STEM in Primary

STEM in Primary
A blog for those interested in primary school STEM education

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Will it live up to the hype?

Will it live up to the hype?

It is a pretty common saying - Will it live up to the hype? As it turns out with technology often it doesn't! Getting carried away with the excitement of something is so common that an American research and IT firm called Gartner created a useful graphic which shows their view of how new technology products are perceived versus their usefulness over time.

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You can probably think of many examples of this series of events occurring but I will use Google Glass as mine. Google Glass is a set of glasses which projects digital images into the field of view of the wearer to create an augmented reality view. When it was first announced there was much excitement, people were clamouring to buy a pair but then a number of issues surfaced which resulted in the project being suspended. However as time has passed the augmented reality concept has matured and we are on the cusp of seeing really useful AR products appear in the market such as Google Glass Enterprise Edition and Microsoft Hololens.
So that's the theory but how can schools use this knowledge? By knowing that this phenomenon occurs schools can take a step back during their planning for technology introduction and make sure they can answer the following questions BEFORE thinking about which piece of technology to buy. What would we like the students to be able to do? Why do we think that having the students do that will improve their learning? How will we be able to measure whether the expected outcomes are being realised? What types of technology will enable us to implement and measure this new way of working? What training will the teachers need to be able to implement this new methodology? There is probably no way to completely eliminating the hype curve but I think with SMART planning we can smooth out the height of the peak and the low of the trough to smooth out the ride and minimise wasted time, money and effort.

Stuff in the news

Using Technology Doesn’t Make You Innovative - A blog post from The Principal of Change 22 August 2017
UNSW's Arludo is making STEM more exciting one AR game at a time - With students so heavily immersed in the mobile world and becoming less engaged in learning as a result, Dr Michael Kasumovic, a lecturer at UNSW, decided to take things into his own hands. An article from ZDNET 16 August 2017

Stuff to buy

Current Kickstarter Campaigns:
STEM Storybook - *At this point in time I earn no money from any product I list and I am not affiliated with any other company.

Stuff in education

Do Laptops Help Learning? A Look At The Only Statewide School Laptop Program - Again the themes of planning and importance of teacher training are there in this long term experience with laptops in schools. It's a pity many schools don't look to learn from others. An article from nprED 18 August 2017<
Why doesn't education modernise? - Good question! An article from EducationHQ Australia 28 March 2017
Malaysian educators head to space academy to boost STEM teaching - The Malaysian teachers are doing some awesome training. How about yours? An article from Study International News 10 August 2017

Stuff to do Australia Wide

CodeCamp - Three day courses over the school holidays. Search for a school near you! 18-28 September 2017
LITTLE BIG IDEA -  The Big Competition for Inventive Little Kids (You could win a trip to NASA!). Closes 22 September 2017
NATA Young Scientist of the Year - Students are required to undertake an investigation around any topic relating to the theme of a sustainable planet. Closes 22 September 2017
Contemporary practices in STEM education - This will be a live streamed event of interest to teachers and parents. It is part of Monash University's "Engaging STEM Education. Keeping Teachers at the Cutting Edge" series. 9 November 2017
CSIRO CREST Program - CREativity in Science and Technology. Engage your students with open-ended science investigations and technology projects through the CREST program.
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Young Engineers Australia - Provides an engaging, hands-on learning platform using LEGO® and K’nex® assembly kits
CoderDojo - A volunteer run programming club
Code Club Australia - A global network of coding clubs for kids aged 9 to 11.

Stuff to do in Brisbane

Wizarding Workshops - Workshops are designed to accommodate Potter fans of various ages. Participants are grouped according to year levels and work in teams to complete projects at their ability level, challenged and supported by teachers. Paddington.23 September 2017
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SLQ Digital Futures - Each year the State Library of Queensland presents a theme of interest to the Queensland community. Throughout 2017, they invite you to join in exploring Digital Futures.
STEM in a Box has ongoing coding, robotics and 3D printing activities
Brisbane Library Service has purchased the very flash NAO Robot and is showing it off in various libraries.
The Cube at QUT has a number of changing programs. 
Brisbane Planetarium - Features entertaining and informative shows for adults and children
STEAMPUNX - Not to be confused with the organisation above! Offers in-school and out of school workshop programs
Flying Fox Studios - A studio offering programs in the arts, music and construction areas from babies to teenagers in Brisbane
It's Rocket Science School Incursions - Educational and fully interactive project based rocket science incursions for primary and secondary schools in a safe and empowering learning environment.

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