Girls Make Games is an organisation aimed at encouraging girls involvement in coding, game design and STEM. They hold a series of international summer camps, workshops and game jams and in 2016 ran their first Australian event in Melbourne. Founder and CEO Laila Shabir spoke about her inspiration behind launching Girls Make Games.
Science Teacher and STEM Coordinator at Zillah School District and Washington Student Achievement Council Member
Washington, USA @JeffCharbonneau
“I have learned that by setting my expectations higher than most would consider ‘high school’ appropriate, students respond by doing even more. Ultimately, by raising the level of rigor in the classroom, students will stay more engaged and be more likely to succeed.”
If the idea of sending something into space on a rocket to the International Space Station seems like a far-out concept, you’d probably not be alone in your thinking.
However, two people passionate about space, science and technology have made this reality for over 1000 Australian high school students. In 2016, Solange Cunin and Sebastian Chaoui launched the Cuberider learning program with the aim of turning STEM into an exciting, creative and highly collaborative exercise. The program gives young students practice in the highly sought-after skills they’ll need for their future careers, such as coding, data analysis and critical thinking.… Visit the author's original post
Guest post by Megan Pusey, Microsoft Innovative Expert Educator.
If you have ever played a video game you will know how addictive and engaging they can be. Indeed, they are intentionally designed to be enjoyable to play. With 68% of Australians playing video games, it’s no surprise they are making their way into the classroom (IGEA 2016). One game in particular, Minecraft, has taken the world by storm selling over 106 million copies as of June 2016. If you haven’t seen or played it before Minecraft is a game where you can build anything you can imagine out of digital Lego.… Visit the author's original post
The following post features in the Jan/Feb 2017 issue of #TheFeed, our online magazine bringing you the best stories from Microsoft Showcase Schools and #MIEExperts, thought leadership, and news from the Microsoft in Education team. This piece is written by Graeme Lawrie, Director of Innovation and Outreach at Sevenoaks School, and explores the digital initiative iDEA, which is a national project that hosts a series of online challenges and events allowing the users to win career enhancing badges, unlock new opportunities and, ultimately, gain nationally recognised awards.… Visit the author's original post
Tuesday 7th February marked the beginning of three Twilight Sessions for teachers across Renfrewshire and Central Scotland to gain confidence and skills when teaching Code in the classroom, using the BBC micro:bit. This event was put together in collaboration between Microsoft, West College Scotland, Paisley YMCA and Renfrewshire Council.… Visit the author's original post
“It seems that a score on a test determines the current educational measure of success. I have had students in my class crying because they feel so much pressure to meet a certain standard (even on pre-tests). I realized that these scores have the potential to cause students to define themselves according to their score.… Visit the author's original post
There is no doubt that PBL (Problem or Project Based Learning) and STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) has captured the current zeitgeist of contemporary learning around the globe. There are many schools in Australia that have realised that they need to do something quickly to enable their students to have the skills and dispositions to survive and thrive when they leave their stretch of education.
So as the final announcements ring out over the public address system, the shutters come down at the ExCel, and the weary legs and feet of exhibitors and visitors alike carry us all home, BETT 2017 draws to a hugely successful close. We hope you’ve enjoyed coming to our stands and seeing all of our connected speakers across the show floor, but most importantly we hope that you leave BETT 2017 with some inspiration and confidence for new classroom ideas and digital transformation in your place of learning.
I remember getting my first bike for Christmas in 1982. It was an amazing red bike, with cool handle-bar grips and a bright shiny logo on the frame. It took me months to learn how to ride it and Christmas seemed to last forever. Learning was hard, the bruises were many but the reward was independence. I also remember Father Christmas (my dad) spending ages setting up Scalextric so when I got up in the morning it was ready to go!… Visit the author's original post
Millions of students worldwide are in the process of discovering the possibilities of instructing machines to accomplish tasks. Whether completing the Minecraft Hour of Code tutorial, or watching a Pixar In a Box episode on Khan Academy, the spirit of discovery, experimentation and the art of Computer Science is celebrated while students build core 21st century software engineering skills.
This month, the Education Workshop has partnered with the California Academy of Sciences and KQED to combine coding with mechanical engineering and data science to empower students to use computational thinking to experience how engineers and computer scientists are working together to mitigate the impact of earthquakes.… Visit the author's original post
As schoolchildren (and their teachers!) excitedly continue to count down the days until Christmas, festive themed activities and lesson plans are appearing in classrooms up and down the land! We’re pleased to share news of another way that you can bring a sprinkling of yuletide magic and wonder to your students, through the BBC micro:bit Christmas Challenge!
This Friday (9th December), Cuberider will make history when the experiments of 1,000 students from 60 Australian schools will launch into space on board a Japanese H-IIB rocket from Tanegashima Space Station, on the ﬁrst Australian space mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Cuberider is the ﬁrst Australian organisation to win government approval to ﬂy a mission to space, and delivers a revolutionary educational program designed to support STEM learning in secondary schools. The experiments will be run with assistance by astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) and data beamed back to earth and provided to schools for analysis.… Visit the author's original post
Next week sees the return of Computer Science Education Week, and with it the opportunity to join tens of millions of other students in over 180 countries, in participating in the Hour of Code!
Promoting STEM in the classroom
Digital skills are set to add £3bn to the economy in the next five years, and it is important that the next generation doesn’t miss out on the potential the digital world offers and the ability for them to succeed in it.
The following is a guest post from James Protheroe, #MIEExpert and teacher at Microsoft Showcase School Darran Park Primary. Last week James was a keynote speaker at the UK launch event for Minecraft: Education Edition. In the post below, James talks about how his students have been taking part in a cross-curricular global project involving the works of beloved children’s author Roald Dahl, and the use of Minecraft.
A few weeks ago, I happened to spend a rare day working from the office rather than home, a school or café. I’m so glad I went into the office that day as I was handed a funky green and white laptop that I think could be a game changer for education. It’s called an Infinity:One and it’s made by One Education, a not-for-profit Australian company with a mission to ensure technology reaches the hands of students who could otherwise not afford it.… Visit the author's original post
Register your school for Free rocket Car Kits and take part in this awesome competition to design and build the fastest model rocket car in the UK!
Inspired by the rules governing the World Land Speed Record attempt that the 1,000mph BLOODHOUND Supersonic Car is targeting, the model rocket cars must blast along a wire and through a set of timing gates with a BBC micro:bit accelerometer on board gathering vital data that enables the Teams to modify and improve their designs.
So, you’re wanting to learn how to code but not sure where to start? Or perhaps you just want to know what the fuss around computer science is about? Or is it that you know you need to help your students figure out programming? Here are some ways to get started.
1. Hour of Code
Hour of Code is exactly what it sounds like and is a perfect “first time” introduction to what goes into coding. With a super simple block-based approach, you’ll go through a series of lessons that show you the basics of programming, all in under an hour.… Visit the author's original post
Over the last few weeks we’ve been taking a look each Monday at a different course, resource or activity from the Microsoft Educator Community. There is something for everyone on the MEC, no matter what subject or age group you teach, with courses and activities varying in duration, so regardless of how much time you have to commit, you’ll find something to do to further your own CPD or to engage your students.
Moving your curriculum to OneNote Class Notebook is one thing but seeing the results in the classroom is quite another. At St Helena Secondary College in Melbourne, our ICT faculty had a strategy: instead of educating teachers in all the features of Class Notebook, we simply moved our professional development program onto it — after 12 months, the results were dramatic!
The challenge: Too much time spent creating Notebooks
Four years ago, we took a leap at St Helena and became one of the first schools in Melbourne, Victoria to transfer our entire curriculum onto OneNote.… Visit the author's original post
For fifteen years, I have taught English in some of the most economically deprived schools and worked with some of the most disaffected learners that main stream education has to offer. Learners that face significant social, emotional, behavioural and developmental barriers to learning, with low self-esteem and even lower aspirations for their future. My absolute driving educational principle is that education is the key to unlock a world of opportunities beyond the cycle of social and economic deprivation that some of my learners are currently trapped within.… Visit the author's original post
Learning to code with Touch Develop is a great way to introduce students to skills in the Digital Technologies Curriculum, including computational thinking and computer programming. Accessing the Touch Develop Web App makes it easy for students to create touch apps and games in minutes and gives them the opportunity to learn these valuable industry skills. It also allows teachers who are designing the learning to share App links, capture thinking and monitor student progress.… Visit the author's original post
This summer, YouthSpark is offering computer science camps to help students who are interested in learning coding and game creation skills. YouthSpark Camps get kids of all ages coding, creating games and apps, and having a blast in the process.
Featured camps include:
Kodu Makerspace. Create rich and exciting games with Kodu Game Lab in this free, four-day camp for beginners ages 8 to 11.
Learn to Code Flatverse. Build your own Flatverse game using TouchDevelop in this free, intermediate-level camp for kids ages 12 and older.
Since the BBC micro:bit has been arriving in schools up and down the country, students and teachers have been embarking upon a huge range of STEM projects and coding activities inspired by the small, pocket-sized codeable computer with motion detection, a built-in compass and Bluetooth technology.
Summer is the perfect time for growth and learning for educators and school leaders who want to come back to school in the fall with new ideas on using the latest technology to expand the walls of the classroom.
With online and in-person professional development and training resources, Microsoft makes it easy for you to discover new approaches, try new learning activities, and explore strategies to add to your teaching toolbox with a full suite of professional development opportunities.
By Travis Smith, Teacher Engagement Manager, Microsoft Australia
The world in which students use technology to learn today is vastly different from the world that existed when technology was first introduced to the classroom. Technological developments have created a thriving community of passionate educators and leaders – who all are looking for new ways to redefine learning, and help their students to achieve more both inside and outside the traditional school environment.
This month, dozens of Australia and New Zealand’s most innovative schools, teachers and leaders gathered at the Brisbane Exhibition Centre for the Australia Redefining Learning Conference.… Visit the author's original post
The competition is a joint venture between Microsoft and the Bloodhound Engineering Project, aiming to get more children thinking about and excited by science and computing. To mark the official launch of the Race for the Line BBC micro:bit Rocket Car Competition, technical experts from Microsoft, the British Army and the Bloodhound Engineering Project visited Kennett Secondary in Thatcham to help the students there build and race their own rocket cars!… Visit the author's original post
Updates from Innovative Educator Experts and Education Specialists