2017 Victorian Schools Games & Apps Challenge

With great excitement, the School Library Association of Victoria is proudly managing the delivery of the 2017 Victorian Schools Games & Apps Challenge. The Challenge is a Victorian Department of Education initiative with the support of Microsoft and is open to all Victorian Schools.  Aligning to the Victorian Curriculum and in particular, the Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies curriculum areas makes the Challenge an ideal curriculum enhancement project.

By providing opportunities to explore, experiment and tackle real world problems, the Challenge also directly supports STEM based learning and the Tech Schools initiative. It directs students’ focus outside the classroom walls as they seek to apply their inventive talents to every day problems.

With that in mind we ask – what is the problem, issue or challenge you want to take on? Could you create a game? How is your game or app going to increase awareness, provide strategies, create empathy or make things better? Who is your audience? Can you pitch your idea?

Using the Design Brief Template and other resources on the Victorian Schools Games & Apps Challenge website and supported by a range of tutorials and online support sessions, students will follow the design process to create a prototype of the Game/App.

Teachers will submit each group’s entry by 5 pm on Wednesday October 11.  Entries will be judged at Education in Games Summit as part of Melbourne International Games Week 22-29 October.

So, get a team together at your school and register them to compete. Who knows where it could lead?

Weaving the Future – Inquiry based learning & DigiTech curriculum


On Friday, 17 March, School Library Association of Victoria conference Weaving the Future: Inquiry Learning within a Digital Curriculum will feature, Dr Mandy Lupton from QUT and Paula Christophersen formerly of VCAA.  Focus of the day will be the Digital Curriculum and the role of School Libraries can take in its implementation and execution.

Dr Mandy Lupton is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at QUT and well known to library and literacy professionals through her blog Inquiry Learning and Information Literacy.   Mandy teaches units in the Master of Education (teacher-librarianship) and has undertaken a number of research projects into inquiry learning and information literacy.  She will present a number of tools for the design of inquiry learning curriculum including questioning frameworks, process models and Mandy’s GeSTE windows model for information literacy. Delegates will have the opportunity for hands-on application and evaluation of these planning resources.  This is an opportunity to work closely with a renowned Australian information literacy specialist.

Ms Paula Christophersen (formerly of VCAA) is a familiar presenter at SLAV conferences having introduced ICT in the curriculum and general capabilities.  As a major architect of the new Victorian Digitech curriculum, Paula is the ideal person to present Ways of thinking in Digital Technologies.  Through this Paula will explore the essential features of the Victorian Digital Technologies curriculum, paying particular attention to the different ways of thinking in the curriculum, namely computational, design and systems thinking. Exploration involves teasing out the breadth and depth of content associated with this curriculum, and how meaningful connections can be made with other learning areas.  As schools seek methods of integrating the new digital curriculum into both primary and secondary schools, this session gives library staff background and understanding to support digital learning through the STEM curriculum, makerspaces, coding clubs etc.

SLAV is pleased to be starting the year with professional learning support for Victorian teacher librarians, teachers and library staff generally.   Don’t miss out.  Register here.

Melbourne Mini Maker Faire in March

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A Mini Maker Faire is an event created by Make magazine to “celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset” (Wikipedia).  3D printing, arduino electronics, coding and Maker activities have come a long way in the three years since the first Melbourne Mini Maker Faire was held at Swinburne University in 2012.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) has entered the curriculum, the Hour of Code has been adopted worldwide and 3D printers have transitioned from being items of awe to common items in many schools, both primary and secondary.  These new tools are providing students with opportunities for hands-on application of science and technology as authentic tools for learning and Makerspaces in schools and libraries have become new spaces for learning.

It’s with great excitement, therefore, that we greet the announcement of 2016 Melbourne Mini Maker Faire!

Date: Saturday 19 March, 10am – 4pm

Location: KIOSC @ Swinburne University of Technology, 369 Stud Road, Wantirna 3152

Cost: Gold Coin Donation‌

The Victorian Department of Education and Training in association with the Knox Innovation Opportunity and Sustainability Centre (KIOSC) and Swinburne University of Technology are planning this exciting experience by providing a snapshot of what our future may look like.

The program will include: workshops by inventors and makers, demonstrations of cutting edge technologies, hands on activities for children and adults, nutritious food vendors and musical entertainment

Register as a Maker, Volunteer, Sponsor or an Attendee, today!
For information please visit the Melbourne Maker Faire website.

This video by Mat Bettinson of the 2012 Melbourne Mini Maker Faire provides you with an idea of what to expect at a Maker Faire.
Use these links to stimulate your imagination and begin an exploration of Maker Faires worldwide.

 

New Australian STEM resources hub

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ABC Splash is a source of high-quality digital educational content specifically developed for the Australian learning community.  This week they launched the Splash STEM Hub which addresses “Science, Technology, Education and Maths” learning for students in Years Prep/Foundation to Year 10.  The site contains experiments, teaching ideas, and interviews with scientists, engineers in partnership with organisations such as CSIRO, RiAus and the Australian National University.  It brings real world science and people working in science and technology fields into the classroom.

To celebrate the launch of the new STEM hub, ABC Splash is conducting a prize draw that you enter by simply subscribing to the new STEM newsletter.  Two great prizes for the winners are three sphero rolling robots, one prize for primary and one for secondary.  What a marvellous incentive to sign up to receive what is a great prize in itself – regular science education news and updates!

All ABC Splash resources are free to watch and play at home and in school and are guaranteed to spark discussion and promote curiosity. The Splash portal is a world-class education experience for Australian students, and is packed with thousands of videos, audio clips, games and interactive tools.  Teachers and teacher librarians are especially encouraged to sign up for the primary, secondary and now the STEM newsletters.  Promote them to your students and their families, they’ll love them.