MS Teams as a Virtual Classroom

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For 2018, Microsoft Teams has been a successful newcomer to the QMC eLearning toolkit. Whilst OneNote Class Notebooks remain an indispensable virtual classroom and virtual desk platform for Year 6-13 students, MS Teams is adding a number of provisions for students and teachers. Teams incorporates a Class Notebook, as well as other new features such as the provision of student discussion forums (e.g. for complex subject content), and an ability to set up sign-up forms for tutorials and group projects. In addition, students can use Teams to share notes and materials with other classmates that may not have been present for lessons.

Jessica Siacci has been an enthusiastic adoptee of Teams in her Senior School classes. For Miss Siacci, Teams provides a rich two-way platform for providing learning via all manner of multi-media content. Other uses have included a class notice board for her form class Team, where both students and teacher can post notices and reminders, as well as set up class polls either for fun or to organise class events (e.g. community fair, pizza lunches, etc.). To lighten things up a little when learning challenging content, Miss  Siacci has also provided a ‘fun space’ channel for the students to post class-related posts that aren’t strictly academic (e.g. meme pages for challenging concepts). Below is an example of the Chemistry Team virtual classroom:

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Junior School students loving Seesaw!

This year, several of our Junior School classes have embraced Seesaw as a digital portfolio platform. Seesaw has allowed students to create multimedia outcomes and share them in a way which allows parents to have a real-time window into their daughter’s school day. Parents can comment on the student work and communicate with the teacher. Additionally, the platform has been a great way to have students’ learning supported at home.

Teachers set up their class and provide parents with a link and a QR code specific to their daughter. From there, the teacher sets up activities for the class within Seesaw. Student outcomes can be multi-media (video, audio, photos, text, drawing etc). In addition, the work that students produce on the class iPad apps can be published directly to SeeSaw.

For example, in Year 1 Ms Blackwood uses Seesaw as a platform to communicate directly with parents and to build a record of student learning. As Ms Blackwood reports: “The students get very excited to know that their parents have checked their post and have made comments about their work. The students can make responses back to their parents; it is great to have that two-way conversation going from the classroom.”

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Alyssa Gu (left), Caitlin Harrison in Year 2

Miss Lovell’s Year 2 class have also been very enthusiastic users of the Book Creator app, and have thoroughly enjoyed the writing and publishing process using this resource. Having their stories published online via Seesaw for parents to read has been a real buzz for students.

Build your own Buggy – using a Microbit

Hello QMC parents and students

Below is another fantastic holiday opportunity from Victoria University

When:  11 Jul 2018, 9:30am-3:00pm

Where: Victoria University – Kelburn (Room to be confirmed shortly), 6 Kelburn Parade, Kelburn, Wellington, New Zealand Map

What: This one day workshop targets students aged 12 and above who are keen build and program a buggy using the Microbit controller. At the end of the workshop you will take your buggy home to continue the awesomeness! Only 20 seats are available, so ensure to jump in sooner!

Students will be expected to bring their own laptops for programming; however, we have desktops / laptops for use as backup. Lunch is simple ( sandwich and a drink ) and is included; please enter details below for specific dietary requirements.

No prior programming knowledge is required as the Microbit uses a simple ‘drag and drop’ interface for programming.

Phones are welcome, as you can control your buggy using Bluetooth.

Payment is by cash on arrival. We do not have eftpos facility but there is a ATM machine nearby.

Who: Any other questions, please feel free to email pravin.vaz@vuw.ac.nz

Register here:
https://build-your-own-buggy-using-a-microbit.lilregie.com/booking/attendees/new

 

ONLINE SAFETY FOR PARENTS

With the holidays approaching and the promise of our students having more time on their hands, it is a good time to think about what we can do as parents to keep our girls safe online. The following 10 tips are from www.netsafe.org.nz, and serve as an excellent starting point for ensuring that your daughter enjoys safe, rewarding online experiences. Other information for parents can be found on the Digital Citizenship page of this blog here.

1. SET EXPECTATIONS

Talk to  your child about the type of behaviours you’d like them to adopt. For example, how long they should spend online, what apps and social media sites you’d like them to use and what is appropriate content to view. This will be different depending on the age of your child, and what you feel comfortable with. Technological options like parental controls can help, but it needs to be teamed with online safety education.

Find out more about how much time kids should be spending online.

Find out about how to use parental controls.

2. UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY DO ONLINE

Talk to your kids about what they’re using the internet for. What’s involved? Who’s in their network? What information do they share? Are they using the internet to learn? To communicate and create friendships with others? To create music or videos? Really listen to what they have to say – what might seem like ‘just a game’ to you, could in fact be a way for them to connect with people who have similar interests.

Showing an interest in the things they do helps to build your understanding of what their online world looks like and creates an environment that makes it easier to have more difficult conversations about in the future.

3. IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND IT, TRY IT

You need to understand the technology to better understand the challenges that young people face online. Explore the websites and apps your child uses to improve your knowledge, and take the time to read terms and conditions. You could even ask them to show you how it works, as a way to start conversation around online safety.

As a start, check out our guide to Snapchat for parents.

4. SET A GOOD EXAMPLE

How often do you use your laptop or smartphone at the dinner table? How many angry posts have you published? Take a look at the way you use technology while young people are around. If you see something that troubles you – change it.

How good is your knowledge abound online safety, privacy settings and even online shopping?

Be better equipped to help by expanding your own knowledge – read the Staying Safe Online Guide.

5. TEACH THEM THE BASICS

Once your knowledge is up to scratch, teach them the basics of online safety – here’s four ideas of what to start with.

1. Strong passwords

A strong password helps protect the information in your on online profiles or accounts.

Teach your child how to choose strong passwords, by reading how to choose a good password.

2. Information to protect online

Login details and passwords

Bank account details

Home address

Phone numbers

Birthdate

Personal information that could be used to guess security questions for online accounts

You should also talk about personal details they could share online, such as where they are and the school they attend. This includes sharing their location – some apps allow you to share your current location with friends, or publicly.

3. Not everything is as it seems

It can seem like common knowledge to adults, but sometimes kids don’t understand that people are not always who they say they are online. Talk to them about friending or communicating with people they don’t know offline. For young children especially, they shouldn’t friend someone online that they don’t know personally offline.

4. Digital footprint

Teach your child that they need to think about what they post online, and that what they post online leaves a “digital footprint” about them. Find out more about digital footprints.

 

6. SETTING UP SOCIAL MEDIA

How old should kids be before they get social media accounts? The minimum sign up age for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube is 13. Of course, if they’re under the age minimum it’s always better that they’re honest with you about using an app or site, rather than doing it behind your back. This way, you can help them to stay safe online.

Tips for setting up social media accounts

Make sure you’ve taught them the online safety basics above

Help your child to set up the account

Depending on their age, use your email address to sign up

Enter their actual birth year so they’re less likely to see inappropriate content

Become their friend, or follow them

Teach them about the safety tools available

 

7. GIVE THEM THE TOOLS THEY NEED

Most social media organisations have a safety centre with tools for staying safe online. Take a look at the safety centres of the apps or websites your child uses, and teach them how to use the tools available.

Start with how to block people, how to report content and how to use the privacy settings.

Social media safety centres

Facebook • Snapchat  • Instagram   •YouTube    • Twitter   
Facebook Snapchat instagramYoutube Twitter

8. ONLINE BULLYING

One in five young people in New Zealand have been the target of online bullying. Teach your child what to do if they’re targeted online, so they have the tools to deal with it if it happens. Ask them what advice they’d give a friend who was experiencing online bullying. This is a good way to understand how they would deal with these kinds of situations if they were to experiencing it themselves.

Make sure you also talk to them about how you expect them to behave towards others online.

  • Let them know that if it’s not acceptable offline, it’s not acceptable online
  • Ask your kids to think about the person on the “other side” of the screen
  • Lead by example – think about how you’re behaving toward others online

Find out more about how to deal with online bullying.

9. WHAT ABOUT “SEXTING”?

When it’s appropriate you should talk to your kids about the risks of sharing personal information and sexual images and what can happen to those photos or videos once created and shared.

Find out more about sexting and how to deal with it.

10. WHAT IF SOMETHING DOES HAPPEN?

Let them know the options that are available to them – talking to a trusted adult, their school or Netsafe. We have a team of friendly people offering free and confidential advice for everyone in New Zealand. We can help young people with online bullying, abuse, harassment and other challenges they might face online. Let them know we can help.

If they come to you for help, count to ten before you react. When young people ask for help from adults, it’s important to understand this was a big decision. If you overreact or take away the technology, then you’re less likely to be the first port of call next time something happens. Focus on fixing the issue, not on punishing or confiscating their devices.

If you need help or advice, about any online issue you can contact Netsafe.

0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723) – queries@netsafe.org.nz – netsafe.org.nz/report

MORE INFORMATION

Tech Day for Girls

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Dear QMC parents and students.

Below looks like a great holiday opportunity for our girls. Year 10 students in particular may well be interested, as most of them have had experience with programming Arduino boards in the Year 10 Digital Technology course.

Be sure to register quickly if you are interested, as spaces will be limited.

Kia ora koutou

VUWWIT (Victoria University of Wellington Women in Tech) is a student-led group for women and non-binary students studying computer science, engineering and STEM subjects. Diversity is our passion and our purpose. We want to make sure girls are getting the opportunity to learn about technology in a fun and inclusive environment, so we thought we would do our part by hosting a Girls in ICT Outreach Day for secondary students!

Our aims with this outreach day are to:

  • Introduce female students to Engineering and Computer Science at VUW
  • Expose students to fun and challenging activities in tech
  • Encourage students to consider study or a career in STEM

We will do programming with Arduino, games processing, build Android apps and play some fun computer games to teach Ruby and Linux command line skills. The event is FREE of charge and lunch is provided.

Event: Tech Day for Girls
Date: Friday 13 July 2018
Time: 8.30am-3.30pm
Place: Maclaurin Lecture Theatres, Kelburn Campus, Victoria University of Wellington
Register: Closes June 29 2018

More info can be found on the events facebook page

If for any reason your availability changes and you are no longer able to attend, you must give us at least one weeks’ notice to avoid the school being invoiced a late cancellation fee of $10.

Come along for an awesome day of tech!

Cyberbullying Awareness Week

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Next week marks Bullying Free New Zealand week, and Queen Margaret College will acknowledge it with a focus on safe and ethical online practices. Following a recent survey of students on this issue, our head of Student Body Council, Annalise Kruger (Year 13), will speak at next Monday’s Principal’s Assembly, highlighting the importance of school-wide awareness on general internet safety, an well as the need for our girls to adhere to four of the key Learner Profile Attributes, on and offline:

  • Principled behavior: treating each other as you’d like to be treated yourself, on and offline.
  • Respecting, supporting each other and their opinions.
  • Caring: listening when needed, being nice to people.
  • Communicator: having open, safe discussions where everyone feels comfortable to express their own opinions without being judged.

These attributes are given by Annalise as great foundations to avoid getting into bad situations online. Ms Logan (the school counselor) will also provide key information to students as to what is the best way is the best way to deal with a bad situation.

In addition to the assembly, our Head and Deputy Head Prefects will organised a range of form time activities for the week to highlight the need for our girls to conduct themselves in a safe and responsible manner online at all times. The class QTechs will support the Prefects in delivering these messages.

Mr Knuckey will continue to teach Digital Citizenship as a stand alone unit in Middle School classes, as well as regularly addressing level assemblies to deliver key messages and reminders to students. These are centered around the requirement that our girls conduct themselves in a safe, ethical, and legal manner online at all times. Advice is also given on what to do if on the receiving end of online bullying.

A reminder that our  Digital Citizenship information page is here, which includes a number of invaluable links to sources that can provide advice and support to children and parents regarding online behavior. Alternatively you can contact the relevant Head of School if you have any concerns.

Below are two videos chosen by the Student Body Council to highlight a focus on safe and ethical online practice:

QMC Can Code!

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Queen Margaret College is excited to be part of She Can Code, a celebration of girls and women coding in Aotearoa. 2018 marks the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Aotearoa. With Techweek this month, it’s the perfect time to celebrate the girls and women who write much of Aotearoa’s code. The aim of She Can Code is to get as many girls and woman coding as possible and to share stories of our amazing coders using the hashtags #SheCanCode and #QMCCanCode


The official She Can Code event runs from May 19-27, and we aim to have as many QMC girls as possible coding during this week, so as to be eligible to win prizes . However, you can start coding anytime by going to She Can Code, going to the Projects page (at the top of the screen) and choose between Scratch, HTML/CSS, or Python based coding projects. Find a project and level that suits you are you are away! Our official club meet time is every Monday – Thursday from 1pm in W3, and Mr Knuckey will be there to help get you started. All you need to bring is your laptop and a willingness to have fun while learning! Once you are up and away, you are of course welcome to code at home.

Important note:  Even if you’ve never coded before, you can take part!

I look forward to seeing you there.

Mr Knuckey

 

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