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.