ICT in Practice Technology and Education Online Magazine Issue 8


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ICT in Practice is an online education and technology magazine. It contains articles about mobile learning, game based learning, digital literacy, computing, coding and much more. The magazine is non-profit and created by educators from around the world.

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ICT in Practice Technology and Education Online Magazine Issue 8

  1. 1. P3 / ICT GARAGE ACADEMY Online platform for Computing P5 / GIFS RE-BORN Making gifts and gifts in use P22 / CODING RESOURCES Apps, Programs and Websites for teaching coding and game design. P18 / COMPUTING and an NQT Surviving and Thriving with Computing as an NQT ISSUE 8 ICT in Practice www.ictinpractice.com Transforming education through sharing knowledge and practice Created by educators from around the world SUMMER EDITION JUL 2014 ISSN 2053-5104
  2. 2. Welcome to your space where we continue to share and learn in full gear! I would like to start with giving big thanks to the wonderful educators from across the Globe who have shared their experiences of using technology in education through their articles in this issue. YOU ARE AMAZING! I would also like to give a warm hug to Elliot Plumb as a new member of our Editorial board. I am sure his positive energy and endless creative ideas will create a dynamic buzz in our minds! We have some exciting news. First, we now have an ICT in Practice Forum for you to come and speak out your mind about any issues related to the use of technology in teaching and learning. Just visit http://forum.ictinpractice.com/ and start chatting! We have also decided to hold monthly Google hangouts to discuss some exciting ideas related to Technology Enchanced Learning. The first one will look at the ideas of using Minecraft in education. So watch our forum or follow us on Twitter to first find out about it. Any suggestions, just drop us an email. I have met many people on the Internet over the years, some I clicked with, some I didnʼt get on well with. There are also people that when I met them made me say wooow! Assoc. Prof. Dr Selcuk Ozdemir is one of them. I was so impressed with his work in Computer Science in Turkey, I felt the need to share it with everyone. This is how we connect with innovative minds from around the world. For me his work is invaluable. He is someone who has used extensive research to design tools to help young people to develop computational thinking. Most importnatly he did not do this to make a name or get fame, he did it for the young learners. He wanted to help them to develop skills that would be useful for life not only in specific subjects in school. I hope you will spend some time to read about his work. Thank you for supporting us, you are our driving power. Please spread the word and let more people join our learning journey! Yasemin Allsop Editor Twitter: @yallsop Contents ‘ICT Garage Academy ’ by Assoc.Prof.Dr. Selçuk Özdemir page 3-5 ‘Gifs re-born’ by Tim Brook page 6-8 ‘WEB 2 Tools in our Comenius Project ‘Citizen of Care-Land’ by Marijana Šundov page 9-11 ‘Using Desmos To Explore Taylor and Maclaurin Series in AP Calculus’ by Daisy Zhang-Negrerie, Ph.D page 12-15 ‘Children, mobile technology and eSafety’ by Jamie Mortimer page 16-17 ‘Surviving and Thriving with Computing as an NQT’ by Elliott Plumb page 18-19 Scratch and Sniff by Ian Stephenson page 20-22 ‘Is technology damaging our children's Language Skills?’ by Yasemin Allsop page 23-24 “A quick evaluation of apps and Web Sites for Programming” by Yasemin Allsop page 25-26 From the editor
  3. 3. ICT GARAGE ACADEMY BilisimGarajAkademisi.com The  “God  Par6cle”  needed  to  transform  a  Download  Community  to  an   Upload  Community:   Bilisim  Garaj  Akademisi  (IT  Garage  Academy)  is  an   online  portal  supplying  coding,  web  design,  3D   design  and  robo@c/electronic  design  curriculum  for   children  from  the  ages  7-­‐8,  9-­‐12  and  13-­‐16.  On  the   portal,  Turkish  youths,  star@ng  from  7  years  old,   learn: *  coding  using  Scratch  or  MS  Small  Basic, *  web  design  using  Notepad, *  3D  design  using  Sketchup *  robo@c  /  electronic  design  using  various  safe   electronic  materials, *  and  entrepreneurship  through  IT. Why? The  slogan  of  the  plaSorm  is  “From  a  Download   Society  to  an  Upload  Society.”  This  moXo  aims  to   aXract  Turkish  people’s  aXen@on  to  an  important   problem.  Turkey  is  one  of  the  top  countries  using   social  media  and  mobile  internet.    For  example,   Turkish  people  are  among  the  top  Facebook  users.   On  the  other  hand,  Turkish  people  produce  ICT   technology  much  less  than  they  consume.  To   illustrate,  applica@ons  produced  for  mobile  devices   such  as  smart  phones  and  tablet  PCs  have  the   market  volume  of  65  billion  US$  around  the  world.     Turkey’s  contribu@on  to  this  market  volume  is   smaller  than  0.5%!  Another  example  is  that  Turkey’s   annual  ICT  market  volume  is  36  billion  US$.  In  this   volume,  high  technology  produc@on  including   hardware,  sobware  or  embedded  technology  is   smaller  than  1%.  The  volume  of  the  ICT  market  in   Turkey  is  formed  by  mostly  communica@on   technologies  such  as  GSM  operators  and  internet   service  suppliers.   The  youth  is  devoid  of  the  skills  required  to  produce   with  IT,  because  the  educa@on  system  doesn’t   equip  the  new  genera@ons  with  the  skills  such  as   coding,  web  design  or  robo@c  design  especially  at   primary  and  secondary  levels.  Gaining  produc@ve  IT   skills  is  postponed  un@l  university  years.  In  the   country,  the  general  percep@on  is  that  computer   literacy  is  equal  to  computer  use.  However,   computer  use  is  a  much  broader  concept  covering   computer  literacy.  In  this  informa@on  age,  proper   use  of  IT  in  educa@on  helps  students  to  gain  21st   century  skills  such  as  cri@cal  thinking,  crea@ve   thinking,  scien@fic  thinking,  collabora@on  with   others  especially  in  a  problem  based  learning   environment.
  4. 4. What? To  change  this  percep6on  and  increase  the   awareness  of  the  concept  of  computa6onal   thinking,  Dr.  Selçuk  Özdemir  started  the   BilisimGarajAkademisi.com  portal  18  months  ago   in  Turkey.  Now,  more  than  40  training  centres   and  more  than  10  primary/secondary  private   schools  use  his  curriculum.   The  curriculum  used  in  BilisimGarajAkademisi.com   has  two  dimensions.  The  first  dimension  (called   Package  1)  aims  to  present  kids  with  their  first   threshold  experience.  With  the  modules  in  the   Package  1,  the  kids  realise  that  they  can  program   computers,  design  web  sites,  3d  models  and   robots/electronic  devices.    In  the  first  year  in   Package  1,  the  kids  learn  all  of  the  four  subjects   separately.  The  priority  in  the  first  year  is  to  show   the  kids  who  is  the  boss,  because  the  students   realise  that  they  can  tell  computers  what  to  do. In  the  second  year,  the  whole  curriculum  runs   around  an  entrepreneurship  problem.  In  Package   2,  the  students  develop  solu@ons  for  a  given  main   and  sub-­‐problems  using  coding,  web  design,  3d   design  and  robo@c  design  and  programming.  The   entrepreneurship  problem  helps  students  u@lize  all   technologies  to  produce  many  related  solu@ons  for   a  real  life  problem.  U@lising  this  holis@c  approach,   in  addi@on  to  advanced  IT  skills,  the  students  have   the  opportunity  to  gain  entrepreneurial   competences  defined  by  European  Union.  These   entrepreneurial  competences  are  classified  as   knowledge,  skills  and  aitude.  The  students  learn   about  “being  ini@a@ve  user”,  “self-­‐confidence”,   “thinking  on  what  new  things  can  be  developed”,   “being  op@mis@c”,  “leadership”,  “marke@ng”,   “collabora@on”,  “the  importance  of  being  cri@cal   and  crea@ve”,  “the  concept  of  supply  and   demand”,  “concept  of  cost-­‐benefit”  and  “the   importance  of  patents”.     Star@ng  from  this  October,  the  students  will  gain   more  than  50  entrepreneurial  competences  whilst   they  develop  a  solu@on  for  the  problem  of  energy.   The  students  will  be  informed  that  energy   resources  come  to  an  end  and  the  world  needs   new  and  clean  energy  resources  for  especially   transporta@on.  In  four  modules  of  the  Package  2,  a   student’s  task  is  to: *  design  a  3d  model  of  an  electric  car  which   consumes  solar  energy  (3D  design  module  of  the   curriculum), *  calculate  the  cost  of  the  produc@on  process  of   the  solar  energy  car  and  protec@ng  the   confiden@al  informa@on  (Coding  module  of  the   curriculum), *  produce  and  program  a  solar  energy  robo@c  car   using  real  electronic  circuit  components  (Robo@c   design  module  of  the  curriculum), *  promote  and  market  the  solar  energy  robo@c  car   (Web  design  module  of  the  curriculum).
  5. 5. How? Bilişim  Garaj  Akademisi  has  a  very  simple  and   running  methodology: Curiosity     Produc@on   Exhibi@on Curiosity  is  core  to  the  Bilişim  Garaj  Akademisi   curriculum.  Edgar  Morin  emphasizes  that  without   curiosity,  learning  doesn’t  take  place.  In  each   module,  the  students  are  presented  a  concrete   task  to  complete.  The  students  create  a  new   produc@on  in  each  hour  of  each  module.  Being   able  to  create  new  things  helps  children  to  develop   their  self-­‐esteem.  Finally,  children  love   demonstra@ng  to  others  what  they  can  perform  or   produce.  In  accordance  with  our  moXo  “from  a   download  society  to  an  upload  society”,  the   students  can  upload  their  own  works  to  the   “Project  Gallery”  module  of  the  portal  so  that   others  can  download  and  examine. Finally: Coding,  in  general  producing  with  IT,  is  the  “lingua   franca”  of  the  new  age.  In  the  future,  all   professions  will  need  to  do  something  which   cannot  be  done  by  computerised  machines.  The   new  genera@ons  have  to  be  equipped  with   produc@ve  IT  skills  before  their  university  years.   Thus,  they  will  be  aware  what  computers  can  do  or   cannot  do.  This  awareness  will  help  them  to  see   the  innova@on  opportuni@es  in  their  professional   field. Bilişim  Garaj  Akademisi  aims  to  be  an  interna@onal   portal.  The  en@re  curriculum  is  being  translated   into  English  and  the  English  content  will  be   published  via  an  English  domain  name.   Best  regards, Assoc.Prof.Dr.  Selçuk  Özdemir The  Founder  of  Bilişim  Garaj  Akademisi selcukozdemir@gmail.com @drselcukozdemir Bilisimgarajakademisi.com hXp://w3.gazi.edu.tr/~sozdemir/index_eng.htm
  6. 6. Way  back  in  the  mists  of  Web  2.0,  when  YouTube   was  a  glint  in  Google’s  eye  and  Wikipedia  was   Encarta’s  weedy  rival,  I  built  a  website.    I  had   neither  the  finances,  nor  the  @me,  to  buy  and  learn   to  use  Flash.  So,  to  give  my  site  a  bit  of  pizazz,  I   used  a  fair  old  sprinkling  of  downloaded  Gifs.    Not   too  many  because  they  can  be  preXy  distrac@ng   and,  besides,  in  those  ISDN  days  they  slowed  page   loading  to  a  speed  that  allowed  you  take  a  comfort   break... When  I  came  to  build  my   new,  improved  site  I  had   acquired  Paintshop  Pro   which  came  with  an  applet   called  Anima@on  Shop.     Anima@on  Shop  lets  you   create  or  edit  Gifs  frame  by  frame  or  by  adding   effects  and  transi@ons  to  images.  You  can   download  it  these  days  for  free,  and  it’s  s@ll  very   useful,  although  the  user  interface  betrays  its  age   and  it  possibly  won’t  run  on  Windows  8.    I’m  s@ll   very  fond  of  some  of  the  Gifs  I  created  with   Anima@on  Shop. I  thought  liXle  more  about  Gifs  for  some  years,   un@l  I  began  to  become  aware  of  a  re-­‐birth  through   Tumblr  sites  I  was  visi@ng;  but  it  was  only  when  I   chanced  upon  Zeega  that  I  became  really   interested  once  more  -­‐  enough  to  start  making  gifs   again.    Zeega  allows  you  to  acquire  gifs  through   giphy  and  mix  and  match  them  with  text,  and   Crea@ve  Commons  licensed  s@lls  and  music.     Zeega’s  main  man  Jesse  Shapins  (of  luxuriant   beard)  gives  an  excellent  starter  tutorial  here.    I   was  par@cularly  interested  by  the  simple  way   mul@ple  gifs  and  s@lls  can  be  made  transparent  and   layered  allowing  crea@ve  combina@ons.  Completed   zeegas  can  be  embedded  in  sites  and  blogs.   The  great  advantage  of  the  gif  is  that  it  is  an  image   format  not  a  video,  which  means  it  can  be  added   directly  to  a  web  page  or  included  in  a  presenta@on   without  the  need  for  video  uploading  to  a  host.   Making  gifs  has  certainly  come  on  a  bit.  Complex   and  sophis@cated  work  has  given  rise  to  the  idea  of   gif  as  an  art  form    My  daughter’s  phone  made  a  gif   from  a  series  of  pictures   she  took,  without  even   asking  her.  There  is   currently  a  brief  history   of  the  gif  on  Zeega  -­‐  all   told  with  gifs,  of  course. Googling   ‘making   gifs   online’   produced   a   swathe  of  sites,  all  offering  free  conversion  and   edi;ng   of   online   videos.   The   ones   I   tried   worked  pre?y  well,  but  when  I  got  interested   in  making  my   own   stuff   again,   I  wondered   if   there   was  a   free   download   for   desktop   use.   Need   I   have   wondered?   Several   arrived   complete  with  irrita;ng  toolbars  or  apps  which   caused   me   to   uninstall   them   immediately   –   and   the   junkware…   (Note   to   self:   do   not   download  free  apps  when  ;red). GIFS RE-BORN by Tim Brook Gifs  and  Me Making  Gifs
  7. 7. Finally   I   came   upon   Instagiffer   freeware,   with   a   pleasantly  func@onal  interface   and   all  the  video-­‐ to-­‐gif  func@onality  I  needed  -­‐  and  no  ads  or    -­‐  erm   –   troubling   -­‐   toolbars.   It   allows   the   clipping   of   online  video  or  will  convert  your  own  videos.  You   can   also   capture   gifs   from   any   moving   item   on   your  screen.  Clips  can  be  edited  from  your  chosen   start-­‐frame   to   end-­‐frame   or   individual   frames   removed  by  double-­‐clicking.    Size  and  quality  can   be  adjusted.     Images  can  be  cropped.    There  are   even   some   special  effects.     The   finished   gif   will   save  to  a  folder  of  your  choice.    The  only  thing  I’ve   found  missing  is  the  ability  to  iden@fy  the  number   of  plays,  but  Anima@on  Shop  can  do  this  with  your   finished  gif    if  you  wish  and  maybe  to  add  a  cross   frame   fade  as  well,   to   smooth   the  characteris@c   end-­‐of-­‐gif  ‘jerk’.   Aber  giffing   about  a  bit  with  my  own   and  online   videos,  I  wondered  about  screen  capturing   video   from   other   tools   that   will   animate   images,   like   Photo  Story  3,  for  example,    which  creates  a  ‘Ken   Burns’  video  from  s@lls.      And  then  I  tried  screen   capturing  from  Powerpoint.   If   you   have   never   tried   Powerpoint’s   object   anima@on   buXon   for   fear   of   having   your   presenta@ons   sneered   at,   now’s   your   chance   to   play.   The   custom   anima@on   sidebar   allows   a   surprisingly   large   amount   of   flexibility   including   drawing   paths   for   the   objects   to   travel   along,   delays  and  mul@ple  anima@ons  at  the  same  @me.   Do  choose  the  advanced  @meline  as  you  can  drag   the  anima@ons  to  the  length  you  require.  You  will   only   need   to   screen   capture   the   anima@on   Play   preview  window  (rather  than  the  full  screen)  as  it’s   plenty  big  enough  for  a  gif.   Finally  it  occurred  to  me  that  by  inser@ng  the  gif   you   had   just   made,   into   a   Powerpoint  page,  and  adding  a   mask   on  top   (a  picture  with   a   transparent   hole   in   it)   you   could   create   shapes   with   animated   insides.   You   can   do   this   too   with   the   Powerpoint   anima@ons  themselves.  To  make  a  mask,  remove   the   insides  of   a  simple  line  image.   This  easily  be   can  be  done  by  using   the  ‘magic  wand’  selec@on   tool   of   any   half-­‐decent   image   editor   (I   use   Paint.NET).    Save  it  as  a  png.  or  gif,  as  JPEGs  don’t   do  transparency.  Bring  it  to  the  front  of  your  stack   of   Powerpoint  objects  with  the  anima@on  paying   behind   the   ‘hole’.     Using   Instagiffer’s   screen   capture  tool  you  can  end  up  with  a  TV  with  moving   images  on  the  screen  or   a  boat  full  of   swimming   fish.    My  current  personal  favourite  is  a  lightbulb   with   a  firework   display  inside  i.e.  lots  of   brilliant   ideas!   Capture  with  Instagiffer  and  the  surrounding  blank   page  area  can  be  cropped.  I  use  white  pages  most   oben   but   you   could   colour   your   mask   the   same   colour   as   your   page.   If   you   want   a   completely   transparent  surround  for  your  gif  the  Online  Image   Editor  (no  signup)  has  a  transparency  wizard  that   will  do  this  for  you.
  8. 8. Two  more  gif  must-­‐haves If  you  have  never  seen,   or  previously  wriXen  off,   the  Pivot  Animator  freeware,  download  it  now  and   start  playing.    Peter  Bone,  the  deviser  of  Pivot  has   fairly  recently  produced  the  first  non-­‐beta  version   4,  which   will   animate  objects  (sprites)   as  well  as   s@ck  figures.    Pivot  anima@ons  will  now  save  as  gifs   or  video.  There’s  a  good  support  site  too. Microsob   Research   offers   a   free   download   of   Cliplet   which   allows   the   crea@on   of   those   anima@ons   with   s@ll   backgrounds   (known   as   cinemagraphs).    It  comes  with  free  tutorials.    Some   fairly  sophis@cated  anima@on  can  be  achieved.    In   the  classroom  this  could  involve  detailed  planning   and   edi@ng   while   using   very   short   ac@on   clips   which   might   take   only   a   couple   of   minutes   to   capture   saving   groups   wandering   around   with   cameras   for   hours.     The   file   sizes   are   rela@vely   small  as  only  part  of  the  screen  is  animated,  which   means  you  can  have  pages  full  on  your  class  blog…  Gifs in use                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         There  is  something  strangely   compelling  about  the  animated   gif.    Students  love  them.  There  are  some  truly   beau@ful  gifs  out  there  as  well  as  a  fair  collec@on   of  the  dull,  obscene,  sparkly  or  limp  -­‐  preXy  much   like  the  rest  of  the  web.  They  certainly  add  visual   interest  to  your  presenta@ons.  If,  like  me,  you  are   a  fan  of  Inanimate  Alice  you’ll  have  some  great   models  for  wri@ng  with  anima@on. I’m  geing  interested  in  the  language  of  gifs.    All   stories  need   some   form   of   punctua@on:   pauses,   full  stops  or  slow  fades  for  example.  The  animated   gif   sits  between  a  s@ll  image  and   video.  It   plays   without  the  need  for  ac@on  on  the  viewer’s  part.     Naturally  movement  is  key  but  in  a  story  perhaps   they  need  to  loop  without  over-­‐obvious  junc@ons   to  convey  a  sense  of   con@nuity.    Perhaps,  like  all   punctua@on,   it   best   signals   a   changeover.     My   Magic   Lantern   anima@ons   were   headings   which   hinted  at  the  page  contents.  A  blazing  fire  could  be   the   beginning   or   ending   of   a   piece  and   used   to   symbolize   leaving   or   arriving   home;   ripples   on   water:    dissipa@on  or  a  response  to  a  whim...   Gifs   can   allow   for   close   observa@onal   wri@ng.   Ac@on   clips   could   be   used   as   scenes   from   the   middle  of  a  story,  for  which  students  can  suggest,   or  write,  beginnings  and  endings. Simple,  moving   diagrams  can  be  made  by  you  or,   even   beXer,   students   collabora@ng   ,   to   demonstrate  processes  in  Science,  Technology  and   Geography  and  assembled  on  a  shared  Padlet  wall. Now,  if  all  this  has  wheXed  your   appe@te  but  the  techtalk  has  leb   you  cold,  you’ll  perhaps  be  glad   to   know   I’m   in   the   middle   of   planning,  wri@ng  and  recording  a   free  online  course,  DIY   GIF  ,  covering  all  this  and   more.  It  should  be  finished  by  the  end  of  August.     So   keep   your   eye   on   my   Digital   Glue   blog   for   regular  updates  on  the  progress  of  the  work.    You   could   be   making   some   lovely   autumnal   gifs   or   maybe   even   moving   scenery   for   your   Christmas   Produc@on.     And  have  some  very  engaged  learners… Tim  Brook hXp://www.digitalglue.org/
  9. 9. WEB 2.0 TOOLS IN OUR COMENIUS PROJECT 'CITIZEN OF CARE-LAND' by Marijana Šundov I work as a primary school teacher in Pujanke Elementary School for several years. I use modern teaching methods (Web 2.0 tools, E-learning, Moodle, E-twinning) with my pupils. Also, I have extensive experience with Erasmus+ international cooperation of European schools. I try to connect my pupils with pupils of other European countries, and empower them to use different web tools while they mutually communicate online and create various project activities together. 'You are only limited by your creativity' I  introduced  some  web  2.0  tools  in  educa@on  for   our  commenius  project  mee@ng  in  Estonia  (March   24-­‐29,  2014).  The  project  was  called  'Ci@zen  of   Care-­‐land',  2013-­‐2015.  Teachers  from  12   european  coutries  aXended  the  conference,   amongst  them  my  school,  Pujanke  Elementary   School.  I  decided  to  make  a  presenta@on  and   show  it  to  the  teachers  in  order  to  bring  them   closer  to  some  of  the  web  2.0  tools.    My   main  aim  was  that  teachers  returned  back   to  their  schools  and  disseminated  their   findings  about  web  2.0  to  their  pupils,  as   our  project's  aim  is  to  use  ICT  amongst   teachers  and  pupils.  We  have  our   Twinspace  (private  area  of  our  project)  on   the  E-­‐twinning  plaSorm,  where  we  share   all  project  ac@vi@es.  Teachers  and  pupils   have  their  separate  areas  to  communicate   with  each  other,  upload  and  share  photos,   videos  etc.    Our  project  is  focused  on  pupils   ac@vi@es;  pupils  make  presenta@ons  showing  a   certain  ac@vity  and  then  present  them  at  each   project  conference.    I  therefore  first  decided  to   show  them  how  they  could  improve  their   presenta@ons  by  using  Prezi  tools  for  crea@ng   presenta@ons  instead  of  the  more  tradi@onal   Power  Point.  
  10. 10. My   presenta@on   for  that  purpose   was  created   in   Prezi,   and   it   was   interes@ng   that   teachers   could   learn  how  to  navigate  with  Prezi  whilst  they  were   watching  at  the  presenta@on  at  the  same  @me.  All   of   the  teachers   were   in   front   of   the   computers,   listening   to   me   and   following   the   steps.   First,   I   explained   what   Prezi   is;   that   it   is   a   new   way   of   crea@ng,   collabora@ng,   edi@ng   and   sharing   user-­‐ generated   content   online.   Prezi   allows   you   to   design   your   own   dis@nc@ve,   eye-­‐catcing   presenta@ons.   I  also  showed  them  that  these  presenta@ons  can  be   flowing;  that  they   can  arrange  text  and   images  in   any  way  they  like,  they  can  also  choose  the  order   and  amount  in  which  each  element  will  be  zoomed   into.  I  then  explained   the  process  for   crea@ng  an   account  on  Prezi.com  (I  suggested  seing  up  a  free   account  for  the  first  @me).  Finally,  I  showed  them   how   to   create   a   presenta@on   aber   crea@ng   an   account  simply  by  clicking  on  'New  prezi'  and  using   basic  tools  on  a  blank   canvas  (A   place  where  you   create   your   presenta@on).   The   teachers   were   fascinated   with   the   fact   that   they   become   like   ar@sts   in   Prezi,   where   they   decide   about   the   appearance  of  their  presenta@on.    I  showed  them   'a  wheel'   that  gives  them  easy  access  to  all  of  the   main  tools  where  they  simply  clicked  and  dragged   what   they   wanted.   If   they   wanted   to   write   something,   they   could   just   double-­‐click   anywhere   to  begin  typing.  It  was  very  interes@ng  when  they   realised   that   they   could   insert   files   (pdf,   power   point,   video,   photos..)   into   their   Prezi.   I   also   introduced   them   to  very   important  tools  in   Prezi,   to   paths  that   allow   them   to   create   the   order   of   their  presenta@on  aber  they  have  put  all  the  text,   videos,  photos  etc.  Using  paths,  they  began  clicking   on  the  element  they  wanted  to  zoom  into  first  and   they  con@nue  clicking   on  each  object  in  the  order   that   they   wanted   them   to   appear   in   their   presenta@on.   I   highlighted   that   they   can   always   edit  everything.  Finally,  I   showed  them  that  they   can   edit,   delete   or   download   Prezi,   and   what   is   more  important,  share  Prezi  using  'embed  code'  or   copying   the   link.   We   shared   our   Prezis   on   the   educa@onal  plaSrom  E-­‐twinning,  on  Twinspace.  In   May,  during  our  Project  conference  in  Spain,  pupils   had  the  task   to  create  presen@ons  about  'Women   rights  in  Europe',  and   the   great   surprise:   -­‐   many   presenta@ons  were  created  in  Prezi.  It  was  great!
  11. 11. The  second  tool  that  I  wanted  to  introduce  to  them   was  Voki,  a  speaking   avatar  that  is  a  great  tool  for   classroom   ac@vi@es   and   makes   learning   fun.   I   wanted   teachers   to   incourage   their   pupils   to   communicate  with   pupils   from   different   countries   using   Voki.   Voki   can   easily   be   embedded   on   our   Twinspace,   so   we   decided   to   create   virtual   presenta@ons  with  Voki  tools.  Voki  is  a  very  simple   tool,  on  www.voki.com  you  create  your   username   and   login.   When   you   enter,   you   decide  upon   the   appearance  of  your  Voki  character  (you  can  choose   a  character  that  is  similar  to  you  or  not),  and  when   you  click  'Customize  your  character'  you  can  change   the  colour  of  its  eyes,  clothes,  even  the  colour  of  the   skin  etc.  The  most  important  is  to  give  your  Voki  a   voice,  and  you  can  select  from  a  few  op@ons  how  to   do   it   (recording   with   a  microphone,   uploading   an   audio   file  or  the   easiest  op@on   –   you   just   type  in   your  text).   Aber  you  have  typed  the  text,  you   can   even  choose  the  language  and  the  voice  and  accent   of  your  avatar.  Sharing  Prezi  is  also  great  (you  can   email  your  Voki,  copy  the  link  or  embed  the  code).   Our  pupils  use  Voki  to  communicate  with  each  other   about  ceartain  topics,  they  like  it  very  much  as  they   find  Voki  interes@ng  and  funny.   Our  teachers  have   made  their   own  Vokis  too  and  shared   them   on   E-­‐ twinning  to  present  themselves  to  other  teachers. My   final   tool   was   Glogster   –   online   interac@ve   posters  that   allows   you   to   combine  text,   pictures,   graphics,  video  and  audio  into  an  interac@ve  poster.   I   wanted   to   introduce   this  tool   to   teachers  in  the   project,  because  in  our  project  we  have  pupils  visits   other  countries,  not  just  the  teachers.   Pupils  from   one  country   host  pupils  from   another   country   in   their   home.   I  found   this   tool  great  for   introducing  each  other,  making  a  poster  of  him/her,   and   he/she   can   write,   draw,   add   videos   and   everything   else  that  chracterises  him  or  her.  In  this   way,  our  pupils  learned  about  each  other,  and  made   closer  connec@ons  before  their  visit.  They  enhanced   many   skills   using   this   tools-­‐crea@vity,   effec@ve   communica@on,  student  collabora@on,  literacy  skills   etc.  It  can   be  done   in   a  short  @me,   so   our   pupils   used  this  tool  .You  simply  register  at  Glogster  edu,   write  some  info  about  yourself  and  start  playing  by   clicking   and   dragging   text,   image,   graphics,   video,   sound  etc,  and  share  your  Glogster  on  website  or   somewhere  else.  Our  pupils  shared  their  Glogsters   on   the   Pupils'   area   on   Twinspace,   and   through   email. I   encourage   my   colleagues  all  the   @me   within   my   school,  within  the  project  and  my  pupils  to  use  ICT   as  it  is  fun,  crea@ve,  and  pupils  learn  faster  through   games   without   realising   that   they   are   actually   learning  at  the  same  @me.
  12. 12. I   am   a   fan   of   Desmos,   a   web-­‐based   graphing   calculator   completely   free   and   accessible   at   www.desmos.com.  There  is  no  download  needed,   and  it  is  extremely  easy  to  use  –  the  func@ons  are   well  organized,  and  all  are  available  at  the  click  of   a  mouse.  Most  of  my  students  learned  how  to  use   the   calculator   within   15   minutes,   by   using   the   site’s  tutorial.   Even  though  Desmos  does  not  contain  as  broad  a   variety   of   func@ons   as   a   tradi@onal   graphing   calculator   (e.g.   TI-­‐84)   does,   I   do   appreciate   its   dynamic  feature  of  a  built-­‐in  slider,  as  well  as  the   colored  graphing  lines,  the  much  faster  speed  of   carrying  out  calcula@ons,  and  the  ability  to  project   the  image  on  the  whiteboard   in  a  classroom.  All   these   features   make   Desmos   superior   to   the   handheld  TI  graphing  calculator.   “Infinite  sequences  and  series”  is  one  of   the  last   topics   covered   in   the   AP   Calculus   (BC)   course.   Personally,   I   find   it   is   an   exci@ng   topic,   the   content  of  which  touches  on  all  the  fundamental   concepts  of  calculus,  i.e.  evalua@ng   limits  (in  the   ra@o  test),  finding  deriva@ves  (in  construc@ng  the   Taylor  series),  and  applying  all  the  techniques  of   integra@on   (the   integral   test   to   determine   the   convergence  of   a   series),   and   taught   during   an   exci@ng   @me  –   one  month  before  the  AP  Exam.   Therefore,   it  serves  as  a  natural  bridge  between   wrapping  up  the  learning  por@on  and  moving  into   the  review  por@on  for  the  big  Exam.   Unfortunately,  students  oben  find  the  content  of   this  chapter  unforgivingly  abstract,  and  the  @ming   of  it  effec@vely  shakes  their  confidence.  For  years,   I  have  been   trying   to  find  a  way   to  improve  my   teaching   methods,   including   leaving   more   @me   for   it  and   giving   more   exercise   for   prac@ce,  but   the   results   were   no   more   than   marginally   posi@ve.     The  discovery  of  Desmos  revolu@onized  the  way  I   teach   this   chapter,   and   as   a   result,   students’   learning  experience,  as  well  as  the  learning  result,   was  improved  by  leaps  and  bounds.  In  this  ar@cle,   I  share  some  examples  of  using   Desmos  to  teach   the  Taylor  and  MacLaurin  (a  special  case  of  Taylor   series  with  a=0)  series.   In   the   first   example,   students   were   asked   to   construct  the  Maclaurin  series  of  ,  wri@ng  out  one   term  at  a  @me  first  and  then  express  the  series  of   y=  sin  (X),  with  the  sigma  nota@on.  Students  were   asked   to   type   out   the   1st,   3rd,   5th,   and   10th-­‐ degree  Taylor  polynomial  as  a  func@on  in  Desmos,   and  have  each  func@on  ploXed  out  (Figure  1).   As   Figure  1   shows,  each   func@on   is  color-­‐coded   corresponding  to  its  graph.  Students  were  guided   to  discover  that: 1.  The  one-­‐term  Maclaurin  polynomial,  y=x,  gives   a  very  poor  representa@on  of  the  sine  curve,  with   no  matching  at  all  except  for  the  point  at  x  =  0  .   2.  As  the  number  of   terms  increases,  the  area  of   superposi@on   between   the   curve   of   the   polynomial   and   that   of   the   sine   expands   symmetrically  on  both  sides  of  x  =  0  .   3.   As  the   number   of   terms   approaches   infinity,   the   polynomial  curve  is  foreseen   to   match   with   the   sine   curve   in   the   en@re   region,   extending   f r o m     -­‐  to     4.   Based   on   observa@on   3,   the   interval   of   convergence,  which  is,  in  other  words,  the  group   of   x  values  that  yield   the  same   y   values  by  the   infinite  series  as  the  original  func@on  y=  sin(x),  is   surely   Using  Desmos  To  Explore  Taylor  and  Maclaurin  Series  in  AP  Calculus by  Daisy  Zhang-­‐Negrerie,  Ph.D Concordia  International  School,  Shanghai
  13. 13. The  second  step  in  this  exercise  is  to  take     Similar   tasks  were   to   carry   out,   such   as   wri@ng   out   each   term   in   the   Taylor   polynomial,   expressing   the   polynomial   in   sigma   nota@on;   construc@ng   the   2nd   and   4th-­‐degree   Taylor   polynomial   and   ploing   out   the   expressions   in   Desmos  (Figure  2).  In  addi@on,  a  slider  func@on  was   incorporated   in  this  exercise,  where  the  number  of   terms   was   set   as   a   variable,   ,   and   was   scanned   through   from   1   to   15.   Students   were   guided   to   observe  that, 1.  Each  mathema@cal  expression  of   the  polynomials   in  the  new  series  is  visibly  different  from  that  in  the   Maclaurin   series.   The  ones  in   the  Taylor  series  are   even  func@ons,   while  those  in  the  Maclaurin  series   are  odd  func@ons.     2.  The  area  of  superposi@on  expands  as  the  number   of  terms  increases,  same  as  in  the  Maclaurin  series,   except   that   in   this   case   the   area   expands   symmetrically  around   .   3.  The  interval   of   convergence  is,   again,  the   en@re   domain   Students  are  further  guided  to  conclude  that: 1.   The   Taylor   series   with   different   a   value   are   seemingly  different,  but  each  represents  the  original   func@on  and  therefore  they  are  equal  to  each  other. 2.  The  a  value  corresponds  to  the    value  where  the   matching   area   expands.   The   graph   helps   one   visualize   what   it   means  by   “expanding   about   x=a  ”   in   Taylor  series  containing  the     . 3 .   T h e   i n t e r v a l   o f   convergence  (as  well  as  the   radius   of   convergence)   remains   the   same   and   is   independent  of  the  a  value   for  the  sine  func@on. Figure  1.  Graphs  of  and  its  Maclaurin  series  containing  1,  2,  3  or  10  terms. Figure  2.  Graphs  of  and  its  Taylor  series  (),  containing  2,  3,  or  10  terms.
  14. 14. The  second  example  was  a  logarithmic  func@on,y=In(x+1).    Students  were  asked  to  repeat  what  they  did  in  the   previous  example.   Through  this  exercise,  students  were  guided  to  observe: 1. As  the  number  of  terms  increases,  the  area  of  matching  increases. 2. As  the  number  of  terms  becomes  sufficiently  big,  the  interval  of  the  matching  area  is  restricted  to  between   ,  which  agrees  with  the  interval  of  convergence  predicted  by  the  ra@o  test.   3. The  Maclaurin  series  cannot  be  used  to  express  they  y=In(x+1)    func@on  outside  of  the  interval.   Figure  3.  Graphs  of  and  its  Maclaurin  series  containing  1,  2,  3,  4,  or  23  terms. Figure  4.  Graphs  of  y=In(x+1)  and  its  Taylor  series  (a=1),  containing  1,  2,  3,  4,  or  30  terms.
  15. 15. The  second  exercise  in  this  example  was  to  construct  the  Taylor  series  a=1  .  The  graphs  are  shown  in  Figure  4.   Results  help  students  conclude  that  the  interval  of  convergence  is  (-­‐1,  3),  twice  as  big  as  that  in  the  Maclaurin   series.  This  observa@on  is  in  sharp  contrast  to  the  sine  func@on. The  third  exercise  was  to  explore  the  rela@onship  between  the  interval  of  convergence,  by  seing  the  value  as  a   variable  and  using  the  slider  feature.  This  exercise  helps  students  to  visualize  the  rela@onship  through  seeing  the   playing  out  of  how  the  intervals  expand  as  the    value  increases.     Students   were   assigned   addi@onal   problems   containing   more   complicated   func@ons   to   be   ploXed   out   in   Desmos,  and  where  then  tasked  to  write  up  their  observa@ons.  Students’  feedback  of  these  exercises  indicated   that  they  were  finally  able  to  visualize  the  radius  and  interval  of  convergence,  what  the  value  of    “means  and   does”  in  the  series,  and  the  fact  that  each  func@on  can  be  represented  by  an  infinite  number  of   Taylor  series,   but   not   all   Taylor   polynomials   represent   every   point   equally   well.   Their   feedback   signifies   their   deep   understanding  that  any  teacher  can  be  proud   of.  Another   bonus  of   this  exercise  is  that  students  aberwards   became  experts  in  deriving  the  terms  in  the  Taylor  polynomial  as  well  as  wri@ng  the  sigma  nota@on,  thanks  to   the  interac@ve  nature  of  the  Desmos  graphing  calculator.  Any  wrong  terms  will  be  immediately  recognized,  with   “debugging”  involving  coming  up  with  the  correct  term  or  sigma  nota@on  un@l  the  curves  match. I  hope  this  ar@cle  encourages  AP  Calculus  teachers  to  try  out  Desmos  in  classroom  and  develop  new  projects   around  the  capacity  of  this  sobware.  If  you  would  like  to  discuss  this  topic,  or  exchange  @ps,  please  feel  free  to   contact  me  at: daisy.zhang-­‐negrerie@concordiashanghai.org. Figure  5.  Graph  of  the  Taylor  polynomial  of    y=IN(x+1)  with  a=7    in  a  dynamic   exploration  of  the  relationship  between  the  interval  of  convergence  and  the  value  of  a.
  16. 16. CHILDREN, MOBILE TECHNOLOGY AND E-SAFETY by Jamie Mortimer Children  and  young   people  love  our   phones.   I   don’t   mean   landlines,   a   prac@cally   obsolete   piece   of   technology  that  we  all  rent  for  a  monthly  fee  just  so   we   can   then   pay   another   monthly   fee   to   get   an   internet   connec@on.   I’m   talking   about   our   mobile   phones,  and  more  specifically  our  smart  phones.  It’s   not   a   surprise.   From   the   moment   our   children   are   born  they  see  us  holding  them,  looking  at  them  and   talking  to  these  liXle  shiny  boxes.  The  same  applies  to   tablets.  When  we  grew  up  we  used  to  see  our  parents   reading  the  paper,  reading  a  book,  using  a  telephone,   wri@ng   leXers  and   having  a  cup  of   tea  with   friends.   Now  we  do  all  of  these  things  on  our  phone  or  tablet. My  son  is  nearly  7  years  old.  One  of  the  first  phrases   he   uXered   when   he   was   liXle   was,   ‘oo   tube’.   He   knows   that   Facebook   is   a   website.   He   knows   that   people  post  messages  on  twiXer.  He  knows  that  you   need   a   wi-­‐fi   connec@on   to   get   on   the   internet.   He   knows  what  the  internet  is.  He  knows  that  an  iPhone,   an   iPod   and  an   iPad   all   use   an   iTunes   account.   He   knows   what   an  account  is   and   why   you   would  give   your  personal  informa@on  to  create  an  account. So  when  he  was  6  he  was  given  an  iPodtouch  and  I’ve   stuck  to  a  few  very  simple  rules  when  it  comes  to  him   using  it.  Let’s  start  with  the  device.  Its  setup  using  my   iTunes  account,  which  means  I  get  the  email  invoices   for   all   purchases   once   a   week.   So   what   did   I   lock   down?  I  kept  it  straight  forward.  No  Safari;  that’s  the   internet  browser,  so  he  can’t  get  on  to  websites  with   his  device. Jamie  Mor@mer  is  a  husband  and  father  of  two   boys   and   has   a   real   passion   for   technology,   learning   and   the   outdoors.   Once   a   week   he   volunteers   with   his   local   Scout   Group   as   a   Beaver  Leader  and  loves  introducing  children  to   technology  in  new  and  exci@ng  ways. He   graduated   from   Newcastle   University   in   1998   with   a   degree   in   Mapping   Science   and   since   then   has  held   a  number   of   roles  in  the   sobware  and   technology   industry.   In   2009  he   took   up   post   as   Computers   and   Technology   curriculum   manager   for   Community   Learning   and   Skills   Development,   Adult   Learning   in   Suffolk,  where  he  completed  his  PGCE   and  has   led   the   curriculum   to   a   recent   good   Ofsted   Inspec@on. He  was  part  of  a  collec@ve  that  established  the   Suffolk  E-­‐Safety  Strategy   and  currently  sits  on   the  Advisory  Panel  for  the  Jisc  Regional  Support   Centre  in   the  Eastern   region,  who  support   FE   and  Skills  in  the  use  of   technology   in  teaching   and  learning. uk.linkedin.com/in/geekylearner @geekylearner jamie.mor;mer@realisefutures.org
  17. 17. A  password  is  required  to  purchase  apps;  this  includes   free  apps  as  you  s@ll  have  to  technically  ‘purchase’  the   app.   No   Face@me   or   iMessage   app;   that   means   no   video  chaing  or  text  messaging  to  anyone,  and  that’s   it.  He  can  then  do  preXy  much  anything  else;  I   don’t   need  to  block  content  based  on  age  ra@ngs  or  content   as  he  can’t  get  access  to  it  anyway.  You’d  be  surprised   how   easy   it   is.   You   just   go   in   to   the   seings   and   restric@ons  and  you  literally  toggle  the  apps  on/off. We  have  just  two  rules.  Firstly,   I  look   aber  it  and  he   has  to   ask  when  he  would   like  to  use  it.  The  second   and  most  important  rule  is  that  he  only  gets  to  use  it   downstairs.   I’ll  explain.   I  need   to   monitor   what   he’s   doing  on  it  and  his  behaviour  or  how  he  responds  as   he  plays  games  or   reads  books.   It’s  my   job   to   make   sure  I  promote  acceptable  behaviour  and  make  sure  he   isn’t   accessing   inappropriate   content.   When   he   gets   older  and  I  do  grant  him  access  to  the  internet  I  want   us  to  have  formed  a  rela@onship  of  open  trust  when  it   comes  to  discussing  what  he  has  read  and  viewed  on   the   internet.  Once  he   has  access  to   the  internet  it’s   going  to  be  crucial  that  he  isn’t  using  his  device  on  his   own  in  his  bedroom.  If  he’s  been  allowed  to  use  it  like   that   before,   he   isn’t   going   to   want   to   change   his   behaviour  because  ‘he’s  always  been  allowed  to  do  it   that  way  and  it  isn’t  fair’  and  he’d  kind  of  have  a  point. Here’s  the  warning   shot  across  the  bows  though.  We   all  know  technology  changes  at  an  ever  increasing  pace   and  that’s  where  I  was  caught  out   very  recently.   His   favourite  game  at  the  moment  is  Sonic  Racing  and  it   pops  up  that  there  is  an  update,  so  he  updates  it.  He   even   tells  me  he’s  got   an  update   and   he’s   going   to   download  it.  Brilliant!  Thanks  for  telling  me;  I’m  really   pleased   you   told   me.   Well   the   next   day   I   can   hear   machine  gun   fire.   Mobile   gaming   is  shibing   towards   more  free  apps  with  ‘in-­‐app’  purchases  to  enhance  the   game  play.   This  means  games  allow  you   to  purchase   tokens  to  buy  extra  content  and  features,  and  to  draw   you  in   (and  generate  adver@sing   revenues)   they  give   you   free  tokens  for   watching   adverts.   These  adverts   typically   promote  other   apps  you  might  want  to   buy   and  download  and  there  is  always  one  for  a  game  that   requires   you   to   blow   the   head   off   something   or   a   zombie  dripping   in  blood.   It  may  only   be  20  seconds   but  its  20  seconds  you  don’t  want  your  7  year  old  to  be   viewing,   at   least   not   for  a  few   more   years.   He   now   knows  he  must  not  view  the  adverts  and  thankfully  we   are  well  on   our  way   to  developing   a  healthy  respect   towards  technology  together. Community   Learning   and   Skills  Development  delivers   courses  across  Suffolk  to  complete  beginners    to  gain   confidence  in  using  technology  and  the  internet  safely   and  also  to  support  parents  or  carers  with  promo@ng   safe  use  of   technology  to  children  and  young   people.   To   register   your   interest   or   enrol   on   a   course   in   a   centre  near  you  contact  us  on  0300  456  2050  or  at  our   website:  www.clsd.org.uk. Happy  and  responsible  gaming! Jamie  Mor4mer uk.linkedin.com/in/geekylearner @geekylearner jamie.mor;mer@realisefutures.org
  18. 18. Surviving and Thriving with Computing as an NQT by  Elliott  Plumb 3 ways you can engage primary pupils in ‘Computing’ during your first year of teaching Whether  you  are  about  to  enter  teaching  or  you   have  just  finished  your  first  year,  there  are  always   subjects   that   you   feel   you   haven’t   sunk   your   teeth  into  as  much  as  you  may  have  wanted  (P.E.   for  me!).  There  may  have  been  @metable  clashes;   a   lack   of   resources   or   it   may   be   a   lack   of   confidence  in  the  subject   (Again,   P.E.   for   me!).   Compu@ng  can  some@mes  be  that  subject.  2014   will   see   huge   changes   for   the   Compu@ng   curriculum.  ICT  has  evolved  into  ‘Compu@ng’  and   with  the  name  change  comes  a  huge  shib  in  the   content   we   are   required   to   teach.   Out   go   the   PowerPoint   presenta@ons  and  spreadsheets  and   we  welcome  coding   and  algorithms.  This  ar@cle   aims   to   provide   three   ways   in   which   you   can   make  the  new  Compu@ng   curriculum  easier   and   more  engaging  for  the  children  in  your  class. Resource Awareness: A   fantas@c  aspect  of   teaching   is  the  community   you  are  immersed  in.  As  an  NQT   most  teachers   are   willing   to   help   and   assist   you   with   your   prac@ce.   The   same   goes   for   the   borough   you   work  in  and  any  educa@on  centres  that  you  may   be  fortunate  enough  to  have  in  close  proximity. Before   you   begin   swea@ng   over   all   of   the  new   technical   vocabulary,   go   along   and   see   your   Compu@ng   co-­‐ordinator.   If   there   is   not   a   co-­‐ ordinator,   ask   your   phase  leader.   Some  schools   have  a  Compu@ng  suite  and  some  have  trolleys  of   iPads   and   laptops.   Importantly,   every   school   should  have  a  range  of  technology  that  you  could   incorporate   into   your   lessons.   Flip   Cams,   Raspberry   Pi’s   and   a   whole   host   of   useful   programs   could   all   be   available  in   your   school.   Don’t  forget  to  ask  staff  for  successful  Compu@ng   lessons   they   may   have   completed   in   the   past.   They  may  even  offer  you  the  planning  they  used.   You  don’t  ask,  you  don’t  get! Looking  beyond  your  school  is  also  a  great  way  of   finding  useful  Compu@ng  resources.  There  are  so   many   different   (free)   resources   available   to   schools  from  your  local  borough.  Some  boroughs   have   centres   with   computer   suites  that   can   be   used   by   local   schools   for   free.   This   could   be   a   brilliant   opportunity   if   your   school   lacks   the   resources   you   might   be   looking   for.   Do   your   research  and  search  wide  for  what  free  resources   are  available  to  you. Lastly,   Educa@on  Officers   and   Advisors   that   are   spread  across  your  borough  can  be  a  great  help.   These  people  come  in  many  forms;  some  work  at   local   museums,   some   are   class   teachers   and   some  work  at  your  local  Civic  Centre.  Developing   strong   links   with   the   local   council   can   provide   amazing   opportuni@es.   They   oben  have  a  great   vision  and  access  to  resources  that  you  might  not   have  thought  existed!  
  19. 19. Cross Curricular Planning Another  way  in  which  you  can  flex  your  Compu@ng   muscles  is  to  assure  that  you  consider  Compu@ng  in   all  aspects  of   your   planning.  Whatever   the  subject   may   be,   ask   yourself   –   Could   I   incorporate   any   computer   skills   here?   From   Literacy   through   to   Geography,  you  could  take  your  topic  of  choice  and   make  links  with  the  new  Compu@ng  curriculum.  Not   only  will  the  children  enjoy  it  but  it  could  also  give   them   a   chance   to   consolidate   learning.   Children   could  make  a  game  using  ‘Scratch’,  they  could  build   Lego   robots   or   you   could   use   iPads   to   make   anima@ons  or  films.  The  possibili@es  are  endless.   Pupil Involvement: Finally,   you   must   not   underes@mate   the   prior   knowledge  that  the  children  of   today  have  when  it   comes   to   technology   and   computers.   Pupils   have   been  an  invaluable  resource  for  previous  projects  as   u@lising  their  knowledge  has  benefiXed  everybody. Ways   in   which   you   can   involve   children   in   the   teaching  of  the  subject  can  range  according  to  how   comfortable  and  confident  you  feel  about  your  class   and  their  knowledge  and  behaviour.  Discussions  as  a   class   about   their   knowledge   before   you   begin   planning   can   be   an   extremely   informa@ve   guide.   Genera@ng  a  discussion  can  draw  out  how  much  the   children   know   already.   This   allows   you   to   differen@ate   into   ability   groups   and   also   differen@ate  the  ques@oning  in  your  planning. Pupil-­‐led   compu@ng   sessions   whereby   par@cular   children  take  the  lead  in  groups  and  troubleshoot   issues  that  may  arise  is  worthwhile  not  only  for  the   pupils,   but   for   the   teacher   too.   Being   brave   and   leing   the   children   guide   the   learning   and   the   discussions   can   be   hugely   beneficial   and   more   enjoyable  for  everybody.   2014   will   see   almighty   changes   across   the   Compu@ng  curriculum.  Many  schools  are  ready  for   this  change  and   can   offer   fantas@c   opportuni@es   and   resources.   If   you   are  applying   for   a  post   or   interested  in  taking  on  Compu@ng  in  your  current   school,  ask  a  plethora  of  ques@ons  about  resources   and   where   the   school   is   going   next   with   Compu@ng.   Compu@ng   is   taking   an   extremely   exci@ng  new  direc@on  and  rather  that  shying  away,   embrace  it  and  let  the  children  run  with  it! Eliot  Plumb  is  a  Year  5  teacher  at  Wilbury  School  in   Edmonton.   He   graduated   in   Educa@on   from   the   University   of   Cambridge   in   2013   and   enjoys   inspiring   children   through   teaching   Compu@ng,   Dance  and  History.
  20. 20. Scratch and Sniff by Ian Stephenson ——————————————————————————————————— As  a  university  lecturer  in  a  computer  related   subject  I  as  invited  last  year  to  run  a  CPD  workshop   for  compu@ng  teachers  from  local  schools,   introducing  them  to  some  technologies  that  they   might  use  on  STEM  projects.  I  hope  they  learnt   something  from  the  sessions,  but  what  I  learnt  from   them  was  that  they  were  very  excited,  but  also   apprehensive  about  the  new  compu@ng  curriculum. There  seemed  to  be  a  preXy  good  consensus  that  at   KS2  the  go-­‐to  tool  was  Scratch.  Both  teachers  and   pupils  loved  it  and  were  keen  to  show  off  any   number  of  fun  projects  they’d  produced.  They   loved  the  immediate  feedback,  and  being  able  to   build  programs  from  simple  blocks. However  this  relaxed  confidence  disappeared   abruptly  somewhere  around  KS3.  At  this  point   there  was  a  vague  no@on  that  they  should  move  on   from  Scratch  to  something  more  serious,  but  there   was  no  clear  plan  as  to  what  that  might  be.  There   were  mumblings  that  Raspberry  Pi  was  supposed  to   help,  but  no  real  idea  what  it  was  good  for.  Python   seemed  to  emerge  as  a  grudging  consensus,  but  not   with  any  enthusiasm  -­‐  rather  that  people  had  heard   that  other  people  were  using  it  and  they  probably   should  be. Both  staff  and  children  appear  to  be  geing  lost  in   the  transi@on  from  Scratch  to  “real”  programming.   To  address  this  we  need  to  consider  why  and  when   we  transi@on  from  Scratch,  and  subsequently  why   children  who  were  happy  and  enthusias@c  working   with  Scratch  fail  to  successfully  transi@on  to  (for   example)  Python. Why  Stop  Using  Scratch? The  first  ques@on  “Why  stop  using  Scratch?”  is   actually  quite  tricky.  Why  isn’t  Scratch  suitable  for   KS3,  KS4  and  beyond?  The  obvious  answers:   “Because  its  just  for  beginners”,  or  “its  not   powerful  enough”,  are  quite  simply  wrong.  While   its  true  that  Scratch  has  limita@ons,  most  seriously   with  respect  to  data  structures,  children  in  KS3  are   almost  certainly  not  scratching  the  surface  (sorry!)   of  what  it  can  do.  It’s  possible  to  implement  many   degree  level  algorithms  in  Scratch.  In  fact  Scratch’s   model  of  parallelism  is  far  in  advance  of  most  other   common  programming  languages. It  may  be  that  Scratch’s  worst  enemy  is  it’s  logo  -­‐   the  same  cat  that  made  programming  friendly  in   KS2  looks  childish  to  the  cynical  minds  of  KS3.   Scratch  simply  looks  like  a  KS2  program.  It  would  be   interes@ng  to  compare  how  older  children  would   approach  a  version  of  Scratch  with  more  age-­‐ appropriate  art  work. However  artwork  alone  isn’t  enough  to  keep   Scratch  viable  for  more  experienced  users,   regardless  of  age.  The  real  reason  to  move  on  from   Scratch  is  that  graphical  programming  is  tedious.   Like  a  menu  in  a  restaurant  it  provides  helpful   sugges@ons  as  to  what  you  might  choose,  but  if  you   already  know  what  you’d  like,  then  looking  for  it  in   the  list  of  available  meals  is  tedious.  New  Scratch   users  can  browse  the  tools  paleXes  un@l  they  see   something  they  think  might  help,  but  experienced   programmers  become  frustrated  looking  for  the   block  they’ve  already  decided  they  need.
  21. 21. Why  Not  Python? At  a  certain  point  programmers  become  sufficiently   experienced  that  they’re  ready  to  write  code  rather   than  choose  it.  So  why  might  they  fail  to  transi@on  to   Python?  It  would  be  easy  to  pick  on  Python  here,   and  note  that  it  has  a  number  of  problems.  It  also   doesn’t  help  that  Python  has  aXracts  the  type  of   programmers  who  love  to  show  off  all  its  quirks  and   features.  All  the  strange  features  you  can  do  that   Python  advocates  love  are  best  kept  away  from   children.  (If  you  Google  “python  hello  world”  the   current  top  result  is  a  post  asking  why  the  exact   code  recommended  in  the  second  search  result   doesn’t  work.) However  the  real  problem  isn’t  Python’s  fault.  The   real  issue  is  that  any  mainstream  programming   language  would  be  big  leap.  We’re  asking  novice   programmers  to  go  from  “choosing  from  the  menu”   to  “invent  your  own  meal”.  While  they  should  be   ready  to  do  that  (if  not  s@ck  with  Scratch),  they’ve   been  training  to  “pick  their  own  Pizza  toppings”,  and   suddenly  they  find  themselves  in  an  Indian   Restaurant.  Not  only  are  they  asked  to  create  a  meal   by  themselves,  but  the  whole  meal  structure  is   completely  different  to  what  they’ve  seen  before.   Scratch  programmers  ready  to  move  on  from   choosing  to  wri@ng  are  ready  to  write  Scratch.  It’s  a   big  leap  to  go  from  choosing  in  Scratch  to  wri1ng  in   Python. Wri4ng  Scratch If  Scratch  is  more  powerful  than  we  give  it  credit  for,   and  the  only  obstacle  to  wri@ng  more  complex   programs  in  Scratch  is  the  graphical  programming   paradigm,  then  the  obvious  next  ques@on  was  “what   is  it  like  to  write  Scratch?”.  What  would  Scratch  look   like  if  you  took  the  blocks  and  GUI  away,  and  just   kept  the  bare,  text  based  language?  The  short   answer  is  surprisingly  powerful  and  nice  to  work   with! I  implemented  a  compiler  which  would  handle  text   files  containing  almost  exactly  the  same  words   found  on  the  Scratch  blocks.  The  new  programming   language  “Sniff”  implements  all  of  the  blocks  from   Scratch  1.4,  with  the  excep@on  of  those  rela@ng  to   sprites,  as  these  of  course  don’t  exist  without  the   GUI.  The  only  significant  change  is  that  variables  are   now  declared  as  being  either  numbers  or  strings  (or   lists  of  number/string)  as  this  allows  the  code  to  run   efficiently  and  effec@vely  on  low  powered  machines. Programs  like  the  above  are  essen@ally  iden@cal  in   Scratch  and  Sniff,  which  means  pupils  bring  their   Scratch  experience  with  them,  and  can  immediately   start  crea@ng  in  Sniff.  In  fact  the  transi@on  can   happen  gradually,  and  at  the  students  own  pace.   Long  before  Sniff  is  formally  introduced  teachers  or   children  are  likely  write  something  similar  to  Sniff  on   the  board,  without  sugges@ng  its  anything  other   than  Scratch.  It’s  perfectly  reasonable  to  support   both  languages  in  parallel:  either  moving  stronger   children  to  Sniff,  while  others  retain  the  support  of   Scratch,  or  even  allowing  children  to  build  code   fragments  in  Scratch  before  typing  them  into  Sniff. Being  Engaging  in  a  Screen  Based  World When  I  got  my  first  computer  the  first  program  I   wrote  printed  my  name  on  the  family  TV  set.  Its   impossible  to  overstate  how  big  a  thing  that  was.   Televisions  were  the  only  screens  we  had,  and  TV   was  something  that  was  sent  to  us  by  “the  powers   that  be”.  To  have  your  name  on  television  was   totally  subversive,  and  was  in  a  very  real  way  the   first  steps  to  the  screen  based  environment  we  have   today.  While  broadcast  television  is  s@ll  important,   developments  from  those  first  home  computers   (and  first  home  computer  users)  have  democra@sed   our  screens  to  the  point  they’re  ubiquitous.   Unfortunately  this  also  means  the  appearance  of  a   screen  is  no  longer  exci@ng  in  the  way  it  was  when   home  computers  were  new.
  22. 22. Sniff  can  be  run  on  a  desktop  computer,  but  it  most   of  the  work  is  targeted  at  Raspberry  Pi  and  Arduino.   To  flash  an  LED  on  an  Arduino  the  Sniff  code  is: make  LED  digital  output  13 when  start .forever ..set  LED  to  on ..wait  1  secs ..set  LED  to  off ..wait  1  secs which  takes  us  effortlessly  from  the  GUI  based   Scratch  into  physical  compu@ng.  Being  able  to   engage  with  the  real  world  beyond  the  screen   creates  real  opportuni@es  to  integrate  compu@ng   into  the  wider  curriculum,  controlling  robots,   controlling  stage  ligh@ng,  displaying  a  heart  beat     logging  weather,  and  measuring  the  speed  of  toy   cars  have  all  been  implemented  in  Sniff  with  only  a   few  lines  of  code,  and  provide  a  jumping  off  point  to   explore  other  issues.  Wri@ng  code  to  “actually  do   things”  rather  than  just  display  things  on  screen  is   perhaps  the  most  important  tool  for  promo@ng   compu@ng  engagement. Ge;ng  Involved Sniff  is  free  to  download,  and  currently  runs  on  Mac,   Linux,  and  Raspberry  Pi.  Compiled  programs  can  be   run  on  the  host  plaSorm,  or  on  an  Arduino  board.   While  Arduino  is  ideal  for  physical  compu@ng,  you   can  also  use  the  Pi’s  GPIO  ports.  Wri@ng  code  to   handle  Pi  boards  such  as  the  PiBrella,  and  7Seg  is   oben  easier  in  Sniff  than  using  the  provided  Python   library. I’m  in  the  early  stages  of  taking  the  system  out  into   schools,  so  if  you’d  like  to  get  involved,  download  an   install  the  code  from  www.sniff.org.uk.  There’s   demo  code  there,  including  a  bunch  of  physics   experiments  just  wai@ng  to  be  turned  into  lesson   plans.   About  the  author Ian  Stephenson  is  a  lecturer  at  the  Na;onal   Centre  for  Computer  Graphics  at  Bournemouth   University  where  he  teaches  compu;ng  within   an  art  based  framework.  Through  the   University's  Centre  for  Excellence  in  Media   Prac;ce,  and  STEM  outreach  programs  he  is  also   lead  developer  on  the  Sniff,  post-­‐Scratch   programming  language.
  23. 23. IS TECHNOLOGY DAMAGING OUR CHILDREN’S LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT? by Yasemin Allsop ——————————————————————————————————— Recently  I  read  many  ar@cles  on  the  internet     blaming  technology  for  children's  lack  of  language   skills.  I  can't  say  I  am  surprised.  I  agree  that   technology  is  changing  the  way  we  use  language.  I   am  sure  that  you  have  spent  @me  trying  to   understand  your  child's  text  messages.  I  certainly   did.  When  I  receive  text  messages  from  my  son,  I   some@mes  have  to  google    them  or  phone  and  ask   him  exactly  what  he  meant  with  all  these  acronyms   and  abbrevia@ons.   Looking  at  my  own  teaching  prac@ce,  I  have  used   wikis,  blogs,  anima@ons,  films,  podcas@ng,  web   design,  game  making  and  many  other    technology   tools  to  teach  over  the  years.  Each  one  of  these   mediums  offers  great  opportuni@es  for  children  to   develop  their  language  skills.  I  remember  when  our   Year  5  students  wrote  their  own  children's  rights   raps  and  recorded  them  using  their  backing  music.   They  didn’t  just  create  their  songs,  they  spent  a   long  @me  discussing  their  ideas  before  deciding.    I   also  remember  our  web  design  ac@vi@es.  Where   children  had  to  create  their  own  content  and  use   html  to  design  websites  to  present  their  work.  The   amount  of  reading  and  wri@ng  they  had  to  do  and   not  even  one  complained. So  what  is  the  problem  here?  Are  we  s@ll  thinking   of  technology  as  a  magical  wand  designed   specifically  to  solve  our  long  standing  issues  in   educa@on.  We  need  to  abandon  this  idea  by  now  as   technology  never  had  such  a  claim.  Technology   appeared  in  our  classroom  as  a  teaching  tool  used   by  teachers,  remember  our  IWBs,  then  it  swibly   changed  posi@on  and  became  a  learning  tool  in  the   hands  of  our  learners.  I  believe  this  was  more   confusing  for  us  than  the  learners.  Our  learners   quickly  adapted  into  their  new  role.  But  us  teachers   we  are  s@ll  thinking  about  where  we  fit  into  this   scene.  If  the  learners  are  holding  the  tool,  what  are   we  going  to  hold?  How  are  we  going  to  teach?  Do   we  need  to  teach?  Do  they  need  us?  Are  they   listening?  Are  they  learning?  How  do  I  manage  the   classroom  now?  We  all  go  through  these  endless   worries.  I  think  the  reason  for  this  confusion  is  that   we  don't  exactly  understand  how  children  learn   with  these  new  technologies  and  we  haven't  got   the  @me  to  find  out  about  it.  So,  why  not  blame  the   technology? Once  one  of    my  tutors  told  me   that  a  pencil  is  also  a  technology.   It  didn't  make  sense  to  me  at  the   9me,  but  when  I  think  about  it,   he  was  right,  a  pencil  is  also  a  technology  tool.   You  can  use  it  for  different  purposes;    for   wri9ng  stories,  for  drawing,  for  taking  notes  or   mixing  your  tea  which  I  have  done  many  9mes.   But  if  your  hand  wri/ng  is  not  very  good,   would  you  blame  the  pencil  for  it?  Something   to  think  about!
  24. 24. Let's  go  back  to  our  conversa@on  about  language.  For   many   years   language   was   seen   as   just   a   tool   for   communica@on.   This   approach   today   is   s@ll   very   current  and  impacts  on  our  pedagogical  approach  to   learning.   But   I   am   thinking   about   my   own   observa@ons  of  children  learning  using  technology  for   the  last  10  years.   Especially  over   the  last   few   years   where   we   have   focused   a   lot   on   computer   game   design,  there  is  a  clear  shib  in  the  use  and  purpose  of   language.    I  watched  children  touching  the  computer   or   tablet   screen   and   mumbling   when   making   their   own  computer  games.  I  observed  them  planning  their   work-­‐some@mes   aloud   when   crea@ng   their   own   world   in   Minecrab,   or   ques@oning   their   own   decisions   when   crea@ng   websites.   What   was   interes@ng  is  that  as  the  task  became  more  complex,   the   percentage   of   children’s  self-­‐talk   ac@vi@es  also   increased.   It   seems   to   me   that   they   did   not   use   language  merely  as  a  tool  to  communicate,  it  become   a  func@on  in  their  minds.  For  my  learners,  language   became  a  func@on  to  think  with,  a  func@on  to  decide   with,  a  func@on  to  regulate  their  own  learning.  This  is   not   a   new   concept   either,   Vygotsky   men@oned   private  speech  in   the  1970s.  He  argued  that  private   speech  is  form  of   thinking,  problem-­‐solving  and  self-­‐ regula@ng.  All  this  self-­‐directed  talk  helps  my  learners   to   focus,   plan,   make   decisions,   organise.   In   other   words  it  supports  them   to  process  tasks  using   their   cogni@ve  resources.   Another   issue   is  that   we   don't   seem   to   grasp   how   new  technologies  impact  on  our  learning  behaviours.   Look  at  the  image  below,  does  it  look  familiar  to  you?   Probably  not.  This  is  a  travelling  library  for  people  in   Turkey  during  the  1940’s.  It  was  aimed  to  help  those   living  in  rural  areas  to  have  an  opportunity  to  read.  I   recently  found  out  about  this  and  I  am  so  fascinated   by  the  idea.  I  am  not  familiar  with  it  as  I  was  brought   up   in   a  city,  not   that   I   have   been   to   the  library.   I   didn't  even  know  what  it  meant.  But  my  friends  have   seen   these   government   librarians   travelling   from   village  to  village  on  a  donkey.    What  kind  of  learning   habits   would   they   have   developed   when   they   accessed  knowledge  through  this  way?   What   would   they  do  with  what  they  had  learned  from  the  book.   Have  a  discussion?  Create  things?   I   don't  know,  but   today   when   our   learners   in   their   expression   'can   touch  their  learning'  on  their  smart  phones  or  tablets,   you   can   imagine   they   would   have   completely   different  learning  habits. When  will  we  realise  that  learning  is  not  an  outcome,   it  is  a  process  and  the  process  doesn't  just  stop  with   an   end   product.   Learning   is   a   quest   powered   by   endless  adventures  spur@ng  out  from  every  corner  of   one's  mind  on  the  way.  It  is  the  next  stage  of   what   learners   do   with   what   they   have   learnt   that     is   remarkable.   They   use   their   experience   to   share,   make,  or  to  create  something,  in  other  words  go  on  a   new   learning  journey.   Look   at  the  videos,  podcasts,   photos,   stories,   songs,   games   shared   online   by   children,  young  adults  and  adults.  Surely  we  are  not   learning  in  the  same  way  as  we  did  before. So   let's   go   back   to   our   ques@on   'Is   technology   damaging  our  children's  language  development?.  My   answer  is,  it  depends  on  which  specific  technology  is   used  and  how.  If  we    focus  on  how  technology  shapes   our   learning   habits   rather   than   poin@ng   fingers   at   technology,   we   could   develop   beXer   strategies   to   support  our  learners.   But   the   magical   key  is   to   teach   people,   young  or  adult,  how  to  learn  and  love  to   learn.
  25. 25. A BIG LIST of apps, programs and websites for teaching coding and game design by Yasemin Allsop Web  based   Programs http://www.crunchzilla.com http://appinventor.mit.edu http://www.playmycode.co.uk/ http://scratch.mit.edu/ http://www.sploder.com/ Programs  for  your   PC/Mac http://www.kidsruby.com http://hackety.com http://www.appdesigner.com http://gamesalad.com/ http://education.mit.edu/projects/starlogo- tng
  26. 26. iPad  and  Android  Apps for  teaching  kids  coding Hopscotch-­‐  iPad                                                                                                                            Daisy  Dinasour-­‐  iPad Scratch  Jr-­‐  iPad  (soon)                                                                                      Move  the  turtle  -­‐iPad A.L.E.X  -­‐iPad                                                                                                                              i-­‐LOGO-­‐iPad KineScript  -­‐  iPad                                        Cato’s  Hike-­‐iPad                            Light  Bot  for  iPad  and  Android
  27. 27. http://forum.ictinpractice.com/
  28. 28. EDITORIAL TEAM Yasemin Allsop yallsop@msn.com Christopher Carter christocarter@mail.com Elliott Plumb plumbelliott@gmail.com Des Hegarty desnkerry@talktalk.net Published by ictinpractice.com © ictinpractice.com All materials are strictly copyrighted and all rights are reserved. Reproduction of any materials from this magazine without permission is strictly forbidden. We accept no liability in respect of any material submitted by users and published by us and we are not responsible for its content and accuracy.