Saturday, November 07, 2015

C@SScot 15: Using SOLAR for Unit and Assignment Verification

Raymond Simpson: Using SOLAR for Unit and Assignment Verification
Live capture

Unit assessments already on SOLAR. Pupils complete answers in screen, or can upload documents that demonstrate they have completed the outcomes.

Pupils can be given an assessment record, when the pupil has the evidence, they upload it. However, don't assume SQA have access to all kinds of software - better to take and submit screenshots. {Or PDF?} Unit and course assessments for Nat 5, Higher and Advanced Higher all there on SOLAR.

C@SScot 15: A Deep analysis of N5 and H Computing Science

A Deep analysis of N5 and H Computing Science - Bill Buchanan
Live capture

 Most science graduates go into software engineering... eventually! {Stated as fact - I would be interested to see some evidence to support it! - DDM}

 The Internet of things means that the Internet is going to get bigger.

 Looking at the Bright Red Digital Zone site. Ask pupils which subjects they are studying: Computing is 6th most popular - behind French. In terms of engagement, Computing is 2nd - after Business Studies. Most logins from pupils are in January. Site designed in Visual Studio. Uses cloud services (e.g. French area uses Microsoft translation services).

C@SScot 15: Opening Keynote

C@SScotland Conference - Keynote: Dr Iain Martin, University of Dundee
How Can You Test an Autonomous Planetary Lander?
Live captured

{Biggest attendance at C@SS conference so far. Reflecting a growing interest in Computing or confidence in our subject?}

University of Dundee has a space technology centre which collects and archives loads of data. Among other things, they have a space systems research group which looks at designing autonomous planetary landers. Computational Thinking underpins their work.

Problem Analysis:
Major task and very difficult to prove you can do it. Very high stakes, many possible reasons it can fail and very expensive to try. The lander has to be able to land autonomously (time delays and limited knowledge of what you are landing on!). You have to balance amount of fuel needed for manoeuvring and landing with the sensors and science stuff you want the lander to carry. The lander will need ”a whole bunch of sensors" to detect position and hazards. Cameras are a low cost, lightweight sensor (with no moving parts - a good thing!). Need to process the images. Difficult to prove the tech works. Best Mars landing so far is MSL which still had a 6km landing eclipse - would really like to get better! One way of testing is to create simulated data. This is difficult. Comparison was made with Apollo 11 mission. Landing site was Boulder strewn but Armstrong was able to steer to a plain just beyond the crater with seconds of fuel left!

{Loads more stuff showing how Computational Thinking underpins major engineering projects like this but I occidentally deleted it. Oops!}

Playing with Trinket

Trinket is an online code development environment. You can create and run python programs, html/css, blocks (Scratch-like programming environment), music, and something called Glow-script (creates 3D stuff). I can't see how to save html stuff, but it says you can embed them. If that's right, here's a knock, knock joke:

You can save python programs... and this might embed a simple ASCII art example:

Will need to play more with Trinket to see what else it can do.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Growth Mindsets

[Notes taken from a podcast of a chap from Chew Valley talking about how they had introduced ideas around growth Mindsets to staff and pupils.]

Growth Mindset verses Fixed Mindsets.

Click graphic to see larger version. 

Based on the work of Carol Dweck

See also TED Talk: The Power Of Belief - Mindset And Success (Eduardo Briceno). 

Mantra according to some is: Work smarter, not harder.
Change this to: Work harder to get smarter

Motivational posters from Chew Academy: see this PowerPoint.

Shift in language. Listen to what you say to yourself:
 Instead of... Try saying...
 I'm not good at this. What am I missing?
 I'm brilliant at this. I'm on the right track. 
 I give up.  I'll try a different way.
 This is too hard.This is going to take time and effort.  
 I can't do this.  I'm going to learn how to do this. 
 I'll never be as clever as her.  I'm going to learn how she does it, so I can too. 
 It's not good enough.  How can I improve it?

Every teacher needs to improve, not because they are not good enough, but because they can be even better.”
-- Dylan William

[End of notes.]

I am intrigued by the "shift in language" table. The second line is interesting because the "Instead of..." entry is the only positive statement in the column. It suggests that pupils who are doing well can still have a fixed mindset. They may be succeeding but could they be even more successful. It seems to me therefore that there should be more positive statements in this column. For example, the second last row could be: 

 I'm cleverer than her. I could be even more clever.

What do you think? Could any others be adapted like this? Or can you think of any new, positive entries that could be added?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

MSc Computing for Educators - C@SS Conference

Alison Varey
(Live capture of session)

Practice based MSc from Napier aimed at teachers. Credit given for work based activities.

Also talked about student placements in schools and the the Christmas lectures they offer.

Location:Colinton Road,Edinburgh,United Kingdom


Gus McSkimming, STEMNet
(Live capture of session)

STEMNet seeks to enrich and enhance. To encourage young people to be excited and interested in Science, Technology, engineering and Mathematics.

There are STEM clubs in schools and STEM Ambassador programme. Examples of STEM related activities include CoderDojo. (See activities page for more examples.)

STEM Advisory Networks already work in all Scottish schools (including Independant sector?) Ambassadors come from many different sectors. There to support teachers not replace them. A free resource on offer to schools that give applications in our subject in the world outside education.

Location:Colinton Road,Edinburgh,United Kingdom