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The following articles are generally focused on documenting key learning or technical outcomes and following the movement between the education and I.T. working worlds.

Boma Fellowship: Project

The Boma Fellowship this year has allowed me to explore and develop a student-led, project-based course model that can be used at the senior secondary level.

ULearn 18 Presentation

The presentation from the ULearn 18 Conference about course design that gives students control over and responsibility for their learning and assessment?

Assessing Student-led Projects

An overview of the assessment process I have been using to faciliate project-based courses where the students develop and manage their own projects, evidence and assessment.

Industry meet Education

My views on Digital Technologies and how the I.T. Industry can better understand and support Education in meaningful ways.

No Time to Learn

During my most recent position as a secondary teacher I moved to using student-led projects to introduce and develop design process, technical skills and project management skills to students. To help students plan projects out over a year I created a simple template document that broke the terms down in weeks and totalled the hours per term. It was this document that raised some serious concerns for me about the way secondary schools operate and the expectations we have of students.

Student-led Project-based Course Design

My teaching style definitely leans towards the use of projects to teach students technical and management skills so last year, my first year back in teaching since 2009, I designed a set of courses for senior students that would allow them to create and run their own projects over the course of the year. This year I have implemented those courses and have found that while some of the anticipated issues have not eventuated most are very evident.

DiamondMind 3D Printer Build

Following success with a Makerbot Replicator 2 I was keen to introduce local teachers to the idea of 3D printing by running a workshop to build one.

3D Printing: OpenSCAD Variables

In the previous resource we created a small castle using basic techniques and fixed values. In this resource we are going to rework the script so the fixed values are managed by variables and allowing our model to be customised. The castle model is the same. The script will be a little different.

3D Printing: OpenSCAD

This resource works through some common techniques using the 3D modelling application OpenSCAD to create a simple model suitable for 3D printing.

3D Printing: Inkscape to 3D

This resource works through a simple process for taking vector images created in Inkscape to the 3D modelling application OpenSCAD

BrainBoard Tank Robot

I have recently been getting interested in and learning more about programmable electronics boards, specifically the Arduino, with an eye to introducing my students to them.

3D Printing

While I was teaching I was introduced to the idea of 3D printing by Vik Oliver and the RepRap project

Web Design for Beginners

While teaching IT across Year 10 – 13 I built up some resources around web design to help explain the basics and let students build skills to the point they could create their own web site with a decent visual style. I taught them to adhere to the W3C specs (web standards) right from the start and aimed to keep things as simple and uniform for myself throughout the different age groups.

Wacom Bamboo and Ubuntu

Last year I invested in ten Wacom Bamboo Fun drawing tablets for the ICT classroom and with the recent upgrade to Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid have been stoked to find they are now plug ‘n play and work really well.

Blender: Game Engine

I have been working towards including 3D visualisation in my ICT courses as a way of hooking in students and teaching them how to use a virtual environment to explore concepts that would be expensive to build physically.

New classroom layout

I have been looking at my classroom and thinking about the issues I am facing with the rows of computers. Students all sit sideways to the board and many are out of view while I am instructing and can continue working on the computer without me knowing. I can hardly get between the chairs to work with students and often miss students in the corners.

Pilot Projects for 2009

Following the trip to Wellington for the NZ Open Source Awards and a breakfast workshop at Core-Ed I have revitalised my interest and understanding in Moodle. I have started a very small first step with a couple of Year 10 ICT students who came back after completing the course in the first half of the year and set up an animation project for them.

Open Source Software for the classroom

Open source software is a great resource for the classroom and, in particular I found it an excellent source of tool sets for my ICT courses.

Ubuntu on the desktop

I have recently rebuilt the machines in my ICT room at school. After a couple of weeks struggling to use

Classroom timing

The classroom can be a busy environment to organise. Planning is critical to a successful classroom and the timing is important to get right. The systems a teacher uses need to operate within very small time slots (measured in seconds and short minutes) and allow for constant interruption as they work with students (which is the key focus).

Student Management System

In reaction to our school’s choice of Student Management System I started knocking up ideas for interfaces that would allow teachers to see the sorts of information they needed in class. The idea is to hide as much of the functionality as possible and make the interface contextual. Ideally this would then feed information back to a Government approved system.

Augmented Reality

To experiment with the Augmented Reality Tool Kit developed by the Human Interface Technology Lab (NZ version at HitLab NZ ) and get up to speed with the magic book technology. It was also loads of fun.

Accessibility, Usability and Standards – What Does it Mean?

With all the buzzwords flying around this industry it’s a wonder anyone can keep up but in amongst it all are some words that warrant well defined use. These are the concepts of accessibility, usability and web standards. All three are vitally important to the success of web based content but often get fired around as if they were marketing terms and as such have started losing their impact. In this article we’ll have a look at the difference between the three concepts and what they mean to people working with the web.

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