What is it?
It is solving problems. That's pretty much it. More specifically, it means breaking down the problem into a list of required steps solve it accurately and efficiently. Just because it has the word computer in the title doesn't mean we can't be talking about solving a maths problem, or constructing a cooking recipe.
How am I promoting it?
On a computer. Sorry, but I'm a computing teacher so that's what I work with. But please don't let that discourage you. Currently, I'm encouraging my students with my own real passion for coding and building. I do this with a variety of products including LittleBits, Minecraft, MakeyMakey, Arduinos, Scratch, Visual Basic, Python and Robotics. All will involve some aspect of getting students to solve a range of problems to within specific criteria of expectation levels.
My next endeavours will involve the implementation of open source coding onto Raspberry Pi devices into the year eleven course starting next year. This, coupled with some additional work in Python, will hopefully lead students to want to experiment with their physical hardware devices on a more advanced level.
I want to incorporate more computational thinking. What should I do?
Why encourage making? Makers will help shape the future, so we need to encourage students to build and create!
After attending the ICTENSW conference last week, I have been inspired to implement MakerSpace into the classroom at my school. Thanks to some generous individuals at the conference, I walked away with not only a plan on how to implement MakerSpace, but some physical devices to support the immediate implementation!
Some of the items, I intend on supporting were not all at the conference, but the point is MakerSpace right? I should adventure out and establish my own MakerSpace and the let the kids help me to evolve it. I already had a few things I personally owned or had gained prior approval for, before the MakerSpace concept had reached me, so I'll be able to fall back on my Mindstorms robots and Rasperry Pi, but to be greedy, I want more!
Not only do I want to implement MakerSpace to support the students at school, I want to play in MakerSpace. What better time to implement than right now, as we prepare to move into the most innovation-inspiring workplace environment at school. The #YHSRebuild is due for completion in the next few weeks, and we should be ready and teaching in the new building next term.
.... I know there's more stuff, so if you have anything to suggest, please just let me know!
When Purple Zeus first went live, I was please with the immediate response and support from ICT and computing educators through my own personal learning network, and the network of my employer. Above all else, effective feedback was provided that improved some of my own teaching and lesson plans instantly.
After only a few days active, the website was also featured in the Sydney Regional ICT Newsletter for the DEC. The feature not only promoted the website and brought more visitors from other statewide ICT coordinators, but it helped me build yet another connection to educators. Notably, a connection to the ICT coordinator or coordinators. As a (still relatively) new teachers, this admittedly made me quite proud. It served as yet another reminder of the importance in learning of effective feedback to students.
I have provided a copy of the newsletter below, and you can visit the website here. On top of the latest news around the DEC, it also contains multiple access to resources and other links to like minded teachers.
One of the reasons I decided to create a new portfolio website of resources for my students, as well as reactivate my old blog has a lot to do with my personal learning network. Mostly through communication means like Twitter, but also Edmodo and TES, I have built a large network of teachers with whom I communicate and share resources online.
For all teachers, I can't stress enough just how beneficial this has been to my teaching. So many ideas and so many new colleagues to discuss teaching with has really promoted my work in the profession far more than I ever expected.
Designated chat sessions through Twitter are especially useful. I have regularly participated in #ozcschat and #AussieED, but others have also proved beneficial.
A Computing teacher with a passion for collaboration and open source teaching.