6.2.18 – Mobile Devices (eBooks)

Today in Digital Technologies we explored the potential of mobile devices in the classroom and focussed on eBook creation. There are a variety of mobile devices that could be considered for use in the classroom such as: iPad Android tablet iPods DSi Netbooks Over the years various different devices have been trialled by different schools … Continue reading 6.2.18 – Mobile Devices (eBooks)

Today in Digital Technologies we explored the potential of mobile devices in the classroom and focussed on eBook creation.

There are a variety of mobile devices that could be considered for use in the classroom such as:

iPad

Android tablet

iPods

DSi

Netbooks

Over the years various different devices have been trialled by different schools and it would seem most often it is the iPad that has found its way in to the majority of classrooms. I think, having used an iPad personally for years with my children as they have grown this is most likely attributable to the vast availability of apps on this platform that can be used educationally.  The apps are in general easy to navigate and manipulate and the device itself is multi-purpose.  By this I mean the iPad is capable of being a camera, a video recorder and player, audio recorder and player, a note taker, with internet access it provides instant access to vast quantities of information and through the various apps well, just about anything you could want it to be.  For example, a film making suite through the app iMovie or an interactive book designer through Book Creator.  It is easily carried and with the use of appropriate casing, robust, therefore able to support learning in any environment the teacher desires.

In 2012 a pilot scheme was run in a number of schools spread across Scotland to establish what impact personal issue of an iPad to each child would have on their learning.  The results of this scheme were documented in the iPad Scotland Final Evaluation Report by Burden, Hopkins, Male et al (2012) members of the Faculty of Education, The University of Hull.  I found this document very interesting to read and was particularly drawn to the summary relating to primary school use.  The report found “…there is little doubt that the ownership of a personal device, such as the iPad, significantly increases levels of motivation and interest shown by students in their work at school leading to greater engagement and autonomy by students.” (p.52) This is unsurprising to me as it is more reflective of the children’s lives outside the classroom where iPads/tablets/smartphones are an active part of their daily lives.  Bringing the same technology in to the classroom will undoubtedly make the learning feel more relevant, interesting and accessible.

The main focus of our class today was on the use of eBooks through the app Book Creator on the iPad.  Working in groups, we first discussed what we perceived an eBook to be and created a mind map.  Moving on, our task was to create an eBook telling prospective UWS students why they should come to our university.  Using the iPad, we went around the campus taking pictures to use for our book/brochure and then returned to the class to create our book purely because it was the quietest available space.  We could have easily sat anywhere on the campus had we wanted to, that being the beauty of a mobile device.  We decided on the layouts, background colours, text and started adding to the pages.  It was easy to edit when we weren’t completely happy with the look and the app was easy to use (I have never used it before either).

Having this opportunity to be in the position of the learner I felt demonstrated to me how vast the opportunities are to be really creative and imaginative with this tool.  I could see how in the hands of a younger learner it could encourage and even inspire them to create a text that, had they been given the more traditional tools of pencil and paper and sat at a desk may have stifled.  Not only can literacy skill in terms of written word be encouraged but I can see how it allows the child to not only be a consumer of texts but a creator.  It provides an insight in to how books are designed and created. This is in agreement with Eagle who states “Digital technologies have opened up new opportunities to learn about how texts are constructed.  Whereas in the past, producing printed texts, animations and films required specialist technology and skills, new digital technologies have made it possible for people to produce all kinds of texts from their own homes.  Using new technologies it should be possible to encourage children to acquire their own experience of being producers of texts, becoming involved in choosing to assemble resources to generate meanings”. (Eagle, 2008 p.12 cited in Beauchamp 2012).  I think this succinctly summarises everything that is good about mobile devices and applications such a Book Creator, the barriers that they break down and the world that they have the ability to bring in to the classroom.

From a teaching perspective, I see that I could use these tools to create an excellent learning environment and numerous cross curricular activities.  There are a number of Curriculum for Excellence Experiences and Outcomes (Scottish Executive 2004) that could be related to this such as:

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

I enjoy creating texts of my choice and I regularly select subject, purpose, format and resources to suit the needs of my audience.                                                                                                     LIT 1-20a / LIT 2-20a

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

I can explore digital technologies and use what I learn to solve problems and share ideas and thoughts.                                                                                                                                   TCH 0-01a

I can explore and experiment with digital technologies and can use what I learn to support and enhance my learning in different contexts.                                                                          TCH 1-01a

REFERENCES

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

Burden, Hopkins, Male, Martin, Trala (2012) iPad Scotland Final Evaluation Report University of Hull

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

30.1.18 – Coding

Today we were looking at coding using the Scratch Jr app on the iPad.  Previously we have looked at programming using BeeBot and I would view Scratch Jr as a progression from that.  Moving from the basic concept that pushing the buttons in a sequence programs the BeeBot to carry out that action. Scratch Jr … Continue reading 30.1.18 – Coding

Today we were looking at coding using the Scratch Jr app on the iPad.  Previously we have looked at programming using BeeBot and I would view Scratch Jr as a progression from that.  Moving from the basic concept that pushing the buttons in a sequence programs the BeeBot to carry out that action.

Scratch Jr is aimed at children approximately 5-7 years old.  The basic principle of the app is that the user has access to a variety of different backgrounds, objects and characters etc which can be selected to be used in their own programmed interactive story or game.  Creating the program is a relatively easy process that involves joining program blocks that can be dragged and snapped together to form the code that will make the story or game work.  It involves several skill sets such as:

Creative thinking

Imagination

Decision making

Problem solving

Collaboration

This is by no means an exhaustive list!  As a learner I found the app a little frustrating to start off with but I soon found my way and was able to create some programs.  There would be more than enough options for a user aged between 5 and 7 to create their programs, perhaps at times I felt a little frustrated that I couldn’t quite get it to do what I wanted but on reflection I think that was perhaps because my aspirations were more advanced than either a) the app is designed to allow or b) my own ability…. I created an interactive story called Jacks Dream.  Going through this process as a user allowed me to see what the possible benefits in the classroom would be over and above the introduction of coding to the children.  I felt it was clear that it would be an excellent tool to encourage and assist with creative writing tasks in Literacy.  For example, pupils could be asked to create their story within the app and then move on to writing the story out.  Some children might find this easier as they are not initially faced with the overwhelm of a blank page to write on.  It might also be helpful to children who are less confident in the use of descriptive words or struggle with story structure.  The format of creating the code will encourage them to think about logical structure and order of events and also allows for changes with relative ease instead of being faced with rubbing out or scoring through written work they were unsatisfied with.  Once the story, or start of a story has been programmed the transition to writing will be much more exciting as the idea will already be well formed in their head.  The teacher might also choose to create their own story to carry out a ‘what happens next?’ format of writing with the class.  Of course, as mentioned in The Lead Project (2014) Scratch can be used to aid teachers in subjects like mathematics, music, art, design and information technology as well as Literacy making it an excellent cross curricular tool.

It is important in this digital era, that children are exposed from an early age to the concept that in order for many of the things they take for granted to exist somebody had to create the coding for it.  I feel it affords them a greater depth of understanding and appreciation of ‘how it works’.  Accessing apps such as Scratch Jr allows them to make the initial steps from being a digital user to a digital creator. This is in agreement with the observations of Naughton (2012) who discusses why this is quite so important.  He goes so far as to say that if we fail to teach our children to code we are ‘intellectually crippling them’.  He reasons that without a deep understanding of how the systems that control most of our world operate we leave them no option but to be a latent user in a rapidly advancing world. In 2014 the Government announced that all children from 5-16 in all schools in England would be taught to code.  This can only be a good thing for not only our learners but for wider society. The Curriculum for Excellence here in Scotland supports the permeation of technology throughout the curriculum from 3-18.  Things are changing in education, and they need to, especially if we consider the thoughts of those such as Prensky (2008).  He believes the single skill that will distinguish a literate person in the 21st century is programming literacy.  To have the ability to make digital technology do whatever is required.  Some are now referring to it as the skill of human-machine interaction but simply, it is programming.

Using Scratch Jr in the classroom might seem a world away from creating the elite programmers of tomorrow but in my opinion, it is no different to the early processes of teaching a child to write who then goes on to become an author.  We start at the beginning and help them grow.

 

REFERENCES

Naughton (2012)Why all our kids should be taught to code [Online] http://www.theguardian.com/education/2012/mar/31 [Accessed 3.2.18]

Prensky, M (2008) Programming: The New Literacy  [Online] http://classtap.pbworks.com/f/Prensky+-+Programming:+The+New+Literacy.pdf [Accessed 3.2.18]

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

The Lead Project (2014) Super Scratch Programming Adventure: Learn to Program by Making Cool Games! No Starch Press

23.1.18 – Multimodality

Today we looked at creating multimodal presentations.  The focus of the lesson was the use of Microsoft PowerPoint and also ActivInspire, something that I was not familiar with before today. The concept of multimodality is not completely new to me, having looked at it in my BA1 module Literacy for Understanding last term.  To summarise … Continue reading 23.1.18 – Multimodality

Today we looked at creating multimodal presentations.  The focus of the lesson was the use of Microsoft PowerPoint and also ActivInspire, something that I was not familiar with before today.

The concept of multimodality is not completely new to me, having looked at it in my BA1 module Literacy for Understanding last term.  To summarise for you, a text would be considered multimodal when it combines two or more semiotic systems. There are five semiotic systems in total.  Those are linguistic, visual, audio, gestural and spatialIt is therefore reasonable to say that yes, most texts that would be used in a primary setting are indeed multimodal as most would contain words (linguistic) and pictures (visual).

The purpose of today’s learning was to look at how, using technology, we can enhance the multimodality of texts to make the learning more engaging and more accessible to a broader range of learners.  For example, to build on the base of linguistic and visual with audio, gestural and spatial modality to create a completely immersive and interactive text.  This is where ActivInspire is particularly good at utilising the Interactive White Board (IWB) present in almost every Scottish classroom and bringing learning to life.  The IWB is undoubtedly one of the most expensive pieces of equipment in the modern classroom and yet its capabilities are often underutilised by teachers.  This software helps the teacher to bring interactive learning to life in their classroom in a manner that they can personalise to the pupils and the topic.  Taking the relevant information and making it more dynamic and interactive and as such creating more memorable learning experiences.

As a learner today, I focused on ActivInspire.  Having never used it before I was keen to see the practical side of creating slides.  Working with my classmate we decided to create an interactive slide with a numeracy theme.  Despite having watched an instructional video we initially found it a little hard to use.  I found myself reminded that Youtube is an invaluable learning tool as we would have been lost without the video to keep referring back to!  The main initial problems I found were getting the sizing right with the various characters and self-created designs.  Often it was hard to find images within the software that were exactly what I had in mind but with patience it was possible to make modifications.  In reality, the first slide took a while to create and I found myself slightly concerned that I would struggle to prepare a lesson using this software in a realistic amount of time.  It was however, easier the more slides we created and as I became more familiar with the ActivInspire.

As I produced the slides I could see that as a teacher this would be a great way to work in group or whole class setting to introduce a new topic or to consolidate prior learning at the start of a lesson.  The colours are very bright and bold which would transfer well to the IWB screen.  Learners can be actively involved in the learning as they can be invited to come up to the board and move things around to solve problems.  This would be in keeping with the utilisation of the spatial and gestural semiotic systems.

The need for the use of software such as this in classrooms is reflected in the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) Literacy and English Framework which acknowledges the increased use of multimodal texts, digital communication, social networking and other forms of digital communication encountered by children in their daily lives.  It is much easier for children to find the learning relevant and to be able to give real world context to it when it is presented to them in ways that are familiar and reflect their daily life.  If the learning looks like a game, and even feels like a game, in that they are familiar with using touchscreen technology them combining software such as this with the IWB is I feel maximising the knowledge the learner will take from the lesson.  There is an ever increasing need and expectation on teachers to be proficient in these areas and that is why I felt it crucial to engage with this module.  I do not want to let myself and my future pupils be held back by a lack of ability on my part to integrate digital learning in to the classroom.  I wholeheartedly agree with Beauchamp (2012, p81) that we need to “…challenge implicit assumption that SPEECH and WRITING are always central and sufficient to learning…”  This is not reflective of where society is in 2018 and the classroom needs to mirror the outside environment we are striving to prepare our young people for.  It is important to recognise that technology in the classroom is not only essential but positive.  Often there are concerns that children using technology outwith the classroom are doing so in a socially isolated manner.  For example, sitting alone playing video games.  This use of the touch display technology in the classroom encourages hands on experiences that help children to learn by doing and to see the technology as a social learning tool as these tasks would primarily be designed to be group or whole class level and involve a broad range of social skill. (Prandstatter, 2014).

Ultimately, the most important positive argument for maximising the use of multimodality and multimedia in the classroom comes from the pupils themselves.  In a study carried out by Hall and Higgins (2005, p106) they found that the pupils studied “…enjoy in particular the multi-media capabilities of the technology, especially visual aspects (colour and movement), audio (music, voice recordings, sound effects) and being able to touch the IWB.  All pupil groups mentioned the multi-media aspects of the IWB as advantageous especially in engaging and holding their attention”.  What I have learned today will definitely help me to ensure wherever appropriate I am able to create lessons that enhance learning through maximum multimodality.

 

REFERENCES

 

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

Education Scotland [ONLINE] https://education.gov.scot/improvement/learning-resources/curriculum%20for%20excellence%20benchmarks [Accessed 23.1.18]

Prandstatter (2014) [Online] http://connectlearningtoday.com/interactive-displays-early-years-classes/ [Accessed 23.1.18]

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

16.1.18 – Programmable Toys

In today’s Digital Technology class we were looking at programmable toys and their place in the classroom. Starting off as a learner, I was first introduced to Bee-Bot on the iPad.  This was a very bright and colourful app with an animated version of the Bee-Bot toy we would later progress to using.  The app … Continue reading 16.1.18 – Programmable Toys

In today’s Digital Technology class we were looking at programmable toys and their place in the classroom.

Starting off as a learner, I was first introduced to Bee-Bot on the iPad.  This was a very bright and colourful app with an animated version of the Bee-Bot toy we would later progress to using.  The app was easy to navigate and a quick way to display the concept of controlling and interacting with Bee-Bot.

We were then given our brief for the assessed task and a Bee-Bot toy.  It is immediately obvious why Bee-Bot is liked so much by young learners.  He is brightly coloured, has a happy face and is quite tactile.  By that I mean his controls, simple to understand even at early years level, are raised and provide instant feedback to the user that they have been successfully pressed through a ‘click’ that can be felt with the finger and also heard.  It is quite light and very robust.

Our task was to create a game that learners could play with Bee-Bot that had links to numeracy.  In my group we opted for a game aimed at first level learners on the Curriculum for Excellence.  This is broadly speaking pupils in primary 2 – 4. We created a game on a large grid with a money theme and called it “Bee-Bot at the Shop”.  We also created cards to accompany the grid.  One set of cards had pictures of food items you might buy at the shop and the other set had various amounts of money on them, the idea being these would be the prices for the food the player was ‘purchasing’ as part of the game.  The expectation was that the player would program BeeBot to move from the start position to the various coins and/or notes that would be required to make up the value of the item from the card.  As an extension we saw a number of options including a progression on to working out the change they would receive and showing at least one mixture of coins and notes that would make up that value using BeeBot.

 

 

We then tried out our game to assess if it was as engaging as we hoped.  I felt it was successful and would be very engaging to children in first level, that being the age group we designed the game for.    The Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) experiences and outcomes that we were looking to achieve through this game were:

I can use money to pay for items and can work out how much change I should receive.    MNU 1-09a

I have investigated how different combinations of coins and notes can be used to pay for goods or be given in change.                                                                                                                                                MNU 1-09b

I am developing problem solving strategies, navigation and co-ordination skills, as I play and learn with electronic games, remote control or programmable toys.                                                   TCH 1-09a

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

From a teaching perspective, todays learning along with the assessment task was valuable as it displayed to me how the use of technology in the classroom such as BeeBot is so much more than just a bit of fun for the children.  It is an excellent learning tool that allows for imaginative ways to teach subjects across the curriculum and aimed at various age groups.  Indeed, in her article ‘Robots in Early Education (2008) Alison Lyden discusses how programmable toys such as BeeBot can be used even in nursery level classrooms.   I feel that children are exposed to programable technology in their daily lives so this type of interactive learning tool is not beyond their comprehension even at early level.  The pushing of buttons to make the toy do what you want it to is almost intuitive to them.  Indeed in Lyden’s (2008) observation she noted that 12 of her class of 28 were able to use BeeBot without further adult assistance after the initial teaching input.  That is almost half of her class so comfortable with the concept of a programmable toy they were able to work unaided from the outset.  She went on to note that the children were also willing and able to assist those less familiar with the process.  This demonstrates that not only is it a good tool to teach technology and subject like numeracy and literacy, it also branches in to encouraging social interaction.  This is a notion that is also documented by the National Centre for Technology in Education (2012) where it notes the use of floor robots encourages group interaction, conversation and collaboration.  For some children I feel the presence of the toy makes it more comfortable to express themselves in a group setting.

Further to this, Beauchamp (2012, p65) mentions “ICT (in the EY) is not just a computer with Early Years software installed.  ICT is anything where you can press a button and make something happen, the beginnings of children understanding that technology requires programming and that they can be in control of making things happen.”  So aside from the fun aspects of playing with BeeBot it introduces the early concept of programming to the learner.  A foundation that will be built on as they progress through education and gives real world context to the learning.

I have been really impressed with the BeeBot and the breadth of uses it can have across the curriculum in a primary classroom setting.  I look forward to making appropriate use of it in the future as my teaching career progresses.

 

REFERENCES

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

Lydon, A. (2008) Sharing Good Practice : Robots in Early Education [Online] https://oponoa-programmeertalen.wikispaces.com/file/view/BeeBot_article.pdf 

[Accessed: 16th January 2018]

NCTE (National centre for Technology in Education) (2012) NCTE Floor Robots – Focus on Literacy & Numeracy. [Online] http://www.ncte.ie/media/NCTE_Floor_robots_focus_on_literacy_numeracy_primary_12-06.pdf [Accessed: 16th January 2018]

Digital Technologies Week 9 – 6th March 2018

The focus of today’s session was the use of games based learning within the classroom. The Higher Education Academy website states that “digital Games-based Learning is the integration of gaming into learning experiences to increase engagement and motivation.” Firstly, in today’s session we were asked to make a mind map about why games based learning […]

The focus of today’s session was the use of games based learning within the classroom.

The Higher Education Academy website states that “digital Games-based Learning is the integration of gaming into learning experiences to increase engagement and motivation.”

Firstly, in today’s session we were asked to make a mind map about why games based learning is an effective tool to use in education. Some of the examples that myself and my group included in this was that games based learning is engaging and highly motivational and that it grabs the leaners attention.

The Higher Education Academy website also states that “theorists Jean Piaget and Leonard Vygotsky have argued that play is a crucial component of cognitive development from birth and through adulthood. ” This confirms that young learners must experience play in order to enhance their cognitive development. It also highlights that it is vital for us as educators to include games based learning within our classrooms to ensure that pupils are able to develop most effectively.

However, although games based learning can be beneficial in classrooms there may be some potential challenges as explained by Learning and Teaching Scotland:

  • ›Identifying a suitable game / part of a game
  • ›Integrating the game – time/structure of the day
  • ›Teacher confidence/skills
  • ›Assessment – nature of traditional assessments – conducive to assessing digital technology
  • ›Resources/budget

 

Today’s session was to include an experience of playing and gaining knowledge from the Wii game Mario Kart. However, due to technical issues this could not be carried out. Instead, we designed our own Mario karts and our own characters. This activity could be carried out with learners as part of an art lesson. It could also be carried out through a literacy lesson as the pupils would be able to write several sentences describing their kart and character. During today’s input, we were also asked to create a mind map with different curricular areas and below each one a list of lessons that could be carried out involving the Wii game Mario Kart. For example, below the curricular area of art we had a lesson which consisted of pupils designing their own race track and designing tickets and merchandise for anyone who was coming to view a Mario Kart race. We also thought of the pupils recreating the Mario Kart theme song as part of a music lesson. The experiences and outcomes for some of the different lessons that myself and my group listed in our mind map are as follows:

  • I can use my voice, musical instruments and music technology to experiment with sounds, pitch, melody, rhythm, timbre and dynamics. EXA 2-17a
  • Through observing and recording from my experiences across the curriculum, I can create images and objects which show my awareness and recognition of detail. EXA 2-04a

In conclusion, I feel that games based learning is a very important concept that should be used frequently in schools. It allows children to be expressive and creative. Games based learning allows children to improve their cognitive development through play. Children find these experiences motivational and it allows them to reinforce their knowledge of digital technology. Games based learning is a cross-curricular applicaton. Today’s session allowed me to understand how games based learning was embedded into lessons and I will now take this knowledge with me through my teaching career. As I already have first hand knowledge of games based learning, more specifically Mario Kart, I plan to inlcude this in my lessons in the future.

References

Higher Education Academy (2015) – Gamification and Games-Based Learning [Online] https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/gamification-and-games-based-learning [Accessed on 6th March 2018]

Learning, Teaching Scotland (2010) – FutureLab – The Impact of Console Games in the Classroom [Online] https://www.nfer.ac.uk/publications/FUTL25/FUTL25.pdf [Accessed on 6th March 2018)

 

Digital Technologies Week 8 – 27th February 2018

In today’s session, we were discussing the use of mobile devices in the classroom. We were able to read some online sources with different viewpoints and opinions about enhancing learning through the use of mobile devices. We also explored the use of Easi-Speak microphones and how they can be integrated into lessons. Using the Easi-Speak […]

In today’s session, we were discussing the use of mobile devices in the classroom. We were able to read some online sources with different viewpoints and opinions about enhancing learning through the use of mobile devices. We also explored the use of Easi-Speak microphones and how they can be integrated into lessons. Using the Easi-Speak microphones, we created a poetry task to be carried out during a literacy lesson.

While reading the online sources that were available to us I discovered a quote which was very astonishing, “over four in 10 households now have a tablet, meaning that children are becoming computer-literate before they’ve even started primary school”. This statement reveals that children are being influenced by technology from a very early age and are becoming familiar with the concepts of mobile devices. Thus, they are coming into the classroom having already gained an understanding of technology which aims be continued throughout their school years. Digital technology should be firmly embedded into the classroom to provide learners with an understanding of how digital technology can be used in a variety of different ways and the ways in which it can be used for academic purposes.

My partner and I created an “I am Poem” from the perspective of a student teacher. Firstly, we wrote our poem onto the template that we had been given. We then used the Easi-Speak microphones to record ourselves reciting the poem which we decided would work best by reciting one line each. Following that, we uploaded the audio clips to the computer and transferred them onto a PowerPoint presentation. We wrote the poem onto the presentation along with the audio clips and pictures which corresponded to the different lines of the poem. We believe that this task could be aimed at any level within the Curriculum for Excellence depending upon the subject of the poem. However, for early level we believe that the poem should already be given to them and they would be able to use the Easi-Speak microphones to recite the poem that they have been given. The experiences and outcomes that we highlighted for this task are as follows:

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

Overall, I believe that the Easi-Speak microphones are extremely user friendly and are for all ages. They are a unique device which can be used throughout all areas of the curriculum and can be used in many different ways. I feel that mobile devices can create a positive impact on learners and that it allows them to be more independent with their work. Digital technology is vital as young people are experiencing technology from a young age and this should be continued in their school lives. I plan to carry today’s session with me in my teaching practice and I certainly plan to use Easi-Speak microphones and other mobile devices with my future classes.

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]

 

 

Digital Technologies Week 7 – 20th February 2018

The topic of today’s session was using and learning about the iStop Motion application on the iPads. We also discussed the importance of embedding animation into education. Beauchamp (2012, p.54) states that ICT allows pupils to ”achieve something that would be very difficult or even impossible to achieve in any other way.” This statement highlights that […]

The topic of today’s session was using and learning about the iStop Motion application on the iPads. We also discussed the importance of embedding animation into education.

Beauchamp (2012, p.54) states that ICT allows pupils to ”achieve something that would be very difficult or even impossible to achieve in any other way.” This statement highlights that ICT contributes to helping learners throughout all areas of the curriculum. It supports them with their learning while giving them a positive and enjoyable experience.

Bertrancourt (2005) suggests three ways in which animation can be used to enhance learning:

1.To enhance learners’ visual representations.

2.To illustrate processes.

3.To provide an interactive element.

Moving Image Education states that, “animation breathes new life into something that wouldn’t normally move.” This coveys a powerful message of the importance of animation within classrooms. It suggests that animation can portray different messages and educate children through the use of technology.

When creating iStop Motion animations, Moving Image Education states that there are 5 main types of animation, these are as follows;

  1. Cutout
  2. Stop Motion – For example, plasticine
  3. Pixillation – Where humans become puppets
  4. Drawn – For example, classic disney
  5. Computer

My partner and I created an iStop Motion scene using a school and a park background. The story consisted of a young girl who had recently moved to the school and she was being treated disrespectfully by another student at the school. The message that we were putting across through the iStop Motion scene was to treat others with respect and to be kind. We decided that this lesson would be aimed at the first level of Curriculum for Excellence. The experience and outcome that we suggested for this lesson are as follows:

  • “I can explore and experiment with digital technologies and can use what I learn to support and enhance my learning in different contexts. TCH 1-01a”

 

To review, I believe that animation is a powerful form of digital technology and that it should be used more often throughout the classroom. I feel that I have learned a great deal from today’s input and I will carry the knowledge with me throughout my teaching practice. Animation is a fantastic way to engage children as they can create their own stories and scenes using iStop Motion and many other applications. It can allow children to become more creative and work with others to create new and exciting things.

References

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

›Moving Image Education website: [Online] Available from: https://movingimageeducation.org/create-films/animation[Accessed 20 February 2018].

 

Digital Technologies-Module Overview

As an overview for the digital technologies module I found that my understanding of using technology in the classroom and outside, with primary school children has increased greatly. I have found many opportunities of lesson plans that I hope to use during my second year placement. Although I thought my knowledge was sufficient on this … Continue reading “Digital Technologies-Module Overview”

As an overview for the digital technologies module I found that my understanding of using technology in the classroom and outside, with primary school children has increased greatly. I have found many opportunities of lesson plans that I hope to use during my second year placement. Although I thought my knowledge was sufficient on this subject at the beginning of the module I have gained an experience and further information throughout the few months.

I have also realised how truly great digital technologies are to use with the children and has many benefits it has-such as being interesting and fun for the children but still fulfilling a large variety of curriculum for excellence needs and can be used with many subjects. It also has the ability to aid children that need extra help with their work or those with ASN. Digital technology is also already widely used by children outside school and should be used more often in schools. Digital technology is easily accessible for most primary schools and only requires apps on iPads or basic technologies that schools already have but don’t use enough. Something that I learnt in the course is that many teachers don’t actually know how to use the technology or aren’t aware of how to make the children learn from it. I believe that this module has solved that problem for me as it has taught me so much about different ways to incorporate it into my lessons. I have also greatly enjoyed this module and I am very glad I chose it as I think it will be very useful in the near future for my teaching career.

I have also gained a lot of knowledge on digital technologies within schools by doing further reading and reinforcing it by writing a weekly blog with I found to be very beneficial.

Thank you.

Digital Technologies Week 6 – 13th February 2018

In today’s session, we discussed the use of iMovie, the importance of e-Safety and we created an iMovie around the subject of internet safety.   As explained by Beauchamp (2012), “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 […]

In today’s session, we discussed the use of iMovie, the importance of e-Safety and we created an iMovie around the subject of internet safety.

 

As explained by Beauchamp (2012), “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…”. This statement suggests that many schools are not tailoring their policies around the lives of their current students and more around the government policies. This means that children are being educated more heavily on the sites that they should not be visiting rather than the benefits and dangers of the Internet.

During today’s session, we looked at many of the different social platforms that we as educators are able to use. We can also pass this information on to our future pupils and this will allow us to educate them about staying safe online. We discussed how different situations should be dealt with regards to Internet safety. Children should always seek advice or guidance from a parent or guardian if any problems occur online. Beauchamp (2012) supports this by stating “the most successful schools… in terms of e-safety ensured that pupils knew what to do when things went wrong.”.

The iMovie that myself and my group created was based around the story of Snow White. We created an iMovie trailer in which Snow White believes she is talking to Prince Charming through text messages but it turns out to be the Evil Queen. We are trying to portray that you should never give anyone your details if you have never met them before. The iMovie describes some of the dangers of the Internet and gives an insight into what could happen if you are not safe online.

I have recommended that this task would be aimed at the first level within the Curriculum for Excellence and the experiences and outcomes that I have highlighted are as follows:

  • I can extend my knowledge of how to use digital technology to communicate with others and I am aware of ways to keep safe and secure.  TCH 1-03a.
  • I have the opportunity to choose and explore a range of media and technologies to create images and objects, discovering their effects and suitability for specific tasks. EXA 1-02a

To summarise, I believe that today’s session has given me an amazing opportunity and it has allowed me to deepen my understanding of iMovie. It has also allowed me to gain more knowledge around the topic of Internet safety. I feel that iMovie is something that should be used in all schools as it is something that could be created by the teacher to inform the learners or something that the learners could create to share with their peers. iMovie is a fantastic resource to convey a specific message and to educate the children on a particular topic.

References 

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

 

Digital Technologies Week 5 – 6th February 2018

During this week’s session, we used the Book Creator app on the iPad to create a summary of a well-known book. We also discussed the advantages of using e-Books in a classroom setting. As defined in the Oxford Dictionary, an e-Book is “an electronic version of a printed book which can be read on a computer […]

During this week’s session, we used the Book Creator app on the iPad to create a summary of a well-known book. We also discussed the advantages of using e-Books in a classroom setting.

As defined in the Oxford Dictionary, an e-Book is “an electronic version of a printed book which can be read on a computer or a specifically designed handheld device.”

The principles and practices of literacy and English, created by Education Scotland, highlight that the most useful way of communicating a lesson in literacy and English is by providing “frequent opportunities to communicate in a wide range of contexts” (Education Scotland, n.d., a). A multimodal text contains two or more semiotic systems, these include, visual, gestural, audio, spatial and linguistic. Multimodal texts are beneficial to all learners and make it easier for everyone to participate in lessons. They can also be used throughout the curriculum.

(Education Scotland, n.d., b) states that ICT in school helps to raise attainment and achievement, closing the gap between the advantaged and disadvantaged and thus, providing them with the skills for the digitally advancing world that awaits them. This statement highlights that ICT enables young learners to reach their full potential through enjoyable experiences while gaining and developing different skills.

E-Books can be extremely effective in a classroom for many reasons. They are an enjoyable resource for learners and they are especially effective within a literacy lesson. They can also be used to push learners who are struggling with reading. Through the use of Book Creator, learners are able to grasp a deeper understanding of the story which will continue to help them with their reading practice. E-books are portable which can also promote outdoor learning and activities. They can also help to give learners a better understanding of our digital age and allow them to become more comfortable with technology.

During today’s lesson, we were asked to create a teaching aid that was based on a particular story. I created a teaching tool based on “Room on the Broom” by Julia Donaldson. My e-Book features several semiotic systems making it a multimodal resource. It contains parts of the story read aloud by myself and questions based on that particular part of the story. At the end of the e-Book, the learners will be asked to describe their favourite part of the story. I believe that this lesson would be aimed at early level within the Curriculum for Excellence and the experiences and outcomes that I have highlighted for this lesson are as follows:

To summarise, I will carry today’s experience with me throughout my teaching practice as I believe that it will be very important to use within a classroom setting. E-

Books are an effective resource that can be used to allow all learners to reach their full potential within many different curricular areas. This resource also allows for a lot of choice and freedom within the classroom as there is no limit to what you can create. I feel that learners can make this a memorable experience for themselves which in turn will allow them to be highly engaged in these activities.

 

References

http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/guides/about-e-books

Education Scotland (n.d., a) Curriculum for Excellence: literacy and English, principles and practice [Online]. Available from: https://education.gov.scot/Documents/literacy-english-pp.pdf [Accessed: 6 February 2018].

Education Scotland (n.d., b) Technologies in Curriculum for Excellence [Online]. Available from: https://education.gov.scot/parentzone/learning-in-scotland/curriculum-areas/Technologies%20in%20Curriculum%20for%20Excellence [Accessed: 6 February 2018].