Ngā Matapakinga | Discussion

    Ta'ase Vaoga
    Ask Me (us) Anything: Digital Technologies Curriculum
    18 April
    Public discussion Created by Ta'ase Vaoga

    We’re very excited to bring you our first AMA (Ask me Anything) live on Facebook this coming Tuesday 21 April, 1pm. 

     

    This is your chance to ask our experts about the revised Digital Technologies curriculum content and what it means for you in developing your learning programme.

     
     
    You can bring your questions on the day and post them on the live feed, email patai@kiatakatu.ac.nz or post them below.
     
    Here's a bit about our experts @Nicki.Tempero1  Tim Bell and Tessa Gray
     
    Ta'ase Vaoga Kaiwhakataki _ Host (1).png

    Here's a summary from the Kia Takatū ā Matihiko AMA (Ask Me Anything) 19th May 2020. 

    FB AMA 19 May

    I've read that CT includes things like abstraction, logical thinking, decomposition and pattern recognition; but I don't see that in the curriculum. Which one is correct?

    Tim gave a detailed explanation of this during the live AMA session showing some links between language of computer science and the elements computational thinking as process from an overseas perspective – clarification around some international definitions; especially US/UK; highlighted by Jeanette Wing in 2006, which got a lot attention (although not the first person to use the term)
    They are in our curriculum written into the POs (applied at all levels), but it’s not always explicit.

    There was also a discussion about the attributes of computational thinking and the fact that both CT and DDDO introduce new language into the curriculum worth exploring further by both teachers and students.

    I've been volunteered to be the DT leader, but how to do I lead this if I'm not a position of influence?

    All panellists offered some advice from learning the language and terminology by working through the Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko Pīkau as well as the Te Pā Pouahi pīkau guides first. Other recommendations were to do your best to gather a team around you, build advocacy and champions, try to get SL involvement in that team, use networks and communities to ‘find your tribe’ and support each other with this new mahi. There were also some simple activities shared to support colleagues in staff meetings, ie: making time to go through Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko Pīkau. Also see:

    What gear should I buy - choosing and using Digital Technologies?

    Some advice given, was given around considering purchases (and use) of digital tools so that these fit into your curriculum vision, values and principles as well as:

    Curriculum:
    How well can the equipment meet what is needed for your students to access the Digital Technology curriculum content?

    Context:
    How well can the equipment be used to meet a range of authentic contexts for your students?

    Commitment:
    How much effort is involved in learning to use, using, and maintaining the equipment?

     

    Other practical advice includes; conducting an inventory of what is currently used/what is desired, factoring in cost/ budget, trialing before you buy, sharing use of expensive equipment throughout the wider community and exploring how these tools and resources fit into the Progress Outcomes. Also see:

    Best Robotics kits for beginners

    At the end of AMA (Ask me anything session) Ta’ase and Karl discussed Rauemi Pīkau – resources that can support teachers plan for authentic integration of digital technologies. For example, Kaitiakitanga – there are examples of activities that takes you through the progress outcomes and achievement objectives and connects to a number of curriculum areas and the wider Digital Technologies Learning area.

    Join us next Tuesday, 3.30pm in Facebook as we go live and feel free to bring your pātai (questions).

    Ngā mihi

    - By Tessa Gray
    NOTE: You have to be a member of the group in order to reply to a discussion
      • Tessa Gray
        By Tessa Gray
        May 22

        Here's a summary from the Kia Takatū ā Matihiko AMA (Ask Me Anything) 19th May 2020. 

        FB AMA 19 May

        I've read that CT includes things like abstraction, logical thinking, decomposition and pattern recognition; but I don't see that in the curriculum. Which one is correct?

        Tim gave a detailed explanation of this during the live AMA session showing some links between language of computer science and the elements computational thinking as process from an overseas perspective – clarification around some international definitions; especially US/UK; highlighted by Jeanette Wing in 2006, which got a lot attention (although not the first person to use the term)
        They are in our curriculum written into the POs (applied at all levels), but it’s not always explicit.

        There was also a discussion about the attributes of computational thinking and the fact that both CT and DDDO introduce new language into the curriculum worth exploring further by both teachers and students.

        I've been volunteered to be the DT leader, but how to do I lead this if I'm not a position of influence?

        All panellists offered some advice from learning the language and terminology by working through the Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko Pīkau as well as the Te Pā Pouahi pīkau guides first. Other recommendations were to do your best to gather a team around you, build advocacy and champions, try to get SL involvement in that team, use networks and communities to ‘find your tribe’ and support each other with this new mahi. There were also some simple activities shared to support colleagues in staff meetings, ie: making time to go through Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko Pīkau. Also see:

        What gear should I buy - choosing and using Digital Technologies?

        Some advice given, was given around considering purchases (and use) of digital tools so that these fit into your curriculum vision, values and principles as well as:

        Curriculum:
        How well can the equipment meet what is needed for your students to access the Digital Technology curriculum content?

        Context:
        How well can the equipment be used to meet a range of authentic contexts for your students?

        Commitment:
        How much effort is involved in learning to use, using, and maintaining the equipment?

         

        Other practical advice includes; conducting an inventory of what is currently used/what is desired, factoring in cost/ budget, trialing before you buy, sharing use of expensive equipment throughout the wider community and exploring how these tools and resources fit into the Progress Outcomes. Also see:

        Best Robotics kits for beginners

        At the end of AMA (Ask me anything session) Ta’ase and Karl discussed Rauemi Pīkau – resources that can support teachers plan for authentic integration of digital technologies. For example, Kaitiakitanga – there are examples of activities that takes you through the progress outcomes and achievement objectives and connects to a number of curriculum areas and the wider Digital Technologies Learning area.

        Join us next Tuesday, 3.30pm in Facebook as we go live and feel free to bring your pātai (questions).

        Ngā mihi

        • Tessa Gray
          By Tessa Gray
          May 6

          Kia ora koutou ma, another AMA Facebook session went live again yesterday with the following questions being posed:

          • Can we successfully do CT if it's all unplugged? 

          • If my students create blogs or publish presentations, is this the same as DDDO?

          • Where does AI fit into DT and the POs? Can you suggest any activities for yrs 7/8?

          • When students are driving their own learning such as passion projects how can I ensure that they are including the aspects of the digital curriculum?

          • In the long term, is digital fluency/digital capability for children an essential part of developing the Digital Curriculum?

          • What are some ways to engage junior learners on Google meets?

          AMA recording May 5

          The responses are in the FB live recording and Tim and Karl and also offered some further explanations below:

          Question: Can we successfully do CT if it's all unplugged?

          The short answer is, not really. Beyond PO1 the curriculum explicitly mentions computerised environments, and once students start giving programs to the computer, they soon learn exactly what their instructions mean, and the need to debug programs! However, there's growing evidence that mixing Unplugged with using computers is more effective that using computers alone. Tim mentioned a study where a group of students did entirely computer-based programming, and another group completed half computer-based programming and half unplugged activities. The group that did the unplugged activities did just as well at programming as students who spent all their time on the computer, and the Unplugged group had higher self-efficacy and vocabulary (Hermans, F., & Aivaloglou, E. 2017. To Scratch or Not to Scratch?: A Controlled Experiment Comparing Plugged First and Unplugged First Programming Lessons. In Proceedings of the 12th Workshop on Primary and Secondary Computing Education (pp. 49–56). New York, NY, USA: ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/3137065.3137072)

          Other research has shown a mixed approach (Unplugged and on computers) being used consistently with students right through to upper high school; it seems to be valued as a way to help students' understanding, but using it exclusively means that students miss out on making the computer do all the hard work for you!

          Question: If my students create blogs or publish presentations, is this the same as DDDO?

          The key is the process they use. DDDO is part of the Technology learning area and Technology is all about finding a good solution to a problem. So with DDDO it's about working out what the best outcome is (a web page? poster? music?), choosing the right tools, potentially combining them, and getting details like file formats and organisation right. Simply using one piece of software to produce a good outcome such as a blog only scratches the surface, and while it's good to learn these tools, DT is more about always questioning what the best tool is in the circumstances, and using good processes to produce an effective outcome. In the end, the right solution might be to use nothing but Powerpoint to make a presentation, but knowing that it's a good solution is different to "having a hammer, and seeing every problem as a nail".

          Question: Where does AI fit into DT and the POs? Can you suggest any activity for yrs 7/8?

          It appears explicitly in CTDT PO8, which is senior high school(!), but because so many systems now have AI built into them, it could also be a topic to look at much earlier under DDDO, where the AI is taken as a given (don't need to know how it works), and students can learn some of the key ideas and issues. For example, cognimates.me allows students to train the system to classify photos (for example, they could upload photos of cars and horses, and then upload an unclassified photo and ask it to say if it is a car or horse). They are likely to encounter problems like over-training (where it only works on the training data), or using the wrong features (perhaps it learns that anything with green grass in the background is a horse, and is fooled by a car in a field!) Cognimates can also give students sentiment analysis of text, which they can use in a Scratch program to decide if the input has, for example, a positive or negative sentiment.

          Google's https://quickdraw.withgoogle.com/ and https://teachablemachine.withgoogle.com/ also give them experience training an AI system.

          There are also Unplugged AI experiences where you can "train" a simple model - it gives students insight into how AI might work. Examples are http://www.cs4fn.org/teachers/activities/braininabag/
          and the Intelligent Paper https://classic.csunplugged.org/artificial-intelligence/

          Equipped with a little insight into how AI might work, students can also think about the ethics around AI - for example, see https://ngakiriahi.kiatakatu.ac.nz/discussion/view/761/ethics-and-morality-of-ai

          Question: When students are driving their own learning such as passion projects how can I ensure that they are including the aspects of the digital curriculum?

          Passion projects are great - and sometimes the problem is keeping the scope from covering too much of the curriculum! But one way to avoid them following a narrow path is to ensure that they are using a good design process, so for example, you might want to arrange for them to talk to potential users rather than produce something they think people will like. Also, with any project, the more tools they are equipped with before undertaking it (e.g. software tools, knowing how to program, understanding design thinking), the more likely they are to apply a variety of tools rather than just use the ones they happen to know about or stumble on.

          Question: In the long term, is digital fluency/digital capability for children an essential part of developing the Digital Curriculum?

          Digital fluency/capability helps all areas of the curriculum, and it's also important for DT! Tim used the example of touch typing; it might be seen as an archaic skill, but in the end, if a student can get their ideas into a computer efficiently without having to hunt and peck, they are going to be able to produce better digital outcomes. And general digital fluency is going to enable them to get on with the challenging task they are working on without the additional cognitive load of figuring out how to log in, how to find something in a menu, or how to make sense of common error messages.

          DDDO is all about creating good solutions to problems, so learners will need a suite of tools they they can combine and use to get the best outcome for their end-users. Becoming digitally fluent means they are able to select the best tools for a given outcome. As students progress through the progress outcomes, they will need to make more and more decisions for themselves about how they will make their outcomes. Good digital fluency is always going to be handy.

          Question: What are some ways to engage junior learners on google meets?

          Although this issue isn't specific to DT, we feel your pain! The challenge is to get students engaged, and that's a whole topic in itself.

          There are some great tips for supporting young learners virtually in this Enabling e-Learning discussion thread, What does an online programme look like? You're most welcome to join that community and share ideas of your own as well.

          And here's a collection of ideas relating to teaching DT at home by Warren Grieve At Home  - Great Remote Learning Digital Technologies and eLearning Activities. Also, CS Unplugged are releasing some ideas for using their activities in a home situation https://csunplugged.org/en/at-home/.

          Other links

          • Tessa Gray
            By Tessa Gray
            Apr 24

            Kia ora koutou mā, thanks to everyone who joined us in our first Ask Me Anything (AMA) live feed this week, are some links that were mentioned during the session.

            A lot of general questions about how DT should be implemented are answered here, including who should teach DT:

            More information about how DT fits in with the NZC are here:

            What does it look like for years 9-10?

            • From Technology in the Curriculum Q&A : “Some schools will choose to use specialist teachers, some will want other teachers to incorporate aspects of digital technologies into their teaching and learning programmes.”

            Some ideas for Integration of Computational Thinking in secondary learning areas and more some specific examples in particular disciplines:

            Should we teach Python to younger students?

            • The consideration is making programming accessible to a variety of learners, so think about scaffolding that works for your learners, and the consideration of “low floor, wide walls, high ceiling” for the programming language you start with.
            • Around the world, it seems that around 11 years old is a common ballpark for when students are ready for a text-based language. Using languages like Python requires skills such as good spelling and typing; this obviously can’t be predicted entirely by age, but younger students are more likely to struggle, whereas older ones will prefer to type a command than find it in a menu. Both block-based and text-based languages can be used to teach all the concepts in Computational Thinking up to Progress Outcome 5, so the issue is mainly around student motivation and supporting skills.
            • It’s not a race! We want students to enjoy learning these concepts, and as with all teaching, pitching things too high or too low can equally make learning difficult.

            Career pathways

            • IT related career pathways beyond school - Enabling e-Learning discussion on links between curric and IT related career Pathways (VLN discussion) 
            • https://careerswithstem.com.au/ 
            • Don’t feel obliged to prepare students to be industry-ready! The main thing is to help them find their passion - each type of industry will have its own way to build on the general skills and dispositions that you’ve helped them with. Keeping in mind Key Competencies and a changing focus on global skills in a digital age.

            Design thinking models suitable for primary school

            Design thinking model

            Other recommendations shared by attendees:

            Resources:

            Looking forward to seeing you 5th May for a primary years focus.

            Image source: Flickr: Gabriella Revine empahty, define, ideate, prototype test 

            • Cleo Thorpe-Ngata
              By Cleo Thorpe-Ngata
              Apr 20

              Thanks Ta'ase. I have a meeting partway through so cant be there for the whole time.

              • Ta'ase Vaoga
                By Ta'ase Vaoga
                Apr 19

                Thanks @Cleo.Thorpe-Ngata

                Great questions - we'll address these in the Live event and provide written answers afterward.

                • Cleo Thorpe-Ngata
                  By Cleo Thorpe-Ngata
                  Apr 18

                  Kia ora tatou,

                  I am a Technology teacher at a secondary school. I am not a trained DT specialist, but I am the teacher in charge of DT at my school. I am currently working through the Pikau to become a 'digital leader' and also trying to get a clear understanding of what changes we may need to make to the timetable to ensure students get sufficient time to learn the CT and DDDO Progress Outcomes to prepare for NCEA (and life!).

                  My questions come from a range of issues/questions I have been asked around - if the DT Curriculum is compulsory up to year 10 - What does this mean in practice in a secondary school setting? Eg -

                  • Who is ‘supposed’ to teach it at year 9 and 10? Is it solely a Technology teachers job or should it be distributed across the school learning areas? 

                  • If DT is solely (or mainly) the Technology teachers role then;

                  • Approximately how much time should a Year 9 student be expected to be engaged in focused DT learning? (Eg. Could students be enrolled in a DT course for 4 hrs a week for a term? Is this, approx 40 hours, enough to get up to the appropriate POs? Could a 5 week (20 hour) course be enough?) 

                  • If teachers are expected to integrate DT into the other Tech areas (or other subject areas), should there be extra time allowed for this so that it doesn’t detract from the other learning? (especially considering DT is new for most teachers as well as students)

                  • Approximately how much time should a Year 10 student be expected to be engaged in focused DT learning to get up to the appropriate POs to prepare for NCEA?

                  • We currently have Digital Tech as a 2 term option for Year 10s. Under the new requirement, should this be made compulsory or is the fact that it is available sufficient? 

                  Nga mihi nui

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