Tuesday, 13 December 2016
UWCSEA East recently got a Patron-Driven subscription to Kanopy Streaming - and what a treasure trove it is! (UWC Community, click here; everyone else, try this link). If you have never heard of it before, let me tell you a little about it.
Kanopy began selling DVDs to universities in Australia, but has moved with the times to deliver a video streaming service to education providers worldwide, including Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and Yale. They have over 26,000 videos available currently, which are added to regularly.
So why should you care?
It is no secret how much students love learning through film. Kanopy has an incredible range of documentaries available: from BBC's Shakespeare Collection or its Planet Earth Series, through to Gravitas's Food Choices: How Our Diet Affects the Planet, there is - quite literally - something for everyone.
A lot of the content is more suited to older audiences, but there is plenty in there to support Elementary learners. We'd encourage Elementary teachers to search Kanopy for a subject/unit they have upcoming, and preview the content before use with students.
One of the features that we love is the ability to clip and share a section of a video, so students don't necessarily watch the whole video, but a pre-selected segment that most closely relates to what they are learning.
help section on the Kanopy website.
If you are a UWCSEA Teacher who wants to watch at home, follow this guide put together by the librarians.
If you would like further information about Kanopy, just contact one of the DLCs, or have a chat to our friendly Librarians!
Monday, 12 December 2016
Santa Tracker is a fantastic site by Google. In advent calendar style, each day a new activity gets uncovered. Present Bounce is a neat game, but there are also opportunities to learn about traditions and translations from other countries. Younger children will enjoy Santa Selfie, a Toca Boca style game where you give Santa a haircut. Santa Tracker will work on laptops or iPads, so give it a go!
2016 Holiday Gift Guide for Awesome Young (and old) Makers
@DianaLRedina has put together a great roundup of holiday gifts for all budgets on her blog Renovated Learning. She has suggestions for the robot obsessed, future engineers, crafty ones, and a helpful list of Maker-inspired books to read too.
Our personal favourite: Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist.
Escape the Room - Christmas Edition
This is a great problem solving challenge similar to BreakoutEDU, but in Digital form. In Christmas Fix, you have to explore a number of rooms and look for clues and items that you can collect to help you solve the mystery, fix the clock and save Christmas. This game runs on flash, so won’t work on an iPad. Game will start after the advertisement runs.
Monday, 5 December 2016
The resources around Computer Science Education Week and Hour of Code are just begging to be used. There are so many developmentally appropriate entry points for every age level - it's a no-brainer!
In Grade 1, we began with an unplugged activity. As a class, we created a code to use, and in pairs, they took turns being the coder (who created the code) and the robot (who carried out the code). It was great to see them role-play being the robot, and carry out the instructions the coder had left for them on whiteboards.
Following that, we got our iPads and explored Course 1, Stage 4 of code.org's amazing resource for 4-6-year-olds. To say they enjoyed the Angry Birds Maze activity would be an understatement! Many of them reached Stage 7 in only a very short window of time, so it was impressive to see their computational thinking skills strengthen!
Below is a short video of our exploration with Coding. We would love to hear what you are up to with Coding in the Early Years. Please leave us a comment below.
DK Find Out
DK Find Out is a fantastic site for kids to look for age-appropriate information. There are articles, diagrams, videos, fun facts and quizzes.
Like the DK books, the website is visually rich and students can use a combination of text, images and video to learn more.
How Should Reading be Taught in a Digital Era?
Writer Liana Heiton states that the nature of reading has changed significantly in the past decade, however questions whether teaching practices have developed alongside. In the article How Should Reading be Taught in a Digital Era, she explores different online reading options and finishes with a quote from Katherine Hale: "But reading isn't just reading print text anymore. Reading is reading the world."
Learning something new often involves watching a video these days and our go to video site is YouTube.
YouTube kids is a free app which allows kids to search and find videos and not have to worry about advertising or inappropriate content/links.
Friday, 2 December 2016
Faculties who read together...learn together.
My quick Friendly Friday advice is about using the hidden Listopia feature inside of your Goodreads account:
If you aren't following Katie and Stuart on Goodreads--it is a wonderful idea to do so, they've curated shelves to keep your 'to-read' tally healthy.
Thursday, 1 December 2016
How lucky are we? We recently added 6 iPads to each G3-5 class, augmenting their existing 1:1 Macbook Air laptops.
Planning for valuable use of shared devices requires some creative thinking, particularly when you are used to 1:1 devices. That said, the small number of devices provides a great opportunity to differentiate for powerful learning, maximise small-group rotations and engage in collaborative activities.
Together with some of our wonderful Digital Literacy Mentors (Mike & Jocelyn), Dave and I developed some ideas about how to best manage shared devices and use them effectively to support learning.
We hope you find these tips for shared devices useful.