Technology

Mr Britland’s Open Source KS3 Computing Curriculum V3: 2014-2015: PDF Download (free booklet)

(UPDATE: 11th July 2014)

Over the last couple of months I have been working on updating my Computing curriculum ready for release this month. This is the 3rd version and I have tried to do something slightly different with it.

Several months ago Tristan Kirkpatrick, a newly qualified Computing teacher (@Tristan_ICTCS) got in touch with me and asked if I was interested in making the curriculum open source. I jumped at the chance. Tristan began building a new website to enable the curriculum to be shared. All his hard work has resulted in something really exciting.

So…how does it work?

  1. Head to www.ictcomputing.org
  2. Download the Computing curriculum / template (Google Template)
  3. Use it in anyway you like
  4. If you make any changes (remixes), send it back to us by sharing the document with ictcomputingsubmit@gmail.com. Your version of the curriculum will then be available for others to download
  5. Best of all is that it is free for everyone!

Head over to www.ictcomputing.org now!

A PDF version of the curriculum is available from the link below:

Mr Britland’s Open Source Computing Curriculum  

 


I have been working very hard over the last few months producing my new Computing curriculum and it is finally ready.

Details below:

Feel free to download and use this curriculum. If you use this booklet, its projects or ideas and would like to make a donation for its continuing development, please use the link provided. I would like to keep giving this document away for free so any donation would be amazing. Please click to be redirected to my donation page.

Thanks for your support.

Matt.

This is now version 2 – DOWNLOAD HERE

V2

I have added / amended the following:

  • Amended strand descriptors.
  • Added a new ‘How to use this Booklet’ section
  • New section on what software and websites are used, including free alternatives to paid software
  • Amended ‘Visual Programming: Kodu’ (Year 7)
  • ‘Computer Hardware/History’ project now called ‘How a computer works/computing history’ and now includes software. It is now taught in Year 7
  • Added ‘The Web: HTML5 and CSS3’ (Year 8)
  • Added ‘Networks’ (Year 8)
  • Added ‘Google and Algorithms’ (Year 9)

End products have changed for the following projects:

  • Stay Safe Online – Online guide using Snapguide
  • Visual Programming: Kodu – Screencast using Screenr
  • Your Digital World – Online presentation using slide.es

In Development

  • New creative projects
  • How to use an iPad to teach this curriculum

If you would like some help with creating your own resources or would like me to produce any educational publications, please visit www.realiselearning.co.uk.

iPad Video Tutorials – Staff Training

The videos below were created as part of our iPad trial and were used to help support and train members of staff. They are a little old now but they are still relevant.

If you need to offer staff training at your school or ideas how iPads can be used for teaching and learning head over to www.realiselearning.co.uk.

What is the future of technology in education?

This article was originally published by The Guardian on 19th June 2013

A couple of weeks ago I was asked what I thought the future of technology in education was. It is a really interesting question and one that I am required to think about all the time. By its very nature, technology changes at a fast pace and making it accessible to pupils, teachers and other stakeholders is an ongoing challenge.

So what is the future? Is it the iPad?

No, I don’t think it is. For me, the future is not about one specific device. Don’t get me wrong, I love the iPad. In fact, I have just finished a trial to see if using them really does support teaching and learning – and they have proved effective. I’ve written about the trial in more detail on my blog.

iPads and other mobile technology are the ‘now’. Although, they will play a part in the future, four years ago the iPad didn’t even exist. We don’t know what will be the current technology in another four. Perhaps it will be wearable devices such as Google Glass, although I suspect that tablets will still be used in education.

The future is about access, anywhere learning and collaboration, both locally and globally. Teaching and learning is going to be social. Schools of the future could have a traditional cohort of students, as well as online only students who live across the country or even the world. Things are already starting to move this way with the emergence of massive open online courses (MOOCs).

For me the future of technology in education is the cloud.

Technology can often be a barrier to teaching and learning. I think the cloud will go a long way to removing this barrier. Why? By removing the number of things that can go wrong.

Schools, will only need one major thing to be prepared for the future. They will not need software installed, servers or local file storage. Schools will need a fast robust internet connection. Infrastructure is paramount to the the future of technology in education.

We don’t know what the new ‘in’ device will be in the future. What we do know, is that it will need the cloud. Schools and other educational institutions will need to futureproof their infrastructure the best they can.

This should be happening now. If you want to start to use mobile technology in your school, whether it is an iPad program or a bring your own device (BYOD) program your connectivity must be fast and reliable. Student and teacher buy in, is so important. If the network is slow and things are not working properly students and teachers will not want to use the devices. Make the sure the infrastructure is there before the devices.

Teachers can use the cloud to set, collect and grade work online. Students will have instant access to grades, comments and work via a computer, smartphone or tablet. Many schools are already doing this. Plus, services such as the educational social network Edmodo offer this for free.

This is where devices come in. All devices, not matter which ones we will use in the future will need to access the cloud. Each student will have their own. Either a device specified by the school or one they have chosen to bring in themselves.

School classrooms are going to change. Thanks to the cloud and mobile devices, technology will be integrated into every part of school. In fact, it won’t just be the classrooms that will change. Games fields, gyms and school trips will all change. Whether offsite or on site the school, teachers, students and support staff will all be connected. In my ideal world, all classrooms will be paperless.

With the cloud, the world will be our classroom. E-learning will change teaching and learning. Students can learn from anywhere and teachers can teach from anywhere.

The cloud can also encourage independent learning. Teachers could adopt a flipped classroom approach more often. Students will take ownership of their own learning. Teachers can put resources for students online for students to use. These could be videos, documents, audio podcasts or interactive images. All of these resources can be accessed via a student’s computer, smartphone or tablet. As long as they have an internet connection either via Wifi, 3G or 4G they are good to go.

Rather than being ‘taught’ students can learn independently and in their own way. There is also a massive amount of resources online that students can find and use themselves, without the help of the teacher.

This of course means the role of the teacher will change.

Shared applications and documents on the cloud, such as Google Apps will allow for more social lessons. How often do students get an opportunity to collaborate productively using technology in the classroom? It isn’t always easy. However, students working on documents together using Google Apps is easy. They could be in the same room or in different countries. These are all good skills for students to have. Of course, these collaborative tools are also very useful for teachers. I for one have worked on several projects where these tools have lets me work with people across the country. Some of which I have never met.

What we must remember is that when schools adopt new technology and services, they must be evaluated. This way, as a school, you know if they are successful and what improvements are needed. Staff will also need training, you can’t expect staff to use new technology if it they are not confident users or creators. Any initiative is doomed to failure without well trained, confident staff who can see how technology can support and benefit teaching and learning.

Plenty of schools have already embraced this, but there’s still a way to go to ensure all schools are ready for the future of technology. It is time for all schools to embrace the cloud.

Assembly – Online Reputation (Presentation included)

On monday, I did a presentation to the middle and upper school on ‘Online Reputation’.

It is a really important topic and I feel our kids need to know the importance of having a positive online presence.

The adapted presentation is available below:

I also would like to thank Alan Mackenzie (@esafetyadviser) for his help.

The Flipped Classroom – Some brief guidance

I have been meaning to write this post for ages and I have finally got around to it.

So what is the flipped classroom?

In “flipped classes” students use technology at home to watch online video lectures, demonstrations, explanations of assignments and listen to podcasts. This of course, means much of the learning can be done at home, independently. In lessons teachers can be more like facilitators and more time can be spent guiding students, offering support and assessing understanding.

What can we use to create resources for the flipped classroom?

The iPad is perfect for this and can save a huge amount of time. We could use the following apps:

Explain Everything

ShowMe

VideoScribe HD

The apps above are great for making videos using images, YouTube videos, text and audio. These videos can then be shared with students to be viewed at home.

iMovie

This could be used to film and edit a segment of a lesson or perhaps the teacher explaining something and shared with students. You could even combine Explain Everything videos and lesson segments together in one movie edited in iMovie.

ThingLink (App and website)

This can be used to create interactive images. You can tag video and text to the image to create a really engaging learning experience.

There are also web applications that you could use.

http://slid.es (works on the iPad)

This can be used to create online presentation with embedded YouTube videos and text.

Google Apps

You can create online presentations with embedded content.

Padlet (works on ipad)

You can create an online wall that you can share with students. Teachers and students can add sticky notes to it and collaborate and share information and knowledge.

SoundCloud (iPad App available)

Teacher can very easily create audio podcasts that can be shared with students. Students can even add text comments at certain parts of the audio.

These are just a few examples to get you started.

If you would like to have a chat about any of these ideas or would like some training on how to use the apps / websites drop me an email.

Creating Mobile Apps in Schools: Appshed Tutorials Pt 1 – 4

So you want to create mobile Apps with your students? Head over to AppShed and sign up.

Check out my first 4 tutorials below. These will give you a brief introduction on how to create your Apps.

If you want some project ideas, check out my curriculum:

ICT CURRICULUM 2012-2013 V1.1

Tutorials 5 – 8 coming in a couple of days.

Appshed Tutorial Pt 1 – Creating an App

Appshed Tutorial Pt 2 – Creating a Main Menu

Appshed Tutorial Pt 3 – Creating a Map and Map Points

Appshed Tutorial Pt 4 – The Standard Screen and YouTube

iPad in Education Trial 2012-2013: Report, Evaluation and Data

Back in September we began an iPad trial. I have finally written my report.

If you would like me to come into your school to talk about iPads, offer training or give you some advice drop me an email at matt@realiselearning.com or check out the Realise Learning page.

The report includes the following sections:

  • Aims
  • Planning
  • Implementation
  • Projects
  • Analysis of teacher and student evaluations
  • Conclusions
  • Some of my possible recommendations for the future
  • Integrating iPads into teaching and learning

You can download the whole report from the link below:

iPAD REPORT 2012-2013

You can read more about the trial below:

iPad Trial: Launching to Heads of Departments (Presentation)

iPad Launch to all staff – Inset: How it Worked(Resources Included)

How to Evaluate iPad use in Education

Lots of iPad video tutorials

PS (Photoshop) Touch for iPhone: Review

PS Touch

Firstly, I have got to say, I’m a massive fan of Adobe Photoshop and I love using it with my students. I was curious how a stripped down version would work on my iPhone 5, after all, the screen is pretty small. It has to be said, after using it, its clear that a lot of work has gone into this . I’m very impressed.

When I first opened the App I wasn’t sure what to expect or how it would compare to the iPad version. The interface is very similar, with changes only made to take into account of the screen size. From what I can see all the functionality is the same. The UI is simple and not too overwhelming, it looks clean and it is easy to navigate.

So what is it like to use…

In order to give it a proper test, I decided to try and replicate an album cover that I produced in Photoshop for school a couple of months ago. I wanted to see how it compared. You can see the original below:

Original Photoshop Version

Original Photoshop Version

As a Creative Cloud user, I was able to download the images the original cover was made from, onto my iPhone from the cloud. Easy. You can also import images from your camera, photo library or clipboard.

Cutting out the original image of Jay-Z was a bit awkward, but I was impressed with the various option available to do it.  You can use the lasso tool or use your finger to trace around the parts that you want. What really blew me away was the ‘Refine Edges’ tool. Very similar to ‘big’ Photoshop. But, again, a little bit awkward because of the screen size. If I was a bit more patient and with practice I am sure it would get easier.

Some of the editing tools

Some of the editing tools

Once I cut Jay-Z out I then added more layers which are images from the cloud. The laters can all be arranged as you would do in the desktop version of Photoshop. You can even change the blending options of each layer. Happy days.

The layers

The layers

You can add adjust each layer by changing things like Brightness/Contrast, Saturation, Levels, Curves and many more.

Adjustment Options

Adjustment Options

And of course, Photoshop would not be the same without some image effects. The effects available are pretty good, but I am sure we will see more added in the future.

Effects

Effects

Once I had added my layers, made some adjustments my album cover was ready. I was even able to add some lens flare. I love lens flare and there are several options, even a JJ (Abrams option).  There are several options for export, you can upload to creative cloud, save to Camera Roll, share in different ways or save to iTunes.

The final album cover looked pretty good, compared to the original. I found it quite difficult during the cutting out the image process and you can see it isn’t perfect. The screen size is not ideal for this sort of editing, the iPad is obviously far better for this sort of thing. I would also like to see more fonts available. However, for an iPhone App I am very impressed and really enjoyed using it. The available tools and options are amazing for a iPhone App. I would definitely recommend. It is especially good for anyone who wants to quickly mock up a design for a larger project. To be honest though, the results can be really professional.

Final Album cover made in PS Touch for iPhone

Final Album cover made in PS Touch for iPhone

As you can see the image created on my iPhone is impressive when you compare it to the one I created on my MacBook Pro on Photoshop CS6.

My verdict: 4 out 5