Open source academy – plenty of East girls

The Catalyst Open Source Academy 2018 took place at Catalyst IT in Wellington, New Zealand, from 8 to 19 January 2018.

I dropped by the Catalyst open source academy during Week 1 of a two-week course. It was great to see eight Wellington East Girls College students participating. Also great to see two former WEGC students mentoring them. Very motivating…

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DIY Technology – Hard Materials

It seems that as a teacher of digital technologies I am qualified to teach hard materials (go figure!) Fortunately having done a little DIY I would be fairly relaxed taking such a class. I wonder if I would be allowed to use the classroom tools for home projects?

Probably not 😦

The above project entailed all the steps of the technological process although I suspect that I am the only person that can actually work from the scaffold. Being 5m+ of the ground you would need qualified scaffolders to erect something more suitable for a progression to use. It will do the job, however ie some repairs and painting.

Glad I did “woodwork” at school and that my brother-in-law was a qualified carpenter, else I might not have had the option of DIY, and maybe would not have felt confident about teaching hard materials at school – if required.

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Alien abduction zone… Wellington

Seen on Mount Victoria, at a point overlooking Wellington East Girls College and Wellington College.

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2017 quick review

What do I recall from 2017? In no particular order…

  • Facebook feature “I’m OK” is great – especially if you are a parent of children in London
  • Binge watching Netflix… but to do so I has the install cabling (wifi not good enough)
  • New DT curriculum finally approved, it will be “compulsory” Years 1-10… maybe
  • Teaching DT with robots is a lot of fun – and leads into the Internet of Things
  • The ongoing renaissance of Maori language is evident…
  • The book club I participate in still surprises with diversity of books and conversation
  • Board games are great fun… the creativity and complexity amazing…
  • HTC One smartphone – so much for so little…
  • Dianne Krall and Pink Martini
  • Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and Dunkirk
  • Doctor Who and Enterprise
  • Silicon Valley and Seattle trip – never had them in my day… next trip 2020 maybe?
  • Tramping- having survived Pouakai Circuit I will volunteer for future adventures
  • Football abuse – had enough, I will not do refereeing again
  • Students bullying – it is not right but I don’t know how we stop it
  • Another bunch of nice students left school to make their way in the world
  • Student stress and absenteeism are of increasing concern
  • Laying a floating floor over 5 rooms … you become quite  good after 3 rooms
  • It’s not what you know… it is what you do with what you know, and if you don’t know you can find out
  • The WEGC Memnonian, as usual, is very professional…
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Incorporating Maori language in the classroom

I doubt I will actually learn or use much Te Reo in the classroom although I will certainly encourage those students that want to use the language. How might I do this in Digital Technologies/Computer Science?

  • encourage those students that want to/can, to produce website content in Maori
  • teach the selection of font sets that support the Maori language
  • teach students how to incorporate Google translate functionality directly into their websites
  • use program variable names in Maori (good comments required, however)
  • using WEGC style guide for the selection of common Maori words (modelled on NZ Govt style guide)
  • building quizzes that test Te Reo knowledge and teach programming concepts of sequence selection and iteration
  • database design incorporating iwi/hapu relationships into person data structure
  • having school values on the whiteboard in Maori and English (often used to explore ethical and moral dimensions of computer science) ie

I suspect there are plenty of other options… maybe the students will have some suggestions.

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Some students become quite skilled at hiding in plain sight…

I took the above photo when bushwalking recently. The butterfly remains well hidden in plain sight. It reminds me of students that manage to hide under the radar, quietly failing. These are the students that are masters of disguise, they appear to be listening and working. They confirm understanding, and never ask for help. They don’t misbehave, talk out of turn or do anything that draws attention to themselves. More crucially they know how to avoid assessments and tests (there is always an excuse to be away, take leave from class etc…) In a class of 28 students, it is quite hard to detect these students camouflaged, if you like, among other students.

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Compulsory Digital Technologies Years 1-10 is coming…

“education should prepare young people for jobs that don’t exist using technologies that have not been invented to solve problems were not yet aware of” Richard RileyFrom 2020 it will be compulsory for New Zealand students Year 1-10 to be taught computation theory, algorithms and programming. Teaching teachers how to deliver on this requirement will be quite a challenge. The above video was made in 2014 when the UK faced a similar sort of challenge. It is worth a look … New Zealand even gets a mention…

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