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]

Digital Technology Week 7 – Animation

Digital Technology Week 7 – Animation

This weeks lesson was based around animation and its uses in the classroom. ICT allows pupils to “achieve something that would be very difficult or even impossible to achieve in any other way.” (Beauchamp, 2012, p.54). We discussed about how the importance of teaching children to use technology in this modern-day world. We first learnt about what ways animation making could be used in the classroom to make lessons and then we learnt how to make our own and did so using stop motion.

The way we learnt how to introduce animation in the classroom lessons was through stop motion animation. We did this through an app on the iPad which may be available in classroom for the children to use. We learnt about what animation is and how it can be defined. “Animation involves the stringing together a sequence of static images, generally so that they appear to move.” (Jarvis, 2015, p89). Children should be given experiences with all sorts of technology as it can open doors and their imagination which could help them discover what carer path they would like to go down and it may open jobs that don’t currently exist. Animation in the classroom doesn’t have to be with plasticine models – cut out animation is by far the easiest technique to start on. (Moving Image Education). Children won’t be making masterpiece movies, but they will do their best and will be able to imagine up ideas with what they are provided with in the classroom. The most obvious example of stop motion animation is Wallace and Grommet which is made using plasticine models. It works by taking a picture and then moving the model a tiny bit then take another picture this is repeated several times and when all the pictures are played in sequence quickly it looks as though the models etc are moving themselves.

I was in a pair to make our animation. I had a little bit of experience with stop motion when I used it in 3rd year of school in computing. I used the app on the computer and we used sweets to make it look as if they were moving. My partner had no experience with this type of animation. We decided to go with the simple idea of drawing on paper and it would look as though the paper was drawing the picture itself. Our short story line was of the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. We took hundreds of photos that when put together illustrated the short story. This would be simple to do in the class as all that is required is paper and pens. We learnt quickly that a key point that needs to be taught is that the pad must stay in the exact same position for the animation to look real and not jumpy.

This can be seen in the curriculum in the experiences and outcomes. One of which 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. Which relates to the use of the technology and the child enhancing and extending their knowledge of how to use technology to the best of its ability. It also relates to experiences about their literacy if it can be applied to their animation. It could also extend to experiences referring to them working in groups, using their imagination and sharing their ideas and outcomes, all depending on what relates to the lesson you as the teacher set them.

Overall, I really enjoyed learning about and making a stop motion animation. I feel like this would be a great set of lessons to teach a primary class and to allow the children to use their imagination. I will use this in my classroom if I get the chance and if the resources are available to use.

References

·         Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary Classroom: From Pedagogy top 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: 26th February 2018]

·         Jarvis, M. (2015) Brilliant Ideas for Using ICT in the Classroom: A Very practical Guide for Teachers and Lecturers. Routledge.

·         Moving Image Education website: [Online] https://movingimageeducation.org/create-films/animation [Accessed: 26th February 2018]

 

 

Digital Technology Week 6 – Movie Making

Digital Technology Week 6 – Movie Making

This week the input was focussed on movie making to help be able to put across the dangers of internet safety. We first learnt about how internet safety is taught in the classroom and what it looks like in the curriculum. Then we watched a few short movies and trailers that people had made that showed the dangers of he internet. And finally, we made our own movie in groups to display our take on internet safety.

We learnt about how to teach internet safety to children, so they don’t feel like they are being belittled by you and that you aren’t trying to lecture them about how to behave online outside of school. You shouldn’t tell them they shouldn’t be on social media because they will do it anyways, rather you must teach them how to work and behave while on them. “…the key idea [is] that e-safety is not about restricting children, but about educating them.” (Beauchamp, 2012, p.58). We as teachers must know what to say to children in terms of being online because they are exposed to it daily and are going to be immersed in it, so they must know what to share and not to share and what they need to do if things don’t seem right and if things for some reason go wrong. “The most successful schools… in terms of e-safety ensured that pupils knew what to do when things went wrong.” (Beauchamp, 2012, p.60). I know that when I become a teacher I want to make sure I teach the children in my class how to deal with situations online and what they should and shouldn’t share/do when online with people they don’t know.

The technology we learnt how to use this week was to do with movie making. We did this using iMovie on the iPad. We first watched a few sample movies so that we could get ideas of what the theme of our movie would be. We also watched a few videos on YouTube to learn how to work the app and how to make the movies. We then had to get into groups and decide whether we were going to make a trailer or a short movie. I was in a group of five and we decided we would make a trailer in the theme of snow white. The theme of our movie was that the evil queen messaged snow white online and asked her to meet to buy some apples then snow white shared her address and agreed to meet where it turned out the sweet old lady was the evil queen who now knew where she lived, and the apples turned out to be poisoned and snow white was now cursed. The message of our video was very clear that you must be safe online,don’t share personal information with people that you don’t know and don’t agree to meet with people you don’t know alone.

According to Porter (2004), digital storytelling begins with the notion that in the not too distant future, sharing one’s story through the multiple mediums of digital imagery, text, voice, sound, music, video and animation will be the principle hobby of the world’s people. The task that we did could be done with a class of able children either in the theme of internet safety and their own take on it or on another topic. Or the video we made could be shown to a class to start a discussion and lesson on the importance of internet safety.

There are quite a few experiences and outcome that I feel can relate to the lessons that could be set using iMovie, two of which relate to the safety side of the lesson and another three that can relate to the child making their own movie. Taken from Education Scotland (2004). “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. This is the main one that relates to the internet safety and how to be safe using technology. “I understand that there are people I can talk to and that there are a number of ways in which I can gain access to practical and emotional support to help me and others in a range of circumstances.” HWB 0-03a/1-03a/2-03a/3-03a/4-03a. This also relates to the child being able to understand being safe and secure in everyday life and makes sure they understand that if they don’t there is places they can go and people they can talk to to help them. “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/2-20a. And “I can explore digital technologies and use what I learn to solve problems and share ideas and thoughts” TCH 0-01a. And “I have experienced the energy and excitement of presenting/performing for audiences and being part of an audience for other people’s presentations/performances.” EXA 0-01a/1-01a/2-01z. All relate to the learning and experiences the child is getting from working to create a movie and to be able to work in a group and then share their work.

Overall, I think that internet safety is essential in young people and I feel that it is a teacher’s job along with family to make sure that children understand the dangers that come along with going online and what they can and should do if any dangers occur. I felt like the use of movie maker was very interesting as it was easy to use and gave you a great outcome that you can be proud of. I think this would show very clearly a child’s understanding of using technology if they are able to produce and edit a movie that can be shared in the classroom or further. Finally, I am sure that if the resources are available to me that I will use iMovie in my lessons.

References

• Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary Classroom: From Pedagogy top 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: 19th February 2018]

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

 

 

Digital Technology Week 5 – Mobile Devices

Digital Technology Week 5 – Mobile Devices

This week’s focus was based on mobile devices and how they could be used in the classroom to benefit the learning of the children. This week we looked at the use of eBooks in the class. These can be used either for the children to read then do activities based on them or as a lesson for the children to make their own eBooks using the iPads to then be shared with the others in the class.

The first thing we did was made a mind map of what we thought eBooks were and how we thought they could be used in the classroom. At the end of the PowerPoint lecture we went back to these and filled them in with a different colour to show how our understanding had widened after learning about them further. The oxford dictionary defines eBooks as “An electronic version of a printed book which can be read on a computer or a specifically designed handheld device.” This is a very simple definition as now after having experience making eBooks they can do a lot of different advanced things that paper book can’t do such as have videos included in the book to make instructions or to make the story clearer.

We did our tasks for this tutorial using movie maker on the iPads as these are mobile devices and were easy to use and to be able to move about the university campus to take pictures and videos to support our book. The first task we were to do was in groups we were to create an eBook that showed what life at UWS is like. This was to get us used to using the apps and to try out the different things you can add to your book to make it more interesting and interactive. In my group we focussed on the specific things UWS has to offer such as the library and the gym. We added videos, pictures, text, handwriting and sound effects to our book to explore all the different options the movie maker has to offer.

The second task was individual, and we were to either create a book that could be used in a lesson with story and questions to go along and be answered. The second option was to summarise a well-known children’s story as this is a lesson you would instruct pupils to do. I chose to summarise the children’s book little red riding hood. I identified the key parts of the story that needed to be included for the story to still make sense. I used YouTube to get consistent pictures of the same characters and back grounds as there was no paper book available to me. I used text and writing in alternating black and red colours to go with the books colour theme. I added sound to make the book more interactive. Also, this can help children who struggle with reading or have additional support needed this means they can still enjoy the book as much as the children who can easily read the words. This is one of many benefits of using mobile devices such as movie maker on the iPad in the classroom. Beauchamp sums up using technology in the classroom as “The first, and perhaps most important, reason for using ICT in the classroom is that it can have a positive effect on attainment” I feel like this clearly explains why technology should be used more in the classrooms.

There are two experiences and outcome I would connect with this lesson the first being the technology one that refers to the use of the iPads and learning how to use the movie maker app. “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 other refers to the making of the book or the answering of the questions in connection with literacy. This Experience and outcome refers to the identification of the key points of a story to be able to summarise it with it sill making sense. “As I listen or watch, I can identify and discuss the purpose, key words and main ideas of the text, and use this information for a specific purpose.” LIT 1-04a.

Overall, I really enjoyed using the eBooks they are interesting and give a whole new dimension to the original paper books. I find them a real benefit as it can help certain children who need different questions or who need a book read to them instead of left to read themselves, so this allows the teacher to read the book to them without having to sit with that child and take their attention away from the rest of the class. When I am in a classroom I would love to do this activity with the children if the resources are available to do so.

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: 12th February 2018]

• Oxford Dictionary (2018) – E-Book Definition [Online] https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/e-book Author: Oxford University [Accessed: 12th February 2018]

Digital Technology Week 4 – Coding

Digital Technology Week 4 – Coding

This week in Digital Technology we were learning about coding. We learnt about the Benefits of using coding in the classroom, we did this by using coding through the scratch jr. app on the iPad and using the instruction cards to learn how to do the simple coding instructions. We were instructed to create a short animation that could be used to start off a literacy lesson or to give ideas to children to create their own animation.

We were taught about the benefits of using coding in the classroom. Today, coding is considered a huge part of literature and giving children these skills helps them to be able to understand how a computer works and can help because it can lead into other areas of learning. Areas such as problem solving and communication it also helps with their concentration levels as it takes a lot of thought process to be able to understand how coding works to then be able to do it themselves. (Beauchamp 2012). The only experience of coding before this tutorial was a couple of lessons I did in 3rd year at school in computing on scratch on the computer where we made a maze game. I didn’t realise that coding such as scratch has now been taken down schools to as young as 5 years old as I didn’t realise children were as advanced in computing as what they are.

Scratch Jr. is a straightforward way to introduce coding to young children in primary school. It is described as able to be used by children of 5 years and above. It is used to create interactive animations and games for them to share and use to enhance their learning. Scratch jr. works by joining together blocks that when made into a sequence in the correct order allows the “sprite,” which is the characters used in the animations and games, to be able to move and do other things that the children instruct them to. “Scratch is designed for exploration and experimentation, so it supports any different learning style.” The Lead Project (2014). Scratch was designed to be able to teach children what coding is and how it works but making it fun and interesting for them and easy enough for them to understand and for the teachers to be able to teach. It was also created to help children in other areas such as problem solving and creative imagination as it lets the children bring their ideas to life on the screen then be able to share what they have created with their peers in the class room and their teacher. “Scratch was developed for young people to help them develop creative learning skills for the 21st century.” The Lead project (2014). Skills developed through the use of Scratch Jr. in young people can be:
• Creative thinking skills
• Logical reasoning skills
• Problem solving skills
• Collaboration skills

The short animation I created was about a crab and a frog who went into the sea to look for colourful shells. I created my animation to be shown to the children at the start of a lesson in which they would go on to create a similar animation but with their own stories. This would give the children the idea of the standard of work the teacher would be looking for and would also give them ideas to allow the children to go further and create their own stories or they could carry on my animation with similar characters and story line as the one I created.

I found that this lesson would link to 3 experiences and outcomes on the curriculum for excellence, two from the ICT section and one from literacy. The first ICT outcome talks about the children creating the animations on the devices and being able to understand how to work the app. “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. The second ICT outcome refers to the creation of their ideas onto the iPad bringing their ideas to life. “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. The literacy outcome I decided to refer to is “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. As this refers to the children making ideas and putting them into words to create an animated story on the app.

Overall, I think the use of coding in the classroom is a big benefit to the children as it introduces them to how a game works behind the actual playing of it etc. That they play on an everyday basis. I think scratch is a good and uncomplicated way to incorporate coding and ICT into lessons in the classroom also it engages the children as they enjoy doing things involving technology and that allow them to create things including their own ideas. I would love to be able to use scratch Jr. on the iPad when I am teaching in classrooms.

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: 5th February 2018]

• The Lead Project (2014) Super Scratch Programming Adventure: Learn to Program by Making Cool Games! No Starch Press.

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]