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597 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 927158 4-Nov-2013 18:52
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zaptor:
thelimoman: 
I have very little coding knowledge (something I hope to change at), but I don't see how it's the best subject for critical thinking. There is definitely a lot problem solving, but from my little knowledge it seems very black and white. Right is right and wrong is wrong, or at least in some respects. I would think English is the best subject for critical thinking, because there is no right or wrong. You are able to (and encouraged) to challenge the social norm and the best marks are given to those who offer perception and insight. Maybe our definitions of critical thinking differ slightly :)


I would strongly recommend you learn coding using a procedural language. Javascript is okay. Python is arguably a better option but the advantage with Javascript is you can write something with nice visual feedback in a relatively short period of time, and you don't need to install anything since all you need is a web browser.
Avoid Scratch if you can. I find these "programming-by-numbers" languages tend to de-emphasize fundamental programming constructs.

Trust me. There is a lot of critical thinking that goes into coding. Training your brain to think like a programmer/computer is a very unique - yet satisfying - paradigm.

It's definitely not black and white. I suppose one could argue that coding is a lot like reading and writing with the computer screen as your canvas. There is an insane amount of abstraction, and the breadth to which computers integrate modern society is huge as you know.

Something I think every ICT teacher should watch is the Code.org promotional video:



Agreed. Programming and critical thinking go hand in hand. Programming is all about logic so no maths required (well maybe a little bit but not much).

 

It's also good for career prospects, an ICT degree that is from an accredited institution is guaranteed to get you a job, maybe not in NZ but it's still a high paying job.

 

Javascript is quite a fun language, and an annoying language thanks to its anonymous nature, but end the end you still love it because it makes your stuff look pretty.

 

If you want something a little more challenging though I would suggest C#. It's one of the most powerful languages that you can find with a firm strict type.

 

One thing I would suggest if one has spare income, is to try out Robotics programming, it's quite fun and once you get good you can make cool things like UAV's.




Regards
Stefan Andres Charsley

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 927159 4-Nov-2013 18:57
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Apple reps approached various education bodies quite some time ago with regards to this IIRC. A huge amount of easy money for them.

It's totally ridiculous given how poorly kids treat each other and how little regard they have for others possessions, as well as their own. There will be a lot of insurance claims for lost\damaged\stolen iPads as a result.




 
 
 
 


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 927390 5-Nov-2013 08:37
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My Y5 son said BYOD in his class includes laptops, tablets and even iPods. They use the BYOD and class devices for two things: research and learning tools. For example, they are currently researching their topics for the class speech competition. For learning tools, they use websites like Mathletics. (I don't know how we learned anything in my day without websites like those!)

The BoT said one of the reasons it likes the iPad as a BYOD device is for all of the free educational apps, but these aren't for classroom use.




 

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 928448 7-Nov-2013 02:11
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gehenna:
crackrdbycracku:  

OK, so how is giving kids and iPad and expecting them to learn any different from putting a TV in the classroom and expecting them to learn? Or handing the student a book and leaving them to it expecting they learn for that matter?


Because a TV or book is mono-directional content consumption, rather than bi-directional content interaction.  These devices aren't just given to a kid so they can learn by rote.  They're used as part of lessons to reinforce and supplement.  The idea that you'd give a kid a tablet and just send them on their way to learn is a bit farcical.  As is the idea that these devices can be compared to traditional learning methods and tools.  It's a whole new area that needs to be explored.  

These kids are also learning how to be responsible technology users.  They are taught to treat the gear with respect, to only use them at certain times where supervised but far enough away for the kids to learn to be independent users, to only use them when they're seated and to not carry them around if its not necessary.  This respectful use of the devices can only carry over into the home so that's a good thing right?  


Wow, you just hit the nail on the head.
This is exactly why we should put technology in schools and the earlier the better, to teach them responsible use of technology  and make them responsible cyber citizens.
There is a hugh problem with txt bullying and facbook  social media bullling in general and we need to teach our kids that it is not acceptable.
This is on top it being a great educational tool.
Our local high  school has actually banded all devices until the kids get to year 12, and why you say because of some txt bullying issues a few years ago, pathetic! the real reason is because most of the teachers there are technophobic. 




Now on 2talk Network and it's better.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 928874 7-Nov-2013 16:01
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http://microsoft-news.com/must-watch-this-video-shows-the-full-power-of-microsoft-surface-2/
Have a look at this video about the capabilities of a surface 2

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  Reply # 929054 7-Nov-2013 20:10
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On campbell live tonight they had a bit about a school that rented chromebooks to the students for $3 a week

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 930567 11-Nov-2013 10:20
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I am a computing teacher at one of these schools where it is strongly encouraged that students bring a 'digital device' we had started with iPads being what we asked students to bring but now as battery life has improved and we are more set up in the school for charging we are more relaxed about the device

In terms of protecting the devices, the students who have a case for their iPad generally have no issues and those that don't crack the screen (I would say it is rare to see an uncracked and unprotected iPad)

At my school we have had the form teachers talking about digital literacy (safety, copyright, passwords etc) but have now introduced a digital literacy course for our students to take to go over all these issues in a consistant way


Final thought on the issue of buying a device or not
Do buy one, if the school is implementing their BYOD (bring your own device) well your child will benefit
But don't be bulldozed into getting the preferred device if you as the parent/expert don't agree, you may need to find equivalent software to some of the iPad specific stuff but the schools can not enforce their suggested choice if you choose to go against it

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 945229 4-Dec-2013 10:57
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Adding this here because I think it's relevant, and I'm not particularly keen on starting a new semi-related thread:
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1312/S00063/pisa-results-confirm-education-challenge.htm

What's interesting is that the demographic which seem to be achieving at an international level, are also the same (minority) group doing disproportionately well in countries like NZ and the US - despite attending the same public schools as the rest of the populace.
Yes, I would say it's a cultural issue.

In any event, I sadly suspect BYODs will only continue the slide.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 945292 4-Dec-2013 12:21
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 However, New Zealand’s ranking on the OECD scale is lower than the last PISA report, particularly for maths and science.

 

Countries like Australia, Canada, Sweden and Finland have also declined, while Asian countries including China, Singapore, and Hong Kong have improved.


zaptor: ...

What's interesting is that the demographic which seem to be achieving at an international level, are also the same (minority) group doing disproportionately well in countries like NZ and the US - despite attending the same public schools as the rest of the populace.
Yes, I would say it's a cultural issue.

In any event, I sadly suspect BYODs will only continue the slide.



So you are saying that pressure from parents to do homework and achieve at school (as the stereo-type of an Asian parent would have us believe ) is the reason that Asian countries are doing better?

That makes it sound like a motivation issue to me. Are the children motivated to work hard and do well by their parents - and are their parents motivated to have their children succeed at school 

which I will admit is a  'have you stopped beating your wife'-like loaded question as no parent would say they don't want their child to do well


Is this lower ranking all on the parents or is the blame more spread out?

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 945305 4-Dec-2013 12:46
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My daughter, in year 9, has just finished her year end tests. She has been complaining that she is struggling with maths however when we spoke to the teacher we were told she was doing fine - no homework all year apparently not necessary.

In her maths exam she scraped through with an 'A' but failed completely with algebra.

We find out that the teacher has not been consistently marking the work book either so they really have dropped the ball in my opinion - something I will be bringing up with the teaching lead and her form tutor.

As a parent we have to work on the guidance provided by the teachers - if the teachers are not providing adequate feedback then we as parents are not responsible either for not putting pressure on our children.

I won't make that mistake next year...




Procrastination eventually pays off.


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 945315 4-Dec-2013 12:56
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Dav4122: 
So you are saying that pressure from parents to do homework and achieve at school (as the stereo-type of an Asian parent would have us believe ) is the reason that Asian countries are doing better?


Possibly. I know there is a far greater emphasis on achieving academically within certain cultures than there are in others.

On the other hand, I know being involved in sport it is certainly something that parents in certain cultures place an equal degree of importance/pressure - if not more so, on their children.

Dav4122: 
That makes it sound like a motivation issue to me. Are the children motivated to work hard and do well by their parents - and are their parents motivated to have their children succeed at school 


I would say the answer is yes to both questions. However, I would argue certain demographics provide a better framework for learning, and subsequent academic success than others.

Dav4122: 
Is this lower ranking all on the parents or is the blame more spread out?


An interesting question. If one were to say the difference is simply the parents (for the most part), then one could argue that spending more money on public education is simply a waste (i.e. BYODs aren't going to make things any better, possibly even worse).

The US reaction to the PISA results are quite curious. They've had like 10 years of education reform and the situation is deteriorating.
Sooner or later, the decline in educational standards will seriously hurt those countries (if it's not happening already).

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 945317 4-Dec-2013 13:05
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StarBlazer: My daughter, in year 9, has just finished her year end tests. She has been complaining that she is struggling with maths however when we spoke to the teacher we were told she was doing fine - no homework all year apparently not necessary.

In her maths exam she scraped through with an 'A' but failed completely with algebra.

We find out that the teacher has not been consistently marking the work book either so they really have dropped the ball in my opinion - something I will be bringing up with the teaching lead and her form tutor.

I won't make that mistake next year...


Yep. I've heard your story a number of times.

If you want your child to succeed in the public education system you basically have to 'teach' them yourself, or at least act in some sort of supervisory role.

I'm basically teaching my son programming/electronic fundamentals, in addition to making sure he is achieving (merit level at least) in his school work. I have little faith in the local college's ability to educate him.

Sad, but true.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 945589 4-Dec-2013 19:14
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It's a tough one alright

Sad to say StarBlazer but sometimes it is the squeaky wheel that gets the oil


*Putting on my teacher hat*

When I haven't yet spoken with the parents of my students - I ask the students what grade they want and we work to get them to that grade or higher.
Once I've had a parent teacher meeting, email, phone call and discussed how little Alice or Bob is going. Are they finding the work challenging, easy, asking questions, not ...   
Then I tell the parents where I expect their child to achieve at if they don't change anything (and sometimes I'm wrong)

If I have a parent saying they want their child to get an excellence and Alice or Bob is wanting this sort of grade too I will put in the extra effort to email resources and give them some extra challenges.

If mum and dad are asking for updates more than just at the parent teacher evenings (every term, month, week - and I have had weekly emails with one family) then anything that comes up is dealt with quickly

I did have 112 different students this year though so that would be why I can't do updates like that for everyone


Check if your school has a web portal like ultranet or moodle that you can access as a parent to see what topics and tests are happening.

BYOD can (hopefully) mean that schoolwork, resources, and grades all live online where people with appropriate logins can access them


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 945617 4-Dec-2013 20:09
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Dav4122:

In terms of protecting the devices, the students who have a case for their iPad generally have no issues and those that don't crack the screen (I would say it is rare to see an uncracked and unprotected iPad)



Can you say how many devices have been written off or been stolen?

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 945623 4-Dec-2013 20:15
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The Microsoft surface at $280 when it was on special last week would have possibly been a good option over an ipad for people not wanting to spend from $700 on an ipad. Especially as it has Microsoft office included and you can get a proper keyboard cover and plugin a mouse. But probably not as cool as an ipad.

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