Spark Talks

Spark Talk: Thursday Morning

Mary Glowrey Level 2 2.22 July 26, 2018 11:45 am - 12:30 pm

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Steve Crowe
Helen Sultana
Paulo da Silva

Spark Talk sessions include three speakers exploring topics in short, sharp presentations.


Steve Crowe:  Gamify Your Staffroom

Staff Meetings can be so boring! They are also most often driven by leadership teams assumptions on what everyone needs and wants to learn. But what if there was a different way? How can we evoke intrinsic motivation, empowerment and ownership with staff around staff meetings and in school professional development? Is it possible to shift engagement within Staff Meetings & in school Professional Development through the elements of Gamification. Come and hear one schools application of various gamification elements to the staff room and their journey on empowering staff to take control of their professional development.

Helen Sultana: Girls and STEM

Helen Sultana will introduce you to Girl Geek Academy and will discuss current pipeline initiatives as well as challenges for recruiting girls in tech.

Paulo da Silva : Python and Problem Based Learning as keys to assisting students from low socioeconomic backgrounds gain programming skills.

In Australia, some confusion remains regarding STEM is and how its integration into classrooms can benefit our students. For example, coding/programming has been a hot topic over the past five years, and many schools have developed very successful programs to assist students gaining valuable computational thinking skills. However, although most teachers recognise the need to teach computational thinking skills to their students, in most schools, teachers still struggle to develop relevant-updated computer science skills for a number of reasons including lack of support and/or vision from school leadership, lack of confidence, time and resources (Brown et al. 2013; Sentance et al. 2013; Thompson and Bell 2013).

In this presentation, the author aims to share his story on how Python Programing Language, Design Thinking and Problem Based-Learning has assisted students from low-socioeconomic backgrounds in Werribee, Victoria, gain valuable skills. This author believes in the motto “code with purpose”, and that vision has given Year 9 students at Wyndham Central College the opportunity to gain valuable computational thinking skills, consider how empathy can assist during the development of products and solutions and, importantly, understand how long lifelong learning is vital to their future in a highly automated-technology drive society.