Community and set up the Twitter page @digilearnchs in order to showcase examples of high-quality digital learning and teaching in our school. If we can take any positives from lockdown, it is that Craigie Staff have gone above and beyond to improve their digital skills at home. We are looking forward to returning to school and continuing on our journey to become a Digital School. We are definitely much further forward than we were in March!

At Craigie High School staff have found many creative ways to engage pupils remotely.

Many departments have set up individual class teams on Microsoft Teams, allowing them to access resources and talk to staff directly. Many departments make use of the assignments tool to track pupil engagement and mark homework this way. We also have whole year teams, where pupils are given more generic resources and information. This has allowed for a more collaborative approach from staff and sharing of good practice. This can also be seen on our Whole School Staff Support Team.

Online Support Hub

Resources have also been added to our Craigie Online Learning Hub for pupils who may have trouble accessing Teams or may prefer a different format. This is a public facing website which has information for both parents and pupils on how to support learning for home. This directs pupils to information about lost passwords etc, and has links to lots of useful revision websites and fun learning tools. This also has information for pupils and parents about how to cope with learning from home and some information about the importance of Health and Wellbeing at such a time.

Twitter

Craigie also continues to use Twitter effectively. Our whole school Twitter page keeps parents updated with all important information, as well as retweeting information from partner agencies and individual school departments,. Each department has their own twitter account and has been sending out many encouraging and positive comments along with essential information for parents and pupils.

The Art department, for example, have set up a 30 day Drawing challenge and tweet examples of excellent work from very talented pupils.

 

In Home Economics, pupils have been given lots of resources to learn practical life skills at home. There have even been differentiated lesson plans sent out for pupils to work on catering for their different dietary requirements. They have also used their Twitter to share examples of pupils finished recipes.

The Science departments continue to share many different exciting videos and resources for pupils. The Biology Department have set milk and volcano home experiments for pupils and a spring photography challenge. They have been sharing excellent examples of home learning from pupils on twitter.

Pupils have been making use of One Note in Science. They have made a poster about an animal and its habitat/diet etc using a rubric attached to their assignment in Teams. Some have done this digitally and uploaded it, others on paper. They’re all uploaded to their pages of our class notebook.

They have also been completing class work through OneNote, including an experiment setting up a pitfall trap and counting and identifying the insects they trapped the next day.

 

 

School Videos

Our lovely Support for Learning Dept sent out a video message on twitter to allow pupils to see a friendly face. We are currently working on a Prizegiving congratulations message and a staff wellbeing video.

Music and Drama

Our Instrumental service has set up teams groups for all instrumental pupils, they have access to video lessons, sheet music, discussions etc. Mrs Mackay has have delivered instruments and music to around 25 kids. Some of our pupils are performing outside at 8pm on a Thursday night, over the rainbow on 28th April drew a lot of participation and engagement. Our seniors are currently working on a music video which will go out in a few days. Drama pupils are engaging with the National Theatre online resources which are brilliant. Pupils have also engaged with creating online performance videos which have been edited together by one our wonderful music instructor, Mr Nicoll.

 

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RMPS

Unfortunately, the RMPS dept did not get the chance to take part in the Youth Philanthropy Initiative before the school closure. However, a ‘Your Community Fund’ challenge has been launched by the Wood Foundation. Our RMPS dept are working with pupils to create presentations explaining the reasons for donating money to a local Dundee Charity. S3 (new) have been set the task the task of writing a letter to someone they find inspirational. For example, they are able to choose to write to a key worker or even someone in their family. The returns have ranged from writing to a nurse at Ninewells hospital thanking them for their hard work and also a beautiful letter to a Gran who is also a care worker who has to come home and look after Grandad who is ill. I’ve been encouraging these pupils to actually send their letters of appreciation on.

Also for June, pupils in the BGE are going to be set this RMPS Superstar challenge.

Office 365 Tools

We have also been making use of Microsoft Forms and Insights on Teams to monitor pupil engagement and check for understanding. We have also been using other Office 365 tools through glow such as Sway to try and encourage digital literacy in our pupils.

 

 

Some staff have been providing live online lessons through Teams, whilst others have been videoing themselves teaching and uploading these to onedrive for pupils to access.

Online Classrooms

Staff have also created Online Interactive Classrooms. These have been updated with links to work, and sites along with showcasing pupil work. They look amazing!

And so much more…

Our Duke of Edinburgh candidates are still being supported remotely too, with teachers sending links and advice to help pupils to continue their award through challenging times.

Staff have also been working on continuing their professional development, and the introduction of a Craigie High Quality Learning and Teaching webpage is helping staff to consider new ways of teaching on their return to the classroom. They have also been attending Dundee City Council Online Digital Support Webinars. Finally, our amazing Parental Support Officer has delivered over 130 learning packs to pupils. She is joined by PTG’s PSWLAC and PTSFL in making weekly calls to pupils and their families. Food parcels are also organised on a daily basis for our families through other foodbank agencies.

 Twitter : @craigie_high and @digilearnchs

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Rosebank Primary School – Engaging Parents and Learners

At Rosebank Primary we have strived to ensure our approach to remote learning for our pupils is delivered in as simplistic and stress free way as possible.  We are continually mindful of the challenges many of our parents and families face in supporting their children to learn at home.  These include many being new to English, they themselves having had limited educational input and huge poverty related gaps in their life experiences. 

Most classes P2-7 had set up Microsoft Teams with their teachers in the week leading up to lockdown, allowing them to speak to staff directly and ask questions about their learning. This is working especially well in subjects such as literacy and numeracy.  

P1 are setting weekly learning grids via Twitter and supporting Learning to Read via links to the online Ruth Miskin tutorials.  

One of our P4 teachers has created a virtual classroom on powerpoint which includes links to various websites etc . The children just click and it takes them straight to their work task. There are Bitmoji images of the two teachers who take the class with their pets there too!    

The P6 Digital class had a head start on Online Learning as alongside Teams they have also been using the app Seesaw. This has helped us to develop strong links between school and home. The pupils’ confident use of these technologies has aided a smooth transition to remote learning. We post daily tasks on Seesaw, which pupils complete and return to us for feedback. We can type up our replies or record our voices for them to listen to, which is slightly more personal. Once, the work is completed it is added to the pupil journal, where their parents can view and comment on it. We have also been able to use the messaging aspect of Seesaw to support parents and check in on families to offer support. We have used Teams as a place to make daily announcements and for pupils to ask questions or have discussion about their tasks. Today we hosted our first chat via Teams. We held a short general knowledge quiz then spoke to each child individually. We received lots of positive feedback from the pupils using a survey created in Forms. The video call will now happen weekly as part of Wellbeing Wednesdays, where we have our chat then we encourage pupils to spend the rest of the day screen free with no further tasks being posted until Thursday. 

The SLT team have supported this by being in touch with families individually via telephone, email and twitter in order to refer them to the class teacher where there has been difficulties or confusion.  

After initial feedback from parents we have reassured them that they should complete work when they can and have avoided the expectation and pressure of them clocking into events or giving pupils a rigid timetable. We have also reminded parents that they are not expected to be teachers and given play alternatives to many aspects of the learning. 

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Fintry Primary School – Engaging with Learners and Parents

 

 

At Fintry Primary School, we understand the challenges of teaching through an online platform and have explored a variety of options to ensure that our ‘classrooms’ are as welcoming and engaging as they would be in person for our pupils.

Within the infant department, we have focused on setting up online tasks using Education City and Sumdog which are supplemented by our learning grids that we have sent home.

For our middle and upper students, each class has their own Team through Microsoft Teams where assignments are set, feedback is given and there is an opportunity for a general chat as well. This is also supplemented by learning grids and the websites mentioned above. For our children who require further support in Literacy and Numeracy, we encourage them to access the online support resources that we use at school.

All our children can engage with their teachers via the school twitter feed – where we love seeing what they are getting up to!

Some teachers have faced their fears of being in front of the camera and shared videos of themselves setting challenges which have been STEM and HWB related, and even doing the challenges they set, to motivate and engage students further.

Through the tools available on the websites and Teams we can gather information about who is accessing these and for those who are not we can perhaps put some support in place.

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Our Lady’s RC Primary School – Engaging Parents and Learners

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Our Lady’s R.C. Primary School in Dundee, the prospect of delivering remote learning was a little frightening for some of us, but with a positive mindset and some sharing of skills and knowledge, our staff have risen to the challenge!

Most class teachers have opted to set up a Microsoft Team which allows them to have daily contact with their learners through chat and the uploading of files/tasks/activities for the day. Teams also allows the children to share what they have been working on with their teacher and the rest of their classmates, as well as receiving some feedback on their efforts from all participants.

Within teams, some teachers have set up instructional videos to help their learners navigate through the different sections of Teams, whilst others have contained their learners to using just the files and general sections. One of our teachers has even set up a ‘Playground’ channel where the children can chat and have fun with each other!

Other teachers have chosen to set up Twitter accounts specifically for their classes onto which they upload tasks and activities each day. This is a super platform for the children to share their learning and experiences. We can also retweet this to our whole school account, which allows our whole school family to share the learning and achievements.

Two teachers have opted to use a GLOW Group which the children are loving. They can share their tasks and fun things they have been doing throughout the day, as well as chatting with their classmates.

Regardless of the platform chosen, the big message is that the children are receiving some form of learning via their teacher and contact is being maintained. Children are being challenged daily with Literacy, Numeracy and H&WB tasks being uploaded, including links to a range of website and videos. There has also been a big emphasis on personal and research- based projects which the children are enjoying.

One very important message that Our Lady’s is trying to convey is that of family learning; exploring things together, completing tasks together, completing research together.

As well as our class platforms, we have enhanced our use of Twitter through our school account to connect with our families. Through this, we have been able to direct parents to resources/sources of support. This has tied in nicely with our efforts to create small resources ‘banks’ within our community, where we are providing jotters, pencils and other learning materials to support our learners during this time. Connecting via social media has allowed us to receive updates on demand and respond to this by replenishing when required.

In addition, we have updated and developed our school website to keep our current and future families informed and up to date on all aspects of our school and community. In particular, we have developed a support hub on the website, with Covid updates, support channels and materials / resources to support home learning. The learning resources / links area has been designed particularly for families looking for extra activities above the set learning. Our families have found it useful to find all this information in one place. We Tweet when we add updates / new information to the website.

It is our hope that digital learning methods and platforms will allow us to continue with maintaining contact and some form of learning with our families until we can all be together again.

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Microsoft Whiteboard

This is a blog post about how you can use Microsoft Whiteboard with Teams.  (https://whiteboard.microsoft.com/) This video shows some of you the choices that you currently have for using Microsoft Whiteboard. There are two options main options, firstly to share a Whiteboard from a Teams meeting and secondly to create a Whiteboard and then share … Continue reading Microsoft Whiteboard

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