Digital Technologies Week 3- Multimodal Presentations

Digital Technologies blog week 3


In this week’s lesson we were familiarising ourselves with ‘Activinspire’ which is a programme that is used as a means for interactive learning in many of todays classrooms. It is a good resource to introduce the use of multimodal texts with its many possibilities. The definition of a multimodal text is one which combines two or more of the five semiotic systems which are:






Multi modal texts are an effective tool in the classroom as Beauchamp states that they are believed to “make work more motivating and interesting” (Beauchamp,2012, p.8). I agree with this statement as these types of texts can cater to many different learners in using different styles and this was something which I had experienced on placement as it was a tool which grabbed the pupil’s attentions greatly for example in the use of the interactive smartboard and video clips.

It is recognised by the government that technologies which can be used for creating multimodal texts are valuable within a classroom setting. As part of their challenge to tackle the attainment gap the Scottish Government are providing qualifying schools with an equity fund allowing for them “to deliver activities, interventions or resources which are clearly additional to those which were already planned.” (Scottish Government, 2018). The funding available could be used for resources such as interactive whiteboards and iPads which provide great opportunities for creating and using multimodal texts. I agree that providing the schools with funding for these materials is a great way to expose the pupils to many different forms of multimodal texts. However, I also believe that it is essential that teachers understand how to best use these programmes. It was stated by Beauchamp that “The ability of ICT to present ideas in a variety of ways can help to structure new experiences but only if you as the teacher have sufficient understanding on the area yourself.” which I agree with in that schools may spend their equity fund on resources which may seem helpful however, they may not end up being used to their fullest potential due to the lack of expertise on how to do so.

The task which we were set was to come up with our own multimodal interactive presentation. We decided to base ours around a similar concept of the shopping task we had completed the previous week and used the same curricular outcome of I can use money to pay for items and can work out how much change I will receive. NMU 1-09a. We decided to create a supermarket setting with shopping lists in which the children had to drag the objects on their list into a trolley and then drag the various coins out of a purse to pay the correct amount. We also added a cash register sound effect to encompass another one of the semiotic systems.

We began by playing around with the various functions on the Activinspire software and started to find out what we could use. To begin with we used a picture as a background but soon realized that we could set the page background as any picture we wished and decided this would be better as the picture wouldn’t move around. One struggle that we faced was in finding out how to duplicate a page as we wished to use the same look on all our pages but different variations of coins and items on the shopping lists and we hoped that there was a way to do this without starting from the beginning each time. After trying many different possibilities, we eventually found the correct way to do so and were able to continue with creating our resource. Another struggle which we faced was that in the version which we had downloaded some of the tools were not as easily accessible as others and we struggled to find how to insert shapes. In the end we had to find an alternative way of creating the effect which we wished to use.

Overall, I believe that Activinspire is a great resource for the use of multimodal texts within the classroom due to its many possibilities in covering an extensive range of curricular outcomes. It provides a great range of handy tools and now that I have taken time to familiarise myself with how to access these I would feel comfortable using this as a resource within a classroom.



Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary School: From Pedagogy to Practice. Pearson.

Scottish Government. (2018) Pupil Equity Funding – National Operational Guidance – 2018. [pdf] available at: [Accessed on 24th January 2019]

Scottish Government. (n.d.) Curriculum for Excellence. [pdf] Available at: [Accessed on 24th January 2019]


Digital Technologies Week 2- Programmable Toys

17th January 2019

For this week’s lesson we were set the task of creating our own educational resource using a Beebot programmable toy. Before the input we were able to decide whether we wished to work as an individual or in a group and I decided to join a group with two others. Prior to our time in the classroom, my group and I met in order to discuss our ideas and finalise a basic plan for the resource. I feel this was beneficial as it allowed us to use all the time that we had during class to focus on the making of the product. When we met again during class time we briefly re visited our plan and made sure that everyone agreed on what the final product would be. We then finalised which learning outcome was best suited to our resource as this had only been loosely mentioned before and then we divided out roles and began creating. I feel this approach worked well as we were able to use our time effectively and divide jobs fairly, playing to people’s individual strengths, in order to do so. I feel that as a group we were also very good at feeding back to each other about our progress and checking with each other to ensure all of us were included in all aspects. One challenge that we did face when we came to use the Beebot was that once we had programmed it to go to one position, we then put in the sequence to send it to the next location on our mat and Beebot would follow the whole sequence. We soon realised that we had to press clear to remove the sequence from the Beebots memory to then give it instructions to go to the next position.


As a group we decided to make our resource a shopping design. We first came up with the idea to have items laid out on the board with various prices which the pupils would have to add together in order to calculate the total of their shopping. We felt that the best way to do so was through giving the children shopping lists with the items that they would have to programme the Beebot to go to and with the cost of each individual item marked on it. We then came across the issue of having to figure out a way in which the children could find out if they correctly calculated the total so that the resource could be used with minimal teacher input. We then decided that Beebot would travel to the items on the shopping list then to a basket with what the children believe is the correct total on it. At this point the child would also have to work out the change in which they would receive before opening a receipt that will be in the basket, which would tell them both the accurate total and change.

We decided that we wanted to make the board interchangeable so that it could be altered to be used for differing abilities, ensuring that the children can be challenged just enough whilst carrying out the task.


The outcome which we decided best suited our resource was from first level in the number, money and measure category:

  • I can use money to pay for items and can work out how much change I will receive. NMU 1-09a

The children will meet this outcome through the calculations which they do in order to find the correct basket and work out what many they will get back from the original amount of money that they are given.


I feel that as a group we should have made the experiences and outcomes our starting point for coming up with our idea as this could’ve sped up this part of the process by giving us a further stimulus.


Programmable toys have a valuable place in today’s curriculum. They open the opportunity for children to discuss with each other and use the language of mathematics in an applied sense. It is stated by the National Centre for Technology in Education that such resources “encourage group interaction, conversation and collaboration”. This can be seen in that when programming the bot, pupils will have to discuss with each other using directional language such as forwards, backwards, left and right in order to work together in an effective manner to reach the same goal, as I had to with my group when we were trialing the resource. This is further backed up by Janka who states that as part of the British curriculum “children should develop the ability to describe simple journey and instruct the programmable toy in order to develop position language and estimation”. Showing that the use of this language is a vital part of a child’s education.


In conclusion, I feel that the skills which I have learned and put into practice during this session will be of great value to me as both a student teacher and when I become qualified. I have enjoyed my time getting to know the resource and I have seen all the different ways in which it can be used to meet various different outcomes. Additionally I now have knowledge on its value within a classroom.


NTCE. (2012)  Floor robots – focus on literacy and numeracy.  [pdf] Available at: [Accessed on: 17th January 2019]

Janka, P. (2008) Using a Programmable Toy at Preschool Age: Why and How? Intl. Conf. on Simulation, Modeling and Programming for Autonomous Robots.  pp. 112-121.

Scottish Government. (n.d.) Curriculum for Excellence. [pdf] Available at: [Accessed on 17th January 2019]

Digital Technologies Week 1

                                                                                10th January 2019

On the 8th of January I started a new digital technologies module as part of my journey as a first year BA Education student. I chose this module because I wished to learn more about the technologies that are available for use in the classroom as well as better improve on my currently limited skills and gain new strengths in using these. I therefore feel that the skills I gain in this module will allow me to better my practice within the classroom as I would have the ability to incorporate these confidently within my lesson plans. It is important to have technology as a part of how you deliver the curriculum as children will come in to your classroom as digital natives. This is due to them growing up surrounded by numerous digital technologies.  Therefore, it is and will continue to be a large aspect of their life in which skills will be vital and therefore is necessary to be not only a part of home life but school life too (Prensky, 2001). It is also recognised by the Scottish government as a crucial part of education. This is shown by a strategy that came into place in 2016 which wished to increase the effective use of technologies within Scottish schools in order to tackle the attainment gap (Scottish Government, 2016). This blog will follow my journey through the module and will be used as an opportunity to reflect on how the sessions went and record the skills which I have gained which I will be able to refer to in the future.


Scottish Government. (2012) Enhancing learning and teaching through the use of digital technology. [pdf] Available at: [Accessed on: 10/01/19]

Prensky,M. (2001) Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. MCB University Press. Vol.9 (5) pp.1-6.