Hour of Code and Sway

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I took part in Hour of Code on Thursday 11th December with P5/6 and P3/4 at Lochfield Primary.  P5/6 tried it in the morning and it went very well, however it was a challenge for them.  5 children completed all 20 levels within the hour and the majority of children attained around level 10 – 15.  I was a bit apprehensive about trying it again with P3/4 in the afternoon, thinking it would be over their head.  However, I was wrong.  It certainly was even more challenging for them, but they all engaged with it and some managed to attain level 17.  Two pupils in this class who have very poor concentration levels, were totally immersed in the activity and concentrated very hard the whole hour.  One pupil who has Dyslexia was fantastic at coding and became one of my class ‘experts’ helping his peers when they were stuck.  It was fantastic seeing his sense of achievement and raised self-esteem.  Below is a picture of one of my high achieving pupils achieving level 20.  Programming is a great way to challenge and extend our more able pupils.

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Here is my youtube video of Hour of Code 2014.

We invited David Renton, my hubby, who happens to be an expert in Touch Develop, to help the P7s learn how to programme on their own devices using Touch Develop.  This was much more challenging but the results were excellent.  The P7s loved using their own devices in school and we managed to get them online using hotspots.  I can’t wait until schools have the facility to using own devices and support them on the WiFi.  Here’s a youtube video of Touch Develop.

I also managed to get a preview copy of Sway and I have created a Sway on Hour of Code.  https://sway.com/ukVAVzj5lInNQkKC  I love the look and ease of using Sway.  I’m looking forward to this being made available to education and am excited about teaching my pupils how to use it.  I can see it being a great tool for children to present their topic work findings.  At the moment we use PowerPoint, but Sway is more visually pleasing and creative.

I’m loving Yammer and have added my first colleague to the group.  I’ve also been getting to grips with Twitter.  I’m still not a great fan of it to be honest, I’m more of a Facebook girl, but I have been tweeting away every day and getting the hang of it.

We had our first Renfrewshire MIEE meeting with Jay Smith, Development Officer in Renfrewshire Council.  There are plans for training Renfrewshire staff in Glow, Office 365 and OneNote from January to June and there could be opportunities for us to get involved helping with this.  We have signed up for the first course in January and will take it from there.

But my favourite target has been OneNote.  How did I survive without OneNote in my life?  For a girl who likes to be very organised and in control, but has a bad memory, this is like the answer to all my prayers.  I have been raving about OneNote to anyone who will listen.  I’m sure my colleagues think I’m on commission for it!  For my personal life and organising my work life, this is fantastic.  I am now keen to learn how to use it with my class using Class Notebook Creator.

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