Staff Spotlight – Jac Manison

Jac Manison is a Making/Digital Technologies teacher in Middle school, who is always looking at new ways to engage her students.

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MANJAShe brings diverse experience to Braemar College this year, having taught in England for six years before working at schools throughout Asia.

Jac has a Masters in Communication, having completed her thesis in Kenya, working and making comparisons between tribes regarding food choices.

Jac was a member of the Army Cadets for eight years so she was very excited to discover that we had an Army Cadet unit here at Braemar.

She also loves the community feel of our school; the friendliness amongst both staff and students.

Yr 8s using the Raspberry PiThe rural setting and buildings remind Jac of going to school in Northern Ireland, and she says she feels very at home here.

One of the things Jac likes best about Braemar College is the new technology. She says she has access to the latest equipment and tools to engage students in the classroom.

Sphero bowling“Learning computer programming teaches students problem solving skills that are relevant to other subjects besides digital technologies.”

The Australian Curriculum and developments in IT education, are giving Jac the opportunity to teach computer programming skills starting in Year 5.

She says her students in Years 5 and 6 are enjoying working with Spheros – robotic balls. The students write programs and can test them straight away on the Spheros. They get instant feedback because if the command doesn’t work they know there’s something that needs to be fixed with the program.

Students work together in small groups, often with others from different classes so as well as getting to know each other, they learn all about collaboration. It’s also a chance to learn new things through skill sharing.

Yr 5s Sphero GroupTo further extend student’s programming skills, Jac is introducing Lego Mindstorm technology into the classroom so students can build their own robots and then program them. There’s also a Space Challenge pack for those interested in space exploration.

One of the things Jac enjoys most about her job is being a role model to girls interested in working in IT.

Before coming to Australia she ran an IT club for girls, an initiative funded by the UK government to encourage girls to consider careers in the industry.

SONY DSCJac has played Gaellic football and cricket and would love to coach a sporting team at Braemar College, particularly one that encourages girls to participate in these sports.

When she’s not teaching or spending time with her family, Jac enjoys running and cycling. She does 10 kilometre runs, and has cycled from Ho Chi Minh city to Bangkok.

 

 

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