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Live Webcast with Brad Huddleston: Raising teens in a digital age – Tips for parents

Live Webcast with Brad Huddleston: Raising teens in a digital age – Tips for parents

Our third live webcast will start at 10:30am today! We will be with Brad Huddleston from the US. Brad is an author and speaker, renowned for his incredible work with young people, parents and grandparents. He has some wonderful ideas and tips for parents in this ever changing technology driven society.

You can join the webcast live at https://plus.google.com/events/cr64kep24vd712okihfa0n3bfgs … You will need a google account to login. Or you can watch the stream live here…

During the broadcast you can submit questions on the Google Plus page or email me bmoller@kingscollege.qld.edu.au

A recording of the session will be live on our website later today.

Using iPads for Learning in Early Primary – Tips for teachers and parents

This morning we hosted our second webcast for parents.  Today our topic was “Using iPads for Learning in Early Primary – Tips for teachers and parents”

Links:
Duck Duck Mouse Apps

Petting Zoo App

How to take a screenshot on an iPad

Skitch App

iMovie App

Minecraft App

Jonathan Nalder’s Book

Redland’s iPad Portal

iTunes Gift Cards on Sale

Talking Carl App

School A to Z App

Quick Maths App

Appitic iPad App Site

AppoLearning

Free Workshops at QLD State Library 

Welcome to 2014

Welcome to another exciting year of IT at King’s.  We are all looking forward to another amazing year of seeing our students continue to achieve highly.  This year we have prepared 1352 student laptops ready for another incredible year in our 1 to 1 learning program.  King’s is a leader in the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning.  Last year we hosted a number of school leaders as visitors to our campus, to come and learn from how we utilise technology at King’s.  There is a great sense of pride in our accomplishments over the past five years and being able to demonstrate our work in this space is another step toward becoming the exemplar Christian school in Australia.

As I am sure you are all aware, technology changes at such a rapid rate that keeping up with that change can often be overwhelming at times but also potentially rewarding.  This year we officially launch our new Learning Management System across the school.  Every student in our 1 to 1 program will now have access to this system and has been shown how it works during week 1 of this year.  The new platform integrates into the Google Apps ecosystem, allowing us to utilise some amazing collaborative tools that will surely increase student engagement, efficiency and access to their important data.  Prep to Year 4 students will have access to this system throughout the year as the class pages begin to come to life.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank the incredible teaching staff of King’s, in their continued efforts to stay up to date.  Our staff commit a great deal of their time to up-skilling themselves in these areas and have once again demonstrated their passion for teaching your students by staying up to date.

I would like to draw parents to some thoughts around Cyber Safety that we release to all parents at the beginning of each year.

Cyber Bullying Strategies
–  Tell someone about any cyber bullying.
–  Record dates and times, save printouts and messages.
–  Block messages or calls from cyber-bullies
–  Police need to know about any threats
–  Avoid responding to cyber bullies
–  Change contact details, email accounts and phone numbers
–  Be there for others who are being cyber bullied:  Stand up for them.

If your child is receiving any inappropriate content through the school computer there may be ways we can assist in gaining more information.  However, it is our experience that most of these actions take place over mobile phones.  All bullying or harassment should be reported to the Police.  King’s is here to support where we can, and bullying of any form will not be tolerated.  However, we can not intervene in issues involving devices not monitored or a part of our systems.

If you haven’t already done so, I would suggest looking at our video series “Raising Children in a Digital Age”  This was recorded just over 12 months ago and has some wonderful hints and tips from our team here at King’s, along with an industry expert.

For parents who have children with various smart devices (iPhones, iPads etc), there is also a series on “Managing mobile Devices” that our team recorded for the purpose of informing our parent community.

Finally, I would suggest all parents have a read of an article I wrote a while back about parents getting educated about the online world.

On behalf of the IT team at King’s, thank you for your continued support.  Remember if there is anything we can do to assist please let us know.  For Technical Issues with School provided equipment please see the IT Help desk staff.  The Help desk is open from 730am to 430pm each school day.

For any other issues related to our IT program, please contact Brett Moller – Director of Technology and Curriculum.  I can be contacted through the High School office or via email bmoller@kingscollege.qld.edu.au

The Science of Creative Insight (Guest Post)

The Science of Creative Insight (Guest Post)

The following article is a guest post from Mr Mal Galer our Head of Creative Arts.  I wanted to post it on this site, as creativity is something that computing can inspire and develop in a number of different ways.  Creativity can be expressed in many different forms and our access to technology can help promote that creativity in various ways.

Have a look at this video from many years ago where former Apple CEO Steve Jobs describes what the computer is and what it is capable of.  The resources our students have at their finger tips can be used to do amazing things, including developing creative insight to help solve a number of problems and create new opportunities.

A huge thank you to Mr Galer for this article.  I am sure you will find it as interesting as I did.

 The Science of Creative Insight
Mr Mal Galer
Head of Creative Arts

Insight. Often seen as the realm of creative people or those chosen few who make breakthroughs in their fields of endeavour such as Albert Einstein or Steve Jobs. Scientific studies into the brain are discovering that we all have the capacity for creative insight and interestingly, they are starting to uncover how.

In all classes at school, students are encouraged to come up with ideas for assignments, perhaps a science experiment, a persuasive oral or a unique artwork. The most common roadblock that students have is that of uncovering an original idea. There are a number of roads that they can take after this immediate roadblock – one way is to give up and find something unoriginal, another option is for them to persevere and hope that they can be inspired by something.

In the first instance, students are facing what is called aporia, ‘the expression of a simulated or real doubt, as about where to begin or what to do or say.’ This can often be a roadblock to true creativity and if not nurtured can cause real problems in the life of the student. They become stunned in the brain by new information and don’t do anything for fear that they may get it wrong.

A cure for this type of behaviour, is simply to begin moving forward. Martin Luther King Jr., the great civil rights activist is often quoted as saying ‘If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.’

The brain science seems to support him. Scientists have monitored brainwaves on the left and right hemispheres and discovered the moment of insight in a person showing a spike in brainwaves in the right hemisphere just above the ear. You can see how here. The controlled experiment demonstrated that this insight occurred when they were actively engaging their brain and that it made the connections in that moment of insight. It is clear to see then, that if students actively try and brainstorm (write ideas, draw pictures, take photographs, etc) they open the way for creative inspiration.

The other thing the scientists discovered was that the section of the brain that spiked during a moment of insight, has connections that link to every other part of the brain in contrast to the left brain which had only localised connections to areas nearby. Put simply, the right brain brought together seemingly unrelated ideas from every part of the brain whilst the left brain functioned with logical precision.

Creativity is certainly not limited to the arts as it is required in all endeavours of life to solve problems in the realm of physics, chemistry, literature, business, accounting and mathematics. What is unique about the creative subjects like Art, Drama, Music, Dance and Film and Television is that students are challenged frequently to have moments of insight and explore the works of others that require the brain to be activated in less conventional ways. Music, for instance, requires students to think in terms of rhythm and pitch, art needs students to think in terms of unity and balance – skills that can be applied to other aspects of life. Integrating an arts subject in combination with other fields of endeavour will enrich a student’s ability to think more divergently.

Welcome to 2013

Welcome to 2013.  

We are back into the swing of things and excited for another great year of learning at King’s.  Our laptop program continues in 2013, with Year 5 students joining the program for the first time.  Currently we have all students in years 5 – 12 in our 1 to 1 laptop program and our Prep – 4 students continuing with the class iPad program.

This year we launched our IT portal.  With all that we do here at King’s that involves online services we decided to place all the important links in one place.

http://www.kingscc.it/portal is the spot for links to all of our online activities.  Students would all be aware of the portal having used many of the new features already this year.  Along with the links to our online learning platforms across the school, students have been using our new portal to sign up for Co-Curricular and sporting options through the school.  There will be some extra services added here throughout the year.

What are your goals for 2013?
It’s not too late to set goals for the new year.  Have you had discussions with your student about goals for their learning and school progress this year?  Ask them how they plan to use the technology available to them to help reach these goals.  Here are some thoughts around the use of technology and your student’s academic goals for 2013.

  1. Social Media / Networking can be a great tool, but can also be a massive distraction.  Manage the time with these services.  Set time limits for social interaction online.  If you want bang for your school fee buck make it clear to your student that wasting time online is not acceptable.
  2. Use access to technology to research topics deeply and thoroughly.  The idea of googling everything and taking just the first 3 hits as something of use is going to just touch the surface of the quality information that is available.  Look at our library page within the “My Learning Community” link from the portal.  There you will find a number of quality academic journals that we subscribe to for all students.  These are extensive academic resources that will give students access to purposeful and worthwhile content.
  3. Limit video game time to the weekend or even school holiday time.  As I grew up my brothers and I enjoyed playing video games.  However, my parents had setup a very clear procedure for the use of games.  We had a gaming console that came out only on school holiday time.  This was a good balance and made my brothers and I appreciate the importance of school term and a time for social time.
  4. Anything that connects to the internet doesn’t belong in a students bedroom with no supervision.  We would never dream of inviting strangers to our children’s bedroom – so why allow an open connection to the outside world?
  5. Remember the golden rule for our laptop program “YOU PAY YOU SEE!!.”  We do not create separate logins to our services for parents.  We believe all parents should know their student’s login details.  Make sure you have them and login to the various sections of the portal to check on what your student is doing at school.

Finally, if you haven’t already done so, please take some time to visit our iTunes U Channel and look over some of the great interactive resources we have there for parents.

All the best for the new year,

Brett Moller
Director of Technology and Curriculum