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Integrated Arts in Education 11/09/2018

Today was the first day of the Integrated Arts module. This is an area that I am slighty out of touch with, as I have not been around the Arts for some time. When I left school and became employed full time, the Arts were forgotten about as they were no longer a priority of […]

Today was the first day of the Integrated Arts module. This is an area that I am slighty out of touch with, as I have not been around the Arts for some time. When I left school and became employed full time, the Arts were forgotten about as they were no longer a priority of mine.

This is a common theme, which we discussed in our seminars today. The Arts are unfortunately not seen as a priority with in the curriculum, unlike subjects such as, numeracy and literacy which are. In our discussions I discovered that the Arts allow us to use our imagination and give us oppertunity to express feelings that we cannot often speak of or write down. The Arts allow us to be creative, self-reflect and also to have self-confidence.

While looking at some children’s artwork today and playing with musical instruments, I could sense my imagination working, just like it did when I was at school.

It is with this kind of imagination and drive that great ideas/inventions of the future will be created and it is important that we as educators encourage imagination. This something I look forward to, when I go out on school placement.

“The differences between the arts subjects maybe as important as the similarities because between them they offer a range of expressive outlets, each making demands and offering opportunities that are unique and quite specific” (Ross, 1976 cited in Burnard , 2006).

 

References

  • Burnard, P (2006) Rethinking the Imperatives for Reflective Practices in Arts Education, in Reflective Practices in Arts Education Series: Landscapes: the Arts, Aesthetics, and Education, Vol. 5 Burnard, Pamela; Hennessy, Sarah (Eds.) Dordrecht: Springer.
  • McAuliffe, D. (2007) Foundation and Primary Settings. In Teaching Art and Design 3-11. London: Continuum.

Digital Technologies – Week 10 – Games-based Learning – Minecraft – 13/03/18

Today’s lesson was revisiting games based learning, this week focusing on Minecraft. “Minecraft has become a global sensation, prized by teenagers, adults and, in particular, seven- to 12-year-olds” (The Guardian, 2014). I was particularly excited for today’s lesson as I had played Minecraft a few times in the past, but never for long. I was […]

Today’s lesson was revisiting games based learning, this week focusing on Minecraft. “Minecraft has become a global sensation, prized by teenagers, adults and, in particular, seven- to 12-year-olds” (The Guardian, 2014). I was particularly excited for today’s lesson as I had played Minecraft a few times in the past, but never for long. I was also really looking forward to getting to meet the pupils and see their take on it.

In class today we had a visit from a group of primary 6 children and their class teacher. They visited to tell and then show us how the used the game Minecraft to enhance their learning. The children came with iPads from the school that had Minecraft installed. For the first part of our session with the children, they showed us how to play the game, and what they had been creating in class. As a whole class they had been creating a Harry Potter world. They had been working in small groups and then linking it all together using the internet – this is one part I am still a little unsure on, but it was amazing to see! For the second part of the session the iPads were handed over to us and the children became the teacher. Some adults in my group had clearly never played it before and were quite slow- much slower than the children. It was funny to see how frustrated they got with them as for the children it must be very simple. Lucky for me I have played Minecraft a few times before and know the basic controls. The two boys in my group were impressed with how I played it- I think they were glad one adult knew what they were doing!  It is important that we as teachers do have a good grasp ourselves before teaching it to pupils and this is confirmed by Beauchamp (2012) who states, “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.”

While the pupils were having their break, we had an opportunity to talk to the class teacher about why she chose to use Minecraft to teach and in what ways it could be used. An example would be to use it as a stimulus in topic work. The teacher said that she herself had used it to teach topics such as the Titanic and Ancient Egypt. Children can use Minecraft to build a world based on this time, either individually or working as a group. After this, the children could then have a literacy lesson or art lesson based on what they had created. Writing a story about it or trying to replicate what they had built through painting.

The CfE Experiences and Outcomes I chose for this lesson are:

I enjoy creating texts of my choice and I regularly select subject, purpose, format and resources to suit the needs of my audience. LIT 1-20a/LIT2-20a

When listening and talking with others for different purposes, I can exchange information, experiences, explanations, ideas and opinions, and clarify points by asking questions or by asking
others to say more. LIT 1-09a

I can create, capture and manipulate sounds, text and images to communicate experiences, ideas and information in creative and engaging ways.  TCH 1-04b/TCH 2-04b

There are many reasons and ways we as student teachers can optimise using games based learning in a classroom to help enhance teaching and learning. By doing this correctly and by having the relevant knowledge ourselves we can really help to engage children, particularly those who previously would have been unwilling to participate in normal lessons. I will definitely use this approach, and mine craft in particular in future lessons I may plan.

Image result for minecraft

Minecraft, Video Game, Blocks, Block, Computer Game

References

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

The Guardian (2014) Minecraft: here’s one I made earlier [Online] Available: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jun/14/minecraft-computer-game-success [Accessed: 9th April].

Pixabay.com. (2018). Free Images – Pixabay. [Online] Available at: https://pixabay.com [Accessed: 9th April].

Scottish Government (2008) The Curriculum for Excellence [Online] Available: http://www.education.gov.scot/Documents/all-experiences-and-outcomes.pdf [Accessed: 9th April].

 

Digital Technology – Week 6 – iMovie – 13/02/18

Today in digital Technology we were creating our own iMovie. The movie was to be about helping to inform children about how to be safe online. The idea was to try and make it relevant to children’s lives today. As Beauchamp (2012, p58) states,  “Most primary schools will have in place a policy regarding e-safety, […]

Today in digital Technology we were creating our own iMovie. The movie was to be about helping to inform children about how to be safe online. The idea was to try and make it relevant to children’s lives today. As Beauchamp (2012, p58) states,  “Most primary schools will have in place a policy regarding e-safety, but they are likely to reflect official policies and perhaps not the reality of pupils’ lives…”

The iMovie was either to be a movie or a trailer. The group chose to do a trailer as we felt it was more to the point. We chose to do our trailer on the Red Riding Hood story but for modern times, we called it Red Riding Hood 2018. Our idea was that Red thought that she was talking to her Granny over iMessage and she gave out her address, but it turns out that she was actually talking to the Big Bad  Wolf.  We felt that this was silly enough that children would enjoy watching it, but also it had an important message that they would take away with them. At the end of the video we had some advice for how to stay safe online as well as a few numbers and websites that children could visit if they were in any trouble. Beauchamp (2012, p60), states that the schools who were best prepared in terms of online safety were those in which the pupils knew what to do and who to contact when things went wrong.

Using iMovie was a bit confusing for the group at first. We struggled to understand what it was wanting us to do in certain parts, but after watching the tutorials and having a go ourselves, we managed to create the movie.

I think that using this as a lesson would be very beneficial as it is fun and interactive. Pupils could be really creative and think outside the box when creating their movie, and it would really get them thinking about the issue of online safety and how they think it would be best highlighted. By doing this in their own way they will learn more and hopefully take more on board and be safer online themselves. As Porter (2004, p35) says, “The digital environment provides a unique opportunity to empower people of all ages to manipulate, combine and distribute their self-expressions as living stories that can be sent into the world and through time.”

The Experiences and Outcomes that I think linked to this lesson are:

I am learning to assess and manage risk, to protect myself and others, and to reduce the potential for harm when possible. HWB 0-16a / HWB 1-16a / HWB 2-16a / HWB 3-16a / HWB 4-16a

I know and can demonstrate how to keep myself and others safe and how to respond in a range of emergency situations. HWB 0-17a / HWB 1-17a / HWB 2-17a / HWB 3-17a / HWB 4-17a

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

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 explore and experiment with the features and functions of computer technology and I can use what I learn to support and enhance my learning in different contexts. TCH 1-04a / TCH 2-04a

I can create, capture and manipulate sounds, text and images to communicate experiences, ideas and information in creative and engaging ways. TCH 1-04b / TCH 2-04b

I know that there are an awful lot of outcomes listed here but I felt that they were all relevant and appropriate to what the lesson was about, as it did cover a lot of curricular areas.

References

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

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

 

 

Digital Technology – Week 3 – ActivInspire- 23/01/18

Today’s lesson was on multimodal presentations and how these can enhance teaching and learning within the classroom. During today’s lesson we talked about the different ways that multimodal texts impact the children in a positive way. Because it is more interactive, it encourages engagement and enjoyment and also the children can personalise it to their interests […]

Today’s lesson was on multimodal presentations and how these can enhance teaching and learning within the classroom. During today’s lesson we talked about the different ways that multimodal texts impact the children in a positive way. Because it is more interactive, it encourages engagement and enjoyment and also the children can personalise it to their interests when using it.  It helps the children to understand what they are being taught as they are having fun while learning “The multimodality of technology…allows teachers to present an idea in a variety of different ways to help pupils understand it.” Beauchamp (2012, p.8).

A text can be described as being multimodal if it combines two or more of the semiotic systems, these are:

  • Linguistic
  • Visual
  • Audio
  • Gestural
  • Spatial

There are many ways in which we can create a multimodal text but today we were focusing on learning to use ActivInspire.  I think that ActivInspire is somewhat similar to PowerPoint although it has a lot more features and I personally found it more fun to use. Because of the similarities I found it relatively easy to use, and the tutorial videos definitely helped.  I did struggle a couple of times as it was an entirely new programme to me, but by looking over the tutorials and asking peers I managed to create my own ActivInspire. It was aimed to teach children the animals in Spanish. It was a fairly simple design but would have been a great interactive tool for the children. My presentation had sliding bars hiding the Spanish name of the animal, and so if I were to use a smartboard the children would have a real hands on experience, which according to Prandstatter, (2014) help children to learn “by doing.”

The Curriculum for Excellence Outcomes I feel work best for this lesson are:

Through a variety of media, I am
developing an awareness of
social, cultural and geographical
aspects of locations in a country
where the language I am
learning is spoken.
MLAN 1-06

I am beginning to explore
similarities and differences
between sound patterns in
different languages through
play, rhymes, songs and
discussion.
MLAN 1-07a

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 also think that there are many more Experiences and Outcomes that could be linked to using multimodal texts, not just that of language.

I think that the use of interactive multimodal texts could be used for many other aspects of the curriculum, but that it is becoming more relevant within Literacy and English. “The Literacy and English framework reflects the increased  use of multimodal texts, digital communication, social networking and the other forms of electronic communication encountered by children and young people in their every day lives” (Scottish Executive, 2004).

Children nowadays are growing up with a vast knowledge of technology and how to use it. I therefore think that it is important that this is reflected in what they are taught at school as it can help to engage the children as they are more interested in how the lesson is being taught to them. Although I do think that using technology in the class is important, it is not always appropriate and so we have to be able to make decisions on where it would work best. Also, we as teachers have the responsibility to be able to accurately teach the technology aspect to the children, to be confident in our own technological abilities. As Beauchamp (2012, P100) discusses;  “The ability to present ideas in a variety of ways can help to structure new experiences but only if you as the teacher have sufficient understanding on the area yourself”.

References

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

Prandstatter, J (2014) Interactive displays in early year classes [Online] Available at: http://connectlearningtoday.com/interactive-displays-early-years-classes/ [Accessed: 29 January 2018]

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

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.

 

Movie Making 13/02/2018

When I realised today we would be making our own movies, I was quite excited at the prospect and had a few ideas float around in my head of what I thought would work well. Working in a group, we were given the task to create a short movie, using the iMovie app on an […]

When I realised today we would be making our own movies, I was quite excited at the prospect and had a few ideas float around in my head of what I thought would work well. Working in a group, we were given the task to create a short movie, using the iMovie app on an iPad. The product was to be centred around the topic of ‘Internet Safety’ and be appropriate to view by primary school children which also gave a clear message to it’s audience.

Once we got our group, we came together and brainstormed, we collaborated effectively which resulted in us combining a few of our ideas together and came up with the idea to create a short film based on a popular young wizard and his friends – but with a twist. We all had various roles in the group; actor/actress, visual technician, head of wardrobe, runner and producer to name a few. The role I undertook myself was that of one of the main characters – Hairy Snotter. Miss Snotter was a young witch who was invited to a meeting place to meet with one of her friends. Little did she know that by talking to her ‘friend’ online she was actually being targeted by a stranger posing to be her friend and in fact almost landed herself in a lot of trouble. Thankfully her friend Mermione came to the rescue and advised Hairy to get rid of the imposter by casting a spell on him. Once they worked their magic on the imposter, we came out of character to inform the audience on the importance of staying safe online and advising them on where they can seek more help and information about keeping themselves safe online.

We centred our movie around cross-curricular experiences and outcomes. These touched on areas such as Health & Wellbeing, Literacy and Technology:

As I listen or watch, I can identify and discuss the purpose, main ideas and supporting detail contained within the text, and use this information for different purposes. LIT 2-04a

I listen or watch for useful or interesting information and I use this to make choices or learn new things. LIT 0-04a

To help me develop an informed view, I can distinguish fact from opinion, and I am learning to recognise when my sources try to influence me and how useful these are. LIT 2-08a

I can communicate clearly when engaging with others within and beyond my place of learning, using selected resources3 as required. LIT 1-10a

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 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

I understand that there are people I can talk to and that there are a number of ways in which I can gain access to practical and emotional support to help me and others in a range of circumstances. HWB 0-03a / HWB 1-03a / HWB 2-03a / HWB 3-03a / HWB 4-03a

Our message to the audience was clear – you cannot be too careful when using the internet. You may think you know who you are talking to and feel like you can trust the person at the other side of the screen. However, the internet can be a very dangerous place and can cause hurt and serious harm to those who choose to use it.

As a group we all had great fun creating our mini movie. There were great laughs and enjoyment throughout the time we were in character and out of character and used various props, settings and visuals to create an effective movie which would be memorable for the right reasons. When it came to using the iMovie app it was a brilliant resource that allowed us to put together snippets of video clips and stills we had created and piece them together in a way that produced a great end result. The tutorials we viewed individually prior to starting our movie were very useful as it gave us a valuable insight into the features and tools that were available to us and which gave our movie the important finishing touches.

Crating the movie was all fun and games yes, but remembering the reason why we were dong it left quite the impact on me being a mother and also a student teacher. Being an adult and being responsible for the safety of my own child and pupils now and in the future, creating a short movie reminded me of just how scary and dark the internet can be and that it can suck in the most vulnerable and trusting of children and have terrible outcomes. It is of great importance to educate our children on the importance of using the internet safely and effectively both in and out of the classroom and ensuring they are aware of what they should and should not be doing online. It is also vital to ensure children know they can seek advice and help from trusted adults such as their parents/carers or teachers regardless of how much trouble they might think they are in or if they feel they are being targeted in any way whatsoever.  As stated by Simpson and Toyn (2012), ”If we can educate children that they always have an adult they can seek support from, we can help keep children safe online”.

Using the iMovie app in today’s class certainly demonstrated and evidenced that it would also be just as an effective tool for children in the classroom as it was for me as an adult learner. The iMovie app would allow children to develop their skillset in technology and other areas of the curriculum by allowing them to work on their own project or movie as an individual or as part of a team. It can be from as simple as taking the iPad out to film a simple literacy task such as recording items they can see in the classroom or playground that begin with a certain sound or letter, to interviewing peers or members of staff in their school as part of their IDL topic or for research on a class project. iMovie can give children the opportunity to be autonomous and create something that maybe otherwise they wouldn’t be able to create through writing, talking or drawing. iMovie allows for children to show off their creative talents and witness their end result by viewing their finished product and feeling a great sense of achievement.

Beauchamp (2012) suggested that “…the most successful schools… in terms of e-safety ensured that pupils knew what to do when things went wrong”. By teaching our future generation about the safe use of the internet, we are ensuring our children and pupils are set in good stead for a future where they will be engulfed by technology, the internet and social medias. Children take chances and make mistakes. They are testing their own boundaries and their parents and teachers. However, by implementing e-safety in primary schools we are making our children and young learners know that it is important they ask for help and advice when it comes to the internet and to trust the adult they know and can see, not the person behind the keyboard.

Overall, today was a great success. I found using the iMovie app enjoyable and it is certainly a resource I will be looking to use in my own classroom in the future. I found it to be particularly effective around today’s topic and can only imagine the other types of awareness can be raised through the use of one digital technology tool in the classroom.

References

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

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

Simpson D., Toyn M. (2012) Primary ICT Across the Curriculum. Sage

 

 

Digital Technologies Week 5 – eBooks

The Oxford English Dictionary defines an eBook as “an electronic version of a printed book which can be read on a computer or a specifically designed handheld device.” Today in Digital Technologies we designed our own eBooks and examined how they could be useful in the classroom. First of all, we were given a task … Continue reading “Digital Technologies Week 5 – eBooks”

The Oxford English Dictionary defines an eBook as “an electronic version of a printed book which can be read on a computer or a specifically designed handheld device.” Today in Digital Technologies we designed our own eBooks and examined how they could be useful in the classroom.

First of all, we were given a task in groups to create a brochure for UWS with prospective students in mind. We used the Book Creator app on an iPad. To make the University seem appealing to new applicants, we fully utilised the features of the app.  It was very easy to customise the book by selecting appropriate colours and fonts for our purpose. It was also simple to insert videos and images taken or saved on the iPad. In less than half an hour we had managed to familiarise ourselves with the app and create an effective multimodal text which made use of a number of semiotic systems through the inclusion of text, sound and video. Another group took a look at our UWS brochure and said that it was engaging and attractive. This made clear to me how useful it could be in the classroom to be able to create a small eBook in such a short space of time.

With this experience of the book creator app, we were then tasked with creating either a summary of a well-known book or a small eBook to help someone engage with the book. I chose “Matilda” by Roald Dahl. As it is such a long book, I chose to create a short close reading exercise for Key Stage 2 which would encourage reflection on personal relationships. The eBook asks questions about where Matilda likes to spend time and how that relates to the way the people around her treat her. It then goes on to ask for a comparison of how Miss Honey treats her and how her parents treat her, which is an activity which links to LIT 2-14a: “I can make notes, organise them under suitable headings and use them to understand information, develop my thinking, explore problems and create new texts, using my own words as appropriate.” (Scottish Executive, 2004). The last page of the eBook asks for reflection on how different people in their life make them feel through their actions, and how they can affect the feelings of others with their own actions. This links a literacy lesson to Health and Wellbeing outcome HWB 2-05a (“I know that friendship, caring, sharing, fairness, equality and love are important in building positive relationships. As I develop and value relationships, I care and show respect for myself and others.” (Scottish Executive, 2004).).  These exercises were not simply written down on paper. I believe that being able to use an iPad to flick through the exercise makes it more effective for a number of reasons. Firstly, it was multimodal as I used a number of Quentin Blake’s illustrations from relevant parts of the book to help prompt the answers to close reading questions that I both wrote in text on the page and inserted as voice clips. As we know, multimodal texts encourage accessibility in the classroom and are a useful way to close a gap in higher order thinking for individuals who may find it more difficult to follow along with reading text. Beauchamp (2012, p.88) further suggests that children who are reading from tablets in the house will be more inclined to use the same mobile devices in their learning than they may be, perhaps, to use physical books.

For myself as a prospective teacher, this was an interesting tool to learn to use. I did not realise how quickly an eBook could be created or that they could include video or voice clips – it was my own misconception that eBooks were simply novels in digital form. It is particularly relevant to me as a budding teacher in Scotland as our Digital Teaching and Learning Strategy specifically aims to develop the skills of our educators (Scottish Government, 2016). While I consider myself relatively competent and experienced with using computers the creation of eBooks for a purpose like this had never occurred to me as a way to embed technology in the classroom. An eBook like this can be created quickly, edited easily for different levels and distributed to students efficiently using Apple AirDrop – as long as iPads are available in the classroom. While this may seem like an unrealistic expectation in the classroom, tablets are getting cheaper all the time and there is motivation in particular by Education Scotland to ensure there are handheld devices available in school to enhance learning (BBC, 2012).

By the time I am a fully qualified teacher, if handheld devices are as widely available as this, I think that the ability to quickly create an eBook will be a useful skill to have.

References

BBC (2012). Education Scotland looks to expand use of tablets in schools. BBC News. [Online] 16 May. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-18081005 [Accessed: 9 February 2018].

Beauchamp, G. (2012). ICT in the Primary School: From Pedagogy to Practice. Harlow: Pearson. p.88.

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

Scottish Government (2016) Enhancing Teaching and Learning through the use of Digital Technology: A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland. [Online] Available: https://beta.gov.scot/publications/enhancing-learning-teaching-through-use-digital-technology/ [Accessed: 8 January 2017].