Category Archives: Professional Learning

2019 Google Bootcamps

Are you a teacher in a Stirling Council school? Are you interested in becoming a Google Certified Educator? Are you already certified at Level 1 and looking to progress to Level 2?

This year we are hosting two Google Bootcamps to allow staff to become Google Certified Educators at both Level 1 and Level 2.

Dates and venues:

Thursday 21 March and Friday 22 March (Bannockburn High School)
Thursday 16 May and Friday 17 May (Dunblane High School)

Staff wishing to sign up must have permission from their Head Teacher to be out of school and must attend both days of the course.

Register here!

Pedagoo Stirling

On Friday we held our first ever Pedagoo Stirling event. We were kindly hosted by the lovely Allan’s Primary School.

The event started with refreshments and a “getting to know you” activity involving chucking a ball of wool around the room.

Getting to know each other with a game of Connect.

The main part of the event consisted of 4 different sessions, each involving a choice of learning conversation. These were really informal and generated some excellent discussion on themes such as growth mindset and Teach Like a Champion.  There were three workshops on a digital theme. Alan Hamilton led a discussion on how Stirling High School is creating a digital culture. John McMahon spoke about the impact of Video Enhanced Reflective Practice (VERP) on behaviour in his class. And finally Mary Jalland told us about how she had been using Twitter and Skype with her class.

Enjoying a great discussion about growth mindset.

 

We finished up with a “snowball” activity to share some of the new ideas we had discovered.

Somehow I don’t think you’ve heard the last of Pedagoo Stirling!

Thanks very much to Mrs Lochore and Mrs Pert for organising,  Allan’s Primary School for hosting us, and all the people who led and took part in learning conversations!

Coding resources for early years and primary

There has been a flurry of interest in coding and computational thinking at Early, First and Second level since the publication of the new Technologies Experiences and Outcomes. This post is an attempt to signpost some of the great resources that I have found out about recently.

The Stirling High School Learning Community is taking part in a pilot project with SSERC to develop coding mentors within each nursery and primary school, working closely with secondary computing colleagues. A lot of the resources I’m about to mention were demonstrated in the two CLPL sessions we have had with SSERC so far; the others I found out about yesterday at the Learning Through Technology conference!

Teachers’ Guide for Early Years and Primary

Firstly, if you’ve not already seen it: TeachCS.Scot. This website is the home of a fantastic teachers’ guide that links the Es and Os to the benchmarks and has lots and lots of suggestions and links to resources.

Coding Unplugged

Create-A-Face is a great activity where pupils use “if” statements to program a robot face.

The fantastic Jam Sandwich Bot activity involves using commands to program a person acting as a robot to make the perfect jam sandwich.

One of these teachers is actually a jam sandwich robot…

Marching Orders requires one partner to follow instructions precisely to recreate an image the other partner can see. For extra challenge try it with the Doodle Monsters!

If, like me, you are a big Pirates of the Caribbean fan, then you will appreciate the Treasure Maps activity. There is another version (with video) here.

Ozobots

Ozobots are little robots that follow a line drawn on paper and can be programmed using different combinations of colours.

An ozobot in action!

The ozobot in STEM page has resources for teachers, and Ozoblockly can be used to program the ozobots using block programming.

Programming on iPads

One of the workshops I attended at the Learning Through Technology conference was the excellent Mission to Mars, which introduced me to the Tynker iPad app. This can be used for block coding and also as an introduction to Swift. Another app to try is Swift Playgrounds.

I also got to have a go with a Sphero robot. These are more expensive than the ozobots, but they can be programmed using either Tynker or the Sphero Edu app. Plus, they contain sensors that can be used for investigations and experiments. AND you can get a BB8 Sphero robot. What’s not to love?

Finally, check out the iBook store for a number of resources for teachers, including Get Started With Code 1 and 2, and Learn to Code 1 and 2.

EduTech Scot 2017

Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend the EduTech Scotland conference in Glasgow. It was a fantastic event, with lots of inspiring talks and great ideas shared. Check out the #edutechscot hashtag on Twitter to see some of the chat.

I could write at great length about all the amazing presentations and interesting workshops I saw, but instead I’m just going to point out a few really cool resources that I learned about yesterday.

  • The first keynote was given by Amanda Regan of the European Space Agency. Did you know the ESA has an entire education website?  Bonus – she showed this lovely slide as part of her talk:

  • The second talk was by Prof Judy Robertson and was about the new Technologies Experiences and Outcomes. She pointed out a brilliant resource, a new teachers’ guide to Early, First and Second levels. It can be found at teachCS.scot. It really is a fantastic resource, co-authored by Kate Farrell, and contains lots of links and suggestions to activities and resources, mapped to the Es and Os and benchmarks.
  • Janice Feighery spoke about how Ireland’s digital strategy has been implemented, and pointed out Google’s Computer Science First resource. The activities are aimed at pupils between 9 and 14.
  • Lynne Biagioni gave a presentation about Scholar. This is a great revision and study resource for secondary pupils in a variety of subjects.
  • One of the workshops I attended was a demo of Wevideo by Erik Raestad and Nick Cox of XMA. This is a cross-platform video editing app.  There is a free version available, although of course it will be more limited, but worth checking out!
  • There was a wonderful presentation from Lee Dunn of the Digital Schools Awards, along with two of the headteachers from the original Digital Schools. Definitely worth registering your school, and there is a secondary version coming!

This is not an exhaustive list of all the great ideas I learned about, but it’s all the resources I noted down to link to! Do click on some of the links above and check them out.

I’ll leave you with this thought, also from Amanda Regan’s talk: