Using Augmented Reality to visualise 2D sketches as 3D models

Planning maker projects, to extend learning opportunities with design for digital fabrication, has taken us back to tablets with new applications.

We’ve been looking to develop more ideas to support student projects over time, and to highlight maker education as another chance to combine digital literacy with physical computing across the curriculum.

Schools using 3D printers to design, prototype and showcase digital fabrication projects have linked previous projects into planning phases.

Just a couple of examples below, relating to environmental themed projects through physical computing (with Raspberry Pi) and now using the Quiver app to add support to visualise 2D sketches as 3D models.

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And so to 3D:

Of course the recent Amy Johnson Festival in Hull has led to more inspiration and a little Summer tinkering, too.

More to follow 🙂

Sharing teaching ideas, strategies and evolving pedagogies at Tech 4 Change

The programme of workshops at this year’s Tech 4 Change conference was guided by school and teacher priorities added to CPD plans over the year.

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What did teachers hope to gain from the event?

  • ‘New ideas regarding technology and updates regarding e-safety’
  • ‘Tips on implementing cloud technologies’
  • ‘Keep up-to-date with any new initiatives and learn some best practice techniques used in other settings’
  • ‘An insight as to what technology is doing to contribute to the learner experience’

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Feedback from the day

  • ‘Especially liked the now press play and the Tweendykes practical sessions showing how to incorporate a range of technology for cross curricular usage’
  • ‘Loved the Lego workshop!’
  • ‘The keynotes were brilliant!’
  • ‘Good chance to meet with other colleagues. Also identified some useful ideas and resources for use at my school’
  • ‘Like the variety of workshops’
  • ‘Really enjoyed the workshops’
  • ‘The online safety workshop was brilliant’

The theme for this year was inspiring, preparing and empowering students to be successful and responsible citizens in this technology-rich modern world.

Practical sessions gave opportunities to share ideas, strategies, available support and build on the schools’ network to explore how technology has positively impacted on learning.

Here’s an overview:

Innovative technologies to support the wider curriculum

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Kath Oliver, and a group of students from Tweendykes School, delivered a practical session with Russell looking at how technologies have extended the range of learning opportunities in school.

Examples of projects and resources explored by teachers included Google Cardboard, electric paint with Touchboard, physical computing devices, a barcode scanner and 3D printing.

Making the KS 1&2 computing curriculum clear: Unplugged with LEGO

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Tom Radge, an Assistant Head from Ganton School and CAS Master Teacher, joined us to share his ideas for teaching unplugged computing.

This hands on workshop gave teachers the chance to explore the use of LEGO and constructionism to deliver computing activities in school.

Constructionism starts with the belief that children learn best when they experience things first-hand and within a meaningful context. LEGO allows us to do this, and the session generated lots of practical ideas and reflections from the group.

Embedding a culture of literacy across the curriculum

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This session from Bron Duly explored how the use of ebooks has helped children to make significant progress with their reading and get the most reluctant readers to enjoy reading more, according to a study published by the National Literacy Trust in December 2015.

With a local focus, Bron also explored the findings from the reading intervention project with online libraries across a group of primary schools in Hull.

Making sense of sensors and programming possibilities: Hands-on with the BBC micro:bit

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David Ames, Associate Tutor in Computing/ICT at Edge Hill and CAS Master Teacher, joined us to share practical hints and resources with teachers.

Some of our schools have already received the devices and students have been given tinkering homework tasks since half-term.  Other teachers are planning to use micro:bit with Year 7 students in the forthcoming weeks and were keen to share ideas.

Organised learning and connected students with Apple’s iTunes U and Showbie

Neil’s practical session used iTunes U to model an environment for students to engage, collaborate and share.

Teachers were able to explore how iTunes U supports them to create structured assignments and single lesson materials for students and how learners submit their work for assessment.

Immersive storytelling: Engaging primary age children through emotion, imagination and movement

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Alice Lacey and Tom Owen, from now>press>play, took teachers on creative journeys to other worlds to explore immersive learning through sound, story and movement.

Earlier in the makerspace, the children had been taken back to Ancient Egypt as a catalyst for creativity to extend programming and writing possibilities.  This time the adults wore the infamous pink headphones 🙂

Collaborating within and beyond the classroom: A practical session learning as a learner through Google Classroom

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Google Classroom can significantly transform the way that teachers and students use technology in the classroom and beyond the school walls.

In this workshop Russell and Mark explored how real-time editing of documents by multiple people can support learning, along with the seamless delivery of homework.

Making Online Safety a Priority

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A fundamental part of our CPD programme has been to prioritise online safety and support schools to ensure that their knowledge, systems and protocols are in place to safeguard students and staff.

Kat Howard’s thought provoking workshop looked at the journey to outstanding, and sustaining it, amidst new and continually changing challenges and requirements.

The introduction of Ofsted’s latest safeguarding measures and the DfE’s Prevent Duty on schools as part of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 were topical discussion points.

Turning a digital vision into reality through change management

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How do you move an entire school to new ways of working using Google Apps for Education?

After over 25 years of at the chalkface, Mark House is not perhaps the most obvious flag bearer for technology in education.

Through a few twists and turns, Mark became the unlikely strategic lead in his school’s desire to move to new ways of working. He joined us in Hull to reveal the bumps, bruises and near misses that took place along the way, and to share the real impact that whole institution change can make.

 

Engage. Inspire. Collaborate. Share.

‘Increasing diversity and inclusion in tech to inspire our next generation of innovators’

Our second Tech 4 Change conference was hosted in Hull again on Thursday 23rd June.

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Supporting teachers, school leaders and educators working in schools, colleges and community learning projects, the event blended together inspirational keynotes, practitioner-led workshops, and opportunities to build on local and national networks.

We were excited to be joined by Laura Higgins and Kate Bellingham, who both delivered keynotes during the event.

Laura, Online Safety Operations Manager at South West Grid for Learning, is the lead partner of the UK Safer Internet Centre, where she manages two specialist Helpline services.

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The Professionals Online Safety Helpline has established itself as a lifeline for professionals who work with children and young people, experiencing issues with digital technology and online safety.   In 2015, SWGfL launched a brand new service specifically to support victims of revenge porn, which was once again ground-breaking and a first for the UK. 

Online safety is an area of support and CPD offered to all of our schools and one which has been prioritised this year. Laura’s keynote included recent trends and emerging issues, along with invaluable strategies to help teachers and young people.

Kate joined us with a wealth of experiences and approaches to share around the subject of participation of young people in STEM subjects.

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With a degree in physics, MSc in Electronics and Qualified Teacher Status, she has worked as a computer programmer, broadcast engineer, TV presenter (including ‘Museum of Life’ and ‘Tomorrow’s World’), and secondary school maths teacher.  In 2014 Kate was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Science from the University of Hull.

Her work and roles as Patron of WISE and champion for girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) are closely aligned to projects across schools encouraging greater participation; most recently with girls in computing.

Makerspace at Tech4Change: Young digital makers and teachers collaborate

Teachers asked us to include another project space at this year’s conference, so we expanded the range of activities and age range of children joining us.

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A group of Learning Innovators from Spring Cottage Primary and Malet Lambert schools came along with their experiences of mixed aged collaborations this year, through wearable technology challenges, alongside their own school based activities.

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Challenges to inspire this next generation of Y5, 7 & 8 innovators included using the Faraday Project resources from the IET (Institute of Engineering and Technology). Children worked in pairs and teams to plan their own projects and determine levels of complexity.

None of the students had seen a BBC micro:bit before, let alone coded one. They quickly transferred what they’d learnt from previous projects to tackle ambitious group challenges under guidance from Dave Ames.

Using the micro:bit with these resources was a perfect match to engage and excite the group on National Women in Engineering Day  (#NWED2016).

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The theme for activities in the makerspace centred around a book by Julia Jarman.  The Time Travelling Cat and The Egyptian Goddess became a catalyst for creativity and to extend programming, digital fabrication and writing opportunities.

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Linking digital storytelling and literacy resources, the team from now>press>play took the children back to Ancient Eqypt to explore creativity through sound, story and movement.

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That led to animations and game-making with Scratch, either using resources from Code Club or remixing shared code.

Some children got hands-on, learning by doing, with digital fabrication tools.

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Working with Paul, and using Egyptian themed artefacts with the Sprout, they developed 3D creative imagination to explore the design-thinking process.

They started to show the connection between planning and 3d modelling with a computer to reach a prototype stage, and then make further iterations. And said they enjoyed working on those design changes 🙂

Ada Lovelace Day in Hull: Inspiring and engaging young people to increase participation of girls in computing

Teachers and Y7 students joined us from across the city to collaborate on creative physical computing projects and explore careers in STEM.

Aims of the day:

  • To support the participation of more girls in computing and strategies to help close the gender gap in STEM fields.
  • To challenge and influence perceptions of computing with positive role models
  • To share creative opportunities through physical computing as a wearable tech STEAM projects (art, textiles, design etc.)
  • To support teachers with networking and collaborative opportunities

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We used the WISE Campaign’s People Like Me resources to explore personal strengths and aspirations and also to find out more about careers in STEM.

Language considerations opened up conversations and  thoughts on future possibilities, and for some adults a reassurance of their career choice in an instructor/teacher role.  Yes, we were all involved 🙂

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Students worked in pairs to start their projects through design-thinking, which meant sketching ideas and thoughts after initially coding and downloading a starter activity onto Codebugs.

The project brief was theirs to personalise and consider their own purpose and levels of complexity.  Support with ideas came with peer coaching and an array of resources to invent a wearable technology solution to their real life problem – or purpose.

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Lights, sound, tunes and messages were coded and then incorporated into their digital making projects.  Several iterations later and they were able to share their inventions, models and textile-based creations.

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Feedback from the students?

  • Computing activities can be complex and frustrating. But once you understand how to control it, it will become easier.
  • I found the part when we designed our inventions on the piece of paper exciting because it required us to discuss and think about what we were going to do.
  • I liked sewing the project together because it was challenging.
  • I found the designing exciting because we used our own ideas.
  • I liked making the project because it was fun and creative.
  • I liked exploring different ideas of computer science.
  • The activity was hard and frustrating at times but when you finally complete the activity, you feel really good and satisfied.
  • Making the project was interesting.

And how did they describe the digital making activities?

  • Fun and interesting!
  • Hard, different, fun and I would do it again
  • Wasn’t as I expected
  • I think that it was challenging and was fun
  • Interesting yet difficult
  • I found it tricky on some things but near the end it was fun and easy because I like to be creative and make/build things

Thanks to Winifred Holtby Academy, who became part of the planning cycle from the beginning, and sparked more interest in students to form future Lego challenge teams.

Inspiring the next generation of digital makers in Hull

Background

We’re thrilled that the number of creative computing projects that we’re supporting in schools has increased again this year.

That also means that the hackspace at our Tech 4 Change conference extends as a showcase for teachers and children to share, collaborate and network through challenges.

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Themes and partners

We’re inviting teachers to join us in Hull, on Thursday 23 June, as we explore peer to peer learning projects and reflect on the impact of digital making activities across the curriculum.

  • Are you co-ordinating the computing curriculum in your school and looking to incorporate new ideas for Computer Science, IT or Digital Literacy?
  • Thinking about transition projects and progression of programming from KS2 to KS3?
  • Planning enrichment activities and involving parents and carers with STEM clubs and Code Club?
  • Are you an art or music specialist and looking to incorporate technology into your projects as a ‘STEM to STEAM’ activity?
  • Looking to explore the language and terminology of the curriculum and plan creative activities?
  • Would you like support to ensure that the requirements for the Computing programme of study are met in your school?
  • Want to discuss ways to underpin the curriculum with computational thinking?

Children from Years 5, 7 and 8 will be working through challenges as they explore creative and imaginative possibilities through physical computing and programming.

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They’ll be working with a team of passionate educators who’ll also be on hand to talk about your own plans for activities in school.  Here’s a taster of digital making activities and partners who’ll be with us in the hackspace on the day:

Making sense of sensors and programming possibilities with BBC micro:bit

We’re delighted as David Whale joins us and the children get hands-on with creative activities from the IET’s (Institute of Engineering and Technology) Faraday Challenge with micro:bit.

David joins us as a software developer, STEM Ambassador and volunteer with the IET, who has worked with the project from the early days to develop resources and liaise with schools.

We’ll be using the IET challenges and no doubt the children will add their individual creative twists with their iterations and plans!

  • Are you waiting in anticipation for a delivery of your students’ BBC micro:bit devices and want to talk to others about first projects?
  • Wondering about the potential of this micro:bit that’ll be given to this year’s Year 7 groups, and how to sustain their interests and ambitions?
  • Thinking about how to use the micro:bit to support STEM clubs and parental engagement activities through events back in school?
  • Or are you one of the schools that we’ve been supporting with your recent delivery of boxes and curriculum plans, and want to extend complexities and projects?

Join us with your own plans or questions to explore : )

Inspiring young makers on National Women in Engineering Day (#NWED)

It’s no surprise that we’ve chosen 23 June as the conference date, as we share new and ongoing inclusive and diverse projects to inspire digital makers in Hull.

#NWED is a celebration and a reminder of the projects and impact as we support school leaders and teachers to increase the participation of more girls in STEM fields and strategies to help close the gender gap.  Our own Ada Day follows on 30 June.

Immersive storytelling to support creativity in game making

We’ll be linking digital storytelling and literacy resources with the team from now>press>play to extend creative opportunities through programming.

We’re excited to be joined by Alice Lacey and Tom Owen, who will be facilitating activities and different kinds of learning experiences to use as a springboard into creative computing.  They’ll be engaging children through emotion, imagination and movement.

Join the auditory space journey that’ll lead to animation, game making and other digital activities using the resources from Code Club.

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Inspiring children through the Code Club network of after school clubs

If you’re looking to extend computing opportunities for children through your enrichment programme, then there’ll be lots of opportunities on the day to talk to Victoria Sauron about starting a Code Club in your school.  

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Victoria joins us at the North East and Yorkshire Coordinator for Code Club. As the children use the resources as examples of challenges available at the club sessions, you’ll be able to talk through how other schools have benefitted from the programme and what you can do to make it happen in your own school.

 

To join us on the day you’ll need to register for your free place, and select your workshops and time in the hackspace, on the link below.

Look forward to sharing those projects with you on the day!

 

Embedding a culture of literacy across the curriculum

Background

It was more than an educational visit to Bletchley Park that came out of last year’s Tech 4 Change conference.

The event sparked numerous projects and collaborations including a reading intervention programme supporting over 200 learners across 8 centres in Hull.

Once discussions around the positive use of ebooks to support literacy programmes in schools developed, it became apparent that a project in the city could be launched to extend current interventions.  The National Literacy Trust project was a catalyst to design a programme to extend readers in Hull.

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Project overview

Through the Primary Headteachers’ forum, a project focused on progression of reading with children in Year 5 has emerged.

Each school has populated their own online library of ebooks with free titles alongside the ability to populate with a range of books appropriate to their children’s ability, interests and current reading schemes.  For some that has seen an extended range of Accelerated Reader titles added to their online library and for others, using pupil voice throughout decision making, a common theme has been more Diary of a Wimpy Kid or titles from David Walliams.

We’re also thrilled to see the head and teachers from The Boulevard Centre collaborating through the programme with their own project, supporting readers whose ages are lower and higher than Y5, and individual needs and interventions.

Measuring impact

Whilst the focus of the project is to report back on the impact with Year 5 children, schools have been encouraged and supported to utilise the books and resources with other classes and groups.  They’ll be able to continue to use their library of books after this first evaluation study is over.

Data collection such as attitudinal surveys and reading ages, taken at project launch and finish, will be collated as evaluation tools alongside anecdotal comments from teachers and readers.

We’ll share initial findings at this year’s Tech 4 Change conference in Hull on 23 June.

 

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Implementation of an online library resource

Most schools are utilising tablet devices for children to access their ebooks, alongside laptop and desktop computers.  The latter have been used in a couple of schools when children have requested reading time once their computing activity has been finished!

There’s a definite mix of teachers who have previously used ebooks as part of their guided reading programme and those who are evaluating for the first time.  From the beginning of the project has always been the intention to explore progression of reading through ebooks and also to maintain a healthy balance with physical books.

Most projects have also added opportunities for pupil voice in their library decision making process. Teachers have chosen to include the ‘recommend’ option for children to suggest reading books to be added to their school library and individual collection.

Timetabling 

Reading intervention time with ebooks differs for each group, let alone each school.  Some examples:

  1. A dedicated one hour each week for all Year 5 children
  2. Weekly guided reading session using ebooks (other times continue with physical books)
  3. Lunchtime reading clubs
  4. Daily intervention groups
  5. Supporting out of school access
  6. Reading opportunities within other learning times

Tools and reporting

Tools within the library have supported teachers to create a bespoke range of books suitable for their learners’ needs.

reading and interest age

Filtering by genre, interest level and reading age has been beneficial for one school who have been extending reading opportunities for above average girls in their project.  In another school, the tools have enabled bespoke packs to be created for children with EAL with other examples to share at a later date.

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Reporting capabilities have also highlighted progress and time spent reading including number of books, page turns, interactions etc.  Of course this has flagged up continued reading for some children at home during evenings, weekends and holidays and perhaps the most requested and popular titles in the library.  For individuals, their progress is available for teachers to share and trends have been highlighted.

Individual learner needs and feedback

We’re starting to hear about comments and experience from children’s reading sessions and of course building up a bank of evidence and quotes through the surveys.

Requests from children for a particular genre of book or author are highlighted to teachers through the reporting tools and their comments about using ebooks for one of their guided reading sessions have been positive.

At one school there’s been an excitement at using mobile devices to access their books as they’ve taken pleasure in answering questions related to their assessment focus.  Guided reading sessions have given opportunities for challenges to further interact with the text, which the children have particularly enjoyed.

For a couple of readers at one school their enjoyment of reading, time spent reading and confidence have all increased as they’re making progress.  This has led to requests for ‘more challenging books, please’ which was quickly acknowledge and actioned by their reading intervention teacher!

For one child with general learning difficulties, previous use of an iPad for learning activities has proved difficult.  During this ebook project he’s gaining positive experiences through reading with a peer.

Early lessons learnt?

Further interventions have been needed for some children in the project, either supporting their learning, reading behaviours or access to the online libraries.

Reports have flagged up the small number of children who ‘test out’ the monitoring system with apparent mammoth reading activity only to find that they’ve become ‘page flickers’.  Soon resolved!

For one child with autism, he’s found connecting an iPad to his medium for reading exceptionally difficult. Comfortable using a tablet for learning activities, sees the iPad as a device for quizzes, games, research and projects.

What next?

The project will continue over the Summer term, with schools able to extend their library to more children, and particularly as the new academic year starts in September.  There’s no switch off date.

Some of the teachers involved in the project will be sharing their experiences and reporting on reading progress of their children at the Tech 4 Change conference on 23 June.

If you’d like to learn more about using ebooks to embed a culture of literacy across the curriculum, join us on the day by registering for a free of charge place on the link below.

Tech 4 Change