21 Replies Latest reply on 14-Jul-2018 3:44 PM by yolantak

    Module Nine Discussion

    teachontario.team

      What are your thoughts on this experience? Please post your thoughts in the thread below.

        • Re: Module Nine Discussion
          mattlet2002

          This was one activity where I found the coding to be much easier using Python than it was when I tried creating a similar activity using Scratch.  I still don't understand the purpose or reasoning for indenting, but thankfully it seemed to do it automatically.  I also tried copying and pasting but it did not work, so we could have a class discussion about why it needs to be typed character by character.  Some of the lines of coding were confusing to me, but I think I figured out the purpose of the numbers.  This presents an opportunity for students to revise the code to create their own individualized Spiral Art (similar to Story Starters) and have great discussions about variables and the impact changes in variables have on the overall product.  What I liked best about this activity is the visual of me sitting at a computer and working on the same art activity as the students at the same time.

           

          Also because it's Spiral Art, there is a wealth of Mathematical connections and thinking that can be integrated into this activity.  The surprising things that I gained from this activity was actually the technology side of things to consider.  I wanted to explore different ways that the numbers and colour names worked so I saved multiple files.  I want to think about a good way for students to title their work so that the file name tells me who the student is and what they have created.  I also need to teach students how to capture or snip the visual in order to save it and send it to me.  Python Spiral Art.PNG

          • Re: Module Nine Discussion
            charlandl

            I like the art idea, but once again, I would try (like Matt) to do it with Scratch. 

            • Re: Module Nine Discussion
              yolantak

              ok.. so I have to say this took me a while. Maybe it's because I wanted to try to do a different design and colour. After many attempts and a lot of frustration, I had to step away from the computer. When I came back I tried again and this is what I achieved:

              Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 4.32.22 PM.png

              Not exactly what I had wanted, but a product never the less.

               

              Without having been given the script, I wouldn't have known where to start. So I think giving that to students would be a good step and then they can manipulated the variables to create their own work of art.

              • Re: Module Nine Discussion
                stheobald

                I am missing a step.

                I have down loaded Python and I have written the code in IDLE but I am an not sure how to run the code....any thoughts??

                Also, how do you correct syntax errors - The error messages come up but the back space button does not allow me to correct the errors.

                 

                • Re: Module Nine Discussion
                  mckinnonab

                  Downloaded the latest version of Python, but would not launch. Not Sure????

                  • Re: Module Nine Discussion
                    s_whit

                    Last year, when it was time to replace my desktop Mac, I decide on the iPad Pro in lieu of a laptop or desktop, as I found a lot of my tech work/learning with my students was via apps. The Pro allowed me the same features and functions as my student access and could be hooked to the projector for demonstration and shared activities. Not all app are abailable for Desktop use, so this seemed logical. Over the past year, I have hit a few (4) stumbling blocks with my choice, twice via this course, and the others through Edbsy, our Board choice for internal communication. The Edsby issues resloved themselves in the fall, Scratch it appears in the new year, and python, who knows.

                     

                    While I would like to continue to experiment with coding, I will need to look at acquiring a new device, or playing the waiting game until my pro, which will be slowly working its way towards extinction or using school tech. This challenge is not at all unfamiliar to the one faced by education workers on the regular. We are constantly faced with challenges of access and/or up to date tech. Depending on age/grade level and postal code/social economic factors, these components may be diminished and/or intensified. Finding means and measures to make tech available with in these parameters continues to be an ongoing challenge. That said, this experience, not just module 9, but the entire course, has helped me gain clarity and confidence... I am looking forward to more opportunities to grow and explore, even if Module 8 & 9 were out of scope and/or access to/for me, they were a great introduction and awareness piece.

                      • Re: Module Nine Discussion
                        mattlet2002

                        You bring up the key point about technology - what we have to work with in our classrooms.  In my board, it use to be the debate about Mac or PC desktops.  Now the debate is iPads or Android Tablets or Chromebooks or PC laptops or PC Desktops or Mac Desktops.  What makes it harder is thinking 5 years into the future to predict how students will be using the technology.  This is where we need to have a plan while faced with the latest bells and whistles.  My school has some laptops and desktops that we use for Coding and Google Suites Activities.  We also have some iPads used more for digital portfolios.  We need to have more discussions in general about how we use technology when we sign them out or during our allotted periods.

                         

                        My board has Scratch pre-installed on all PC computers and laptops so it shows what we are encouraged to used.  We can also have Python installed onto these devices by the board.

                          • Re: Module Nine Discussion
                            donnad

                            So you don't have any technology that stays in your room?

                              • Re: Module Nine Discussion
                                mattlet2002

                                Each class has one iPad but access to 5 more that are shared between 2 or 3 classes.  Each class also has access to 4 or 5 laptops that can be used in the class full time or combined with other classes part time.

                                 

                                We went with this approach for next year, after much debate, because it was too hard to manage and maintain a large set of iPads and laptops that went from class to class.  We are also having tough talks about equity to ensure that people are using the technology to push their teaching.  We may redeploy technology during the year depending on how it is being used.

                                  • Re: Module Nine Discussion
                                    s_whit

                                    Over the last few years we tried several different methods. Where we have settled is to keep the laptops in a cart to be signed out on an as need bases. Challenge is that students and staff take ‘just one’ and when you go to grab the cart you’ve signed out, many are missing. By the time you’ve gather all the laptops, you’ve lost a chunk of time and this hurts students/groups/learning opportunities.

                                    In addition, each grade was given a ‘set‘ of iPads. Dependant upon the teacher that could be 2-3 up to 10. As an intermediate teacher this model bode well for me, as we were a small school and our intermediate classes were on the same floor as Kindergarten and SERR (SEA claims), so we had ample access to the laptops, plus I housed 10, relatively new and all up to date ipads.

                                    This year, as a grade 3 teacher it was dreadful. Not only did we have network problems, which our IT Dept worked to resolve, but I was given 7 iPads at the beginning of the year, four of which were operating on iOS 9.3.5, which depending on the task rendered those four ipads useless. Of the other three, only two would regularly update to current iOS, the other, always an update or two behind. So I believe this is one of the key reasons I used tech this year for consumption.

                                    Matt, when you earlier brought up the need for looking forward 5 years, I typed a response, but felt it sounded negative and like I was trashing my Board, which I am not. The truth is we are all in the same precarious position, figuring out how to make the funds allocated support a rapidly changing technological world. I am wondering if any of you teach in affluent schools? Is this less of a problem in communities with money? Can families, do families provide their elementary learners with up-to-date technology? This piece, of up-to-date tech with an adequate network, and the freedom to set your tech up as needed, is a piece that has really caused me to be frustrated and disengaged with technology. It’s hard to challenge yourself and help your students grow when there are so many barriers and obstacles, yet it is still a fight I feel is a necessary and important one.

                                      • Re: Module Nine Discussion
                                        mattlet2002

                                        I don't work in an affluent area, but I have worked with back to back principals who support technology and have developed technology focused budgets.  We also had issues with the care of laptops and iPads when they were on a cart with no one responsible for them.  We hope by dividing up the laptops and iPads people will care for their allotment and we can better identify issues.  We also realized that using 20 to 30 laptops or iPads with one wifi router did not maximize performance.

                                         

                                        IT varies from board to board and this does impact our use and freedom in using technology.  Our school iPads are on the Airwatch system which means I can update them remotely.  But we also need to have school level conversations and look at pedagogy about our purpose for using technology for things like coding.  As the tech lead at my school, I have heard people give me an interesting range of reasons for using technology.  I teach coding so I know all students will get opportunities to do it each year.

                                          • Re: Module Nine Discussion
                                            s_whit

                                            “As the tech lead at my school, I have heard people give me an interesting range of reasons for using technology.” To which I laughed and completely understand. I’ve partipated in some of these very conversations and they are eye-opening as to the work that needs to be done around the inclusion and value of technology in the classroom.

                                             

                                            “I teach coding so I know all students will get opportunities to do it each year.” To which I am looking forward to joining you in your vision and practice this year.

                                             

                                            Thanks for all the insight and feedback Matt and Donna! While we’ve all had a chance to interact with an amazing group, I am, in particular, thankful for my back and forth dialog with both you, as I’ve learnt a lot from each of you.

                                             

                                            As an aside, I just watched the following YouTube video, and the ending raises some great tech/virtual pieces points that I feel I can now address, where as before this course, I could not have!

                                            Loose Parts Theory & Instructional Design - YouTube

                                             

                                            Enjoy the rest of your summer and all the best in the upcoming school year!

                                            S

                                              • Re: Module Nine Discussion
                                                donnad

                                                Thanks for the video link. I did not know that tinkering and creating with 'stuff' was called Loose Parts! The connection to creating with virtual 'stuff' was very interesting. Loved it.

                                                I, too, have enjoyed the discussions. Sometimes in small schools, it's hard to find like minded people, or people who will challenge my mindset in a productive way.

                                                Good luck with your new position. I wish you all the best.

                                                Donna

                                            • Re: Module Nine Discussion
                                              donnad

                                              I don't work in an affluent area, and I would say that the Upper Canada District School Board is not affluent. Many of our schools are small, and many rural. However, quite some time ago they decided to put a lot of thought, money, and man power into technology. While many staff complain bitterly everyday how slow our network is, or we no longer have access to something, I think it's pretty darn good.Every school, every laptop, and desktop has access to Kurzweil, Word Q/SpeakQ, Inspiration/Kidspiration, and Smart Notebook, with the belief that these tools are good for all students, whether they have an IEP or not. We also have the Microsoft Suite on all, Onenote, and Onedrive for all staff and students. Yes, sometimes it gets slow, and yes, sometimes it's down. Mind you, yesterday, my home was without cable and Internet service for most of the day and that wasn't the board's fault.

                                              A couple of years ago every contract teacher (0.5 to 1.0) was supplied with Dell Venue to use at school and at home. And of course, people still complain about that choice, although apparently about 50% have never been turned on.

                                              What's that saying about you can please some of the people some of the time...

                                            • Re: Module Nine Discussion
                                              donnad

                                              thanks for clarifying. I agree that having a large set to share is a management challenge (to put it nicely).

                                              I actually have 6 laptops in my room, no desk tops. Most rooms have two desktops and 1 laptop. However they also have a smartboard and I do not. Most classes have 5 ipads as well.

                                              My I.T. husband bandaged up some old laptops for my class to use, and once the principal saw how I used them daily for learning and accommodations, when it was time for upgrades, my class got the new ones. Crossing my fingers that the new principal feels the same way.