<![CDATA[PenfoldICT - Articles]]>Thu, 07 Jan 2016 01:10:29 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[“We would be honored if you would join us.”]]>Thu, 17 Dec 2015 20:42:12 GMThttp://penfoldict.weebly.com/articles/we-would-be-honored-if-you-would-join-us
In an ever busy teaching environment finding the time to learn there are inventive ways to take part in CPD that works around the teacher. With reports that teachers are working 60hr weeks, being able to dip in and out of courses makes it easy to implement. The Microsoft Educator community is a perfect example of this. Create an account and have an access to a variety of resources across the Microsoft range.
Different types of media are used in a classroom nowadays to provide a stimulus to children. This particular feature is an advantage to the Educator Community. Different courses have different media which make up the course content. This variety of media helps you understand the particular elements of the course. You can practically see how the course focus is implemented in the classroom. There are a number of resources that can be implemented in the setting that you work in.

Tests!!! Everyones worst nightmare. Some like the pressure of testing how much knowledge they can remember whereas some people can feel blank in a stressed situation. The test at the end of each of the courses helps cement the knowledge that has been learnt about the course. It recaps the key elements from the learning. Just like the minimum numbers of children that need to meet age related expectations, the magic percentage for each course is 80%. 

Stickers are a great reward in the classroom and however old a class there it help maintain focus in a lesson. This sense of reward is also achieved when taking courses. The buzz you get from getting a badge gives you the drive to achieve as many as you can to add to your Microsoft Education medals. Twenty badges are the total number that you can achieve. As Paul 'Lanny' Watkins @Lanny_Watkins does, turn it into a competition between departments in the school 

Take the time to sign up to the Microsoft Educator Community and while your wrapping the Christmas presents take part in a few steps towards your first badge. Choose the particular course that you want to learn about to achieve the badge. The #mecclub and #mieexpert will provide a great support if stuck at all.
<![CDATA[Using Sway]]>Thu, 10 Dec 2015 20:22:06 GMThttp://penfoldict.weebly.com/articles/using-swaySince recently joining the Microsoft Innovator Educator Expert I was introduced to sway. In a simple description, sway is an intereactive way to create powerpoint presentations. It removes the features of having to create animations like you can in powerpoint.

​Microsoft has a number of tutorials which I highly recommend if you've never used sway before
Tutorial Links

​A particular aspect of sway that I like is that it is simple. The design of sway makes the online creation very easy. You are able to see the different slies that make up your sway presentation. Each of the slides in sway are called cards. You are able to include text and headings as well as pictures, videos, tweets and charts. The different cards can be easily switched aroundand oragnised in different ways. There are a number of designs that you can use which use a variety of fonts and colours. There are three ways to present the information:-
  1. ​Like a presentation
  2. Vertically
  3. Horizontally

Another advantage due to the simplicity of the tool means its easier to explain to children how to create a simple and effective presentation. Children can easily present information in a creative way without the need to add in animation. Children can add a variety of media and not restricted in anyway from using powerpoint.

​I would say to have a go as you don't know how good it will be until you have a go.
<![CDATA[MIEExpert and Microsoft]]>Tue, 01 Dec 2015 21:18:50 GMThttp://penfoldict.weebly.com/articles/mieexpert-and-microsoftThe last few weeks have been very exciting. Just last week I found out that my application had been accepted to become a Microsoft Innovative Education Expert. I have been chosen as one of 4000 others in the UK. This achievement is the first significant computing achievement so far in my teaching career. My workings with Microsoft began with Stuart Ball @innovativeteach who has been a great colleague. (Thank you)

Microsoft have been working hard on their Education website to provide teachers with online training in a variety of different subjects. By using the hashtag #mecclub education professionals have shared their progress with courses that they have taken. A major plus with the online training is that it can be in your own time. Manageable amounts that suits the amount of time the teacher has makes it a very flexible way of completing a qualification. Join in and see what you can learn by using the hashtag #mecclub. 

Part of the process when becoming a MIEExpert involves Skype conversations over the year. The first Skype conversation focused introductions and also the impact that twitter can have on teaching and using it effectively to help development. One particular speaker focused on not just following particular types of people but having a wider focus so it gives a wider knowledge.

I look forward to much for exciting things to do with Microsoft as the year progresses.
<![CDATA[Technology and a new age]]>Sat, 18 Jul 2015 16:36:41 GMThttp://penfoldict.weebly.com/articles/technology-and-a-new-agePicture
Teaching in a primary school to me is aiding children for later in life. Giving children the skills they need to fulfil the best they can in their life. In a recent inset day there was a discussion that we are preparing children jobs that we don't know that they are going to be doing. 

As years go by technology will become more normalised in everyday society. Due to this it brings dilemmas with it. 

  1. E-safety
  2. Communication
  3. Pressures on parents

As I wrote previously e-safety is ever vital nowadays. Children are able to access mobile devices very easily. This gives the child access to a huge amount of a information. Once online seem to forget the the day to day rules to keep yourself safe. For example not talking to strangers. This barrier is moved when children may talk to opposing member when playing a game on the xbox or similar platform. Children don't understand that the person who says they are 10 years old may not be. 

Communication is key part of everyday society. With a growing amount of technology around, you are able to communicate with people without having to see them. The most important way in communication is face to face. Body language and the way something is said the most important part of a conversation. If that is removed by sending an email it can make it hard to understand what is meant by the message. By this continually happening it makes a harder for children to understand peoples emotions.

Finally with technology can come a big pricetags. Children are pressured to fit in with society and friends around them. This then can put pressure on parents to purchase the technology of the moment! For a family that may not be so well off can be harder. 

The importance of technology is more vital that it ever was to provide children with a rounded education. This in turn then will help them for later in their life.

<![CDATA[Minecon  Day 2]]>Sun, 05 Jul 2015 19:47:18 GMThttp://penfoldict.weebly.com/articles/minecon-day-2Day 1 finished with a meal out as part of the group. This was the perfect time to collaborate and chat with other teachers and professionals. Each person had a variety of experience of using minecraft. It was great to speak to all the different educators and create friendships that will hopefully continue past Minecon.

Day 2 began with prospect of exciting hands on training. The morning I explored the area and was able to visit any that had missed from the previous day. During the morning, I met with many youtubers. One aspect that stood out to me was how friendly and accommodating they were. Being bombarded all day cannot be easy! I had managed to get hold of a minecraft creeper which I asked the youtubers as well as Vu Bui the Chief Operating Officer.

Soon enough it was time for the training sessions. The first session was delivered by Stephen Reid. This covered the beginning basics of minecraft and how minecraft could be used in an education setting whether it was primary, secondary or further education. Stephen was able to fantastically explain step by step through what was needed to do. He had a super ability to successfully interact with each one of the people in the session. Being a newbie to minecraft I learnt how to

1.     Move/look around

2.     Jump

3.     Dig and build

4.     Kill pigs!!

Within this 90min session I could see why children are hooked by minecraft. Everytime we were told to stop, you just wanted to add in one more block! This weekend has been a real joy to collaborate with fellow educators with a range of different experience. Next job is to think where minecraft can be implemented effectively into the curriculum that can provide the best outcome.

<![CDATA[Minecon  Day 1]]>Sat, 04 Jul 2015 17:24:04 GMThttp://penfoldict.weebly.com/articles/minecon-day-1With much hype the day has come Minecon in London. Being invited to an event with 10,000 sell out tickets, I felt very priveledged. The day began early in the morning for a journey to London.
Once arriving at Minecon I knew it was a popular event as the tube got busier the closer we got. Fortunately I met up with Simon Baddeley as we made our way to the main arena for the opening ceremony. Streams of people constantly flowed into the main arena to get a seat to kick off the much eagerly awaited Minecon. I realised sat down:
  1. How popular Minecon was?
  2. The variety of ages that had booked

The beginning of the opening ceremony started very well. Due to the number of people that had attended minecon, it had broken a world record.
<![CDATA[#TMPompey - my first ever experience 17.6.15]]>Wed, 17 Jun 2015 21:01:09 GMThttp://penfoldict.weebly.com/articles/tmpompey-my-first-ever-experience-17615Being a Twitter keen user, I had come across people often using a hashtag with TM in it. I often wondered what it meant and wanted to explore it further. When I had the opportunity to go to a teachmeet in Portsmouth it was the perfect chance. Once arriving I knew straight away that it was a friendly environment that everyone spoke to each other.

A series of different presentations took place and here were a selection of the idea from them. First up was an equally novice member of teachmeets. Kenny spoke all about the app Aurasma. This was interactive in which children can relate to pictures. When scanning the picture children can then see further images as a overlay.
The next presentation was by Jon Neale. This presentation focused on the use of google maps to enhance learning. He modelled the ability to explore different areas in the world such as the Brazil World Cup football stadiums, the Great Barrier Reef and many more. He also showed how you can create your own maps to produce journey. 

It was then the turn of Rachel discussing about Off time table impact using google classroom. She discussed the different activities that the children took part in each week and the apps/programs that were used to aid this.  Applications included:- Spreaker, Touchcast and Snapseed.

QR codes was the next topic of discussion. QR codes I have seen with my class is a fun interactive way that can help children's learning. The website QR code kaywa was suggested to produce the QR code by copying and pasting the URL. QR Wild and Class Tools are tools that can be used to create a scavenger hunt for children around the school. 

From Stephan we were then inroduced to the term MOOC - Massive Open Online Courses. A variety of different places were suggested including

  • Future learn
  • Class Central
  • Fiona Harvey - Scoopit

Last but not was the discussion about infographics and how they can be used. Options from children were also included to cement that fact how useful infographics are. There is also the opportunity to make your own using piktochart.

In summary I really enjoyed my first ever teachmeet and have lots of ideas to try and include in my teaching. 
<![CDATA[E-Safety - the ongoing  issue]]>Wed, 10 Jun 2015 18:14:08 GMThttp://penfoldict.weebly.com/articles/e-safety-the-ongoing-issuePicture
Due to the rapid growth of technology in society it means the awareness of e-safety for children is incredibly important. Making children aware of how to safely use the internet is the key factor to focus children's understanding. Technology is all around us all the time, iPads, Laptops, TVs and Game Consoles. As well as the amount of technology, there is also a huge amount of places that you can access Wifi. There are very few public places that you cannot access free wifi.

One of the biggest issues I find with children and technology is them thinking they are a different person. Children can act completely different online as to face to face. Children will often say things online that they necessarily say to someone in person. In addition to this children don't see talking to a stranger online as wrong whereas straight away understanding you shouldn't talk to strangers in the street. Making children aware of this is really important as the person they think they are talking to could be totally different in real life. 

Due to the amount of technology that is about nowadays e-safety needs to be constantly taught to keep children aware. I think once or twice a term to make children aware and understand what to do in certain situations.  There are a number of resources that are on the internet to help children understand about e-safety. Giving children different situations that children think about how to best deal with the situation. There are also a number of books for KS1 and KS2 available online for free. Check out the safer internet day website for these free books.

As well as children understanding the key elements of e-safety it is important to involve parents in the awareness of e-safety. Parents can be left behind in technology in such a rapidly changing society. Through workshops and presentation parents can be made aware how to protect and look after their children online. As well as making parents aware it is really important to suggest ideas which can be put in place. eg settings on tablets, settings on routers to prevent children accessing particular websites of part of the tablet.

Finally the most useful website I have used to give to parents is, http://www.net-aware.org.uk/. This website produced by the NSPCC looks through each of the different social media websites. Each social media website is thoroughly described and made aware what the age limit is in addition to what things you will come across on the website.

<![CDATA[Kahoot as a AFL Tool]]>Wed, 03 Jun 2015 19:42:46 GMThttp://penfoldict.weebly.com/articles/kahoot-as-a-afl-toolIn an ever busy curriculum shortcuts can help teachers ease the workload. Kahoot is one of these tools that can be used for assessment. Kahoot gives you a chance to test children in a fun way. It can be used across a variety of platform to take part in a quiz.

The step of Kahoot is to create a quiz (https://create.kahoot.it/). The quizzes are multiple choice with the opportunity to have multiple answers. Questions can be made up including an image stimulus. When creating the questions that are tools such a duplicate to make typing up the questions easier. As many questions can be created to make up your quiz.

The next part is hosting the quiz. Teachers load up the quiz and host for pupils to join in. Quizzes can be joined using iPads, android, iPhone and laptops. The device that the children join the quiz on is what they use as their answering device. The computer that is being used to host the quiz is where the questions are publish. Each answer is labelled with a different colour which children have to select on their device. If a scoring system is being used during the quiz children find out what position they are in on their device, once everyone has answered the questions.

Throughout the quiz answers are collected in a spreadsheet which can be collected at the end. When pupils join the quiz they sign up using a gamer tag name. Once completing the quiz the detailed results can be downloaded. Children's gamer tag are named with the questions they answered labelling them correct or incorrect. Straightaway you can see the areas that pupils understanding maybe weaker in a topic. These can be address at another point within the lesson. 

Finally the best aspect about Kahoot is that it is free. I suggest taking the time to explore this fantastic resource to assess children's understanding. It completes your marking.]]>
<![CDATA[#Tweachcode 1.6.15]]>Tue, 02 Jun 2015 18:40:49 GMThttp://penfoldict.weebly.com/articles/tweachcode-1615Picture
A great quote from the chat to start of the summary. "Unplugged computing is great for teaching less confident teachers too."


1.    Computer Science unplugged means teaching Computer Science without a computer. Why is this a good idea?

·       Helps students break away from "Can we go on the Internet" or "Do you want a power point?"

·       “Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.” - Edsger Dijkstra

·       Helps them to think problems through without expecting the computer to do it for them

·       Pupils find it difficult to conceptualise CS concepts in their head. Unplugged helps visualise this.

·       Shows technophobes that Computing is not just about computers/technology!

2.    How can we use unplugged activities in teaching?

·       Unplugged activities often scaffold learning before using tech hands-on, or draw out learning as a plenary after

·       Identify concepts to focus on in unit of work and develop unplugged resources to support these at start of unit

·       yes, we for example print off various Scratch blocks and cut them out, the students can program before touching a PC

·       Mixes up the learning. Sometimes can be big unplugged activities - pixel representation on large scale as example

·       http://t.co/mthXUIOtIE Link to resources

·       Youtube Phil Bagge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leBEFaVHllE

3.    Do we need to use technology in every class?

·       Yes to give students best chance in connected world. But not in all lessons

·       technology exists in every industry, that doesn't mean that its needed in every class..

·       Definitely not! Some of my best CS lessons have been unplugged!

4.     Do you think unplugged lessons have a greater impact on learning?

·       When used as part of an integrated learning sequence. They shouldn't be seen as stand alone activities

·       Depend how the lesson is planned/delivered! Not wishing to sound like broken record but Pedagogy must come first
good learning has VARIETY.

·       The problem that ICT courses had was plugging away at coursework in front of a computer

5.    Can you give us some examples of your favourite unplugged activities?

·   Building an HTML page with cardboard markup on one board. Drawing said HTML on another board.

·   I love probots. Or good old fashioned binary trees for sorting.

·       Obvious answer = Official CS Unplugged activities - http://csunplugged.org/ 

·       http://t.co/XbN9HgsiLF Robot Crane

·       Guess Who, Angry Birds and Dice Games to introduce variables http://t.co/N9SRJCaa5z

·       waiting for @hellorubyworld to be published. Unplugged activities

·       One person beebot one person giving instructions around the room clear room first practise different commands

·       @LEGOeducationUK #LearntoLearn sets are great for getting ch to sort/program/problem solve real life situation

·       great activity from @yallsop use incredibox to create dances with repetition & selection http://www.incredibox.com/v4/ 

·       Cs4fn activities are good. Great way to wow kids.

·       Plenty of unplugged activities in @NtlSTEMCentre elibrary

6.    What's the most advanced concept you've taught using unplugged activities?

·       Packet switching and routing with Yr 3/4 and jigsaws

·       Manufacturing line with robotics.. KS3