Digital Technologies – Coding 30/01/18

Today within my Digital Technologies class I was introduced to Coding for the first time, during this time we focused directly on Scratch Jr.  I became aware very quickly that coding is an important aspect within children’s learning as it can broaden knowledge and enable very beneficial lessons within a range of different areas, such […]

Today within my Digital Technologies class I was introduced to Coding for the first time, during this time we focused directly on Scratch Jr.  I became aware very quickly that coding is an important aspect within children’s learning as it can broaden knowledge and enable very beneficial lessons within a range of different areas, such as Literacy.  The benefits of coding that I am now aware of have allowed me to recognise how important powerful is, therefore when I am planning lessons in future I will ensure I often use interactive games such as Scratch Jr.

There are many different benefits Coding has within the classroom, such as how it enables children to problem solve.  This would help them in all aspects of life and education, this showing that Coding should not just be used for Technology lessons.  Coding also allows children to communicate effectively, this is because they can convey their own ideas and stories.  As children gain design and creativity skills through coding, they would have the experience and be able to design projects.  Not only does coding allow skills to be developed and shown within school, but it also leads children to successful jobs  “Gaming companies want more programmers. The government wants more high-tech start-ups. Manufacturers want trainees who can design embedded systems.” (Naughton, 2011, p2)  These benefits show exactly how important coding is within society today.  Scratch Jr is the coding programme that I focused on, which enables children aged five years and over to create their own interactive story.  Scratch Jr has a wide range of different backgrounds, animals, people and objects that can be placed on slides.  All of these different things can be made to move, sing, speak etc.  The Lead Project (2014) back up the previously stated benefits mentioned as it is stated how Scratch Jr allows children to “think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively – essential skills for success and happiness in today’s world.”

I would love to deliver my Scratch Jr activity during a Literacy lesson to children in the future as I feel as though they would think about the previous text within it, and from this be able to continue the story.  I would start this lesson by introducing them to the text, which is based on animals, their friends and where they live.  On the end slide instead of introducing another animal I wrote “Where do you think my friends live?” – this would allow children to continue the story, whilst demonstrating their writing skills.  It would also highlight that they have read the story accurately if they are able to keep it flowing like the previous slides, and also not repeat a slide on an animal that has already been discussed.  I think this lesson would be best aimed at children in Primary 2, and before they continue the story I would create a mind-map with them about where different animals live, this allowing them to think about what they are going to write before starting.  The interactive story I created is based around this Curriculum for Excellence outcome – ‘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.  This specific Technology outcome highlights that the activity I created not only develops knowledge within technology, but also literacy.  Another outcome which focuses on this is – ‘Using what I know about the features of different types of texts, I can find, select, sort and use information for a specific purpose’ LIT 1-14a.  I feel as though this Literacy outcome fits in perfectly with the Scratch Jr activity I created as the story gives the information and ideas that is needed to be able to be able to finish it.

I am grateful that this module is allowing me to develop my knowledge in areas such as Coding, because otherwise I would have not been confident in teaching a lesson based around Scratch Jr or any other coding programme.  Teachers who are not confident in Coding often need to be trained (Curtis, 2003), therefore I believe my knowledge will have a positive effect on the children I am teaching.  Overall, I learned a lot today, as previously I would have just associated coding with technology lessons, however it fits into many different curricular subjects.

 

References:

Curtis, S. (2013) Teaching our children to code: a quiet revolution. [Moodle Resource] Available: Digital Technologies module on Moodle. [Accessed 30 January 2018]

Naughton, N. (2012) Why all our kids should be taught how to code. [Moodle Resource] Available: Digital Technologies module on Moodle. [Accessed 30 January 2018]

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

Digital Technologies – Week 4

This week in Digital Technologies, we were focusing on the benefits of using coding in the class room. Coding is an important part of learning in today’s society and in order to explore this, we used the computer coding program Scratch Jr., to create an interactive story. The ability to code computer programs is an important part of not only …

Continue reading “Digital Technologies – Week 4”

This week in Digital Technologies, we were focusing on the benefits of using coding in the class room. Coding is an important part of learning in today’s society and in order to explore this, we used the computer coding program Scratch Jr., to create an interactive story.

The ability to code computer programs is an important part of not only learning, but in many aspects of literacy, and becoming increasingly known as the new literacy. When people begin to learn to code, they learn the important skills and strategies for solving problems, communicating their ideas in a different way and designing creative projects.

Scratch Jr. is an introductory programming language that enables young children who are of age 5 and above, and create their own by having the improved knowledge of coding prior to utilising Scratch Jr. The Lead Project, (2014) discusses the skills acquired by the coding program: “As young people create Scratch projects, they are not just learning how to write computer programs. They are learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively – essential skills for success and happiness in today’s world.” When a child is using Scratch Jr., they are having to navigate their way around the rules of coding, plan ahead, set the scenes and create different characters “Sprites”.

Scratch Jr. is widely used in education establishments, as it links in effectively with the Scottish Curriculum, ranging from Early level to Second level. “Scratch is designed for exploration and experimentation, so it supports any different learning style.” (The Lead Project, 2014) Schools are benefiting from coding programs such as Scratch Jr. as it’s benefits are endless for educators. it helps aid them in teaching subjects such as English, Maths, Music and Information Technology.

During the workshop, we created an interactive story using Scratch Jr., using our prior knowledge of coding and incorporating the Scottish curriculum Experiences and Outcome’s throughout the course of the interactive story. I had created a story, whereby an octopus and two other fish were in the ocean. The octopus had lost his lucky star and the two fish were to help him find it. The fish came across objects which were not the star, until the other fish had found where it may be. the children were then brought to a scene at night time, where the question was asked: “What might happen next?” This will allow the children to describe scenes, the character’s feelings and think ahead about what may happen next in the story line, developing their creative thinking skills.

The Scottish Curriculum Experience’s and Outcomes which link in with my Scratch Jr. story creation were:

“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.

In relation to Literacy, the relevant outcome which links in to the task was:

“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

Moreover, I felt that it was beneficial being introduced to Scratch Jr., as I feel that it is an extremely useful source to use within a classroom environment, when teaching different lessons in an interactive way. I definitely will use this in the future when I become a teacher as I think it will encourage the pupils to create stories, with the prompt of an educator. not only developing creativity, but problem solving, collaborating and logically reasoning.

 

References:

The Lead Project (2014) Super Scratch Programming Adventure: Learn to Program by Making Cool Games! No Starch Press.https://www.facebook.com/

Digital Technologies Week 4.

Today’s session was an introduction to the use of Scratch Jr in the classroom. Scratch Jr is aimed at children aged five and above to create interactive games, animations and stories. The Lead Project (2014) stated, “As young people create Scratch projects, they are not just learning how to write computer programs. They are learning …

Continue reading “Digital Technologies Week 4.”

Today’s session was an introduction to the use of Scratch Jr in the classroom. Scratch Jr is aimed at children aged five and above to create interactive games, animations and stories.

The Lead Project (2014) stated, “As young people create Scratch projects, they are not just learning how to write computer programs. They are learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively – essential skills for success and happiness in today’s world”. From this, the benefits of coding programs are exhibited. Alongside having a fun lesson on the iPads, children are gaining skills which they will require later in life in the adult world. Furthermore, this organisation also believe that Scratch Jr is a key tool for a teacher as they can use this application for a number of lessons including: English, mathematics, music, information technology and art & design (The Lead Project, 2014).

The lesson that I created today was aimed for the early level within the Curriculum for Excellence. The lesson was based on phonics and the “oo” sound. The Experiences and Outcomes that I have highlighted for this lesson are as follows;

I explore sounds, letters and words, discovering how they work together, and I can use what I learn to help me as I read or write. ENG 0-12a / LIT 0-13a / LIT 0-21a

I am developing problem-solving strategies, navigation and co-ordination skills, as I play and learn with electronic games, remote control or programmable, I can work individually or collaboratively to design and implement a game toys. TCH 0-09a / TCH 1-09a

To introduce the lesson to the children, we will sit as a group and I will show them that the characters are looking for phonics with the “oo” sound. We will then progress on to the next slide which asks the children to identify the words with the correct phonic. One-by-one, I will ask the children to come up and select the word they believe features the “oo” sound. Finally, I will direct them to their tables where the game will be set up on an iPad and they will have to think of words for themselves with the “oo” phonic and they are able to add them into the game for themselves.

I will definitely take this lesson into the classroom with me. I believe that the children will enjoy this whilst gaining vital skills for later in life. I thoroughly enjoyed today’s session.

References

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

Digital Technologies Week 2 – 16th January 2018

During today’s session, we were exploring BeeBot with regards to numeracy. We have previously looked into the use of BeeBot within a classroom setting with regards to literacy and this prior learning helped to guide us during today’s session. We also studied the benefits of using BeeBot. In addition to this, we created a BeeBot […]

During today’s session, we were exploring BeeBot with regards to numeracy. We have previously looked into the use of BeeBot within a classroom setting with regards to literacy and this prior learning helped to guide us during today’s session. We also studied the benefits of using BeeBot. In addition to this, we created a BeeBot map and we were assessed on this.

According to Janka, “The curriculum introduces programmable toys as a good example for developing knowledge and understanding of the contemporary world.” (Janka, 2008, p.2) This presents the idea that programmable toys are beneficial to children in their learning. It allows children to be engaged with their learning while being productive. Young people are also more interactive and creative which are valuable skills for the world of work.

It is also highlighted that, “[Floor robots in the classroom] help with the development of skills such as a logical sequencing, measuring, comparing lengths, space orientation, and expressing concepts in words.” (National centre for Technology in Education, 2012, p.1) Programmable toys are of great importance within numeracy and all areas of the curriculum as they allow children to be in control of their learning and to make the experience enjoyable for them.

Myself and my peer decided to create a ‘snakes and ladders’ map for our assessment this week. We were able to design the map to address several levels and abilities. For early years, the map is simply a game of snakes and ladders involving the BeeBot. Whereas, for first level learners the map allows them to see a visual representation of the numbers, the name of the numbers and the amount represented by circles in this instance and they must roll the dice to move the BeeBot around the map. For second level, the young learners will have to work out addition or multiplication sums to navigate the BeeBot around the map.

We were asked to allocate our creation to match certain experiences and outcomes of the Curriculum for Excellence and we chose the following:

“In movement, games, and using technology I can use simple directions and describe positions.” -MTH 0-17a

“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 0-09a

Today’s session allowed me to become more comfortable usingBeebot and to understand the background and benefits of programmable toys.

References

Janka, P. (2008) Using a Programmable Toy at Preschool Age: Why and How [Online]. Available from: http://www.terecop.eu/downloads/simbar2008/pekarova.pdf [Accessed: 16 January 2018] NCTE (National centre for Technology in Education) (2012)

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

Digital Technologies- Multimodality (Week 3)

Multimodel texts are a lot more engaging and interactive for the children, it can also increase the attention span the children have when receiving  certain information (Prandstatter, 2014). A piece of text done digitally is considered multimodel when it includes at least two of the five of the following semiotic systems- Spatial Linguistic Visual Audio Gestural ‘The … Continue reading “Digital Technologies- Multimodality (Week 3)”

Multimodel texts are a lot more engaging and interactive for the children, it can also increase the attention span the children have when receiving  certain information (Prandstatter, 2014). A piece of text done digitally is considered multimodel when it includes at least two of the five of the following semiotic systems-

  1. Spatial
  2. Linguistic
  3. Visual
  4. Audio
  5. Gestural

‘The multimodality of technology is another reason to use it, as it allows teachers to present an idea in a variety of different ways to help pupils understand it’ (Beauchamp, 2012, pg.8).

Multimodality improves the understanding the children have for the certain text. Using technology within the piece of writing can help to increase the interest in what is being said but only if done properly which means that the teacher has to have skills necessary for it (Beauchamp, 2012). There has been a large increase of the use of multimodal texts and certain technology by children within the community, therefore, it is crucial that the skills used can continue to be develop to prepare for adulthood (Education Scotland)

Reflecting on my own use of multimodal text, I think it’s a very beneficial feature to use especially with young children. When I was on placement I had to make a powerpoint for primary two’s for a lesson I had with them. They were learning about their senses and were on the topic of hearing. I was able to use text, pictures and sounds within my powerpoint and the children reacted really well to it, also they remained engaged throughout and were very keen on participation. It also let me connect the visual picture of the item to what sound they make and what it’s called and spelled, so,  it has the possibility to develop the children’s understanding of their surroundings.

References-

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

Prandstatter (2014) Interactive Displays in Early Years Classes                     [online] http://connectlearningtoday.com/interactive-displays-early-years-classes/ [accessed: 26th January 2017]

Education Scotland
https://education.gov.scot

Digital Technologies – Week 3

The focus of today’s lesson during Digital Technologies, was to learn about the use of multimodality within a learning environment in order to enhance both teaching and learning in the classroom. In addition to this, we used the digital platform: ActivInspire to create a Numeracy interactive activity. We learned that a  text is known as …

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The focus of today’s lesson during Digital Technologies, was to learn about the use of multimodality within a learning environment in order to enhance both teaching and learning in the classroom. In addition to this, we used the digital platform: ActivInspire to create a Numeracy interactive activity.

We learned that a  text is known as multimodal when it combines two or more semiotic systems: Linguistic, Visual, Audio, Gestural, Spatial. This is stated by Beauchamp (2012), “The multimodality of technology is another reason to use it, as it follows teachers to present an idea in a variety go different ways to help pupils understand it.”

The presentation of a lesson can be enhanced and projected to young learners by teachers by using multimodality within all aspects of learning throughout the Curriculum for Excellence. Also discussed by Beauchamp, (2012), “The ability of ICT 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.” With use of the semiotic systems, making a multimodal text to aid learning in the classroom creates a fresh and modern approach to teaching within a learning establishment.”

Activinspire enables engagement from all pupils as we also discussed that using a yellow background with comic sans font is an effective way to prepare a lesson for those with dyslexic tendencies, as this makes it easier for them to read. 

My partner and I created a Activinspire flip chart which made an interactive learning experience with regards to using co-ordinates in numeracy, with the CfE level targeted to second level. On one of the flip charts, we had created a basic grid, ranging with coordinates from 1-10 and with many different shapes plotted onto the co-ordinates grid. Here the children were to recognise which shape was which and then determine the coordinates of where that particular shape lies on the grid. Following on to this, using their prior knowledge of where points are plotted on a grid, the children were to click and drag the shapes to the points already stated by the flip chart, which allowed them to show their knowledge and understanding of plotting the correct shape to the correct point on that grid.

Overall, I think that I really benefited from this lesson on using ActivInspire within the classroom, as I know and believe that I will use this within the classroom. I have full confidence in using the digital platform and i am excited to portray lessons to children in a new and exciting way which engages all pupils.

 

References

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

Digital Technologies – Week 2

Commencing onto the second week of the Digital Technologies module, today’s focus was based on the use of programmable toys within education establishments: in particular using the BeeBot. To our advantage, having previously looking at using BeeBot for literacy purposes, we were able to take our prior knowledge of using BeeBot in a numeracy setting. As …

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Commencing onto the second week of the Digital Technologies module, today’s focus was based on the use of programmable toys within education establishments: in particular using the BeeBot. To our advantage, having previously looking at using BeeBot for literacy purposes, we were able to take our prior knowledge of using BeeBot in a numeracy setting. As part of our assessment task, we were to create a BeeBot floor map which represented a numeracy Experience and Outcome, which we then tested out for our lecturer.

With regards to the programmable toys use within education, it can be shown to uphold many benefits to a child’s development throughout the Curriculum for Excellence. Pekarova Janka is in favour of the use of programmable toys within the classroom. There are endless benefits and opportunities which arise from using programmable toys in class settings, Janka explains the benefits of programmable toys: “The curriculum introduces programmable toys as a good example for developing knowledge and understanding of the contemporary world.” (Janka, 2008, p.2) In addition to this, The National centre for Technology in Education (2012, p1) provides evidence as to the increased benefits of using programmable toys in education, they state, “[Floor robots in the classroom] help with the development of skills such as logical sequencing, measuring, comparing lengths, space orientation and expressing concepts in words”.

The benefits that programmable toys exhibit are endless, creating an interactive, responsive learning environment for the child. In terms of assessment strategies, educators can observe the children’s literacy and numeracy skills whilst playing with the BeeBot. This takes into account the children’s problem solving skills and sense of creativity, whilst experiencing the enjoyment of this hands-on learning experience.

For the assessment task, my peers and I decided to create a floor mat which contained shapes, represented by everyday objects, such as a clock, book, envelope etc. Alongside this, we created que-cards, which described the property of the shape that BeeBot was to travel to, for example: “Travel Beebot to the shape which has 4 equal sides.” whereby the child would program Beebot to the envelope. This Beebot floor map was targeted at first level, which allowed for the recognition of shapes and describing their properties, using their problem solving and prior knowledge of mainstream shapes.

The experiences and outcomes for this Beebot floor map we created are: “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 0-09a

“I have explored simple 3D objects and 2D shapes and can identify, name and describe their features using appropriate vocabulary.” -MTH 1-16a

Overall,  I thoroughly enjoyed using the BeeBot for both literacy and numeracy lessons. However, I felt it required a lot of  creativity for an educator and I would highly recommend looking up ideas both online or in reading prior to creating a floor map. I will definitely be using this in the classroom in the future as I think it creates a new learning experience which is innovating and exciting for young learners.

 

References

Janka, P. (2008) Using a Programmable Toy at Preschool Age: Why and How [Online]. Available from: http://www.terecop.eu/downloads/simbar2008/pekarova.pdf [Accessed: 16 January 2018]

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

Digital Technologies – Multimodality 23/01/18

Within this week’s class of Digital Technologies we focused on multimodality, through this I gained a great deal of knowledge about the importance of multimodal presentations.  We also worked in pairs to complete an ActivInspire flipchart, the opportunity beforehand of seeing a few examples and to watch tutorials on how to work it was very […]

Within this week’s class of Digital Technologies we focused on multimodality, through this I gained a great deal of knowledge about the importance of multimodal presentations.  We also worked in pairs to complete an ActivInspire flipchart, the opportunity beforehand of seeing a few examples and to watch tutorials on how to work it was very beneficial as this was the first time that I had used it.

Although I was first introduced to multimodality in the Literacy module in semester 1, I was glad we got to reiterate our knowledge during the lesson today as I feel as though it is a very important part of teaching.  This is backed up by (Beauchamp, 2012, p100) when he states, “The ability of ICT 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.”  Due to this, I am very pleased that my understanding surrounding multimodality has increased significantly.  Multimodal texts include two or more semiotic systems, which include; Linguistic, Visual, Audio, Gestural and Spatial.  As a student teacher I see the true importance of multimodal presentations, as they will captivate, engage and motivate children, this ensuring lessons stay memorable.  This is something that I am very passionate about, as in future years when teaching I always want the children to remember the lessons that I have carried out, this letting me know that they have got the most out of what I have taught them.

Myself and my partner created an ActivInspire flipchart based around Literacy, which covered the Curriculum for Excellence outcome ‘Throughout the writing process, I can check that my writing makes sense”- LIT 1-23a.  I thoroughly enjoyed the idea of this flipchart being child led if it was to be carried out, this meaning the children would learn by doing (Prandstatter, 2014).  Our flipchart had a jungle theme and the animals included could be dragged into the middle of the screen and have an adjective wrote about them.  After this, the last two pages contained lines where all the children would come up individually and write a sentence about the animals and setting, along with including the adjectives that they had wrote.  All the sentences would have the flow to make one story, this meaning children would have to thoroughly check their writing to make sure that what they were saying fitted in well with what others had wrote – this matched with the outcome that we had used perfectly. From creating an ActivInspire flipchart I am now able to identify how much the Curriculum benefits from multimodal presentations.  This is because of all the different ideas it gave me from mathematics to art lessons, this showing me that learners can benefit from multimodal presentations in any subject.

Therefore, I am now aware how important multimodality is within education, and how it can fit into any area within the Curriculum.  I am excited for future placements and years of being a teacher to be able to prepare lessons on resources such as ActivInspire as I feel as though it will captivate all learners through the pictures, sounds, text etc that can be used on it.  From my last placement I identified how much children like to be in control of their learning through seeing their excitement of writing on the smartboard or the whiteboard.   From this I am going to ensure, where appropriate, that a lot of my lessons are child led.

 

References:

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

Prandstatter, J. (2014) Interactive Displays in Early Years Classes. [Online] Available: http://connectlearningtoday.com/interactive-displays-early-years-classes/ [accessed 24 January 2017]

 

 

Digital Technologies – Week 1

Within today’s introductory session of Digital Technologies, we as learners reflected upon what digital technology is, the importance of using digital technologies as prospering student teachers in schools and navigating Glow by using our own digital skills. At the beginning of the module, the question: “What do you think Digital Technology is all about?” was …

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Within today’s introductory session of Digital Technologies, we as learners reflected upon what digital technology is, the importance of using digital technologies as prospering student teachers in schools and navigating Glow by using our own digital skills.

At the beginning of the module, the question: “What do you think Digital Technology is all about?” was asked of us by our lecturer. With previous knowledge and understanding of a former discussion I had with a peer, my answer was “Digital Technology is a way in which a young persons learning can be portrayed in a new and modern method. Following on from to our own personal answer and opinion as to what we thought Digital Technologies was, we were given the Scottish Government’s definition of what Digital Technology is.  described as “A digital learning and teaching strategy for Scotland.” This enabled me to widen my understanding of digital technology and what lies ahead within my learning journey along the course of this module.

Within the workshop, a worksheet was issued to us, where we were to complete an honest review upon our strengths and weaknesses within our digital skills. In reflection upon my strengths, I found that my skills lie within digital platforms such as: Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Throughout my years of schooling, these particular platforms were made mandatory through the different aspects of my learning which enabled my digital technology skills to Excel. This meant I was able to take these strengths I portray to University and beyond my teaching career.

In order to increase our awareness towards the use of Digital Technology within education establishments, we were directed to: “The national Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy (2016).” The strategy highlighted the importance of improving education in Scotland in order to give young people the best chances in life through the use of: “The National Improvement Framework” and the “Scottish Education Delivery Plan”. It links Digital Technology to this improvement plan in highly enriching education across the Curriculum in Scotland’s education. Through reflection on this document, it can be noted that digital technology not only develops a young learners skills and digital learning, but also the confidence in their use of technology. In this way, teachers and educators are given the flexibility within their practice to incorporate digital technology within their learning establishments, in order to aid young people to gain skills for life, learning and work, which is highly regarded within the Curriculum for Excellence. In terms of this, the wider economy will benefit by digital technologies incorporation into learning at an early stage in life, as their future workforce will be fully equipped with the skills and knowledge for a range of different sectors involving ICT.  The Scottish Government (2016), stated that digital technologies are also aimed to “encourage educators to share innovative and effective  practice through digital platforms”. I found it extremely interesting that not only young learners can benefit from digital technology. Parents/carers may see value within digital technology through communicating with their children’s school and supporting their learning.

Overall, I found it extremely insightful when looking into the benefits and value of incorporating digital technology within the Scottish Curriculum for young learners. Not only does it foster creativity, ambition and spark interest for life long learning, but it improves the attainment gap, in which it provides every young person with the same opportunities within their learning experience. This helps to promote equality amongst the children and will further widen their skills for life, learning and work. I am confident that I will enjoy this module and I am eager to see what lies ahead within my digital learning experiences.

 

References

Scottish Government (2016) Enhancing learning and teaching through the use of digital technology. [Online]. Available from: http://moodle.uws.ac.uk/pluginfile.php/391375/mod_resource/content/2/Digital%20Learning%20and%20Teaching%20Strategy%20.pdf

[Accessed: 20 January 2018].

Digital Technologies- Week 2 (Programmable Toys)

Today I explored more of the benefits of programmable toys within the classroom environment. They can have a really positive impact on the children. They have the possibility of improving sense of direction as the children have to distinguish from right, left, straight and back.  They can develop concentration and problem solving as well as … Continue reading “Digital Technologies- Week 2 (Programmable Toys)”

Today I explored more of the benefits of programmable toys within the classroom environment. They can have a really positive impact on the children. They have the possibility of improving sense of direction as the children have to distinguish from right, left, straight and back.  They can develop concentration and problem solving as well as improving their skill in writing down instructions. It can boost creativity as there are a lot of possibilities of art lesson plans with programmable toys (Janka, 2008).

“In the field of mathematical development, children should develop the ability to describe simple journey and instruct the programmable toy in order to develop positional language and estimation.” (Janka, 2008, p.2)

A programmable toy called ‘Bee-Bot’ is a widely used toy in the classroom. It involves setting down  specific directions for the toy bee to move in. Lydon (2008) states that in her classroom 12 out of 28 children were capable of using the Bee-Bot right after hearing instructions for it which she did not expect. It shows that the Bee-Bot increases independence and is straight forward to use for the children.

“[Floor robots in the classroom] help with the development of skills such as a logical sequencing, measuring, comparing lengths, space orientation, and expressing concepts in words.”  (National centre for Technology in Education, 2012, p.1)

It is shown that a simple toy can have a huge advantage for the children and is a widely used technology within the classrooms for children at all different stages.

We had the opportunity (in small groups) to create our own maps for the bee-bots to move on which could be used in the classroom. Our team took an approach to focus on shapes. We were able to connect what the shape looks like visually and their connection within the shapes we find in our day to day life to the properties and names of the shapes. We done this by separating the paper into 12 different section and in each one a different shape was drawn but as an object so for example a circle was drawn as a clock. We then made questions cards with different properties of shapes with they then had to identify and move the bee-bot to that specific area. From my own reflections of the task I think this is a much more fun and interesting way to teach children maths-it also really helps to develop problem solving skills as even as adults we had to think about the answers.

Pekárová Janka(2008) Using a Programmable Toy at Preschool Age: Why and How? [Online] http://www.terecop.eu/downloads/simbar2008/pekarova.pdf [Accessed: 16th January 2017]

Alison Lydon (2008) Sharing Good Practice: Robots in Early Education.   [Online] https://oponoa-programmeertalen.wikispaces.com/file/view/BeeBot_article.pdf [Accessed: 16th January]

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