Friday, January 23, 2015

Computer Programming at Glenburnie School

Here's a blog post that I posted on our school website in June 2012. For schools shifting their focus to an emphasis on programming I thought it would be useful to repost here:
Technology has rapidly evolved over the past few years and is increasingly incorporated in all areas of learning in many schools.  One aspect of technology that has not been widely explored to date is the field of computer programming.
Glenburnie School has been proactive in this area, and has taken a multi-grade approach to engaging students in this field and introducing the world of programming in Computer Technology classes.
Formal instruction begins in Grades 1 and 2 when students are introduced to BeeBot and Roamer, robots that use the LOGO programming language to move around the floor.  Instruction continues in Grade 3 when students learn to utilize software which replicates their foundation knowledge, as well as building on additional coding skills, such as how to repeat lines of code.
Once these skills have been mastered in the early grades, students in Grades 4 to 8 are introduced to Scratch, a software program developed by MIT, which can be used to create interactive art, stories, and games.
Introduction of programming skills in Computer Technology classes is another way that Glenburnie School effectively prepares students to confidently meet the challenges and opportunities they will face in our rapidly changing world.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Teaching Ollie Jenga

Having fun with Ollie, Jenga, and a GoPro!

Google Classroom goes Mobile!

In the past week, Google announced that they are releasing a new app for their Classroom website. This is fantastic news, as I have found for students on their own tablets, or using a school iPad that they cannot easily access assignments sent through Classroom without previously opening it.

They have also added more features: the ability to take photos right in the app to add to a classroom feed, an assignments feed for teachers to easily view all assignments on one screen, and the ability to archive a class at the end of the year or course.

Using Google Classroom has become my number one go to to hand out and collect work. More and more I am asking students to upload their work to see, rather than navigating the school network. And the students are seeing the benefit: starting work in my class and then easily finishing it at home or elsewhere.