Category Archives: First Level

Engaging with Learning Activities using QR codes & mobile devices

Malcolm Wilson, ICT Curriculum Development Officer within the Curriculum Support team of Service and School Improvement, Falkirk Council Education Services, presented a professional development session to teachers from several educational establishments on engaging with learning using QR codes and mobile devices. This session was supported by Yvonne Manning, Principal Librarian, Service and School Improvement Team of Falkirk Council Education Service, and colleagues within the Learning Resource Service of Falkirk Council Education Services.

Participants first took part in a pre-created activity trail to interact with Falkirk Council Education Services Learning Resource Service based in Camelon Education Centre​. This involved participants making use of their own mobile device to scan the QR codes which were located within various parts of the building, each of which revealed a task to complete, and then provided a clue to find the next QR code and associated task.

This particular activity trail had been created using the QR Code Treasure Hunt Creator from Classtools.net​ http://www.classtools.net/QR/index.php​ – which provides a step-by-step guide for use by educators creating their own learning trail for their own pupils.

The session demonstrated that QR codes used with mobile devices can be used across the curriculum and for all stages, and provide a quick way to present information or tasks in a form which engages learners in their learning. Examples were described including using QR codes for Class trails​, linking to audio feedback​, pupil videos talking about their artwork​ or practical work, teachers adding links to support resources on labels stuck on pupil work.

The session provided advice about what to consider when making use of mobile devices in an educational context (taking into account the AUP which can be found here https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/mobiledevices/documents/ and availability of wireless and mobile devices).

Rather than simply linking to information the features of the mobile device can also be harnessed when linking from a QR code. An example of how this was used in an outdoor learning context was shared, and a description of this can be found here:​https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/CurriculumSupport/2014/05/12/taking-ict-outdoors-with-mobile-devices/

The session provided guidance on a range of free QR Code ​Creators which are available​. Some provide different options (such as www.unitaglive.com/qrcode), some provide tracking and automatic shortlinks (e.g. http://goo.gl/), some provide step by step guide to creating different types of link (to text message, URL, text-only, etc)​.

For more about how they can be used, how to create QR codes and more click on the following link: 

https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/ICTFalkirkPrimaries/2012/03/13/qr-codes-what-are-they-and-how-can-they-be-used-in-and-out-of-the-classroom/

Falkirk Staff Online Spaces for Sharing Resources and Collaboration

Malcolm Wilson, ICT Curriculum Development Officer within the Curriculum Support team of Service and School Improvement, Falkirk Council Education Services, has been supporting many central staff and staff within educational establishments across Falkirk Council to set up shared online spaces for making available resources to colleagues working in Falkirk Council, and to provide them with tools to collaborate.

These online spaces provide a means to share resources within the education community of all Falkirk Council establishments and can be accessed from here: http://tinyurl.com/pvmjx92

Each site provides at least one document store, and in many cases multiple document stores for making accessible resources in different formats, as well as picture galleries for sharing examples of practice, a discussion area for asking questions or sharing ideas, a news area for updates, and a weblinks area for quick access to related material elsewhere online.

Some of these sites are for sharing centrally sourced resources, some are for providing the means for staff in establishments to share with others, some provide a means to share with specific colleagues in different establishments, some provide structured professional development combining reading material, presentations and video, space for reflective comments with colleagues undertaking the same professional development and making use of video-conferencing spaces, and some provide a common space for clusters of schools to plan together and to pool resources for activities across multiple establishments.

These shared online spaces include Active Learning, Active Literacy, Art Teachers Network Falkirk, Bilingual and Traveller Pupil Support Service, Denny Cluster (including for Mathematics and for Outdoor Learning Network), Education Communications, Education Matters, Employee Review and Development, Curriculum for Excellence Experiences and Outcomes Expanded for all curricular areas and for all levels, Falkirk Confucius Classroom Hub, Falkirk Headteachers, Good Practice Network, Graeme Cluster Good Practice Network (including cluster transition event planning), ICT in Learning and Teaching, Instrumental Music Service for Falkirk Council, Interdisciplinary Learning in Falkirk Council, Numeracy and Mathematics, Physical Education, Primary Language Learning 1+2 Resource Bank, Specific Learning Differences, Storyline, Teaching for Deep Learning, and the To Lead or Not to Lead programme, amongst other online spaces specifically for staff working in Falkirk Council.

Staff within Falkirk Council Education Services can access the above spaces by clicking on this link.

Pupils as Digital Leaders at Shieldhill Primary School

Malcolm Wilson, ICT Curriculum Development Officer within the Curriculum Support team of Service and School Improvement, Falkirk Council Education Services, supported a session with the Digital Leaders group of pupils in Shieldhill Primary School.

These pupils are being supported for them to then support classes around the school in the use of technologies in their classrooms. They are led by teacher Chiara Sportelli. This session let the pupils explore different apps within a specially created SharePoint site for them in Microsoft Office 365 (which is accessed via their Glow username).

This included the use of a picture gallery, a discussion app (which provides the facility for pupils sharing work with the teacher who has set the work, and for asking questions in a controlled class environment – that’s the point of the discussion page in Glow for each class, where the teacher can set the task, the pupils can attach their work, ask questions, and peers or the teacher respond in the confines of a private class area), weblink sharing, and a document store (where documents were created using Microsoft Word Online as part of Office 365, meaning that the document can be created online without need for the software to be installed on the PC or mobile device).

The pupils then shared their documents with each other, inviting their peers to comment and add comments to the documents online. Then they all collaborated on the same document online all at the same time from their own PCs – and there were squeals of surprise when they could all see the same document being edited in front of their eyes with different coloured flags appearing on screen to show who was editing the different parts of the document!

The pupils then used a collaborative OneNote file which had been created in their online space – each pupil created their own page within this online ring-binder tool and added their thoughts on what they felt their contribution could be in taking the group forward in supporting the use of technologies in Shieldhill Primary School. OneNote works online or via a deskop PC or a mobile device (and is also part of the suite of tools included for all users of Glow). For more information about OneNote click here.

More information about Digital Leaders can be found here: https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/ICTFalkirkPrimaries/2014/04/23/pupils-as-digital-leaders/

Primary ICT Co-ordinator Support – OneNote to Wikipedia

Malcolm Wilson, ICT Curriculum Development Officer in the Curriculum Support team of the Service and School Improvement division of Falkirk Council Education Services provided guided hands-on support to primary ICT Co-ordinators (and to which secondary colleagues were also invited to participate).

These sessions are designed to ensure that ICT Co-ordinators are provided with guided hands-on experience in a range of tools so that they are better placed to support colleagues in their education establishment using technologies across learning and teaching, and are kept abreast of latest developments in this ever-changing field.

Here’s what was covered in the recent session:

1. Wikipedia for schools – resources and tools of which you may not be aware. http://goo.gl/BAKMDl including Wikipedia for Schools site (checked by educators and downloadable​ to a USB drive); Young Editors section​; Simple English Wikipedia​; Scots Wikipedia – Wikipedia in Scots language​; Historical anniversaries; School template for pages about school​; Wikipedia search & help for better searching; Wikipedia Community Portal – what needs added/edited​; Student Assignments section​

2. OneNote Online – a free tool either for use online or as an app on a mobile device or via a web browser on a desktop PC or mobile device. It is a ring-binder online – multiple sections with multiple pages​. It can be used for a whole variety of purposes from pupil topic research tool to a learning journal shared by pupil with teacher. Microsoft OneNote is part of Office 2013​ and part of the suite of tools available free to all users via Glow in Office 365. OneNote online is available via Glow and works with mobile devices​. For more information about how to go about using OneNote click here.

3. Office 2013 for pupils – Student Advantage Licence – advance notice of a scheme which will become available to local authorities signed up to a Microsoft licensing scheme. Details will follow once the scheme is in place way to apply these licences. Click on the following link for helpful quickguides to various tools within Office 2013​: http://goo.gl/pP4wg6  ​

4. Making use of an online classroom space in Microsoft Office 365 within new sharepoint environment – users can create a class space from scratch themselves or request a class site to be set up for them. Click on the following link for ideas of how to use with pupils: http://goo.gl/Jp4NUi. See the following ebook free download on Microsoft Office 365 in Education for classroom scenarios and examples of use of Microsoft Office 365 as an online classroom space: http://glo.li/1lEMo6C. See video tutorials from ITHeadsUp Microsoft in Education UK for using Office 365 – tutorials and classroom-specific examples: ​http://glo.li/1k30f92

5. Management of passwords in new Glow via RM Unify – showing how to reset yeargroup in one go to same password for getting youngest pupils started, and showing how users can also enter alternative email address to avoid future reset need by teachers. http://goo.gl/i0Kofb – video guide to steps. ​

6. Video-conferencing via Microsoft Lync (for staff member to staff member or up to ten participants, not available to pupils) set up by staff member themselves http://goo.gl/6zDeKV for step-by-step guide to using Lync; and Adobe Connect for presentations with greater numbers and with varied roles with different permissions. Request to be host made for named staff to Education Scotland​ via Jennifer.McDougall@educationscotland.gov.uk

7. WordPress blog set up and management now via new Glow RM Unify Tile, no longer tied to a Glow group – with dedicated support blog http://goo.gl/4946Lg Can vary permissions for different users​; Can be used for public collaborative activity, website or individual project​.

8. TigTag Primary Science videos and teaching materials matched to CfE and available free through Glow via Glow tile on RM Unify or direct to website​ http://www.tigtagworld.co.uk/ – then login via Glow for full access​. Printable pdf guide to using TigTag ​http://goo.gl/ZzDy2h. Free online teacher CPD via a partnership between Tigtag and Imperial College London​ http://www.reachoutcpd.com/

9. Live interactive Glow Help & Support sessions through Glow TV every Tuesday at 8.15am and 3.45pm, followed by Facebook & Twitter Q&A sessions at 7.30pm. To sign up and find out more: http://goo.gl/3VqPIj

Using ICT to develop creativity and innovation in the classroom

Malcolm Wilson, ICT Curriculum Development Officer within the Curriculum Support team of Service and School Improvement, Falkirk Council Education Services presented hands-on practical sessions for all probationer teachers in Falkirk primary schools, on using ICT to develop creativity and innovation the classroom.

There was a guided exploration of the wide variety of open-ended software installed on all PCs across all Falkirk primary schools, which can be used to support learning and teaching across the curriculum at all stages – and a reminder that resources to support every piece of software (providing examples as well as guides and tutorials) could be found online here: ICT for Teaching & Learning in Falkirk Primary Schools

There were practical activities related to how the free audio-editing tool Audacity might be used to support learning and teaching across a range of curricular areas. Recording voice, moving sections of recorded sound to different parts just like a word-processor, adding special effects (robotic and raising the pitch just being some) to create interest for pupil-read texts, adding a music soundtrack and varying the volumes of spoken word and music. More can be found here: https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/ICTFalkirkPrimaries/2013/03/25/school-radio-podcasting-pupils/

There were practical activities making use of one of the spreadsheet/graphing programs on all Falkirk primary school networked PCs, RM Starting Graph to show how such tools can enhance engagement with information handling both in mathematics and across the curriculum, so that the learning can be focussed on the questions being asked rather than on recording the information. More information about spreadsheets/graphing software for primary schools can be found here: https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/ICTFalkirkPrimaries/2011/03/30/spreadsheets/

The session provided a guided exploration of the tools and resources available for use with Smartboard interactive whiteboards (which are in almost all Falkirk primary school classrooms) to support teachers and learners across a wide range of classroom activity, including a host of pre-created Smart Notebook resources created and shared by teachers in Falkirk schools, as well as pointing out access to the worldwide network of educators who have shared resources in Smart Exchange: https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/ICTFalkirkPrimaries/2011/08/18/smart-exchange/

The session provided hands-on guided opportunity to explore the software 2DIY from 2Simple which provides the means for teachers and primary pupils to create their own interactive resources, activities, games, puzzles, quizzes. More information about this software can be found here: https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/ICTFalkirkPrimaries/2010/11/11/game-making-in-the-primary-classroom-with-2diy-from-2simple/

Guided hands-on practical activities were provided in the use of collaborative tools within Microsoft office 365 through Glow, using Word online to create and share a document in either a user’s online store space OneDrive (or from a class space), jointly edit at the same time as other users, add encouraging comments to the work of another (and all which can be done on a mobile device), use Outlook to share with others in the room, and to see possibilities for using the Lync video-conferencing tool – all within the Glow environment. More information about Office 365 can be found here: https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/ICTFalkirkPrimaries/2012/07/10/microsoft-office-365-for-education/

Practical activities were provided in making use of the programming robots (whether the robot or the software versions) making use of Roamerworld software (including the pre-created scenarios such as subway and storks which provide a learning context for the logical thinking, collaboration, maths of shape, position and movement and much more). More information about these programming tools can be found here: https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/ICTFalkirkPrimaries/2011/04/20/beebot-to-logo/

To help with classroom engagement some free tools were also used in the session which can be used in the classroom, including timerr and random-name-selectors. More can be found here: https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/ICTFalkirkPrimaries/2010/08/19/countdown-timer-from-classtools/

Encouragement was given to make use of Twitter both for sharing classroom activity and as a professional to develop a professional learning network to share ideas and benefit from the collective knowledge and skills of colleagues worldwide. More information about setting up and using a class twitter account can be found here: https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/ICTFalkirkPrimaries/2013/03/05/twitter-for-schools-and-classes/. More information about using twitter to develop a professional learning network can be found here: https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/ICTFalkirkPrimaries/2011/08/16/personal-learning-network/

Pupils as Digital Leaders at Carron Primary School

Malcolm Wilson, ICT Curriculum Development Officer within the Curriculum Support team of Service and School Improvement, Falkirk Council Education Services, supported the first session with the new Digital Leaders group of pupils in Carron Primary School.

The pupils had selected to be a part of this group and will be led by teacher John Bell. This first session let the pupils say what they felt their contribution could be in taking the group forward in supporting the use of technologies in Carron Primary School. Pupils gave a variety of ideas which encompassed being the ones in the school who: know how to navigate the school computers, are willing to try to find a solution to an issue, are not being afraid to try things out and are eager to learn more (both together and on their own). Different pupils said what they saw as their areas of knowledge, interest and expertise ranging from programming in Scratch to creating things for a website.

Pupils used their wireless laptops to then work together on creating games using the software 2DIY from 2Simple which is installed on all Falkirk Council primary school networked computers.

More information about Digital Leaders can be found here: https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/ICTFalkirkPrimaries/2014/04/23/pupils-as-digital-leaders/

Dance – Progression

Morag Young and Morag Simpson, Physical Education Lead Officers from Falkirk Council Curriculum Support Team organised a series of two Dance twilight sessions for primary class teachers and specialists. These courses were led by Anne Murphy,  from Education Scotland. Anne demonstrated how to provide a progressive Dance programme focussing on the Significant Aspects of Learning in PE from Early Level through to Second Level.  Content examples were given to and developed by the group showing how to link learning in a dance context with all other curricular areas.

Examples of the very positive feedback are shown below.

“This has impacted on the way I would teach a dance block with the children now as it is not about following a routine.”

” Children will get more ownership of their learning through dance by using these approaches”

” Will now use the ideas given to promote higher order thinking skills while teaching dance.”

 

 

 

 

Gymnastics – Using Apparatus

Morag Young and Morag Simpson, Physical Education Lead Officers from Falkirk Council Curriculum Support Team organised a Gymnastics twilight for primary class teachers and specialists. This course was led by Anne Murphy,  from Education Scotland and specifically focussed on using apparatus. Anne demonstrated how to provide a progressive Gymnastics programme focussing on the Significant Aspects of Learning in PE from Early Level through to Second Level.  This was a follow on course from the first session with Anne in February, focussing on  developing practical content with literacy and numeracy links.

Examples of the very positive feedback are shown below.

“This was a wonderful course to support teachers, such as myself, when working to build confidence in our own practice.”

“The opportunity to learn more about the various techniques and how to carry them out properly was excellent and very enjoyable.”

“Demonstrations of the equipment has allowed me to be more confident using the equipment in my teaching.”

 
 

 

Avonbridge Dancers

Morag Young and Morag Simpson, PE Lead Officers for Falkirk Council Curriculum Support Team arranged a visit to Avonbridge Primary School to work with their Scottish Country Dance group. The purpose of this visit was to showcase good practice in Scottish Country Dance and create a  resource for class teachers. The  resource will help with the delivery of this activity context through curricular PE or as an extra-curricular club in preparation for the annual Day of Dance . We would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to the pupils and staff of Avonbridge for their warm welcome and willingness to assist us with this project.  Particular thanks to Mrs Rankine for all her input with the dancers.