Coding and STEAM Workshops in Australia, 2016

Australia coding and STEAM

You wouldn’t put someone in front of a piano and say, ‘Figure out how to play it’. The same can be said about coding in schools.

Following the endorsement of the new Australian Technologies Curriculum, the Queensland Government made coding and robotics compulsory in schools from Prep to Year 10. Its reasonable to expect that it won’t be long before each Australian state will ensure that schools are embedding coding and robotics in the curriculum – which is clearly a very good thing.

But what does this mean for schools, institutions and teachers who are expected to deliver this new curriculum? Whilst Scratch, Code.org and similar packages give students and teachers an entry point, teaching “General Purpose Computer Languages” to students is an altogether different matter.

And its a similar story for the broader push towards STEM/STEAM. Whilst schools are equipped to teach each STEAM subject area, making learning gains from the integrated STEAM approach requires careful thought, planning, development and investment.

To help schools respond, CLWB will be delivering Coding and STEAM (Science Technology Entrepreneurship Arts and Maths) workshops in Australia in February – March 2016.

In October 2015, we ran STEM workshops in Melbourne and Brisbane, and at the Cognitive Acceleration conference in Queensland. We received a clear message at these workshops – “please help us implement the Digital Technologies curriculum – particularly coding – in our schools”. So, we’ll be coming back to Australia in February and March 2016 to run a series of workshops focusing on teaching coding and STEAM.

The CLWB “You Can Teach Coding” workshop will directly teach teachers how to teach coding. The CLWB “Practical Steps to STEAM” workshop will build on our recent STEM workshops and provide opportunities to plan STEAM, and participate in hands-on learning activities.

Option 1: “You Can Teach Coding” @ School

One-day In-School Bespoke Workshop

This is a full-day, in-school bespoke coding workshop for a group of up to 10 teachers paired with up to 10 students. This workshop will not only teach teachers how to code, but also how to teach coding. Participants will be taken from assumed no-knowledge to being confident in teaching with a “General Purpose Programming Language” by the end of the day. The workshop can be used to train student “Digital Leaders” and build a coding culture across the school. Teachers will be given a CLWB Computer Science kit and post-workshop Skype distance support as part of the workshop package.

Option 2: “Practical steps to STEAM” @ School

One-day In-School Bespoke Workshop

This is a full day bespoke workshop focused on creating a STEAM curriculum at your school. In the morning, participants will be lead through Science, Technologies, Arts and Maths subject content. This will be followed by a planning activity aimed at getting maximum learning gains from the STEAM approach, and integrating technology and entrepreneurship into the curriculum. The afternoon session focuses on a practical, hands-on STEAM activity, enabling participants to acquire new skills in Electronics, Programming, Designing and practical ‘Digital Making’. Teachers will be given a CLWB STEAM Kit and post-workshop Skype distance support as part of the workshop package.

Option 3: “You Can Teach Coding” Professional Development 

One-day Teaching Coding workshop

Meet and work with teachers from other schools at this full-day workshop, which will not only teach you to code, but also how to teach coding. Participants will be taken from assumed no-knowledge to being confident in teaching with a “General Purpose Programming Language” by the end of the day. Participants will receive a CLWB Computer Science Kit and 1 post-workshop Skype support, as part of the workshop package.

Option 4: Practical steps to STEAM Professional Development

One-day STEAM workshop

Meet and work with teachers from other schools at this workshop, which builds on the STEM workshop that we ran in Brisbane and Melbourne in October. The workshop will focus on creating a STEAM curriculum within your school. In the morning, teachers will be lead through Science, Technologies, Arts and Maths subject content. This will be followed by a planning activity aimed at getting maximum learning gains from the STEAM approach, and integrating technology and entrepreneurship into the curriculum. The afternoon session focuses on a practical, hands-on STEAM activity, enabling participants to acquire new skills in Electronics, Programming, Designing and practical ‘Digital Making’. Participants will receive a CLWB STEAM Kit and post-workshop Skype support as part of the workshop package.

If you or your school is interested in any of these options please use this form to let us know.

Note: You might be interested in having both Options 1 and 2 in your school over 2 days or you might be interested in sending teachers to workshops covering Options 3 and/or 4 in your area. You may also like to consider having a bespoke workshop in your school and invite other schools in your area to send teachers. Use the “Comments” box to let us know what options you would like.

CLWB at BETT Asia Leadership Summit

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We were delighted to present at the first BETT Asia Leadership Summit. We demonstrated some simple principles for using Programming, Electric Ink, and Control Technology to boost STEM learning. Download the presentation (55MB, make sure your security settings allow downloads) from here:BETT Asia Workshop PowerPoint Show.ppsx​​

Coding – Using Java to demonstrate the orbits of the planets in the solar system

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Programmable Visual Displays – representing the frequency of the orbits of the planets using flashing LEDs. This solution used Electric Ink for the circuitry.

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Games Controller – We showed how the Arduino Esplora can be used for multiple learning scenarios involving gaming and sensors.

arduino

We also showed how plot data in Excel from sensors directly from an Arduino.

Excel

We also chaired a session entitled ‘Distance education and mobile learning: Increasing choice and accessibility whilst ensuring safety management’. The panel consisted of Dr Daniel Tan, Group Chief Learning Officer, Taylor’s Education Group (TEG) – Malaysia; Stephen Lee, CEO, Swan Christian Education Association – Australia; and Allan Christie, General Manager and Learning Technologist, Blackboard ANZ – Australia

The panel answered questions such as:

  • What outcomes do we want from increased access to distance education and mobile learning?
  • How do we balance access with security?
  • What security is needed for e-examinations/tests and assessments

BETTAsia

Codex Launch

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In October we were delighted to announce our partnership with {Codex} in Espirito Santo, Brazil. The Codex project is about building and operating “micro-schools” using the CLWB curriculum and content. CLWB provided a range of services, including design, training and the learning platform. The model is similar to English schools, but with the learning focus on ‘Invention-Based Learning’. We jointly launched the program on October 17th in Vitoria, with Programming, Computer Science, and Robotics demos from children and the Codex tutors. At the end of November Codex ran its first Electronic classes. Check out the Codex website here – http://codex-es.com.br

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