Author: Cathie Howe

MacICT now offering Augmented Reality Workshops for Students and Teachers

            In 2012, MacICT conducted a small, innovative school based AR project with a group of Year 8 – 10  students from St Ives High School. The project involved students from a local High School coming to Macquarie University to learn about Augmented Reality and tour the Sculpture Park in the university grounds. The students were invited to select a sculpture of their choice and then, using an Augmented Reality platform, Aurasma, design and create an aura that would be triggered by the sculpture.   The students involved in the project found that learning with Augmented Reality has the potential to...

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Every Student in Every School Should Learn to Code

There is a much greater need in the world for engineers and people who can write code than there will ever be supply – Drew Houston created Dropbox The importance of students learning some sort of code, even if it just a visual programming language, is being increasingly recognised as an important skill for 21st century learners. Computer Science Education Week is from December 9 – 15. want to see 10 million people of all ages try an introduction to computer science for one hour during this week. Why not get involved and join in on the ‘Hour...

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Reimagining Learning: ICT and the NSW Syllabuses for the Australian Curriculum Mini Online Course

MacICT’s has been using a blended approach to learning for some time, complementing our face to face courses with the use of virtual spaces such as Edmodo to share resources and encourage community participation and sharing. We recently ran a recent Reimagining Learning mini online course (MOC) based on the model of connected learning and in the style of a connectivist MOOC, to provide teachers around NSW with an opportunity to access one of MacICT’s professional learning workshops ‘anywhere, anytime’. This mini online course, ‘Reimagining Learning: ICT and the NSW Syllabuses for the Australian Curriculum’ aimed to draw on participatory culture skills of...

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Connected Communities 21 Project Showcase

Project Team Professor John Hedberg – Professor of ICT and Education, School of Education, Macquarie University. Executive Director Macquarie ICT Innovations Centre Meredith Ash – Director, Public Schools NSW Myra Wearne – Principal, North Sydney Demonstration School Cathie Howe – Professional Learning and Leadership Coordinator. Manager Macquarie ICT Innovations Centre Michael Stevenson – Researcher CC21. Doctoral Student and Casual Academic, Macquarie University Participating Schools Artarmon PS, Beaumont Hills PS, Carlingford West PS, Killara HS, Chatswood HS, Turramurra HS, St Ives HS, Pymble PS, Manly West PS, Killara PS, John Purchase PS, Quakers Hill PS, Epping North PS, Hilltop Road PS, Barnier PS, William Dean PS, Regentville PS The Showcase The culmination of our 8 month...

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Beyond the Page: Transmedia Storytelling

So What is Transmedia Storytelling Anyway? Nowadays people are juggling a variety of media platforms including tablets, mobile phones, laptops and consuming, connecting, collaborating and creating content as never before. The internet has enabled the role and relationship between author and audience to become blurred (Jenkins 2006) leading to a new form of narrative that is native to the Internet (Rose, 2012). When you delve into the world of transmedia storytelling, you will quickly realise there are many definitions for this form of storytelling and the term “transmedia” has met with its share of controversy. It can be confusing...

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MacICT partner with Macquarie University’s PACE program

Since 2012, MacICT has partnered with PACE (Participation and Community Engagement) which is Macquarie’s way of connecting students with partner organisations to provide a mutually beneficial experience. The Invasion of the Shadow Plague Project Last year, a team of five third year IT students (Doug, Colin, Mitchell, Ryan and Martin) from Macquarie University’s COMP365 course built a new webhosting solution for MacICT’s ‘Invasion of the Shadow Plague‘ metagame project. This project began with a proof of concept trial in 2011 involving nearly 1000 Year 3 to Year 10 students. You can read about it here and here. We were happy with the initial results...

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Robotics in Education

The following post is based on an article I was asked to write for Educational Technology Solutions on Robotics in Education. Introduction This article will examine how the use of robotics in education benefits 21st century learning and how teachers can get started with a robotics programme. Rather than only examining robotic technology and retrofitting it to an existing way of teaching, it is important to identify what you as a teacher you want your students to learn, and how you want them to learn. Then you can determine how the introduction of robotics can improve these outcomes. However, not...

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MacICT Game Design Student Masterclass

  “Game design is a creative discipline which also requires an extremely analytical mind at a high level; this would seem to explain why most game designers I know are a tiny bit unhinged (in a good way)! . . . There are three ways to learn game design; I’ve put these in descending order of efficacy: 1. Make games, then watch people playing your games [GREAT BIG GAP] 2. Play other games analytically 3. Study game design theory” Mode7 Games The idea of developing the Game Design Masterclass for school students arose after working with thousands of students...

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Learning through Design: Google Maps + Edmodo = GAME

A couple of weeks ago, a group of Year 4 and 5 students from NSW rural and remote schools visited MacICT for the day as part of the NSW Country Areas Program (CAP). The purpose of the day was for students to create a GeoQuest using Google Maps. Working with Anne Maree Moore, Country Areas Program Consultant for the Northern Riverina Area, we came up with a scaffold to turn the GeoQuest into a game. The following is a brief outline of the day: The teacher generated an Edmodo group code to use in GeoQuest Discuss how they like...

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A Fresh Approach to Learning: Robotics in the Classroom Guest post by Rob Torok

Robotics is a project-based activity that is motivating and engaging for many students. It draws on, and develops, learning related to the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Background I’ve been using robotics in education for about ten years, originally as an extension activity, outside class time. This developed into a short course, then a full year program, and then an outreach activity to local schools. Along the way I’ve been involved in various beta-testing programs for LEGO, starting with the MINDSTORMS Developer Program back in 2006. In 2007, I started my online SmartBots class with support...

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Making Learning Irresistible

Early this morning, I had the opportunity to join Katie Salen, Randall Fujimoto, Vanessa Camilleri, and Howard Rheingold in a livestreamed Google+ hangout to discuss what game design might contribute to the design of connected learning. Katie Salen locates her work in the field of game design and serves as the Executive Director of a non-profit called the Institute of Play that is focused on games and learning. She is also Professor of Games and Digital Media at DePaul University. She has helped to launch two schools, Quest to Learn and Chicago Quest. The discussion was centred around the...

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Tips on Smart Gamification

Gamification is a buzz word that is increasingly used in educational contexts and is often a hot topic of debate. Whether you love it, hate it or want to know more about it, here are two very different but excellent videos that shed light on gamification. If you really want to have a go at gamifying learning in your classroom, Amy Jo Kim’s video is well worth viewing to the end. The following is an excert from Amy Jo Kim’s presentation at Casual Connect Seattle: Smart Gamification: Seven Core Concepts for Creating Compelling Experiences | Amy Jo KIM Games...

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Robots in the Classroom @MacICT

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. –William Butler Yeats Robotics provides a highly engaging medium for creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication, four essential skills for learning and ICT within a curriculum context. In 2012 MacICT is partnering with LEGO Education Australia to offer schools three brand new Introduction to Robotics Bootcamps and Masterclasses suitable for students from stages 3-6, using the LEGO NXT robot. We have also been working closely with personnel from Macquarie University’s Department of Electronic Engineering on the design of these bootcamps. Our pool of expert facilitators...

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Connected Learning

“If people don’t really learn how to learn and how to engage, and how to be flexible and adaptive, how to find communities and have ideas about things that they want to do now, we’re just really in trouble” Professor Katie Salen The speakers in this video challenge educators to change their core question from what are the goals, content, material we want to cover as teachers to what is the learning experience we want the student to have. With this question, teachers need to pay attention to the student and start designing learning around creating a powerful need...

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MacICT launches new game design initiatives

“Fun from games arises out of mastery. It arises out of comprehension. It is the act of solving puzzles that makes games fun. In other words, with games, learning is the drug.” – Raph Koster MacICT is excited to announce two new Good Game Design activities in addition to our Level Up! Good Game Design boot camps for students and workshops for teachers. Game Based Learning with Little Space Heroes This project is suitable for teachers of students from Kindergarten to Year 4. We are very pleased to have the designers of Little Space Heroes supporting us with this...

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21st Century Learning @MacICT

At MacICT we believe that learning how to use technology is not enough; the heart of 21st century learning is about becoming a proficient and independent lifelong learner. Our activities promote this through an inquiry-based approach to learning where students are encouraged to collaborate and be creative in solving open ended challenges, problems and questions. Our knowledge is a consequence of our experiences.Through our activities MacICT aims: to promote innovation to enhance teaching and learning to pursue an innovative research agenda One of the core ways we achieve this is through Project Based Learning (PBL). PBL is a teaching...

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Alternator Game – Finalist in WWF Earth Hour Awards

Those of you who attended MacICT’s Game On festival in October last year may remember the futuristic high speed racing game, Alternator that was a part of the Indie Games Showcase. In an outstanding achievement, Alternator has been nominated as a finalist in the Creative Arts Category in the WWF Earth Hour Awards. Each year, the WWF Earth Hour Awards celebrate the outstanding efforts of businesses, school and individuals to create a more sustainable future. Alternator the game aims to inspire players to take a deeper interest in the world of clean and renewable energy by highlighting the incredible...

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PLEASE NOTE: MacICT was closed in 2016. This website remains as a record of the research conducted and courses run during its operation.