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!
· 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.