Week 11: A Final Reflection

The module has now come to an end and I can honestly say I have thoroughly enjoyed the past 12 weeks. I picked this module as I was interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the digital world we live in today. I did not think the sessions would be so hands on and engaging where I was able to experiment with a massive range of digital resources which I can take with me into my future career. The weeks have gone by extremely quickly, however I have enjoyed every session and learned a new skill week on week.

Not only have I gained knowledge on using different apps such as Book Creator and Scratch Jr but I have also learned the importance of incorporating digital technologies into the classroom. It is the way forward for teachers and learners in today’s society. With our world developing and becoming so digitalised, it is imperative that we also allow education to evolve with this digital change (Prensky, 2001). It is almost impossible to think of job or industry which does not require some form of digital skill set (Scottish Government, 2016). As primary educators, is it essential that we equip our learners with the best possible skills and knowledge to go on and be successful in today’s society. The majority of children in primary school already have some experience of using an iPad, computer or phone before they even begin school, and so it is important that we build on these skills and teach them ways in which these technologies can actually enhance their learning.

One thing in particular I have enjoyed about this module is that it has allowed me to reflect on my own skills and practices. It has allowed me to develop my own communication, team work and creative skills as well as thinking about how my activates could help children to develop the same skills. I have been able to try out other people’s tasks and think about as a learner, how enjoyable it is and what I have learned from it. I have also been able to link Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) Experiences and Outcomes into all of my lesson ideas. I think one of the best things about digital technologies is that it can be used to enhance learning in most, if not all, areas of the curriculum. There are so many amazing resources that teachers and pupils can have so much fun with.

After this module I feel I am much more knowledgeable about the resources available to me as a teacher and the different ways in which I could use them in the classroom. It has allowed me to be much more open-minded about teaching and learning nowadays and experiment with new resources. I fully intend to use my new knowledge at some time in the near future and continue to experiment with new technologies and online resources which I could bring into the classroom.


Prensky, M. (2001) Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. MCB University Press

Scottish Government. (2016) Enhancing Learning and Teaching Throughout The Use of Digital Technology: A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland. [online] Available: https://www2.gov.scot/Resource/0050/00505855.pdf[Accessed: 7 April 2019]

Week 10: QR Codes & Outdoor Learning

Tuesday 12th March

For our last week in Digital Technologies, we looked at QR codes and outdoor learning. A QR code can be defined as “a pattern of black and white squares that can be read by a smart phone, allowing the phone user to get more information about something” (Collins Dictionary, 2019). Incorporating QR codes into an outdoor learning activity is a really good way of giving children a bit of independence, as they can scan the codes and follow instructions. Using the outdoors for this task was really good as well, especially because it can be brought into every area of the curriculum in some way. Education Scotland (2010) talks about how the outdoors “provides relevance and depth to the curriculum in ways that are difficult to achieve indoors.” I fully agree with this statement. The outdoors allows us to experience things that would be extremely difficult to replicate in the classroom.

Our task for today was to create a treasure hunt using QR codes. I worked alongside 4 other people today and as a group we worked well and manged to get the task completed in good time. As I have mentioned now in a few posts, the sizing of the groups is really important and definitely needs to vary depending on the activity. Today the group size worked well as there was lots to do and so everyone had a task. For our activity, we decided to create a treasure hunt outside based on maths. We had a total of 7 QR codes placed all around the premises of the University. The idea of the task was that the children would begin inside the classroom at the first code. Once they had scanned the code, it would present them with a maths question. The answers were a series of multiple choice and every answer released either one or two letters. It was important that they got the right answer every time as the letters they collect along the way would eventually spell out a maths related word. The word we decided to use was ‘calculator’. The same QR code would then lead them to a new location where they would find the next code and repeat the process. To create the QR codes we used this website https://www.qrstuff.com/ which was very quick and easy to use. It allows you to customise the codes, adding in text and colour and then sharing it through email, text message or social media for others to access. To scan the codes, you can download a QR reader on your phone or tablet, or some phones are able to read the code just by using the camera.

While creating our task, these are some of the CfE experiences and outcomes we were focusing on:
• I can extend and enhance my knowledge of digital technologies to collect, analyse ideas, relevant information and organise these in an appropriate way – TCH 2-01a
• I can use digital technologies to search, access and retrieve information and am aware that not all of this information will be credible – TCH 02-02a

Once we had completed our activity and it was set up, we swapped with another group and tried them out. Their feedback was that our activity was really fun, even for them, and they were confident it would be something children would really enjoy. They loved scanning the codes, figuring out the answer to the question and then also the next challenge of actually trying to find the next location. We were really glad they enjoyed it and it was a success. As much as the other group’s activity was full of colour, amazing animations and really good teaching points, it took us only a few minutes to complete. After spending hours working on it, they were slightly disappointed it hadn’t taken us long to do. This was an important lesson for all of us in that, although we want to create amazing, eye-catching resources to use in our classrooms, it is important that they keep the children busy for a certain amount of time. Otherwise all that time spent creating the activity has been wasted and the children are quickly on to something new.


Looking specifically at QR codes, they are a great addition to the classroom. They save time as children can scan the code which immediately provides them with the relevant information or takes them straight to a specific website (Edutopia, 2013). Apart from anything else, it is fun and children enjoy scanning the code to see what happens. It makes the learning more exciting rather than just being given information. More importantly, it allows children to be independent and go off and work on their own. QR codes don’t necessarily need to be used within the classroom for learning. In this session today we also talked about as a teacher, where else could we incorporate the use of QR codes into the classroom. We thought they could be used on wall displays which show what the children have been working on recently and the QR code could be scanned to read some samples of children’s work. It would also been useful in the library where children could scan the code for a certain book and read reviews that other children have left on it. I think these ideas are amazing and so imaginative! This is definitely something I would like to experiment with a class in the future.

Thinking about the outdoor learning side to todays session, it is definitely something really important to think about for every lesson.
• Is there some way I could incorporate todays learning in the outdoors?
• How could this be shown in the real world/context?
These are questions I am going to continue to ask myself when I start to plan lessons in the future. Apart from outdoor learning being a fun activity for children, it also allows them to build upon skills that are essential for their personal development. Some of these being communication, problem solving and team work. Outdoor learning also allows children to develop in terms of their personal safety where it would be essential for them to assess risks and know how to keep themselves safe in the outdoors. It allows children to make links between other areas of the curriculum, bringing together ideas from other aspects of their learning.

A QR code treasure hunt I think was a really good way of introducing the idea of outdoor learning to us. It shows how easily the learning can be taken outside and still be so beneficial to the learners. A change of scenery and fresh air can be all it takes to re-motivate a class and get them engaged. As well, the QR codes can be changed to suit any lesson whether it be literacy, maths, art or science and are a really clever way of bringing digital technologies into teaching. I thought this was a great, fun way to end the module and with everything else I have learned over the past few weeks, it will definitely be something I will use at some point in the future.


Collins Dictionary (2019) QR Code [Online] Available: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/qr-code [Accessed 4 April]

Education Scotland (2010) Curriculum for Excellence Through Outdoor Learning. [Online] Available: https://education.gov.scot/Documents/cfe-through-outdoor-learning.pdf [Accessed 4 April 2019

Edutopia (2013) Five Reasons I Love Using QR Codes in My Classroom [Online] Available: https://www.edutopia.org/blog/using-qr-codes-in-classroom-monica-burns [Accessed 4 April 2019]

Week 9: Games Based Learning

Tuesday 5th March

This week’s session was called Games Based Learning and was focused around the use of the online game Minecraft. This is an online computer game which can also be played on Xbox, PS4 or Wii where the players have to build their own world using 3D blocks. It is about the player going on a never-ending adventure. Unfortunately, I had never played Minecraft before so I was at a slight disadvantage compared to some others who had played it when they were younger. To start off I had a little play about with the game to see if I could get my head around it to try and understand the concepts more, before looking to see how it could have any benefits in education. It is clear to see that computer games are a massive part of youth culture in the 21st century (Ofcom, 2001). Within my family alone, my younger brother has grown up attached to his Xbox and now his PS4. He plays it every single day, especially right after school for hours on end and is no different to many other boys/girls his age. From my own personal experience of being in the classroom as a teacher figure and also as a pupil, it was always boys who struggled to stay engaged in learning. Therefore, taking this gaming approach to teaching and learning could really work for some pupils without them even realising.

Today we looked specifically at the education edition of Minecraft and how this could work in the classroom. Our task was to come up with lesson ideas where we could use this game as part of the learning. Personally, I found this session quite difficult, mainly because I had no previous experience of playing Minecraft and so I could not get my head around how it could be used in the classroom. After having a chance to play about with the game for a bit and getting lots of help from others, I started to get to grips with it and could very quickly see how children can get extremely caught up in the game. This week I worked alongside 2 other people and reflecting back on how this worked compared to last weeks session on animation, I would say it went a lot better. Working in a group of 3 made it much easier to talk to each other and get really good, developed ideas. We were also able to ensure every person was fully involved and we got through the task much quicker and smoother.

Our approach to the task was to brainstorm areas of the curriculum where we could bring in Minecraft. We looked at maths, science, social studies and literacy. Firstly, the education edition of Minecraft has some amazing resources and so we were really spoiled for choice as to what we could use. Some ideas we came up with include:
• Maths – our lesson idea for this was based around fractions where the children can use the blocks to practice fractions. The blocks can represent anything from bricks to flowers and so we thought that using the multiplayer mode, children could practice giving 3 fifths of flowers to a friend, or 5 ninths of the bricks, for example.
• Social studies – we based the learning around historic castles, where children could have done some previous work on the topic including writing and research and now, they have the chance to use Minecraft to re-create their own version of a famous castle.
• Literacy – we thought the children could just play the game, take their character on a really fun adventure, create buildings, meet people and discover interesting things. Afterwards they then have to write about the adventure, including all details. I really liked this idea as it allows children to base their story on something real that they have experienced. From my previous experience in schools, this was something that some children found really difficult. They struggled to be creative and imaginative. Using Minecraft allows them to be both of these things without them even thinking about it and it then gives then confidence to go on and write about something they made for themselves.
• Science – the resources for this were really good and one activity we thought would be good was matching physical objects to the symbol shown on the periodic table. For example, iron ore is used lots in Minecraft and so children would then match the iron ore to the iron symbol on the periodic table. The difficulty of this would of course depend on the stage of the class.

At the end of the session, each group presented their ideas in front of the class which allowed us all to see the different approaches that were taken from it. We left with plenty ideas as to how this could be used in the classroom!

When I was in primary school, not too long ago, computer games being used in the classroom is something that I would imagine was never really considered. Whenever my teacher mentioned the word ‘games’ the class would associate that with ‘Golden Time’ which was 30 minutes of pure fun on a Friday afternoon. It was purely for our entertainment and a reward almost for our hard work throughout the week. It did not have any particular educational benefit. When taking this more modern approach to teaching it is important to really think about the skills the children are working on rather than it being used for entertainment purposes (Bray, 2012). As teachers, we have to look at gaming in a new way and bring it into the classroom and incorporate it effectively and appropriately within our lessons (Beauchamp, 2012). Beauchamp (2012) gives many skills that ICT games help to develop in children. Some of these include:
• Strategic Thinking
• Planning
• Communication
• Application of numbers
• Negotiating Skills
• Group decision-making
• Data Handling Skills.
(Beauchamp, 2012, p10)

The main CfE outcome that summaries the use of Minecraft is “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

Once I finally got to grips with Minecraft and how to work it, I really enjoyed the session. If nothing else, it gave me something to think about for going into the classroom next time. I think this would definitely be something I would like to try in the future and possibly explore other computer games where this approach could apply.


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

Bray, O. (2012) Playful Learning: Computer Games in Education. [Online] https://www.slideshare.net/Microsofteduk/playful-learning-computer-games-in-education [Accessed: 1 April 2019]

Ofcom. (2001) Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes. [Online] Available: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/research-and-data/media-literacy-research/childrens/childrens-parents-media-use-attitudes-report [Accessed: 1 April 2019].

Week 8: Animation Part 2

Tuesday 26th February

This week was a more hands on session where we were putting last weeks plans into place. Our task was to create our own animation and as previously mentioned in last weeks post, my group decided to base ours round a tsunami theme. We came prepared with our props and materials and got started but it definitely wasn’t as easy as we first thought! As much as the main focus was to create an animation using the iStop Motion app, we were also required to think about the skills we were using and how these could be developed further in the classroom.

First and foremost, I will say that animation is not an easy skill and my group and I learned this very quickly! It is something which takes lots and lots of patience and preparation. As a group, I think we would all admit that we did not expect it to be too challenging. However, after an hour or so of still sitting with cotton wool balls, paper waves, Lego figures and thinking about how we were going to start, we came to the early conclusion that this task was definitely not as easy as the professionals make it look. We spent a fair bit of time at the beginning of the class just designing some of the props, such as the beach house, the waves and making a ladder to dangle from our helicopter out of string. Our next challenge was to then try and find a way to keep our iPad in the one position for the duration of the animation. The main purpose of animation is that the camera stays in the same place, the scene is static and the paper/characters are photographed in quick succession to give the effect that they are moving. Therefore, having our iPad staying in the one place for the whole time was proving to be very difficult.

In my group there were 5 of us. Looking back now on this session I would say that this is too many people. I think 3 people would be the maximum number for a task like this. My reasons for this being that for an activity like this, when you are working in a small space, there is only so many people that can get involved with the scene, the camera and the props at once. For us at times, there was not always a job for everyone to do or there were too many people round the scene which caused us more problems and so some people would sit out and watch until there was something for them to do. In a classroom setting, an activity like this where there are too many in a group makes it very easy for children who are not interested in getting involved to sit back and let others do the work. As a teacher this is not something we would want to see happening. It is important for all children to be actively involved, especially with an activity as fun and interactive as animation.

On the other hand, the skills that can be gained and developed with an activity like this is never-ending. Some of these skills include:
• being able to work effectively in a group
• listening to others
• taking on board other people’s ideas
• being able to think outside of the box
• working with equipment effectively
• developing creative, technology and communication skills

When carrying out an activity like this in a university setting, it brings back all of the memories of being younger and doing this in school. People would always be arguing over ideas or not being able to decide who should do what. Looking back on this now, my group never had any issues like this. We worked with little bits of everyone’s ideas and that is how we managed to make something so great. For a task like this it is important to be able to accept that your ideas are not always the best ones, or that the task is not always going to go the way you personally had imagined it. More so, not taking a back seat as a result and leaving the work to others. It is about compromising some ideas, listening to others and altering some plans to please the majority. That is what team work is all about. As much as children might find activities like this annoying or something they do not enjoy because they cannot work with their friends, the teaching points are so important for their growth as an individual. It teaches them lessons which they have to discover for themselves.

If I was to use an activity like this in the classroom, there would definitely need to be lots of thought put into it. Firstly from myself, how I am going to lead the class, what I expect from them, what the learning is going to be and how it is all going to come together and be successful. Secondly from the children. It would be important for the children to decide on what materials they are going to need, what roles everyone will adopt and what they would actually be doing. Particularly having a written plan so they have some sort of structure to follow and finally trying it out. During this activity we discovered that having time to plan is essential. We did not put nearly enough time into planning as we could have and if we did, maybe we would have found the task slightly easier as we knew what direction we wanted to go in. If we had used the iStop Motion app before this class I think the whole process would have went smoother and we could have brought extra props, for example, bringing a stand to support the camera. Trial and error plays a big factor also in this, try it out and if it doesn’t work come back together to think how it could be improved.
Overall, I really enjoyed the session. In the end our animation actually turned out really well and we were all pleased with it. At the end we also got a chance to see other groups animations and this allowed us to have discussion as to how they managed to do some things we couldn’t or if they struggled with the same things as us. It is an amazing resource that if used correctly, could allow children to create something really brilliant. However before using this in the class, I think I might brush up on my own skills of the app and have a bit more practice!


Last week we picked one CfE Experience & Outcome to aim towards today which was:

“I can recognise basic properties and uses for a variety of materials and can discuss which ones are most suitable for a given task” – TCH 2-10a

However during the task we discovered some more which would also apply, these are:

• “I can explore and experiment with digital technologies and can use what I learn to support and enhance my learning in different contexts” –  TCH1-01a
• “I can extend and enhance my design skills to solve problems and construct models” – TCH2-09a

Week 7: Animation Part 1

Tuesday 19th February

Today we looked at animation and how this can be used with teaching and learning. This topic is going to be explored more next week where we will be creating our own animations. This week was mainly about introducing the topic and giving us the chance to explore the concept and play about with some of the resources using the iPads. The idea of this class was to give us the opportunity to explore the concept and see how this could really come in handy for use in the classroom.

Animation can be thought of as a series of paper images being photographed in quick succession to give the impression they are moving (Oxford Dictionary, 2019). The drawn characters are there to replace real actors and actresses however may have human voice overs. This technique allows children to specifically practice their creativity skills where they have to design their own characters. All of the skills needed to produce an animation provide a platform for learning across the curriculum. As previously discussed, ICT is an area taught in schools which has a link to all areas of the curriculum rather than being a sperate taught subject. There are so many amazing digital resources that can be used to enhance the learning in most subjects. By allowing children to produce an animation in the class, they are developing skills in not only curricular areas like literacy, maths and art but also developing their creative, communication and problem-solving skills and many others at the same time. ICT gives children the opportunity to “achieve something that would be very difficult or even impossible to achieve in any other way” (Beauchamp, 2012, p54). This sort of thing could never be created by just pen and paper and so it takes children’s ideas to a whole new level. It is exciting and rewarding for both the teacher and the pupils.

What does this form of technology bring to teaching and learning? Firstly, animation can really help children with challenging behaviours (Beauchamp, 2012, p55). This is due to the fact that mistakes can be changed very easily and that things can be added or removed at the click of a button. They can experiment with different ideas and don’t feel frustrated when something doesn’t go to plan for them. Overall, it helps reduce any insecurities children have with their work. Bertrancourt (2005) suggests 3 ways in which animation can be used to aid learning (Jarvis, 2015). One main one that stood out for me was “to enhance learners’ visual representation” (Jarvis, 2015). This could be a way to really simplify a teaching concept, anything from a story to mathematical processes to steps on how to be safe online. It allows children to associate images they have been shown in order to remember the topic. It gives them something to think about and save as a memory and I think that that is very beneficial. The other 2 ways suggested by Bertrancourt were “to illustrate processes” and “to provide an interactive element”. With anything, the more children are involved, the more they are keen to continue and the more they will retain. With this kind of activity being used in the class, it grabs children’s attention, keeps them focused and entertained while also being educational.

After the class, I really like the idea of animation. I consider myself to be quite creative and art was always a subject I enjoyed at school so this kind of thing seems really exciting. Similar to my view last week on the use of iMovie, I never considered this being something that could bring any value to a lesson. However, it has so much potential to be a really amazing addition to the class. Next week, in groups we are going to be making our own animations. My group have decided to base ours on the topic of natural disasters, particularly looking at tsunamis! We have some great ideas using different props and characters and I am really excited to see how it turns out.

The CfE Experience & Outcome we aim to work with is:

“I can recognise basic properties and uses for a variety of materials and can discuss which ones are most suitable for a given task” – TCH 2-10a 


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

Jarvis, M. (2015) Brilliant Ideas for Using ICT in the Classroom: A very practical guide for teachers and lecturers. London: Routledge.

Oxford Dictionary. (2019) [online] Available: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/e-book [Accessed: 19 February 2019]

Week 6: iMovie & Internet Safety

Tuesday 12th February

This week the focus was on using the app iMovie. For this class, as a group, we had to create our own iMovie on internet safety. I think this was a very good topic to pick as it is such a big issue in today’s digital world. Our movie was pitched at primary school children aged 10+ as we felt that nowadays, this is how young some children have online accounts and social media.

At present, children are much more exposed to social media and the internet than before. As educators, it is important that we do not tell children that they cannot have these accounts, but that we educate them on how to be safe while using them (Beauchamp, 2012). With the use of digital technologies increasing, we need to make sure that not only children but also parents and carers are aware of the dangers that you can face while being online. It is imperative that accounts are kept private and no personal details are shared. Most importantly, only befriend people that you know and trust. By following these simple steps, you are already keeping yourself somewhat safe.

For our movie, we based it around account cloning (where someone else makes a fake account pretending to be someone they are not). In the movie we see Ross taking pictures from Chloe’s Instagram account and using them to make a fake account, as if he is Chloe, using her name, some personal details and pictures she has uploaded of herself and her friends. Ross then gets in contact with Lynne, an old friend of Chloe’s. They chat and Chloe (who is actually Ross) suggest they meet up for a catch up. Lynne quickly agrees. We then see Lynne leaving her friends to go and meet Chloe and to her horror, she sees that it is in fact not Chloe waiting and a stranger. At the end, we included our top 5 tips to staying safe online. I have inserted an image of our plan below. We felt this was a good storyline to base our movie on as Instagram is an account that is more common for younger children. Their naivety causes them to share personal details such as date of birth, school and the town they live in. This is a topic which I do feel quite passionate about and I want to ensure that when I become a teacher that internet safety is talked about openly and regularly and children are fully aware of the dangers but most importantly know what to do when something goes wrong.

As much as the lesson was based around educating children about internet safety is was also about how iMovie as an app can be used to enhance learning. This could possibly be a good lesson idea for children to be working in groups and prepare a presentation on a topic they have been studying or acting out scenes during a health and wellbeing lesson. The possibilities are endless and the teacher along with the class could have lots of fun using this app. Once familiar with the app, it is very straight forward and easy to use. There are many features available within it such as inserting text, images, video clips, colours, backgrounds, sound clips, the list is endless. At first it is difficult to see how an app like this can have any benefit to teaching and learning rather than just being a fun activity. However, when we were making our movie, every so often we would stop to discuss the skills we were using and how this might also reflect skills children would be practicing in the classroom during a similar activity. Some we have come up with include:
• Collaboration skills
• Listening skills
• Talking skills
• Acting/drama skills
• Creative skills
• Literacy skills
• Problem Solving skills
• Research skills
• How to work with iMovie

The CfE Experience & Outcome we used during the session was:

“I can explore online communities demonstrating an understanding of responsible digital behaviour and I’m aware of how to keep myself safe and secure” – TCH 2-03a

This is not something I ever imagined being useful for a lesson and I feel like this class in particular has really allowed me to think outside the box and see the real benefits and possibilities of using such technologies in education.


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

Week 5: eBooks

Tuesday 5th February

This week, the class was based on eBooks and in particular using the app Book Creator. Before we got started using the app we talked through some characteristics of eBooks and how they could be useful in a classroom setting. An eBook can be described as “an electronic version of a printed book” (Oxford Dictionary, 2019). This electronic book can be accessed and read on any digital device such as a computer, iPad, tablet or phone. Giving children the opportunity to work with these devices, on their own or in groups, lets them explore things for themselves and become more independent. They can be as creative as they like. Using this resource in the classroom doesn’t only help to develop children’s creative skills but also helps them to work on their collaboration with others, problem solving and literacy skills. This proves that digital technologies cannot be labelled its own subject as it contributes to many areas of the curriculum.

A report carried out by the University of Hull on the use of iPads in the class and at home for homework, found that the use of iPads within the classroom allowed children to be more creative and engage more with their peers through class work and assessment materials. At home, parents said that their child(ren) had “greater motivation, interest and engagement” with the learning (Burden et al., 2012). 75% also commented that children were much more willing to complete their homework tasks (Burden et al., 2012). While I am in complete agreement with these statements and believe that the use of iPads and other technologies are definitely the way forward for learners and teachers in today’s world, I do strongly believe that there are key skills in education that cannot be taught with the use of digital technologies. Therefore, I think the use of iPads in the classroom should be carefully controlled by the teacher, used when appropriate and more importantly not over used.

Book Creator is an app which allows you to create your own book. This could be anything from children’s books, comics, textbooks or journals. The app allows you to insert all forms of media. Some include images, text and even sounds clips. Drawing on a previous post, this makes the book multimodal and therefore has a massive range of benefits for using with children in the classroom. The task this week was to create an eBook based on the storyline of a children’s book. The eBook had to include images, text, sound and some interactive aspects for children to get involved with. The book I had chosen to use was The Lion Inside by Rachel Bright and Jim Field. I started by reading through the book and noting down the key ideas that I wanted to include. I took photos of the images I thought illustrated the key points well and used these in my eBook. Throughout I added little tasks for the children to complete to make the book more interactive. On the first page I included some sound clips of different animals in the book, on the third page I had some hyperlinks which would take the children to some websites where they could do some research on Lion’s. The fourth page asked them to draw a picture of one of the upcoming scenes. At the end of the book I added in a section called ‘Your Turn!’ which consisted of a series of 4 questions, 2 of which asked the children about the story line of the book, one asked for them to write down some facts they had learned from the websites and finally the last one allowed them to record themselves making the noise of 2 animals from the book using the sound button.


CfE experiences and outcomes which I worked towards during this session were:

“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 

“As I listen or watch, I can identify and discuss the purpose, key words and main ideas of the text, and use this information for a specific purpose” –  LIT 1-04a

I was really pleased with how my eBook turned out! What I like most about using the iPads is that it allows you to do things that wouldn’t be possible using worksheets or textbooks. It makes the lesson more enjoyable for the children also. The app was very easy to use and had lots of different features which allowed me to make the book so interactive. With more time, this app could be used to create something very effective. It is definitely something I will remember for future use in the classroom!


Burden et al. (2012) iPad Scotland Evaluation. [Moodle Resource] Available: http://moodle1819.uws.ac.uk/pluginfile.php/39914/mod_resource/content/2/Scotland-iPad-Evaluation.pdf [Accessed: 19 February 2019]

Oxford Dictionary. (2019) [online] Available: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/e-book [Accessed: 19 February 2019]

Week 4: Coding

Tuesday 29th January

In today’s class, we were looking at a programme called Scratch Jr. This introductory programme was designed to help children learn how to code and be creative. Scratch Jr can be used for children working at early all the way through to second level. It is a great way to introduce children to the world of coding and getting them to develop many skills. It is a programme I would imagine children would find extremely enjoyable. Coding can be a difficult skill to grasp, however it plays a big part in developing literacy in the classroom today. There are many benefits to using Scratch with children as it helps to develop a range of skills such as creative thinking, logical reasoning, problem solving and collaboration skills. When individuals learn how to code, they are also learning how to actively solve problems, design their own projects and also communicate their ideas in a range of ways.

My only previous experience of using Scratch was when I was in 2nd year of high school and I used the regular program. I remember it being such fun learning what all the different buttons were for and programming the characters to move around the screen. This brief knowledge did come in handy for this class. Our task for today was to design an interactive story which focused on the teaching of literacy. After playing about with the programme for a short time I became very familiar with it and it was very easy to navigate around. There are just enough features that you can programme your character to do, without making everything over complicated. The programme itself is very bright and colourful and has a good range of backgrounds, colours, characters and functions that make it very interesting and fun to use. The user can programme characters to move forward, back, up or down as well as getting them to speak or perform other actions such as jumping, getting bigger or smaller and doing 360-degree spins. The fun is endless.

For my task, I focused at aiming my activity for children working at first level. I used the Experience and Outcome:

“As I listen or watch, I am learning to make notes under given headings and use these to understand what I have listened or watched and create new texts.” – LIT 1-05a

My idea for this was that the children would watch the story of Sam the Scratch Cat going on an adventure to meet his friends. Sam advises the children to take notes on the information his friends give him such as their name, a description of themselves and their role in the community. At the end of the story, the children then have to write their own imaginative story and try to include as much of the information they have written down as possible.

In the world we live in today, everything is linked in some way to technology and so I think it is important for children to be learning about this form of technology that is coding. In England, children learn to code from age 5 to 16 (Curtis, 2013). Throughout this time they gain a wide range of knowledge which will hopefully prepare them well for their future. Naughton (2012) talks about his views on the topic and mentions that he believes children from all backgrounds should have the opportunity to learn some key ideas of computer science and understand computational thinking. This is something I fully agree with. I think it is so important that children have experiences in using different technologies and programmes. Not only do they allow children to gain deeper understanding of technology it allows them to be creative and express their ideas.

Towards the end of the session, we had the opportunity to walk around the room to have a look at other people’s ideas and everyone was doing something completely different and based on a different area of the curriculum. This further backs up the statement that technology can be used in any area of the curriculum to enhance learning and not only focused within ICT lessons. “Scratch is designed for exploration and experimentation, so it supports any different learning style” (The Lead Project, 2014).

Overall, I enjoyed this class and I feel it allowed me to think more widely about how these applications can be used for any subject across the curriculum. Scratch Jr is a very simple programme to use but also very effective in producing materials for use in the classroom. It is one in which I will definitely come back to using at some point in the future.


Curtis, S. (2013) Teaching our children to code: A quiet revolution. [Moodle Resource] Available: http://moodle1819.uws.ac.uk/pluginfile.php/39846/mod_resource/content/1/Teaching%20our%20children%20to%20code%20a%20quiet%20revolution%20-%20Telegraph.pdf[Accessed: 10 February 2019]

Naughton, J. (2012) Why all our kids should be taught how to code. [Moodle Resource] Available: http://moodle1819.uws.ac.uk/pluginfile.php/39847/mod_resource/content/2/Why%20all%20our%20kids%20should%20be%20taught%20how%20to%20code%20%20Education%20%20The%20Observer.pdf [Accessed: 10 February 2019]

Week 3: Multimodality

Tuesday 22nd January

Today we looked at the use of multimodal texts within the classroom and how this could have a positive or negative effect on teaching and learning. For a text to be multimodal it has to include at least 2 aspects of the semiotic systems. The 5 aspects include: linguistic, visual, audio, gestural and spatial and can be either presented digitally, on paper or through a live performance.

Beauchamp (2012) talks about how the use of multimodal texts is another benefit to using technology in the classroom and it can allow teachers to support their pupils by presenting lessons in a range of different ways. Today we specifically looked at a software called ActivInspire. This software allows you to create different pages of a flip chart which can then be projected onto the Interactive Whiteboard. The flip charts can be as interactive as you like and children can come up to the board and move objects or select answers by simply touching the board. ActivInspire has many amazing resources which can be used to support lessons, specifically maths lessons. Initially I found this software very difficult to use. I did not think it was easy to navigate around and I was constantly pressing the wrong thing. After playing around with the different tools for a while, I started to work my way around it slightly easier. Our task was to create a few pages of a flip chart using ActivInspire that we could potentially use in the classroom. I decided I would work from the same Experience & Outcome from CfE as last week with the Bee Bot activity as I had a few different ideas for that task that I still wanted to use. It took me a while to get started as I wasn’t sure what approach to take. I have attached a few screenshots of my final presentation below.


“I can tell the time using 12 hour clocks, realising there is a link with 24 hour notation, explain how it impacts on my daily routine and ensure that I am organised and ready for events throughout my day.” – MNU 1-10a

I am not sure how much I would use this resource in the classroom. I found it difficult to use and it was quite time consuming, compared to other presentation software such as PowerPoint. However, I did really like some of the resources, such as the protractor, squared paper and spelling activities so this is possibly something I would use on their own rather than creating a full flip chart presentation.

As part of this week’s reading, I read an article which can be found online outlining the truths and consequences of using the Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) in the classroom. This article pointed out that IWB’s are just another classroom accessory which aid teachers in their lessons (Deubel, 2010). It also highlighted some interesting points about how the features on the IWB are not always appropriate for every lesson (Deubel, 2010). Personally, I do agree with this. I feel that sometimes teachers can get carried away with the IWB and use it in every single lesson, even if it is just to show instructions for a task. As much as the IWB is an amazing addition to the classroom and children love when the teachers use it, I think it is important that it is not over used. A lesson can be just as fun and interactive without the use of the IWB and I think this is really important to remember. If teachers really think outside the box for different activities they could create themselves, rather than always going back to what they know, some of the lessons could be really amazing and no doubt the children would love it just as much.


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

Deubel, P. (2010) Interactive Whiteboards: Truths and Consequences. [online] Available: https://thejournal.com/Articles/2010/08/04/Interactive-Whiteboards-Truths-and-Consequences.aspx?Page=4# [Accessed: 29 January 2019]


Week 2: Programmable Toys

Tuesday 15th January 

Today’s class was all about looking at the use of programmable toys within the classroom and in particular, Bee Bots. Before the class I was really looking forward to it as I remember having always loved using the Bee Bots in primary school. In preparation for the class we were advised to read an article by Alison Lydon where she talks about her observations from watching children play with Bee-Bots. I was glad I took the time to read this as it allowed me to familiarise myself with this classroom toy and some interesting points about the benefits of Bee-Bot were discussed. For today’s task, we had to design our own mat, which the Bee Bot would drive on. For this activity, I worked alongside 2 others where we decided the subject for our learning would be numeracy, specifically looking at time.

To begin, we had a look at the Experiences & Outcomes put together by CfE. We picked the outcome :

“I can tell the time using 12 hour clocks, realising there is a link with 24 hour notation, explain how it impacts on my daily routine and ensure that I am organised and ready for events throughout my day.” –  MNU 1-10a

Before we got started, we talked about what we wanted to include on the mat and really thought about the age group we were planning this sort of lesson for. We wanted our mat to be colourful, simple and make the learning fun. We took 10 minutes or so just to brainstorm some ideas of what we wanted it to look like and had a quick play around with the Bee Bot to familiarise ourselves with how it worked. Once we were satisfied with our plan we got started. For this we decided that we would design a mat for the Bee Bot which had a mixture of times on it, 4 clocks and 4 digital clocks. We also made 8 flash cards which had a specific time of day on them. For example, wake up, breakfast, school and all the way through to bed time. We each took a section of the mat to design, giving us all a task. In the activity the children would have to look at the mat and decide which time they think the card matches with, e.g. school would match with 9 o’clock. Once they have decided on which time they think is correct, they have to program the Bee Bot so that it travels and stops on that time. We were so pleased with how it turned out! I have attached some pictures which shows the stages that were carried out before getting to the final design.                                                                                        

Looking around at everyone’s effort, it was amazing to see other people’s response to the task and all the different approaches to it. In classrooms all over the world today, digital technologies are becoming a fundamental part of teaching and learning across all areas of the curriculum (Janka, 2008). Other groups based their mat around areas of literacy, where the children would look at different scenes in a story. Everyone had really interesting and unique ideas.

Looking specifically at the Bee Bot as a classroom toy, I think in the future I would really enjoy using this with a class. It not only helps children to work on their position and movement skills but also encourages them to interact and communicate within a group and work together to solve the problem (Janka, 2008). Furthermore, the Bee-Bot is the perfect size for an early years class and it is safe for children to use on their own (Lydon, 2008).

I really enjoyed this class and I think this is definitely something I will want to remember for future use within the classroom as it could turn something quite simple into something much more fun and engaging.


ICTopus Article. (2008) Sharing Good Practice: Robots in Early Education by Alison Lydon. [Moodle Resource] Available: http://moodle1819.uws.ac.uk/pluginfile.php/39830/mod_resource/content/1/Reading%20Programmable%20Toys/ICTopus%20-%20Sharing%20Good%20Practice%20-%20Robots%20in%20Early%20Education%20%20.pdf [Accessed: 15 January 2019]

Janka, P. (2008) Using a Programmable Toy at Preschool Age: Why and How? [Moodle Resource]Available: http://moodle1819.uws.ac.uk/pluginfile.php/39831/mod_resource/content/1/Using%20a%20Programmable%20Toy%20at%20Preschool%20-%20Janka%20P.pdf[Accessed: 15 January 2019]