Digital Technologies Week 8 – Mobile Devices – Easi-Speak Microphones

In this week of Digital Technologies we looked at how mobile devices could be used to enhance learning in the primary classroom. It would be easy to dismiss mobile devices as a tool in the classroom and consider them little more than a distraction. It could be argued, however, that today’s children are constantly exposed to a huge range of mobile devices from a very young age in the home and therefore the use of mobile devices in the classroom could be a helpful way to make the children more comfortable. I think it could be a very useful way to overcome hesitation in children who are far more used to, for instance, using a tablet than putting pen to paper.

It could be argued that affordability is the main issue in bringing mobile devices into the classroom. It would not be viable for most schools to buy every student an iPad, for instance, which is what I think of immediately when I consider mobile devices in the classroom. However, today we used Easi-Speak microphones to create a performance poem that would be quite at home in a literacy lesson in either key stage one or two:

“By considering the type of text I am creating, I can select ideas and relevant information, organise these in a logical sequence and use words which will be interesting and/or useful for others.” LIT 1-26a

“By considering the type of text I am crating, I can select ideas and relevant information, organise these in an appropriate way for my purpose and use suitable vocabulary for my audience.” LIT 2-26a (Scottish Executive, 2004).

We created an “I am…” poem using a template with simple instructions. We then created a PowerPoint with a slide for every line and recorded each line of the poem using the Easi-Speak microphone and then embedding these in the PowerPoint.

The Easi-Speak microphones were very simple to use, with just two buttons on the side. No cables were needed, the microphone plugs directly into the USB port of a computer and the sound files were simple to insert into the presentation.

This was a fun activity which was reasonably flexible. Some individuals in the class wrote a silly poem, others wrote something more imaginative from the perspective of a character and some wrote a poem which was slightly more personal. I think that this model of lesson involving the Easi-Speak microphones could be used for a huge variety of topics and my perception of using mobile devices in the classroom has been widened. I think that the ‘digital native’ students in the primary school classroom today would engage well with this as opposed to creating their poem on paper alone.

There is also scope in this lesson for children with their own devices to use them to make the presentation, which they may be more comfortable with. Scotland’s Children’s Parliament (2016) carried out a survey of primary school children and the results showed that the children used a huge range of mobile devices at home. There is no need to equip an entire classroom of children with a mobile device, nor to make every single lesson include technology – this could instead be detrimental to the learning. However, when the lesson lends itself to flexibility across mobile devices, I see no reason to entirely exclude the mobile devices that children are comfortable using from the primary school classroom.

 

References

Children’s Parliament (2016). A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland: The Views of Children. [Online] http://www.childrensparliament.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/REPORT_digital-learning-consultation_Childrens-Parliament-1.pdf [Accessed: 09.03.18].

Scottish Executive (2004). Curriculum for Excellence. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive.