STEM Skills in Darwin

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Skills 2021 is an initiative from the Northern Territory (NT) Department of Education and the NT Parliament House.

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It involved about 500 students from a range of NT school linking with IT professionals from a variety of companies all with a focus to enhance skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Essential skills for the 21st century and beyond.

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I had the pleasure of running a series of 30min workshop/presentations on how to use Adobe Spark Post & Spark Video to communicate a story in a creative way.

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The students were encouraged to then use these skills to become journalists for the day and create stories about all the workshops and presentations they experienced.

Here are a selection of images from a fun and dynamic day of learning …

Special thank you to Mark Christie (Director eLearning Systems, Department of Education, Northern Territory Government) and his staff for organising this event for the students.

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Young ICT Explorers – Victoria

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The Victorian chapter of the Young ICT Explorers competition was judged yesterday at Deakin University, Burwood. It was delightful to again be on the judging panel.

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Young ICT Explorers is an initiative from the multi-national software company SAP to encourage school students to create ICT related projects. Schools around Australia are linking this competition to a range of curriculum areas and giving students an opportunity to develop their ICT skills and connect with industry.

About 200 students from a range of primary & secondary schools throughout Victoria proudly showed off the projects that they had built for this event to a panel of judges made up of ICT professionals and academics. Each project was assessed on the criteria of creativity, uniqueness, quality, level of difficulty and project documentation.

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Professor John Yearwood (Deakin’s Head of School of information Technology) welcomed the students, parents, academics and ICT professionals who attended. He told us that Information Communications Technologies can be considered the most exciting and important area of study  in this time in history. He just came back from a trip to Israel which he called the start up nation of the world. The Israeli Government encourages start up companies to keep trying even if they fail the first time. They see failing as the potential for growth and further development. A sentiment that education systems around the world could learn from. He encouraged the students who don’t get an award this year to keep developing their skills and ideas and keep striving to be creative.

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Matthias Braun, the Head Judge of Young ICT Explorers, also welcomed everyone and congratulated all the students on what they had achieved to get to this stage.

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I was very impressed with this hologram that was part of an extensive set of additions to a picture story book. This project was built by three very creative Year 9 Haileybury girls. They used Adobe Premiere Pro to help construct the hologram. They even use the new Adobe Fuse CC application to build characters for the story that were printed with a 3D printer.

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A group of boys, also from Haileybury, built a mirror that provides personalised digital information for you while you use it.

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Daniel, from Parade College, created a wonderful online alternative to the paper based Learner Drivers log book. He built it using his developing knowledge of a range of computer languages for online data bases and web development.

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I also had the pleasure of meeting staff and studenst form Toorak College who were incorporating robotics and programing into their regular curriculum in creative ways.

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I congratulate Matthias Braun, Travis Joy, SAP and most importantly all the students who were involved in this amazing event. I encourage all teachers to look sensuously at being involved in this initiative next year.

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Adobe Mobile Apps at ISV

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I had the pleasure of working with a group of independent school teachers in Melbourne at ISV (Independent Schools Victoria) yesterday with a focus on Adobe’s mobile apps in education.

We had a play with the following Adobe mobile apps and discussed lots of ways to incorporate them into the Primary & Secondary classrooms and link them to Adobe’s laptop/desktop apps …

We also looked at the value of the Adobe Education Exchange and the Adobe Help & Support site.

Be informed about future Adobe in Education professional learning opportunities for teachers in Australasia via: http://bit.ly/adobeEDU-events

Check past Adobe in Education active use activities via this journal site and CreateEdu TV https://vimeo.com/createedu

The Godfather of ICT in Education – Seymour Papert (1928 – 2016)

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I was saddened today to hear about the passing of Professor Seymour Papert, the man who I liked to call the Godfather of modern ICT integration in Education.

Professor Papert was a pioneer in the use of computers in education. In 1980, well before the Internet and the common use of personal computers, Papert made a speech where he predicted that computers would be everywhere, as common pencils. He said everyone will have them all the time. How true did that prediction come, yet at the time he was scoffed.

In the same speech, he said that with everyone having computers all the time, it is inconceivable that learning will be like it has been in the past and he suggested that there will be new ways of learning and it is up to all of us to invent that future.

http://www.papert.org/articles/const_inst/const_inst5.html

It is interesting that we are still having strong debate about the value of ICT in the learning process.

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Constructionism

Professor Papert is the founder of the constructionism learning theory which focuses on a student-centered approach to teaching and learning where students use information they already know to acquire more knowledge through a discovery and construction approach.

This approach is the foundation of the current Maker Movement in education where students are encouraged to use a wide variety of tools, objects and technologies to make things and construct learning in a creative way.

Disciples of Professor Papert such as Dr Gary Stager and Dr Mitch Resnick have become well-regarded thought leaders in education with Mitch Resnick following on Papert’s great work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as the Head of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT.

Melbourne connection

Back in the late 1980s, Professor Papert was looking for a school or school district to test out his theories of 1:1 computing in education and constuctionism. He found it hard to find a school in the US that could work with him, which isn’t surprising considering the cost & rarity of laptops back in those days.

He met the Principal of Melbourne’s Methodist Ladies College (MLC) who took him up on his offer of doing the research and so began the revolution of 1:1 computing in education in 1990.

http://hackeducation.com/2015/02/12/first-one-to-one-laptop-program

As a young teacher in the 1990s, I had the privileged of hearing Professor Papert speak at an education event in Melbourne and I was so impressed with his passion for using computers to help students construct their learning and teachers to communicate concepts that I decided to follow his education philosophies. These days, I have the pleasure of spreading his great work throughout Asia Pacific and beyond in my role with Adobe.

The work of Professor Papert will live on in the hearts, minds and actions of teachers and students throughout the world of education and life long learning for many years to come.

Other tributes to Professor Papert include:

NSW Teachers at Adobe Office

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It was a privileged to meet a great group of NSW educators at a fun professional learning event run by Adobe Education at the Adobe Sydney office in Darling Harbour yesterday.

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Adobe Education Leaders Bill Gillespie and Gary Paulton joined me again to help present this, the second of four planned events this semester titled – Making the most of Adobe Creative Cloud in the NSW Classroom.

Bill shared his passion and expertise in Adobe Photoshop while Gary showed the creative way he and his art students are working with Adobe Spark in collaboration with Illustrator, Photoshop & InDesign.

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Other software we covered in this 4 hour session was Adobe Muse, Presenter Video Express, Premiere Clip and Premiere Pro

About 90 NSW educators have registered for this series of events. Some of the feedback we have received so far includes …

  • This workshop gave me a good overview of Adobe tools that I can use not only in my work, but recommend to others. Highly recommended.
  • I really enjoyed learning about the Spark apps and am excited to share and use them in the classroom.
  • The Photoshop tips and tricks for educators were spot on! Adobe Spark is a wonderful platform for both Students and Educators for quick and easy creative webpages, flyers, posters and movies.
  • I look forward to my next training with Adobe. I will definitely share these resources with my team and my colleagues in the faculty.
  • A good mixture of demonstration and hands on … a great addition to the online sessions on the Adobe Education Exchange
  • Wonderful teaching tools for a flexible learning environment – I’m even more hooked than I was before.

Be informed about future Adobe in Education professional learning opportunities for teachers in Australasia via: http://bit.ly/adobeEDU-events

Check past Adobe in Education active use activities via this journal and CreateEdu TV https://vimeo.com/createedu