Mr Melkert's Meandering Mind

Tales of an Upper Primary Teacher

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Teach, Tech, Play Part 2

Makerspaces on a budget:

Another fantastic session I attended was run by Narissa Leung (@RissL) who is principal of two small government schools. After showing the must see Caine’s Arcade, Riss explained her journey of the “makerspace” at her school and how it started with a pile of sand and the student’s own curiosity. Read more about it on her blog post.

Narissa emphasised that the space and equipment of a “makerspace” are of far less importance than fostering a “maker-culture”.

Visit Narissa’s Oz MakerSpacers Google+ community.

Explore the world with Google tools by Samantha Vardanega

One goal I had from the conference was to have something to take back to our local network meeting to do with HASS. This session supplied a multitude of ideas to use in HASS but cross curricular ideas. I had a quick play with Google Tour Builder briefly describing my journey to Teach, Tech, Play.

Google My Maps has been demonstrated on Teach, Tech, Play episodes before and Samantha provided relevant, practical ideas for its use across multiple learning areas.

I have found some great resources for my maps tutorials but if anyone knows of any Australian sources I would love to know of them.

Mark Anderson’s Creativity App suggestions included many useful apps, that could be used by both teachers and students to enhance learning experiences. A couple of my favourites were:

Action movie: Easily add your own special effects in seconds.

Photofunia: Create amazing scenes with your own photos in seconds.

Ping Pong: An amazing app that can be used for so many evaluative purposes.

Unfortunately on returning to school I am having trouble getting iPads to log into a room. if you know of a fix for this I would appreciate any suggestions.


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Teach, Tech, Play Conference 2016

Wow! I had the pleasure of attending and participating in the inaugural Teach, Tech, Play Conference held at Ivanhoe Grammar in Melbourne on April 7th and 8th. No doubt it was the best educational conference I have been to in 20 years of teaching. From keynote speakers overflowing with passion for their area of expertise to every concurrent session providing relevant, practical resources and inspirational ideas. A huge typorama

Below are some of the ideas I have come home with:

keep it simple

One of Mark Anderson’s, @ictevangelist, key messages was Keep It Simple Silly, not a new idea, but important to remember when using IT in the classroom. Mark says, “Keep IT simple – You’re not a computer programmer, use stuff that works and is easy to use. Keep IT real – Don’t just use it for the sake of it. Make IT count – use it for a purpose, to enhance or support learning or make life easier.” Find out more here.

A fascinating session that used very little IT at all was run by Hamish Curry and Tom Barrett from No Tosh. The participants were asked to take on the thinking of various visionaries from history and contribute to discussions about a provocation and come up with some launchable ideas. Some participants, myself included found it difficult to stay “in role” with their thinking but there was a buzz in the session  with people coming up with many ideas of how they could use something similar in their own classroom.

I was super excited to find out the queen of Google Classroom and spreadsheets was keynoting at Teach Tech Play. What was evident in the first few minutes of her keynote was Alice’s passion and enthusiasm for her work. Her messages included Technolgy is not going away so we need to take advantage of it, make it work for us and that it can be used to spend more active time with students. If you have not checked out Alice’s website , her YouTube channel  , or her book you need to.

There was so much I couldn’t fit it into one post, more to come soon.