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]

Digital Technology Week 1 – Introduction

Digital Technology Week 1 – Introduction

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

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

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

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

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

Reference

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

Reflection of my BA1 Placement

During my two week placement I was placed in the Primary 7 class where there was 23 pupils. The experience was very enjoyable and educational for me. At the start of the week I was nervous to go into the school and meet the teacher and the class. After the first day I felt better and more comfortable in the school, and in the class.

The school I was in was a catholic school which was a great experience for me to see how these types of schools differ from non catholic school and see how there daily routines are different from the primary school I went to. I found out that the classes pray at the start of the day, before lunch and at the end of the day. I also got the opportunity to go to mass with the school for all saints day, where I got to see all the traditions they do when they are there, including receiving communion

While I was in the class I got to observe the many different lessons and teaching styles the teacher I was working with used. I also got to experience how she dealt with pupils with behaviour problems and other problems that cause them to loose concentration easily. I also got to see how she deals with and separates the less able children and the more able children. Also how she prepares different level of difficulty but same topic of tasks.

The pupils in my class were very welcoming and helped me a lot in developing my confidence over the two weeks. I made some strong connections with some of the pupils in the class mainly a few of the less able children who I was working with to help them develop further but also a lot of the other children who liked to talk to me and bond a relationship.

The children responded well to me teaching them when they were in the group I was taking. They automatically seen me as a professional and as a person they had to listen to and behave for. I enjoyed being the teacher in the classroom and being helpful to the children. I really liked when the children were asking me for help and when I was able to give advice to the pupils about their work.

I also got to work with other professionals such as the other teachers in the staff room. I also got to work with other classroom assistants in the class and got to see what their role is in the school on a daily basis. One of the days I went  along with Primary 7 and the teacher to Queen Margaret Academy for a transition day, getting the children ready to move to secondary. On this day I got to meet and talk to loads of teachers from different primaries and the secondary school. I also got to talk to some of the pupils from different schools. I was put with one of the groups as the teacher leader to go around and supervise the group along with the 6th years that were running the day.

Overall my placement experience was very enjoyable and memorable. I also feel I have learnt a lot and everything I have done over the last two weeks is going to help me in my time at University.

Situated Communication Task – independent Study task 16th October

Once I had done these tasks I partnered up with Rachael to discuss our notes. Our notes on the strengths and areas for improvement were very similar, we both caught on to the fact that the teacher crouched over quite a lot while teaching and talking with the children. This is quite a negative body language and doesn’t show that he is engaged in what they are saying and looks unprofessional.

I found it surprising that teachers regularly video their lessons. I have never seen or heard of this happening before. It was also surprising how much doing this helped the teacher to know what they needed to improve on and for them to quickly do so.  I did not find my partners observations surprising as we both had similar responses to the tasks that had been set.

I found the tasks that were set reasonably difficult but manageable. I was able to do the tasks but they required some thought and discussion to look deeper into what the messages being conveyed were saying.

The difference between feedback and judgement is that feedback is pointing out the good and the bad things but with a constructive side to it, so any negative feedback given is given in a way to help the person improve. Whereas judgement is just pointing out the negative in a way to hurt or bring down the person instead of helping them.

If I was to take one idea from this task to placement I would take the idea of allowing a class to have discussions between themselves but only in a controlled environment and when I feel as though the class is calm and concentrated enough to do so. When I go into teaching lessons I would consider recording some of my lessons to self evaluate my own teaching styles and the things I need to improve on.

I am feeling very nervous to start placement but at the same time excited to get to observe the teacher teaching and getting to interact with the pupils.

BA1 Education, Situated Communication, Reading Task: Chapter 5, The Skill of Questioning

The main aim of this chapter is to analyse uses and purposes of various types and structures of questions being used in social circumstances.  Some things that are discussed include, what questions are, describing questions used in context and, power of questions and responses.

One claim of this chapter is that children ask a lot of questions because they are learning and trying to make sense of things.  “This stage, questions play a crucial role in their learning and maturing process.”

One argument presented in this chapter is that questions are one of the most important things concerning communication.  “Questions are the heart of social interaction.”  They give us power and potential.

I agree with most of the ideas and arguments presented presented in this chapter i.e. questions being the centre of communication.  However I disagree with the study about children being at ease with answering/asking questions being “males, whites, higher-income…”  This may be the case in some classes but not all and shouldn’t be used as a factor.

There were a few words I didn’t know the meaning of so I looked up the definitions, i.e. “cognitive” being the mental processes of perception, memory, judgement and reasoning.

Some concepts in this chapter include responses, probes and pausing.  Pausing is a silent probe that can encourage thought, questioning or even getting the pupils to fully concentrate.

overall i think this chapter was very insightful into the way we use questions and the reasoning behind it.

References

Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practice, 5th ed. London: Routledge.