Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Students presenting at a teachers' conference

On Monday, August 29th, I was joined by three of my students in presenting a workshop at the Victorian Information Technology Teachers Association conference: Leading and Learning from the Edge. We ran a workshop entitled: "Building mobile Apps for iOS and Android Devices using Corona SDK." I was very proud of the three girls (I work at a girls' school) and I wanted to write this blogpost in their honour.

Context
At our school, an Apps programming club has been running for a term and a half. When I received the "call for papers" from VITTA, I thought it would be a good idea to involve some students as this would motivate them and give them a special experience. As we came closer to the conference, I realised that we had covered less ground in the App Club than I had anticipated. The student presenters and I were not as confident anymore.

Monday, August 29, 2011

VITTA 2011: What I learned on day one - First session

Today was the first day of the VITTA (Victorian IT Teachers' Association) conference. It is the only day I am attending and, as always, I have learned a lot! Here is my summary of the first session of today:

Keynote 1: Roger Larsen, Pearson Platforms
Roger's speech was very engaging. In it, he emphasised 21st Century skills. In particular, he noted critical thinking and entrepreneurship as key among those skills. Roger emphasised that digital content must not be a mere digitisation of paper. He wanted digital content to be changeable and interactive.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Book review: Mindset by Carol Dweck

I have recently listened to the audio recording of Carol Dweck's book: Mindset (Ballantine Books, 2007).  Dweck is a professor of Psychology at Stanford University (formerly at Columbia). She had had a profound effect on me as a teacher when I was looking at research into feedback.

Dweck's work showed that praising children for their traits, "you're a good boy" or "you're so smart" made them less likely to attempt subsequent tasks which they perceived as challenging. On the other hand, praising children for their effort made them want to persist with difficult tasks and look for alternative strategies to complete them: