Digital Technology Week 10 – Games-Based Learning

Digital Technology Week 10 – Games-Based Learning This weeks input for Digital Technology was based around Games-Based learning in the classroom again. This time we were focusing on the game Minecraft and we looked at t played on the iPad. We also looked once again into the reasons and benefits of using things such as …

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Digital Technology Week 10 – Games-Based Learning

This weeks input for Digital Technology was based around Games-Based learning in the classroom again. This time we were focusing on the game Minecraft and we looked at t played on the iPad. We also looked once again into the reasons and benefits of using things such as Minecraft in the classrooms to be part of a lesson or to be the topic of a series of lessons.  Ofcom Report (2011) states that gaming is hugely popular in the UK with almost 86% of 5-7 year old children and 90% of 8-11 year old children using gaming devices regularly. This clearly shows that children are familiar with and enjoy use games, so it makes sense for them to be a part of their learning process.

We spoke abut how games such as Minecraft could be used in the classroom and why, revisiting from memory the first mind maps we created last week. We talked about how best it can be used Bray (2012) states that Games-based Learning has the most transformational impact when it is combined with good learning and teaching.  This is saying that if the game is being used in an effective way to the children’s learning then it can be an amazing tool in the classroom. “Not only do [teachers] have to become familiar with the games, they also have to ensure that they make clear the way in which they want for the game to used.” (Beauchamp, 2012, p.9). This explains that the games must be introduced to the children when there is a level of trust with them that they will use them effectively. It also hints to the fact that the games must be used in a controlled environment, so the children can stay focused but still enjoy their learning.

This week was different in the way we completed the practical activity, we had Primary 6 students from a local primary school come in to teach us how to use Minecraft. The students were the digital leaders in their school and they explained to us that this means they learn how to use different tools I the school then goes into classrooms to teach and assist the teacher in the use of the technology. Before this workshop I had only seen my little brother play the game on his Xbox but had never actually played it myself and I didn’t know it was available on the iPad. There was four of us/students paired with three of the primary pupils. In my group none of the students had any experience of playing the game so the pupils had to start from the basics. In was very nice to watch the pupils teaching us and they were very good at it and very helpful. After they had taught us the things we needed to know we got the iPad and were told to create something with the verbal help of the pupils, but they weren’t allowed to touch the iPad. Our group created a two-story house with furniture inside. It was very simple but for our first attempt wasn’t that bad. “Minecraft is a worldwide phenomenon. Since it was first released back in 2011, it’s been taken to the hearts of thousands and thousands of gamers.”  All the pupils that came into us loved the game and were very enthusiastic about teaching us how to play it. It made me realize how big and popular the game is.

While watching the children creating their world in Minecraft it was easy to see the links to the skills that Beauchamp (2012) states that could be developed by ICT games such as Minecraft which are:

      Strategic Thinking

      Planning

      Communication

      Application of numbers

      Negotiating Skills

      Group decision-making

      Data Handling Skills.

The experiences and outcomes that can be related to lessons including the game Minecraft could be “I can explore and experiment with digital technologies and can use what I learn to support and enhance my learning in different contexts.” TCH 1-01. Another couple that refers to the creating and discussion of them making their words could be. “I enjoy creating texts of my choice and I regularly select subject, purpose, format and resources to suit the needs of my audience.” LIT 1-20a/LIT2-20a. And “I can convey information, describe events, explain processes or combine ideas in different ways” LIT 2-28a. There are a lot of other outcomes that could be competed around the topic of Minecraft including literacy in their writing or maths in planning out their builds or art, making then create things on paper or in 3D. the possibilities are endless all surrounding the one topic that the children love. And the children don’t have to play the game every lesson they could get it at the start of a new lesson and that would be them creatively set for the learning.

Overall, I really enjoyed learning from the children and learning how to play the game. I now realise how much thought and planning ahs to be put into the making of a simple building in the game. I would love in the future to use Minecraft as a stimulus for learning and as a topic for a series of lesson plans. I feel that games-based learning is very easy to integrate into classrooms and when it is the possibilities are endless and very engaging for the children.

 

References

·         Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary Classroom: From Pedagogy top Practice. Pearson.

·         Bray, O. (2012) Playful Learning: Computer Games in Education. [Online] https://www.slideshare.net/Microsofteduk/playful-learning-computer-games-in-education [Accessed on 13th March 2018] 

·         Education Scotland (2004) Curriculum for Excellence; Experiences and Outcomes [Online] https://education.gov.scot/scottish-education-system/policy-for-scottish-education/policy-drivers/cfe-(building-from-the-statement-appendix-incl-btc1-5)/Experiences%20and%20outcomes [Accessed on 13th March 2018]

·         MagBook (2014) How to Do Everything in Minecraft

·         Ofcom (2001) Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes. [Online] https://www.slideshare.net/Microsofteduk/playful-learning-computer-games-in-education [Accessed on 13th March 2018]

Games Based Learning – Minecraft

If someone had told me before I came to university that I would be learning how to use Minecraft in an Education degree programme, seriously – I would of laughed at them. Both my stepsons have been engrossed in the same game for the last couple of years and despite them excitedly showing me their […]

If someone had told me before I came to university that I would be learning how to use Minecraft in an Education degree programme, seriously – I would of laughed at them. Both my stepsons have been engrossed in the same game for the last couple of years and despite them excitedly showing me their weird and wonderful creations, I never really took a proper interest in how the game worked, what it really involved or noticed that in fact it was benefiting their education in more ways than one. Today we got a really deep and useful insight into how it worked and the many purposes it serves in and out of the classroom. However today’s lesson was totally different. It wasn’t just watching tutorial videos online or having a play around the iPad to get to know my our way around it. Today we became the pupils, and a group of young local primary school pupils became the teachers! Well I never…

When we found out that children from a local primary school were coming to show us how to use and work Minecraft I was feeling positive and looking forward to the prospects of…

  1. Working with children in this class in particular;
  2. Learning from the most experienced users;
  3. Understanding the benefits and areas in which Minecraft fitted relevantly into their education and
  4. Becoming more familiar with the game and gaining knowledge and experience that I can take forward with me in my own professional career.

As a prospective teacher I feel it is vital to ensure that my technology skills are up to date, relevant and I can use them to the best of my abilities in order to enhance my pupils educational experiences. As suggested by Bray (2012) “Games-based Learning has the most transformational impact when it is combined with good learning and teaching”.  Marrying together my learning experience from the pupils today with a skillset that I am enhancing each year of my degree, I feel that Games-Based Learning in the classroom has the potential to be a tremendous success across many curricular areas. Beauchamp (2012, P.9) states that “Not only do [teachers] have to become familiar with the games, they also have to ensure that they make clear the way in which they want for the game to used.” Curricular areas that could be utilised with Games-Based Learning can include:

I regularly select and listen to or watch texts which I enjoy and find interesting, and I can explain why I prefer certain sources. I regularly select subject, purpose, format and resources to create texts of my choice. LIT 1-01a / LIT 2-01a

I have the opportunity to choose and explore an extended range of media and technologies to create images and objects, comparing and combining them for specific tasks. EXA 2-02a

I can use exploration and imagination to solve design problems related to real-life situations. EXA 1-06a

Through taking part in a variety of events and activities, I am learning to recognise my own skills and abilities as well as those of others. HWB 1-19a

I can work with others to generate, discuss and develop imaginative ideas to create a product of the future. TCH 1-01b

When exploring technologies in the world around me, I can use what I learn to help to design or improve my ideas or products. TCH 2-01a

It was suggested by Ofcom (2001) that “The use of computer games, particularly console games, is firmly embedded in 21st century youth culture.” If children already have prior knowledge and experience in certain areas in technology then they are set in good stead for their future in a classroom where technology is prevalent and also in a society out-with education where being surrounded by technology is now seen as the norm.

Today we were paired with 2 pupils from a local primary school. They showed us how Minecraft worked on their own tablets and gave us an informative description of how Minecraft works, how it can be used, what it can be used for and objects and building they had previously made. They told us why they liked using the game which included that they could be as creative as they wanted and there was no right or wrong thing to do. It allowed them to develop a space which they called their own and if they wanted to share it then they could do so by joining the same network as their peers and game virtually together. We were then given the opportunity to get hands on with the game ourselves, with the pupils giving us only verbal prompts and advice and were not allowed to take over. It allowed us to work as a team, use active listening and questioning skills and collaborate effectively and in turn it allowed us to gain knowledge on the game and the end product ended up being the Three Broomsticks from Harry Potter. The pupils were excellent in answering our questions and giving us prompts and advice. It also allowed me to see how much they enjoyed it and the many benefits they got out of it wether they realised or not that they were impacting their education. Some of which included:

  • Strategic Thinking;
  • Planning;
  • Communication;
  • Application of numbers;
  • Negotiating Skills;
  • Group decision-making and
  • Data Handling Skills as noted by Beauchamp (2012).

Overall, I would have to say that today’s lesson was by far my favourite. I really enjoyed working with the pupils from the school and learning from them. They were passionate, engaged, motivated and were keen to let us in on the magical Minecraft world and the autonomous potential that it can hold. Utilising a game such as Minecraft in the classroom I think would be genius, as in just the few short hours we spent with the kids today, it was evident that it engaged, motivated and held the pupils attention. They were keen to learn, keen to show us their creations and was apparent that Minecraft is not just a game. It is a valuable resource and learning tool that if used in the classroom correctly, holds the key to pupil success and education satisfaction for both them and the educator. I will certainly be taking forward with me what I learned today, and building on my knowledge of Minecraft as well as recognising and researching for other ideas and areas in which it can be used in the classroom. It has already been downloaded onto my daughters iPad and we have started to create our own Barbie Dreamhouse. We are both enjoying getting to make our own designs and already she is starting to show me what else can be done!

 

References

Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary Classroom: From Pedagogy top Practice. Pearson.

Bray, O. (2012) Playful Learning: Computer Games in Education.  [Online] Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/Microsofteduk/playful-learning-computer-games-in-education First Accessed: 13th March 2018

Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes, Ofcom (2001). [Online] Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/Microsofteduk/playful-learning-computer-games-in-education First Accessed: 13th March 2018

Images – Pixabay

Scottish Government (2008) The Curriculum for Excellence [Online] Available at: http://www.education.gov.scot/Documents/all-experiences-and-outcomes.pdf First Accessed: 13th March 2018

 

Digital Technology Week 7

20/02/18 Animation ICT allows pupils to “achieve something that would be very difficult or even impossible to achieve in any other way”, (Beauchamp, 2012, p.54). The skills that children gain … Continue reading

20/02/18

Animation

ICT allows pupils to “achieve something that would be very difficult or even impossible to achieve in any other way”, (Beauchamp, 2012, p.54). The skills that children gain while carrying out tasks and experimenting with different types of technology are skills they use not just in the subject of ICT but also in everyday life, in and out of the classroom.

The skill of confidence is one of the most important skills we can give to children while using technology and showing them that we are confident while using the different apps and programmes will help them feel like they can do it too.

“ICT equipment is part of pupils’ everyday life, so should be part of their everyday play” (Beauchamp, 2012, p.66). Children should feel that using technology is fun and not a chore and a of making it fun is letting them explore the world of animation.

Bertrancourt (2005) gives three ways in which animation can be used to make learning more effective:

  • gives visual representations
  • illustrates processess
  • provides an interactive element                          (Jarvis, 2015, p.92)

The process of animation is “the stringing together” of still images but giving the appearance of movement (Jarvis, 2015, p.89). Creating animations gives the children the chance to be in control of their experience and learning with technology and make something as simple or as complex as they want.

Diving into a new branch of technology can make teachers, student and children unsure of what to do and how to use it but the different types of animation can be broken down in to five main types:

  • Cutout – quickest and easiest
  • Stop-motion – e.g. plasticine models
  • Pixillation – humans become the puppets
  • Drawn – e.g. Disney productions
  • Computer – e.g. games and movies                      (Moving Image Education)

Starting off with the simplest of the five, cutout, is the easiest way to get to grips with the process of animation.

    

 

Reference List:

Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary Classroom: From Pedagogy top Practice. Pearson.

Jarvis, M. (2015) Brilliant Ideas for Using ICT in the Classroom: A Very Practical Guide for Teachers and Lecurers. Routledge.

Moving Image Education [Online] https://movingimageeducaiton.org/create-films/animation [Accessed: 21st March 2018]

Digital Technologies- QR Codes: Outdoor Learning 20/03/18

Today within the last class of Digital Technologies we focused on the use of QR codes, as well as the app Pic Collage.  Everything we done was focused around outdoors, this gave me great lesson ideas for the future that will enhance outdoor learning.  I learned about the wide range of benefits outdoor learning has, […]

Today within the last class of Digital Technologies we focused on the use of QR codes, as well as the app Pic Collage.  Everything we done was focused around outdoors, this gave me great lesson ideas for the future that will enhance outdoor learning.  I learned about the wide range of benefits outdoor learning has, before we went outside to complete our own treasure hunt that had been set up for us using the QR Reader app.  After this, I was then able to use this app to make my own which could be used for a mathematics lesson.

During today’s class I learned about the advantages outdoor learning has, such as how it provides inclusion. This is because some children are often disregarded in the classroom by other children as their skills and interests may be different to theirs, however, outdoor learning can increase feeling of self-worth as children often become more confident when doing something they are enjoying.  Due to this, they are more likely to be closer with their class peers.  This is backed up by (Education Scotland, 2010) “…the outdoor environment encourages staff and students to see each other in a different light, building positive relationships and improving self-awareness and understanding of others.”  Outdoor learning also allows children to develop safety skills, this giving them the freedom to understand what risks are, this helping them in all aspects of their life.  It also promotes healthy lifestyles as a lot of physical activity can be done outdoors that may not be possible indoors, such as hill walking (Learning and Teaching Scotland, 2010).  Learning outdoors also allows children to think critically, this is because they are able to recognise how different curricular areas can be placed outside.  Due to all of the advantages stated above, children’s communication, problem solving skills and confidence working with others is therefore improved.

I fully agree that outdoor learning provides all these advantages, as when we went outdoors today to participate in a treasure hunt, I felt so motivated and ready to complete it; this making me aware just how much children must love taking part in things outside!  There had been a treasure hunt set up for us to complete in groups using the QR Reader App based around Scotland, there were different questions asked such as “How many islands are in Scotland?” to which we had to select the right answer which gave us a letter.  After finding all the sheets of paper around the outside of the university with the codes to scan and get the question from, all the correct answers ended up making the word ‘haggis’ and at the end we had to scan it to make sure we were correct.  I thoroughly enjoyed participating in this activity and I’m also very excited to see how much enjoyment children get out of lessons like this!  Whilst outside we also took pictures on an iPad, and when we were back inside we created a collage on the app Pic Collage.  I have used this app before and think it would be great for children to use as you can add text, stickers, backgrounds and other features with the pictures.  I believe that children would love taking pictures outside, of things such as insects, and then when back indoors making a collage of everything they have explored.  Many lessons within the curriculum could be incorporated into Pic Collage, such as taking children out to take pictures of all the shapes they see, they could then add a collage of all the pictures and add text beside the pictures naming the shape.  This lesson would cover this curricular outcome –  I have explored simple 3D objects and 2D shapes and can identify, name and describe their features using appropriate vocabulary. – MTH 1-16a

In pairs we also discussed how the different aspects within the SHANARRI Wellbeing Wheel can be related to outdoors which are – safe, healthy, active, nurture, achieving, responsible, respect and included.  Mine and my partners focus was on respect and we discussed how being outdoors enables children to understand to respect the environment, for example, not littering or walking over flower beds.  During my years at school I only went outdoors during spring and summer, however, when I am a teacher I hope to take children outside to learn in all different weathers.  I feel very strongly about this as I don’t believe it’s beneficial or healthy that children need to stay indoors all week at school.  I know after today how little time it takes to put a lesson together for going outdoors, as I created five numeracy questions on the QR reader app aimed at children in primary one/two which could be made into a treasure hunt outside.  For example, question one asked, what is 8 take away 3?, from this they would select the correct answer which would give them a letter.  After all five questions, they would then have five letters which they would need to put together to make the word ‘maths’.  This activity only took me around fifteen minutes to make and would take about half an hour/forty-five minutes to carry out, therefore even one lesson like this per week would increase children’s enjoyment when learning!  Curriculum for Excellence experience and outcomes that this lesson would fit into are:

I can share ideas with others to develop ways of estimating the answer to a calculation or problem, work out the actual answer, then check my solution by comparing it with the estimate. MNU 1-01a

I can use addition, subtraction, multiplication and division when solving problems, making best use of the mental strategies and written skills I have developed. MNU 1-03

Overall, due to today’s class I now fully appreciate and understand how important outdoor learning is, due to number of benefits it provides children with.  After every class of Digital Technologies I am constantly thinking about the lessons that I could carry out in the future relating to what I have been focusing on, and today is no exception!  The QR Reader and Pic Collage app are great to really grab children’s interests while they are learning.  I’m grateful for all this module has taught me and I have thoroughly enjoyed learning something new in every single class.  I have come a long way from the first class where I wasn’t even confident using an Apple iMac, whereas now I have learned about a wide range of things ranging from coding, to eBooks, programmable toys and much more!  I now feel as though I will be fully confident when teaching with technology in the future, therefore, I got exactly what I wanted out of this module.

 

References:

Education Scotland (2010) Curriculum for Excellence Through Outdoor Learning.

Learning and Teaching Scotland (2010) Curriculum for Excellence Through Outdoor Learning.

 

 

 

Integrating Technology into Outdoor Learning.

The PicCollage Application (App) and a Quick Response (QR) Code and reader App are a fun way to integrate digital technology into learning. It is suggested that six-year-olds have the same level of understanding technology as a 45-year-old (Curtis 2014) … Continue reading

The PicCollage Application (App) and a Quick Response (QR) Code and reader App are a fun way to integrate digital technology into learning. It is suggested that six-year-olds have the same level of understanding technology as a 45-year-old (Curtis 2014) so integration of technology is something that children can fully engage with.

 

“The core values of Curriculum for Excellence resonate with long-standing key concepts of outdoor learning. Challenge, enjoyment, relevance, depth, development of the whole person and an adventurous approach to learning are at the core of outdoor pedagogy” (Scottish Government, 2010).

 

The Scottish Government Health and Wellbeing indicators of wellbeing promote that children should also achieve indicators to promote physical and emotional wellbeing (Scottish Government, 2017) and the inclusion of outdoor learning into helps educators achieve the specified indicators. Asking a learner to be responsible for an i-pad provides them with a sense of “responsibility” (Scottish Government, 2017) and can also ensure that they are “included” (Scottish Government, 2017) by the other children. Being outdoors is an opportunity “for staff and students to see each other in a different light” (Scottish Government, 2010). Furthermore, outdoor learning should not be restricted to learning about outdoors, rather should be used to compliment a variety of lessons. It is a valuable part of an Inter-disciplinary lesson (IDL).

 

A QR Code and Reader App is an easy way to set up an outdoor lesson. Pic Collage works well to compliment the lesson and to create an eye-catching memory that can be shared within the school.

 

From a learning perspective, I found PicCollage easy to use and saw the value of it immediately. Tasked with creating a collage about any subject it was simple to use and easy to get a final product. Myself and my working partner decided to do a collage suggesting the options for travel to the University of West of Scotland (UWS) campus. A picture of the footpath (UWS Campus is located next to the River Ayr, so this is an attractive setting), the bus stop, a car in the car park and Ayr Train station. The photos were sorted by the App and were entitled “Travel options”. This task, allowed me to see the benefits of the App from a teaching perspective; it is easy to use and produces attractive images therefore one can see the benefits of the App and understand why it would compliment any outdoor learning.

The QR reader app is easy to programme and produces QR codes automatically when information is input in to the App. Even though the learning was outdoors, the subject of the learning did not have to be about outdoors. This was demonstrated to the students by lecturer, Graham Brett, who had arranged for us to explore the grounds around the UWS campus whilst we searched for QR codes to scan and reveal answers about Scotland.

Creating a QR based quiz as part of a team of four met the following outcomes from the Curriculum for Excellence:

  • Through taking part in a variety of events and activities, I am learning to recognise my own skills and abilities as well as those of others. HWB 1-19a.
  • I can communicate clearly when engaging with others within and beyond my place of learning, using selected resources4 as required. LIT 1-10a B 1-23a.
  • I can read and demonstrate understanding of words, signs, phrases and simple texts containing mainly familiar language. MLAN 2-08b.

(Scottish Government, 2008).

This was done by creating a series of questions considering how to say words on Spanish. The answers were built into a series of QR codes. The codes were to be displayed/hidden within a space outdoors. When learners find the codes, each would be scanned and the correct answer would reveal a letter. Collect all the letters and work out the secret word. The game encourages a deeper understanding of words that have been learned and also makes the learning fun. Having the game outdoors has the advantage of complementing the academic side with other benefits such as: encouraging a healthy lifestyle, development of communication skills, encouraging working with others and can make children feel more included.

 

The workshop marked the end of the module and it is time to reflect on my experience and review my own confidence in using technology as an educator. Going forward I will actively look for opportunities to integrate digital literacy and use of the programmes and devices that have been explored as part of the module in my teaching and lesson planning. My confidence has grown and I ca only see a positive impact should devices and Apps be introduced and managed appropriately within a classroom environment. As the module ends, I have been able to review my current confidence levels compared with how I felt about certain programmes and devices at the start of the module. There has been a marked increase in every category.

References:

Curtis, S (2014) Digital learning; how technology is reshaping teaching (online) Telegraph [online] Available: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/11051228/Digital-learning-how-technology-is-reshaping-teaching.html [Accessed 21 March 2018].

Scottish Government (2017) Wellbeing (Online) http://www.gov.scot/Topics/People/Young-People/gettingitright/wellbeing [Accessed 21 March 2018].

Scottish Government (2010) The Curriculum for Excellence Through Outdoor Learning (Online) https://education.gov.scot/Documents/cfe-through-outdoor-learning.pdf [Accessed 21 March 2018].

Scottish Government (2008) The Curriculum for Excellence [Online] http://www.education.gov.scot/Documents/all-experiences-and-outcomes.pdf [Accessed 21 March 2018].

Personal Reflection of Digital Technologies – Outdoor Learning 20/03/18

Today was the last session of digital technologies. We took part in an outdoor learning session. Within the session we used two apps; Pic Collage and QR code scanner.  I have previously used Pic Collage and I am comfortable using … Continue reading

Today was the last session of digital technologies. We took part in an outdoor learning session. Within the session we used two apps; Pic Collage and QR code scanner.  I have previously used Pic Collage and I am comfortable using the app although, I have not used QR code scanner before. I feel sad that it was the last session because I have thoroughly enjoyed learning how to use different technologies within the Curriculum.

“Outdoor learning experiences are often remembered for a lifetime. Integrating learning and outdoor experiences, whether through play in the immediate grounds or adventures further afield, provides relevance and depth to the curriculum in ways that are difficult to achieve indoors” (Learning and Teaching Scotland 2010). This shows that when children are outdoors they are still learning within the curriculum along with it being a memorable experience of school. This is because they are not within the same environment as they are every day.

Education Scotland (2010) states “the outdoor environment offers motivating, exciting, different, relevant and easily accessible activities from pre-school years through to college.” I think that this is effective because as a group of adults we found that outdoor learning was exciting and we enjoyed being outside of a classroom situation.

Outdoor learning encourages inclusion for those with skills that are not always visible when they are in a classroom setting. Outdoor learning can change children’s perception when they are outdoors as they may come across a place that they may not have been before. Outdoor learning encourages a healthy lifestyle as the children could be hill walking, cycling or skiing. Outdoor learning is positive as it encourages children’s personal development skills through communication, problem solving and working with others. Outdoor learning also enables children to manage their health and safety assessing risks and develop their skills with health and safety. Outdoor learning also encourages children to make links to their curriculum.

“The core values of Curriculum for Excellence resonate with long-standing key concepts of outdoor learning. Challenge, enjoyment, relevance, depth, development of the whole person and an adventurous approach to learning are at the core of outdoor pedagogy” (Education Scotland, 2010).

Education Scotland (2010) also states that outdoor learning allows pupils and staff to see each other within a different environment that can improve one’s self awareness and understanding of others. It can also build positive relationships between staff and pupils.

“The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 is about improving the well-being of children and young people in Scotland. The Act is wide ranging and includes key parts of the Getting it right for Every Child, commonly known as GIRFEC” (Scottish Government 2017). At the centre of the Scottish Governemnts GIRFEC approach is the well-being wheel with eight indicators that make the name SHANARRI. SHANARRI stands for Safe, Healthy, Active, Nurture, Achieving, Responsible, Respect and Included. During the session we worked in pairs to discuss how Outdoor learning links to the eight aspects. The ideas we came up with were; When children are out with a classroom they are still achieving outcomes of the curriculum and learning how to be responsible when they are outside. They are also included, keeping themselves safe when assessing risks, along with being active and healthy if the children are out walking to places and doing other activities. The children are also gaining respect for the environment and people around them. They are respecting the teacher for allowing them to have responsibility of their own safety and learning. This shows that outdoor learning achieves most of the eight aspects.

We explored the Pic Collage app. To explore we picked a topic that could be summarised. My partner and I took pictures around the university campus grounds and we were able to transfer them to pic collage change the effect of them and put them into a grid so that they were all positioned. My partner and I had both previously used pic collage and found it easy to use and known how to work it.

We explored QR Code Scanner app we found out that QR – means Quick Response, ›a QR Code is an ‘image-based hypertext link’, they are a type of two-dimensional barcode. ›A QR code – can store 7089 numbers and a QR code can link to a short bit of text, an audio recording, a website, a phone number, an email address, a map location, an calendar event. Your generated QR code can be placed anywhere – printed, embedded. We hunted for barcodes that were situated around the campus grounds. When we scanned the barcode a question appeared based on a Social Studies topic around Scotland. When answering the questions you had a letter next to the two options and then with the right answers you had to create word out of the letter next to it. This was an exciting task as every one in the class wanted to become first at achieving the word. We figured it out and then scanned the last barcode and it told us the correct answer. My group were the first to come up with the word HAGGIS.

I had the opportunity to create my own task to use with QR Reader. I created my own barcodes with questions related to money for first level students. The children are given questions involving an item that is a specific price and the children are given an amount that they have. Then they have to work out what change that they would receive back. I linked this to an outcome from both technology and numeracy. The numeracy outcome I linked it to was; “I can use money to pay for items and can work out how much change I should receive” MNU 1-09a (Education Scotland 2004). The technology outcome I linked it to was “I can explore and experiment with digital technologies and can use what I learn to support and enhance my learning in different contexts TCH 1-01a” (Education Scotland 2004).

Money BA1 Digital Tech

I thought that the QR Reader app was easy to use and is a useful resource to take on as a student teacher. I would recommend the app as it is quick and easy to use and does not take long to create the barcodes to create an activity. It can also be used across the curriculum for a range of subjects involving the 7 Design Principles of the Curriculum for Excellence.

I think that the use of outdoor learning is positive because it enables children to explore outdoors in a different way whilst learning at the same time. Outdoor learning allows children to feel included and be responsible when outdoors as they are out of the controlled environment that they are normally in. I think that uses of apps such as pic collage and QR code scanner can encourage learning in different ways when pupils are creating treasure hunts for their peers. It also develops children’s imagination when thinking of the clues to give their peers. It enhances problem solving and group work along with children’s conversation skills of when to talk and when to listen.

Throughout todays session of outdoor learning I think that I will involve it in my future career because it is active for the children and achieves majority of the 7 principles within the curriculum for excellence. It also links across the curriculum. Outdoor learning is a beneficial tool that will encourage children to learn in a different way.

Overall throughout Digital Technologies my knowledge has increased with the use of  technology and its uses within the classroom. I always thought that the use of technology within a classroom would be using a computer to type up pupils literacy/language work or playing a range of games to assist their mathematics. I have found that their is more technology that could be used across the curriculum that would also link with other subjects such as; gaming, beebot and use of mobile devices, with I would never have thought devices like these could be involved within education. I have enjoyed my time working within Digital Technologies and definetly have developed plans for future lessons when I become a teacher. I also realised that teachers do not need to be highly skilled when using technology because if the technology being used is relevant to the children they will be able to show teachers how to work it.

References

Education Scotland (2004) – Curriculum for Excellence; Experiences and Outcomes [Online] https://education.gov.scot/scottish-education-system/policy-for-scottish-education/policy-drivers/cfe-(building-from-the-statement-appendix-incl-btc1-5)/Experiences%20and%20outcomes [Accessed on 20th March]

Learning and Teaching Scotland (2010) Curriculum for Excellence Through Outdoor Learning.

Scottish Government (2017) Getting it Right – Well-being Wheel (SHANARRI Wheel) [Online] http://www.gov.scot/Topics/People/Young-People/gettingitright/wellbeing [Accessed on 20th March]

Digital Technologies Week 11.

Today’s focus was centred around the use of QR codes within outdoors lessons. We explored the QR Scanner and Pic Collage applications. Alongside this, we considered the benefits of outdoor learning. “Outdoor learning experiences are often remembered for a lifetime. Integrating learning and outdoor experiences […] provides relevance and depth to the curriculum in ways …

Continue reading “Digital Technologies Week 11.”

Today’s focus was centred around the use of QR codes within outdoors lessons. We explored the QR Scanner and Pic Collage applications. Alongside this, we considered the benefits of outdoor learning.

“Outdoor learning experiences are often remembered for a lifetime. Integrating learning and outdoor experiences […] provides relevance and depth to the curriculum in ways that are difficult to achieve indoors”, this excerpt from Education Scotland (2010), clearly identifies the long-lasting benefits that outdoor learning provides for children. They further go on to state that the outdoor environment provides children with several different experiences and that outdoor learning is believed to be; motivating, exciting, different, relevant and easily accessible.

Outdoor learning provides students with the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge about a subject area that they may be struggling with. For example, a child may be struggling with problem solving in the classroom however, once the activities go outdoors this can often spark children’s skills. Thus, they are problem solving often without realising they are doing so. From this, the child could end up being a group leader and encouraging their peers, which may not have occurred otherwise.

After discussing the advantages of outdoor learning we moved on to link SHANARRI with outdoor learning. There are eight different aspects to the SHANARRI wheel which are as follows;

  • Safe
  • Healthy
  • Active
  • Nurture
  • Achieving
  • Responsible
  • Respect
  • Included

Myself and my partner considered how respect can relate to the outdoors and children in our classroom. From outdoor learning, children gain respect for the land/environment, people, animals and property. Alongside this, children feel respected due to being provided with trust and responsibility.

In the practical side of today’s lesson, we started by exploring the Pic Collage application. We were asked to create a themed collage, my collage was of my friend. We then discussed how to use the QR Code application and how to create QR codes for ourselves. Afterwards, we went outdoors as our lecturer had set up a QR code activity for us to complete, the activity was with regards to the social subject topic of Scotland. We had to scan the code and answer the question. For every question, we were then given a letter, at the end we had to look at all the letters and guess the word that it made. In this case, the word was “haggis”. Alongside doing this activity, we were given a second iPad to take pictures throughout and we created another collage using these pictures.

Upon arrival back to class, we were then given the opportunity to create our own QR code lesson. Myself and my partner based our around the science topic of mini beasts (Question sheet attached). This lesson is aimed for early level classes and the outcomes for this lesson are as follows;

  • I have observed living things in the environment over time and am becoming aware of how they depend on each other. SCN 0-01a.
  • I can explore digital technologies and use what I learn to solve problems and share ideas and thoughts. TCH 0-01a.
  • In movement, games, and using technology I can use simple directions and describe positions. MTH 0-17a.

QR CODE CRACKER

I am very excited to use this method of teaching whilst out in schools, I believe this is a fun and interesting was to engage children whilst they are learning. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience personally and I believe my classes will too. Overall, I think this is a great cross-curricular activity.

References

Education Scotland (2010) Curriculum for Excellence Through Outdoor Learning.

Outdoor Learning (Digital Technologies)

Outdoor learning is extremely beneficial in the classroom. “Outdoor learning experiences are often remembered for a lifetime. Integrating learning and outdoor experiences, whether through play in the immediate grounds or adventures further afield, provides relevance and depth to the curriculum in ways that are difficult to achieve indoors.” (Learning and Teaching Scotland, 2010) Outdoor Learning challenges …

Continue reading “Outdoor Learning (Digital Technologies)”

Outdoor learning is extremely beneficial in the classroom. “Outdoor learning experiences are often remembered for a lifetime. Integrating learning and outdoor experiences, whether through play in the immediate grounds or adventures further afield, provides relevance and depth to the curriculum in ways that are difficult to achieve indoors.” (Learning and Teaching Scotland, 2010) Outdoor Learning challenges children, provides enjoyment, is relevant and develops depth in knowledge; these are 4 of the 7 design principles of Curriculum for Excellence Design.

There are many advantages to outdoor learning. It develops critical thinking skills by allowing children to link curricular areas together, it allows for personal development such as gaining communication skills and problem solving, it also promotes things such as healthy lifestyles and personal safety. Outdoor learning can be linked to all areas of the SHANARRI wheel:

  • Safe – children learn about how to stay safe in their surroundings.
  • Healthy – children develop an understanding of how being outdoors has positive effects on both physical and mental health.
  • Active – children are given the opportunity to be active in their learning.
  • Nurture – embedded in all outdoor learning experiences by encouraging and supporting children.
  • Achieving – outdoor learning allows children who may struggle in the classroom to achieve in a surrounding more suited to their needs.
  • Responsible – children are responsible for their own safety when outdoors as well as being responsible for completing their work.
  • Respect – children must respect their surroundings, for example, not standing on flower beds.
  • Included – outdoor learning allows for all children to learn and play together in a structured environment.

Outdoor learning can be used with links to other curricular subjects such as health and wellbeing, science and social studies.

Today during Digital Technologies, we explored the use of PicCollage and QR Codes and QR Code Scanners. Initially, we created a PicCollage of a small summary to understand how the app works. We then went outside for some outdoor learning. We completed the QR Code Cracker Task by finding all 6 of the codes and scanned them to get the questions. We answered the 6 questions to find the mystery Scottish word. The mystery Scottish word was HAGGIS. We then made a PicCollage of our outdoor learning.

I enjoyed using the QR Codes and PicCollage. As a learner it was easy and fun. Outdoor learning was extremely engaging as it took learning out with the classroom into a different setting.

REFERENCES

Learning and Teaching Scotland (2010) Curriculum for Excellence Through Outdoor Learning.

Digital Technology Week 9 – Games-Based Learning

Digital Technology Week 9 – Games-Based Learning This week’s workshop was based on Games-Based Learning and how that can be integrated in the most effective way into the classroom. We specifically looked at The Nintendo Wii and the game Mario Kart. Due to circumstances we didn’t get the chance to play this game during the …

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Digital Technology Week 9 – Games-Based Learning

This week’s workshop was based on Games-Based Learning and how that can be integrated in the most effective way into the classroom. We specifically looked at The Nintendo Wii and the game Mario Kart. Due to circumstances we didn’t get the chance to play this game during the input, but I have had a lot of experience with this game at home and I am very familiar with it.

“Digital Games-based Learning is the integration of gaming into learning experiences to increase engagement and motivation.” (Higher Education Academy website). This clearly explains what the integration of games into the classrooms means. When I was in school I never knew of such a thing as games-based learning the only way technology was used in my class was at specific times for ICT when we got to use the computers in the computer suite.

We started off the workshop making a poster of a mind ma that was all to do with what benefits there are to applying games-based learning in our classrooms. My partner and I included:

·         Increased creativity

·         Encourages team work

·         Can be cross curricular

·         Modern – it encourages the use of technology in different formats

·         Lots of different tasks can be done on the one topic area

·         Keeps the children engaged

“The link between learning and playing is longstanding and predates the digital era by thousands of years.” (Higher Education Academy website). This explains overall the main reason this way of learning is being used and how it is helping teachers in schools become more modern and bring their learning and home life together making the children enjoy their learning.

We referred to Beauchamp who said that the five aspects that games-based learning should include is:

            – has a positive impact on social skills

            – supports learning

            – enhances learning

            – develops skills

            – provides opportunities to apply skills

I feel that in my pair we covered most of these points in our mind map in different ways. I think that these five aspects are the right headings for what the benefits/needs of this way of teaching in a classroom.

 

A task that we did do in the workshop was to design and draw our own Mario Kart character and Kart that we would love to be included in the game. This activity could easily be done in a classroom setting with any ages as part of an art and design lesson. It could also be taken further by the children creating their Kart in 3D using varied materials. “Like novels, films, plays and other media, games can be high quality materials a teacher uses to enable students to access the curriculum.” (Edutopia website). This refers to the fact that the one topic can be cross curricular and, in the end, cover a lot of experiences and outcomes required by the ages of the children.

We then, after doing some reading and looking into the topic, added things to our mind map that we hadn’t included initially such as:

·         Share Knowledge of Home/own learning

·         Self-directed learning

·         Recall of information

·         Stress-free and pleasurable

·         Reinforce knowledge

·         Helps social skills

The main task for todays input was to make a poster/mind map including different topic areas that could be covered using Mario Kart in the classroom. Under these heading we included lessons that could be made up for that curricular area and the experiences and outcomes that would be covered completing that specific lesson. I have attached bellow a picture of our poster that included all the ideas we could come up with on the use of games in the class.

The only problem with games-based learning is when the teacher cannot use them effectively and to the best of its advantage. Specific things according to learning and Teaching Scotland that the teacher must abide by to ensure a controlled class, include, ensuring effective implementation of games and be clear about learning intentions and be selective only use parts of the game relevant to meeting the intended outcome such as only showing the children the character slide when completing the art activity explained before.

Overall, I love the idea of using games in the classroom such as/especially Mario Kart. Mainly because I am so familiar with the game I would feel especially comfortable using it and teaching the children about it compared to other games I may have never seen before. I am sure I will use games-based learning in my classes in the future.

References

·         Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary Classroom: From Pedagogy top Practice. Pearson.

·         Education Scotland (2009) Curriculum for Excellence. [Online] https://education.gov.scot/Documents/all-experiences-and-outcomes.pdf [Accessed: 6th March]

·         Edutopia (2016) 3 Ways to Use Game-Based Learning. [Online] https://www.edutopia.org/article/3-ways-use-game-based-learning-matthew-farber  [Accessed:6th March 2018]

·         Higher Education Academy (2017) Gamification and Games-Based Learning. [Online]https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/gamification-and-games-based-learning  [Accessed: 6th March 2018]

·         Learning and Teaching Scotland. (2010) The impact of console games in the classroom: [online] Available: https://www.nfer.ac.uk/publications/FUTL25/FUTL25.pdf [Accessed 6 March 2018]

Digital Technology Week 6

13/02/18 Movie Making During our sixth session we explored the world of movie making and the importance of explaining and showing how to be safe online. “…The key idea [is] … Continue reading

13/02/18

Movie Making

During our sixth session we explored the world of movie making and the importance of explaining and showing how to be safe online. “…The key idea [is] that e-safety is not about restricting children, but abut educating them”, (Beauchamp, 2012, p.58). Allowing children to use to technology and the internet is important as they develop and gain information and knowledge about modern ways of learning but also modern ways of interacting with friends online safely.

The Scottish Government (2015) have found evidence that digital technology, when used effectively, can raise the speed and depth of learning in science, mathematics as well as improve basic literacy and numeracy skills, (The Scottish Government, 2015).

Allowing children access to these necessary tools gives them the opportunity to communicate, express themselves and collaborate with others but also gives them the skills of being able to become functioning members of society, (Weiss, 2017).

“…Being literate in the twenty-first century incorporates more than simply being able to read and write. Children need to also learn how to use [and] present…” (Bennet, 2004, p.21). There are many ways to give children the chance to use digital technology in and out of the classroom, allowing them to present their thoughts and ideas in different ways, using different programmes such as iMovie.

Digital Literacy helps to develop:

  • Practical & Functional skills
  • Critical Thinking skills
  • Awareness of e-safety
  • Collaboration skills
  • Ability to Find & Select Information
  • Effective Communication
  • Creativity

As part of our task we had to split into groups and create a movie to show the dangers of being online and how to be safe. Our group decided on a Snow White and Evil Queen theme to show that people can disguise themselves and pretend to be someone they aren’t to try and hurt you.

 

 

Reference List:

Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary Classroom: From Pedagogy top Practice. Pearson.

The Scottish Government (2015) Literature Review on the Impact of Digital Technology on Learning and Teaching. [Online] http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/24843/1/00489224.pdf [Accessed 19th March 2018]

Weiss, D. (2017) Time to Know blog [Online] https://www.timetoknow.com/blog/essential-digital-literacy-skills-for-the-21st-century-worker/ [Accessed 19th march 2018]