QR Codes and Outdoor Learning – 20th March

And so it has arrived, our final class in Digital Technologies. Today we explored and learnt about the use of QR (Quick Response) Codes and the benefits of Outdoor Learning. I have had some previous experience using QR codes but mainly through working in retail and through simple day to day tasks like shopping and […]

And so it has arrived, our final class in Digital Technologies. Today we explored and learnt about the use of QR (Quick Response) Codes and the benefits of Outdoor Learning. I have had some previous experience using QR codes but mainly through working in retail and through simple day to day tasks like shopping and using social media. I had never once considered the thought of using QR Codes in the classroom, until now. The theme of today’s lesson was to partake in an outdoor activity where we had to locate six hidden clues, answer the multiple choice questions and scan the QR code to be able to continue to the next clue. Once all the clues had been found and answered, each answer gave us a letter which in the end had to be unscrambled and the correct word made up. This word linked to a Scottish IDL topic. The purpose of using the QR Codes in this activity was designed to enhance our (and future pupils) outdoor learning experiences. This was just one example of how they could be used effectively and successfully as I and the rest of my team thoroughly enjoyed the activity.

The effectiveness of Outdoor Learning in education is outlined by Learning and Teaching Scotland (2010) who state that “…it’s clear that the outdoor environment offers motivating, exciting, different, relevant and easily accessible activities from pre-school years through to college.” This was certainly evidenced today in our group’s case as we all found the task fun, rewarding and enjoyable and found working outdoors also promoted other positive factors such as learning about the environment and creating memories that will be remembered for years to come. We collated images taken from our time outdoors in an app called PicCollage. PicCollage allows for many images to be organised together in various styles in the one image and is a great way of sharing with others in order to give a quick insight into a particular event or activity.

The Curriculum for Excellence support Outdoor Learning and this too is highlighted in the 7 Design Principles:

Challenge & Enjoyment; Breadth; Coherence; Personalisation & Choice; Relevance; Progression and Depth.

“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 offers a variety of positive effects on both student and learner: It allows for pupils and teachers to learn and communicate in other ways that maybe hadn’t been achieved previously in a classroom setting; promotes the building of positive relationships between both peers and professionals along with enhancing self-awareness and the understanding of others. (Education Scotland 2010). Along with the aforementioned aspects of Outdoor Learning it also promotes other advantages to our young learners such as: Developing their critical thinking and problem solving skills, personal development and achievement; promotes a healthy lifestyle and can lead to lifelong recreational hobbies such as walking, cycling and swimming; provides opportunities for children to develop skills in order to assess and manage risks; promotes inclusion and equality broadly and can lead to resolution, increased feeling of self-worth and confidence along with personal achievements.

There are many areas that both Outdoor Learning and QR Code activities could be used within the curriculum including Literacy, Health and Wellbeing and Modern Languages. The activity we completed today would encompass the following experiences and outcomes from the Curriculum for Excellence:

I can communicate clearly when engaging with others within and beyond my place of learning, using selected resources as required. LIT 1-10a

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 work on my own and with others to understand text using appropriate resources, demonstrating my
understanding by matching written words to pictures and by reconstructing the text in a logical sequence, for example. MLAN 2-08a

Upon completion of our class task, we then gathered back into the classroom to create our own activity based on the same ideas and principles of the one we had just completed. I chose to create a quiz based around the topic of Easter and was similar in format to the one we had just finished as a class. By doing so, it showed me just how easy it was to create a simple yet fun and fulfilling activity that I know children would get excited and geared up for and thus encourages their learning and enhances their experiences of education. In just 20 minutes I had created a relevant and educational activity that children would find engaging, fun and that they would certainly get excited about whilst being educational at the same time.

Overall, the use of the QR Codes in the outdoor learning activity allowed me to see yet another fantastic resource that could be utilised in many different areas of education whilst giving young learners fun and memorable educational experiences. I will certainly use this resource in the classroom as a professional and look forward to seeing my pupils reactions when they are participating and having fun outdoors. I know that they will get just as much as enjoyment and fulfilment out of a similar lesson as we did today in our last class of Digital Technologies.

So, today sees us at the end of our Digital Technologies journey with this being the last instalment of what I can only describe as being one of the most rewarding and educationally rich experiences I have had so far throughout my time at UWS.  Since starting the module back in January, taking us up until now – almost at the end of March – I can honestly say that my attitude towards technology both in and outside of the classroom has changed significantly from the opinions and feelings I presented towards it at the start of Trimester 2. I have gained a wealth of knowledge, ideas and skills through undertaking this module and I am so glad that I choose it as part of my BA1 learning experience. The lessons throughout the module have evidenced to me the clear links to education and curriculum and have allowed me the opportunity to delve deeper into areas of digital technology that I may never of had the chance to do so beforehand and for that I feel grateful and rewarded. I look forward to putting the skills and knowledge I have adopted in this short space of time into practice into what I hope will be a long and successful teaching career.

References

Curriculum for Excellence: Experiences and Outcomes. [Online]  Available at: https://education.gov.scot/Documents/all-experiences-and-outcomes.pdf. First Accessed: 21st March 2018.

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

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

 

 

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]

Personal Reflection Game Based Learning with MineCraft –

Todays session was around games based learning with Minecraft. Minecraft is an online game that many children play. It is a creativity game where they can build and create a range of buildings with a range of different materials. “Minecraft is … Continue reading

Todays session was around games based learning with Minecraft. Minecraft is an online game that many children play. It is a creativity game where they can build and create a range of buildings with a range of different materials. “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. (Mag Book 2014, pg. 3)”. Children came in from a local primary school to show us how to work Minecraft and then we were able to explore it for ourselves. I had previous experience of playing Minecraft on a PlayStation 4 and an Xbox so using it on an iPad was a different experience within itself although I knew how the game worked.

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 shows that children regularly play games almost every day. Encouraging gaming within their education could make learning more exciting along with teachers learning from the children because most of the pupils in the classroom would have played the games that teachers introduce.

Bray (2012) states that “Games-based Learning has the most transformational impact when it is combined with good learning and teaching.” As I learned last week a simple game like guitar hero or Mario Kart can influence a range of areas within the curriculum.  Bray (2012) also 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. Games based learning can bring relevance to what children play outside of a learning environment and can encourage a range of ideas to benefit their learning.

“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” (Beauchamp, 2012, p.10). This shows that teachers do not need to know how to use the game but need to have knowledge of learning outcomes from the curriculum to relate to the game. Beauchamp (2012) also states that the type of skills that could be developed by ICT games are: Strategic Thinking, Planning, Communication, Application of numbers, Negotiating Skills, Group decision-making and Data Handling Skills  (Beauchamp, 2012, p.10). Gaming helps children’s interaction skills as well as developing their skills within other areas.

We had a chance to explore Minecraft with two primary six children. We used one of the pupils iPads and saw the different worlds that they have created throughout school and at home. It amazed me how the pupils used the iPad really quickly and easily. Throughout the tutorial with the children we were able to ask them a range of questions regarding the use of Minecraft.

The children then handed over the iPads to us and it felt like a new experience completely. We were allowed to ask the pupils for help but they were not able to touch the iPad and only use their mouths to tell us what to do. I could see that the pupils were tempted to take the iPad from us and show us how to do it but they had to stop themselves. I think personally that it was a great experience learning from the pupils because they are involved in games when they are at home and they knew more about Minecraft than what our group did. The pupils were within the role of the teacher and had to allow us to figure it out. I thought that allowing them to teach us is a useful idea because they are more confident when using the game than what we were.

Within the Curriculum for Excellence games based learning with Minecraft links with a range of areas I chose two outcomes one from literacy and one from technology. The literacy outcome I chose was “When I engage with others, I can respond in ways appropriate to my role, show that I value others’ contributions and use these to build on thinking (LIT 2-02a)” (Education Scotland 2004) . I chose this outcome because with games based learning children are interacting with their peers and can respond to others if they are unsure of a certain part of the game and be able to help each other, but also helping and interacting with the teacher. The technology outcome I chose was “I can explore and experiment with digital technologies and can use what I learn to support and enhance leaning in different contexts (TCH 1-01a)” (Education Scotland 2004). I chose this because the children are exploring the use of technology but using it to enhance their learning in different ways.

I think that the use of games like Minecraft in the classroom is useful because it makes learning fun and interactive. As a developing student teacher I definetly would bring a game like Minecraft into the classroom because I could choose a topic such as; Ancient Greece, Rome or Harry Potter and allow the children to use Minecraft to create the buildings within the topic. Also the children creating their own imaginative stories and then build their story within Minecraft. It allows children to talk to each other, help each other and be learning at the same time. Another benefit of using Minecraft is that it can link across the curriculum. It also allows teachers to learn about games that children play at home and brings relevance into the learning environment. The teacher doesn’t need to be confident with a game to link it into the curriculum. The teacher can let the children take over and show them what to do.

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]

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]

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 13th March 2018]

Animation!

This week in Digital Technologies we were learning about the art of animation. I would consider myself to be quite a crafty, creative person so for me this really got me excited and I wanted to jump right in and get started. After those initial feelings, I started to worry that maybe we wouldn’t have […]

This week in Digital Technologies we were learning about the art of animation. I would consider myself to be quite a crafty, creative person so for me this really got me excited and I wanted to jump right in and get started. After those initial feelings, I started to worry that maybe we wouldn’t have enough time to create an animation as 1 – I had never actually created an animation before so I didn’t know what kind of time frame it would take and 2 – I was feeling a bit wary of the resources we had available to us.

Today’s task was to create an animation of anything we wanted. This was an individual task however we were allowed to work in pairs if we wanted to and I thought that by working with another individual, in this case then two heads were better than one. Jarvis (2015, p.89) states that ”animation involves the stringing together a sequence of static images, generally so that they appear to move.” Having never strung any images together before in order for them to appear as though they were moving, I was still feeling a little apprehensive about the task.

Firstly, we began to explore the app ‘Puppet Pals’ which gave us some depth and knowledge into how an animation app works and the types of features and tools it has to allows us to create an animation that stood out and worked well. In this app we were to create a short animation based on a classic fairytale. It had to include voice recordings, movement from the characters, the characters changing size and also have a structure – a beginning, middle and an end. This short 10 minutes exploring the app put me at ease as it showed me how animation worked and the different features that could be used to create a strong animation.

Since the start of this module on digital technologies, it has left me feeling excited as a student teacher due to the amount of technology that is out there as a prospective teacher to be able to use with my future pupils. Reflecting back on my own time as a primary school aged child, there were nowhere near half the amount of fun and valuable resources that there are now in my educational journey and the thought of being able to use them while I was at school I know that not only me but my friends and peers would have had a great time using them. This simply just evidences how quickly the times move and how fast paced the development in technology has become. As suggested by Beauchamp, (2012) ICT allows pupils to ”achieve something that would be very difficult or even impossible to achieve in any other way.” Reflecting back on my first year school experience placement, I came across numerous children who all had their own individual learning style and watching them create or succeed through the use of digital technology was evidencing just how important the use of this tool is in the classroom. Furthermore, Beauchamp states that ”e-Inclusion aims to use digital technologies to minimise the problems that pupils with learning difficulties experience.” By giving all children in primary schools the same opportunities across their educational journey but in particular through access to technology, we are closing in on the gap of problems that pupils who have learning difficulties can experience.

After exploring puppet pals, my partner and I began to create our own props and scene for our own animation. We worked collaboratively and worked within our allocated time to create a short animation using small wooden characters who were school pupils, and a pink bendy character who was the class teacher. I created a backdrop by simply drawing and colouring a school classroom and by one of us recording and the other moving the characters in order for us to create a series of stills and frames, once put together they created our short animation. We added features including a clock which we moved in most frames to give the idea of time going by and changing some of the characters to represent different emotions during different parts of the scene. Once we completed our recording, we enjoyed looking back on the final piece and were really pleased with it. It is a great way for children to use their creative and cognitive skills along with their patience and persistence in order to create a piece of work that is effective, fun and created animations to a high standard. The tutorials and Moving Image Education website provided a lot of helpful hints and tips in order to produce a great animation despite it being my first time using and creating with this resource.

Having completed our animation and after watching it back, it gave me a sense of achievement as I was worried at the beginning having never made an animation before and not being sure of where it would fit into the classroom. However, after looking through the Scottish Education Experiences and Outcomes, it became a lot clearer that what we created linked to certain aspects of these, and in a classroom this type of technology would be an effective tool across many areas of the curriculum, such as:

I have the opportunity to choose and explore a range of media and technologies to create images and objects, discovering their effect and suitability for specific tasks. EXA 1-02a

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

I enjoy exploring events and characters in stories and other texts and I use what I learn to invent my own, sharing these with others in imaginative ways. LIT 0-09b / LIT 0-31a

Animation could be used in a variety ways through a variety of areas in order to enhance pupils learning whilst supporting it at the same time. Despite my set backs at the beginning, throughout the course of creating the animation I found it to be a great task to collaborate on and a resource that I definitely would consider to be fun and educational for children across all levels at primary school. As suggested by Beauchamp (2012, p.66) ”ICT equipment is part of pupils’ everyday life, so should be part of their everyday play.” This type of technology tool would be an ideal resource to incorporate into a child’s everyday play as it encompasses a variety of skills and educational aspects that only impose positive aspects on the child.

References

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

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 [First Accessed on 22 February 2018]

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

 

Personal Reflection Digital Technologies – Mobile Devices 27/02/18

In todays class I learned about the use of mobile devices to enhance learning. After having a tutorial around mobile devices through digital literacy within my first trimester I found the use of Easi-Speak microphones beneficial and easy to use, therefore … Continue reading

In todays class I learned about the use of mobile devices to enhance learning. After having a tutorial around mobile devices through digital literacy within my first trimester I found the use of Easi-Speak microphones beneficial and easy to use, therefore I was excited to spend time using them to create a poem and recording it.  At first I did some further reading from teaching times and found that “39 per cent of teachers stated that children should not have access out of school to mobile phones, while another 29 per cent of teachers said the ideal situation would be if all pupils had access to a mobile.Schools also believe that children’s preference for technology both at home and at school is evolving quickly, just as technology is continuing to change at a rapid pace” (Scottish Government 2016).

Majority of schools that were surveyed schools identify that home computers are used as a personal revision tool with 64% of schools providing directed homework by teachers that required access to computers at home. Only a quarter of schools believe that the majority of pupils use computers for entertainment and social networking exclusively and not for educational activities. (Scottish Government 2016).

I also read an article on the telegraph about how technology is reshaping teaching it stated that ” Over four in 10 households now have a tablet, meaning that children are becoming computer-literate before they’ve even started primary school – and we’ve all heard about the techno-babies who can handle an iPad before they have learnt how to tie their own shoelaces”.  I think this is relevant because my two year old niece is in nursery and she is able to use educational games on my IPad where there are a range of shapes with different size and colour and they have to be moved to the specific space where they would fit and she was able to move the shapes around the screen to the space they fit in. She also used the IPad to listen to the songs/nursery rhymes that she learns in nursery and is able to choose the song from the list allocated under the video she is watching. This shows that she is already using an IPad before she has learnt to get her self dressed and tie her lace.

We were to answer a question “Should mobile devices be used in the classroom?” To this I answered yes I think that mobile devices are effective because children can create their own short story or poem and be able to act as the main characters through use of devices such as IPad’s, laptops, Easi-speak Microphones and talking tins. These are both tools used to record speech. They have memory on them that can easily be transferred to computers. It also allows the children to record their CVC words such at CAT, MAT, DOG and FROG and then spell them. This may help the children learn because they are saying it out loud and then spelling it so that they can play it back to themselves. This will help children who do not take information in when writing it with pen and paper. It could also benefit children who have additional support needs and struggle with spelling of their words if they work in partners their partner could spell it out and the child is able to play it back.

Today we explored Talking Tin and Easi Speak microphones. We were to create and “I am…” poem using the Easi-Speak Microphone. We were given sentence starters and were asked to finish the sentence. To do this we were to work in pairs and create our poem. At first we wrote down the ending of the sentences so that we could then record it. Once it was recorded we were to use Microsoft Powerpoint to put each line of our poem on to a slide and then add a picture using an online resource called Pixabay.

Emma Robertson & Shannon Scott I am Poem powerpoint

I found this as a learner easy to get my head around and straight forward. I enjoyed taking part in the task. As a teacher I think because the use of mobile devices such as Easi-speak microphones are straightforward and easy to use children would be able to understand it and learn a lot from it. I think that children would be keen to get involved and enjoy the use of it as a tool for learning. It is also beneficial for teachers because it is easy to transfer onto a computer/memory stick so that they have evidence of child’s progression and it isn’t all pen to paper work.

We then explored Talking Tins, talking tins are the similar to easi-speak microphones it is another tool used for recording items. With this we recorded a short paragraph of our poem. I didn’t find this as useful as the easi-speak microphones when we recorded a line it seemed to cut out although there could have been a short memory fault within the talking tin. Although it can be a beneficial tool for children to record CVC words within a literacy lesson or the times tables within a maths lesson to help the children learn effectively.

I think that the use of mobile devices is effective within the classroom as it influences children to learn in a range of ways. It allows teaching to become flexible and interactive. It allows children with additional support needs to progress in ways that they may not always achieve through pen and paper. It encourages children to be comfortable with themselves along with hearing their own voice.

As an adult my partner and I both hated our own voices and through use of a range of technology I have become more confident with putting my own voice into lesson plans/projects that I have created throughout my digital technology sessions.

References.

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

Scottish Government (2016) Teaching Times – Games Consoles Benefit Children’s Education [Online] – https://www.teachingtimes.com/articles/games-consoles-education.htm [Accessed 27th February 2018]

Pixabay (2018) https://pixabay.com/en/photos/?q=student&hp=&image_type=all&order=popular&cat=&min_width=&min_height=

Placement Reflection

I very much enjoyed my two weeks on placement. It felt very natural to be within a school in a teaching role and I could very much see myself doing this job one day. My school was quite small- 150 pupils approx. and had quite a mixed catchment. Due to this I saw a range […]

I very much enjoyed my two weeks on placement. It felt very natural to be within a school in a teaching role and I could very much see myself doing this job one day. My school was quite small- 150 pupils approx. and had quite a mixed catchment. Due to this I saw a range of behaviours, which I think is actually beneficial as I saw many different techniques to manage this behaviour throughout the school.

The whole experience really allowed me to see exactly what a large amount of work is done by teachers both before children arrive and also after they leave at the end of the day.

My feedback was all very positive which made me feel much more confident within the classroom setting. The experience also allowed me to see different styles of teaching, and I feel I will take away the ones I liked the best and use them myself.

The teachers and support staff were all very kind and welcoming and made me feel like I was a help by being there rather than an additional bit of work for them. It gave me a real opportunity to interact with a wide age range of children as the Deputy Head Teacher had made us up a timetable so that we had a whole school experience. Despite the fact that I was not in one class for the whole 2 weeks, I feel that I still managed to create some good bonds with the children, and managed to remember most names- an achievement for me! Being in different classes was an advantage because I feel I had a lot of opportunities to be able to fill out my placement tasks. The teachers in the school also seemed more than happy to answer any questions I might have, and shared their lesson plans and general experience with me. Due to this, I feel that this experience really has been invaluable.

 

First year placement 2017

Today is my first day back at university after two weeks on placement in a primary school. I have been in a small school which has only 42 pupils. There are two teachers, one head teacher and one support assistant within the school. The school operates with two multi-composite classes, primary 1-3 and primary 4-7. […]

Today is my first day back at university after two weeks on placement in a primary school. I have been in a small school which has only 42 pupils. There are two teachers, one head teacher and one support assistant within the school. The school operates with two multi-composite classes, primary 1-3 and primary 4-7. I worked mainly within the primary 4-7 class, however I was also able to spend a little time within the primary 1-3 class. It is a rural school but is close to a large town. Only a handful of pupils are from the village the school is in, the rest of the pupils come from placement requests from nearby towns and villages. There is a large percentage of children with different sorts of additional support needs within the school As a Mum of a child that falls within this category I was very interested to see how the children responded to the intimate environment that a small school provides.

Going into my placement, I expected to enjoy myself. I am looking forward to the day that I can lead my own class and this was another step in the right direction towards this. However, I was not prepared for just how much I would enjoy my placement. There was so much I could do to help the teachers to teach their classes. I felt that the time I spent there was not only worthwhile for me but also for the teachers and the children in the school.

Having previously spent time in another school and also having my own children, I know that I enjoy empowering children with knowledge and allowing them to enjoy the freedom that this knowledge brings to them. Over the course of my placement I had several opportunities to do this. In numeracy the Primary 4-7 class were building on their knowledge of place value. One primary 6 pupil was using sums to increase numbers by hundreds of thousands or millions. I sat with the child and asked her about the link between the first number and the resultant number. The child very quickly showed me that they could see the link. I reassured the child that the teacher didn’t need them to do sums but if that was what they needed to do that it was alright. They moved on independently without using the sums and completed their work with more confidence in their own abilities.

Before entering my placement I was paranoid about my verbal communication skills. I have had bad experiences in the past where I have been misunderstood by people and had accusations made against me due to poor communication skills. After these two weeks out on placement I feel that I may have left that part of me behind. I was able to make great communicative connections with the children on the placement. One of my biggest fears was communicating with the staff in the staff room. Small talk is a large weakness of mine. During breaks, we had some insightful conversations in the staff room. I was able to do a lot of learning in those times as well as while in the classroom. Going forward into another placement I will not be so worried about this side of it, I now know that I can maintain appropriate professional conversations with others.

Everyday the primary 4-7 class watch Newsround on BBC iPlayer. The class teacher would compile a quiz on the contents of the programme which would then be asked to the different groups in order for them to build up points for their groups. Towards the end of my placement, the teacher asked my partner and I to devise the quiz and ask the children. This was a good exercise with us. We found it difficult to make sure the questions were challenging to the children – they were very good at it. This is something I would like to take forward with me into my teaching career. It is most suited to older children but could easily be adapted to the age and stage of the children.

One of my main observations in the school was how well behaved the children were. As I previously said there is a high percentage of children with additional support needs in the school. This can bring with it poor behaviour. However, this is not the case in this school. The children are, with very little exception, very well behaved. They are respectful of their teachers and the other adults within the school. The teachers have developed strategies to allow them to keep control of the whole class, even when they are teaching 4 different year groups at once. The professionalism of the teachers enables them to overcome anything that happens in their classroom. They are a good team and clearly support each other very effectively.

I will be returning to the school to help soon. I will also be attending to watch the children take part in their nativity show in December. I really look forward to seeing everyone again.

 

Placement Reflection

During the two weeks of placement, I was privileged enough to observe within many classes. This allowed me to see many different stages throughout the school environment. I worked with small groups on certain topics such as maths, literacy and art. This meant I … Continue reading

During the two weeks of placement, I was privileged enough to observe within many classes. This allowed me to see many different stages throughout the school environment. I worked with small groups on certain topics such as maths, literacy and art. This meant I could get a better understanding of the things the pupils were struggling with. I was involved throughout all lessons giving assistance to any pupils who needed it which allowed me to get to know the pupils better.

The areas of the curriculum that I observed were maths, literacy, topic, science and outdoor learning. By doing this, it gave me ideas and strategies for the future. Challenging behaviour was an issue in some classes but the class teacher helped to think about ways to help and calm the pupils down. It allowed me to use the communication skills highlighted in Uni to be put to good practice.

By being in the staff room, it meant I could contribute to discussions and get any of my questions answered. It also made me feel included in the school as a whole. By also staying at the school when the children left meant I could see the structure and organisation a teacher needs and how important is it. I also went with the children to the assembly on both Fridays which showed me the work being produced in many classes. It also became apparent to me how together the school was and how helpful they were to the people around them.

The whole school placement made aware to me the things I need to work on such as trying to find methods to keep all children on task and not spend most time with specific children. Also making sure all children are concentrating by making sure certain pupils don’t dominate. I need to also think about developing the skill in being a reflective practitioner as this is a very important skill to have and use in the teaching profession. Positives to take away from the experience is that I engaged well with the children and adults within the school and remained professional throughout.