Sunday, November 08, 2015

Presentation: Digital Passport

Friday was our Prep staff meeting and I was given a 25 minute slot to present the Digital Passport program. It was my first ever public presentation so I was quite nervous! All things considered, it went well. Our school is rolling out a 1:1 iPad scheme from Grade 4 up in 2016 and we needed to have a behaviour expectation guideline for the students to follow. We picked Digital Passport at the recommendation of Shaun Kirk, our Learning Commons director. It is a browser-based scheme with detailed lesson plans covering 5 modules: communication, privacy, cyber-bullying, searching and creative credit.

My very basic presentation slides are embedded below. Embedding this presentation was also a good learning opportunity for me, I haven't embedded anything into a blog like this before. We are living in the future, I tell you.

As we want our homeroom teachers to take charge of this program and run it with their classes, my presentation was aimed to ease any discomfort. One of the teachers told me afterwards that she appreciated the presentation because it made Digital Passport seem like something that she would be able to do. I'm glad that staff felt they can handle the Digital Passport scheme - it is straightforward and an excellent baseline to encourage discussion of the various topics.

A candid shot of me presenting taken by one of the audience members. Maybe you can't see how scared I was from here.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

What Is Your Favourite?

It's always a thrill to have printed work from IT lessons up on the classroom walls. The Grade 1 classroom teacher put up this neat little display of our Excel survey bar charts. I snapped a pic of it this week as I was going past.
What is your favourite?

For the charts, we asked the students to survey their classmates about a favourite something. This could be a favourite food, a favourite sport, favourite hobby, and so on. They wrote out their survey answers in any way that they wanted on paper, then brought their results to the computer lab. From there, I explained how to lay out a bar graph by manually shading in the cells. I believe building this bar chart from scratch rather than using the insert chart option is important so that the students gain the understanding that the shaded cells are representing a number. Here are a few more examples of the charts close up:

After this lesson, we have now gone on to learn about creating graphs using data in Excel. This survey, however, has been very important to get our students to understand the meaning of a graph - a picture that gives us information.