Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Lego Education - WeDo

C@SS Conference Workshop

Lego Education - WeDo

{Live-ish capture of workshop session with only minor edits.}

WeDo Duck by DavidDMuir
WeDo Duck, a photo by DavidDMuir on Flickr
Connect, construct, contemplate, continue.

We were given six bricks and told to build a duck. Everyone made something different - creativity!

WeDo uses a couple of motors, a couple of sensors and a USB transmitter to send instructions to the kit. The programming interface is very Lego like and also provides hints on how to build the necessary models. Supporting children as the make something that comes to life is extraordinarily powerful. Engages and excites. 

Built a spinner and had a competition to see whose spinner spun the longest. Not that I'm competitive, but we won! (Nearly 28 seconds.)

The construction set we used is normally £88.99 but there was a 50% discount until end of November. Software is £59.99 for individual licence and site licence is available. 

Creating resources for the flipped classroom.

C@SS Conference Presentation

Presenter: Charlie Love (Computing teacher)

{Live-ish capture of presentation with only minor edits.}

"I like Curriculum for Excellence." -- Charlie Love
Charlie Love at C@SS.) by DavidDMuir
Charlie Love at C@SS
a photo by
DavidDMuir on Flickr.
Wanted to get away from lecturing, especially at Higher Level. How do we make pupils better learners? One way is to give feedback and some great ideas about that in Visible Learning by John Hattie. Traditional class is 5 minutes of chat about homework (which they didn't all do) followed by teacher talking at them for most of the rest of the period. Other problem is, if they struggle with homework, since they are at home, they have nobody to talk to about it. In class, they sit passively and listen to teacher. At home, when they need one-to-one support, they are on their own. 

Flipped classroom, the pupils spend time at home getting content (e.g. by watching a video) means more time in class working with individuals and groups. The way children work at home is they are in an environment that is busy with information coming from many places. Why can't schools get into that mix. Also, it helps busy learners, those involved in music, and trips, extra-curricular and ... Struggling learners can pause and rewind the teacher. There is more interaction between learner and teacher as well as between learners in the flipped classroom. Means teacher gets to know pupils much better and can be much more individualised. 

Research on flipped classrooms is emerging. For example, Clintondale High School

Arrangement documents are not about learning and teaching. They are the end point. The assessment hoops that will be jumped through at the end. Where you should start is with learning intentions, "I can..."  See primary school teachers for good examples. Once you have a good set of learning intentions, you then develop the lesson. With flipped lessons, we want to be consist and constrained to say 5 minute chunks. Charlie wrote a script so that he didn't waffle. Focus on content and clear explanations. One page of A4 is roughly 3 minutes of video. 

Take your time and go for clarity. Charlie created the audio and used that to direct the videos. Can use Audacity for free. Charlie used animation. Started with stop motion but switched to digital animation for speed. Could use presentation software or something like Camtasia or SamStudio or Smart notebook or ScreenChomp (iPad version available) 

The video is the easy bit. How do you know if they've done the homework? Could have quick five minutes at the start of the lesson. Important to build in formative assessment, e.g. Put a quiz on the VLE. If you are not talking, what do you do with the time? Charlie does a lot of group and peer activities. for example: paired programming; jigsaw activities (e.g. different groups developing stuff independently that is then integrated into a final product); larger projects. Can use something like CodeAcademy but you have to add checkpoints and tasks where they demonstrate they have learned. Too much scaffolding in CodeAcademy means the pupils don't get the fun of building there own stuff from scratch. 

Charlie put his stuff on YouTube. Means YouTube looks after things like subtitles transcoding for different platforms and can also create course playlists from variety of sources. He has a paperless classroom. 

Charlie is moving to mastery learning. Don't move on until you have got it. Requires clear learning objectives. This can mean that pupils may all be working on different areas at the same time. The learner takes ownership of the learning (means teacher has to surrender some control). Personalised learning. Learners can't hide while you lecture. If you do mastery learning properly, you close the gap and raise the ceiling!

Challenges. You have to be prepared - you can't fly by the seat of your pants any more. Learners may just want to be told what to do. If lots going on in the classroom, you need to be a content master! Need multiple formative assessments. Also, when do you do the endpoint exam?

Charlie's stores and shares his resources on Google Drive.

Don't focus on the video. It is just the means to the end of letting you get to the discussion, exploration and depth of learning

Location:Lilybank Gardens,Glasgow,United Kingdom
Conference date: Saturday, 26 October 2013