Digital Technologies- Digital Technology Enhancing Outdoor Learning – 20/3/18

This is our last session of Digital Technologies and we started the session by filling in the module evaluation and reflection. The session was focused outdoor learning and QR codes. […]

This is our last session of Digital Technologies and we started the session by filling in the module evaluation and reflection. The session was focused outdoor learning and QR codes.

Outdoor learning is good for helping children to deepen and provide relevance to their experiences and the curriculum as this can sometimes be restricted when learning inside. This experience can provide memories that will stay with children forever (Learning and Teaching, 2010). Whilst on placement, going outside for P.E as well as using nature for literacy work allowed me to see how even going out in to the playground can help children to open up and fufil their potential. Some children work better outside rather than inside the classroom.

There are many other positives to outdoor learning, for example; helping develop critical thinking skills which can help make links between the different curricular areas, promoting a healthy lifestyle by getting children active and promoting lifelong habits and lastly, personal safety. This helps children learn to develop the skills needed to assess risks. Another benefit is that according to Education Scotland (2010),” The core values of Curriculum for Excellence resonate with the key concepts of outdoor learning. Challenge, depth, relevance and enjoyment.”

Our task for today was to go on a scavenger hunt around the university looking for QR codes to solve a clue when we got back to the room. We were to first download at QR scanner in order to collect the clues as we went along, if we collected all the clues and cracked the code at the end of the task we would receive a prize!  Due to a family bereavement, I had to leave shortly before the scavenger hunt took place, but I would have loved to have taken part.

I have loved taking part in the Digital Technologies module, it has allowed me to develop my skills and boost my confidence within my own experiences of technology. I hope to be able to use what I have learned in my own classroom and help pupils deepen their knowledge and help them engage with the curriculum through digital technology.

References

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

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

Digital Technologies – Games Based Learning Part 2 – 13/3/18

With gaming being so popular nowadays, Professor Henry James (2012) states that, “Computer games are the most powerful learning tool of our age.” In order to raise attainment levels and […]

With gaming being so popular nowadays, Professor Henry James (2012) states that, “Computer games are the most powerful learning tool of our age.” In order to raise attainment levels and engage learners this could be a crucial development. Most children engage with computer games from a young age, so games being used within education could be helpful in allowing children to relate to the material. Having been on placement and witnessed games based learning in one of the classes, it was easy to see how much the pupils benefitted from the experience.

Although, one of the challenges around games based learning is that most of the educational games are not up to much. They have either been made by people within education so the quality of the game is poor or they have been created by gaming providers and so the level of educational content needed for classrooms is not acceptable. Using big commercial games used correctly can aide lessons by either acting as a stimulus or hub. According to Lord David Puttnam (2012), ” What is being spoke about is computer games not just as games, but as a whole new learning form or platform of learning and one that has quite literally, unlimited learning potential.”

ICT games such as Minecraft can be effectively used within school to help develop skills strategic thinking, communication, group decision making and data handling skills (Beauchamp, 2012). We were able to witness this first hand during the session. Our lecturer had invited pupils from a nearby school who were digital leaders. They had been working on creating parts of the Harry Potter world within Minecraft. They came in and showed us what they had created and gave us a chance to use the iPads and create elements in our own world. I was apprehensive about this because whilst I had heard of Minecraft, I had never actually used it, But, after the pupils had showed us the basics, the game itself was simple enough to use.

Speaking to the class teacher also inspired and encouraged me to use games based learning within my own classroom as she herself was not confident within using Minecraft because once she has started getting to grips with how the game worked, she found it easy to incorporate into her lessons and spread it across different curricular areas. It was really interesting to see how quickly they were able to work and how engaged the children were with game and their topic.

 

References

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

Puttnam, L. D. (2012)  Playful Learning: Computer Games in Education. [Online] https://www.slideshare.net/Microsofteduk/playful-learning-computer-games-in-education [Accessed: 10.4.18]

James, P.H (2012) Playful Learning: Computer Games in Education. [Online] https://www.slideshare.net/Microsofteduk/playful-learning-computer-games-in-education [Accessed: 10.4.18]

Digital Technologies- Games Based Learning Part 1 – 6/3/18

“Digital Games-based Learning is the integration of gaming into learning experiences to increase engagement and motivation.”(Higher Education Academy Website). Games based learning can be an effective tool within the classroom […]

“Digital Games-based Learning is the integration of gaming into learning experiences to increase engagement and motivation.”(Higher Education Academy Website).

Games based learning can be an effective tool within the classroom as it is relevant to the way modern life is today with technology being used everyday. It allows pupil’s to hone in on different skill sets such as communication, teamwork and problem solving skills. Games based learning also makes pupils feel as though they aren’t learning and is fun and allows pupils to be inventive and challenge themselves. Games based learning was not something that was touched upon too much during my time in school and as a student teacher I am excited to incorporate this learning into my own practice.

According to Bray (2012), ” The use of computer games in the classroom has active learning at it’s core and is one of the main reasons why they are potentially so powerful in education.” There are many benefits to games based learning within the classroom and Bray’s statement is one of them. Other benefits include increased motivation and grabbing attention, which can be extremely useful when it comes to pupil’s with ASN. It is also allows recall of information and is stress free and fun which in turn allows learning to be pleasurable, engaging and helps with pupils deepening their understanding.

Games can be used in a variety of ways within the curriculum, whether the games are being used to teach the content itself or if the game is the starting point for further activities and lessons. As teachers ourselves, we need to ensure that this kind of learning is being used effectively between enhancing and supporting pupils’ learning to providing a positive impact on their social skills.

Whilst most of the ideas are positive, there are a few questions that might put teachers off, including myself, of using games based learning such as what game to choose, how to incorporate it into lesson plans and also their own level of confidence. Whilst I am quietly confident using technology, there are certain elements I am not entirely comfortable with as I have discovered throughout this module.

In today’s session, we were asked to create a mind map of what we thought about games based learning which I have attached a picture of below and to create our own Mario Kart characters. Before this we were looking at the different characters within the game and what kind of features each racer had. We were then going to play Mario Kart, unfortunately the Wii was not available so we weren’t able to experience the game.

Games Based Learning Mind Map

 

References

https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/gamification-and-games-based-learning [Accessed: 10/4/2018]

[Accessed: 10/4/2018]

Digital Technologies – Mobile Devices- 27/2/18

Mobile devices have become an increasingly important part of modern day life with Sophie Curtis (2014) stating, “Over 4 in 10 households now have a tablet meaning that children are […]

Mobile devices have become an increasingly important part of modern day life with Sophie Curtis (2014) stating, “Over 4 in 10 households now have a tablet meaning that children are becoming computer-literate before they start primary school.” This statement shows just how crucial technology can be for young people. As this is so relevant, technology has become an integral part of classroom learning as well, with it not being used just in ICT lessons but being transferred into different areas of the curriculum like English, Maths and Science.

Curtis also emphasised, ” By using technology within a classroom setting better reflects the children’s lives outwith the classroom, but helps them improve their digital skills that will be transferable to adult life.” Helping children develop skills that are essential for living and working in the modern world is extremely important for teachers as it allows the children to fulfil their potential, whether it’s problem solving skills to being able to work within a team.

However, research done in 2015 found that nearly half of teachers hardly use the technology within their classroom, with most of them blaming a lack of knowledge about technology or being unsure how to incorporate it into their lessons. A third of these teachers then said that when technology is being used properly within the lesson it can improve students’ results. This admission shows just how important it is for teachers to be educated on using technology themselves, as well as how to integrate it within the curriculum.

This week in Digital Technologies, we were looking at the Easi-Speak microphones and were to use this piece of technology to create sound clips to accompany an I am poem we had been asked to write. Due to a hospital appointment with my daughter I was not able to attend this session but I have created my own I Am … poem and attached a picture of it as shown.

An I Am… poem based on myself

References

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/12013650/Classroom-technology-barely-used-by-half-of-teachers.html [Accessed: 10/4/2018]

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/11051228/Digital-learning-how-technology-is-reshaping-teaching.html [Accessed:10/4/2018]

Digital Technology Week 8

27/02/18 Mobile Devices This session was based on mobile devices and how they are used within the classroom as a tool for teaching and learning. I had never used an … Continue reading

27/02/18

Mobile Devices

This session was based on mobile devices and how they are used within the classroom as a tool for teaching and learning. I had never used an Easi-speak microphone before this session and it was interesting to see how it worked and how is could be used in a classroom setting.

Before taking on the task of the session we started by doing some reading of different articles and a report from the Children’s Parliament to see how mobile devices are being used across Scotland:

  • Apple Mac computer
  • Audio Books
  • Computer (PC)
  • Digital camera
  • Drone
  • DS (various versions)
  • Go Pro (when mountain biking) I-pad/tablets I-pod shuffle
  • Kindle
  • Laptops
  • LeapPad
  • Mobile phones
  • Nintendo 3DS XL
  • Play Station (various versions)
  • Sky Box
  • Smart Board (at school)
  • TV
  • Various tablets
  • Wii X-box                                      (Children’s Parliament, 2016)

From this summarised list it’s clear that there are many different types of technology that we use not just in the classroom but also in everyday life and as modern technology moves forward its inevitable that it shall be used more and more in the classroom and at home. I feel that using different technologies within primary schools is very beneficial as it helps children bring the skills they learn at home using the different devices into the classroom setting as a type of play. Play is a basic right for all children and they need the freedom to play to allow them to develop new skills and relationships (Learning and Teaching Scotland, 2010).

Albert Einstein once said that “play is the highest form of research”  but it’s also the best way of letting children discover who they are as individuals and learn how to communicate and make friends with other children in the setting. Encouraging children to play is the best way to ensure they progress in every aspect of their holistic development and continue on to be successful individuals and fulfil their potential in life.

In the workshop we were tasked by writing an “I am” poem which afterwards would be transferred from one piece of digital technology into another, a power point presentation. While creating the power point we put each line of the poem on its own slide and added a picture that appropriately fit the line of the poem. To further add to the slides we then recorder the lines of the poem using the Easi-speak microphone and then put them onto each slide of the power point that they matched with. So that as each slide came up it would read out the line of the poem. During this task I felt that it would be an appropriate task to have a primary class do as it would give them the chance to work either independently or collaboratively as well as help them develop their skills and knowledge of mobile devices.

This task also relates to many technology experiences and outcomes:

  • “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.                      (Scottish Government)

I feel activities like this would help children discover the easiness and flexibility of different mobile devices.

Reference List:

Scottish Government , Curriculum for Excellence: Technologies experiences and outcomes [Online] https://education.gov.scot/Documents/technologies-eo.pdf [Accessed 28th February 2018]

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

Module Overview

Through participating in the Digital Technologies module, I have learned so much more than I had previously thought and I have had a very positive and enjoyable experience. It has highlighted to me how influential technology is in our daily lives and how this can be brought into a classroom setting. At the start of the […]

Through participating in the Digital Technologies module, I have learned so much more than I had previously thought and I have had a very positive and enjoyable experience. It has highlighted to me how influential technology is in our daily lives and how this can be brought into a classroom setting.

At the start of the module, we were asked to evaluate how we felt about technology and I cannot believe how much my technology skills have developed through such a short period of time. This module has allowed me to deepen my understanding of technology in the 21st century and to analyse how technology can be integrated into lessons throughout all areas of the curriculum.Throughout this module, we have been given many different ideas and tips of ways in which technology can be used in lessons which have all been very helpful and interesting.

Through further reading for this module, I was able to see how strongly many theorists and educators feel about technology being embedded within the curriculum. I believe that I now have the same opinion on technology following this module. I can now see how important technology is with regards to education and I believe the two go hand in hand.

I believe that I will take everything that I have learned throughout this module with me into my teaching practice and it has allowed me to become more comfortable with technology and fully grasp endless ways that technology can be used in the classroom.

Thank you.

Digital Technologies Week 11 – 20th March 2018

For the final session of Digital Technologies, we were learning and discussing the use of QR codes and ways to increase outdoor learning. Learning and Teaching Scotland states that “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 […]

For the final session of Digital Technologies, we were learning and discussing the use of QR codes and ways to increase outdoor learning.

Learning and Teaching Scotland states that “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.” This statement teaches us that outdoor learning is very important as it allows learners to achieve and develop skills that could not be obtained within a classroom environment.

“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). Outdoor learning is key to the curriculum as without this it would be difficult to achieve all of the key concepts of learning. It also allows young people to be active outdoors and learn to be safe in the outdoor environment. Outdoor learning can be used across all areas of the curriculum and allows children to gain an in-depth knowledge of the curricular area that they are studying.

After discussing outdoor learning, we moved on to discuss the SHANARRI wheel which also links to outdoor learning, which is as follows:

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

When discussing the SHANARRI wheel, my partner and I agreed that outdoor learning links with respect in the sense that when young people are outdoors they must respect the environment. They must also respect property, animals and, people. It is important to introduce children to the ways in which they could influence the surroundings while they are participating in outdoor learning.

Following this, we moved on to the practical side of today’s session. We were examining the application Pic Collage and we were asked to create a collage based on a particular theme. We then moved on to discuss the use of QR codes and the ways that this resource could be used in a classroom setting. We were also shown how to create our own QR codes. We then went outside as a QR code activity had been set up for us to take part in. This involved finding the QR codes placed outside and scanning them with our iPads. We then had to answer the question correctly that corresponded to the specific QR code that we had scanned. Following this, we had to select a letter from the question and once we had scanned all of the QR codes and answered all of the questions a word could be made. While taking part in this activity, another member of our group were taking pictures on a second iPad for us to use in a Pic Collage.

After returning from our outdoor activity, we were asked to create our own lesson using QR codes. My partner and I decided that the subject of our lesson would be mini beasts. We created several questions that corresponded to a specific QR code and the questions must be answered correctly to reveal the secret word at the end of the task. The experiences and outcomes that we listed for this activity 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.

In conclusion, today’s input has allowed me to gain a better understanding of the benefits of outdoor learning and how important it is within the Curriculum for Excellence. It has also allowed me to learn about QR codes and see how they can be tailored to any area within the curriculum. I look forward to taking the knowledge that I have learned through today’s session into my teaching practice.

References

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

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

Digital Technologies Week 10 – Games-Based Learning 2

This week in Digital Technologies we hosted a group of primary six students from a nearby school. They had collaborated to create the village of Hogsmeade from Harry Potter in Minecraft and brought in their iPads to show us their work and teach us how to use Minecraft. I had used Minecraft previously but it … Continue reading “Digital Technologies Week 10 – Games-Based Learning 2”

This week in Digital Technologies we hosted a group of primary six students from a nearby school. They had collaborated to create the village of Hogsmeade from Harry Potter in Minecraft and brought in their iPads to show us their work and teach us how to use Minecraft. I had used Minecraft previously but it was an enjoyable and interesting experience to see how the students used it as part of their learning.

An OFCOM Report (2011) showed that 85% of 5-7 year olds and 90% of 9-11 year olds regularly use a gaming device. It follows logically that the majority of students in a primary classroom will feel quite comfortable using games, and therefore that they could be a valuable resource if used correctly to support a lesson.

Bray (2012) says that games-based learning has the most transformational impact when it is combined with good learning and teaching. To me the digital leaders programme in the primary school that visited us supports this by taking the students with the most enthusiasm for technology and allowing them to bring their experience into the classroom to assist both their peers and their teacher. Bray (2012) also says that games should not just be a reward or entertainment. It was interesting to see the students using Minecraft in a practical way, by creating their own model of the village of Hogsmeade to support their class novel. This further helped with the development of ‘soft skills’ such as teamwork and collaboration that was evident when we looked at how the Nintendo Wii could be used in the classroom. In pairs, on one server, the students had to create a shop from the village of Hogsmeade aided by their reading of the novels in class, thus supporting their literacy lessons and encouraging them to work together.

Beauchamp (2012, p.9) says that it is important when using games in the classroom to make it clear the way in which we want the games to be used and I think that the activity of building Hogsmeade within Minecraft was an excellent way to achieve this. By the end of the input, it seemed clear that the students had enjoyed showing adults with minimal experience how to use Minecraft. The digital leader system implemented in the school who visited us seems to be a very useful way to teach collaborative learning skills which will serve students well in academia and beyond.

References

Beauchamp, G. (2012). ICT in the Primary School: From Pedagogy to Practice. Harlow: Pearson. p.9.

Bray, O. (2012) Playful Learning: Computer Games in Education. [Online] Available: https://www.slideshare.net/Microsofteduk/playful-learning-computer-games-in-education [Accessed 9 Apr 2018].

OFCOM (2011). Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes. [Online] Available: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0030/55479/children_and_parents.pdf [Accessed 9 Apr 2018].

Digital Technologies Week 10 – 13th March 2018

During today’s input, we were continuing to discuss games-based learning, however, this time with Minecraft as a stimulus for learning. A study by Ofcom (2011) highlights that 86% of five to seven year olds and eight to eleven year olds use gaming devices frequently. This conveys how influential gaming is to the next generation of young people and how it […]

During today’s input, we were continuing to discuss games-based learning, however, this time with Minecraft as a stimulus for learning.

A study by Ofcom (2011) highlights that 86% of five to seven year olds and eight to eleven year olds use gaming devices frequently. This conveys how influential gaming is to the next generation of young people and how it can impact on their daily lives. The gaming world is expanding at a vast past and in order to keep up with this demand, schools must try to incorporate gaming into the curriculum. Gaming allows lessons to be interactive and creates a positive environment within the classroom.

Bray (2012) states that in a classroom setting, games should not just be used as rewards or for entertainment but as a whole new approach to learning. This statement is important in justifying that gaming should be integrated into lessons and not only for enjoyment. Gaming should be used in the classroom as it can be introduced into various topics and throughout different areas of the curriculum. Bray (2012) continues to support games-based learning as he states that Games-based Learning has the most transformational impact when it is combined with good learning and teaching. This suggests that games-based learning has a great potential impact on learners and this is a resource that could allow young people to engage in learning and to create positive experiences.

Some people may state that there is a lot of worry and confusion with regards to teachers using games-based learning within their lessons. This may be due to them not having a full experience of games-based learning or simply because they are unsure of how to use it. However, Beauchamp (2012, p.10) states that “…achieving particular educational objectives through the use of the game was more dependent upon a teacher’s knowledge of the curriculum with which they were working than it was on their ability with the game.” This is vital as it effectively highlights that the teachers knowledge of games-based learning does not need to perfect in order for the learners to benefit from using games-based learning within the classroom.

Students from a local primary school joined us in today’s session to help us gain a better understanding of the game Minecraft. In their school, they had been working on and creating their own worlds within Minecraft and they were very pleased to saw us what they had been creating. It was very fascinating to see all of the different things that could be achieved through the game and how all of the pupils could interact using the game. During the session, us as the student teachers were able to have a try at navigating through Minecraft with the help of the primary students. This was a fantastic experience as all of the pupils were very eager to help us and they were extremely understanding of our abilities. I was a little apprehensive at first as I had never experienced Minecraft before, however, the pupils were very helpful in guiding me. It was clear that the primary school students were enjoying this experience as much as we did as they could be the teachers rather than the pupils. Towards the end of the session, I was able to create my own house which consisted of two levels. This was a particularly good achievement for me after never have experienced the game before. Several of the experiences and outcomes that are aimed at today’s session are as follows:

  • I can extend and enhance my design skills to solve problems and can construct models. TCH 2-09a
  • I can convey information, describe events, explain processes or combine ideas in different ways. LIT 2-28a

Overall, today’s session was extremely beneficial and enjoyable for me. I learned a lot from today’s session and I plan to embed games-based learning into my teaching as I am now a lot more comfortable which how to integrate the resource into lessons. I believe that the primary school students also benefitted from today’s session and it was clear that they felt a sense of achievement when the session was complete. Games-based learning is a fantastic resource that should be used in the classroom to allow learners to be creative and interactive. This resource creates endless opportunities and I look forward to using it throughout my teaching practice.

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 13th March 2018]

 

Digital Technologies Week 11 – Digital Technology Enhancing Outdoor Learning

In this input of Digital Technologies, we examined how technology could be used to enhance and compliment outdoor learning through two useful apps; “Pic Collage” and “QR reader”. Through research and reflection, I have concluded that technology can help teachers structure outdoor lessons in a way allows children to explore important parts of the curriculum … Continue reading “Digital Technologies Week 11 – Digital Technology Enhancing Outdoor Learning”

In this input of Digital Technologies, we examined how technology could be used to enhance and compliment outdoor learning through two useful apps; “Pic Collage” and “QR reader”. Through research and reflection, I have concluded that technology can help teachers structure outdoor lessons in a way allows children to explore important parts of the curriculum in a more exciting, accessible and relevant way whilst providing context and experience that may be difficult to create in a classroom setting.

The “Pic Collage” app mentioned above allows users to take and edit photographs in a variety of different styles as well to structure albums of photographs – constructing a timeline of events with captions and descriptions. In outdoor learning pupils could be encouraged to take pictures of, for example, local wild life and structure an album which demonstrates their understanding in a creative and sophisticated way. If the pupils were divided into groups creation of the albums could be a team activity which encourages the development of many additional ‘soft skills’. An interdisciplinary task such as the example above provides many links to the curriculum such as:

  • “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 am learning to use language and style in a way which engages and/or influences my reader.” – (ENG 2-27a).
  • “I can extend and enhance my knowledge of digital technologies to collect, analyse ideas, relevant information and organise these in an appropriate way.” – (TCH 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 create and present work that shows developing skill in using the visual elements and concepts.” – (EXA 2-03a).

The other app, “QR reader”, is an app designed to be used with QR codes which are essentially a more complex bar code that can store a significant amount of useful information. When scanned a QR code almost instantaneously grants access to appropriate information either stored in the code or from the internet and as such can significantly improve the learning experience. QR codes are increasingly common and can be found in for example, museum exhibits and other places of interest providing additional information which may be too lengthy for a small display can also be created and tailored to the needs of the class which ensures that the information children receive is appropriate and at a suitable level. In outdoor learning codes such as these can be created by a teacher as a sort of ‘treasure hunt’ allowing children to explore and discover information in a seemingly organic way or perhaps on a class trip to a museum a teacher may encourage pupils to use codes presented to gather additional information. As with “Pic Collage” tasks that use “QR reader” can be linked to the curriculum in many ways;

  • “ Using digital technologies responsibly I can access, retrieve and use information to support, enrich or extend learning in different contexts.” – (TCH 1-02a).
  • “I can use digital technologies to explore how to search and find information.” -(TCH 0-02a).
  • “I can create, develop and evaluate computing solutions in response to a design challenge.” – (TCH 2-15a).

    Information retrieved from QR codes by pupils could be the basis of a diverse number of tasks which could be linked to almost every part of the curriculum.

    Whilst reflecting on the use of digital technology in outdoor learning I became aware of several issues that may arise and that should be addressed to ensure that lessons of this style are successful. Firstly, there are the obvious issues with resources – classes must have enough hardware (with access to the appropriate software) to ensure that every pupil is given the opportunity to engage in the activity. Another issue, somewhat unique to outdoor learning, is the ‘wear and tear’ of technology outdoors as in my experience technology may not withstand the elements even when care is taken. A further issue is a higher risk to the children as it is more difficult to monitor the behaviour, participation and safety of pupils if they are outdoors especially if the task calls for them to be divided. However, in the “Curriculum for Excellence Through Outdoor Learning” document there is special consideration made in stating that outdoor learning can help children gain valuable “skills to assess and manage risk when making decisions,” (Scottish Executive, 2004) and perhaps this is an opportunity for teachers to share their concerns with pupils in a way that will help the pupils develop these essential ‘soft skills’ that will help them throughout academia and in the wider world.

    There is a consensus that outdoor learning “boosts student wellbeing” (Isaac, 2016) and their overall learning experience and so as I develop as a teacher I feel that I should explore possibilities to use outdoor learning along with digital technology to provide a rewarding experience for my pupils both academically and socially.

    References

Isaac, A. (2016). Tips and tricks for teachers: how outdoor learning boosts student wellbeing. [online] The Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2016/jul/17/tips-tricks-teachers-how-outdoor-learning-boosts-student-wellbeing [Accessed 3 Feb 2018].

Pratap Singh, R. (2014). Top 18 Incredible Resources On Using QR Codes in eLearning and mLearning – eLearning Industry. [online] eLearning Industry. Available at: https://elearningindustry.com/using-qr-codes-in-elearning-and-mlearning [Accessed 4 Apr 2018].

Scottish Executive (2004). Curriculum for Excellence. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive.

Scottish Executive (2004). Curriculum for Excellence Through Outdoor Learning. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive.