Friday, 2 August 2019

Digital Fluency Intensive #7

Manaiakalani: Empowered (Agency)
Our digital devices are NOT just a tool! Technology in Manaiakalani is used to help transform the lives of students and their whanau.

 “...when it transforms the way we learn, offers us new uncharted experiences and opportunities…”
-Dean Shareski.

Pat Snedden (MET) often states that ‘by empowering our students, we are advancing Rangatiratanga; taking back control of their own lives.’

The power of the learning is in giving the power back to the students by making the learning visible/rewindable. The empowerment of our whanau and young people are interdependent of our kaupapa words. Ultimately, this allows for change to occur in our communities.

You can’t be truly empowered without leading a visible, connection and ubiquitous life. 

Technology is going to change the way we do everything. However, the only certain thing that we know about the future of life with technology is that technology will change, and as a result things around us will continue to change. 

After playing a computational thinking game mapped out on the floor, we spent some time exploring robots, like Big Dog and Sophia. We also explored various apps that provide opportunities for empowerment.  Zephyr’s Cora is currently being tested in NZ after being created by the USA affiliate. 

Looking at the Digital Technology Curriculum: 
The technology curriculum has been around for many years. The Digital Technology Curriculum is a new piece of a pre-existing document.  It has two parts: Computational Thinking (algorithms, programming, algorithmic thinking skills) and Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes (creating and understanding; the skills needed to create a product).  It is split into progress outcomes, which are not directly lined up with curriculum levels. 

We also spent some time exploring the “Hour of Code” from  It is a self-led series of activities that allow users to be self-taught in the area of coding.  

We specifically worked through the Minecraft tutorial as it directly relates to Scratch, which also uses blockly to write the actual code message. 

Kodable: students the chance to code using symbols (arrows) to complete the series of tasks. This is great for younger students because you don’t have to know how to read in order to complete the tasks. 

Code Combat: Great for older students because it is a bit more involved. There is more animation/storyline and students are required to actually type in the code.

Toxic Code: Is actually reading code to complete a series of tasks

Scratch: This session was very informative since we spent so much time using Scratch last term in our classrooms. It was also fun to have some time to have a quick play and explore some of the more involved blocks.  

We also explored creating and playing a simple Maze Games. During this time, we explored adding details/costumes to our characters and various sounds to our coded game. Advanced users were tasked with writing their own code to the game and recreating their own background maze to navigate through.

Converting decimals to binary numbers: It was very interesting to go through this Level 3 topic of the learning outcomes. We also spent some time exploring the hexadecimal number system found in the colour selector on Google (using numbers 0-9 and letters A-H).

Hello Ruby:  Using Algorithms with younger kids. Students are given opportunities to discover the differences between what a human is capable of and what a computer is able to do in the same amount of time using shapes to create algorithms. 

Book Creator: Dorothy shared this Chrome App and I am really interested in checking it out and seeing if/how I could use it in my classroom during the next term or two. 

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