Outdoor Learning: QR Codes- Week 11 Digital Technology

Today was our last class for this module and I had been speaking to others about my growing anticipation to find a connection between digital technologies and outdoor learning. When I was at school, there was never any digital technology involved in outdoor play, just simply a pair of wellies and some waterproof clothes. I […]

Today was our last class for this module and I had been speaking to others about my growing anticipation to find a connection between digital technologies and outdoor learning. When I was at school, there was never any digital technology involved in outdoor play, just simply a pair of wellies and some waterproof clothes.

I was very excited to know what the learning intentions would be for the day and this is when we were introduced to ‘Quick Response Codes’ (QR Codes). A QR code is a type of bar code that is made up of black modules on a white background, unlike a normal barcode that has 20 alphanumeric character limit, a QR code can hold thousands of characters. QR codes were created in 1994 and are used mainly on smartphones and tablets however you may see them on signs, business cards and when sharing multimedia content such as an ebook (techopedia) and by downloading a QR reader App will allow you to scan any QR codes.

The QR codes that we used today were set up in the style of a treasure hunt and this is when I had the chance to see the connections between digital technology and outdoor learning. Our lecturer had placed many QR codes around the gardens of the university campus, we then had to seek out and scan each QR code using our mobile devices, which were iPads. Each QR code held a question with a multiple choice answer, when all the questions were answered correctly there was a jumbled up word to guess, then lastly we had to scan the final QR code and the team first to complete this were the winners. When we met back at the classroom, we created a ‘Pic Collage’ on an iPad, which was fairly simple and would be great tool for children in a classroom as the app allows for creativity and design.

Being outside was brilliant and memorable which the Scottish Government believe is part of the outdoor learning experience. I myself certainly remember my own childhood school trips and outings, as they were so much fun. I can only imagine how excited primary school children would be if they had the same oppertunity.

As a student teacher, it is important for me to experience as many different approaches to teaching as I can, as not all children will and can learn in a set typical environment. In order for this to happen we had an in-depth class discussion about  ‘GIRFEC’ (Getting it right for every child).  GIRFEC is a policy that is used in Scotland to ensure the wellbeing of our children and by using this we can put the differentiated needs of children and young people first (Scottish Government). GIRFEC is broken down into 8 areas of the SHANARRI Wellbeing Wheel which we related today to outdoor learning:

  1. Active – Getting outside and exercising.
  2. Respected – Looking after the environment.
  3. Responsible – Behaving in different surroundings.
  4. Included – Opportunities for children to shine.
  5. Safe – Developing risk management skills.
  6. Healthy – Promotes a healthy lifestyle.
  7. Achieving – Personal development such as problem solving.
  8. Nurtured – Building positive relationships.

I had my own oppertunity to create a lesson using the iPad and QR codes. The lesson was based on modern languages and for this I created a Spanish quiz. The quiz worked very similar to the treasure hunt and I can clearly see how easily adaptable lessons like these can be. While planning my lesson, I was aware of advice from my lecturer to ‘bundle’ CFE experiences and outcomes. I found that with activities like this bundling was happening by it’s self as ‘Digital Technology’ has so many positive outcomes, such as health and wellbeing, technology, numeracy and literacy etc.

Below are the areas of the CFE I have chosen for my lesson:

MLAN 2-11c I experiment with new language, working out the meaning of words and phrases using vocabulary I have learned so far.

TCH 2-04a 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.

HWB 2-11a I make full use of and value the opportunities I am given to improve and manage my learning, in turn, I can help to encourage learning and confidence in others.

As you can see there is a wide range of experiences and outcomes, this has been the case throughout the digital technology module.

I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, that today was our last class, so I would like to conclude that I am so grateful for what this module has taught me. It has really opened my eyes to the world of technology and it’s many uses within education.

During this module, our class had opportunities to work in groups, this has meant that we have been communicating and collaborating throughout the module. Having the oppertunity to experience this, has helped us to understand what it may feel like, feelings such as confidence barriers and communication difficulties that some children may experience.

Our class lecturer has repeatedly explained to us how important it is to make things relevant, as it captures and holds a learners attention. I have experienced this for myself during my short time at university and college last year and I will ensure that relevance is something that I will take with me into the classroom as a future teacher.

The module has been so beneficial to me as my confidence in technology has increased, I know this because of the questionnaire I completed at the beginning and at the end of the module. This has shown a great increase in my confidence and knowledge. I will most definitely be getting involved with technologies in the future, my aim is to continue to build on my knowledge and also my confidence, this will benefit me as a student and as a teacher.

References

  • Scottish Government (2008) The Curriculum for Excellence [Online] http://www.education.gov.scot/Documents/all-experiences-and-outcomes.pdf [Accessed 27th March 2018].
  • Scottish Government (2010) The Curriculum for Excellence Through Outdoor Learning [Online] https://education.gov.scot/Documents/cfe-through-outdoor-learning.pdf [Accessed 27th March 2018].
  • Scottish Government (2017) What is GIRFEC? [Online] http://www.gov.scot/Topics/People/Young-People/gettingitright/what-is-girfec [Accessed 27th March 2018].
  • Techopedia [Online] https://www.techopedia.com/definition/2915/quick-response-code-qr-code [Accessed 27th March 2018].

 

Digital Technology Week 11 – Outdoor Learning/QR Codes

Digital Technology Week 11 – QR Codes and Outdoor learning This was our final week in Digital technology and this week we focused on the us of QR codes in the class, but we also merged this with outdoor learning. I have had some experience when I was younger of outdoor learning but not very …

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Digital Technology Week 11 – QR Codes and Outdoor learning

This was our final week in Digital technology and this week we focused on the us of QR codes in the class, but we also merged this with outdoor learning. I have had some experience when I was younger of outdoor learning but not very much of it. I have seen a lot of QR codes and have used them before to access websites, but I didn’t know that they could be used to ask and answer questions in a school setting and I didn’t know you could make your own codes.

We discussed the many benefits of outdoor learning being used in school and how easy it can be to do. Learning and Teaching Scotland say “Integrating learning and outdoor experiences, whether through play in the immediate grounds or adventures further afield, provides relevance and depth to the curriculum in ways that are difficult to achieve indoors.2 this shows that many of the seven core values of the curriculum for excellence can easily be completed without realising it during outdoor learning. I have memories from primary school of outdoor learning as I remember my class along with many other children enjoy going outside and this therefore engages them to what they are being taught. “…it’s clear that the outdoor environment offers motivating, exciting, different, relevant and easily accessible activities from pre-school years through to college.” Education Scotland (2010). This explains that everyone loves going outside and completing activities in nature. This was also evident when we completed our task in the workshop as even when we are in university we enjoyed and were engaged doing outdoor learning. We discussed that there is a difference between outdoor learning and learning outdoor, learning outdoor is just taking the learning from the classroom to the outside where as outdoor learning is using the outdoors to learn or enhance the learning activity. “…children are citizens of their localities, making contributions to the communities whether playing sport, interacting with others or simply hanging out with friends…” (Beauchamp, 2012, p. 126). This tells us that outdoor learning can include all areas of the curriculum such as physical education not only literacy or topic work. it reminds us that all children are good at things and they may not be school work but as teachers we must make sure they are able to excel in their specific area be that football, as teachers this is where you see the best in that child that may not normally speak up.

 

This week’s activity was a treasure hunt type activity, where we went outside and had to find the posters around the university grounds which had a QQR code on it we then scanned it with our iPads and answered the question that came up which gave us a letter. Once we had found all the letters we had to unscramble them to create a word, all the questions were Scottish based and so was the word. The final word was HAGGIS and we then scanned the final code which told us we had the right answer. This activity could easily be done in a classroom on any subject matter you just have to make up appropriate questions and posters. This could also be taken inside the school if the weather is an issue for the outdoor learning. When we got back to university we learnt how to work the QR code app and in small groups we made our own questions with QR codes and a worksheet for the children to work out the final word. My group decided to do Spanish colours as our topic, as me being the only one in the group how does French, not Spanish I made the worksheet while the other two made up the Spanish questions. I think this would be a good activity to do with children outside.

The specific experiences and outcomes that I feel could be connected to outdoor learning could be, “Through taking part in a variety of events and activities, I am learning to recognise my own skills and abilities as well as those of others.” HWB 1-19a and “I am aware of the role physical activity plays in keeping me healthy and know that I also need to sleep and rest, to look after my body.”  HWB 1-27a, as they refer to physical activity and activities. The outcome that could be connected to the use of the QR codes is “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. About the activity questions my group created the experience and outcome connected to it is “I experiment with new language, working out the meaning of words and phrases using vocabulary I have learned so far.” MLAN 2-11c. A the children as using their prior knowledge of what they have learnt about how to say colours in Spanish.

Overall, I enjoyed the tasks we completed today. I think that I will use outdoor learning a lot when I am a teacher with my class. I also enjoyed learning how QR codes can be used in lessons and I am sure that I will make lesson plans including using these to engage and include all the children.

This was our last week in Digital Technology, so we revisited the sheet that we completed at the start of the module. This included us rating our confidence in the use of certain pieces of technology that can be used in the classroom. At the start of the module I was mainly very unconfident in using the devices. For example, the bee-bot I had never touched one before this class and I now am very confident in using it and would love to create lessons around it. This was the case for many of the devices and I am now very confident in using them all. I really enjoyed this module and feel as though I have learnt loads of valuable things that I am sure I will use in the future. I am very glad I chose this as a module to be completed in my first year at university.

References

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

·         Education Scotland (2004) Curriculum for Excellence; Experiences and Outcomes [Online] https://education.gov.scot/scottish-education-system/policy-for-scottish-education/policy-drivers/cfe-(building-from-the-statement-appendix-incl-btc1-5)/Experiences%20and%20outcomes [Accessed on 20th March 2018]

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

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

Digital Technology Week 10 – Games-Based Learning

Digital Technology Week 10 – Games-Based Learning This weeks input for Digital Technology was based around Games-Based learning in the classroom again. This time we were focusing on the game Minecraft and we looked at t played on the iPad. We also looked once again into the reasons and benefits of using things such as …

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Digital Technology Week 10 – Games-Based Learning

This weeks input for Digital Technology was based around Games-Based learning in the classroom again. This time we were focusing on the game Minecraft and we looked at t played on the iPad. We also looked once again into the reasons and benefits of using things such as Minecraft in the classrooms to be part of a lesson or to be the topic of a series of lessons.  Ofcom Report (2011) states that gaming is hugely popular in the UK with almost 86% of 5-7 year old children and 90% of 8-11 year old children using gaming devices regularly. This clearly shows that children are familiar with and enjoy use games, so it makes sense for them to be a part of their learning process.

We spoke abut how games such as Minecraft could be used in the classroom and why, revisiting from memory the first mind maps we created last week. We talked about how best it can be used Bray (2012) states that Games-based Learning has the most transformational impact when it is combined with good learning and teaching.  This is saying that if the game is being used in an effective way to the children’s learning then it can be an amazing tool in the classroom. “Not only do [teachers] have to become familiar with the games, they also have to ensure that they make clear the way in which they want for the game to used.” (Beauchamp, 2012, p.9). This explains that the games must be introduced to the children when there is a level of trust with them that they will use them effectively. It also hints to the fact that the games must be used in a controlled environment, so the children can stay focused but still enjoy their learning.

This week was different in the way we completed the practical activity, we had Primary 6 students from a local primary school come in to teach us how to use Minecraft. The students were the digital leaders in their school and they explained to us that this means they learn how to use different tools I the school then goes into classrooms to teach and assist the teacher in the use of the technology. Before this workshop I had only seen my little brother play the game on his Xbox but had never actually played it myself and I didn’t know it was available on the iPad. There was four of us/students paired with three of the primary pupils. In my group none of the students had any experience of playing the game so the pupils had to start from the basics. In was very nice to watch the pupils teaching us and they were very good at it and very helpful. After they had taught us the things we needed to know we got the iPad and were told to create something with the verbal help of the pupils, but they weren’t allowed to touch the iPad. Our group created a two-story house with furniture inside. It was very simple but for our first attempt wasn’t that bad. “Minecraft is a worldwide phenomenon. Since it was first released back in 2011, it’s been taken to the hearts of thousands and thousands of gamers.”  All the pupils that came into us loved the game and were very enthusiastic about teaching us how to play it. It made me realize how big and popular the game is.

While watching the children creating their world in Minecraft it was easy to see the links to the skills that Beauchamp (2012) states that could be developed by ICT games such as Minecraft which are:

      Strategic Thinking

      Planning

      Communication

      Application of numbers

      Negotiating Skills

      Group decision-making

      Data Handling Skills.

The experiences and outcomes that can be related to lessons including the game Minecraft could be “I can explore and experiment with digital technologies and can use what I learn to support and enhance my learning in different contexts.” TCH 1-01. Another couple that refers to the creating and discussion of them making their words could be. “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. And “I can convey information, describe events, explain processes or combine ideas in different ways” LIT 2-28a. There are a lot of other outcomes that could be competed around the topic of Minecraft including literacy in their writing or maths in planning out their builds or art, making then create things on paper or in 3D. the possibilities are endless all surrounding the one topic that the children love. And the children don’t have to play the game every lesson they could get it at the start of a new lesson and that would be them creatively set for the learning.

Overall, I really enjoyed learning from the children and learning how to play the game. I now realise how much thought and planning ahs to be put into the making of a simple building in the game. I would love in the future to use Minecraft as a stimulus for learning and as a topic for a series of lesson plans. I feel that games-based learning is very easy to integrate into classrooms and when it is the possibilities are endless and very engaging for the children.

 

References

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

·         Bray, O. (2012) Playful Learning: Computer Games in Education. [Online] https://www.slideshare.net/Microsofteduk/playful-learning-computer-games-in-education [Accessed on 13th March 2018] 

·         Education Scotland (2004) Curriculum for Excellence; Experiences and Outcomes [Online] https://education.gov.scot/scottish-education-system/policy-for-scottish-education/policy-drivers/cfe-(building-from-the-statement-appendix-incl-btc1-5)/Experiences%20and%20outcomes [Accessed on 13th March 2018]

·         MagBook (2014) How to Do Everything in Minecraft

·         Ofcom (2001) Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes. [Online] https://www.slideshare.net/Microsofteduk/playful-learning-computer-games-in-education [Accessed on 13th March 2018]

Digital Technology Week 9 – Games-Based Learning

Digital Technology Week 9 – Games-Based Learning This week’s workshop was based on Games-Based Learning and how that can be integrated in the most effective way into the classroom. We specifically looked at The Nintendo Wii and the game Mario Kart. Due to circumstances we didn’t get the chance to play this game during the …

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Digital Technology Week 9 – Games-Based Learning

This week’s workshop was based on Games-Based Learning and how that can be integrated in the most effective way into the classroom. We specifically looked at The Nintendo Wii and the game Mario Kart. Due to circumstances we didn’t get the chance to play this game during the input, but I have had a lot of experience with this game at home and I am very familiar with it.

“Digital Games-based Learning is the integration of gaming into learning experiences to increase engagement and motivation.” (Higher Education Academy website). This clearly explains what the integration of games into the classrooms means. When I was in school I never knew of such a thing as games-based learning the only way technology was used in my class was at specific times for ICT when we got to use the computers in the computer suite.

We started off the workshop making a poster of a mind ma that was all to do with what benefits there are to applying games-based learning in our classrooms. My partner and I included:

·         Increased creativity

·         Encourages team work

·         Can be cross curricular

·         Modern – it encourages the use of technology in different formats

·         Lots of different tasks can be done on the one topic area

·         Keeps the children engaged

“The link between learning and playing is longstanding and predates the digital era by thousands of years.” (Higher Education Academy website). This explains overall the main reason this way of learning is being used and how it is helping teachers in schools become more modern and bring their learning and home life together making the children enjoy their learning.

We referred to Beauchamp who said that the five aspects that games-based learning should include is:

            – has a positive impact on social skills

            – supports learning

            – enhances learning

            – develops skills

            – provides opportunities to apply skills

I feel that in my pair we covered most of these points in our mind map in different ways. I think that these five aspects are the right headings for what the benefits/needs of this way of teaching in a classroom.

 

A task that we did do in the workshop was to design and draw our own Mario Kart character and Kart that we would love to be included in the game. This activity could easily be done in a classroom setting with any ages as part of an art and design lesson. It could also be taken further by the children creating their Kart in 3D using varied materials. “Like novels, films, plays and other media, games can be high quality materials a teacher uses to enable students to access the curriculum.” (Edutopia website). This refers to the fact that the one topic can be cross curricular and, in the end, cover a lot of experiences and outcomes required by the ages of the children.

We then, after doing some reading and looking into the topic, added things to our mind map that we hadn’t included initially such as:

·         Share Knowledge of Home/own learning

·         Self-directed learning

·         Recall of information

·         Stress-free and pleasurable

·         Reinforce knowledge

·         Helps social skills

The main task for todays input was to make a poster/mind map including different topic areas that could be covered using Mario Kart in the classroom. Under these heading we included lessons that could be made up for that curricular area and the experiences and outcomes that would be covered completing that specific lesson. I have attached bellow a picture of our poster that included all the ideas we could come up with on the use of games in the class.

The only problem with games-based learning is when the teacher cannot use them effectively and to the best of its advantage. Specific things according to learning and Teaching Scotland that the teacher must abide by to ensure a controlled class, include, ensuring effective implementation of games and be clear about learning intentions and be selective only use parts of the game relevant to meeting the intended outcome such as only showing the children the character slide when completing the art activity explained before.

Overall, I love the idea of using games in the classroom such as/especially Mario Kart. Mainly because I am so familiar with the game I would feel especially comfortable using it and teaching the children about it compared to other games I may have never seen before. I am sure I will use games-based learning in my classes in the future.

References

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

·         Education Scotland (2009) Curriculum for Excellence. [Online] https://education.gov.scot/Documents/all-experiences-and-outcomes.pdf [Accessed: 6th March]

·         Edutopia (2016) 3 Ways to Use Game-Based Learning. [Online] https://www.edutopia.org/article/3-ways-use-game-based-learning-matthew-farber  [Accessed:6th March 2018]

·         Higher Education Academy (2017) Gamification and Games-Based Learning. [Online]https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/gamification-and-games-based-learning  [Accessed: 6th March 2018]

·         Learning and Teaching Scotland. (2010) The impact of console games in the classroom: [online] Available: https://www.nfer.ac.uk/publications/FUTL25/FUTL25.pdf [Accessed 6 March 2018]

Minecraft – Week 10 Digital Technology

This week we continued looking at Game based learning and the game we covered today was ‘Minecraft’. When I asked P6 school pupils what Minecraft was, I was told “it is just like playing with Lego but you will never run out of bricks”. The global phenomenon that is Minecraft was designed in 2011 by a […]

This week we continued looking at Game based learning and the game we covered today was ‘Minecraft’. When I asked P6 school pupils what Minecraft was, I was told “it is just like playing with Lego but you will never run out of bricks”. The global phenomenon that is Minecraft was designed in 2011 by a Swedish game designer called Markus Persson, who has since sold Minecraft to Microsoft and it has an estimated value is $2.5 billion, Hern and Stuart (2014).

I had the opportunity to play the game today as our class lecturer had arranged for a group of local P6 school pupils to visit us and help us to discover more about Minecraft. The pupils were very enthusiastic about the game and they all had a great wealth of knowledge. They lead us through worlds that they had created and explained how worlds were made and edited, they explained the process of visiting other worlds created by friends and that it was possible to interact with friends online whilst playing the game.

I must admit that I was completely out of my depth and I was so overwhelmed to see them race through the app on the iPad, it was second nature to them. Here I witnessed great communication skills between the children, problem solving, collaboration and creativity. The teacher mentioned to us that some children gave up play time to come into class and work on the worlds, which is realistically class work however the children see it as fun.

It is easy to see how Minecraft can be linked to many areas of the curriculum such as literacy and technology, some Experiences and Outcomes could be;

LIT 1-09a – 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.

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

MTH 1-13a – I can continue and devise more involved repeating patterns or designs, using a variety of media.

(Scottish Government, 2008)

In class, we read an ebook called ‘Playful Learning: Computer Games in Education’ by Ollie Brays, a national development officer in his profession. Here he discusses ideas such as play based learning and its advantages, some of which teachers have always used for example, board games or reading games. However the use of technologies in play can simply be seen as a natural progression. It is the action of doing, playing and experiencing that engages children and the learning flourishes from there, (Bray, 2012). Theorists such as Piaget also agree by doing, there will be an increase of knowledge, (Higher Education Academy, 2017).

As 21st century learning increases in the classroom, it is import that teachers and educators can stay upto date on the games that are available. It is not critical that we all know how to play a game however it is critical they we are aware of the games content. For this we can use the (Pan European Games Information) PEGI rating. Similar to gauging movie content we can use the PEGI rating to quickly choose which games are suitable for what ages and stages using the labelling system. The labelling system can inform the class teacher what the game contains and reasons they might not want to use it such as violent content or bad language, (Bray, 2012).

Beauchamp (2012), constructed a list of skills that young learners could develop by simply having the opportunities to use digital technologies in the classroom. Included in the list below, are two common themes that I have identified throughout my blogs for this module;

  • Strategic Thinking
  • Planning
  • Communication
  • Application of numbers
  • Negotiating Skills
  • Group decision-making
  • Data Handling Skills.

(Beauchamp, p10. 2012)

Throughout my blogs, I have noticed common themes developing, these are; collaboration and communication. These skills are part of a skill set that we can build upon throughout our lives. If we can include such skills across the curriculum, we will enable young learners to better prepare for transitions such as, early years on to primary education, then on to secondary education. Thinking even further ahead, preparing them for the realities of the outside working world.

References

Games Based Learning – Week 9 Digital Technology

Today we were introduced to the term ‘Game Based Learning’. Here young learners have the oppertunity to play gaming devices in class, such as a Nintendo Wii or Xbox. “Digital Games-based Learning is the integration of gaming into learning experiences to increase engagement and motivation”, (Higher Education Academy, 2017). The actually playing of the game […]

Today we were introduced to the term ‘Game Based Learning’. Here young learners have the oppertunity to play gaming devices in class, such as a Nintendo Wii or Xbox. “Digital Games-based Learning is the integration of gaming into learning experiences to increase engagement and motivation”, (Higher Education Academy, 2017).

The actually playing of the game however is a very small part of the term game based learning and this is because the majority of the learning stems from lessons and activities based around said game.

I discovered this for myself today in class, as the class were set a task of designing our very own ‘Super Mario Kart’. The design we decided to move forward with was one of the students in our small group, he had created a Kart that had pizza as wheels.

 

This lead to the start of our ‘Interdisciplinary Planning’ (IDL). By reading through the CFE we soon realised there were going to be an endless amount of E’s & O’s that we could link to the little pizza wheeled Kart. All these ideas were coming from a simple task that we were set to design our own Super Mario Kart. The areas of the curriculum that we decided to move forward with were Maths, Literacy, Technology and Health and Wellbeing all of which would develop learning and enhance understanding.

Note by this point we hadn’t even touched a gaming device yet the idea was allowing us to plan a full topic for a class of young learners. Below is a draft of our IDL and some examples of the E’s & O’s we decided to use.

MNU 1-07B – Through exploring how groups of items can be shared equally, I can find a fraction of an amount by applying my knowledge of division.

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

TCH 0-02a – I can use digital technologies to explore how to search and find information.

HWB 1-29a – I enjoy eating a diversity of foods in a range of social situations. (Scottish Government, 2008).

When directed to a website called ‘Edutopia’ I found an article by Miller (2012), he explains about the ‘top three 21st century skills’, two of which are collaboration and communication, which we covered in class. He refers to ‘utilising a team’ to achieve goals which I experienced today in class and also ‘generating effective team directions’ which again we had to do in class today in order to choose a design to use and to decide which areas of the curriculum that we were going to use in our IDL.

These 21st century skills can be related to the following theorists Piaget and Vygotsky as they studied the social groups and were ‘Constructivists’, which believe by doing, playing and adopting roles in groups such as collaboration and cooperation is a vital part of learning and brain development, (Higher Education, 2017).

In conclusion, I found this very fascinating! Previous to this lesson I would have been quite against game based learning. I thought it would have involved hours of class time playing games and I would not have seen the immediate benefits. Having the oppertunity to speak to our class lecturer and for him tell us of his own reflections of how game based learning works in a classroom has completely changed my views on game based learning. “One of the biggest misunderstandings about games, and people who play them, is that games don’t “teach” anything. It’s assumed that there is no value in the experience”, (Miller, 2012).

I look forward to using similar ideas in the future with my class of young learners.

References

Digital Technology Week 8 – Mobile Devices

Digital Technology Week 8 – Mobile Devices This week’s lesson was based on mobile devices and there uses in the classroom and as a tool for teaching. We focussed the learning this week on Easi-speak microphones and talking tins. During the literacy module in trimester 1 I was introduced to Easi-speak microphones but never got …

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Digital Technology Week 8 – Mobile Devices

This week’s lesson was based on mobile devices and there uses in the classroom and as a tool for teaching. We focussed the learning this week on Easi-speak microphones and talking tins. During the literacy module in trimester 1 I was introduced to Easi-speak microphones but never got the opportunity to use them as I chose a different device in that workshop. Therefore, I had never used either of these devices before this input, so I learnt a lot of valuable things about how these devices can be effectively used. We also learnt about the importance of using mobile devices in the classroom and for the children to be knowledgeable and comfortable using them in their home life. The teaching times article stated that “three quarters [of 406 schools] identify home access to educational games consoles like Nintendo DS as being helpful to children’s educational development.” This shows that a lot of teachers in different schools believe that games and mobile devices to be helpful in children’s learning.

We started off by doing reading to answer the forum question, should mobile devices be used in primary schools? I believe that they should as it encourages and engages all children to participate as they are excited to use the technology and this sort of learning is accessible for all children to use and understand. it also helps when they already understand how to use the devices and they can help and teach other pupils how to, encouraging teamwork and shared leaning. The telegraph article states that “Over four in 10 households now have a tablet, meaning that children are becoming computer literate before they’ve even started primary school.” This shows that a lot of children these days are already familiar to a lot of mobile devices and will also have lots of transferable skills from one device to another enabling them to learn and expand their knowledge. The telegraph also spoke about the fact that the skills children learn in school will carry on into their late life. “Using technology in an educational environment not only better reflects children’s life outside the classroom, but also allows them to hone their digital skills in a way that will continue to be valuable throughout their adult life.” This means that if all schools use mobile devices in similar ways then all children will have each understanding of them in further education then even further into jobs.

In this workshop we started our task by writing an “I am” poem which would later be turned into a PowerPoint presentation with sound. My small groups poem was “I am hungry but always eating”. We began by writing out our poem on the template provided. Then we made our presentation that consisted of the one-line statements of the poem along with an appropriate picture. Then we recorded the lines of the poem on the Easi-speak microphones which were then inserted into the PowerPoint on the appropriate slides. So that when the presentation was made the poem would be read out to the watcher. I feel like this was a very effective task that could be done with a primary class as it included them using their writing and poem skills and they use of digital technology in the mobile device and the computer.

There are two main experiences and outcomes that can clearly relate to this task that could be set in a classroom. The first one referring to the use of the mobile devices and the computer, making the children digitally literate. “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. The second outcome referring to the writing of the poems and the text put onto the PowerPoint. “I regularly select subject, purpose, format and resources to create texts of my choice.” LIT 1-01a / LIT 2-01a. These could easily and effectively be met recreating the task that we did in the workshop.

Overall, I really enjoyed using and learning about these mobile devices. I think the main problems in school is the availability of the technology and the availability and flexibility of money to invest in a set of mobile devices to be used in a class. But if the devices are available to me in the future I would love to have the chance to do activities including Easi- speak microphones in lessons.

 

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]

Education Scotland (2004) Curriculum for Excellence; Experiences and Outcomes [Online] https://education.gov.scot/scottish-education-system/policy-for-scottish-education/policy-drivers/cfe-(building-from-the-statement-appendix-incl-btc1-5)/Experiences%20and%20outcomes [Accessed on 27th February 2018]

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

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

Digital Technologies Reflection 06.03.18

“Digital Games-based Learning is the integration of games into learning experiences to increase engagement and motivation” (Higher Education Academy).  The connotations of the title insist the use of video games and the themes throughout them, but according to Edutopia Website they declares : “novels, films, plays and other media, games can be high quality materials …

Continue reading “Digital Technologies Reflection 06.03.18”

“Digital Games-based Learning is the integration of games into learning experiences to increase engagement and motivation” (Higher Education Academy).  The connotations of the title insist the use of video games and the themes throughout them, but according to Edutopia Website they declares : “novels, films, plays and other media, games can be high quality materials a teacher uses to enable students to access the curriculum.”

There are benefits to Games-based Learning as it increases the children’s motivation, it is attention grabbing, it is easy to recall the information from it, it also reinforces knowledge and it is stress-free and pleasurable for the children.

These games can be used as a stimulus which is the starting point for other activities to endure from it, also we can use games to teach the children content as games can be used to illustrate concepts and materials which can be used to teach, it also teaches them social skills when playing the games. As educators it is our job to ensure that the children receives a positive impact on social skills, that it is supported in learning and enhances the learning of children, we need to ensure that it is developing the correct skills and it is providing opportunities to apply the skills in a every day life occurance.

Potential challenges that might arise when carrying out this particular activity might be identifying a suitable game to go with the lesson, it might be integrating the game within the time or day structure, it potentially could be confidence in the teacher and whether she has enough skills to manage this for the children to make the most out of the lesson and finally it could be a difficulty claiming the resources and whether the school has the budget to afford the games on each iPad or PC.

 

Mobile Devices – Week 8 Digital Technology

This week in digital technology we were looking at mobile devices and discussing, ‘should mobile devices be used in primary schools?’. Our class lecturer posted this question on the digital technology moodle forum allowing us to post our own thoughts on the discussion. To gain further knowledge or opinion on the matter we were directed […]

This week in digital technology we were looking at mobile devices and discussing, ‘should mobile devices be used in primary schools?’. Our class lecturer posted this question on the digital technology moodle forum allowing us to post our own thoughts on the discussion. To gain further knowledge or opinion on the matter we were directed to some online articles about technology in the classroom.

After reading a few of the articles, particularly ‘The Telegraph’ article, I understand there has been a lot of money invested in technology. There seemed to be a common trend, that many teachers agree that technology is useful in the classroom, as it engages the young learners. However due to a lack of training, many teachers were fearful of technology and also that they struggle to place it within the curriculum, Curtis (2014).

I personally feel after seeing technology being used while I was out on school placement that is really does engage the children. Technology doesn’t need to be over the top or complicated for teacher or pupil for example having that class registered on the smartboard allowing the children to register their attendance or for the teacher to play a ‘you tube’ video that may promote Health and Wellbeing etc.

I also believe that technology can engage some children a little too much as I saw on placement that it seemed to be the same individuals interacting with the technology and falling behind on their other written work or scencery work. To over come this, I motitored them over the day/week and encouraged them to prioritise their work load.

Our task today using the Easispeak Microphone was really fun and I look forward to using the main ideas in the future. Working in pairs we wrote a short poem using a template given to us by our class lecturer. We made a Microsoft Power Point presentation where each slide contained; a line from our poem, a picture inspired by the particular line of the poem and a voice recording of us from the easispeak microphone.

This task was very enjoyable as it allowed us to be completely free with our ideas and because we were working in pairs it also involved us working together and deciding as a pair who was doing what and what our poem would read like, sound like and look like. In a classroom with young learners, some may find that collaborating with classmates quite difficult at first, which again makes this a good challenging lesson and part of the CFE experiences and outcomes;

When I engage with others, I can respond in ways appropriate to my role, show that I value others’ contributions and used these to build on thinking. LIT 2-02a

I consider the impact that layout and presentation will have and can combine lettering, graphics and other features to engage my reader. LIT 2-24a

I can create, capture and manipulate sounds, texts and images to communicate experiences, ideas and information creative and engaging ways. TCH 1-04b/TCH 2-04b (Education Scotland, 2004).

References

  • Education Scotland (2004) Curriculum for Excellence; Experiences and Outcomes. [Online] Available: https://education.gov.scot/scottish-education-system/policy-for-scottish-education/policy-drivers [Accessed: 28th February 2018].
  • Curtis, S. (2014) Digital Learning: How technology is reshaping teaching. [Online] Available:https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/11051228/Digital-learning-how-technology-is-reshaping-teaching.html [Accessed: 28th February 2018].

Digital Technologies Reflection 27.2.18

Reflecting on mobile devices and how they have enhanced throughout the years, was brought tom attention recently. Many questions have been brought to the horizon whether mobile devices should be used in education. The British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) state that “technology such as game consoles and smartphones are playing an important role in primary-aged …

Continue reading “Digital Technologies Reflection 27.2.18”

Reflecting on mobile devices and how they have enhanced throughout the years, was brought tom attention recently. Many questions have been brought to the horizon whether mobile devices should be used in education. The British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) state that “technology such as game consoles and smartphones are playing an important role in primary-aged children’s education.”

As a learner in mobile devices I believe that they are the new way to engaging children’s attention spans for longer. I also believe that the many applications that you can access from the different stores can help and aid with many situations including education and educational games.

As an educator, I have mixed emotions whether or not mobile devices should be incorporated into the education system and whether not they will enrich children’s learning or if they will distract children.

Challenges that could be faced with mobile devices is the distraction of children due to the applications that include message and fictive etc. This could challenge educators to come up with a solution on how we could resolve this problem and try and make them for an education purpose and nothing more.

When teachers across the board were asked whether they think mobile devices should be in education or not. 39% of teachers stated that children should not have access to mobile phones, while 29% declared that they should have access. Teachers and educators know that children preference for technology both at home and at school is evolving quickly, just as the same rate of technology changing at a rapid speed.