Learning is....
Planting a seed in our brain... learning to water, nurture and grow it.... so we can live on the fruit of our learning and plant more seeds.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

ULearn18: Breakout One - Press play with OMGTech!

After a break from ULearn last year, I am back. Welcome to the first blog post for the 2018 ULearn from me!

This workshop is led by Vivian Chandra, aka @vivster81 ("Tech strategist with a feminism angle" according to her Twitter Bio) from OMG Tech, who you can find out more about at https://omgtech.co.nz/

At the 2016 ULearn I went to another Breakout by OMG Tech, which you can read about here: ULearn16: Breakout Five - Hands on science workshop with NanoGirl and OMGTech!

I choose to come to this workshop because of the new Digital Technology Curriculum and needing some inspiration for how to do this with juniors and not a lot of technical/digital equipment.

The Abstract says:
Plato said “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation”. We wholeheartedly agree, which is why we're asking you to press play on an exciting afternoon of interactive hands on fun activities. We will show you the digital technologies curriculum for years 0-4, using colourful characters, easy to follow games and fun stories.

Forget stuffy computer science theory, teaching digital technologies can be as easy as making a vegemite sandwich, and as fun as creating pictures. We'll show you how so you can prepare your class for the future.

First take: teaching digital tech is not teaching kids how to type. And it doesn't necessarily mean being online. It is about fostering creativity.

The first activity involved six people negotiating a maze of arrow with a card each.  They each started sitting in a chair at one end of the room with cards with numbers on them.  When they stood, they followed the arrow in front of them to get to a cross.  At each cross they compared the number on their card with the person they met and then followed the appropriate arrow. At the other end was a chair for each person. When they sat down the numbers were in order, smallest to largest.

Making a sandwich is an example of doing tech offline.

The children give instructions to the teacher  - each instruction is a "code" and the teacher can not do anything unless the "code" is "programmed" by the students.  See this video below for an example:

Off to Mars! was the next activity. Also an offline activity, it involved a chessboard and three objects (in this case a miniture Eiffel Tower, a martian and Jabba the Hutt) and arrow cards to manouvre the objects around the chess board.

Hour of Code is an introduction to coding. It is an hour of coding time, not necessarily with devices, where children are exploring computer science. It does not necessarily involve reading. Scratch Junior is available on i-Pads and Android tablets and can be used on the most up-to-date touch screen Chromebooks

Hello Ruby - books by Linda Liukas and her website: https://www.helloruby.com/play

This is not about giving teachers 15 unit plans that they need to know off heart. It is about learning and exploring with our learners.

OMG Tech! will come to your school to do PLD with teachers and to work with children.  You can find out more about that via their website (link at the top of the page).  Viv also talked about the government paying for PLD for the Digital Technology Curriculum in 2018 and 2019 that schools can apply for.

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