30 November 2016

Reflection on teaching Google Classroom to my peers #FéilteBeag

I heard of #féilte beag at this years Féilte 2016, the idea being to share teaching and learning with our peers/colleagues.  So this is my reflection.....

A few weeks ago I asked would any of my colleagues be interested in staying back after school to learn about google classroom and google sites which we use for student ePortfolios.  Below is my lesson plan, but I was a bit ambitious as it took one hour to cover google classroom alone.    I must say I learned as much from my colleagues as they did from me, as I showed features eg create an announcement, my colleagues spoke of ways they would use it in their subject area.  We also agreed to share knowledge in the future as more teachers commence using google classroom across a variety of subjects.

In summary, I use announcements for recording homework which absent students can check, also use it for uploading revision handouts, powerpoints, and youtube videos to recap on a topic.  The reuse feature allows for posts to be reused again for revision/repeat classes which is a user-friendly feature for teachers.  I use the assignment feature to set a task for students with a deadline date for submission and any file can be uploaded and shared.
The use of the question feature was a big hit!  I have used this in class, whereby students worked in pairs to answer a question displayed on the board, they would submit their answer, then they could see other students answers and could improve/edit their answer again if need be.  This is a good way AFL,it  is quick and students liked it and learned from each other.
Once classes are created as well as giving access to students, the classroom can be shared with other teachers/colleagues.  Using google classroom allows for differentiation, sharing and peer assessment among students.



Lesson Plan

Wednesday 30/11/2016

4.00-5.00 but can start at 3.50...


Learning Intentions:

Google Classroom:
  1. Set up Google classroom and create a class.
  2. Invite students to join your classroom.
  3. Create announcement.
  4. Create assignment.
  5. Create question.
  6. Sharing my classrooms with another teacher


Google Sites:
Part 1-
To Create a Teacher website/ePortfolio:
  1. Create Google    ClasswebSite/ePortfolio

  2. Set up Themes: header,Banner,Fonts.

  3. Create new pages

  4. Insert text boxes

  5. Insert images

  6. Insert links

  7. upload documents

  8. Insert documents from the drive: Documents, Presentation, videos, forms, images.

  9. Publish site

Part 2- Student ePortfolio:

Students to add teacher as collaborator to enable access to student ePortfolio

Or use eportfolio class emails.

20 November 2016

My student task for 1st years in coding class.

I am working on HTML and CSS with my first year students in coding class.  We hope to introduce coding next September and are now piloting it with our current first years.  I have mixed ability classes (some students who have SEN needs).  I started the coding specification by doing  HTML rather than scratch as I wanted to do something new and different and create curiosity in this short course.  HTML is a Hyper text mark up american language, as well as learning the language, the students need to be able to save html documents correctly in a folder.

So this is a student task I have created and I believe most students will achieve the success criteria, and a few will surprise me by finding new code and adding it to their sites.

Students have being doing HMTL for a few weeks and have covered some theory.

Making connections:    Computers are communication devices

Student Task
Create a website with HTML and CSS.

SUCCESS CRITERIA

Students will be successful in their learning if they can:
1.     Create a website with at least 3 html pages, Homepage, how the internet works, and a hobbies page.
2.     Create a folder and save all pages in the folder.
3.     Put <!DOCTYPE html> at the start of each html page.
4.     Use at least five formatting tags, eg. <h1></H1>
<p></p>, <br>, <b></b>,<u></u>.
5.     Make sure the META tags are included on the homepage as they help to locate the website.
6.     Create a page called how the internet works, include at least 2 images, at least 2 paragraphs in your own words and one youtube video explaining how the internet works.
7.     Include an internal style or external style sheet.
8.     State where they sourced their information
9.     Present your website to a peer for peer assessment based on 2 stars and 1 wish.

Learning Outcomes:

2.1discuss the basic concepts underlying the internet
2.2 describe how data is transported on the internet and how computers communicate and cooperate through protocols
2.3 explain how search engines deliver results

2.4 build a website using HTML and CSS to showcase their learning




Students will be given: Teacher Theory Notes as follows:


2.1DISCUSS THE BASIC CONCEPTS UNDERLYING THE INTERNET
How the internet works??
The internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks.
When two or more computers/devices are connected so that they can communicate, they become part of a network.  The internet consists of a world-wide interconnection of such networks, belonging to companies, governments and individuals, allowing all of the devices connected to these networks to communicate with each other.
2.2 DESCRIBE HOW DATA IS TRANSPORTED ON THE INTERNET AND HOW COMPUTERS COMMUNICATE AND COOPERATE THROUGH PROTOCOLS
In order to communicate, computers need to understand each other.  So all devices use the samelanguage’ or protocol, called “internet Protocol”(IP).  Every  computer has its own (IP) address.  When sending any communication over the internet, it is sent from the senders IP address to the receivers IP address.
There are agreed type of formats for communicating on the internet:, eg:
·         SMTP for sending emails
·         HTTP for accessing websites
·         BitTorrent for peer-to-peer[p2p] file sharing.
An IP address is a numerical address that is assigned to every device connected to the Internet.
McNamee,Fiedler,Humeau. (2015)



Linking information on the internet:

The World-Wide Web is built on HTTP, a relatively young protocol (language) that is built on top of the Internet Protocol (IP). HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol, and was designed to download so-called hypertext documents (what are now known as “web pages”) and to send some basic information back to the web server.
Web pages are created using the formatting language HTML, (HyperText Markup Language). The rules of this language are set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and specify special markers to indicate typography and layout properties. For example, text in bold will have before it and after it. While there are several versions of the specification (HTML5 being the most recent), the HTML development process is continuous and open to participation.
Once the standards have been set, there is no licence or fee for using HTML. The advantage is that all available computer systems understand the instructions in HTML in the same way – so anyone can use the language (for free) and be sure that every device will display the web page in the same way. The Web (and the world) would be far poorer if people had to pay to develop pages in the languages of different types of computer. Webpages are published on machines known as “web servers”.  McNamee,Fiedler,Humeau. (2015)
The website must have a domain name (web address) to go online.  Domain names can be bought online.
2.3 EXPLAIN HOW SEARCH ENGINES DELIVER RESULTS
Navigation on the World Wide Web works through hyperlinks (text or images which, when clicked on, will cause another website to be opened). Any Web author can link to any other online content. Through the practice of linking all Internet users help with organising the information online into a Web of interconnected resources.
Search engines are therefore the most important services to help meet the need of Internet users to navigate the Internet more effectively. There are different kinds of search engine services. The most important search engine model is the crawler-based search engine. This uses software (referred to as “crawlers” or “spiders”) to look for what is available online and systematically indexes this content.
In simple terms, the spider/crawler follows every link on every page, indexes the linked pages and then follows the links on those pages, indexes them, and so on.  The most important operation the search engine performs is making the match between a user’s search query and the information in the index.


Joe McNamee, Kirsten Fiedler & Marie Humeau, (2015) How the Internet works. Available at: http://www.future-internet.eu/uploads/media/how_the_internet_works.pdf (Accessed 18/11/2016)  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Link to Theory Notes....(Creative Commons Licence)

My student task for 1st years in coding class.

I am working on HTML and CSS with my first year students in coding class.  We hope to introduce coding next September and are now piloting it with our current first years.  I have mixed ability classes (some students who have SEN needs).  I started the coding specification by doing  HTML rather than scratch as I wanted to do something new and different and create curiosity in this short course.  HTML is a mark up american language, as well as learning the language, the students need to be able to save html documents correctly in a folder.

So this is a student task I have created and I believe most students will achieve the success criteria, and a few will surprise me by finding new code and adding it to their sites.

Students have being doing HMTL for a few weeks and have covered some theory.

Making connections:    Computers are communication devices

Student Task
Create a website with HTML and CSS.

SUCCESS CRITERIA

Students will be successful in their learning if they can:
1.     Create a website with at least 3 html pages, Homepage, how the internet works, and a hobbies page.
2.     Create a folder and save all pages in the folder.
3.     Put <!DOCTYPE html> at the start of each html page.
4.     Use at least five formatting tags, eg. <h1></H1>
<p></p>, <br>, <b></b>,<u></u>.
5.     Make sure the META tags are included on the homepage as they help to locate the website.
6.     Create a page called how the internet works, include at least 2 images, at least 2 paragraphs in your own words and one youtube video explaining how the internet works.
7.     Include an internal style or external style sheet.
8.     State where they sourced their information
9.     Present your website to a peer for peer assessment based on 2 stars and 1 wish.

Learning Outcomes:

2.1discuss the basic concepts underlying the internet
2.2 describe how data is transported on the internet and how computers communicate and cooperate through protocols
2.3 explain how search engines deliver results

2.4 build a website using HTML and CSS to showcase their learning




Students will be given: Teacher Theory Notes as follows:


2.1DISCUSS THE BASIC CONCEPTS UNDERLYING THE INTERNET
How the internet works??
The internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks.
When two or more computers/devices are connected so that they can communicate, they become part of a network.  The internet consists of a world-wide interconnection of such networks, belonging to companies, governments and individuals, allowing all of the devices connected to these networks to communicate with each other.
2.2 DESCRIBE HOW DATA IS TRANSPORTED ON THE INTERNET AND HOW COMPUTERS COMMUNICATE AND COOPERATE THROUGH PROTOCOLS
In order to communicate, computers need to understand each other.  So all devices use the samelanguage’ or protocol, called “internet Protocol”(IP).  Every  computer has its own (IP) address.  When sending any communication over the internet, it is sent from the senders IP address to the receivers IP address.
There are agreed type of formats for communicating on the internet:, eg:
·         SMTP for sending emails
·         HTTP for accessing websites
·         BitTorrent for peer-to-peer[p2p] file sharing.
An IP address is a numerical address that is assigned to every device connected to the Internet.
McNamee,Fiedler,Humeau. (2015)



Linking information on the internet:

The World-Wide Web is built on HTTP, a relatively young protocol (language) that is built on top of the Internet Protocol (IP). HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol, and was designed to download so-called hypertext documents (what are now known as “web pages”) and to send some basic information back to the web server.
Web pages are created using the formatting language HTML, (HyperText Markup Language). The rules of this language are set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and specify special markers to indicate typography and layout properties. For example, text in bold will have before it and after it. While there are several versions of the specification (HTML5 being the most recent), the HTML development process is continuous and open to participation.
Once the standards have been set, there is no licence or fee for using HTML. The advantage is that all available computer systems understand the instructions in HTML in the same way – so anyone can use the language (for free) and be sure that every device will display the web page in the same way. The Web (and the world) would be far poorer if people had to pay to develop pages in the languages of different types of computer. Webpages are published on machines known as “web servers”.  McNamee,Fiedler,Humeau. (2015)
The website must have a domain name (web address) to go online.  Domain names can be bought online.
2.3 EXPLAIN HOW SEARCH ENGINES DELIVER RESULTS
Navigation on the World Wide Web works through hyperlinks (text or images which, when clicked on, will cause another website to be opened). Any Web author can link to any other online content. Through the practice of linking all Internet users help with organising the information online into a Web of interconnected resources.
Search engines are therefore the most important services to help meet the need of Internet users to navigate the Internet more effectively. There are different kinds of search engine services. The most important search engine model is the crawler-based search engine. This uses software (referred to as “crawlers” or “spiders”) to look for what is available online and systematically indexes this content.
In simple terms, the spider/crawler follows every link on every page, indexes the linked pages and then follows the links on those pages, indexes them, and so on.  The most important operation the search engine performs is making the match between a user’s search query and the information in the index.


Joe McNamee, Kirsten Fiedler & Marie Humeau, (2015) How the Internet works. Available at: http://www.future-internet.eu/uploads/media/how_the_internet_works.pdf (Accessed 18/11/2016)  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Link to Theory Notes....(Creative Commons Licence)

14 November 2016

My blog on creating student tasks for 1st year Business studies


I have been working with the NCCA to help with the development of annotated samples of student work for Junior Cycle Business Studies.   I work with another business teacher to plan and develop these samples.  To date we have 2 student tasks created.  It is a learning process for both students and teachers and involves training our students on new ways of assessing learning.

Our first task covered was created to assess learning of payslips and taxes paid by people.  The following are the success criteria for the task, but in hindsight, we were too ambitious. Students created a padlet first gathering relevant information and then created a screencast to explain the learning.  The used images from their copies etc to show learning on the padlet. But it was a lot of work for just on small student task, however students learned a lot of new skills in the process.

  1.        We can give different examples of how pay is calculated
  2.        We can fill out payslips accurately
  3.        We can calculate percentages
  4.        We can calculate Gross Pay and Net Pay
  5.        We can explain what are voluntary and non-voluntary deductions that are taken from a payslip
  6.        We can categorise types of taxes
  7.        We can create a padlet
  8.       We can use screen-o-matic


https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzoOi1a8UpioTHNkMno5YUN2Wm8/view?usp=sharing


This is our second student task based on family income and expenditure.  This task is more focused and targeted learning is assessed.  We did find that students were not sure about how to create a good poster and lack knowledge of cited correctly.  All of which we can work on.
Students will be successful in their learning if they can:

1. Present your project in a poster form which can be

hand written, typed or a combination of both following

our guidelines for effective presentations, ensure font is readable.

2. Describe sources of household Income, using at least 2 examples.

3. Describe sources of household expenditure,

4. Illustrate a way to manage income and expenditure, using at least one example from each category.

5. Give advice on what to consider when preparing a budget, at least 2 pieces of information.

6. Include at least 2 appropriate images/visuals in your project.

7. State where they sourced their information

8. Present your poster to a peer for peer assessment based on 2 stars and 1 wish.


https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzoOi1a8UpioMGpJWnphdmt5Um8/view?usp=sharing


2 October 2016

FÉILTE 2016- Panel Discussion on Digital Education

My reflection on participating in the panel discussion on "Digital Education", chaired by Tomás Ó Ruairc, participants included Harry McCann, Digital Youth Council; Myself, Post PrimaryTeacher; Mary Cleary, Irish Computer Society; Cormac Cahill, Primary Teacher.

I was a little nervous initially but soon relaxed.  All panel participants (included 17yr old Harry) shared a passion for using ICT to enhance learning and sharing of knowledge with others to help achieve tasks/activities that cannot be achieved without ICT. 

I found that the structure of the panel discussion by its nature, is fluid and difficult to predict in what way the discussion will go, consequently, I spoke about some topics that I had not planned to talk of and omitted information that I wanted to say. So I wondered what could I do to address this issue.  
In addition, I thought of how the opportunity cost of attending the panel discussion is not attending a workshop. Workshops tend to incorporate getting a handout/resource or "takeaway" that can be useful in the classroom/school.  Let's be honest, teachers love handouts! So how could we add value to the panel discussion structure.
So my conclusion is to further develop a panel discussion for TEACHERS; I think if each participant could post a written version/summary of the main points they want to make/or useful resources and then publish it (after the discussion)on twitter, or teaching council Féilte website to facilitate a takeaway for teachers who attend.  

After the discussion, I had questions to ask Cormac about the book his students produced, questions to ask Mary about her ideas on coding being integrated rather than an isolated Senior cycle subject, and Harry I am not sure what I would ask Harry but know if he posted his ideas I would learn from him too!

So the following is what I would post about my ideas on Digital Education....my ideas are based on practice/pedagogies from Coláiste Mhuire Co Ed, and  MOOCS:

1. Team teaching with English teachers to find the best way to integrate ICT in the English Classroom via ePortfolios.

Main findings:
Students had to be taught basic ICT skills to create content using google apps for education, to collaborate to by creating padlets and develop oral skills by creating screencasts.  www.padlet.com   https://screencast-o-matic.com/

To evaluate the use of ICT based on pedagogical needs/learning outcomes we used the SAMR model developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura.  "SAMR” is an acronym that stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition.  It is based on the premise that deeper learning takes place at the Modification and Redefinition levels.  At redefinition level, the teacher should be achieving something with ICT that is impossible to do without it.
An example of Substitution would be typing a task as opposed to writing it, and Augmentation could be using a Thesaurus or read,write gold to enhance creativity. Both stages enable enhancement.  But transforming learning takes place at the modification stage eg facilitating collaboration via google drive/blogger/eportfolio as homework so students are collaborating at home on a task/activity.  The redefinition stage is about making content public, eg. either students produce work and publish it publicly via ePortfolio/blog and potentially put a creative licence on it and/or perhaps skype an expert and bring outside knowledge into the classroom.  When students create online content and share it, they are creating their online academic presence. 
So when deciding what apps to use we considered the SAMR model and pedagogy needs.  We found some students lacked confidence when recording the screencast and video recording, even students who are high attainers.  In fact, some students who may not have been strong academically excelled in the oral and communication skills and helped higher attainers to create screencasts.  So mixed ability classes worked well, as students saw how each student had a valuable contribution.

To conclude subject teachers do not have class time to teach the ICT skills so they must be taught in a computer class.  We found as we were only using padlet and screenomatic in English class, students did not become proficient in it use due to lack of repetition in other subjects.  However, we are working on this currently....

2.Study Hub:
Open Access to ICT facilities in Coláiste Mhuire Co-Ed to reduce the digital divide, promote student autonomy  of learning and enable teachers to give ICT based homework. To create a learning space that encourages collaboration, the study hub was very busy during classroom based assessment period.
 (70% of junior cycle students have iPads)
The study hub comprises of 5 computers in the main assembly area, the latter is always supervised at break times and is in close proximity to the principal/deputy principal offices'.  Students can use it before school and during break times, in addition, it is used during class time by some teachers, and is valuable for SEN classes with a few students.  

  
3.Sharing: We need to share resources both within and between schools.  Could schools be twinned from different towns???  Where can be share more effectively??

4.While investment is required in ICT hardware, it must be married with relevant CPD, as Investment alone does not mean teachers will use ICT effectively.

Why Ed Tech in Not Transforming how Teachers Teach 
Published Online: June 10,2015 
Student-centered, technology-driven instruction remains elusive for most 
By Benjamin Herold   Public schools now provide at least one computer for every five students. They spend more than $3 billion per year on digital content. And nearly three-fourths of high school students now say they regularly use a smartphone or tablet in the classroom. 
But a mountain of evidence indicates that teachers have been painfully slow to transform the ways they teach, despite that massive influx of new technology into their classrooms. The student-centered, hands-on, personalized instruction envisioned by ed-tech proponents remains the exception to the rule. 
"The introduction of computers into schools was supposed to improve academic achievement and alter how teachers taught," said Stanford University education professor Larry Cuban. "Neither has occurred." 
Indeed, a host of national and regional surveys suggest that teachers are far more likely to use technology to make their own jobs easier and to supplement traditional instructional strategies than to put students in control of their own learning. Case study after case study describe a common pattern inside schools: A handful of "early adopters" embrace innovative uses of new technology, while their colleagues make incremental or no changes to what they already do. 
Researchers have identified numerous culprits, including teachers' beliefs about what constitutes effective instruction, their lack of technology expertise, erratic training and support from administrators, and federal, state, and local policies that offer teachers neither the time nor the incentive to explore and experiment. 
"There's nothing transformative about every kid having an iPad unless you're able to reach higher-order teaching and learning," Ms. Wilson said. "If schools take all this technology, and use it like a textbook, or just have teachers show PowerPoint [presentations] or use drill-and-kill software, they might as well not even have it." 
In the digital age, the ISTE standards say, teachers should be expected, among other strategies, to "engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources." They should also "develop technology-enriched learning environments that enable all students to become active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress." 
REF:Benjamin Herold. (10/06/2015) Education Week. Available at : http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/06/11/why-ed-tech-is-not-transforming-how.html?cmp=eml-eb-popyear15+122915 [Accessed:12/12/2015] 

Just to say thank you to Tomás Ó Ruairc who asked me to participate in this discussion.

19 September 2016

Reflection on the AHEAD MOOC


I am currently doing an AHEAD course: Supporting students with disabilities at third level.  
The first assignment was due last Monday, I submitted it on Friday evening thinking I was the last but then realised a few people submitted it over that weekend!  When I submitted it, I saw the check box to tick if I wanted to see other teachers submission, if only I had noticed that before I submitted mine!!
But what I liked was that after my submission I saw and learned from other teachers work/submission.  

Assignment 1: Legislation Reflection M.Bergin
Both the CPD day and this MOOC have emphasized  the legal  responsibilities and duties we have as a service provider of education.  The onus of responsibility on individual teachers to  perhaps change their pedagogies to meet the individual needs of  students and to make every effort to accommodate students with disabilities.  However, the overall responsibility rests with the principal to ensure the service provider follows the legal requirements as set out in a number of laws.
“Under the provisions of the Data Protection Acts 1988-2003: Statutory provision to protect individuals personal data which is processed.” “Consititution: Article 40.3 right to privacy”
  As the disability co-ordinator I ensure that any data I store is put in a secure location in schools management offices.  I also ensure any communication with other teachers in relation to students is treated confidentially and with permission of the students involved.  Any communication with a teacher  should have a purpose and result in an improvement/benefit for the student.
“Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014-Section 42-of the Act introduced a new public sector equality and human rights duty.  The S42 duty requires that public bodies have regard to (a) eliminate discrimination, (b)promote equality of opportunity and treatment of its staff and the persons to whom it provides services, (c)protect the human rights of its members, staff and the persons to whom it provides services.”
Our school promote access to disability services subject to providing the correct documentation.  The  school  ethos is to promote equality and foster a caring open environment.
The main legislation is the Equal status act 2015, which aims to prevent direct and indirect discrimination.  The latter defined as the treatment of one person less favourably than another.  Direct discrimination can occur based on nine grounds, including disability.  Indirect discrimination is
Indirect discrimination is a provision that can be in the form of a requirement or practice that applies equally to all prospective or existing students but which operates t the disadvantage of one group such as a student with disabilities.  Our school is very conscious to proactively prevent any discrimination; we are aware of our legal duties with regard to preventing any possible discrimination.  We are aware that failure by my school to do all that is reasonable to accommodate the needs of a person with a disability by providing special treatment or facilities  if without such special treatment or facilities it would be impossible for the person to avail of the service/course.
The other key Act is The Disability Act of 2005, it defines disability and ensures that people with disabilities have access to a  public building .   Have individual service statements drawn up.  Our school has one floor and we have wheelchair access toilets.  
This act also recognises Mental health as a disability which is beneficial as more and more students are presenting with such a disability. We provided assistive technology, academic/learning support, access to a study hub, separate exam centres, extra time and continued support from teachers, notes in advance via google apps and moodle.
To conclude, as the disability co-ordinator I am aware of the legal responsibilities and duties we must adhere to.  By proactively following data protection guidelines and respecting students with disabilities we can ensure we meet their needs effectively and create a conducive learning environment.


Reflection on Business CPD day 2

I created this draft last March but never posted it,  I am posting it now as a means of revision. Additionally, I attended an NCCA inservi...