Digital Technology Week 3 – Multimodality

Digital Technology week 3 – Multimodality

The purpose of this weeks input was about multimodality being used in the classroom. We added to my current knowledge of what multimodality is and how it can be used. The only knowledge I had of multimodality before this session was what we learnt in the input in trimester one in literacy for understanding. We also learnt how to use activinspire to make an interactive flipchart to use in the classroom.

We learnt that for a text to be described as multimodal it must include two or more semiotic systems, which are:
• Linguistic
• Visual
• Audio
• Gestural
• Spatial
Simple PowerPoints used by teachers most of the time are multimodal because they include linguistic, visual, spatial and sometimes audio. But there are other formats that can be more effect in the classroom that are multimodal. “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, p8).

Hands on learning in the classroom can be more effective for some children rather than others but most of the time all children enjoy the chance to do active learning. “Touch displays can become a social learning tool encouraging hands-on experiences, thereby helping children to learn by doing.” (Prandstatter, 2014). Within the curriculum for excellence it includes multimodal texts in their suggestion for completion of their framework. “The Literacy and English framework reflects the increased use of multimodal texts, digital communication, social networking and the other forms of electronic communication encountered by children and young people in their daily lives.”

The task we had to complete today was to make an interactive flipchart using the activinspire tool. We started off sharing ideas with a partner to make sure we both had a solid concept of what we were going to create. I had decided to make my flipchart aimed at younger children and I was going to make mine to be used in a spelling lesson. The interactive aspect of my flipchart included the children identifying what the picture was that they were to spell out and then them coming up and dragging the letters to the dotted line to make the word. “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.

Overall, I think that using multimodal tools to make the teaching of a subject interactive and hands on for the children is a very effective way of teaching as most children enjoy it and when children enjoy their learning they are more likely to retain the information they were being taught about. Activinspire is a very good tool and I am sure I will use it in my teaching.

References

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

• Education Scotland (2004) – Curriculum for Excellence; Experiences and Outcomes [Online] https://education.gov.scot/scottish-education-system/policy-for-scottish-education/policy-drivers/cfe-(building-from-the-statement-appendix-incl-btc1-5)/Experiences%20and%20outcomes [Accessed: 29th January 2018]

• Prandstatter, J. (2014) Interactive Displays in Early Years Classes. [Online] Available: http://connectlearningtoday.com/interactive-displays-early-years-classes/ [Accessed: 29th January 2017]

Digital Technology Week 2 – Programmable Toys

Digital Technology Week 2 – Programmable toys

In this weeks input we learnt about programmable toys and their benefits in the classroom. We did this with the commonly used in classrooms Bee-Bot. Before this input I knew next to nothing about Bee-bot and how to use it, so I was learning from scratch, I had seen the device in schools but had never seen it used. Bee-Bot is controlled using the arrows on the top of its body to direct it where to go so children can do many activities using the device along with several different mats that can be made to suit the teacher and the lesson. In this input that is what we did, we made mats with instructions to be able to be used in a classroom setting to suit a specific lesson.

My group was a pair and we decided to go with the mathematical topic making a mat to be used in a maths lesson. Our board was created to be able for a group of children to ask each other times table questions by moving Bee-Bot to the numbers to make the sum. We also decided to put the word form of the numbers to help the children to make connections between the number and the word form. This engages the children and they get excited about their learning. They are also leaning about directions such as right and left making them aware of the different language used to describe these directions.

We were also to identify the experiences and outcomes that can be achieved by children using our mat along with bee-bot. We did this by using the Curriculum for Excellence (Education Scotland, 2004) outcomes. We decided that the outcomes that would connect to this lesson would be: “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 regards to using the Bee-bot and “having explored the need for rule for the order of operations in number calculations, I can apply them correctly when solving simple problems.” [MTH 2-03c] in reference to the maths side of the mat.

We learnt that robots being used in the classroom dated back to the 1960’s where it started with logo which was created by Seymor Papert. Logo was created and allowed children to learn complex coding to control the movement of an arrow on the computer screens to draw lines and make shapes. “the curriculum introduces programmable toy as a good example for developing knowledge and understanding of the contemporary world.” Janka (2008, p2). She also goes on to talk about in the subject of maths children should be able to describe the “simple journey” to direct the programmable toy to hep develop their positional vocabulary and their judgment of distance. We also learned about the many benefits of children using programmable toys such as developing problem solving skills and creativity.

Bee-bot is a very simple and fun toy for the children to use while they are learning. Lydon (2008. P2) said that “[The children] gained independence faster than I anticipated. Twelve out of the 28 were able to use the Bee-Bot without any adult help after the initial instructions.” There is also evidence that programmable toys help children mentally in a lot of diverse ways the NCTE (2012. P1) states “[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.” This shows that the Bee-bot can cover a lot more than just one Experience and Outcome when doing the one activity and that the children enjoy it so are more likely to take part and become involved and engaged in their learning.

Overall, I found learning how to use the Bee-bot and learning about its uses very interesting and I am sure I will take all I have leaned into the classroom. I feel that programmable toys are a great way for children to learn and experience coding and the use of robots in their learning.

References

·         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: 16th January 2018]

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

·         Lydon, A. ( 2007) Let’s Go With Bee-Bot: Using your Bee-Bot across the curriculum. TTS Group Ltd.

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

·         Transum (2018) – Logo [Online] http://www.transum.org/software/Logo/ [Accessed: 16th January 2018]

Digital Technology Week 1 – Introduction

Digital Technology Week 1 – Introduction

Week one of the Digital Technology course commenced on the 9th of January 2018. This module is not one of the core modules, it was one we were to pick, and I chose this specific module as I thought I have a reasonable understanding of technology and can use it to a certain extent, but I knew that my competence could always be improved. I have learned through my experiences how much of an importance digital technology has in primary schools and that it is ever growing, and teachers must be able to keep up and be able to use it to the best of its abilities. This is the main reason I thought It would benefit me to choose this module over the other choices.

This weeks input was mainly an introduction to the course. This included going through the module page on moodle making sure we all know our way around it and learning where to find things that we will need to use in the future. We then got asked the question, what is Digital technology? I found this question hard to find an answer. Eventually my answer was very vague saying that it is using electronic devices. I now know after reading the Scottish governments document that it is much more than that and my understanding of this has improved massively even after just one week. I now know that digital technology is a term that is used to describe the digital application, services and resources that can be used to find, analyse, create, communicate and use information.

We got the chance to read the Enhancing Learning and Teaching through the use of Digital Technology – a Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland (Education Scotland, 2016). This document talks about technology used in teaching and what their aims are and how they plan on reaching them. I learnt that the aims of this strategy are:
• Develop the skills and confidence of educators in the appropriate and effective use of digital technology to support learning and teaching.
• Improve access to digital technology for all learners.
• Ensure that digital technology is a central consideration in all areas of curriculum and assessment delivery.
• Empower leaders of change to drive innovation and investment in digital technology for learning and teaching.
I was surprise at the fact that they are trying to introduce technology into the assessment side of learning which will benefit children who excel in this area of school and learning compared to others. I think that with the way that technology is ever growing and spreading making it easier to access no matter where you are or who you are then these aims will be achieved.

We got the chance to explore glow, to evaluate what we have already learned/know about how glow works and what it can be used for. We also got to explore new tiles and add relevant and useful ones to our launch pad. I added tiles such as Primary Resources and BBC languages to my launch pad as I thought they would be useful in the future when it comes to going into the classroom.

Overall my first week in the digital technology module introduced the course also it expanded my understanding of what digital technology is and what we are going to be learning about throughout this course. It also allowed us to explore the moodle page and the glow website. Through this module I hope to build my confidence in using technology and learn how to incorporate it into teaching effectively.

Reference

Digital Technologies (2016) A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland [module resource] Available: http://www.moodle.uws.ac.uk Digital Technologies Module on Moodle [Accessed: 9th January 2018]