Brainstorming with Realtimeboard Chrome App

Take brainstorming to a new level with Realtimeboard Chrome app. Document student or class learning using this web app. It integrates websites, images, sticky notes and comments on a board. There is simply no need to record student learning in an exercise book. This app encourages collaboration between student to teacher and between peer to peer as boards can be easily shared and managed. Great app to document notes from a staff meeting or to document a term’s inquiry learning.

Nice to Gnome You, YouTube

In the techno age we live in, finding out how to do “something” is as simple as going on YouTube. I often hear students saying “YouTube it” when they are in need of how-to information…  It seems the answers are a click away.

Of course, the content on YouTube can be quite disconcerting at times. This is especially true when a related video appears on the side menu that students should not really see. I have seen teachers fumbling for the interactive whiteboard remote to blank the screen.

Of course, we can sensor or ban access to YouTube at schools but aren’t we doing our children a disservice? The simple truth about the internet is, it is a giant playground for all to share. Adults and children of all ages.  Explicitly teaching students what to do when inappropriate content appears on their device is part of being a digital citizen. Utilising YouTube for its strength is about teaching students the type of keywords and phrases we should use when searching for content.

Press play and watch how students constructed knowledge and learnt new skills from simply watching YouTube videos. What are your thoughts on YouTube? Is YouTube a tool you use in the classroom?

Programming in the National Curriculum?

Teaching students to be literate and numerate isn’t the only language we should be teaching our students. Perhaps somewhere in the future the National Curriculum may include the language of programming.

Programming a simple sequence (see video below) requires a myriad of literacy, numeracy and online skills. Press play and watch a 45 second video I created using the free app Hopscotch.

Take a look at some of the steps I took as a learner to create this app. I did not read the instruction manual as I wanted my experience to be about discovery.

  1. Open Hopscotch and clicked on new project.
  2. Before choosing an object – I wondered if I could create my own. Swiped to the side and discovered I could create a text object.
  3. Clicked on a monster character object.
  4. Scrolled through the menu of controls – reminded me of another programming app.
  5. Selected ‘move distance’ and watched my character move 300 forward.
  6. Happy with my progress I return to the menu options and set the speed of my character.
  7. I return to the main menu to see what others before me have created. Interesting. I take a look at the coding they have used. I see a different start position, angled lines, multiple characters and the Sydney Opera House. I am thinking I will create something similar to this.
  8. Change my starting position by looking at the grid reference map. I would like to draw the letter T.
  9. Move my character forward 150 for the top of the T line. How do I get him to move back so that he can draw the vertical line in the letter T? It must be a negative number…
  10. Trial. It worked.
  11. Return to my code. My next question is, how do I get him to draw a line vertically heading towards the bottom of the iPad screen.
  12. Experiment with rotation function and hit a roadblock. The character is not rotating in the correct direction.
  13. Exit my project and look at the coding in the Sydney Opera House project.
  14. Return to my project and change rotation degrees to 90. Trial. It has not worked. It has gone the wrong way.
  15. Navigated to Google images to find a protractor.
  16. Changed the degree rotation to 270. Perfect… Now for the rest of the characters.