Sustainable Development – My Urban Area Blog

Sustainable Development – My Urban Area Blog

In this blog I am going to discuss my urban area where I live. To start looking at Urbanisation I watched the TED Talk “its our city. Let’s fix it.” From this I found out some of the impact that increasing urbanisation has on the world. One Positive impact is on the economy and job opportunities as when there is more shops etc there are more opportunities for work. one negative impact is the impact on the environment for example 80% of the worlds gas emissions are from urban cities, which has a negative impact on the environment. Another factor that is related to urban areas is that a third of people who live in cities are in poverty this is a surprisingly high amount of people in poverty in the areas that are considered urban.

I then started to look at where I live and if my area is considered urban. I live in Ayr around a 5-minute walk from the university. Ayr is considered to be urban as it is a reasonable size town with a range of buildings and green space. Are is mainly made up of two floor houses there aren’t many tall buildings like there are in places such as Glasgow. The roads in Ayr are mainly not main roads and are all pretty much single lanes with a few exceptions. There are a few one-way systems and lots of roundabouts. So, the roads are like a typical town. There are many green areas such as belleisle, sea field and the old racecourse. Even just round about my house and the university is surrounded by woods and fields with a woods path following the river Ayr.

The Transport in Ayr is mainly cars, there are always busses and taxis running but most people travel by car. There is also Ayr Train station that is used to visit other towns and cities but is not used for within the town. There ae many community spaces in are there are quite a few primary schools for a town, around 10, and there are around 5 secondary schools. For after school education there is Ayr College and UWS Ayr. There are also quite a few community centres a few around my house are whittlets and Lochside. There also other types of community areas such as Carnegie and forehill library and the Craigie allotments which is just down the road from my house and the university. In Ayr there are many sports facilities such as the citadel leisure centre where there is spots courts and a swimming pool. Apart from that there is a cinema, Ayr football stadium and then there are lots of restaurants and bars. As well as the green areas such as belleisle where there is a large free park and lots of grassy areas and nice walks as well as a golf course.

The population in Ayr is around 47,190 according to my google search on the 23rd September 2018. The job opportunities in Ayr are mainly in retail in the towns shopping centre and other than that then the other work is in the councils and offices. This results in a lot of Ayr’s population seeking jobs outside of the town.

Some ways you could investigate urban environments with a primary 5 class would be to go out of the school as a class and explore your own urban area and allow the children to make their own discoveries and options on their area. Also, they could be given a random town/city to investigate online, themselves to explore and they could make a presentation or poster to share with the rest of the class then the whole class could group/compare all the different areas that they looked at alone or in small groups either I class or as a homework project. Some of the experiences and outcomes I think could be achieved by exploring urban environments could be, “I can discuss the environmental impact of human activity and suggest ways in which we can live in a more environmentally responsible way.” SOC 2-08a, “Having explored my local area, I can present information on different places to live, work and relax and interesting places to visit.” SOC 2-10a and “I can explain how the physical environment influences the ways in which people use land by comparing my local area with a contrasting area.” SOC 2-13a.

 

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 on 23rd September 2018]
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_towns_and_cities_in_Scotland_by_population
  • https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@55.4659611,-4.605853,15z
  • “It’s our city. Let’s fix it.” TED Talk [Online] https://www.ted.com/talks/alessandra_orofino_it_s_our_city_let_s_fix_it

Integrated Arts Week 2

Integrated Arts Week 2

This week integrated arts lecture was based on creativity. We spoke about how creativity is essential in a good school environment, but also the opinion that schools are killing creativity by not doing enough of the arts in classes and in lessons. Ken Robinson in his TED talk said, “we are educating people out of their creativity.” This is a very strong statement but in many ways is true, as schools put across academic subjects such as maths and literacy as having a greater importance than the arts this teaches children to dampen their creativity and to focus on their other subjects. We also spoke about how having bright and full walls can be a distracting to children in class when they are trying to focus and work. Csikszentmihalyi (1996) effectively says this in his book. “But constant busyness is not a good prescription for creativity.” We finally looked at the WALT and WILF that in a lot of schools have became common practice before and after every lesson to refer to. WALT is useful as it tells the learn what they are meant to be achieving throughout the lesson whereas the WILF can be subjective and is more useful in other subjects not particularly the arts as everyone’s interpretation and creativity in the arts is different so it is hard for the teacher to specify what they are looking for from the whole class as it could damped the child’s imagination. I feel that this is true and that in arts lessons the WILF shouldn’t be used and only use the WALT if it is practised in the school.

In the music workshop today, we mainly just explored the Charanga website and then participated in some of the activities you can do with classes. We got a chance to look at some of the lesson plans and games that can be helpful if you are not the most confident teacher for music. I don’t play any instrument and aren’t musical at all, so I feel this website will be very helpful for when it comes to me teaching music in schools. One of the activities we did was improvisation on the glockenspiel to a backing music. First, we too off all the f’s and b’s as when these are removed the remaining letters all play in tune with each other. I was very nervous at the start but once I had heard a few peoples I realised that no matter what you played it sounded okay and that most people in the class were in the same boat feeling self-conscious I felt okay and my turn didn’t go as bad as I thought it was going to.

During the art workshop we were put in the place of the child and were instructed to make a paint brush out of some of the random materials provided to us. We then discussed why this would be effective in the class, as children will be more excited and motivated to paint when they are using their own paint brushes with all the different textures for bristles than what they would be if they are provided with a standard store-bought paint brush. We were then not given a picture to work from for our painting. The lecturer described a photograph and we were to take notes and paint it as what we saw. This encourages children to use their memory and their imagination rather than just trying to copy a picture which most children will be able to do successfully. We were then to paint it with our paint brush that we had made. This encouraged us to not be too bothered about the tiny details and about the painting being perfect as it wasn’t possible with the brush I had made from string and plastic. Then we noticed the positives and negatives to the paint brushes we had made my string side was too long and then my plastic side worked well to put texture on the picture. Many of the class’s paintbrushes broke and fell apart which shows that they weren’t as malleable as we thought they would be. I have attached below a picture of my paint brush and my painting. I consider myself to be quite good at art but when faced with this task I found it hard as I wanted my paining to be good and have fine detail that wasn’t achievable with the brush I had made so it encouraged me to not look at the finer detail and just focus on the main shapes and colours which is what small children do when they are drawing and painting. This was very insightful into the way children work and see their art work when they are doing it because even after I had finished mine I could see where certain things are when other couldn’t see it.

Overall the main theme between art and music is creativity and building children’s confidence in areas that they do not feel that they do so well in. when I was in school we did hardly any music which is why I am so unconfident in it. In terms of art we did hardy any of that in school either but when I went to secondary school I chose it and I got more experience and confidence in the subject and in myself. I feel that Piaget’s quote explains the way arts are seen in schools more these days “The principle goal of education is to create men [and women] who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done – men [and women] who are creative, inventive and discoverers.” This explains that education is not only trying to teach children what maths and literacy they need to know to pass exams but are trying to create creative individuals.

References

  • Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996) Creativity – Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, New York: Harper Collins
  • Jean Piaget (1896-1980)
  • Ken Robinson TED Talks 2006

Integrated Arts Week 1

Integrated Arts Week 1

Today’s classes were mainly an introductory session to the module as it was our first day. During this we spoke about the importance of the arts such as visual arts and music in education and how it is often brushed over. This gave us the insight into why we were doing this module and the types of things we will be learning about in the coming weeks. The arts are often avoided in primary schools as they can take awhile for the children to start to get the hang of it and it can take several weeks for there to be a piece of work completed in these areas. Also, it can be because the teacher doesn’t feel comfortable or confident in these areas so choose not to teach it in depth. Another reason can be because they don’t see it in as much of an importance as other subjects such as mathematics and literacy, so they choose to spend most of their teaching time focused on them.

The first workshop we had was on why music matters. We discussed some of the ways we thought music is beneficial to children. One being that some children may not excel in areas of school such as maths, but they may come to discover by learning about music that their strong point is music, and this can improve their concentration and their confidence in the class. It can also lead them onto making music part of their life and make a career out of it in the future. As a result, teachers that choose to brush over music as a subject in school rather than a fun afternoon playing around with the instruments may result in a child missing out finding their calling in school and after. We also spoke about some of the experiences and outcomes liked to music education such as “I can use my voice, musical instruments and music technology, to experiment with sound, pitch, melody, rhythm, timbre and dynamics” EXA 2-17a. We also tried an exercise ourselves that could be used to introduce pulse and rhythm to early years children that included using the shapes circle and square to instruct the children whether to use one beat or two.

The second workshop we had today focussed on art in education. This was very similar to the music in the reasons why it isn’t taught in schools and the reasons why it should be. Children may find they excel in art but don’t get the chance to in school. We looked at pieces of art work from early years, middle school and upper school so we could compare the levels children are at in art at different stages. I noticed that in the early year’s children were mainly free to draw whatever they wanted and let their imagination go free whereas when you get further up the school we noticed that the art work seemed to be more of an add on to other subjects and very teacher lead. For example, most of the art work linked to a topic they would have been doing in class at that time. I Have attached pictures at the bottom to show this and show the progress children make throughout the years in terms of their art work. Even though you can see a link between the stage and the progression every child’s art is different and some progress quicker than others which is why they must constantly be encouraged to keep their confidence up. Although children helping one another is incredibly beneficial to them, in some circumstances some children may compare their work and become dissatisfied in their own work and lose confidence in their art abilities (McAuliffe, 2007). This extract explains why and shows the importance of encouragement while doing art in classes. Another link between the music and visual arts was the creativity that the children can adopt while participating in these subjects which can engage the children further and you can see an increased concentration within the classroom when children enjoy what they are doing.

Overall there are many links between all the arts in school such as creativity and engagement. But also, in the reasons why teachers don’t tend to have a focus on them in their lesson plans and why this should change.

References

  • Education Scotland (2004) – Curriculum for Excellence; Experiences and Outcomes [Online] Available: 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: 11th September 2018]
  • McAuliffe, D (2007) Foundation and Primary Settings. In Teaching Art and Design 3-11 (Edited by Sue Cox, Robert Watts, Judy Grahame, Steven Herne and Diarmuid McAuliffe) London: Continuum.

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.