Thursday, 15 February 2018

Technology Scholarship 3%?

Over the past number of years, I have been looking at the Scholarship numbers and percentage and have been asking myself a question, why does Technology Scholarship seem to be always below the 3% that other scholarship subjects are.

Here is the Technology Scholarship data for the past 7 years.

Scholarship SubjectCohort% Cohort
Awarded Scholarship
(including Outstanding)
(excluding Outstanding)
ScholarshipOutstanding Scholarship
Mark RangeNo. of CandidatesMark RangeNo. of Candidates
If you are wondering why I am pulling this data together it is to start the challenge and fight for the last part of the Digital Technologies curriculum puzzle,

It is since the changes in 2014 when the strands of Technology came into being. Before that, it was just the Generic Technologies standards. Since the strands of Technology came in, including Digital Technologies that is why the number increased from 1500 to now almost 4000 students. 

But have things gotten better with this...
The numbers say it all. From being 3% of the cohort to get Scholarship, we are now getting 1.5 to 1.7%. 

Funnily enough the NZQA scholarship results website states 
"The Technical Overview Group Assessment applies discretion in the setting of cut scores: The 3 percent criterion is applied with discretion of plus or minus 5 students. Cut scores are set such that all students at or above the cut score have demonstrated performance at the Scholarship standard.

*Note: There are reasons why the percentage of the Level 3 cohort achieving Scholarship is significantly higher for Latin than for other subjects:
  • Latin has a very small Level 3 cohort. The large proportion of the cohort awarded Scholarship reflects this.
  • Up to five candidates in addition to 3% of the Level 3 cohort can receive Scholarship in each subject. Because Latin is undertaken by a very small number of candidates and has a very small Level 3 cohort, this discretionary flexibility resulted in a high percentage of the Level 3 cohort receiving awards."

But hang on, do I read correctly, "The 3 percent criterion is applied with the discretion of plus or minus 5 students." 
We have a 1.73% this year, no mention of why Technology has a lower percentage, even going back to previous years results, no mention of why it is lower than 3% criterion.

So I went back to 2016 in the data.
It seems that 173 students entered scholarship, 54 were awarded Scholarship and 10 were awarded Outstanding.

64 students were awarded scholarship. here is hoping my maths is right.
64 / 3898 *100 = 1.64%

Now to get the 3% cut off, 117 students would need to be awarded scholarship. That would mean that out of the 173 students did scholarship 56 would not be awarded. 
So maybe it is because there are not enough numbers entered.

However, I started checking out other areas of scholarship,
going with the same data from 2016
I looked at Photography
Photography had 284 entries in 2016
Ok, so they had an extra 101 entries above what Technology had, but they made 2.96% of the 3% criterion.
How for the past 4 years have we gotten less than 2%. Surely there is something wrong with the current system.

My question is, who sets the Technology Scholarship Assessment Specification, is it NZQA or is it the Ministry of Education. If it hasn't been meeting the requirements for 4 years now, what can be done to support the lifting of achievement for our students?

Is there PLD provided, to be able to support teachers/students to be able to reach the 3% criterion?

Why is there not a mention on the scholarship results webpage why Technology Scholarships do not meet the 3% criterion? Being able to provide a reason? 

Is there a possibility of providing what schools have obtained scholarships in technology for the past 4 years?

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

developing resources

I think this year is one of cool stuff.
The ideas need to be simple enough to develop different ideas.
Today I found out about edCreate, an extension kit for the edison robot.
It has been a day of trying to find a location in New Zealand that has these. as well as

I like the idea of the bag concept, I play on using this with one of my students, the idea is getting them working with the concepts of mechatronics.

The second idea is around developing Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes,

What a great way to get students to develop ideas and concepts with voice technology. Consider the google home and amazon dot that are being released.

Third idea, this is currently being written as an assessment resource. Dealing with advanced programming and using the power of python parsing files.

Monday, 22 January 2018

LearnPath - araako

I have been busy doing some updates to a system that I am developing at school. LearnPath.

Or as the students know it as

Araako is a system to help students develop their understanding of the hub curriculum, their my being, my learning, my community.

How can LearnPath show the following?

Students work through filling in different sections of araako through their profile.

Personality test, this is based on the personality test. This enables the student to put in what their personality type is. A way to remember then strengths. The personality types are one aspect we get students to look at how they learn, how they work with others. The different personality types of listed here.

Short story. In some ways this adds a bit of humour to the area, having an opportunity to write something short provides opportunities for students to be creative.

Profile. Other social networks have it, why shouldn't this? The avatar needs to be changed to the community that they are in.

Habit that they are working on. The Hobsonville Habits allows students to select a habit that they are working towards, or a habit that they show strength in. This can be used in either way.

Goals, both personal and academic excellence.
Though, it could be nice rather than a graduate profile statement, to be a more learner focussed statement.

Academic Excellence
Has developed the generic learning skills and the specific knowledge, skills and understandings that enable learners to excel in their chosen pathway.
Personal Excellence
Has developed the personal values, dispositions and capabilities that enable the learners to lead a happy, healthy and successful life.

Developing understanding through the Hobsonville Habits, allowing students to delve deeper using the habit cards to understand and show strengths and weaknesses.

Personalising the header colour, allows the students to have some form of customising. These are limited to the materialisecss colours, available here

I have half developed a way for students to see what they have covered curriculum wise.
But this needs to have a bit more done to it, to show the learning objectives that have been covered.

Blue - SPINS

Developing a different way to look at the habits, all the habit indicators have been added to the system and it picks 5 at random that students are to develop some thinking around, wether it is for their own goals or around developing and understanding their learning.

Through one of the reflections to offer opportunities to develop SMART goals more, similar to what Amanda has done here

Through this I have been looking at other ways to pull apart goals.

While it provides opportunities for students to show aspects of the habits, one of the main things I design it to do it is to provide a way for students to do reflections.

The reflective nature of what they have learnt is the focus of a number of research papers.

How can we provide opportunities for students to do this within hub. I have talked with students about blogger and other opportunities, however they wanted it behind a wall. Many are not yet at the stage where they feel comfortable posting online. Especially Year 9 and Yer 10 students.

What should go into a reflection?

Saturday, 13 January 2018

digital information - habit tracking

Getting students to track how they are using there Hobsonville Habits within their learning.

Twitter is such an interesting tool to see how people are using digital technologies within their learning. To gather information and inquire into what is happening with that data.

It started with a tweet...

How Might We show this understanding with our collection of data.

Being able to get the students to enter the data. Making a simple easy to use interface. 
Each day students would be able to change the sliders to indicate their use/understanding/development of the habits.
You might ask about why there are two sliders for each, the top one is for students to enter, the bottom one is for the learning coach.

Once the data is entered, how to best show the patterns, at the moment this is available to the coach only, with future development for the students.
It is at the moment being thought about doing this is in slightly different way, being able to turn on and off habits to be able to show patterns over time.

  • Keen for some wellbeing/hauora aspects too... so we can keep an eye on that. Could be cool if as well as a ranking, that somehow/somewhere they justify with evidence so not token judgement?
  • Complete this one. Perhaps a group of Coaches pilots it and iron out bugs and streamline usage ready for term 2 across school launch.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Digital Information

Working between old standards and new thinking.

The old standards required:

Apply digital information management tools to create a digital information outcome requires students to create a digital information outcome that involves manipulating and combining data from more than one application. The specifications for the digital information outcome, software and techniques to be used need to be determined prior to the outcome being made.

When creating digital information outcomes students will use appropriate techniques and data integrity and testing procedures. Students will apply appropriate file management procedures, design elements, and formatting techniques. Students will consider their legal, ethical, and moral responsibilities when developing digital information outcomes.

While the new one focusses strictly on the database.

Last year I spent time researching and developing ideas into what this could look like, and through a discussion I firmly realised that students get lost between the database and the development of the media. There needed to be more of a focus on what a database can do. Not just the simple work, but to develop the ideas of the power of them. Be it mysql, or sqlite.

Getting students to be able to create a database to hold the data is one thing. Getting them to be able to queries on it to be able to develop the answers that could be used someone else is another.

The focus for my students was to use the khan academy site. Intro to SQL,

This provided them real time feedback from the software, suggestion on what to do when they got something wrong. The ability to problem solve, yet to be independent.

I had my doubts when I started it, but even I was impressed at the interaction it provided. It has provided me opportunities to develop my own skills. We didn't stop at the SQL basics. We went through the whole SQL course.

When I think back to what the students were developing and understanding, it was Level 3 NCEA, however these were only Level 2 students. How to show and grasp the information that they had learnt. I think this is where things got difficult. 

However with the new standards, the Level One standard 91879 is around

Develop a digital outcome to manage data involves: 
● using appropriate tools and techniques to structure, organise, query and present data for a purpose and end user 
● applying appropriate data integrity and testing procedures 
● describing relevant implications.

Develop an informed digital outcome to manage data involves: 
● using information from testing procedures to improve the quality and functionality of the outcome 
● structuring, organising and querying the data logically 
● addressing relevant implications

Develop a refined digital outcome to manage data involves:
• iterative improvement throughout the development and testing process 
• presenting the data effectively for the purpose and to meet end-user requirements.

I know one of the ideas around one of the assessments is to be able to bring in a large amount of data, that will need need to be structured or in my case manipulated, to organise that data in a way that it can be used to provide a solution, provide queries against the data.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Developing Identity-hub activity

I have been thinking about ideas on how to change the beginning of the year for my hub. Each year has been similar and with having the same students in hub they get bored of the activities.

So, I need to develop a hub Identity. But to do that my students need to show themselves. This has normally been done through words, images, showing themselves on a piece of paper.

However, I am interested in the idea of getting students to communicate an idea through a visual means. The medium, felt.

I think this comes from something I saw when the school started. Plus I think the idea of a craft based activity gets students sharing, showing others how to do various aspects, looking at others work and building on it and problem solving.

I have seen some of these around the school during the past couple of years, and no have one sitting on my desk to save it from being thrown out.

The concept at the beginning of this two yearly cycle is Identity.

Developing the concept of this, Spotlight has felt for sale around $1.50 per size. Some of our school community colours are shown below.

The guidance sheet to go with the materials for the students.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

kite photography

Earlier this year a student posted up a photo of their kite aerial photography. This was something that was explored and developed on through the come fly with me project when they were trying to send up a weather balloon with sensors attached.

Through kickstarter this year a balloon mapping kit was made available through the kickstarter also came a kite mapping kit as well. Since I am more likely to be not wandering around with a bottle of helium, the kite mapping kit is more suited.

I finally had time to try this out at our local park. I was amazed at how well it flew as well as how much string I still had on the reel.

I plan on doing a few more of these as time allows.

How might this be used within a project. Getting students to update the changes to our local orienteering map so we can have a map for our school.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

end of year thinking

It has come to the time of the year where I have been thinking about ideas for next year.

What type of projects could be offered to students to develop Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes?

Idea One

Thinking of a starter activity for the year, something that get students using vector based programmes to develop ideas. Using open source software, inkscape allows students to develop vector based images.

While I have bene interested in this type of idea for a year now, something around getting students interested in the hobsonville habits. I wish I had taken a photo yesterday of the sleeves of the year 8 students that came to school yesterday. There seems to be a history of badges with intermediate schools in the area.
How could we take this thinking and apply it in a different way.

We have a laser cutter...

Also the idea of badges, since we have a sewing machine that can embroider... and 3d printers... opportunities could be developed... this would require students to think broadly.

To be able to get students working towards the badges using an idea around evidence of working towards the habits and goals.

Second idea

The second idea is one around mapping. We have an ever changing point where we need to do some work to enable a physical education activity to take place.

Kite flying capturing of the point using go pro and public lab.

To be able to knit the images together, public lab has a mapknitter website

This would link into complex digital media techniques to be able to develop this as it would require a range of different capturing methods to be used.

Third one

The third one relates to my last post which is around developing the circles, something that I have been thinking about and exploring, through research I have found which provides some good answers in how this could be developed.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Developing some thinking about junior programmes

I have been doing some thinking over the past couple of days around this, and looking at what the current CT and DDDO Progress Outcomes are, as well as Technology Achievement Objectives. Unfortunately we won't know until December sometime when the actual curriculum will be released.

We have themes in our school, so I am having to think about my planning to go under these categories. 


This is only just thinking stages at the moment. Also thinking about culturally responsive practices, priority learners, 

How Might We INNOVATE through personalised learning?
How Might We ENGAGE through powerful partnerships?
How Might We INSPIRE through deep challenge & inquiry?

Which relate to our school values of INNOVATE. ENGAGE. INSPIRE.

Link up with social science learning area under a module that links in the original ideas of the BNZ Amazing Place competition held in Christchurch a number of years ago. The Amazing Place was a series of competitions for the children of Canterbury of different age groups to have a real say in the future of Christchurch by connecting them with the redevelopment of the central city.
Getting students to rethink their ideas about how cities are changing and what could be on offer, to be able to develop surveys, understand data, communicate ideas, use SketchUp to develop ideas. This is a more a generic technology unit idea, mainly because I still see these concepts being important for students to develop and understand, to propose ideas, to be able to inquire. Important aspects that need to be learnt and grafted.

Computer generated art, developing the thinking for a student to be able to develop their own art. Not with brushes, but with programming, I have come across this guy who with 10 lines of python code has been able to create some interesting cloud images. thinking about what this could mean, there is talk of a book that he has written.
Then there is this,

I love the idea of insta:ants, getting students to take a photo and then have an algorithm to change it up. Then is even a mp4 created of it being drawn.

Flow chart to get it working

An example image created

Digital media, moving image,
Rotoscoping is an animation technique used by animators to trace over motion picture footage, frame by frame, when realistic action is required. Originally, photographed live-action movie images were projected onto a glass panel and re-drawn by an animator

One of the ideas I threw away at the start when doing some idea generation around this was the use of blends. the following is when combing pig, angel and catcus to enable some new images to be created.

One of the other pieces of work, and I hope to try and work out the coding around is this:
These wall drawings are generated by a series of predesigned instructions that dictate their form. The instructions give both constraint and flexibility, so that the piece that unfolds has a clear structure and at the same time expresses the individual aesthetic preferences of the participants who contribute. Since each step depends on the previous steps, the result is a dynamic, collaborative piece, authored collectively by the artist and the exhibit visitors.
I can imagine students creating the code of the outline for this, and then using collaborative process within class for students to enhance and develop the original piece of work. I need help from a maths teacher for some of the maths around this.

Example of code to help develop 2D Shape Patterns

Paper based circuits for space and place concept. Getting students to understand the world around them. Carry on the idea of the battle for our birds. Getting students to develop an understanding of electronics, thinking about the ideas of trapping and the electronics now involved. Would love to link in with a partnership with to be able to get students understand the place of technology within this and develop the concepts of design and developing digital outcomes to support new ideas. Link in with the wwf NZ Conservation Innovation Awards possibly.

With this also linking into the ideas of how electronics can be used within different ways. I was introduced to tonight, using voice controls to get students to control.

ends up to be $49 NZD

Still thinking about this one. Though I do want to look at game design, both online and board game based.
Hoping that this could link in with the NZTA Education competition, still waiting to hear back on what this may look like next year.
It is sad to see that this competition will not be happening next year.

CS - Developing an understanding of computer science principles
Focus on HCI, searching and sorting, data representation. Getting students to think about how things work, I have experienced EROAD over the past 4 days driving up and down the country, developing an understanding of speed, centreline databases, and harsh acceleration and sharp cornering, and how it is gamified to make you a better driver.
To get students to have access to this book, and be able to start looking at what is the world around them, and how New Zealand has made a difference. This is the next book on from No. 8 Re-wired.
With this comes the second aspect of Arduino programming that students will be able to investigate how things work through sensors.

Create a character, design and create a 3d character using Blender.
Main focus will be on the tools within blender to support the learning. Being able to design and create yourself as well. This is similar to some work that media design school did a couple of years ago with the development of a super hero character.