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Digital Technologies – Week 11 – QR Codes and Outdoor Learning – 20/03/18

This week’s lesson was focused on QR Codes and Outdoor learning. Unfortunately I was unable to attend this lesson. Outdoor learning has a positive impact on a child’s ability to learn. Education Scotland (2010) says that  “…it’s clear that the outdoor environment offers motivating, exciting, different, relevant and easily accessible activities from pre-school years through […]

This week’s lesson was focused on QR Codes and Outdoor learning. Unfortunately I was unable to attend this lesson.

Outdoor learning has a positive impact on a child’s ability to learn. Education Scotland (2010) says that  “…it’s clear that the outdoor environment offers motivating, exciting, different, relevant and easily accessible activities from pre-school years through to college.” Children like to be outside. I remember when I was at school and the teacher said we were going out- even just into the playground- we all got very excited and looked forward to the lesson.

There are many areas of the curriculum that outdoor learning can cover, Health and Wellbeing, Science and even Maths. When I was on placement, the children went into the playground to learn about using a compass, and the directions, before they started a maths lesson to do with co-ordinates. Learning outdoors can make the lesson more relevant and give it more depth than when just sitting in a classroom (Learning Teaching Scotland, 2010).

Working outdoors can help develop critical thinking skills, children make links between the curriculum. It can also help their personal development, communicating with others and problem solving. It can also help to include children who perhaps do not like to participate normally, or find formal, indoor lessons hard to cope with. “…the outdoor environment encourages staff and students to see each other in a different light, building positive relationships and improving self-awareness and understanding of others.” (Education Scotland, 2010).

The digital technology part of this week’s lesson was a QR treasure hunt. QR codes can link to text, an audio recording, a map location or a calendar event.  To work out the codes we scan them with a QR reader which is an app that can be downloaded onto the iPad. On the treasure hunt, each clue had a QR code attached which when scanned would ask a question. From answering the question correctly a letter was found at each station that was an anagram of an associated word. I think that this kind of game sounds like it would work really well with pupils as well because they will think they are just having fun, but they are learning as well. I am sad to have missed this week’s lesson as it looks really interesting.

The CfE Outcomes I identified are:

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

Opportunities to carry out different activities and roles in a variety of settings have enabled me to identify my
achievements, skills and areas for development. This will help me to prepare for the next stage in my life and
learning.  HWB 2-19a.

This week was the end of the Digital Technologies module. I have to say that I am very glad I chose this module. I have thoroughly enjoyed every week and feel that I have learned a lot. I also feel that I have loads of new ideas that I would be confident to plan a lesson around. At the beginning of the module I though that technology could only be applied to ICT in schools, but through the weeks I have seen that it can be used in almost every area of the curriculum to enhance teaching and learning. I also feel that I have the skills to decide where a digital technology lesson would be appropriate, rather than using them all of the time. I also know that it is the teacher’s responsibility to have good knowledge themselves about the technology they teach and I will make sure that I keep up to date with the new technology as it comes out.

References

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image result for minecraft

Minecraft, Video Game, Blocks, Block, Computer Game

References

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

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

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

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

 

Digital Technologies – Week 9 – Game-based Learning – 06/03/18

This week’s lesson was focused on games based learning, focusing on the games console, the Wii. Unfortunately I was unable to attend this input but through talking with my peers and looking over the class material I have a good idea of what went on. At first the class were asked to create a mind […]

This week’s lesson was focused on games based learning, focusing on the games console, the Wii. Unfortunately I was unable to attend this input but through talking with my peers and looking over the class material I have a good idea of what went on.

At first the class were asked to create a mind map on why games based learning is an effective tool. My own thoughts on this are:

  • It is fun,
  • Interactive,
  • Engaging,
  • Creative.

By talking with peers I can also add:

  • It is stress free,
  • It gets the children’s attention,
  • Reinforces knowledge,
  • Promotes team work.

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

Games based learning is one which can be used for cross curricular learning and is one that children of all ages can participate in and enjoy. Game-based Learning being adaptable to all ages is backed up by (Porter, 2004, p.35) when he states “The digital environment provides a unique opportunity to empower people of all ages”.  Although the internet and digital, online games are a relatively new phenomenon, the links between play and learning are long since established. Theorists Jean Piaget and Leonard Vygotsky have argued that “play is a crucial component of cognitive development from birth and through adulthood. ” (Higher Education Academy Website). Learning Teaching Scotland’s study found that “Game-based approaches present an excellent opportunity to engage students in activities which can enhance learning and produce a range of educational benefits.”

Overall, games based learning seems to be a great way to engage pupils in the lesson and make it more fun. Due to not being at the lesson I was not able to complete the assigned task. However, having looked over peers work, I can see that games based learning can cover many curricular areas, it just depends what lesson I as a student teacher would choose to base it on.

References

Higher Education Academy (2017) Gamificaiton and Games-Based learning [Online] Available: https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/gamification-and-games-based-learning [Accessed: 9th April]

Learning Teaching Scotland The impact of console games in the classroom: Evidence from schools in Scotland Available: http://moodle.uws.ac.uk/pluginfile.php/105145/mod_resource/content/1/Console_Games_report.pdf [Accessed: 9th April]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

References

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

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

 

 

Digital Technologies Week 6 – Movie Making

Prior to this input I had never used movie making software. I was surprised both by how simple it was to use the iMovie app on the iPad, and by the versatility presented by the medium. I would have never thought to link movie making to online safety before this input. Personally, I grew up … Continue reading “Digital Technologies Week 6 – Movie Making”

Prior to this input I had never used movie making software. I was surprised both by how simple it was to use the iMovie app on the iPad, and by the versatility presented by the medium.

I would have never thought to link movie making to online safety before this input. Personally, I grew up in a time where it felt as though the adults around me were quite militant about not speaking to anybody online. It was accepted as something inherently dangerous and in my own group of friends it led to hiding online activities so that we were allowed the freedom to socialise online.

For this activity, my partner and I created a cautionary tale about a princess who speaks to someone online who is not who they appear to be when she goes to meet them. We had fun creating our film and it struck me while creating the movie that it would be a good way to introduce the subject of online safety with an element of levity. Getting students to create a film like this could incorporate a number of Technology Outcomes within the Curriculum for Excellence across stages:

  • I can explore and experiment with digital technologies and can use what I learn to support and enhance my learning in different contexts. TCH 1-01a
  • I can extend and enhance my knowledge of digital technologies to collect, analyse ideas, relevant information and organise these in an appropriate way. TCH 2-01a
  • 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 can explore online communities demonstrating an understanding of responsible digital behaviour and I’m aware of how to keep myself safe and secure. TCH 2-03a

Porter (2004, p.35) states that “the digital environment provides a unique opportunity to empower people of all ages to manipulate, combine and distribute their self-expressions as living stories that can be sent into the world and through time.” In addition to this, the Scottish Government (2015) states that “there is conclusive evidence that digital equipment, tools and resources can, where effectively used, raise the speed and depth of learning in science and mathematics for primary and secondary learners.” After telling a story through the medium of film using the iMovie app, I am convinced of the usefulness of movie-making in the classroom as a way to enhance literacy and wellbeing lessons while also developing practical skills in Technologies which are valuable to the next generation.

An activity like this would be a useful way to start a conversation about how children should immediately tell an adult if anything is making them uncomfortable online. Beauchamp (2012, p.60) states that “the schools most successful in online safety were those who informed students on what to do if things went wrong.” If talking about the risks surrounding social networking is normalised in the classroom, I believe students in the classroom will be more likely to inform an adult and seek help – rather than assuming they will be given into trouble, like my peers and I when social networking was in its infancy.

 

References

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

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

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

Scottish Government (2015). Literature Review on the Impact of Digital Technology on Learning and Teaching.  [Online] http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/24843/1/00489224.pdf [Accessed: 01.04.18]