Digital Technologies Week 9 – 6.3.18

The topic of discussion today in Digital Technologies was about Games-based Learning and why we should be using it in schools. In addition to this, we looked at the video game Mario Kart. It was a game I played throughout my childhood, so it … Continue reading

The topic of discussion today in Digital Technologies was about Games-based Learning and why we should be using it in schools. In addition to this, we looked at the video game Mario Kart. It was a game I played throughout my childhood, so it was very familiar to me. We created our own Mario character and our own kart too. We also created a mind map of the positive effects of Games-based Learning in the classroom. This was followed by an Interdisciplinary Learning plan where we came up with activities that could be used in the classroom, based on Mario Kart. Our Mario kart with a rocket exhaust and had pizza wheels. We based our activities on the pizza wheels and related them to areas of the curriculum. Our maths activity was based on fractions of the pizza, where they would be asked questions like “If someone ate 1/8th of a pizza, how many 8ths are left?” They had to research the recipe using the search engine on the internet and then write down the recipe structured the way a recipe should be. This involved digital and literacy skills. Finally, we would get them to make a pizza which would link into Health and Wellbeing area of the Curriculum. Whilst finding the experience and outcomes of these tasks, I found that some of them overlapped. For example, maths was also used in the weighing and measuring of the ingredients. This would also cover the weight and measure experience and outcome.

Digital Games-based Learning is defined as “ the integration of gaming into learning experiences to increase engagement and motivation” (Higher Education Academy, 2017). From personal experience of growing up around video games, I think it is engaging and is something that children would enjoy as it is something that I enjoy. My initial thought was that games based learning might not be really effective tool for the classroom, as it may be a  distraction. However, after discussing and reading in detail on the use of games-based learning, I found that there are many advantages of using it in the classroom. Some of these advantages include an increase in motivation, reinforces knowledge, it is enjoyable, engaging and will grab children’s attention. “Like novels, films, plays and other media, games can be high quality materials a teacher uses to enable students to access the curriculum” (Edutopia, 2016). Game-based Learning is another useful and interesting tool that can be used effectively in the class and can link to many experiences and outcomes from the Curriculum for Excellence.

Computing started in the 1980s and when the internet came along in the 1990s, it allowed children to play in the form of video and computer games (Higher Education Academy, 2017).  However, the transition of using Games-based Learning in classrooms is moving slowly. This could be down to the fact that teachers do not have the confidence to use video games as part of their lesson. Jean Piaget and Leonard Vygotsky suggest that play is a vital part of cognitive development throughout someone’s entire life (Higher Education Academy, 2017). It is important that as teachers we are clear about what the learning intentions are and also that we implement games and the discussion around them. In addition to this, appropriate and relevant games must be used for the tasks to achieve the outcomes (Learning and Teaching Scotland). We are role models for our pupils, therefore we must ensure that game-based learning has positive impacts on their social skills, enhances their learning, supports and develops learning and that they are given the opportunity to apply those skills.

After today’s session, my opinion has changed about the use of video/ computer games in the classroom. I have increased my understanding and knowledge into how game-based learning can have positive effects on the children and their learning. It is important to keep them engaged, so they can develop their skills.  This also has benefits for teachers, as there are many activities that can be planned around a video game. One activity can cross many curricular areas in the Curriculum for Excellence. Overall, I think classrooms need to use this resource more often.

 

Experiences and Outcomes for this resource:

“I can share out a group of items by making  smaller groups. I can split a whole object into smaller parts.”  MNU 0-07a

“Through exploring how groups of items can be shared equally, I can find a fraction of an amount by applying my knowledge of division.” MNU 1-07b

“I have experimented with everyday items as units of measure to investigate and compare sizes and amounts in my environment, sharing my findings with others.” MNU 0-11a

“I can present my writing in a way that will make it legible and attractive for my reader, combining words, images and other features.” LIT 1-24a

“I enjoy eating a diversity of foods in a range of social situations. ”
HWB 0-29a / HWB 1-29a / HWB 2-29a

“I experience a sense of enjoyment and achievement when preparing simple healthy foods and drinks.”  HWB 1-30b

“I can use digital technologies to explore how to search and find information.” TCH 0-02a

 

 

 

References

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

Digital Technologies- Mobile Devices 27/2/2018

This week’s digital technologies lesson concentrated on the use of mobile devices in the primary classroom. At the beginning of the lesson we were faced with the question of whether […]

This week’s digital technologies lesson concentrated on the use of mobile devices in the primary classroom. At the beginning of the lesson we were faced with the question of whether mobile devices should be used in the primary classroom or if their use should be limited to home. While contemplating the answer I read a variety of online reports and articles to expand my knowledge on the pros and cons of introducing mobile devices into a primary classroom.

To answer the question, I stated that I feel that mobile devices should be used in the primary classroom for many reasons. Firstly, The Telegraph published an article entitled ‘Digital Technologies: how technology is reshaping technology’ which detailed that “Over four out of 10 households now have a tablet, meaning that children are becoming computer-literate before they’ve even started primary school”( Telegraph 2014) in other words today’s children are so familiar and engaged with technology prior to entering education thus if mobile devices were integrated into class lessons the children are more likely to be engaged with the lesson. The article also spoke of an experiment that aimed to compare two English lessons, one lesson involved no technology while the other used a variety of technology devices. The experiment found the lesson that used no technology required more concentration and was less appealing than the lesson that used technology which was found to be more engaging.

Furthermore, Teaching Times released an article entitled ‘Games consoles benefit children’s education’ that supported the view that mobile devices should be used in the primary classroom. Despite stating that “39 per cent of educators stated that children should not have access out of school to mobile phones”, the article also included research carried out by the British Educational Suppliers Association which analysed the results and impact of pupils using mobile devices in and out of the classroom. The report found that “the majority of schools indicated internet access at home and at school as the most beneficial technology for pupils”(Teaching Times). Therefore, after revising the evidence I feel that children having access to the use of mobile devices at home and in the classroom would prove to be most beneficial for young learners.

After completing the opening task, we then progressed to the lessons main task of creating an I Am poem using an easy-speak microphone. The I Am poem began with sentences such as “I am….” Which we had to complete. My partner and I decided that we would pretend to be aliens and use our poem to provide clues to the listener of what we were. For example, we used lines such as:

“I am green and mysterious”

“I feel lonely on my little planet”

My partner and I had great fun making the PowerPoint and using the easy speak microphones and spoke about how a lesson like this would be fun and engaging to use in a classroom with the children guessing what our character might be. The lesson could be extended to the children making their own I am poems using the easy speak poems with their own mystery characters.

As a learner I found the easy speak microphones interactive and engaging to use. I enjoyed recording my voice and hearing the recording play back. Although I did find it time consuming to record each sentence individually, so the recording clips could be placed on individual PowerPoint slides. Also, after we had recorded each sentence individually myself and my partner connected the easy speak microphone to the computer to find our recordings had not saved as the microphones storage was full. As a result, we had to record each sentence again. Despite the setback we learned that before using easy speak microphones in future we should check its storage. Overall, I feel I would use easy speak microphones again particularly as a student teacher in future lessons.

As a student teacher I believe there are many benefits to using easy speak microphones as well as other mobile devices in the primary classroom. Beauchamp spoke on the multiple benefits of introducing mobile technologies into the primary classroom. It was detailed that mobile technologies “increases motivation and engagement with learning” and “reaches places traditional learning cannot” (Beauchamp 2012 p.91). After examining the multiple benefits of mobile technologies, I feel it is vital in todays society that we as student teachers aim to incorporate them into future lessons.  An article by the Telegraph revealed that almost 50% of UK teachers are not using technology in the classroom as they are unsure how to integrate its use into their class lessons. The article spoke on the importance of teachers using technology in the classroom as the government spend millions each year supplying technology to schools as it has been proven to improve learner’s education. Instructure director of schools Stephanie Blyth stated in the article, “There is clearly no lack of enthusiasm for technology among UK teachers and there is broad support for the principle that it improves learning.” (Telegraph 2015).  I feel it is vital to my practice as a student teacher that I educate myself on mobile devices and the ways I could use them in future lessons that are n line with curriculum outcomes. For instance, creating the I am poem in todays lesson is in line with both Literacy and Technology curriculum outcomes:

“I regularly select subject, purpose, format and resources to create texts of my choice.” LIT 1-01a / LIT 2-01a

“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

To conclude, todays lesson informed me on the benefits of using mobile devices in the primary classroom. After my experience of using the easy speak microphones I feel I now have the experience and confidence to successfully integrate the use of mobile devices into future lessons. I look forward to continuing to experiment with mobile devices and using them with young learners as a fun and interactive resource.

 

References:

Gurney-Read, J (2015). Classroom technology ‘rarely used’ by half of teachers. The Telegraph [Online]. Available: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/12013650/Classroom-technology-barely-used-by-half-of-teachers.html. [Accessed: 27th February 2018]

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

Curtis, S (2014). Digital learning: how technology is reshaping teaching. The Telegraph [Online]. Available: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/11051228/Digital-learning-how-technology-is-reshaping-teaching.html. [Accessed: 27th February 2018]

Teaching Times. Games consoles benefit children’s education. Teaching Times [ Online]. Available: https://www.teachingtimes.com/articles/games-consoles-education.htm. [Accessed 27th February 2018]

 

Digital Technologies Reflection 06.03.18

“Digital Games-based Learning is the integration of games into learning experiences to increase engagement and motivation” (Higher Education Academy).  The connotations of the title insist the use of video games and the themes throughout them, but according to Edutopia Website they declares : “novels, films, plays and other media, games can be high quality materials …

Continue reading “Digital Technologies Reflection 06.03.18”

“Digital Games-based Learning is the integration of games into learning experiences to increase engagement and motivation” (Higher Education Academy).  The connotations of the title insist the use of video games and the themes throughout them, but according to Edutopia Website they declares : “novels, films, plays and other media, games can be high quality materials a teacher uses to enable students to access the curriculum.”

There are benefits to Games-based Learning as it increases the children’s motivation, it is attention grabbing, it is easy to recall the information from it, it also reinforces knowledge and it is stress-free and pleasurable for the children.

These games can be used as a stimulus which is the starting point for other activities to endure from it, also we can use games to teach the children content as games can be used to illustrate concepts and materials which can be used to teach, it also teaches them social skills when playing the games. As educators it is our job to ensure that the children receives a positive impact on social skills, that it is supported in learning and enhances the learning of children, we need to ensure that it is developing the correct skills and it is providing opportunities to apply the skills in a every day life occurance.

Potential challenges that might arise when carrying out this particular activity might be identifying a suitable game to go with the lesson, it might be integrating the game within the time or day structure, it potentially could be confidence in the teacher and whether she has enough skills to manage this for the children to make the most out of the lesson and finally it could be a difficulty claiming the resources and whether the school has the budget to afford the games on each iPad or PC.

 

Games Based Learning

Games-Based Learning is the incorporation of games and gaming into learning. Games-based learning helps make learning autonomous as the children are given an aim and have freedom in how they get to achieve this aim. Games-Based Learning makes learning engaging, fun and has links to home and the world outside the classroom while covering cross-curricular […]

Games-Based Learning is the incorporation of games and gaming into learning. Games-based learning helps make learning autonomous as the children are given an aim and have freedom in how they get to achieve this aim. Games-Based Learning makes learning engaging, fun and has links to home and the world outside the classroom while covering cross-curricular areas. “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)

In Games-Based Learning, a game is used as a stimulus to allow the children to freely think about possibilities and to reflect on the game. The children can use the game to be imaginative and create their own version of characters and scenes and much more.

However, some teachers see Games-Based Learning as a daunting opportunity. “Although game-based learning has had a ‘difficult history’ with teachers who may have felt threatened by children becoming more expert in technology than they are, there is no denying that such platforms offer them a way to engage the pupils in a way they understand and can relate to.” (Stephen Reid, Immersive Minds, cited on Future Scot online article) Games-Based Learning is an opportunity for pupils to help educate each other as well as the teacher.

Today during Digital Technologies, we looked at the game Mario Kart and designed a kart and character that could be used in the game. We also created an IDL Plan for the game Mario Kart; this was a mind-map of curricular areas and tasks that could be used in the classroom, including Experiences and Outcomes that each task relates to. The game as a stimulus allowed us to be more creative with lesson ideas and tasks.

I would use Games-Based Learning in the classroom as it would be a good method of incorporating the outside world into the classroom. It would also make learning memorable for the pupils in the class. Games-Based Learning would also give the pupils in the class the opportunity to teach each other and develop as individuals as they will be gaining new skills sets. Games-Based Learning is something I will try in the classroom.

REFERENCES

Matthew Farber, 2016. Edutopia [Online] https://www.edutopia.org/article/3-ways-use-game-based-learning-matthew-farber [Accessed: 06.03.18]

Stephen Reid [Online] http://futurescot.com/educators-encouraged-open-minds-possibilities-games-based-learning/ [Accessed: 06.03.18]

Mobile Devices – Week 8 Digital Technology

This week in digital technology we were looking at mobile devices and discussing, ‘should mobile devices be used in primary schools?’. Our class lecturer posted this question on the digital technology moodle forum allowing us to post our own thoughts on the discussion. To gain further knowledge or opinion on the matter we were directed […]

This week in digital technology we were looking at mobile devices and discussing, ‘should mobile devices be used in primary schools?’. Our class lecturer posted this question on the digital technology moodle forum allowing us to post our own thoughts on the discussion. To gain further knowledge or opinion on the matter we were directed to some online articles about technology in the classroom.

After reading a few of the articles, particularly ‘The Telegraph’ article, I understand there has been a lot of money invested in technology. There seemed to be a common trend, that many teachers agree that technology is useful in the classroom, as it engages the young learners. However due to a lack of training, many teachers were fearful of technology and also that they struggle to place it within the curriculum, Curtis (2014).

I personally feel after seeing technology being used while I was out on school placement that is really does engage the children. Technology doesn’t need to be over the top or complicated for teacher or pupil for example having that class registered on the smartboard allowing the children to register their attendance or for the teacher to play a ‘you tube’ video that may promote Health and Wellbeing etc.

I also believe that technology can engage some children a little too much as I saw on placement that it seemed to be the same individuals interacting with the technology and falling behind on their other written work or scencery work. To over come this, I motitored them over the day/week and encouraged them to prioritise their work load.

Our task today using the Easispeak Microphone was really fun and I look forward to using the main ideas in the future. Working in pairs we wrote a short poem using a template given to us by our class lecturer. We made a Microsoft Power Point presentation where each slide contained; a line from our poem, a picture inspired by the particular line of the poem and a voice recording of us from the easispeak microphone.

This task was very enjoyable as it allowed us to be completely free with our ideas and because we were working in pairs it also involved us working together and deciding as a pair who was doing what and what our poem would read like, sound like and look like. In a classroom with young learners, some may find that collaborating with classmates quite difficult at first, which again makes this a good challenging lesson and part of the CFE experiences and outcomes;

When I engage with others, I can respond in ways appropriate to my role, show that I value others’ contributions and used these to build on thinking. LIT 2-02a

I consider the impact that layout and presentation will have and can combine lettering, graphics and other features to engage my reader. LIT 2-24a

I can create, capture and manipulate sounds, texts and images to communicate experiences, ideas and information creative and engaging ways. TCH 1-04b/TCH 2-04b (Education Scotland, 2004).

References

  • Education Scotland (2004) Curriculum for Excellence; Experiences and Outcomes. [Online] Available: https://education.gov.scot/scottish-education-system/policy-for-scottish-education/policy-drivers [Accessed: 28th February 2018].
  • Curtis, S. (2014) Digital Learning: How technology is reshaping teaching. [Online] Available:https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/11051228/Digital-learning-how-technology-is-reshaping-teaching.html [Accessed: 28th February 2018].

Digital Technologies Week 6 (Moving Making) 13/2/18

Although the majority of prior lessons have emphasised the benefits of encouraging schools and pupils to use technology and online devices to enhance education, the dangers of children being online is also recognised. This week, we focused on a variety of ways of promoting e-safety as teachers to our future pupils. This lesson began with […]

Although the majority of prior lessons have emphasised the benefits of encouraging schools and pupils to use technology and online devices to enhance education, the dangers of children being online is also recognised. This week, we focused on a variety of ways of promoting e-safety as teachers to our future pupils. This lesson began with us as the pupils being educated through e-safety quizzes and videos and learning how to create movies with the use of iMovie, followed by us becoming the teachers and thinking how best to cover the dangers of being online and how to avoid them throughout our movie.

To begin, we were directed to an online safer internet quiz which questioned us on how we would react when faced with certain scenarios. The questions covered aspects such as peer pressure and speaking to strangers and provided us with multiple choice answers. After selecting the answer my class and I believed to be most suitable, the quiz informed us whether our choice was the safest option or not and provided us with a reason also. This type of questionnaire would be beneficial to do as a class with primary students to allow teachers to gain an understanding of how much online safety knowledge their class actually has. Following this, teachers can plan further internet safety lessons surrounding the aspects pupils seemed to struggle with such as showing them videos like the ‘thinkuknow’ safety video my class and I were given. It also lets pupils explain why they may have answered out of the multiple choice answers differently to each other which both widens their knowledge and allows them to teach their peers.

I believe that, as opposed to banning children from using online devices altogether to prevent any dangers, making them confident individuals in knowing how to cope with potential threats is much more beneficial. This is supported by the quote “…E-safety is not about restricting children, but about educating them” (Beauchamp, 2012, p.58). I believe this due to it being clear that access to the internet is useful in both educational and enjoyment aspects of 21st century childhood. This is supported by the Children’s Parliament Consultation (2016) stating that children see digital technology as useful for enhancing learning. This also informed me that digital technologies have the capabilities to make learning more enjoyable and appealing with the potential to make improved links between learning in the classroom and completing work at home. The Scottish Government (2015) states that there is conclusive evidence that digital equipment, tools and resources can, where effectively used, raise the speed and depth of learning in science and mathematics for primary and secondary age learners and appears to be appropriate means to improve basic literacy and numeracy skills, especially in primary settings. “The most successful schools… in terms of e-safety ensured that pupils knew what to do when things went wrong” (Beauchamp, 2012, p.60). The Children’s Parliament Consultation (2016) also expressed that children seemed to show an understanding of what dangers may come with using a device that allows you online. The children spoken to voiced a consistent message that they knew to inform an adult if faced with a challenging scenario putting their safety at risk. Although they described how they had gained this advice from adults such as parents, teachers and other external agencies who had spoken to them at school, there was still a sense that some children were also at risk of ‘brushing off’ the upsetting incidence in case reporting the matter led to adults controlling their online activity. To me, this displays that threats of banning their online activity puts children at further risk therefore schools should continue to focus on how to approach dangers and should not let them believe that if they are faced with these dangers they may be punished.

The online device we focused on during this lesson was the app ‘iMovie’. This app allows you to combine text, pictures, movies and music into a short movie. With help from multiple tutorial videos on offer, iMovie was quick and easy to use. Continuing the theme of internet safety, my group and I created a fictional story based on a teddy bear talking to a stranger online. Prior to beginning our movie, we completed a plan for what our overall story was going to be including our beginning, middle and end, who the main characters would be and what our setting would be like. In a classroom setting, I would also have encouraged children to start off with a plan to avoid restarting their movie each time they had a new idea. We then discussed roles within our group such as who would animate our characters, who would create our set, who would take the pictures and videos and who would put it altogether on the app. I would also encourage this in a classroom setting to ensure everyone was taking part and given an opportunity to input into the end product. Our story showed the stranger having access to all the teddy bear’s information such as where he lives, his age and his photos and having the ability to follow and contact him. Although it was clear the teddy bear’s privacy settings were not safe, he was clever for informing a parent when the stranger began asking to meet up and blocking the profile. The story concluded by stating that if teddy bear hadn’t made the correct decision of telling a parent instead of meeting up with the stranger, he could have been in a lot of danger. This was because although the stranger was posting photos of a unicorn, they were in fact a werewolf! Our overall message was that not everyone is who they say they are online which is why talking to people you don’t know is unsafe. Ending with a couple of overall safety facts and websites to visit for more information, this movie would be beneficial for children to watch as they could discuss the potential dangers bear may have faced had he met up with the ‘unicorn’.

The following curriculum outcomes focus on children at all levels understanding how to be safe online:

I can extend my knowledge of how to use digital technology to communicate with others and I am aware of ways to keep safe and secure. – TCH 1-03a
I can explore online communities demonstrating an understanding of responsible digital behaviour and I’m aware of how to keep myself safe and secure. – TCH 2-03a

To conclude, not only did this lesson improve my knowledge of internet safety, it also developed my understanding of the importance of teaching it and a variety of ways of getting the message across to pupils such as with quizzes and videos. After this session, I was also aware of the app iMovie and the benefits of using it in a classroom. With a variety of tutorial videos and plans children can follow, displaying their ideas in a movie format for a change would be simple and easy. In future classroom environments I will now feel more confident in educating pupils on the risks of the internet and will be conscious to not turn it into a lecture. I now recognise that it is important to teach them how to act if they are confronted with scenarios as opposed to encouraging them to avoid the possibility altogether.

References:
Children’s Parliament Consultation (2016) A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland: The Views of Children.
Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary Classroom: From Pedagogy top Practice. Pearson.

Digital Technologies Week 5 (E-books) 6/2/18

Within this week’s lesson, I gained a wider knowledge of the advantages of using eBooks by being given the opportunity to create one individually then one with a group. The Oxford Dictionary defines eBooks as “an electronic version of a printed book which can be read on a computer or a specifically designed handheld device” […]

Within this week’s lesson, I gained a wider knowledge of the advantages of using eBooks by being given the opportunity to create one individually then one with a group. The Oxford Dictionary defines eBooks as “an electronic version of a printed book which can be read on a computer or a specifically designed handheld device” (Bbc.co.uk, 2018). Using the app ‘Book Creator’, a group of peers and I produced an eBrochure focusing on the University of the West of Scotland then I individually modified a children’s story into a lesson. At the beginning of the session, we were asked to write our current understanding of the uses and benefits of eBooks so we could later reflect on how much knowledge we had gained.

‘Book Creator’ is a useful tool for crafting multi-modal pieces such as picture and comic books, journals, textbooks and many more. Supported by tutorial videos, Book Creator is simple and easy to use allowing you to add pictures, text and audio recordings. Firstly, I was introduced to this app when I was asked to create a brochure with a group highlighting the main features of our University campus. We were able to include pictures and videos we had taken ourselves of the University by uploading them to the app then writing a short piece of text alongside it. My group and I chose to focus on aspects of the University such as the library, the lecture theatres, the student union and the sport opportunities. Unfortunately, my group and I felt our finished work was rushed due to time restraints. This helped me identify the importance of allowing children reasonable time limits for each task in future class settings to ensure they are reaching their potential. Despite this, we were able to complete the work and gain enough understanding of eBooks and Book Creator to complete the following task. I then used the same app to summarise the children’s story ‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’ by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees turning it into a potential literacy lesson for children. This book conveys the importance of accepting individual’s differences, giving everybody equal opportunities and being kind always through the character of a giraffe who longs to fit in by dancing with the other animals however doubts his abilities until he is encouraged by a friend. For the front cover of this eBook, I was able to choose a shape out of a variety of options to appear frequently in attempt to create a giraffe-themed page.

Throughout the eBook, I had the tools to alter text fonts, sizes, colours and effects to highlight specific words or phrases. In addition, I was able to add pictures I had taken of the book to inform the reader what part of the story I was discussing. Finally, on one page I chose to include an audio recording of me reading selected text from the story to aid the reader’s learning. I also had the potential to include many other features in my eBook such as my own writing using the pen tool.

Ebooks could be used in all areas across the curriculum however this particular lesson would focus on the curriculum outcomes:
Using what I know about the features of different types of texts, I can find, select, sort and use information for a specific purpose. – LIT 1-14a
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.

With reference to the eBook lesson I created, I would be able to give it to children as a task after they had read the book to ensure they fully understood the main messages of the story and were able to identify literacy techniques used throughout. It would be a simple and easy way of identifying which parts of the story need further discussion and would aid me to alter future lessons around these challenging areas. Tasks like this one I created helps children to read between the lines of books and think more in depth about what they are reading.

Due to this session, I discovered the many benefits that come with encouraging and using eBooks in the classroom. Allowing children to read on a device they associate with fun and games, such as iPads and tablets, results in tasks appearing more enjoyable as opposed to a chore. Also, modernising a classic past-time like reading creates a more relatable and up-to-date hobby for younger generations. Another benefit is that having such a large variety of books on one app on one portable device also leads to children having the option to read whenever and wherever they choose with ease. This creates the idea that reading is a choice in free time and does not only have to occur when they are instructed to in a class. Following this, books can come in countless numbers on your device making choosing a book at the touch of your finger significantly easier than visiting your nearest library or re-reading the same books from your limited options. This will give children the opportunity to enhance their literacy skills by being introduced to new words, characters, ideas and storylines. In addition, online books have the potential to be multi-modal involving both text and audio. Ebooks may come with the option of having a voice-over that speaks as you read making challenged readers more engaged and relaxed increasing enjoyment.

Today’s lesson gave me an overall understanding of how to use eBooks and how they would be helpful in future classroom environments. The tutorials on hand for apps such a Book Creator make them stress-free to understand for adults and children. I am happy I now have the capability to introduce lessons using this tool and support children while doing so.

References:

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

Curriculum for Excellence.

Bbc.co.uk. (2018). BBC – WebWise – What is an e-book?. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/guides/about-e-books

Digital Technologies- Animation (20/2/2018)

This weeks Digital Technologies lesson focused on the use of animation programmes such as ‘Puppet Pals’ and ‘Stop Motion’. Throughout the lesson we looked at the benefits of using animation […]

This weeks Digital Technologies lesson focused on the use of animation programmes such as ‘Puppet Pals’ and ‘Stop Motion’. Throughout the lesson we looked at the benefits of using animation programmes in the classroom as well as experimenting with animation ourselves from the perception as both the learner and as a student teacher.

The lesson begun with us working in partners and experimenting with ‘Puppet Pals’ as learners. The app allows users to create a short story involving a range of characters from fairy tales to zombies, appealing to every child’s interests. Learners can also move their characters around the screen while using their own voice recordings for their characters voice, bringing their animation to life. As a learner I found the app relatively easy to use and interesting. However, as time progressed I found my mind wandering from the app and the task and therefore I feel the app is best suited to young learners. As a student teacher I can see why young learners would find the app fun and engaging in a lesson.

After our experiment with Puppet Pals we looked closely at what animation is and why we as student teachers should incorporate its use into future lessons. Jarvis defined animation as “the stringing together a sequence of static images, generally so that they appear to move.” (Jarvis 2015 p89). Moving Image Education stated that there are five main types of animation; cutout, stop-motion, pixilation, drawn and computer. Despite acknowledging that cutout animation is the quickest and easiest form, the next task of the lesson focused on stop-motion and the benefits of using this type of animation in the classroom. Stop motion involves the compilation of photographs taken individually with each photo showing a slight movement of the objects in the frame. When grouped together the photos create an illusion of movement.

To begin the task y partner and I discussed the potential storyline for our short Stop motion animation. We settled on the story of a house catching fire as we could use the individual photos to create the illusion of a fire spreading. Once we had settled on the storyline we began to design our background and characters and eventually began taking each individual snapshot which we would later combine to create our animation. Overall, we were very pleased with the outcome of our animation and it was rewarding to see the completed project:

 

As a learner I found Stop motion to be extremely enjoyable and engaging. Although, the animation was time consuming to construct and required a lot of determination and concentration from the learner, I feel this did not minimize the fun constructing the animation.  I found that in contrast to my experience with Puppet Pals I continued to feel engaged with Stop Motion, despite stop motion being more time consuming.

As a student teacher I feel that I would unnotably integrate the use of animation programmes such as ‘Puppet Pals’ and ‘Stop Motion’ into future lesson plans. After today’s lesson I feel I am now aware of the many benefits of using animation in a primary setting and now have the confidence to successfully construct an enjoyable and educational lesson that involves animation. Beauchamp spoke on the importance of teachers feeling confident while exploring and teaching new technologies as the teacher’s confidence and enjoyment of the lesson is mirrored by the young learners in their class. Therefore, if a teacher showcases their nerves and reluctance to explore new technologies to the children, the children will in turn be unwilling to experiment with new technologies (Beauchamp 2012). In addition, the use of animation in the classroom can be used to enhance children’s learning. Jarvis detailed that although the use of animation can be time consuming, there are many benefits to its use “Animation can have a big visual impact” (Jarvis 2015 p.90). Jarvis also included Bertrancourt’s (2005) suggested ways in which animation can be used to enhance learning; to enhance learners’ visual representations, to illustrate processes and to provide an interactive element.  Furthermore, despite belief that technologies should be kept as a separate subject from the main curriculum areas such as literacy, the use of animation and other technologies can be used to fit into a variety of curriculum outcomes. For example, the lesson we were involved in today followed both Literacy and Technology outcomes:

“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 / LIT 2-20a

“I can explore and experiment with sketching, manually or digitally, to represent ideas in different learning contexts.” TCH 1-11a.

To conclude, after today’s lesson I feel animation programmes such as Stop Motion are a beneficial and engaging tool to use in the classroom. I feel after today’s lesson I now have the confidence and knowledge to successfully incorporate animation into future lessons and am hopeful that by doing the children’s knowledge and enjoyment of technology will continue to develop.

 

References:

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Digital Technologies Week 8.

The purpose of this weeks session was to use mobile devices to create a poetry lesson for the curricular area of literacy. The mobile device that we used was the Easi-Speak microphone. Alongside this, we considered the impact of mobile devices within the classroom and we were able to read articles with regards to this …

Continue reading “Digital Technologies Week 8.”

The purpose of this weeks session was to use mobile devices to create a poetry lesson for the curricular area of literacy. The mobile device that we used was the Easi-Speak microphone. Alongside this, we considered the impact of mobile devices within the classroom and we were able to read articles with regards to this topic.

Whilst carrying out reading for the subject of mobile devices, I found a statement that really grasped my attention that “over four in 10 households now have a tablet, meaning that children are becoming computer-literate before they’ve even started school”. This statement emphasises the importance of digital technologies within our classrooms, digital technologies is the future of this generation of children and teachers should be embracing this rather than holding back. The fact that children are computer-literate prior to starting school clearly shows a deep interest of digital technologies from them. Thus, if we use digital technologies to carry out lessons, most children should be very engaged. The same article also stated that the average six-year-old child may have the same knowledge of technology as a 45-year-old once again, this is clearly depicting the importance of digital technologies in a child’s everyday life (Curtis, 2014).

As we progressed on to the practical part of today’s session, we were shown Talking-Tins and Easi-Speak microphones. However, the sole focus was to learn the functions of the Easi-Speak device, use the device then successfully transfer the files into a PowerPoint presentation. We were provided with poem templates for an ‘I am’ poem, I worked alongside a partner and we decided to do the poem from the perspective of a student teacher (Attached below). We then recorded ourselves reciting the poem with the Easi-Speak microphone. We took the approach of saying one line each, the poem had 18 lines in total. The device was simplistic to use and I believe that it is child-friendly and for all ages. We then transferred the audio clips into a PowerPoint presentation and added pictures that corresponded to what we were saying.

Elise and Nicola’s I am Poem

Whilst looking at the Experiences and Outcomes, this activity had linked in with several literacy outcomes including:

  • Within real and imaginary situations, I share experiences and feelings, ideas and information in a way that communicates my message. LIT 0-26a
  • By considering the type of text I am creating, I can select ideas and relevant information, organise these in a logical sequence and use words which will be interesting and/or useful for others. LIT 1-26a
  • By considering the type of text I am creating, I can select ideas and relevant information, organise these in an appropriate way for my purpose and use suitable vocabulary for my audience. LIT 2-26a

Due to poetry fitting the outcomes for all three stages within the Curriculum, I believe that this lesson can be taken into any classroom and used as a means of getting to know your students at the start of the year. The children are able to be very unique with what they submit and I believe that this will give them a high sense of achievement when writing about themselves.

References

Curtis, S. (2014) Digital Learning: how technology is reshaping teaching [Online] Available from: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/11051228/Digital-learning-how-technology-is-reshaping-teaching.html [Accessed: 27th February 2018].

Digital Technologies – Mobile Devices 27/02/18

This weeks Digital Technologies class was focused on mobile devices, this allowed me to explore how mobile devices can enhance learning.  At the beginning of the class we had to answer the question ‘should mobile devices be used in education?’ to which we had to post our responses onto a forum on Moodle.  This allowed […]

This weeks Digital Technologies class was focused on mobile devices, this allowed me to explore how mobile devices can enhance learning.  At the beginning of the class we had to answer the question ‘should mobile devices be used in education?’ to which we had to post our responses onto a forum on Moodle.  This allowed me to read many different articles and reports, which built up my knowledge on this area before going on to create an I AM poem with a partner.  Having the opportunity to use Easi-Speak microphones and Talking Tins allowed me to think about what kind of lesson plans I could carry out in the future using these type of devices.

When answering the question ‘should mobile devices be used in education?’ I answered that, in my opinion, mobile devices should be used within education.  Children’s Parliament (2016) stated that technology and being online is a normal part of children’s day-to-day lives, therefore I feel as though children should have the opportunity to use technology within schools; this linking both their home and school life.  I feel as though mobile devices within the classroom will therefore both support and enhance children’s learning, along with keeping them focused and engaged.  Children’s Parliament (2016) also mentions that children would prefer to have technology included within their subjects rather than have separate ‘ICT’ time.  As a student teacher, I also think it is important that children get to experience how technology can be used in all areas within the curriculum to help their learning.

As this was my first time using Talking Tins, I enjoyed using it to see how it can play back speech, music and other sounds.  I can see from this how children’s listening and language skills could be enhanced through using Talking Tins.  I believe Talking Tins would develop children’s confidence massively in learning a new language, for example, when children of all ages are learning new words in French they could speak into the Talking Tins to try and improve pronunciation.

I enjoy playing with and exploring technologies to discover what they can do and how they can help us. – TCH 0-05a.

My partner and I created an I AM poem using PowerPoint, Easi-speak microphones and pictures (link attached below).  The I AM poem had sentence starters which we had to complete to a subject of our choice, this providing a wide range of ideas to be thought about and used.  We decided to do ours pretending we were an alien by saying things such as ‘I am green and mysterious’ ‘I wonder if people know I exist’ and ‘I hear stars shooting by me’ etc.  This was not only just enjoyable to make, but also got us thinking about how fun an activity like this would be to carry out in a class to try and make them guess what it was that was being talked about.  The poem had to be recorded into the Easi-Speak microphones also, this providing a sentence of the poem and it being spoke on each part of the PowerPoint.  We also included pictures to enhance what was being said and had our background as the sky.  I found the Easi-Speak microphones easy to use, however, we had recorded the whole poem and when plugged into the computer we realised that it was too full and none of it had actually recorded.  This meant we had to do it all again, from this I have been made aware that when I use them in the future I need to check they aren’t full.  I am aware issues sometimes occur when using technology, however in my opinion the advantages fully outweigh the disadvantages and I can’t wait to use Easi-Speak microphones in classrooms in the future!  I think that children will enjoy creating poems and stories online as they get to add pictures, sounds and other features to enhance what they are saying; this meaning digital storytelling combines the old with the new (Porter, 2004).

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

I regularly select subject, purpose, format and resources to create texts of my choice. – LIT 1-01a / LIT 2-01a

These outcomes both apply to making an I am poem as the poems allow for any topic/idea to be covered as well as enhancing creative writing skills.  Therefore, if I was to carry out a lesson like this with children in the future their learning would be enhanced in a range of different subject areas.  For example, as my partner and I’s poem talked about an alien, delivering something like this to a class could allow for more lessons to follow on aspects such as space and planets etc.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed using Talking Tins and Easi-Speak microphones and identifying how they can improve confidence and enhance learning has showed me just how important technology is within the classroom.  Even though I was the learner using these devices for the first time, I quickly started to think about all the huge amount of lessons that could be carried out using them.  Therefore, I can’t wait to use them in classrooms in the future!

 

References:

Children’s Parliament (2016) A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland: The Views of Children [Online] Available: http://www.childrensparliament.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/REPORT_digital-learning-consultation_Childrens-Parliament-1.pdf [Accessed: 28 February 2018]

Porter, B. (2004) Digi Tales: The Art of Telling Digital Stories. Bernajean Porter Publication.

 

I am poem