As a child do you remember having a view-master?
This analogue augmented-reality device enabled two generations of kids to view in three dimensions scenes from around the world from the comfort of their own home.
Fast forward a few decades and we have a new, more awesome version.
//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsA few weeks ago I got an email from Suan Yeo, an education manager from Google, asking if my school wanted to be part of the of the Google Expeditions Pioneer Programme.
Despite a busy schedule, the only answer to being one of the first to try out a new bit of technology especially with a bunch of elementary kids is always yes.
Instead of a usual day at school, my class explored the Great Barrier reef, Antarctica and zoomed into space all while keeping their feet firmly planted on the ground in Singapore. Expeditions uses google cardboard with…
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““School work is no longer school work when it’s recognised outside school” – @iPadWells”
An important 21st Century skill
This post is about a topic and app close to my heart. Computer programming is the engine of modern life and dream maker for tens of thousands. More and more countries are introducing the subject as compulsory schooling at surprisingly young ages. The UK is introducing a national school programme in september this year whilst also funding yearofcode.org to increase momentum. Code.org is pushing an international message with big-name endorsement. Even small countries like Estonia have their 5-year-olds taking their first steps into logical problem solving. A site I’ve used for years is codecademy.com
Even I was surprised at how much my students have enjoyed their first experience of coding this year. In a number of ways, coding offers a ideal learning experience. Students receive immediate feedback from any attempt and can see the results of their endeavours…
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It’s about unleashing the creativity and potential of our learners. “Teachers – let them show you what they can create!”
There’s an app for that (and a generation)
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I think that just about every primary teacher can nod sagely and say, “been there, done that,” to the points Stephanie makes in her latest blog.
Being a public school teacher is the only job where you steal things from home to bring to work. Old furniture, newspapers, milk bottles, boxes, old machines. Teachers, in particular primary teachers, are masters in the art of transmogrifying other people’s junk into learning experiences. Partly because it’s fun but mostly because school funding never quite stretches that far.
Reading that schools are quietly dipping into operations grants to buy food for kids didn’t surprise me. Instead my first thought was; it isn’t just food and it isn’t just schools. Teachers often dip into their pockets over the course of the school year. Most people assume it’s paying for little extras like stickers and stamps but often we’re also chucking a few dollars at kids in our class who need a helping hand.
Based on a highly unscientific poll on twitter and my own experience here’s a sample of what New Zealand teachers dip into their own funds…
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Mark Webster reports on the new iMac and MacBook Pro 15-inch. Interestingly you can now get 18 months interest-free from the online store! Happy reading.
Much have I travel’d in the blogs of Gold,
And many goodly States and Kingdoms seen;
Round many blogspots and wordpresses have I been,
Which Bards in fealty to Gates and Jobs hold;
But of one wide expanse had I been told,
That Rachel rul’d as her demesne;
Yet could I never judge what men could mean,
Till I heard Rachel speak out loud and bold.
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies,
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like a stout Wozniak, when with eagle eyes
He star’d at the Apple, — and all his men
Looked at each other with a wild surmise,—
Silent, within a valley in Silicone.