Edutech Masterclass STEM & Coding

Today was a day filled with #STEM and #coding at #EdutechAU Masterclass.

Participants explored how STEM can engage and challenge students while implementing the Australian Curriculum (Science, Mathematics and Technologies).

The days was a ‘hands on’ approach with participants applying a design thinking approach to robotics, programming and STEM, examining related concepts to adapt and implement in their context.

See some below some of the resources and sharing from the day.

Design Challenge with @Sphero @julia_boulton

#EduTechAU #masterclass







Programming with Apps

On Monday 27th April, select students from Year 3, with the support of the Year 6 ICT Mentors participated in a PROGRAMMING WITH APPS session.

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The students were introduced to the following concepts:

  • What a program is
  • How a computer ‘thinks’
  • Computer languages and visual programming


They experimented with following instructions and thinking computationally through the use programmable Bee-Bots and the Bee-Bot app.  These tools are excellent for reinforcing directional and procedural language.

Through the use of visual programming apps, the students also learnt to create simple programs. Apps like Daisy the Dinosaur and Kodable support students to learn to code by solving puzzles. The ability to problem solve is a critical and creative skill for students to develop.

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The students were now ready to create their own program using Scratch Jnr. This app has a drag and drop interface designed specifically for programming with younger children.

The students were given the task to collaboratively design a simple story, selecting an appropriate setting and writing an interaction between characters. This task made connections between the story writing process and computer literacy through programming. The ICT Mentors supported and directed the younger students exceptionally well at this stage.

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All these apps are available for free. More apps can be found at Programming for Primary Students.

If you would like to learn more, read some of our blog posts about programming on the JS Library blog or come and see the Bee-Bots in action during first break in the JS Library.2015-04-27 20.49.01


ICT Mentors’ Explorations, AC and Digital Technologies

Today I had an ICT Mentor meeting with students who have nominated to be involved in this leadership group.

The students have been tasked with the role of introducing Beebots to the students and supporting the younger students inquiry. The students will work in pairs to teach and support the younger students learn about basic programming using the Beebots.

We have purchased a variety of ‘maps’  to support this inquiry, as well as the Beetbots and iPads with the Beebot app.

Street map

BB road map 3


World map

BB world map 2

and we have a ‘blank’ map with 15x 15 size squares. Sparkle Box has many fantastic resources for the blank map.

Later in the term these students will work with the younger students to use the Beebots. One possible approach to conducting these sessions is to connect with a picture book and then use the Beebots as a supporting tool.

1) Students will read the book (or use a video of it being read).

2) Students teach the basics of the Beebots and the commands.

3) Students use the blank map to explore the concepts further.

For example, adapt the ‘I went shopping’ game and  turn it  into ‘One day the Hungry Caterpillar ate _____’.

This photo below has the templates for The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

VHC map

Looking forward to this!

Additional note:

These skills and processes not only connect to developing students’ leadership skills, they also support the Learner Profile and Attitudes of the IB Primary Years Programme. From the teacher perspective this will link into many curriculum  areas. Finally, it provides us with ways to introduce the TECHNOLOGIES curriculum (for Digital Technologies) to students and staff before implementation in 2014.

Specific to the Digital Technologies curriculum

Digital Technologies processes and production skills

Foundation to Year 2 Content Descriptions

Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004)

Year 3 and 4 Content Descriptions

Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them (ACTDIP010)




Want to have a play?

Bee Bots supporting inquiry

We have spent some of our reward points from Scholastic Book Fairs and we have purchased some Bee Bots. Bee Bots are some programmable robots that are excellent to use across the curriculum (lower primary). These are hassle free ICT tools for supporting the Technologies curriculum as well.

In the JS Staffroom we have the Bee Bots on a world map ready for your explorations. We have ordered more maps – just waiting on delivery!

Bee Bots in action

See this blog post Beebots Downunder for some ideas about how these are being used in classes.

Great for literacy, maths, problem solving and geography! (Perfect for mapping UOI Year 2/3).

Name our beebots

We have six Bee Bots and they need names!

Please come and have a play with your class and suggest a name (and reason why).

Beebots (2)


Post your responses below.


Programming with Apps – Prezi and Thinglink


The links and support resources for teaching Programming with Apps for Teachers and Students.

More resources can be found at EdOffICT Programming page.
This prezi is under construction – just an upload of PDF’s at the moment. Will be adding to it soon.


The below thinglink has the links to the apps used in the session and some additional resources.

Introduction to Programming

This term we are running an Introduction to Programming for students in Upper Primary.

We are looking at a variety of apps (initially) in order to identify prior knowledge and to consider what is possible.

The free apps are excellent for developing programming concepts with younger students. The apps below (some come with in-app upgrades) were selected as they build on each other, don’t take long to learn and set the scene well.

  • A.L.E.X

As a part of this course students will consider WHAT that actually wish to do. To support this the Introduction to Programming Moodle course has tutorials and guides so students can be self-directed in their learning. journey. Students have the opportunity to access these resources outside of school time and to share and collaborate about what they are learning and doing with others via the Edmodo Programming group.


Students will also reflect and complete a GOAL SETTING sheet to clarify their thinking and give some direction to their inquiry.


For example, they may wish to explore the games and gaming, use the apps and websites (eg Kodu, Scratch) to create a games  (focusing  on visual programming language)




Build their own app using a platform such as Blippit or iTouch App after you have created your book using Creative Book Builder.

Blippit – the original pop-up app maker from Get Logged In on Vimeo.


Creative Book Builder for CBB from Digital Roadtrip on Vimeo.


As these sessions are purely to expose the students to programming and creativity through this medium, I am looking forward to seeing what the students create and what they are interested in, to develop resources and future sessions.



Please note: the apps created with Blippit are no longer active.

As of March 2014 Blippit has changed to Blippit IO App Maker.
To retain the work of the students this presentation was created.