Emma Robertson

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March 20, 2018
by Emma Robertson
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Personal Reflection of Digital Technologies – Outdoor Learning 20/03/18

Today was the last session of digital technologies. We took part in an outdoor learning session. Within the session we used two apps; Pic Collage and QR code scanner.  I have previously used Pic Collage and I am comfortable using the app although, I have not used QR code scanner before. I feel sad that it was the last session because I have thoroughly enjoyed learning how to use different technologies within the Curriculum.

“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). This shows that when children are outdoors they are still learning within the curriculum along with it being a memorable experience of school. This is because they are not within the same environment as they are every day.

Education Scotland (2010) states “the outdoor environment offers motivating, exciting, different, relevant and easily accessible activities from pre-school years through to college.” I think that this is effective because as a group of adults we found that outdoor learning was exciting and we enjoyed being outside of a classroom situation.

Outdoor learning encourages inclusion for those with skills that are not always visible when they are in a classroom setting. Outdoor learning can change children’s perception when they are outdoors as they may come across a place that they may not have been before. Outdoor learning encourages a healthy lifestyle as the children could be hill walking, cycling or skiing. Outdoor learning is positive as it encourages children’s personal development skills through communication, problem solving and working with others. Outdoor learning also enables children to manage their health and safety assessing risks and develop their skills with health and safety. Outdoor learning also encourages children to make links to their curriculum.

“The core values of Curriculum for Excellence resonate with long-standing key concepts of outdoor learning. Challenge, enjoyment, relevance, depth, development of the whole person and an adventurous approach to learning are at the core of outdoor pedagogy” (Education Scotland, 2010).

Education Scotland (2010) also states that outdoor learning allows pupils and staff to see each other within a different environment that can improve one’s self awareness and understanding of others. It can also build positive relationships between staff and pupils.

“The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 is about improving the well-being of children and young people in Scotland. The Act is wide ranging and includes key parts of the Getting it right for Every Child, commonly known as GIRFEC” (Scottish Government 2017). At the centre of the Scottish Governemnts GIRFEC approach is the well-being wheel with eight indicators that make the name SHANARRI. SHANARRI stands for Safe, Healthy, Active, Nurture, Achieving, Responsible, Respect and Included. During the session we worked in pairs to discuss how Outdoor learning links to the eight aspects. The ideas we came up with were; When children are out with a classroom they are still achieving outcomes of the curriculum and learning how to be responsible when they are outside. They are also included, keeping themselves safe when assessing risks, along with being active and healthy if the children are out walking to places and doing other activities. The children are also gaining respect for the environment and people around them. They are respecting the teacher for allowing them to have responsibility of their own safety and learning. This shows that outdoor learning achieves most of the eight aspects.

We explored the Pic Collage app. To explore we picked a topic that could be summarised. My partner and I took pictures around the university campus grounds and we were able to transfer them to pic collage change the effect of them and put them into a grid so that they were all positioned. My partner and I had both previously used pic collage and found it easy to use and had known how to work it.

We explored QR Code Scanner app we found out that QR – means Quick Response, ›a QR Code is an ‘image-based hypertext link’, they are a type of two-dimensional barcode. ›A QR code – can store 7089 numbers and a QR code can link to a short bit of text, an audio recording, a website, a phone number, an email address, a map location, an calendar event. Your generated QR code can be placed anywhere – printed, embedded. We hunted for barcodes that were situated around the campus grounds. When we scanned the barcode a question appeared based on a Social Studies topic around Scotland. When answering the questions you had a letter next to the two options and then with the right answers you had to create word out of the letter next to it. This was an exciting task as every one in the class wanted to be first. We figured the word out and then scanned the last barcode and it told us the correct answer. My group were the first to come up with the word HAGGIS.

I had the opportunity to create my own task to use with QR Reader. I created my own barcodes with questions related to money for first level students. The children are given questions involving an item that is a specific price and the children are given an amount that they have. Then they have to work out what change that they would receive back. I linked this to an outcome from both technology and numeracy. The numeracy outcome I linked it to was; “I can use money to pay for items and can work out how much change I should receive” MNU 1-09a (Education Scotland 2004). The technology outcome I linked it to was “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” (Education Scotland 2004).

Money BA1 Digital Tech

I thought that the QR Reader app was easy to use and is a useful resource to take on as a student teacher. I would recommend the app as it is quick and easy to use and does not take long to create the barcodes to create an activity. It can also be used across the curriculum for a range of subjects involving the 7 Design Principles of the Curriculum for Excellence.

I think that the use of outdoor learning is positive because it enables children to explore outdoors in a different way whilst learning at the same time. Outdoor learning allows children to feel included and be responsible when outdoors as they are out of the controlled environment that they are normally in. I think that uses of apps such as pic collage and QR code scanner can encourage learning in different ways when pupils are creating treasure hunts for their peers. It also develops children’s imagination when thinking of the clues to give their peers. It enhances problem solving and group work along with children’s conversation skills of when to talk and when to listen.

After today’s session I know that I will involve outdoor learning with technology within my teaching career because it is active for the children and achieves almost all of the 7 principles within the Curriculum for Excellence. It also links across the curriculum. Outdoor learning is a beneficial tool that will encourage children to learn in a different way.

Overall throughout Digital Technologies my knowledge and confidence has increased with the use of  technology and its uses within the classroom. I always thought that the use of technology within a classroom would be using a computer to type up pupils literacy/language work or playing a range of games to assist their mathematics. I have found that their is more technology that could be used across the curriculum that would also link with other subjects such as; gaming, beebot and use of mobile devices, that I would never have thought could be involved within education and learning. I have enjoyed my time working within Digital Technologies and definetly have developed lesson plans for the future when I become a teacher. I learned that teachers do not need to be highly skilled when using technology to teach a lesson because if the technology being used is relevant to the children they will be able to show teachers how to work it.

References

Education Scotland (2004) – Curriculum for Excellence; Experiences and Outcomes [Online] https://education.gov.scot/scottish-education-system/policy-for-scottish-education/policy-drivers/cfe-(building-from-the-statement-appendix-incl-btc1-5)/Experiences%20and%20outcomes [Accessed on 20th March]

Learning and Teaching Scotland (2010) Curriculum for Excellence Through Outdoor Learning.

Scottish Government (2017) Getting it Right – Well-being Wheel (SHANARRI Wheel) [Online] http://www.gov.scot/Topics/People/Young-People/gettingitright/wellbeing [Accessed on 20th March]

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