Digital Technology Week 11 – Outdoor Learning/QR Codes

Digital Technology Week 11 – Outdoor learning and QR codes

This was our final week in Digital technology and this week we focused on the use 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 so easily.

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. 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 QR 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 who 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 and outdoors 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. As the children are 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. I have learnt and experiences loads of useful things that will help me in the future. Thank you!

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: 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 it played on the iPad. We also looked once again into the reasons and benefits of using things such as Minecraft in the classroom 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 using 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 in 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. It 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. Magbook (2014) states “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 them 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 has 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: 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: 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: 13th March 2018]

 

 

Digital Technology Week 9 – Games-Based Learning

Digital Technology Week 9 – Games-Based Learning

This weeks 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 map 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: 6th March 2018]

Digital Technology Week 8 – Mobile Devices

Digital Technology Week 8 – Mobile Devices

This weeks 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 are 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 later 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 equal 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 their 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: 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=  [Accessed: 27th February 2018]