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Digital literacy

Started by Keir Whipp 20 May 2015 12:26pm () Replies (10)

Kia ora koutou

An article on BBC (http://m.bbc.com/news/education-31501917I'm) got me thinking about  teachers' experiences with students (from Years 1-13) developing digital literacy, especially learning coding and creating games and websites using html; CSS, and java script.  I've attached links to web-sites that may be used in the classroom, or by students independently.  Is this practice happening in your school?  How is it happening and what (in brief) are the results?  

Create your own games: https://academy.zenva.com/product/intro-to-html5-game-development/?zva_src=html5gamedevelopment

Teach yourself HTML code: http://www.w3schools.com/html/

Teach yourself CSS http://www.w3schools.com/css/

Teach yourself Java script: http://www.w3schools.com/css/


  • Rachel Bolstad (View all users posts) 20 May 2015 6:08pm ()

    Hey Keir,

    There's also this game-building resource for kids (of any age i.e. adults even) which is made in NZ http://gamefroot.com/education/

    And a Google+ community called code club for teachers https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/106811301192271648305

    Tracy Tindle wrote a short article in Interface magazine about her Year 8 students designing and building games as part of a science fair project "does gaming help you learn?" It's on pp. 20-22 if you can get hold of a print copy of the magazine. http://interfaceonline.co.nz/issue-62-term-1-april-2015/


  • Keir Whipp (View all users posts) 21 May 2015 1:32pm ()

    Thank you, Rachel.

    This is exactly what I'm looking for.



  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 21 May 2015 10:00am ()

    I LOVE the idea Keir! smiley 

    Some schools are sharing what they're doing with coding and programming in this thread, The world needs programmers. In the thread, I also posted the following:

    In this article on, Why all our kids should be taught how to code (2012), there's some evocative statements such as,

    Instead of educating children about the most revolutionary technology of their young lifetimes, we have focused on training them to use obsolescent software products.....

    ....So we need to admit that "ICT in schools" has become a toxic brand. We have to replace it with a subject that is relevant, intellectually sustaining and life-enhancing for students.

    The article goes on to say let's replace ICT with 'computer science' as a term - which involves a new way of thinking about problem-solving, "It's called computational thinking".

    Where kids would develop key concepts such as:

    • algorithms (the mathematical recipes that make up programs)
    • cryptography (how confidential information is protected on the net)
    • machine intelligence (how services such as YouTube, NetFlix, Google and Amazon predict your preferences)
    • computational biology (how the genetic code works)
    • search (how we find needles in a billion haystacks)
    • recursion (a method where the solution to a problem depends on solutions to smaller instances of the same problem)
    • heuristics (experience-based techniques for problem-solving, learning, and discovery)

    Big words and might seem daunting to read, but a good take-a-way is >>> wanting our kids to think beyond the 'front end' of software packages.

  • Keir Whipp (View all users posts) 21 May 2015 1:31pm ()

    Hi Tessa,

    Fascinating ideas!  Thank you.  This is just what I was looking for.



  • Kaye Gillies (View all users posts) 01 Jun 2015 10:41am ()

    Hi Tessa,

     Great ideas. Very interesting.

    I can't say I have ever used this with students nor that anyone in my schools has.  Currently we do not have  the capability.  But I have taken note of the sights and when I get some of that elusive down time will explore this.

    Thank you


  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 02 Jun 2015 9:37pm ()

    Thanks Kaye and Keir, keep us posted on how you get on. I'd love to hear how any trials go.

    I'd also like to think our kids could access these tools at home too. Some parents would no doubt be interested as well. smiley

  • Debra Wood (View all users posts) 14 Jun 2015 11:54am ()


    Thanks for the Computer Science plug Tessa – something I am very passionate about! I’m a Digital Technologies teacher and totally agree that Computer Science is the way forward for our students. Most secondary schools five years ago focussed on computer skills such as using the Microsoft applications. The new Digital Technologies curriculum has created standards in Computer Science, Programming, Data Management, Media etc. Dr Tim Bell (Victoria Uni) has been one of the people spearheading this change in secondary education.

    Computer Science can be taught to any age – the younger the better. The ‘big’ concepts in Tessa’s post have been simplified and made accessible to students Tim has put together some really fantastic fun resources for younger students, THAT DO NOT REQUIRE A COMPUTER, csunplugged.org. I use them with my Y7-8 students, it’s wonderful to see students engage with these concepts because the resources are so much fun – and they ‘get it’. 

    Scratch has to be one of the most fun learning activities you can do with a class. It’s free, online (no installation needed it works through the browser) and there are lots of help resources on site. It teaches students the basics of programming. They can create ANYTHING – as Scratch says the only limit is your imagination. Why get students to make notes when they could make an animation and show you their thinking? Scratch is also a great intro into being a good digital citizen and copyright laws etc.

    Safety online must be taught to students, Netsmartz is my main resource for “Digital Citizenship”, everything you need for teaching (all ages) net safety and netiquette, all conveyed through neat presentations, cartoons and games.

    Code.org – use these videos to inspire and- don’t forget the hour of code in term 4.  A wide selection of resources (far all ages and abilities) that allow students to choose a learning tool and pursue their own path.

    Your students will love you for it:) 

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 15 Jun 2015 12:20pm ()

    These are really great resources and reminders thanks Debra.

    I was sitting on a plane the other day in front of two parents. One said how thrilled he was his son was going to (what he thought) a very traditional Intermediate School - because the other Intermediate School had students on devices all the time, and "it's just too young at 11/12/13 to be doing that."

    When you say the younger the better Debra, how would you convince these two fathers that coding is a desirable literacy? EG: You have a 30 minute flight with two weary parents, apart from what we know the learners want...what would you say to them?

  • Kaye Gillies (View all users posts) 14 Jun 2015 10:14pm ()

    Thanks for these ideas Debra.  I will store them away for future reference ie teaching students older than Y1-2.

    Cheers Kaye

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e-Learning: Leadership

e-Learning: Leadership

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