Update – Impacts, Welcomes and Perspectives

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LEARNING IMPACTS – Teacher Training at St Nicholas and Croesyceiliog schools

WELCOME – New members and partners

NEW PROJECTS – CLWB micro-school project

NEW CONTENT – Programming module added, White Paper for Microsoft Singapore

BETT ASIA EDUCATION LEADERS FORUM – CLWB to run a workshop

PERSPECTIVE – Must read Economist article and special report

LEARNING IMPACTS

Back in June we proudly announced a new partnership with St Nicholas School, Sao Paulo. Since then we mapped CLWB to the school’s curriculum, designed a purpose-built “Robotics Studio”, run 3 teacher training courses, supported technical developments including network setup, and enabled the school to run what is now its most popular Elective module. The pictures below show our first teacher training module, and children engaged in CLWB Electronics in the purpose-built studio.

In other developments we delivered teacher training and kits at Croesyceiliog School, Wales, UK.

WELCOME TO THE CLWB

Welcome first of all to new members, Croesyceiliog School, Wales, UK. Thanks to Alun Willis, his colleagues and students for a great session at the school. Croesyceiliog is a publicly funded secondary school with around 1600 students. Alun is introducing CLWB Electronics, Computer Science, Programming and Robotics to the school in an attempt to get ahead of the curve in Wales. We look forward to further supporting Alun on this journey.

We also welcome our new support engineer – Pedro Crotti. Pedro is an A* student studying Mechanical Eng and Computer Science at Brazil’s top university, as well as providing technical support for CLWB. Pedro knows all the CLWB modules inside-out and has translated them into Portuguese. We also welcome two new tutors who have been working with us at St Paul’s school – Prof. Rafael Telles – an expert at Arduino and C; and Kenya Fernandes, a Lawyer by training, with an infectious passion for robotics, computing and coding.

NEW PROJECTS 

We are delighted to be working with a new venture – {Codex} – in Espirito Santo, Brazil. The project is about building and operating “micro-schools” using the CLWB curriculum and content. CLWB is providing a range of services, including design, training and the learning platform. The model is similar to English schools, but with the learning focus squarely on ‘invention-based learning’. The launch of the program is scheduled for October 17th in Vitoria.

NEW CONTENT

We have added a new module – Programming. The idea behind the CLWB Programming course is to give children an entry-point into the world of programming, and the foundation skills needed to progress further. In this course, students will learn how to create games, sophisticated animations and graphics applets with Java, and learn how to program apps for phones. Children attending this course will also develop their mathematical and logical thinking skills.

This has given us scope to separate Electronics from Computing Computer Science, so now the lineup of CLWB modules looks like this:

 Electronics E-Fashion
 Computer Science Manufacturing
 Programming Construction
 Robotics Wearables
 Flight Media and Entertainment

We have also completed a vision paper for Microsoft Singapore focussing on preparing students for more volatile and unpredictable times ahead. The paper explains how technology can be used to amplify innovation, creativity and intelligence and covers areas such as innovation, coding, computer science, and digital making. Members and subscribers to this newsletter will receive a copy once published.

PERSPECTIVES

We highly recommend an Economist article entitled Wealth without workers, workers without wealth which explains how the digital revolution is bringing sweeping change to labour markets in both rich and poor worlds. “…. so far, the upheaval has been felt most by low- and mid-skilled workers in rich countries. The incomes of the highly educated—those with the skills to complement computers—have soared, while pay for others lower down the skill ladder has been squeezed”.

This article is a summary of a special report which includes a great article entitled “The third great wave” (industrial revolution). In the same special report another article about technology and productivity argues that “over-education has been a consistent problem in most developed economies, which do not produce enough suitable jobs to absorb the growing number of college-educated workers. Over the next few decades demand in the top layer of the labour market may well centre on individuals with high abstract reasoning, creative, and interpersonal skills that are beyond most workers, including graduates.

CLWB Down Under

Swinburne

C/O Swinburne University – Kilometer Sq. Array. 

If you are reading this using a device connected to WiFi thank Australia. I’ve been lucky enough to spend two weeks in the birthplace of WiFi, the feature film, the electric drill and of course mass education technology (School of the Air). Here’s some highlights:

LEARNING IMPACTS

Simplifying Astronomy 

Thanks to Sarah Maddison for this wonderful insight and set of resources:

Astronomy is a fascinating subject of interest to people of all ages, and a great way to expose people to all areas of science, from physics to chemistry to geology and geophysics and even biology. For example, Astronomy can be used in the International Baccalaureate IGCSE Mathematics with students between 14-16 years to learn Number; Calculation of powers and roots; exponents; estimating; calculations involving time; solving problems involving speed, distance and time.

Astronomical objects are often structurally complex and can be difficult to visualise, so astronomers at Swinburne University of Technology in Australia, lead by Sarah Maddison, have been developing a set of 3D PDF documents that allows students to see objects in 3D and interact with the structure – rotating and changing positions, zooming in and out.

To view the 3d PDF documents, just download the latest version of Adobe Reader, download the documents, and run them on your device. (The 3d feature does not work within a browser, but works beautifully across platforms in Adobe Reader).

Swinburne has some wonderful astro 3D PDFs freely available online – see http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/sao/students/3D-pdfs/ Explore the orbits of the planets in our Solar System and the smaller bodies like asteroids and Kuiper Belt Object (http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/sao/students/3D-pdfs/pdfs/solarsystemorbits.pdf) and zoom into real asteroids to view fascinating shapes (http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/sao/students/3D-pdfs/pdfs/asteroids.pdf)  Check out Swinburne’s online astronomy course – Swinburne Astronomy Online for more terrific materials.

The software used to create the 3d models is called S2PLOT – see http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/s2plot/index.php?title=S2PLOT

3D PDF has great application beyond astronomy and I’m looking forward to seeing its creative use in many other learning scenarios.

Mars Lab

Another great Australian initiative is The Mars Lab – a re-creation of the Martian surface and a robotics lab in Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum. Mars Lab offers High School children a Project Based Learning experience based on the search for life on Mars. With relatively inexpensive equipment, there is no reason why schools couldn’t have their own extra terrestrial environment, and CLWB can help with this.

Pushing the Boundaries 

Since “School of the Air” Australia has always pushed the boundaries of technology in education. Lessons from schools such as Hermit Park and Eltham College, and statewide systems such as Queensland’s Smart Classrooms were documented in Schooling at the Speed of Thought. More recently, New South Wales has pioneered e-testing with online Essential Secondary Science Assessment (ESSA) tests in New South Wales and Melbourne University are pioneering the electronic assessment of 21st Century Skills (http://atc21s.org).

Speaking at the “Education Technology Solutions Magazine” 2014 Award for Innovation, industry veteran and Head of Judging Panel, Bruce Dixon said “we’re seeing a shift in schools across the country towards recognition that innovation is becoming a mainstream responsibility for school leadership teams. Schools acknowledge that the world in which their young people are growing up in demands fresh thinking and new ideas around engagement for achieving improved education outcomes”.

Whilst Australia’s leading schools lead the world, there is also  much to learn from schools in disadvantaged areas, such as Upper Yarra Secondary School, just north of Melbourne. Here, children have an options program that covers no fewer than 22 modules, each aimed at giving practical and valuable skills. This includes:

  • “Green Machine” – a program designed to make the school greener
  • “Robotics”
  • “Human Powered Vehicle”  – designing, building and testing vehicles
  • “How to Fly an Aeroplane”
  • Astronomy

(Thanks to Patricia Broom)

CLWB welcomes new members

S U M M A R Y

LEARNING IMPACTS – Cadoxton Primary, Wales, have been using the Aeronautics module.

CONNECTING WITH OTHER SCHOOLS – Today we had our first CLWB school link-up – between Schloss Neubeuern Germany, and Escola Bakhita Brazil.

NEW MEMBERS – CLWB welcomes Bryn Hafren Girls Secondary School, Wales to the community.

LAUNCH EVENT – We launch CLWB in Brazil on Wednesday 4th December, with the children showcasing their learning and a webcast which you can log into.

D E T A I L

LEARNING IMPACTS

Cadoxton School, Wales, have been using the Aeronautics module (see the blog). The Aeronautics module starts in the stars (with ‘celestial navigation’), and journeys upwards through different forms of flight, and finishes back in the stars with an analysis of Deep Space technologies.

CONNECTING WITH OTHER SCHOOLS

CLWB lit up today with a test link-up between Schloss Neubeuern, Germany, and Escola Bakhita, Brazil. Tomorrow, Cadoxton and San Luis Argentina will link-up too. Here’s some tips –

All CLWB members have a licence to use Lync, and this is a little bit better than Skype. Skype works reasonably well, but its an open, public system it tends to degrade after a few minutes. Lync between CLWB schools is on a private network, so it should work better. Here are the steps you need to take to use Lync:

  • When you log into the CLWB homepage, go to the “settings” symbol at the top right hand side between your username and the “?”
  • Click on Office 365 Settings
  • Click on “Software, Install and manage software”.
  • Click on Lync to install it
  • Log into Lync using your clwb.org username and password. If you know other people’s CLWB addresses then you can add them to your list of Lync contacts, or just contact them if they are logged into CLWB too.

Setting up meetings with other schools is easy. For now, you can do this through me, but you can do it through Outlook by simply choosing the “Online Meeting” option or using the Lync Web Scheduler which you’ll find in the same place as where you installed Lync. Providing, of course that you know the name of who you are connecting to, you can send a meeting request or web-schedule this person directly. Your best bet is to give the person you want to talk to 3 options at different times and on different days, and let them choose the best options.

LAUNCH EVENT 

On Wednesday at Bakhita we are hosting 11 demonstrations by children aged between 8 and 13, covering learning experiences from e-textiles to drones. We may have to run the event outdoors due to the number of registered guests, and these include the press, top Brazilian schools and “industry heavyweights”. You will find an outline of the event here: http://edutechassociates.net.

Log into the event online at 9.00PM UTC/GMT on December 4th – http://v3.webcasters.com.br/Login.aspx?codTransmissao=193103 (just enter you name and preferred email address to gain access). The event will be mainly in Portuguese, but the demos are very visual and will speak for themselves.