Code Like a Girl

This week I had the privilege of being invited to Melbourne to work with the co-founders and volunteers of Code Like a Girl. Code Like a Girl is an Australian organisation, founded by Ally Watson and Vanessa Doake, to inspire more females to engage in careers in coding and technology. Volunteers, including app developers, coders, other technology-related professions and a teacher, work with younger generations of girls through workshops and Code Camps to inspire them to get into coding and careers in technology and also to encourage women in technology to take on leadership roles.


With Ally Watson, Co-founder of Code Like a Girl

IMG_3530 2I was slightly intimidated by speaking to these professional app developers and coders about coding (which is their profession!), but had a fantastic day! While their coding skills and experience far exceed mine, they were after strategies to engage the younger learners – ways to teach coding to students as young as 5 years old in ways that will engage them in their learning. This I could do! One of my specialties is ways to engage young students in computational thinking and coding from K-6, and they all had a great time learning about new ways to teach coding, with strategies they had never thought of. When they were younger students, coding was not taught in schools, so they were very interested to see the difference in teaching coding to young students compared to learning coding as an adult. We discussed that this could be an interesting study in the future, to see what difference there is in the ability and creativity of coders in the future.

The Get Started with Code and Learn to Code multitouch books on the iPad from Apple Education were the basis of our whole day session, exploring the many resources available to teachers to engage students in learning coding, including unplugged coding and app prototyping with Keynote. The books include hands-on activities to print out and video examples that can lead you every step of the way.

They were all very impressed with Swift Playgrounds, and the back end and front end coders commented on what a great quality app it was. All could see how engaging it is to students and how it introduces the important coding aspects such as while loops, conditional code and functions in a fun format.


Also a lot of fun was introducing coding with Sphero. I found it very interesting the different projects that professional coders were trying with Sphero – I said they have really raised the bar!


I had a wonderful day meeting these inspirational women who are such great role models to women and girls, and inspire young girls to know that they, too, can code and make a career in technology. Thank you for having me!

2017 was a very busy year

I would like to send out a huge thank you to all the schools and teachers I have worked with this year! It’s been a very busy and successful year running in-school training, courses and Apple Education events, and has seen me expand into regional Queensland. Next year is shaping up to be even busier!

This map shows the places I have visited to present Professional Development for teachers this year, and the red dots show where teachers have come from to attend my training (which doesn’t include a teacher who came from Jakarta!). I feel proud that I am making a difference, reaching metropolitan, regional and remote teachers and giving teachers the confidence to teach with ICT.

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I have had many great testimonials this year, but these ones stand out:

The first time I worked with Bev, I became overwhelmed by the thoughts of all that could go wrong – wireless connectivity isn’t always reliable, I’ll just get the kids engaged and I’d be dashing around trying to troubleshoot. Well I have eaten my words with the robotics side – all has worked smoothly. I didn’t have to be an expert to get the kids to understand – I got them to do what I do – learn by doing, trial and error – amazing that these are the skills I try to embed into their thinking when they are doing ‘ordinary’ school work – transfers straight into coding – and they are so engaged and excited when I’ve given them a task – make them do this, make them do that – “Look, look” they’ll come running to me – best courses to freshen up the way we approach learning.

The most important thing has been that Bev is a ‘real’ teacher. She constantly refers to being in the class, working with the kids – this is value learning – not a staged video of a couple of kids doing the right thing and all is wonderful. She talks of the fails, how you learn from it. The kids, no matter what they’re labelled as, find this so relevant to their interests and all the while they are learning, learning, learning.

Sharon, Burke Ward Public School

When my supervisor told me to enrol in ICT and Coding courses, my stomach filled with butterflies. I was worried and had no idea what I was in for as I previously had little experience in the technology field. After a week with Bev Babbage, my confidence with using technology and a range of resources such as Dash, Sphero and Scratch has grown immensely, with all thanks to Bev and her passion for using ICT effectively in the classroom. This training has provided me with the confidence to teach robotics, coding and general use of apps to support student learning in the classroom. I am excited to be teaching these skills to my Stage 3 students and fellow teaching colleges.

Madison, Alma Public School

I wish all teachers a safe and relaxing break and look forward to seeing many of you again next year!

Burke Ward ICT Training Week – Broken Hill

“If you can make a group of adults say, “WOW!” and “COOL!” I can’t wait to see what my kids will say! Thanks again for a valuable time away from class”

Burke Ward trainingI have just wrapped up a very productive week in Broken Hill, working with teachers from 4 Broken Hill schools over the 5 days, with the following all-day training sessions:

– ICT and iPad Teacher Training

– Coding K-6 (Dash and Sphero)

– Effective Feedback and Formative Assessment with ICT

– Workflow Solutions: G Suite, SeeSaw, Air Drop, Flipping Classrooms

– ICT Tools to Aid Learning Difficulties/Differences and Differentiation

Some teachers came to 3 sessions over the week, and I was able to deliver all of these sessions as NESA registered hours, without teachers needing to travel.

I enjoy travelling to regional and remote areas to deliver Professional Learning, and feel I make a difference by making Professional Learning accessible and instilling confidence in teachers in the use of ICT in the classroom, as evidenced with a teacher’s email:

It was real, not too far out of my comfort zone and you’ll be pleased to know I have every intention of trying many of the apps that you introduced us to. If you can make a group of adults say, “WOW!” and “COOL!” I can’t wait to see what my kids will say! Thanks again for a valuable time away from class“.

This week was a follow-up to a week in June, where I presented Teacher Training in Coding and Robotics to every teacher in Burke Ward Public School as part of the Australian Government Digital Literacy Grant we received. This recent visit was able to reach out to other schools and develop a Professional Learning Network for the area with ICT. It also allowed Burke Ward teachers to further develop their skills and build on their confidence.

Thank you to Burke Ward PS for co-ordinating and organising my visit. I am looking forward to coming back!

Regional Aussie Tech Chicks

I have been running many free Apple Education professional development sessions for teachers in regional NSW and Queensland – Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Lennox Head, Lismore and Kempsey – in the past few months, with more to come.

In Kempsey yesterday, it was fantastic to have Meredith Ebbs attend. Funnily enough, this is only the second time we have met in person, but we both live in regional NSW, are teachers, and provide teachers with Professional Development in STEM, coding, robotics and ICT and specialise in regional areas. We are both so passionate about what we do and supporting teachers to know they can teach with technology, great to chat with another #techchick

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Digital Literacy Schools Grant

The 2nd round of the Australian Government Digital Literacy Schools Grant is now open at

I was successful in collaboration with a school in Broken Hill in Round 1 to provide training to all staff in Coding and Robotics, and urge all schools, particularly in regional areas, to consider applying for the Grant. Below is a video showing some of our activities and two teachers talking about the experience.


My services and training include:

  • ICT and iPad Teacher Training
  • Workshops
  • In-school consultancy
  • In-class support
  • ICT Tools to aid learning difficulties/differences
  • Staff Meetings
  • Curriculum and Staff Development Days
  • Tailor-made Training

Coding and Robotics are very popular at the moment and I demonstrate how to teach coding with apps and web resources (many of which are free) for K-6 and then demonstrate some Robotics and give time for teachers have some fun experimenting with them to understand how it can be used in the classroom.

“Bev’s exciting hands-on training day, ‘Coding  with iPads  K – 6’, has given me both the skills and confidence to work on Coding with my students. Teaching through a Distance Education environment has its own unique challenges but Bev was able to help find ways around these and my students are now enjoying learning to code.”

Julie Lavis, School of The Air, Broken Hill

Grant Application project proposals that target underrepresented groups (such as girls and/or low SES and/or regional and remote area students etc.) are encouraged.

Through these Grants, the aim of the program is:

  • To stimulate best practice models of implementation of, and student and teacher engagement in, the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies
  • Encourage sharing of ideas and experiences in relation to the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies, within and among schools
  • Facilitate the development, implementation and sharing of demonstration projects that can be used by other schools to implement the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies
  • Facilitate effective ways that leaders can inspire their teachers and students to extend and apply their learning across other learning areas through the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies.

Some of the key features I think I can assist with, that apply to the Grant are:

  • Stimulating best practice through training and sharing of ideas, either within school or as a community of schools
  • Reflection – discussions and reflections on what has worked well, where improvements can be made, to ensure continuing best practice and keeping up with new ideas and technologies
  • Engagement of students
  • Engaging resistant teachers through extra support and training and in-class support
  • Harnessing the experience of knowledge of teachers who are confident with digital literacy and using best practice to support other teachers in a mentor capacity
  • Obvious STEM links but also creating cross-curricular modules or units of work, that can link STEM with maths and literacy, as well as the Arts (STEAM) to make learning even more relevant and connected, rather than teaching isolated ICT lessons
  • By up-skilling staff, rather than employing 3rd parties to come and teach students coding, we can improve teacher skills while also engaging students in the classroom, and build a sustainable program, that staff can continue to develop in years to come
  • Creating a scope and sequence for teaching coding and robotics that can be tried and tested in the classroom
  • Encourage Principals and school leaders to be a part of the process, so they can become ICT champions and lead the way from the top
  • Digital literacy is not just coding and robotics, but students learning how to use ICT in various ways that can build future life skills and show understanding of the capabilities of ICT

I am an Apple Learning Specialist, a member of the Apple Consultants Network specialising in Education Solutions, a Nearpod Certified Educator, Book Creator Ambassador, Seesaw Ambassador and Google Certified Educator (Level 1), so I have a great deal of knowledge and experience in teaching with ICT and iPads. I understand the needs of teachers in the classroom and emphasise the use of ICT to enhance education outcomes and improve student engagement and learning.


There is more information at and second round applications are due by 11 August 2017.


Good luck!


Prepare for iOS 11

There are so many great new features coming in iOS 11 for schools, including:

  • Screen Capture – the ability to now create a video with audio of what happens on your screen, terrific for creating demonstration videos
  • Multi-tasking  – this will make it easy to work across multiple apps at once and allows drag and drop
  • Persistent Reader View – will be able to be turned on permanently, this is excellent for students with dyslexia or who can be easily distracted by unnecessary information on the screen
  • Files app – will make it easier to organise files
  • Deployment – some new capabilities

iOS 11 will no longer be compatible with 32-bit apps. It is important for teachers and schools to check which apps will no longer work with iOS 11 for planning. A few of my favourites are on the list as they have not been updated for a long time, including Tellagami and MadPad. To check which apps are 32-bit, click on the link below:

I found 39 apps on my iPad! Of these, 25 or so were apps i no longer or have never really used, so it was a timely chance for a clean up, but there are a few favourites which I frequently use and demonstrate in my training workshops. Schools who frequently use these apps need to decide whether to delay upgrading to iOS 11 on its release (if, say, you know you have a major task requiring these apps) or to find other options. I have contacted some developers to find out if they will be updating their app.

It is always best to be prepared, rather than find this out after updating!

EduTECH Sydney 2017

What a great event EduTECH was, seeing all the new gadgets and emerging technologies in education. But for me, the best part was connecting with like-minded educators who, like me, have a passion for the effective use of technology in education, to make a real difference in how students learn. It is not about the ‘bells and whistles’, but harnessing the potential and power of technology to change the way we teach and learn to improve engagement and outcomes and prepare students for an ever-changing world. “Teachers must be catalysts“, said Liam King.

EduTECH summary


Many speakers talked about the important of personalised learning, the paradigm of student control, “learning playlists” and using technology to allow the personalisation of student learning to cater for all learning styles and abilities.


The importance of the Growth Mindset rather than the Fixed Mindset to improve resilience, believing you can always learn and improve, praising hard work, resilience and effort rather than intelligence and results.


Abdul Chohan said “We’ve always done it this way” are the most expensive words in education! Look at the changes in education as a constant state of evolution rather than revolution, it is a process not an end result, making small changes along the way. Lee Crockett spoke of the 10 Shifts of Practice and “Learn the form, Master the Form, then Go Beyond the Form”. Innovative schools need to prepare students for the future.


Back end infrastructure, such as wifi, must be good and reliable, backup data and ‘just work’ to save frustration. Technology and LMS (Learning Management Systems) must be reliable and easy to use.


All innovations have come from trial and error and failures (some spectacular failures!), these should be embraced as learning opportunities, teachers should share their ‘one best failure’ as well as ‘one best thing’. Let students fail to build resilience. Catherine Misson said “Trial and error is the precursor to an innovative breakthrough”. Let students fail! Imagine how many failures all the best inventors and innovators have had on the road to success!


Development and training needs to be valued and should be regular not just occasional, teachers need more time to plan in school time and collaborate, “to be a good teacher, be a good learner”. Abi Woldhuis said “walk alongside, build confidence” and “invest in your teachers – build them up”. Leaders need to value training in schools and teachers need to feel they are valued.


Evidence of the power of feedback through the voice, made easy with apps such as Seesaw and Showbie, and that feedback (or as Hattie calls it – Feed Forward) is more beneficial to learning than receiving a single mark. Catherine Misson said “really good feedback is a fundamental lever for accelerated progression of learning”.

Liam King posted the conundrum:

We’re currently preparing students for jobs that don’t exist

for using technologies that haven’t been invented yet

in order to solve problems we don’t know are problems yet

As educators, we need to prepare students for an ever-changing and unknown future, so we need to teach them to be resilient, innovative, life-long learners and problem-solvers. And we, as educators, need to lead by example!

FREE Apple Teacher and Everyone Can Code Teacher Workshops

I am presenting FREE Professional Learning workshops for teachers in Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Lennox Head and Lismore for Apple Education, with more dates and venues to come soon in regional Queensland. Register soon as numbers are strictly limited.

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Apple Teacher is a free Professional Learning program designed to support educators using Apple products for teaching and learning.

This self-paced program allows you to earn badges along the way to becoming an Apple Teacher. Includes Teacher Guides.

Get started with the program in this FREE course.

Wed   14 June 9:00am – 11:30am Coffs Harbour REGISTER

Thurs 15 June 12:30pm – 3:00pm  Grafton REGISTER

Wed   6 September 9:00am – 11:30am Lennox Head REGISTER

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 11.08.22 amApple’s Everyone Can Code initiative is designed to help teach anyone how to code in the Swift programming language.

Swift Playgrounds has a fun approach to learning Swift language with blocks of syntax code. Aimed at Grades 4-9. Includes Teacher Guides.

Get started with the program in this FREE face-to-face course.

Wed   14 June 12:30pm – 3:00pm Coffs Harbour REGISTER

Thurs 15 June 9:00am – 11:30am Grafton REGISTER

Wed   6 September 12:30pm – 3:00pm Lennox Head REGISTER

Thurs 7 September  4pm – 6pm Lismore REGISTER


NESA Apple teacher and Everyone Can Code

Note: The self-paced online programs are not NESA registered. These face to face workshops are registered.

Digital Literacy Grant Announcement

Thrilled to be able to announce that in collaboration with Burke Ward Public School in Broken Hill, we are the recipients of one of the Australian Government Digital Literacy Grants!
I will travel to Broken Hill for a whole week of staff Professional Development with every teacher in Coding and Robotics to develop a school-wide approach, starting with Stage leaders and then reaching every teacher. This will also include some modelling lessons with students and has enables the school to purchase more robotics technology.
I urge schools around Australia to consider applying for the second round of grants in June, and am happy to collaborate in the application process.

‘App Smashing’ with Keynote and Seesaw

Seesaw is such a versatile app for student journals and formative and summative  assessment. Keynote works perfectly with Seesaw with its choice of themes and its easy-to-use interface.

The following is an assessment for students to show their understanding of bar graphs, by dragging labels to their correct position, but it could also be used as a task for students to create their own bar charts from collected data.

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Click here to view in Seesaw.

  1. Create Presentation and choose a theme, I chose Standard. as this is the perfect size for iPad screens. In this example I chose Chalkboard. Give your Keynote a title by tapping on the title at the top (optional).
  2. Add a slide (+ at bottom left of page) and choose Blank (or delete the text holders) so you have a blank chalkboard.
  3. To add the Table, tap on the + in the toolbar and select the first table option and choose your style. You can format the table to any desired size, and choose font options, cell colour etc. using the paintbrush icon. Drag the finished table to the top right.Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 4.32.08 pm.png
  4. To add the Chart, tap on the + and select the bar charts (there are of course many table and graph options to choose from, but I chose top left). You can format the chart to any desired size, and choose font options, colours, style etc. using the paintbrush icon.
  5. As the default chart has 2 regions, an extra step is required to look like my example. Tap on the newly inserted table, tap Edit Data and tap on the blue tab to the left of Region 2, to highlight the entire region. Tap again and select Delete. Tap on the cog and tick Plot Columns as Series. Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 5.07.46 pm.png
  6. Input the chart data to the cells. Tap Done.
  7. I chose to have no axis labels (as it was an assessment), by tapping on the paintbrush icon and turning off Category Labels for each axis. However, if students are creating their own, you could add axis labels etc. Drag the finished chart to the desired position (leaving some room for the labels to be added).
  8. When complete, take a screenshot of the page.
  9. In Seesaw, add this with the green + and add from Camera Roll. Tap the green tick.
  10. Create labels in Seesaw for the graph labels and numbers by tapping the T and choosing Add Label. Type your label and then tap on the label to edit or change style. Drag them to the bottom. Doing it this way allows the students to move the labels around.Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 8.00.33 pm.png
  11. Tap the tick when finished with the labels.
  12. To add any instructions, tap the T again and choose Add Caption to add instructions.
  13. Tap the tick to add to your desired class.
  14. Instruct students to Copy and Edit from the 3 dot menu so they can make their own copy to submit.Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 7.18.21 pm.png

There are so many other ways to use Keynote and Seesaw together. Here are just a few:Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 7.50.59 pm.png

I put Seesaw and Keynote in my Top 10 Best Cross-Curricular apps in the classroom.

To learn more about the capabilities of Keynote, consider earning your Keynote badge in the Apple Teacher Program. I have used Keynote for many years and still learned a lot doing the program!