Kids recipes on Epicurious

Picture of Chinese Thai fusion ravioli

Link to student video

This blog post covers my final project for the COETAIL course. The link to my Google Presentation is here and to see the actual fourteen minute presentation look at the bottom of the post. For me this was one of the scariest moments of my life, presenting in front of such an accomplished group of professionals but the positive feedback I got made me feel like I was on cloud nine and gave me confidence in my teaching, something we rarely seem to get as teachers is feedback about how you are performing.

The goals of my project were to give students the opportunity to pioneer something that does not already exist on the Epicurious website, which is to create a recipe from scratch then create a recipe video of this and upload it to Epicurious (members cannot have image or video currently) and by doing this give students a genuine understanding of the importance of a logical detailed plan.  The rubric I followed was the MYP criteria following the design cycle, so this particular task was assessed on Criterion C, which is the plan stage.  In terms of the ISTE standards, the students covered critical thinking and problem-solving, and the majority of the project was communication and collaboration – the students had to work with a partner, who they didn’t usually work with and who were from a  different culture to their own in order to research, plan and create a fusion pasta dish inspired by the ingredients and cooking techniques of the two cultures.

To see the dishes that the students have been creating check out NistBangkok on Epicurious to see nearly 30 recipes created by NIST year students. Hopefully some of you may like to try and give the students feedback :)


The tools the students used for collaboration and sharing were:

  • One Note because it’s used school-wide for note-taking, but I wanted to use it in a different way.  I wanted a shared One Note, accessible by all of the students and myself, allowing us all to collaborate in one place.  Also, their completed work could be submitted here for ease of assessment and keeping on track with their contributions.
  • Windows Live Movie Maker to make their videos, chosen by the students.  I gave them a vote over which one would be easiest to use and this is the their comfort zone software.  Work fine as long as image/video are on computer not external drive.
  • The Epicurious website, where the students uploaded their recipes and videos.  It’s got a huge following of 250k but it currently doesn’t have videos or images for members’ recipes.
  • Their mobile phones and video cameras to record the different steps of their recipes and share photos of Facebook.
  • Skype and Facebook to communicate with partners when they weren’t available.
  • The school portal The students used the school portal where the librarian and I have created resources for the students to access recipes and information plus check for relevant books/magazines (yes they did do research the old fashioned way also :).
  • You tube to upload videos so as to share the link on Epicurious
  • Online mind-mapping tools of their choice. 

The project was introduced by showing the students the Epicurious website and ‘wowing’ them by showing them recipes uploaded by the students during the previous trimester.  This seemed to excite them, the idea of taking part in this worldwide-accessed resource being used by students from NIST.  They wanted to try out the recipes that sounded good!  In terms of introducing the main sequence of lessons focused on for this part of the unit, it was via the MYP rubric for the plan stage.  I then talked to students about the success of their recipes, we looked at recipes from books and recipes online and we created some of the recipes devised by the students last trimester to give them an understanding of what makes a good recipe plan.  I then showed students a range of ‘how-to’ food videos and recipe videos selected from you-tube that they gave critical feedback to.  This was done using the shared One Note, and it helped them to understand what makes a good step-by-step video.  Students had the choice of whether they would like to create a photo story like the one I created to show them as an example, or they could create an actual video. The discussions about the video style was interesting for the students as they mentioned using voice over, captions, lighting, time, information use etc. GREAT!

How did students react to the overall project?  They certainly enjoyed the opportunity to get in the kitchen and do some cooking, experiment with new ingredients, enjoyed the opportunity to create a film, but they also enjoyed having the distinction of writing the recipe and showing the video.  In terms of writing their own recipes, some of them were nervous at the idea of uploading their recipes to the world wide web and some of the students mentioned that they felt brave or that they were excited that others might make their dish.

Outcomes.  I feel that I met my goals by giving students the opportunity to create these recipe videos and share them on Epicurious.  In terms of my goal to improve the quality of logical planning, it is possible to see this by look at the trimester 2 students recipe plans and this current set that created the video as well. Of course the issues with uploding these recipe plans are that of course they are not all level 6 perfect recipe plans and there will be some discrepancies for people creating them.  I feel that this has been successful, however one of the main reasons for uploading to Epicurious was to then receive feedback from the people who we might not know.  Due to my timing of the project we have not had time to get that feedback, so it’s a shame we didn’t have the chance to take the project that one step further. It has been a great learning curve for the students when they have been given the opportunity to create any of the recipes from this last trimester and they are able to give constructive feedback and gain even greater understanding of the importance of the detail in a plan. So there is teething problems as with trying anything new with students but overall I am one seriously proud teacher that these 12/13 year old students can create such unique dishes.

Student quote: ‘Throughout this whole unit I learned a lot of new skills both cooking skills and ATL skills. I think that the cooking skills I learned could use in the future when I cook something.  An ATL skill that I learned about was collaboration because we had to work in partners and we had to communicate our ideas with each other and work together safely. I also learned how to make a good and detailed plan that others could follow and make an instructional video that could help other people make this dish as well. Overall I really enjoyed this unit and I look forward to trying other people’s dishes at home!

Students evaluation 1 and students evaluation 2

I think if I could do this project again I would take my students’ advice of using Google Docs as the collaboration tool instead of One Note, I though One Note was a great tool and I will continue to use but the presentation of the work would look better on Google Docs, it is more instant and less difficulty on set up.  I could give the students more time to prepare the video and edit the video.  This is simply a time issue – I wish I had been able to get the students to create their videos earlier, have more time to share and possibly get in touch with teachers from other schools and get their kids to produce our kids’ recipes. In hind sight I would also get the students to have created each others recipes to eek out any issues before uploading to Epicurious where thousands of people can potentially see the dishes.

I plan to share this unit with my PLN.  I have just been working on my PLN over the last couple of months and reaching out to food technology teachers in South East Asia.  In terms of sharing with my department, I would like to share the concept of a video plan, and also the use of online collaboration tools, shared One Notes and Google Docs and the benefits the students learned about logical planning when someone else made their product and of course is the truest test of a plan.

Did I achieve ‘redefinition’ in my project?  I think so, because I don’t see how else the project would be possible without using mobile devices, You-Tube or online video sharing tools, and obviously, the Epicurious website.  Before projects like mine, the only way students would be able to share their recipes with millions of people across the world would be for them to post them to their houses, which doesn’t seem very likely.

My greatest learning during this course has been the understanding that it’s good to experiment and trial new technologies.  My initial thoughts when joining the COETAIL was that Jeff would magically teach us all of these tools and we’d be able to use them straight away with the students.  What he has actually done is give us the understanding of the tools available and shown us how to choose the technologies that will benefit our teaching and the learning of the students.  This can only happen when you trial the technologies yourself.  This has only really become apparent to me over the last couple of months by creating a PLN, which I have now started teaching my Year 9 students to do.  For example, I was scared to use Google Docs originally because I felt I didn’t understand it.  But as soon as I created my own area of Google Doc for a South East Asia Food Tech Collaboration area I felt more confident.  Now I understand how it works and the benefit it can have.  I think the feeling of experimenting and trying new technology as being beyond my comfort zone, but as I have tried these things during the year I’ve realised more and more that my teaching the students is not the be all and end all.  It’s about students teaching me, students teaching each other and us all learning the best ways forward together.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Digital Citizenship; a reflection inspired by Jason Ohler

Citizenship has of course a great meaning to us all. We are all citizens. Citizens of our communities, citizens of our countries.
Neighbourhood Watch


1. A person owing loyalty to and entitled by birth or naturalization to the protection of a state or nation.

2. A resident of a city or town, especially one entitled to vote and enjoy other privileges there.

3. A civilian.

4. A native, inhabitant, or denizen of a particular place

Citizenship was one of the subjects obligated to be taught at my previous English school. It covered Responsibility, democracy and justice, Identity, representation among others. Do any these sound like good things to know when online? After a very affective seminar with Jason Ohler about Digital citizenship it is clear that we as educators and parents need to be teaching about how to be a good citizen on the internet. An informed citizen that understands the impacts and consequences of what they do online. Students and all internet users seem to have ‘inhibitions’ on the internet. It is as if it is just them and their laptop for a lots of people and what is said is just between them and the device. In fact Jason Ohler explains that this is the opposite when communicating, posting researching online we are leaving a ‘digital footprint and this is like standing in a stadium full of people watching you. Every sing thing that you do on the internet is recorded. I believe that as adults we are slightly more skeptical of using the internet as we have the life experience that makes us often more sensible. Students on the other hand do not have the same experience. It is a powerful as giving a child a 10 tonne truck to drive. It can be dangerous if you do not know how to use it correctly and you have not been taught the highway code. It seems our perception with the internet is that is it is not physical so it is not happening that is why analogies can often be far more effective when talking to students about digital citizenship. Another strategy that Jason Ohler described to use with students is almost shock tactics which Jeff Utecht has talked about. Show students their Facebook networks, show them the breeches in their privacy settings. Show them the twitter post that you have seen or the image that was posted. Show them just how far they make an impact.
curtain twitcher
A great way for students to understand this concept that our lives are not private online, even when we try to be careful is by asking them to create a resume of themselves but they can only use information found on the internet. This concept is a hard hitting reality for a lot of students and I am sure adults. We are now represented on the internet and perspective employers, partners, schools, coaches etc will be able to see how you are represented online. Everything students do online needs to be thought about twice and that is something that teenager’s don’t often connect with, unfortunately.


When we talk about citizens we are talking about characteristics, now teaching character education was stopped in America as it was thought that you can’t make everyone the same character. This is not the case with Digital citizenship though, it is teaching the core attitudes, such as responsibility. We want our children and students to be safe, we are constantly teaching them how to do this in life from when they are babies. Online is a whole other world that we as teachers do not feel we can often go because this is the students space but this is the opposite of what we as educators need to be doing. We need to be opening up the lines of communication with our students and as we will not be there to hold their hands when they are on the internet we need to give the skills set to be able to manage themselves and make the right choices alone. The internet constantly challenges users with ethical decisions to make, whether it be to copy an image to use for a presentation without asking for permission or watching a downloaded copy of a film. The question is, “how can we make students the neighbours we want them to be?” because after all we are living in the same neighbourhood online.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

PLN building continued

Following the big 50!

Its just dawned on me that what everyone has been telling about PLN’s (Personal Learning network) is true.

You have to contribute to get information, the more you put in the more you will get out! It is different from Facebook in some ways, on Facebook people know you and have a vested interest originally. With the PLN using tools such as Twitter you don’t have to know the person, they will only know you through how much information that you share and then people will actually start following you. Hopefully! I guess it is just the same as reading your favourite columnist in a magazine or paper.

I have been to two workshops on PLN building over the last year and I only just got it. I just don’t use the tools. The last session I went was by Sarah Sutter at EARCOS 2012 about building the PLN and although I feel that she rushed the presentation for anyone who is not familiar with network building technology, due to my pre-understanding of using Twitter and building a PLN it actually started to sink in.

The first point she made is that you must be following at least 50 people. WOW! I had 20. So my first job is going to follow another 30 people. Wish me luck. The other thing I need to do is read through once a day and check out anything that is interesting, again, wish me luck.

I have always found Twitter completely overwhelming but from the session with Sarah she has made it clear that you need to organise the categories for the people that you follow and also not to think you have to look at every single tweet. Also it seems that # is a great way to find posts that are more specific.

Here is some advise from Sarah about setting up a PLN from her session notes:

1. Read and Engage : RSS & 15 minutes a day

    1a. Who are you? Your online presence
2. It’s not just what you know, but who you know: Twitter & Online Communities
3. Finding & Keeping the Good Stuff: Diigo
4. Anytime Anywhere Learning : Podcasts and Webinars
5. When lurking isn’t enough: How to contribute to your community
* Tweet, Re-Tweet, engage in conversation with others
* Comment on blog posts that move you
* Join communities and groups in communities & share resources
* Blog about your own experiences & reflect on your teaching / learning
* Participate in a webinar live and engage in the chat
* Attend a workshop virtually via live blogging & ask questions
From looking at Sarah Sutters blog I have also followed to see a great Wikispace about buidling PLN called PLN yourself
So here goes to being more proactive 29th March.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Brief report from Cathy Davidson session

The following post has been inspired by Cathy Davidson

Greek tablet

I have mentioned before the feeling of a shift happening and that we as a generation of teachers are the last of a good bunch. What we have seen in our educational lives has been more dynamic than at any other time in history. In two years’ time there will be teachers that have never known a world before the internet. That is when the real change in the approach to education will hit us, as teachers will have been trained with these resources from the start and will be digital natives soon enough.

I attended a very powerful session with Cathy Davidson today at EARCOS where she pointed out the invention of writing came about in Greece 400BC the Greek alphabet was developed and people began to write onto slates and how Socrates reacted to this.

…this discovery of yours will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality.- Socrates 

First of all to think of writing as a new technology sounds bizarre, especially now how the new laptop is a ‘tablet’, sound familiar? I think Socrates did have a point though. When we write we are pushing our thoughts out of our heads in an attempt to return to them later. My greatest example of this is the use of mobile phones. 12 years ago I could remember the phone numbers of all of my family and friends and other such needed numbers. Now I cannot even remember my own phone number. Luckily Socrates students ignored his objections and wrote down his works. My argument against this is the same as those that opposed the written word, it can be shared. All information can now be shared more easily than ever creating a whole new world of information literacy. In my opinion this is an amazing feat in history. If we look at Wikipedia then we can sum up today’s world of learning. In history we have always relied on professionals to give us advice, guide us and teach us what we need to know. Now we rely on others like our selves. Its like having a neighborhood of professionals. Instead of popping down the road to ask the doctor we can now go online and ask any question and anything. Is there any need for us to maintain that brain capacity that Socrates discussed.

The first text books came around in the 18th and 19th century when compulsory education came around and a standard of education needed to be set. It was during the first world war when this true standardization came around with the influence of factories like Ford producing the same product over and over and many parents working or at war. At the time this was needed in education.

In the 21st century the situation is a world away. The text book is old fashioned and looked down on in teaching circles. The use of laptops and even mobile phone in classes is becoming the main across the world. And of course peoples reactions to these have been negative and with judgement as with previous overhauls in the use of technology in the classroom. It was only 10 years ago that there was this constant fear mongering of predators online waiting for children to hook them in.

In education today we have more equality than ever before, we have the resources to technologies never dreamt of 20 years ago and we have eager teachers that want to be part of the change in education. It just feels that the actual assessment for education in schools has not been addressed since that need of standardization in the 20th century and now we are a hundred years on doing old things in new ways. In the teaching of the past we were always looking for “yes or no answers, today we are looking for yes and no answers” Cathy Davidson. Students have a world of education at their fingertips at all times. They need to be able to work to their own levels and complete the tasks that have been given them in the ways that suit them. In today’s world that could be using Facebook on a mobile phone or interviewing a professional on Skype.

Cathy’s suggestion of the way forward is to take head from the Finish teaching. Students are giving almost complete freedom to complete a task a in the time they need and in what way they need to do it, they are independent and they do not have exams. interesting concept, but extraordinary results!


Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

No Phone Home

Red telephone box - London

This week has been interesting in that I haven’t had access to my telephone all week. The feeling of panic instantly hit me, what will I do with no phone? How the heck did we cope without mobile phones and smart phones??

Initially its the practical side of things, getting in contact with my boyfriend, arranging to meet people or needing tell them things. Then it was the email checking for work I was unable to do and checking my Gmail account. Then it was referring to my Thai translator, checking Facebook, using GPS, checking blogs, accessing the news, checking my schedule, taking notes, taking photos, free messaging on Whatsapp with my family at home.

When I originally bought my Smart Phone I was very skeptical thinking I would just use it for messaging and calling. I still don’t think I am using it to its full potential but I am certainly getting my use from it. So life without it, well life without it, I felt disconnected. I was constantly reaching for it. It so hard to find that balance between the addiction of any time having a phone at reach and knowing when its just not apropriate.

I have to say though I went away this weekend and I didn’t even open my laptop once, therefore not seeing a screen for 48 hours, wow it felt good :)

Yes my phone is fully functioning and yes I will be constantly looking at it but I realised that Facebook does not need to be checked everyday a day and I do not need to be replying to students emails at 10pm, life goes on.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Its the final countdown…

by Ruben R. Puentedura, Ph.D.

The final major project has been hanging over us for quite some time now. Since December I have thought about what I would like to do and visualized it in my head. This has been a good thing in someways as I have been preparing for it with my classes. In another way it made me closed off to entertaining new ideas. And here it is 1 day before the deadline and after corresponding with Jeff, discussions in class sessions and then collaborating with the It technician at school I have suddenly come to a new epiphany that I will create a project around an existing unit that I do but transform from being ‘doing old things in new ways’ to a very scary ‘new things in new ways’ and redefine this unit through the use of technology. I can hear you ask, just get to the point..well here we go.

Year 8 have been doing the same project for nearly 3 years. Its called ‘Fusion Pasta’ you may have heard me mention it in previous posts. As of last trimester it was a great unit that encourages students to collaborate, respect other cultures and show human ingenuity with creating a recipe from scratch. That was it! It was fantastic but it went nowhere. With our COETAIL training I realise that learning has changed, its flipped on its head in someways. ‘Tech allows for the creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable’.

Last time I taught this unit a month ago I encouraged students to upload their recipes to Epicurious in their final lesson. It was seriously exciting sharing their incredible recipes. The problem was that it was just an add on at the end and the real learning that came with creating an effective recipe plan was lost as it was their last class with me. It really made me think how important it is for the recipe plan to be communicated effectively when it is not just me and the students reading it but people on the other side of the world.

The first thing questions i got asked by my new cohort of students was ‘can we make 8Blue house and Orange houses recipes?’ How fantastic is that? The Task had transcended from ‘Augmentation’ to ‘Modification’ as above. I will be starting this unit again in a couple of weeks with the new houses and this time the tech will be more integrated from the start and I propose to take the technology use from ‘Modification’ to ‘Redefinition’ by picking up on Jeff’s hints of focusing on teaching one or two skills in depth rather than many things superficially. The students will still be creating their dishes but they will be creating a Video that will demonstrate how to make these unique dishes as well as a written plan. The real challenge will contradicting the format that is shown in websites such as Epicurious for members and for them to share their video with the wide but relevant audience.

MYP Criterion c Plan rubric

One of the areas I that I was mapped to cover was organisation and planning. Hopefully this should cover it nicely.

Before writing this post I have been in a ‘world of pain’ thinking about this project but all of a sudden I feel genuinely enthusiastic that my project will be working towards our goal of redefinition in the classroom but also it will be ‘integrated or embedded’ or whatever you want to call it rather than forced.

The NETS standards I intend to meet are below:

 2. Communication and Collaboration
Students use digital media and environments to
communicate and work collaboratively, including
at a distance, to support individual learning and
contribute to the learning of others.
a. Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers,
experts, or others employing a variety of digital
environments and media
b. Communicate information and ideas effectively
to multiple audiences using a variety of media
and formats
c. Develop cultural understanding and global
awareness by engaging with learners of
other cultures

4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving,
and Decision Making
Students use critical thinking skills to plan and
conduct research, manage projects, solve problems,
and make informed decisions using appropriate
digital tools and resources.
a. Identify and define authentic problems and
significant questions for investigation
b. Plan and manage activities to develop a solution
or complete a project
c. Collect and analyze data to identify solutions
and/or make informed decisions

The main skills that I hope the students will take away from this unit;

Collaboration in person but also online to help plan their dish and organise themselves. There is also the potential to collaborate outside of school with professional chefs for advice. Communicating will come in person during this unit as student work with a partner they do not usually work with from a different culture from their own. This also leads of to cultural understandings  and respect. Students will be identifying ways to communicate their ideas and recipe plan effectively.                                          Organisation is a one of the main skills students learn Food Tech lessons as it is. Organisation of time and resources. Time management also. Students will be creating their dish from scratch and will have to really identify their target audience and how they can solve the problem of fusing together two cuisines. Students will be creating a video to explain in detail the logical steps to create their dish this will require an undrstanding of visual literacy.

I hope you like my ideas for my final project and PLEASE, if you have any suggestions let me know, I am feel very open to ideas and want to make this as greater learning as possible for my students :)






Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Ramblings about a 1:1 education

The video above is a great look at the importance of 1:1 in schools.

When reflecting on a 1:1 school it is quite easy as I have been in a school that has only had one computer suite in the whole school and now a school that has transitioned into a 1:1. I wanted to share a list of useful pieces of information with you about what it is like but it seems Dean Groom has already done that with his comprehensive 23 Things about Classroom laptops. That just made me think, that in 10 years that it will be the minority of teachers working in schools with out laptops! Now that is a thought. Also the most recently trained teachers will be ‘digital natives’ it won’t have this feel that we experience as educators now on this learning curve of doing old things in new ways but teaching will hopefully be revolutionised. As mentioned in my previous post about schools of the future, change is slow and finances make the biggest impact but their is no denying that 1:1 schools will be the norm, I would say especially in all private schools.
"Where's Daddy's VISA?"
I have gone off track slightly there. Teaching in a 1:1 school has been a fantastic and I honestly could not really imagine the idea of going back. Especially after taking this COETAIL course. I have to say I enjoy being part of the change in education. It excites me. I will be attending the EARCOS conference in March and I have just looked at the schedule. There are so many ways I want to be developing the way my students learn and cater to them as  ‘digital natives’. Yesterday I saw a post on Facebook from a teacher friend to his yr12 students asking where they were and what were they working on, in a non formal and open way. The students had instantly replied and were honest about how they were  managing their time. It was a glimpse into the future for me of the way education will develop with technology at the forefront and possibly flexible hours.

So the transition. Our school took a tear system approach with yr10-11 being given laptops then over the course of a year yr9 to yr7 were given laptops. the excitement in the school was enormous and it was almost on a daily basis that students would ask when they are getting their laptops. When they finally arrived for them though it was a similar situation to most people buying smartphones. They learn how to use the device for the bare minimum of what they need. It seemed the main reason they wanted to have them was so that they could use Tumblr, Facebook and game. Umm sound similar to an iPhone; Game, call, text, social media. It surprised me as the students ay our school are wealthy enough generally to own their own laptops at home but that wasn’t the point. The point was that they had grown up using them and for them it was natural that they woudl have them in their classes.

The distractions. As mentioned above Deans list is pretty comprehensive but I will share some of the behavioural issues that arise in class. Many that link to Digital citizenship in the NETS.

1. Students for some reason find it hilarious to turn each others computers off.

2. Students will amazing be able to type despite the fact that their laptop screen is 90% closed!
I try saying “screens 45 degrees”..this is not enough!

3. Students seem to think that they have an inane ability to multitask, i don’t mean like brushing your teeth and getting dressed. More like having Skype, Facebook, Email,Google and an assignment all open at the same time and flick between them. Is it a surprise that the assignment you set is not complete when they were probably only focusing on the work 50% of the time.
facebook website screenshot
Its amazing how students will quickly flick their screen when you approach

4. Excuses, excuses. I thought it was bad when students said they forgot to bring in their homework , they left in on their desk at home. Think again. I forgot to back up, my computer has crashed, the portable drive, hard drive has a virus, the file corrupted etc. Their is a mine field of excuses. Ours states that all work must be backed up and students are all recommended to use Dropbox which can be a savior.

It is important to be consistent like any other behavioural issues and that students are taught digital citizenship integrally in classes. The key is a decent school AUP.

I could go on about the issues in the class that 1:1 brings but obviously these are far weighed out by the benefits of having that technology at their finger tips. As long as teachers and students are taught how to use technology to its full potential.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

NETS a personal reflection

To be honest this is my last post to write this course and I genuinely feel ‘forced’ and out of my comfort zone, especially after reading the in depth post by Ivan Beeckmas that pretty much covers everything would want to say and more. Or the interesting perspective that Oscar Sala shares. and I almost feel like saying read theirs. But obviously the point of the post writing is for us to form our own opinions, show critical thinking, research our topic and communicate effectively. All of which you will notice are part of the International Society of Technology in Educations digital standards in the diagram above used for students and what better way than to follow what we preach than reflecting on whether I implement them.

Simply being able to use technology is no longer enough. Today’s students need to be able to use technology to analyze, learn, and explore. Digital age skills are vital for preparing students to work, live, and contribute to the social and civic fabric of their communities. ISTE

"Bing Necklace 2" made of Recycled Aluminum Cans ~ 1 of 2 photos
 Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct
knowledge, and develop innovative products and
processes using technology.

Now for me as a Technology teacher it may become confusing because when I think of Technology I think of Human Ingenuity, one of the Areas of Interaction in the MYP. But of course Computer Technology is part of this and constantly expressing themselves in creative ways using ‘technology’. It was only today that I sat with a group of yr9 boys busy on their laptops, I imagined they must have been playing a game but turns out they are creating a website about Warhammer, I talked to them more and they explained that they had already made one website for one of their mothers to sell jewelery and another to showcase their own made videos.

This creative element has become a more developed in my classes since starting the COETAIL. I have students not just submitting work for the content but using and creating images and videos, wikispaces and blogs and prezi’s that give students freedom to demonstrate their learning and ideas in visual ways that i could not comprehend even 3 years ago!

The Handover

Students demonstrate a sound understanding
of technology concepts, systems, and operations.

I think with these points below highlights our comfort levels as teachers to give students the opportunities to truly understand the technology systems available to them and how these can be transferred. I believe in all schools there is a culture of teachers thinking, ‘English will cover that’ or ‘I’m sure they do that in humanities’. One of the biggest changes I have noticed when moving to an International 1:1 school is that Computing is not taught as it was in the UK where it was all about systems. In our school it takes a different and more creative slant as it is part of the design cycle and taught in Design Technology. Many of these points of the NETS are covered but the key is integrating the skills in all classes.

Ask Answer Choice
Students understand human, cultural, and societal
issues related to technology and practice legal and
ethical behavior.

This feels like the hardest standard to teach in someways but the most practical. Since becoming a 1:1 school cyber bullying and responsible computer use have been high on teh agenda. With it being relatively new to having these distractions students have a long way to go in truly showing responsible and respectful use. I guess its because it is so hard to police but that is the point as teachers we need to teach students to independently show these skills.

Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate,
and use information.

I would say that as a teacher this is the one of the main standards I need to work on with my students as still fall into the trap of not guide students with the sources they should be looking at and I think that this is being done in Computer Technology and shy away. In my classes students use inquiry a lot in Food Technology especially. In my year 11 class the students have just embarked on their final major unit where they have had to carry out an investigation to discover what product they will create to solve a problem. Guiding research and analyzing  research are two of the main things that I go through with the students but do I do it in a technology way? If they do it on a computer does it count? They constantly have to process the data they are collecting and Evaluate their information sources but I know that this is one area that I feel that I am not reaching redefinition more doing old things in old ways. My goal to is research into how I can get students to do this in new ways.

Students use critical thinking skills to plan and
conduct research, manage projects, solve problems,
and make informed decisions using appropriate
digital tools and resources.

This standard links closely to information fluency above especially when I think of my Yr11 class. I feel like as a teacher that is what we do constantly with students, especially in Design Technology where students are identifying problems to be solved and working through situations. With my Yr 8 students presently working on a real life unit where they have identified some issues with our school cafeteria and are working developing dishes that can be trialled. This unit has been entirely inquiry based and I have just facilitated. Students have conducted video interviews, photographed canteen kitchen, created online surveys, used social media and researched into nutritional values.

Supporting the Liberty (fries?)
Students use digital media and environments to
communicate and work collaboratively, including
at a distance, to support individual learning and
contribute to the learning of others.

Students are regularly requested to work collaboratively in my classes, considering the strengths and weaknesses of the groups working collaborative skills as outlined in the ATL skills. But collaborating using technology takes on a whole new meaning. As mentioned in a previous post about teachers organising Skype conversations for their students it is about taking on a whole new audience as well. Students in my classes have recently been using One Note as a collaboration tool, this is small steps but wow what a difference it makes with students group work. Students regularly interact using social media to organise themselves and discuss their ideas for their projects. With the standards though it is about pushing it that step further i feel.

From looking through the standards and gauging where I am at with the student standards, I have a while to go. Although standards are sometimes looked down on I truly think that having this type of consistency in a school really helps. It is up to the school genuinely promote its uses though. A couple of years ago we mapped out in our school which areas of the school covered certain standards. I feel it has become bigger than that now. We all must be implementing these in our classes.




Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

5 years, 10 years, 15 years?

Education and technology.

What is the future of Technology? What a fantastic question!  Jeff Utech will probably be the guy to ask, if you follow his blog you will see he predicts which technology will be the most popular in the coming year, and so far seems to have been very accurate.  He predicted that this year it would be less about what is coming out, but more about the use of these technologies.  So how are these technologies changing the way we teach?  And what might we see in a very near and distant future?

Scenario 1:

There are no schools.  Physical schools.  The school is an online community.  So, if the kids aren’t going to school  ,maybe they’re learning from home?  Or, they meet with their friends and learn together.  There would still be the expectation of assessment and completion of qualifications, but the students would be completely responsible for their learning and follow the guidelines set by the rare teachers. This is called online learning and is becoming more and more popular with Universities, so why not schools

Scenario 2:

There are still schools, but they are more like social meeting places.  Students are not required to be at the school between certain hours, but are required to use the learning space to their advantage, where there would be some teachers available with thtier expert knowledge, but also comfortable working areas and access to ll of the knowledge they need.  Again, they would be more responsible for their learning. The comment below that was found after viewing the video below sums it up well.

 ‘The class room of tomorrow will not be in a school per say but rather in a new building based upon the open source spread of ideas on both public and private land they will consist of a library-auditorium-workshop and will be departmentalized by topic, they will be available to the public for free or small admission fee like museums, and ideas will be researched built upon prototyped and shared, tuition is paid for in new ideas not money.’ FineHawaiianArt

The history of technology in education

Scenario 3:

There’s no need for schools, because we just plug a USB into the back of our heads? Maybe that is a bit more than 15 years away but with the new uses of robots in job roles (korean prison guards) who knows what can happen..

Scenario 4:

Schools are very similar to the schools we know today. But paper won’t be seen and phones and laptops will be at the end of students arms. There won’t be consequences for having your phone out in class rather consequences for not bringing your phone/ipad to school.

Well these were my first thoughts when considering this question of the future of technology in education. It seems we need to spin the way we think about this question as are we really thinking about what jobs will we have in 5, 10 or 15 years that we don’t have now and what way will technology take us.

15 years to me doesn’t seem far away at all and in the way education moves, slowly, then who knows but in schools that have money then future is already appearing. In my school this week I have talked with teachers that are using Skype in their classes to access experts from around the world, I have been creating online videos of cooking demonstrations to share with students and I have had students taking notes and photos on their mobiles during my cooking lessons in order to then create presentations. The video bellow sums up the change over the centuries. Looking back it seems hard to comprehend that OHP were invented in the 1940’s, I thought they were pretty new technology when I started teaching 6 years ago in the UK and then Smart boards have been around since the 1990’s. Well I have only had one in my class this year and have only started truly understanding its collaborative and interactive uses in recent months. I guess what I am trying to say is that we have always been behind with technology whether it be money or the fear of change. Things are no doubt changing more rapidly than any other time in history though and the future of education is a bit scary if you are a teacher as I wonder if the fail safe job i thought i got 6 years ago could well be a rarity in 20years time.

I will leave with the shocking video that I remember seeing over 2 years ago now and leave you with the thought of what has changed since then???

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Technology use in Food Tech – A fun week

This week has been my best week yet in terms of using my newly-gained understanding of technology integration in the classroom!

The way I have ‘integrated’ has felt like a natural step from my current units, and has not even felt necessarily ‘new.’  It has been exciting, though, and rewarding for both the students and myself.

The week started with Year 9 completing their on-going wikispace, an information source about restricted diets.  I was overwhelmed with what they could achieve.  The wikispaces are much more powerful for their learning, and have clear advantages over old-style written assignments.  The advantages include: a greater understanding of visual literacy, meeting a wide target audience, citing sources and images through hyper links .  The biggest thing being that wikispaces are open to the world wide web, so it’s not just for my eyes or the NIST community, but it can reach out to people across the world for whom it directly relates. Organic Diet example.

My first ever ‘tweeting’ lesson was on Tuesday, where my students and I discussed what ways they could share their resource.  The main social media was Facebook, Twitter, blogging and online forums.  I taught students how to use hashtags, to find comments that directly link to their restricted diet to ensure they got their wikispace seen by those who were interested.  It was quite exciting for the class to feel like they were sharing a useful resource, and some were quite nervous and even self-deprecating.  It was even more exciting when we got responses two days later, so we knew we were being heard!  Their twitter posts.


Running on the energy from the Year 9 sessions, I applied it to my Year 8 students.  They have been creating their own recipes based on fusion cuisine.



After a Coetail discussion about the redefinition of the use of technology in the classroom, about it being the opportunity to reach hundreds of thousands of people around the world, I took the opportunity to teach the students about the epicurious website.  Epicurious allows people to upload their own recipes and share in a community.  I gave the students a generic login and they uploaded their recipes in pairs.  The first excitement for me came as soon as the students started typing their plans and recipes.  I knew they would be viewed by more than just myself.  The students and I became very aware of how a recipe needs to be logical, easily followed and communicate effectively.  The students, being only twelve years old, were particularly nervous and excited at the chance to share their own creation and the anticipation about receiving feedback about their own creation from somebody they may have never met.

My only disappointment with using this website with the students was that they could not share an image of their delicious dishes. Please look at their unique dishes here, maybe you can try. I even posted my first post on the Yr8 Blog to share their great work with the school community.

In conclusion, I genuinely feel like I’m taking the natural steps of integrating technology in my classroom and creating a buzz of excitement with my students. It just takes the confidence to allow yourself to fail and learn.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment