Spotted at WEGC… this is the second year this group has been meeting. Great stuff.

At Kiwi Foo I attended a session on unconscious gender bias. I wonder if this exists within the subject of computer science in schools. One way to gain a clue is to complete the following test http://www.understandingprejudice.org/iat/genframe.htm. Perhaps a few teachers could do the test and compare notes?

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Everything but the kitchen sink



The equipment I use on the “front line”. From top to bottom, left to right we have…

  • Stylus for ipad/phone – because sometimes fingers are just too big
  • Watch – no bells, clocks are often wrong, rude to keep looking at phone
  • Dice – the ultimate determinant of who gets asked a question (very fair)
  • Ipad – access to KAMAR for rolls… and everything else/ VGA adapter to project on white board
  • Laser pointer/mouse… so I can show and tell from the back of the class (where students hide) … also “laser of death”
  • Planner: Yep sometimes paper is just better and faster
  • Cell phone… so parents can ring me (I invite them to)
  • White board pens – for concepts and playing hangman (or is that hangperson?)
  • Keys – because teachers love keys and losing them….


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Python quiz question

I gave the following code to my Year 12 class and asked them what it would output (multichoice):

  1. age = 14;
  2. driversage=16;
  3. print (“You are:”, age, “the drivers age is:”, driverage, “Sorry you have”, driversage-age, “years to go”)

They had to choose from:

b.You are: 14 the drivers age is: 16 Sorry you have 2 years to go
c.Error message
d.You are 14 the drivers age is 16, Sorry you have 2 years to go

Only 18% got the correct answer – which is what I expected. Students have to look carefully to get the correct answer.

I will post the answer later.

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ICT questions box…Ironic?


Seen in the staff room…. as an alternative to asking questions online.

I noticed for a recent exercise; most paper based forms students were asked to have completed got returned to school on time, however, there is way less success with electronic forms. The age of paper has a way to go…

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Teachers @ camp


Camps are brilliant; they facilitate friendships and provide students with experiences they may not get at home. They are a lot of fun for sure. However, if teachers give up 2-3 days to support students camp experience should they be bunked up at 9/10 staff per unit? Camps are not cheap so shared accommodation does help keep costs down. But sharing accommodation is not for everyone. The vexatious issue of do you have men/women sleeping in the same area (who cares?) … but what about gay or lesbian teachers (again who cares?) …  In a conservative school I suspect that this may present some challenges for the organizers.

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53.8% failed NCEA Level 3 Information Systems assessment

53.8% is an extraordinarily high failure rate for an external assessment. And 2013 was about the same. The root cause in my opinion is lack of capability and few professional development opportunities made available to build the capability. I personally found the assessment straight forward and my students have done quite well. BUT that is because I have a professional background in this area, many teachers do not.

Either the Ministry or Industry needs to step up and help with professional development in this area of Digital Technologies, in a similar fashion to what they are trying to do for programming and computer science aspects of DT.

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Kiwi Foo 2015


I had the privilege of attending Kiwi Foo 2015 in the lovely Warkworth (Thanks Nat Torkington). Aspects reminded me of a Masters paper I did with Jane Gilbert in 2012 “Special Topic: The Future of Schools in Aotearoa-New Zealand” insofar as a 21st century learning environment may well resemble a continuous Foo camp experience. Specifically ;

  • the agenda was participant led, it was diverse, unpredictable and within a session changeable
  • new knowledge(and innovation) at an individual or collective level was created at the intersections of different knowledge bases and experiences
  • people participating not only had knowledge and experiences but they they were doing good things with the knowledge they had…  to paraphrase from my masters paper “its not about what you know, but what you do with what they know”

PS If you want your ideas about how we deliver education challenged read Jane Gibert’s book “Catching the Knowledge Wave


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