All posts by Chloe Woodward

I am 17 years old studying Primary Education at UWS in Ayr.

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.

References

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.

References

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.

References

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

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