Friday, October 05, 2007

Scratch - Visual Programming Environment - Australian Lesson Exchange

The Australian Lesson Exchange (ALE) is a relatively new wiki for all Australian Educators from all states and territories. Its a place to share your stuff! Fellow Aussie edubloggers may like to check it out!

Richard Wiktorowicz from Moorefield Girls High has kindly shared, via ALE, a fantastic set of activity cards in PDF that he has developed for scratch. Thanks Richard.
Scratch - Visual Programming Environment - Australian Lesson Exchange

Scratch is a new programming language that makes it easy to create
your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art -- and
share your creations on the web.

Scratch is designed to help young people (ages 8 and up)
develop 21st century learning skills. As they create Scratch projects,
young people learn important mathematical and computational ideas,
while also gaining a deeper understanding of the process of design.

For those who are yet to discover the joys of scratch take a look at one of my year 5 student's movies here. Cody did the storyboard, the sprites and backgrounds himself, (as well as the scripting of course).

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Education and Copyright at Bionic Teaching

Copyright awareness is something that we as teachers must include in our classroom life. I teach a range of children from K-6 and I begin copyright instruction in kindergarten, by modeling behaviors such as "acknowledging" or "thanking" the creator of any work we make, talk about, or use.

Someone always owns the work. (Picture, poem, song, etc). The owner of the work is the one who created it. By year 6 the children are not only aware of copyright and ownership issues, but have become quite good at referencing pictures, sound clips, and text. (I insist that they do so).

Tom Woodward
at Bionic Teaching has a stylish powerpoint presentation on copyright. Check it out, it's one of the best I've come across on this vital topic. Tom keeps it positive using the traffic light analogy. Green is "you can" , orange is "caution", and red is "do not". By focusing on the green lights, like creative commons and public domain, you can be sure to avoid the scrutiny of the copyright police. The presentation is clear with ample notes, and covers images, text, sound, and video, in a very positive and simple way.

Well worth adding to your toolkit.

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