BLOG 10 – 12/03/19

This week was focused on outdoor learning and in particular using an app called QR Reader. Unfortunately, I missed most of this class and my group had already designed and planned the task at hand. I did however get to experience another groups activity and I had a great experience with that, which I will talk about further in this blog. Learning and Teaching Scotland (2010, P5) states “Learning outdoors can lead to lifelong recreation. Activities such as walking and cycling which are ideal for physical and emotional wellbeing contribute to a healthier Scotland”. I am passionate about health and wellbeing and I believe exercise to be one key factor to promoting this. By getting children outdoors and experiencing different outdoor activities such as walking and cycling as stated above, then I truly believe we would have a happy and healthier Scotland.

 

The activity I experienced today was based on a shopping list, we were given a sheet of paper with clear instructions and clues to each item. Once at that item there was a code (please see picture attached below) next to or near-by, and we had to scan that code to be given the price of that item and then we were given a clue for the next item. Once we had worked out all clues and prices of each item on the list, we had to return back to the start point and add up the price of everything. Finally, we had to work out how much change we would get if we had £10 to spend.

 

Learning and Teaching Scotland (2010, p9) states “Outdoor learning offers many opportunities for learners to deepen and contextualise their understanding within the curriculum areas”. Having experienced this outdoor activity today with the QR Reader I believe children would have had a deeper understanding of numeracy, literacy and health and well-being. On refection of this task I think it was great, it was very engaging, and it allowed you to work collaboratively. You had to really work together as a team to figure out where the clues were directing you too. The prices of items weren’t just a simple price, some were asking the price of 5 of these and again this made you really have to think about your numeracy skills and figure out the best way to calculate.

 

(basing this on level one) I believe the task I experienced today would cover the outcomes:

 

  • I value the opportunities I am given to make friends and be part of a group in a range of situations. HWB 1-14a
  • I can use money to pay for items and can work out how much change I should receive. MNU 1-09a
  • When I engage with others, I know when and how to listen, when to talk, how much to say, when to ask questions and how to respond with respect. LIT 1-04a

 

On refection of participating in this activity I can see the benefits outdoor learning has on our children and the importance of linking the outdoors to the curriculum for excellence experiences and outcomes. “Outdoor learning experiences are often remembered for

A lifetime. 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” Learning and Teaching Scotland (2010).

 

In conclusion, from experiencing an outdoor activity and reading up on relevant and recommended reading on outdoor learning, I think it is something that needs to be done more in schools at it has many positives, both physically and mentally for children. The outdoors holds an array of possibilities and tools to link in fun and exciting activities to the curriculum for excellence and I look forward to further gaining experience in this area.

 

 

References

 

Learning and Teaching Scotland (2010) Curriculum for Excellence through outdoor learning.

 

BLOG 9 – 5/3/19

This week was focused mainly on Games-based learning using a programme called Minecraft. The lesson began with the group discussing about our Blogs and discussing about how we incorporate refection into our Blogs to make it flow nicely. After the discussion I felt a lot more confident about how to reflect better in my Blogs and I hope that this shows throughout my few final Blogs for the module. Beauchamp (2012, P9) stated, “Technology can offer a specific type of play through computer or video games, which can be individual or whole class activities and may be particularly useful in the early years teaching”, this has been particularly true throughout the task today.

 

Before attending the class, I couldn’t really understand how computer games could possibly enhance a child’s learning. However, after working with Minecraft and realising the huge educational benefits cross curricular that could be achieved was outstanding, I still have a lot to learn about Games-based learning, but I now understand the benefits of using such tools within the classroom. “Game-based Learning approaches build on many children’s existing interests, skills and knowledge and can narrow the gap between children’s home and school cultures” Learning-Teaching Scotland (2010 P5).

 

Our group decided to design a task on Minecraft that was relevant to today, we thought that it made the topic for the children more relevant. On reflection of our choice I feel it was a good one, but I also realise that this task could be tied into History and to be open minded about all areas of the curriculum for excellence (Please find attached below pics of today’s tasks). I quickly came to realise that there are endless possibilities when using this tool, I found that quite exciting and I look forward to working more in the future with Game-based learning and in particular when I have a class of my own.

 

We chose our outcomes to be:

 

  • I can discuss the environmental impact of human activity and suggest ways in which we can live in a more environmentally way SOC 2-08a.
  • I can make suggestions as to how individuals and organisations may use technologies to support sustainability and reduce the impact on our environment TCH 2-07a.
  • I value the opportunities I am given to make friends and be part of a group in a range of situations HWB 0-14a – 4-14a.
  • Having investigated where, why and how scale is used and expressed, I can apply my understanding to interpret simple models maps and plans MTH 2-17a.

 

We decided to focus todays task on second level children as we felt we had already focused a lot of previous tasks on early and first level children. The area of our focus today was Renewable energy and in particular building homes that make use of renewable energy on different Minecraft regions. This task covered four curricular areas, which are; Health and well-being, technologies, social studies and Numeracy. This task however could have covered more than just these curricular areas stated above and that’s what makes Minecraft a very good tool to use within the classroom.

 

As a group we did not have much previous experience with Minecraft, and we didn’t find the tool that easy to start with. As a group of mainly mature age students we slightly struggled in all honesty to even get started with using and building anything. On reflection of this I think moving forward we realise that whatever the tool or topic may be when teaching we need to make sure we have used and played about beforehand as we wasted a lot of time trying to get used to just the basics. As a teacher I believe it is important to know what your teaching and be prepared as children are not daft and the pick up on these things and you will be exploited.

 

Overall this task was a massive learning curve for me as I realise just how beneficial game-based learning is and the importance of making sure you are well prepared before taking a class especially when your using a tool such as Minecraft. This tool was fantastic at being able to cross curricular easily throughout a few or all curricular areas. Game-based learning is an important tool throughout education as children can achieve various outcomes and experiences for the curriculum for excellence, whilst feeling like they are playing a game that’s fun and engaging. I have particularly found this week’s task difficult as I did not fully understand how to use Minecraft. Therefore, I don’t think it was used to its full capability. I look forward to using Minecraft in my own free time to enhance my knowledge and experience to prepare me to become the best possible teacher I can be.

 

 

 

References

 

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

 

Learning-Teaching Scotland (2010) The Impact of Console Games in the classroom: Evidence from Schools in Scotland.

 

BLOG – 8 Animation (Part 2)

“Digital technology can enrich learning and teaching, help to raise levels of attainment and close the attainment gap” Scottish government (2016, P1). Having worked this week and last week on our Animation task, I can now reflect and say I truly believe that Digital Technology is a wonderful tool and that the statement above by the Scottish Government sums up Digital Technology in schools very well. Today we decided as a group to use an app called Stikbot Studio( please see pictures attached below). This was a slight change from last week, when we had planned to use iStopMotion. On reflection of the change I felt that it was the right decision to make as this app worked very well and was slightly different from what others where using in the class. It also gave our group the chance to try out something new as last week we felt we had used iStopMotion and that our plan may work better with Stikbot. The group and I on reflection of our choice to change felt we had made the right choice as we were extremely happy with our end product.

 

I was interested this week to see what skills would be developed through Animation and if it would enhance learning. I found that communication was one of the main skills to be developed, this task would not have been manageable without the group communicating ideas and delegating roles for the task. Sometimes things did not go the way we planned them to go and without communication it may have ended up in disaster. I can see how this could be difficult for certain groups of children, if the group is full of quiet kids in which no one stands up and starts to delegate roles or if the children are in groups full of people that want to do a certain role. I think on reflection of working in a team to do this task, I would as a teacher possibly give children in the group a role and then rotate the roles, so that they all had a chance to experience the different roles.

 

Listening is another skill which is developed through this task. Working as a group it is important to listen to one another and find out what ideas people have, this will encourage the best outcome for the task at hand. Without listening to each other the task would not be achieved successfully. It is important as a group to respect everyone and to give everyone their chance to speak and by listening it shows we respect that person. This is an important skill for children as it is important throughout life to listen to people. On reflection of the task today I found it hard to listen sometimes as I wanted to get on with the task but I also learnt a lot from my colleagues by listening so I can see how valuable this is for children.

 

Working as team is another skill developed through this task. The task was to work as a team to create an animation and without working together the task would not have been achieved. As a teacher I think it is very important for children to work as a team because when they eventually leave school and work one day, they may need to work as a team. It is important to learn that it is not about you as an individual completing a task but completing it as a group using the skills such as listening and communicating that have been enhanced throughout schools doing tasks such as creating an animation. On reflection of the task today our team worked very well as we all had different strengths and weaknesses and it was a nice mix but as a teacher, I can see how some groups of people may not work well as a team. I would consider mixing certain children, but I also think it is important for children to experience it not working sometimes so it can then highlight to them the importance of working as team.

 

This task was fun and engaging and I found the planning stage exciting, we all had so many ideas and it was great getting to create an animation. However, this task was very time consuming and everyone started to lose focus slightly nearer the end. The task needed tiny movements and loads of photos which after a while started to really drag. On refection of this, I think children would struggle to focus on making an animation using Stickbot Motion. This would be more suitable for children that are interested in creating animation in an after-school club.

 

Throughout this task I have learnt to listen a lot better and that its ok for ideas not to work. It is important for things not to go right sometimes because life does not always go the way we plan, and it is important for kids to know that. As a teacher I think it is ever more important to acknowledge.

 

This Animation task targeted first and second level children for the Curriculum for Excellence. It covered SOC 1-12a “By exploring climate zones around the world, I can compare and describe how climate affects living things. SOC 2-07b “I can describe the physical processes of a natural disaster and discuss its impact on people and the landscape”.

 

Overall, I enjoyed this task and it has developed my expertise using animation programmes. I identified various benefits of using animation in the classroom and I also identified potential problems with using them. I have also learnt a lot about myself working in a group collaboratively and I believe all this knowledge can only make me a better teacher.

 

 

 

References

 

Scottish Government (2016) Enhancing Teaching and Learning through the use of Digital Technologies: A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland. [Online] Available: https://beta-gov-scot/publications/enhancing-learning-teaching-through-use-digital-technologies/[Accessed: 26 February 2019]

 

BLOG – 7 Animation (Part 1)

Today’s task was part one of developing our own expertise in using animation programmes and to identify the benefits of using animation in the classroom. “Animation breathes life into something that wouldn’t normally move, this could be a drawing, a puppet or an object (Movingimageeducation.org). Having had the opportunity today to play about with Puppet Pals app and iStopMotion app, I can see the massive benefits using Animation can have in our education system. Using ICT tools can bring more creativity and freedom to a lesson and I believe from my experiences with these tasks through the module that it would keep a child engaged with learning for a longer period of time. This is further back up by Beauchamp, 2012) whom states “ICT resources help to avoid boredom (and potentially increase motivation”. To finish off todays class we had to organise ourselves into groups and plan an animation using iStopMotion.

 

Having used Puppet Pals app today, I was able to create a short story about beauty and the beast. I managed to include voice recordings, movement and changed the size of the characters. I found this app easy to use as there wasn’t too much to it. Reflecting on previous weeks I have found this app probably one of the easier ones. I used another app called iStopMotion and this was to create a short animation which involves movement using a bendy figure. “Animation is created when you film one still image of your subject, change it a bit, film another still image, change it again and so on until you build up a sequence of still images. And when its payed back it appears to move” (movingimageedcuation.org). This statement sums up the iStopMotion app and I felt this allowed me to be fully creative on my own with no help unlike the Puppet Pals app. I would use the iStopMotion app for more second level children and possibly use the Puppet Pals app for first level.

 

Jarvis (2007, P. 28) stated “We should always bear in mind that all technology is simply a set of tools, and that what we do with it should conform to principles of effective learning just like any other mode of teaching”.  I think this is a really important statement by Jarvis and as a group we have planned our animation out to use the set of tools we have to its maximum use for effective learning by conforming to the principles of teaching.

 

Overall, I have enjoyed developing my own expertise using a couple of animation apps and I have thoroughly enjoyed working in a group planning our animation on iStopMotion for next weeks class. I am interested to see what skills will be developed through this and would it enhance learning.

 

 

References

 

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

 

Jarvis, M (2015) Brilliant ideas for using ICT in the classroom.Routledge

 

Movingimageseducation.org

BLOG 6 – 12/2/19

Today was our fourth and final assessment task of our Digital Technologies module. The success criteria for today was to use an app called iMovie to create a story linked to internet safety. Internet safety is not about restricting a child but educating them of the dangers of what can happen when it goes wrong. This is backed up by Beauchamp (2012, P58) whom states, “e-safety is not about restricting children, but about educating them”. I believe once children have the necessary tools and understanding of the dangers of the internet and they have confidence to speak to a responsible adult if something doesn’t feel right, then I think the internet could be used to its maximum potential. Scottish Government (2016, P1) states, “Digital technology can enrich learning and teaching, help to raise levels of attainment and close the attainment gap”. The huge impact that Digital technologies has on learning and teaching surely means that internet safety should be of the upmost importance in teaching in our schools. I do not however feel positive that there is currently enough being taught in our schools about e-safety.

 

The task at hand today was in groups and we had discussed various ideas before attending the class. the group and I were really looking forward to designing an iMovie about e-safety that is relevant in today’s society. iMovie is an app which gives children and adults the opportunity to express themselves and to allow them the freedom to create stories (Porter, 2004). Reflecting on using iMovie, I believe this to be a really great teaching tool to use as it allows us to be creative and have the freedom to express ourselves.

 Please find attached our link to the iMovie (https://youtu.be/xu_hZvaktaA).

 

Prensky (2001) stated, “If digital immigrant educators really want to reach Digital Natives i.e. all their students – they will have to change”. I feel this is an appropriate statement that reflects well the group I have been working with. We are all mature students and are all most definitely a digital immigrant. I think this has work in our favour for this particular task as all five of us wanted to work hard to really show we are making an effort to try become digitally native and to become the best possible teachers we can be. We had spent at least two hours the day before the task planning roughly what we were going to do and what roles each of us would play. After much discussion, we decided to focus on Facebook. Facebook is a social media site used by millions and can unfortunately be used to bully, exploit. Cyberbullying can be devastating for a child or young person.

 

We decided that one of the members of the group would play the part of a young child uploading a video of herself singing a happy song onto Facebook (please see attached below pictures of this task). The slides that followed by the side of this video was an image of it being uploaded on Facebook and showing just how quickly these videos can be shared and moved about online and the amount of comments and abuse people can comment on a video. To a child or even most adults these abusive/ cyberbullying comments can leave a person feeling lonely, depressed and suicidal. We really wanted to show throughout the video what a happy and lovely video can do online through Cyberbullying and what a child can to get help if this was to happen to them or someone they know. The slides to follow after the video were facts and statistics on how many people have experienced Cyberbullying, the number of young people that have done something abusive to young folk and the number of children that are actually using social media. Researching these stats with the group came as a shock as I think we didn’t realise just how bad a problem social media is for young children and the amount of young folk using it. I think this has come as such a huge shock because when we were all young there was no such thing as social media. Taking us back to what Prensky (2012) said above, we as educators need to become digitally Native in order to teach effectively and this task as really highlighter that fact.

 

The next six slides that follow really emphasise the impact that Cyberbullying has on a child. It shows the child that uploaded the video to Facebook, walking round various locations in her school and being followed and laughed at. It did not matter where she went there was always someone following and laughing. It shows there is no geographical limitations, bullying can be anonymous, videos can be shared worldwide in a matter of seconds and that is can feel hard to escape. The video gives slides on advice for pupils to prevent Cyberbullying from happening, advice for parents and carers and advice for the teachers. On reflection of our iMovie I really think we have achieved some really relevant and important information about the power of social media and the negative impact it has on young folk. This is a great tool to be used to achieve experience and outcomes for the Curriculum for Excellence.

 

The level of children we decided to target was second and third level children. We decided on this as we felt most of our other tasks were targeted at early years and first level children. We also felt that the age group of second level children were more than likely to start using social media. The outcomes and experiences for the Curriculum for Excellence achieved for this task was; TCH 2-03a “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 3-03a “I can keep myself safe and secure in online environments and I am aware of the importance and consequences of doing this for myself and others”.

 

iMovie could be used in future lessons to give children the freedom and creativity to create their own e-safety movie and this would make it fun and exciting, allowing them to research and area of e-safety themselves and I think that could possibly have a bigger impact on them as they would be doing it themselves or in groups collaboratively.

 

In conclusion, I feel I have learnt some valuable lessons about today’s task, and I believe I will carry on the skills and knowledge I have learnt throughout my teaching career. Beauchamp (2012) made a really important statement about e-safety and it not being about restricting our children but about educating them. This task was a huge eye opener for me, as I could not believe the statistics when researching at just how bad Cyberbullying is and by creating this iMovie, I know there is positive tools out there to try educate our children about such topics. I believe iMovie to be a great tool to use in education young folk and it can be used across the curriculum in all of our subjects to allow a child to express themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

 

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

 

Porter, B. (2004) Digi Tales: The Art of Telling Digital Stories. Bernajean Porter Publication.

 

Prensky, M. (2001) Digital Native, Digital Immigrants Part 1. On the Horizon. [Online] Vol.9(5), Available: https://doi.org/10.1108/10748120110424816[Accessed: 12 February 2019]

 

Scottish Government (2016) Enhancing Teaching and Learning through the use of Digital Technologies: A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland. [Online] Available: https://beta-gov-scot/publications/enhancing-learning-teaching-through-use-digital-technologies/[Accessed: 12 February 2019]

 

Blog 5 -5/2/19

Today we have been learning about tablets and the effectiveness of these devices in education. These devices enhance many of the core elements within the curriculum for excellence (Burden et.al, 2012). I believe these devices will increase a student’s level of interest, engagement and motivation. The use of Digital devices allows learning to be personalised for an individual’s needs, this is further backed up by Jarvis, M (2015, P129) “The use of digital technologies appreciates the diversity of the learners needs and the potential for personalising their experience using technology. The learning intention for today was to use the app “Book Creator” to create a book. The success criteria was to explore the book creator app, create a summary of a well-known story using book creator and create my own eBook. I felt really enthusiastic about this task as the more I have been achieving the tasks each week the more confident I have been becoming. I have noticed over the last few weeks the importance of children learning ICT skills in order to have the best possible chances for a prosperous successful future. Beauchamp, G (2012) states “Children need to learn ICT skills as necessity for economic competitiveness in a knowledge society and as preparation for the world of work”.

 

Pre-class we were asked by our tutor to pick a children’s book that we could use to base our ebook design on. I decided to choose “The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson” I picked this book as I think it’s a wonderful book and I decided I wanted to direct my task for early year level children, and I thought this book was perfect for that. Please see attached below pictures of my ebook pages. I wanted to make the ebook as interactive as possible, so I have various tasks for the kids to do throughout. The first task for the children was they had to write down descriptive words for the Gruffalo and they have a picture of the Gruffalo to help them identify some good words. The second task was three photos with missing key words which identify to the pictures. I feel these were good tasks to allow the children to interact and to be creative with what they see. This task allows the kids to work in pairs or groups and this will improve their communication and listening skills amongst their peers. The third task was a voice recording of myself reading out a passage in the play and asking the children what they thought about a certain aspect of that. This I feel is important as it allows the children to freely express what they think and again to work in pairs or groups and listen to other kids views. To finish the ebook off I asked the children to use their imaginations and to decide on a different ending and to write and discuss this in pairs or groups.

 

This task covered Literacy as a curricular area for the curriculum for excellence and the outcomes and experiences achieved were LIT 0-09a “I enjoy exploring events and characters in stories and other texts and I use what I learn to invent my own, sharing these with others in imaginative ways.” LIT 0-09b/LIT “I enjoy exploring events and characters in stories and other texts and I use what I learn to invent my own, sharing these with others in imaginative ways.” LIT 0-04a “I listen or watch for useful or interesting information and I use this to make choices or learn new things.” On reflection of this task I can see how useful tablets are to enhance, the curriculum for excellence. At no point did I find thus task difficult or boring and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would say this has been my favourite task so far and I look forward to using tablets to teach in the future. This is a great resource which could be used in future lessons to achieve many experiences and outcomes for the curriculum for excellence and through all learning stages.

 

In conclusion, I believe that tablets are a fantastic tool to use to enhance teaching within the classroom. It’s a great way to get the children to interact and it can be used across the curriculum. Having had the opportunity to use ‘ebook’ to design my own book, I can see that it has massive benefits in the educational setting. Over the last few weeks I have learnt so much and I am thoroughly enjoying this module. I would go as far to say this has been my overall favourite class since joining University. I can see the importance and relevance of this subject within education.

 

 

 

 

References

 

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

 

Burden, Hopkins et al (2012) Ipad Scotland Evaluation. University of Hull

 

Jarvis, M (2015) Brilliant ideas for using ICT in the classroom.Routledge

 

Blog 4 – 29-1-19

Today we have been learning about the importance of coding in today’s society. We have used a coding programme called Scratch Junior to create an interactive story to promote literacy skills. I will explain my interactive story and how it links into curriculum for excellence experience and outcomes. The ability to code computer programs is an important part of today’s society. We now live in a society where huge successful corporations such as Facebook, google and amazon are created and run by the elites in technology. Therefore, by not teaching and giving young people the knowledge and tools to use digital technology and specifically coding we are doing an injustice for the next generation (The Guardian, 2012). When people learn to code, they learn important strategies for solving problems, designing projects, and communicating ideas. Telegraph (2014, P1) states “Students will be expected to create and debug simple programs as well as use technology safely and respectfully”. I think this is important as technology can be abused for the wrong reasons and if children are taught early on about how to use technology safely and respectfully then this can be carried on throughout their lives and careers.

 

My lesson begins with Clive the dog, he introduces himself and asks for help to find his friends. This is to allow the children to interact with the activity and to feel involved. The story is set on a farm and involves various animals. The next three slides take you on a journey throughout the farm finding Clive’s friends and asking various questions. This is a consolidation activity from prior learning, and it allows the child to interact with the activity and to further enhance their literacy skills through reading and answering questions. This activity further enhances their technology skills as they are asked to finish off the story and decide on an ending of their choice. This will allow the child to use their imagination and be creative. This will enhance their technology skills using their coding skills to complete the task.  This activity will be completed in pairs and it will allow children to work collaboratively. Telegraph (2014, P2) states “For the first time children will be learning to programme computers. It will raise standards across the board – and allow our children to complete in the global race”. I feel it was important to allow the children to use the coding activity themselves as it gives the children experience early on in their lives, giving them the best chances of competing in the global race. I have never had any previous experience coding and on reflection of today’s task I feel like I have learnt some valuable knowledge and experience. I thoroughly enjoyed this task and I look forward to teaching children about coding and designing lesson plans for them.

 

The activity I designed today covered two different areas from the curriculum for excellence (please see pictures attached below) This was aimed for early years level and the first area it covered was Literacy – LIT 0-19a “I enjoy exploring events and characters in stories and other texts, sharing my thoughts in different ways” The activity allows children to engage with several different characters and allows them to share their ideas about how the text will end. LIT 0-13a/ LIT 0-21a “I explore sounds, letters and words discovering how they work together, and I can use what I learn to help me as I read and write”. The children will be interacting with this activity by using words to answer the questions and by deciding what best fits for the situation. This will help the children to read and progress through their literacy skills. The second area covered was “Technology” TCH 0-01a “I can explore digital technologies and use what I learn to solve problems and share ideas and thoughts”. This activity encouraged children to work in pairs sharing ideas and thoughts to come up with an ending for the story. On reflection of this activity I can see how useful Scratch Jr can be for future lesson plans. This software can be used to achieve experience and outcomes for curriculum for excellence in a fun and exciting way. I would highly recommend all teachers to become acquainted with this software and to use it as a teaching tool.

 

Therefore, the importance of teaching coding to our students is imperative to give the student the best possible chances of being successful in today’s ever evolving society in Digital Technology. I feel I have gained valuable knowledge and skills from my coding workshop today and I can already see the positives teaching children this. Not only that but it is an extremely fun and interactive way to teach and it can cover more than just one area of the curriculum, in one lesson. I have thoroughly enjoyed interacting with Scratch Jr and can really feel I am starting to get to grips with technologies.

 

 

 

References

 

Curtis, S. (2013) Teaching Our Children to Code: A Quiet Revolution. The Telegraph. [Online] 4 November. Available: https:// www.telegraph.co.uk[Accessed: 29 January 2019].

 

Naughton, J. (2012) Why All Our Kids Should Be Taught How To Code. The Guardian. [Online] 31 March. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2012/mar/31/why-kids-should-be-taught-code. [Accessed 29 January 2019].

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 3 – 22/01/19

Today we have been learning about multimodality and designing our own flip chat through ActivInspire. A text may be described as multimodal when it combines two or more semiotic systems. There are five systems in total; linguistic, visual, audio, gestural and spatial. We use multimodal presentations as they can be captivating, motivating, interactive, personalised, dynamic, memorable and engaging. Before this class I didn’t have much knowledge about multimodality and I certainly had no practical experience designing an interactive activity to enhance teaching and learning. I did prepare for the class by reading the recommended pre reading “ICT in the primary school”.  Beauchamp (2012) stated “things can now be done quicker from an ever-expanding range of sources and in better quality” I believe this to be true with the ActivInspire software I was using. However, I feel my lack of knowledge using this software proved stressful and frustrating at times as I didn’t feel I was using it to its full potential. This I believe could be a wider spread problem amongst teachers and I feel if teachers had more appropriate training about multimodal software used in their schools then this would ultimately enhance teaching and learning. Multimodal software has the potential to be an excellent tool within the classroom if used correctly. Today’s generation are digitally native and as a digital immigrant I need to change to become a successful educator (Prensky, 2001).

 

This week the curricular area I decided to concentrate on was Numeracy. My experience and outcomes for the curriculum for excellence was 1-03a “I can use addition and subtraction when solving problems, making the best use of the mental strategies and written skills I have developed. After about an hour of tinkering with the software I decided to use the a 15cm ruler image with inches on the opposite side. This image was my main theme running through the flip chart. The idea of this was to allow the children to visually see numbers on the ruler thus helping them to solve the numeracy problems they were asked. There was a mixture of addition and subtraction questions (Please see images attached below) and these were all aimed for first level children. Some of the questions could simply be answered by using mental strategies but the ruler was also a help for some children that needed it.

 

I feel that I struggled with this activity as I didn’t use the tools available in the software to its full potential. Reflecting on this, I should have taken more time and not worried about my younger peers ploughing through ahead of me. Prensky (2001, P1) states “They have spent their entire lives surrounded by and using computers, videogames, digital music players, video cams, cell phones, and all the other toys and tools of the digital age’’. I think this is very true and as a digital immigrant I need to take the time to equant myself with a diverse range of digital technologies. Highlighting these areas for improvements so early on in my teacher training is only a good thing as I can gain more knowledge and understanding if I put the time and effort in.

 

Having had the opportunity to use ActivInspire, I can see it has great potential to enhance teaching and learning. There are various different tools accessible on the software to design creative and interactive activities for children. I believe multimodal activities as a tool can enhance the curriculum for excellence. Scottish Government (2016, P3) states “Digital technologies can make a substantial contribution to this improvement agenda by enriching education across all areas of curriculum for excellence. If used effectively and appropriately, digital technology can enhance learning and teaching”

 

Therefore, the importance of equipping we with the correct knowledge and understanding of multimodal texts I believe is paramount in today’s generation to become a successful teacher. Reflecting on my experiences today with ActivInspire I have learnt a lot and I still have more to learn. Moving forward I will take the necessary time and steps to gain more knowledge in multimodal texts and digital technology as a whole.

 

 

 

References

 

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

 

Prensky, M. (2001) Digital Native, Digital Immigrants Part 1. On the Horizon. [Online} Vol. 9(5), Available: https://doi.org/10.1108/10748120110424816[Accessed: 22 January 2019]

 

Scottish Governement (2016) Enhancing Teaching and Learning through the use of Digital Technologies: A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland. [Online] Available: https://beta.-gov.s-cot/publications/enhancing-learning-teaching-through -use-digital-technologies/[accessed:22 January 2019]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 2 – 15/1/19

Today we were learning about programmable toys and specifically a toy called ‘Bee Bot’. We were asked to read an article before the class called ‘Robots in early education’, which gave us some useful knowledge about Bee-Bot and the experience some children have had with this toy. For example, “The children had great fun. No-one was reluctant to use the Bee-Bot or had to be persuaded, and most returned for an extra activity” (Lydon, 2008, P.2). On reflection of this activity I noticed most of the class having fun with the activity, which further backs up this statement. I found this article interesting and very helpful as I have absolutely no experience with programmable toys and this gave me some insight and knowledge about them. The aim of today’s class was to design an activity for children using Bee-Bot achieving one or more experience and outcomes for the curriculum for excellence. “The curriculum introduces programmable toys as a good example for developing knowledge and understanding of the contemporary world (Janka, 2008, P.2).

 

It took me a while to decide what activity I was going to design. I had so many ideas in my head, however a lot of these ideas were far too complicated and not directed for the early years or first level children. I decided to choose my experiences and outcomes and then design and fit my activity around that. The experiences and outcomes I decided to choose were, HWB 1-15a. This curricular area is Health and Wellbeing and the experience and outcome is “I am developing my understanding of the human body and can use this knowledge to maintain and improve my wellbeing and health”. I then decided that this would tie in nicely with one of my initial ideas, which was to identify the organs in the body. My plan was to draw the outline of the body and then draw and colour in the organs. I assumed this would be straightforward, however I encounter a couple of problems such as there are two lungs and two kidneys in the body, and I couldn’t squeeze the pair of organs in the one box. This wasn’t a problem I envisioned before starting, it was only when starting to draw I noticed this was an issue. I managed to get around this problem by making sure I asked for the left side of these organs to be acknowledged in the questions. I could have also by passed this issue by only putting one of the organs on the drawing, but I did not want the children to think we only had one of these organs. My second issue was the large and small intestine would take more space up than one box and the small intestine is inside the large. I made the decision to draw half the large and half the small intestine in separate boxes next to each other. Reflecting now I am not sure if I have made the right choice by doing that and I may take a different approach to the drawing of these organs in future. TCH 1-14b was another experience and outcome, which covered this activity. The curricular area is technologies and the experience and outcome covered in this area was “Demonstrates an understanding of the meaning of individual instructions when using a visual programming language”. As part of the activity children need to read a question for example,” which organ pumps blood around the body” once the child decides they know which organ they are looking for they must then locate that organ on the drawing of a human body with Bee-Bot. They need to follow specific instructions to allow Bee-Bot to move from one location to another. I believe this activity would be very beneficial to children and by using Bee-Bot it would further enhance the learning experience for the children. I found this task extremely rewarding for myself and I thoroughly enjoyed designing the activity. I hope going forward I can learn from my mistakes and design better activities covering a variety of outcomes and experiences for the curriculum for excellence.

 

I feel this activity was a success and I can see how beneficial Bee-Bot can be to improving academic and life skills for children. I have taken on board the mistakes i have made designing this activity and I feel next time I can create an even better activity.

 

References 

 

Janka, P. (2008) Using a programmable toy at preschool age: Why and how?

 

ICTopus Article (2008) Sharing good practice: Robots in Early Education by Alison Lydon.

 

Blog 1

I am studying BA Education at UWS, and I have just started term 2. Today I started a new optional module called Digital Technologies (DT). I decided to choose this module as I haven’t much experience with DT and I don’t feel very confident in how to fully utilise the different types of technologies out there. I am hoping that this module will give me the knowledge and tools to successfully and effectively teach children in DT. I believe this module will make me become a better teacher as I will be able to fully engage and teach children within the digital spheres.

 

This course has 4 tasks to complete throughout the 12 week module. Which are; programming toys, coding, movie making and ebooks. I am very excited about these tasks as I have zero experience in any of these areas. I enjoy being out my comfort zone and I will fully embrace the experience. I look forward to interacting with these tasks and taking the knowledge and experience gained into the classroom to teach children one day. We also have a reflective journal to complete every week throughout the module. This is another area of much needed improvement for myself and I look forward to seeing the difference between my reflections from week 12 to week 1 and I would hope for a massive improvement.

 

Scottish Government, (2016) states “Digital Technologies can enhance learning and teaching, equip children and young people with vital digital skills and crucially, it can lead to improved educational outcomes”. I believe I have a lot to learn about Digital Technologies, and the massive benefits it has to enhance our educational outcomes. I look forward to engaging with digital technologies and reflecting throughout the 12 weeks.

 

Scottish Government (2016) Enhancing Teaching and Learning through the use of Digital Technologies: A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland. [Online] Available: https://beta.-gov.scot/publications/enhancing-learning-teaching-through-use-digital-technologies/[Acessed:8 January 2019].

 

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