Welcome to my blog! I'm Karen Belt, a teacher and leader of digital learning, working at Lynmore Primary School in Rotorua, New Zealand. I'm teaching in a Year 2 class using iPads to engage and motivate learners and improve student achievement. This blog documents my teaching journey and my learning processes with iPads in the classroom. I've proud of having been a member of the inaugural Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy(MDTA) program and last year a Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher (MIT) and Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir teacher.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Unpacking the new technology curriculum ... #CS4PD

After a great first day yesterday, I'm energised and ready to unpack and talk about the new curriculum in greater detail!

Just do stuff!!! Don't spend a long time talking about it - that's not as engaging.  Unpack after you do it and you will engage and motivate your audience.  Give them a toolkit that they find useful and can utilise in their classroom.

Everything we do is about seeing the ingredients and putting them altogether.  Keep track of the big picture but make it real and bite size portions.  

Unpacking the New Curriculum

There is an importance in everyone understanding 'where we are going' - what is the shared vision?  It is a progression with important building blocks to support and enable students to meet the outcomes.

Computational Thinking
The main focus in this area is on:
  • Algorithms
  • Data Representation
  • Programming

Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes
You can be the creator and use these applications in exciting ways.  We can create something new with our knowledge.  Focusing on:
  • Producing quality, fit-for-purpose, digital outcomes
  • Locate, analyse, evaluate and present
  • Knowledge of operating systems, file management and application software

Where to start ... when to start

Next month is Moonhack Day  (August 15th) a worldwide event to encourage programming with projects available in ScratchJr, Scratch and Python.  A great way to launch into coding and starting to unpack computational thinking.  Teachers are able to register their class and the projects provide stepped instructions.  

A career in technology?

Technology companies have an imbalance in male/female candidates in New Zealand because female candidates are not coming through education at the same rates as males.  Interestingly, developers often join as a 'junior' and earn more than the median New Zealand wage.  Why are the girls not looking at computer science/digital/IT as a career?  How can we address this imbalance?  Why did you get into technology - the two most common answers are creativity and problem solving.  

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