19 July deadline for CensusAtSchool 2013 Questionnaire

The CensusAtSchool 2013 Questionnaire closes 19 July. For schools that have not registered yet, there is still time to set up teacher accounts and get students involved.

CensusAtSchool is a free and engaging online resource. It enables Year 5–12 students to collect and interrogate data about themselves. The voluntary questionnaire is conducted annually and asks non-invasive questions about students’ everyday lives, interests and opinions on various topics and issues. 

Among many interesting facts revealed by the CensusAtSchool 2012 Questionnaire, an overwhelming 90 per cent of students turned off the tap while brushing their teeth as a way of conserving water. 

Since its national launch by the ABS in 2006, CensusAtSchool has proved to be a popular learning resource among students and teachers. It not only provides students the opportunity to enter their own data into the questionnaire, but also to obtain a sample of the data for interpreting in classroom. Over 21,000 students across Australia completed the 2012 questionnaire.

The 2013 questionnaire includes some exciting changes. These include a new question relating to student heart rate and a new and improved teacher account system, allowing teachers to update their details online.

To get students involved teachers are invited to register at the ABS website.

www.abs.gov.au/censusatschool

Cool Australia founder awarded

Jason Kimberley, founder of not-for-profit organisation Cool Australia has been named 2012 Sustainability and Environmental Educator of the Year by the Victorian Association for Environmental Education (VAEE).

During 2012 more than 5000 teachers downloaded Cool Australia modules from the website. In turn, 135,000 students are estimated to have seen the modules.

The website offers 21 modules covering energy, water, biodiversity, and waste variously suited to Grades 1 through 10.

The resources, which are written by leading teachers, curriculum writers and experts in the area of sustainability education, are aligned with the Australian curriculum. The website offers learning activities for teachers and a student toolbox.

www.coolaustralia.org

ClickView now in the Cloud

ClickView 24-7 Cloud offers schools 14 days of TV programs continuously and automatically recorded from 18 free-to-air digital channels including Ten, Nine, Seven, ABC, SBS and NITV. The automatic recording means teachers don’t miss any TV programs relevant to their curriculum and constantly have new and up-to-date video content to use in their lessons.

For schools that already have the ClickView 24-7 hardware, using 24-7 Cloud in conjunction with the 24-7 hardware product provides access to additional and regional channels that are not yet available on 24-7 Cloud, enabling educators to record from a total of 29 Freeview TV channels.

Teachers using ClickView 24-7 Cloud are provided with a Personal WorkSpace – a web-application where they can edit and tailor TV programs using ClickView Cloud Video Editor. This function allows teachers to ensure videos are appropriate for their students’ educational level and age. They can also remove ads and capture specific parts of different TV programs that are relevant to the subject they’re teaching.

ClickView 24-7 Cloud comes with 500 GB of ClickView Online Cloud storage space to allow schools to create a video library featuring content from Australia’s leading broadcast channels. Digital videos stored on the ClickView Online Cloud service can be used and shared with next generations of students and teachers.

Harvey Sanchez, CEO of ClickView said, “The amount and quality of TV programs available today is outstanding, which is why it is so important for educators to have ‘always-on’ access to them.”

ClickView is offering schools a free seven-day trial for the 24-7 Cloud. Register for the trial at the website:

www.clickview.com.au >products >free trial

First time meeting for Vic selective schools’ staff

A professional learning day on 15th March for Victoria’s selective entry government schools Nossal High School, Suzanne Cory High School, Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School and Melbourne High School was a significant ‘first ever’ event in Victorian government education. The theme for the day was Catering for the Needs of an Academically Select Cohort. 

Close to 500 teaching and education support staff from the four schools met as a group for the first time to share their expertise in learning and work. The aim of the event was to make connections and engage in planning to better address the very specific needs of the academically selected students that the schools cater for.

Guest speaker was Prof John Munro, Head of Studies in Exceptional Learning and Gifted in the Graduate School of Education at The University of Melbourne. He is a trained primary and secondary teacher and a psychologist. His research interests, teaching and publications are in the areas of literacy and mathematics learning and learning difficulties, learning internationally, gifted learning and learning disabilities, gifted learning in African and Asian cultures, gifted mathematics learning,  implementing system-wide gifted education provision, instructional leadership and school improvement.  

Prof Monro presented on the topic Gifted and talented knowing and understanding: what do they look like? The currency for transacting in the classroom is knowing and understanding. Students show evidence of them and teachers infer them. What does gifted and talented knowing and understanding look like? The ‘expert +’ knower model provides a framework for describing this.

Ian Burrage also presented. He is Executive Director, Priority Policy at the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. He has had 20 years of experience in policy analysis and advice, variously covering vocational education and training, schools and early childhood development. He has worked in policy advice in Victoria including Department of Premier and Cabinet, at the national level and in England.

The day was filled with curriculum, pedagogy and wellbeing conversations. New connections were made, further professional learning and networking opportunities were created and it was decided that this would become an annual event. Nossal High School will host the 2014 Select Entry Conference in Berwick.


Powerful HSC exam features added to EdvalDaily timetabling

The NSW HSC exam timetable covers over 70,000 students. Spacing the exams out evenly and reducing clashes is critical to maximising student exam quality is critical. Edval both provides the technology for scheduling the exams and assists the NSW Board of Studies in their construction. 

As a direct result of adopting Edval technology, key aspects of the HSC timetable have been significantly improved compared to earlier years and customer satisfaction increased. 

The many technical challenges, such as external marking venues having pre-booked dates and avoiding religious holidays, are easily accommodated.

The majority of features developed for the Edval State examination module have been added to technology used at the school level. EdvalDaily users can now specify fine-grained requirements about their examination schedules and use the intensive algorithms contained within the product to automatically generate an examination schedule in minutes. 

The reduction in time to construct an exam timetable is good, as is the ability for the system to reduce the financial cost of exam supervision. However, the greatest benefit is the production of educationally superior timetables to provide students with a better opportunity for their study and allow them to complete their exams in a more relaxed fashion.

www.edval.com.au