Scratch

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Scratch is online digital resource that allows users to create simple animated characters that perform simple programmable resources.  Students can have lots of fun creating simple animations whilst developing simple coding skills and concepts.

The program Scratch could be highly effective in the primary classroom. Highly relevant curriculum links can be found in the year 3/4 band level of the Digital Technologies key learning area of the Australian Curriculum, however further links are easily found in other areas of the curriculum. Strand: Digital Technologies Sub-strand: processes and production skills

Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them (ACTDIP010)

Scratch could be implemented into the classroom effectively using scaffolded tasks. Students could begin by following simple instructions to complete simple animated processes and develop the ability to engage with program in order to eventually create their own animations using simple coding. A highly specific task for classroom implementation might require students to code a sprite to follow directions, create a map, or represent a story using the multimodal elements available in the program.

Check out the Scratch site here!

RALfie – Remote Access Laboratories for Fun, Innovation and Education

ImageRALfie uses Lego Mind storm technology to engage students in active construction of vehicles that respond to computer programming.

Although your school might not have the resources to purchase expensive set-up technology for this activity, a project team at the University of Southern Queensland is working tirelessly to provide remote access to technology labs.  Eventually students will be able to develop programs on a remote computer kilometers away from the lab and send the program to the Mind storm lab through a remote server.  Watch this space for updates on the development of the Remote Access Program!

The technology has numerous links to the Technologies curriculum, particularly the processes and production skills of the Design and Technologies Strand and the Digital Technologies strand.  For example:

Digital Technologies- processes and production skills 

Manage the creation and communication of ideas and information including online collaborative projects, applying agreed ethical, social and technical protocols (ACTDIP022)

The above content descriptor could be explored through the use of problem-based unit of work.  Students might be required to construct or implement a certain event, or sequence of events, ensuring certain events are achieved during the construction process.  Students might be required to communicate meaning from another key learning area.

Design and Technologies- processes and production skills

Develop project plans that include consideration of resources when making designed solutions individually and collaboratively (ACTDEP028)

Students love to build robots with Mind storm technologies.  Perhaps the project might require groups to collaboratively construct and program the robots to undertake robot stand-offs, ensuring students undertake certain events during construction.

Check out the program here!

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INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGY ON A LIMITED BUDGET WITH LITTLE SUPPORT

CLASSROOM 21 | by Greg Limperis

From http://edtechdigest.wordpress.com – March 12, 2014 4:15pm

In this informative blog post, the author explores the lack of resources that can be found in educational settings.  Greg  then moves on to address some of the more common issues found in limited resources classrooms, such as no or few computers and no projector.  Greg offers some innovative solutions, such as using a T.V. to connect to the computer for students to view.  Greg also provides some off-site suggestions such as Glogster, a great site that allows students to create easy multi-media graphics.

The author suggests several creative uses of everyday technologies for learning i.e. using smart phones to connect students.  These concepts are relevant to the Digital Technologies strand of the Australian Curriculum as the blog contains some great resources to help students explore their technological surroundings and find digital solutions to problems.

You can check out Greg’s blog post here!