Enhancing Outdoor Learning (20/03/18)

Sadly due to illness today, I unfortunately missed our last input of digital technologies based on enhancing outdoor learning. However, I have taken the time to study and read over the powerpoint used within the lecture to help improve my understanding of the importance of taking a child’s learning out of just the classroom and adapt it to the outside world. From the powerpoint I learned that according to Education Scotland (2010), “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 rather than just having learning experiences within the classroom, they can use these skills at home with their parents/carers to solidify understanding and knowledge. They can also use these skills and manipulate them to have the ability to use them in the future.

The idea of outdoor learning can be adapted to almost any area within the curriculum to help achieve various Es and Os. For example a variety of science outcomes can be achieved if they were to study biodiversity and nature in the world around them. Children could possibly achieve the outcomes “I have observed living things in the environment over time and am becoming aware of how they depend on each other (SCN 0-01a)” and “I can distinguish between living and non-living things. I can sort living things into groups and explain my decisions (SCN 1-01a)”. Basing activities outside however can be adapted to any area of the curriculum, and this is just one very specific example.

Their task for today was to explore the QR codes and to use an app with a scanner on it to help them find clues and crack the puzzle. After observing completed work and talking to peers who took part, it seemed a very fun challenge which could also be used with primary children to help them improve teamwork and communication skills in working with others.

Overall, this input seemed a very interesting one which I am so gutted to have missed. This however gives me the drive and opportunity to explore this idea further in my own time, and hopefully continue this type of learning whilst on placement or indeed when I am a teacher in the future.


Learning and Teaching Scotland (2010) Curriculum for Excellence Through Outdoor Learning.

Curriculum for Excellence

Games-based Learning (2) – (13/03/18)

Today in digital technologies we were studying the idea of games-based learning within the classroom and how this could enhance understanding for the children. This week is linked vaguely to last weeks as they were both surrounding lessons involving a game to enhance further learning. This week however it was based upon Minecraft for the iPad. I was a little more apprehensive about this weeks input as I have never used this app before and had no idea how it worked. This session however was very different from any other we have completed, as our lecturer got in contact with a school that had a group of digital leaders who came along and enlightened us on how this application has benefitted their learning. The ability to work with these children was very helpful for me as it was good to discuss their own opinions on the software and what skills they learned using it within the school. The children brought along their work that they had completed in the class which was based upon a Harry Potter theme. They let us explore their worlds that they had created, and our challenge for the university students was to work in teams to create another aspect for their world without the children physically doing this for us. This was a very interesting experience as we were able to feel what it was like for brand new learners of the software, the obstacles they had to overcome and then getting to see our final product.

According to the Ofcom Report (2011) it claims 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 shows that the use of games-based learning is very beneficial for children as they can use their knowledge both at home and in then classroom. This provides a very strong link between home and school life and gives children the ability to involve parents in their learning and progress of certain skills within the classroom.

Beauchamp (2012) states that the type of skills that could be developed by ICT games include; strategic thinking, planning, communication, application of numbers, negotiating skills, group decision-making and data handling skills. All of these skills are very important to a child’s development when growing up in the 21st century and can be used when they begin a job in their future.

Within the CfE using Minecraft can achieve the Experience and Outcome “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”. This shows that although this is a technology-based game, it can however be adapted and used for many different curricular areas therefore covering a larger variety of CfE outcomes depending on the subject.

Overall, I really enjoyed this session of digital technologies as we were able to see more of the theories in practice and got to hear first-hand what children in the 21st century think of more games-based learning in classrooms. I found this beneficial and also enjoyable as it was a very fun session allowing our imaginations to run wild when creating another building in the Minecraft world. This is something I would love to consider using within the classroom as I progress further to become a student teacher.


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

Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes, Ofcom (2001)

Curriculum for Excellence

Animation (20/02/2018)

Today in digital technologies we were exploring the use of animation in the classroom and how it may enhance a child’s learning. I was sceptical about using this application as I had never previously heard of it, so I had no knowledge about how it worked or even how it could be beneficial to a lesson in class.

According to Jarvis (2015) the term animation means “the stringing together a sequence of static images, generally so that they appear to move”. Bertrancourt (2005) suggests three ways in which animation can be used to enhance learning: to enhance learners’ visual representations, to illustrate processes and also to provide an interactive element. Today we were given the opportunity to explore this concept and see for ourselves just how beneficial the use of animation within the class could be.

However as indicated by Moving Image Education there are in fact 5 different types of animation. These include; cutout, stop motion, pixilation, drawn and also computer. For our task, my group selected the stop-motion technique which involved a series of plasticine models being sculpted and moved very slightly with a picture being taken after each movement. I found this task very fun and imaginative as we were given a free choice to demonstrate whatever scene we wanted using this application. Below is the animation that we created within the specified time set out by our lecturer.

This lesson idea could also be given to children, possibly with more of a focused learning outcome. They could create an animation of a story they have written themselves in class, or they could use it as a stimulus for imagination to then base a story upon later.

Various experiences and outcomes could also be covered using this application such as “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)” and also “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)”.

Overall, I believe this application is very beneficial to children in the classroom as it can be widely adapted to a variety of lessons and also curricular areas. It is a very inclusive software, which is simple to use by both the student and teacher to spark imagination and create stories that some children may initially have trouble writing about.


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

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

Moving Image Education website: [Online] https://movingimageeducation.org/create-films/animation [Accessed: 27th February 2018]

Curriculum for Excellence


ActivInspire (23/01/2018)

Today in digital technologies we were exploring multimodality and interactivity, particularly the use of ActivInspire within the classroom environment. I had previously observed this software being used in practice however I had never investigated the application myself or had experience of creating anything with it. I was less apprehensive about using this software in comparison to others as I had already been shown the basics of how it works.

A text may be described as multimodal when it combines two or more semiotic systems.
There are five semiotic systems in total; Linguistic, Visual, Audio, Gestural and Spatial. This is a very important concept within the classroom as it covers a wide range of learning styles for children and can often enhance understanding by using a variety of these features. According to Beauchamp (2012), “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”. This shows that for these various softwares, a fair knowledge of how it works must be had by the teacher to ensure the highest level of understanding can be had by the children within schools.

The use of these multimodal texts allows for a number of benefits within the class such as it is interactive, engaging, dynamic, and motivating for children etc.

Throughout this session we were given the opportunity to use this software on the iPads to create our very own lesson with whatever aspect of the curriculum we decided. Our group agreed to adapt our lesson to a literacy setting, in which we decided to base it upon a spelling game. The children would be given a picture of an animal and a word with letters missing from each. They would then have to select the correct letter from the bank of letters on the screen and drag it up to the appropriate space in the word.

For our lesson, the literacy outcome that may have been reached include “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)”. However this software has a huge scope to adapt it to almost any lesson, and cover almost any experience and outcome from the curriculum.

Overall, I believe this software for use within the classroom is one which many more teachers could hugely benefit from in lessons as it is so widely adaptable for a variety of different purposes. It is also a very basic application that many people could use effectively due to its easy layout and navigation around different features. Even with minimal knowledge of technology, I believe it can be very helpful throughout teaching others and conveying ideas.


Curriculum for Excellence

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

e-Books Workshop (06/02/2018)

Today in digital technologies we investigated and studied the use of mobile devices, in particular e-books, within the classroom and how they could be used to their full potential. At the beginning of the session I was particularly apprehensive surrounding the use of this application within the classroom as I was very unsure as to how and why this may enhance a lesson for children as I had never explored this software before.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary the term e-Books can be identified as “An electronic version of a printed book which can be read on a computer or a specifically designed handheld device”. This involves a variety of different handheld devices such as iPads, mobile phones, tablets etc. We were given the opportunity to investigate the application called book creator, which I had never heard of before this session. Book creator is a simple way to make a variety of books on the iPad such as children’s picture books, comic books, photo books, journals, textbooks and more.

According to the Scottish Governments’ Children’s Parliament (2016), the use of digital technology in the classroom is beneficial as it saves the waste of lots of paper therefore saving the environment, it gives them the ability to listen to music if it helps them with concentration and also it allows them to download the latest texts and audio books to use within the classroom.

Using this software would cover a variety of CfE experiences and outcomes within the classroom, for example, “I can show my understanding of what I listen to or watch by responding to and asking different kinds of questions (LIT 1-07a)”, “I can show my understanding of what I listen to or watch by responding to literal, inferential, evaluative and other types of questions, and by asking different kinds of questions of my own (LIT 2-07a)” and “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)”.

We were given time to investigate the application book creator with the initial task of designing a booklet on the iPads that would prove why students should apply to UWS in Ayr. This was a very fun task which enabled us to explore the campus on our own, whilst using the time effectively to therefore practice creating our own e-Books. The application was very simple and straightforward to work, which was beneficial as I am not particularly confident with using new technological software. The pictures below indicate what our group created in around half an hour, including time to explore the campus.

Our second task throughout the session was to create come up with a summarised version of a previously well-known text and create tasks for children to complete on their own. As I was apprehensive about this, I chose Charlie and the Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl as I was already very familiar with this text beforehand. I found it fairly difficult to begin this task as I was still unsure how to adapt it for use within the classroom, however once I had a look at previous examples for ideas I became more confident when creating this booklet. Below indicates the work I had produced including tasks for the children to answer the questions on their own using the iPads in class.



Overall, I found this experience very beneficial to see how this application can be adapted for use within the classroom. Some of the benefits of using it would include the range of resources and devices used by children in their daily lives at home, which could therefore build on these skills. It is also easy to share and access lots of resources from various online platforms, and finally it is helping to meet the needs of children and preparing them for the digital era in the 21st century.


Children’s Parliament Consultation (2016) A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland: The Views of Children.

Webwise Team. (2012) What is an e-Book? [Online] Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/guides/about-e-books [Accessed 20th February 2018].

Curriculum for Excellence

Mobile Devices (27/02/2018)

Today in digital technologies we were investigating the use of mobile devices within the classroom environment. I was unsure what this session would entail as this covers a very wide range of different technology. According to the Governments’ Children’s Parliament (2016) devices such as kindles, iPads, computers, cameras, Leappads, Nintendos, playstations etc were all used within the classroom for a variety of lessons.

British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), researched the benefits of mobile devices and consoles within the classroom and evaluated that the use of games consoles and smartphones played a huge role in the education and learning of young people in primary education. 406 responses were analysed by BESA surrounding the use of technology in school and at home. Around three quarters indicated that accessing devices such as Nintendo DS at home were in fact hugely beneficial to the childs’ development throughout school.

Overall, most teachers claimed that they preferred children having access to a computer games console in comparison to a mobile device. With reference to mobile devices specifically, opinions from teachers were hugely varied as Ray Barker, director of BETA claims “On the one hand, 39 per cent stated that children should not have access out of school to mobile phones, while another 29 per cent of teachers said the ideal situation would be if all pupils had access to a mobile”.

The use of mobile devices could be used in a variety of ways to help enhance lessons and a child’s overall understanding of a range of topics and subjects. However, on the other hand I believe they would not enhance every lesson and may become a distraction for children and others around them as they can access anything if they are not under supervision.

Within this session we were given the opportunity to create an “I am” poem which followed a specific structure given to us by our lecturer. The image attached below indicates the theme we chose, and what our creation consisted of. We were then asked to use the easi-speak microphones to record the audio to match the corresponding line in the poem. This audio was then inserted into a powerpoint document in which we were to add visuals based upon the line in the poem and share our creation with others. I found this very interesting and fun as the task was very lighthearted and also enabled our imagination to run wild with the different possibilities this poem could lead us to. It was also informative however, as it was easily identified how this lesson could be given to children in the same format.

Various experiences and outcomes could also be covered with this activity such as literacy and digital technologies. These include “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)” and “I can spell most of the words I need to communicate, using spelling rules, specialist vocabulary, self-correction techniques and a range of resources (LIT 2-21a)”.

In conclusion, using these devices would include a larger variety of adaptability for many more pupils. It would also allow them to develop skills within the classroom, which could be further enhanced within the home environment as well. Within the 21st century, a good knowledge on how to use this technology would be very helpful for the children as we are moving further into the Digital Age in society.


Curriculum for Excellence

Children’s Parliament (2016) A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland: The View’s of Children. [Online] Available: http://www.childrensparliament.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/REPORT_digital-learning-consultation_Childrens-Parliament-1.pdf [Accessed: 7th March 2018].

Games consoles benefit children’s education. (n.d.) [Online] Available: http://moodle.uws.ac.uk/pluginfile.php/245937/mod_resource/content/5/CoRE/page_96.htm [Accessed: 7th March 2018].

Coding – Scratch Jr (30/01/2018)

Today in digital technologies we were investigating the term coding and the sort of programmes that would cover this topic. We were mainly focussing our time on the software Scratch Junior, which I had previous experience of from computing science at secondary school. I was not confident at all using this software, as I had a very bad experience of this subject at school through a lack of explanation from the teacher. This made me very apprehensive surrounding the progress I would make within this session and how much I would struggle in understanding how it truly worked. I was also unsure as to how it could be used within classes, as I was unaware how to incorporate this into lesson plans for children.

The use of coding and Scratch Junior within the classroom has a variety of benefits to children such as when people learn to code, they learn important strategies for solving problems, designing projects, and communicating ideas. Teaching through the use of coding is also very beneficial to children as the ability to code computer programs is an important part of literacy in today’s society and some people believe that coding is the new literacy.

Throughout his session we were given time to watch tutorial videos on how Scratch Junior worked, and the sort of work that could be produced from it. Scratch Junior is a programme used to introduce children over the age of five years old to programming language and allows them to create stories and games on the iPad. This software works by the children being able to make characters move, jump and sing by clicking different blocks of programming instructions together.

According to The Lead Project (2014) Scratch Junior was designed for “exploration and experimentation, so it supports any different learning style”. This shows that this software is very adaptable an can be used across a wide range of the Curriculum for areas such as mathematics, English, music, art etc. Various experiences and outcomes can also be achieved from this software surrounding computing science such as “I am developing problem-solving strategies, navigation and co-ordination skills as I play and learn with electronic games, remote control or programmable. I can work individually r collaboratively to design and implement a game toys. (TCH 0-09a/TCH 1-09a)” and also “Using appropriate software, I can work collaboratively to design an interesting and entertaining game which incorporates a form of control technology or interactive media. (TCH 2-09a)”.

Within class we were given the opportunity to investigate this software and how it works, starting at the very beginning with the basics. After watching the tutorial videos given to us I began to understand how each element of the application worked and what the various possibilities could have been for using it in the classroom. We were given the task of creating a scene from a story and putting it into action. This same task could be given to children where they would have the opportunity to create their own snap shot from a story, sparking imagination and allowing them to illustrate it digitally. I came up with the idea of describing a day at the zoo, which was ideal as I was able to use a variety of different characters and make them interact with each other with both speech and movement.

Overall, I believe the use of scratch junior within the classroom would be very beneficial for children as it allows them to create stories, which many of them may have difficulty writing about however this can be used as a stimulus for creativity. It is also hugely beneficial to children as they can expand their vocabulary, introducing programmable language and understanding how this can then be put into practice using this software both in school and at home within the digital age of the 21st century.


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

Curriculum for Excellence

Games-Based Learning (06/03/2018)

Today in digital technologies (06/03/2018) we were investigating games-based learning within the classroom. I was apprehensive in the beginning as to how this would in fact benefit and enhance a child’s learning within school. However, it was brought to my attention how flexible the capacities of various games were and how easily adaptable they were to cross curricular areas. According to the Edutopia website the term games-based learning means “like novels, films, plays and other media, games can be high quality materials a teacher uses to enable students to access the curriculum”.

With this type of learning however, Learning Scotland also identified a variety of different problems that may arise through this form of teaching in the classroom such as the cost, identifying a suitable game, integrating the game – time/structure of the day and also teacher confidence/skills. Although these are huge issues, I believe with more awareness in schools many of these can be overcome and can in fact benefit pupils in a huge way within modern society.

We were given the opportunity within the class to create a mind-map surrounding reasons why games-based learning may be incorporated into a lesson and how it may benefit a child. At the beginning of the session we came up with ideas such as it is interactive, engaging, there’s a connection between home and school life, and it can also be used as a cross curricular activity over a variety of different lessons. After further investigation and thought, we discovered it also reinforced knowledge, it was stress free and also useful for children who have additional support needs.

During this session we were also given the opportunity to create an Interdisciplinary Learning Plan (IDL), based on the game Super Mario Kart. We chose six CfE areas to base our lessons upon, alongside the Es and Os that would be covered. We created lesson ideas for literacy, IT, numeracy, health and wellbeing, art and expressive arts (music).

I found this activity very fun as we could be creative, however also realistic within designing these activities. It was good to also share lessons with other groups as it was interesting to hear a variety of different ideas all based upon the one original features of Mario Kart.

Overall, I found the first input of games-based learning very interesting as I was surprised to see how wide one idea can be covered over different CfE areas whilst still remaining informational and beneficial for the children. I was apprehensive to begin with at the thought of this being used within the classroom, however after further investigation this is definitely something that I believe should be incorporated into more schools in modern day society, and in the future for when I hopefully become a primary teacher too.


https://education.gov.scot/ [Accessed 08/03/2018]https://www.edutopia.org/article/3-ways-use-game-based-learning-matthew-farber [Accessed 08/03/2018]