This weeks class involved the introduction of the programmable toy Bee-Bot, which is a foreign object to me! Having done some reading previous to coming to class, and also quizzing my son about it! I had some knowledge of its positive attributes and enhancement capabilities in the classroom and early years setting.
It is clear that the Bee-Bot can aid many activities for young children. It can be an introduction to technology and help children to learn about control and demands. The use of possible unknown language such as: forward, left, right, back- also contributes to their language knowledge. The Bee-Bot appears to be a very versatile and engaging piece of technology, and having the opportunity to design my own mat and activity was very exciting. The trouble I had however, was trying to choose just one! Which further proves the Bee-Bots never-ending list of possibilities across the curriculum. “One big bonus is that no number recognition is needed. Younger children, who did not know their numbers were able to use the Bee-Bot.” (Lydon, A. 2008).
- Robots in Early Education. Lydon, A. 2008
My name is Amy Redmond and I need help…with digital technologies! Having struggled with some computer-based aspects of the course so far (sometimes even logging onto the macs!), I feel it has cemented my wise choice in undertaking this module.
As I am an ahem… “mature” student, the advances in technology since I was a pupil at school is astounding. From a single computer shared by a whole classroom, to myself being on placement and witnessing the use of smart boards, iPads and laptops being used in a single lesson! Prensky (2001) states in that “Our students have changed radically. Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach”, Prensky further states that Digital immigrants are the people who are not brought up or born in the digital age, and Digital Natives being the current or forthcoming students with technological lingo and continually surrounded by all aspects digital. I am quite sure that I can class myself as a “Digital Immigrant” to some extent, and I would like to change this in the hope to be able to communicate and teach the children of the future effectively. The importance and value of digital technologies was observed on several occasions, and I appreciated its enhancement in lessons, particularly to some pupils with lower abilities. This made it even clearer that I must “upgrade” my own learning and be able to assist children in the best way possible. I also acknowledge that improving my technological skills will assist me in my own academic journey to becoming a teacher.
It is evident that the Scottish Government has taken the view that the implementation of digital technologies within the classroom is paramount, in particular with the hope to raise attainment and achieve equity. “Digital technology can make a substantial contribution to this improvement agenda by enriching education across all areas of the Curriculum for Excellence.” (Scottish Government, 2016). It further goes on to detail how it can enrich learning and teaching and help provide valuable tools for our children’s educational outcomes, if used in the most appropriate way.
I am looking forward to using the beebots in next week’s class, I have already asked my 6-year-old son if he has used them at school, he informed me that “a Beebot is something that you need to control with buttons to get it about”. I must admit that I was quite overwhelmed with all of the information from the first instalment of digital technologies, but I am very excited to try different programs and aids to enhance the pupil’s education that I hope to be a part of in the future.
- Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants.
- Scottish Government. (2016). A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland. Edinburgh: Scottish Government. [Online]. Available at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/enhancing-learning-tearning-through-use-digital-technology/pages/2/. [Accessed: 05 January 2019].