QR codes 12/3

Today, we were given the task to create our own QR codes which tie in with a lesson. QR codes are a fairly new technology which stands for Quick Response. A QR Code is an ‘image-based hypertext link’ and can withhold much more information (7089 numbers) than a standard barcode (30 numbers).  A QR code can link to a short bit of text, an audio recording, a website, a phone number, an email address and much more. To access them, all you need to do is download a QR code scanner application on your device. Additionally, you are able to create your own as there are many websites nowadays which allows you to do so. We used one of these websites when creating our QR codes and it was very simple and fast to create them. I was surprised at how easy it was yet so effective at the same time. It gave you many options and adaption such as what type of QR code it was such as a website URL, PDF file, image file etc., we picked ‘plain text’ and then typed out what we wanted our QR code to say once scanned. We were also able to change the colour of each QR code which helped us distinguish each one.

Overall, creating our full lesson took about one hour and thirty minutes. This meant that, we were creating the lesson longer than the lesson lasted. This is something that would need to be considered by teachers to determine whether or not it is worth the time or not. Personally, I feel that it is worth it as it is a very effective way of learning and very interesting. Additionally, I feel that it would be a good set up for future lessons and can even have a lesson where the children create their own QR codes (and treasure hunts) and I feel that it seriously enhances teaching and learning. For a future lesson, the teacher could have the children use physical plastic coins to act out the treasure hunt or could ask the children to create their own shopping list and prices for others.

I found this today’s session very interesting and fun and can see myself using QR codes to enhance the teaching and learning in the classroom as I feel they are very effective and interesting. Additionally, I was shocked at how easy they were to make so I feel that they are worth the time.

We decided that we were going to do a treasure hunt layout where the children would start off with a shopping list and an imaginary £10. The shopping list consisted of 1 bottle of water, 2 apples, 1 sandwich, 3 yoghurts, 1 banana and 1 bag of popcorn. We decided that the items on this list would also be healthy as to promote healthy eating in the children. Above said shopping list, they were given the instructions “Here is your shopping list. Tick off each item once you have bought it. Once you have ticked off all your items on the list, return to the classroom to find your final QR code. Show your working, writing down how much each item costs.” Therefore, the children would be given a starting location which would be located around the school building (or university, where we set up our QR code treasure hunt) and would have to scan each QR code to be given the next instruction. Below is one order in which the treasure hunt could be completed.

“A bottle of water cost £1.10 – How much change do you have now? Now go to garden arch to find your next item.”

“You need two apples. One apple costs 40p, what is the total? How much money have you got left now? Now go to the Union Shop for your next item.”

“Buy 1 sandwich, which costs £2.85. How much money would you have left?Now go the gym hall to buy your next item.”

“Your next purchase is three yoghurts. They each cost 72 pence each. How much money do you have left? Go to the bike stands for your next item.”

“Buy one banana which costs 59p. How much money do you have left? You will have to go to the door of lecture hall 2 for your next item.”

“Buy one bag of popcorn which costs £1.05 – How much money do you have left? Go to the fridge for your next item.”

As you can see the bag of popcorn QR code then tells you to go to the fridge, however, in this example shown above, that was our starting point. We designed our QR codes to be a continuous circle and therefore, the children in the class could be separated into groups and can each start at a different item.

Once their list was complete, the children would return to the classroom and find the final QR code which read, “Do you have any money left after buying your shopping? Can you afford to buy 1 more banana and 1 more bag of popcorn?  If not, how much more money would you need to buy them.” The children would then figure this out to get their final answer which the teacher would check , along with checking their working.

We decided that our QR code treasure hunt was aimed at first level and ties in with mathematics and technologies;

  • I can use money to pay for items and can work out how much change I should receive.

MNU 1-09a

  • I have investigated how different combinations of coins and notes can be used to pay for goods or be given in change.

MNU 1-09b

  • Using digital technologies responsibly I can access, retrieve and use information to support, enrich or extend learning in different contexts 

TCH 1-02a 

Additionally, we felt that there were also links with other curricular areas, such as health and wellbeing, science and social studies as the children are using the outdoor environment and getting to know their local, natural and built environments and surroundings.

Some of our QR codes were set outside and some were inside, this was to promote outdoor learning, however, this would be dependent on each day and its weather conditions whether or not this lesson could go ahead. “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 relevanceand depthto the curriculum in ways that are difficult to achieve indoors.” (Learning and Teaching Scotland, 2010, p. 5). Along with the advantages that outdoor learning brings as further explained by Learning and Teaching Scotland (2010, p. 5) “learning outdoors can be enjoyable, creative, challenging and adventurous and helps children and young people learn by experience and grow as confident and responsible citizens…”. Some of the main advantages for outdoor learning are: develops critical thinking skills, personal development (communication), promotes a healthy lifestyle, personal safety (manage risks), and inclusion for all as it provides opportunities and allows children to use and develop their skills and abilities.

Additionally, when making our QR codes we looked at incorporating the SHANARRI wellbeing wheel as there was outdoor learning included in our QR code task. SHANARRI stands for;

Safe

Healthy

Active

Nurture

Achieving

Responsible

Respect

Included

To improve our QR code lesson, I feel that we could have been more efficient with the length of the end lesson and could have the children complete lengthier tasks at each QR code station. Another improvement; we created all of our QR codes and printed them out (which took a while) but one of our QR codes would not work. We are not sure why it did not work, we believe that it either did not download properly or due to it being the colour yellow (each QR code was a different colour), therefore we had to re-do said QR code.

ICT is a useful tool in the classroom. As explained by Beauchamp (2012, p.54) ICT allows pupils to “achieve something that would be very difficult or even impossible to achieve in any other way.” With ICT being an important tool, which is incorporated into all curricular areas not just being a stand-alone subject. As further explained by Beauchamp (2012, p.66) “ICT equipment is part of pupils’ everyday life, so should be part of their everyday play.” Overall, with the aim that ICT will help enhance a child’s learning and understanding of different curricular areas.

At the end of today’s session, we were given the opportunity to try other groups QR code creations; this was helpful to gain ideas for the future. Overall, everyone had very good ideas and were successful in creating an interesting lesson. The group’s creation we tried was about getting to know the people in your class, such as their favourite colour, food or animal, if they had siblings or not etc. I feel that this would be a very good lesson at the start of the school year so that the children would be able to get to know their fellow classmates. Additionally, once we completed the group’s QR code treasure hunt, they gave us a reward at the end. I feel that this is a good idea to round off the lesson and leave the children happy with the work they had done.

In conclusion, I feel that QR codes are very effective and useful in the classroom and will help enhance the teaching and learning as it can be an interesting way to teach a lesson. Additionally, it can also be used to promote outdoor learning which has numerous advantages whilst overall incorporating ICT into the classroom.

Example of our colourful QR codes

Shopping list

References

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

 

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

 

 

Games-Based Learning 5/3

Today, we were given the task to explore the application ‘Minecraft’ as a learner and think about how games-based learning can be used in the classroom. Therefore, we were to work in groups to create a lesson or lessons that can incorporate games-based learning. We were to use ‘Minecraft education’ to create our lesson(s) idea.

Initially, we began messing around with Minecraft education to get an idea of how it works and how difficult it really is. We were able to gain an understanding of how to move characters, build using blocks and how to construct an end product; similar to what we would expect the children to make.

I had a small amount of previous knowledge on working with Minecraft, however, I had not used Minecraft education before, although, I did not notice a huge difference between the two applications. Additionally, my previous knowledge on Minecraft was gained using an iPad, however, today we used the Minecraft education application on a laptop. Therefore, I had to get used to the controls and read through the ‘how to play’ instructions, before creating anything. This meant that, using this application was initially frustrating and rather time consuming but was quite interesting and almost therapeutic once I understood what I was doing.

Minecraft is a well-known game that was very popular years ago, much like today’s ‘Fortnite’ craze. As explained by Magbook (2014, p.3) “Minecraft is a worldwide phenomenon. Since it was first released back in 2011, it’s been taken to the hearts of thousands and thousands of gamers.”  Therefore, for many children they would find this lesson more enjoyable and interesting due to the addition of games and would like the overall idea of ‘games-based learning’. As stated by Bray (2012, p.9) “Games-based Learning has the most transformational impact when it is combined with good learning and teaching.” This would overall lead to a successful lesson.

We decided that we were going to tie numerous curricular areas in our lesson. We looked at inter-disciplinary learning (IDL) which incorporates many curricular areas into the one lesson. The curricular areas included in our idea were social studies, literacy, technologies, numeracy/mathematics and expressive arts (with the creative design side of creating their castles on Minecraft). Our overall idea was able to be split into many lessons; first lessons would look at the history of castles all around the world and the part they played in history with their importance. This would then lead onto the children using Minecraft with clear instructions on what their task was which is important as explained by Beauchamp (2012, p.9) “Not only do [teachers] have to become familiar with the games, they also have to ensure that they make clear the way in which they want for the game to used.”

They children would be given the task to create their own castles with many important features which they have learned about, such as, the moat they should also have the ability to talk about what types of materials they are using and why. The children would also use this games-based learning to use the different controls and widgets of technology whilst focusing on Minecraft. Once the children have created their castles, they would write an imaginative story using their characters and features they created. This would be used to show the children’s understanding of medieval times with games-based learning being a way to secure their understanding in a fun way. Another lesson; the children would create a 2D replica of their Minecraft castles using 2D shapes and should be able to explain their replica and the shapes used, as well as different features of the shapes, such as; how many sides a shape has, which would incorporate mathematics. All these lessons would overall relate to social studies with learning about the history of medieval castles with the base learning being games-based learning and ICT.

The children will also be working in groups for certain tasks and which would help them develop many skills. As explained by Beauchamp (2012) states that the skills that could be developed during the use of ICT games were: strategic thinking, planning, communication, application of numbers, negotiating skills, group decision making and data handling skills. Additionally, I would add that the skill of patience would be developed during these lessons as at times it was rather frustrating.

Some of the more in-depth skills developed would be:

  • Observing, describing and recording (planning)
  • Comparing and contrasting to draw valid conclusions
  • Development of curiosity and problem-solving skills and capacity to take initiatives
  • Planning and reviewing investigation strategies
  • Developing the capacity for critical thinking through accessing, analysing and using information from a wide variety of sources
  • Developing an awareness of sequence and chronology (imaginative story writing)
  • Presentation skills- oral, written, multi-media

As a group, we decided that we were going to aim our idea and lessons towards first level. Therefore, there are many Curriculum for Excellence Experiences and Outcomes that would tie in well with our idea and lessons as seen below;

  • I have explored simple 3D objects and 2D shapes and can identify, name and describe their features using appropriate vocabulary. MTH 1-16a

 

  • I can explore and discuss how and why different shapes fit together and create a tiling pattern with them. MTH 1-16b

 

  • I can use evidence to recreate the story of a place or individual of local historical interest.

SOC 1-03a

 

  • I can use exploration and imagination to solve design problems related to real-life situations. EXA 1-06a 

 

  • I can write independently, use appropriate punctuation and order and link my sentences in a way that makes sense.

LIT 1-22a

 

  • I am learning to use my notes and other types of writing to help me understand information and ideas, explore problems, generate and develop ideas or create new text.

LIT 1-25a

  • Using digital technologies responsibly I can access, retrieve and use information to support, enrich or extend learning in different contexts TCH 1-02a 

Additionally, as student teachers, we identified how these lessons would help children become successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors, as listed below;

Successful learners:

  • Use literacy, communication and numeracy skills
  • Use technology for learning
  • Think creatively and independently
  • Learn independently and as part of a group
  • Link and apply different kinds of learning in new situations

Confident individuals

  • Achieve success in different areas of activity

Responsible citizens

  • Develop knowledge and understanding of the world and Scotland’s place in it (Scottish castles)

Effective contributors

  • Create and develop
  • Solve problems

Additionally, some of the underlying principles which would tie into the lessons, such as: challenge/enjoy, relevance, progression, personalisation and choice.

At the end of today’s session, we were given the opportunity to present our idea to the rest of the class. I felt that this was rather useful as it not only allowed us to hear other ideas but also receive feedback. Most of which, for our group, was positive.

‘Digital Natives’ as explained; “Our students today are all “native speakers” of the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet.” (Prensky, 2001, p. 1). Ultimately, I think that children being ‘digital natives’ will benefit significantly them as they have to ability to grasp topics and gain a good understanding of them with minimal issues.

As, this week, there is no physical end product (as we just had some practice creations on Minecraft and our ideas written down) that there is not a lot that we can improve one. Therefore, I feel that one way we could prepare better for our idea/lessons would be to fully create our own story, 2D Shape model, etc. and probably a better castle not just the small practice one we made, as shown below.

In conclusion, I would say that today’s session was very useful as it allowed us to explore the application ‘Minecraft education’ as see how it, along with other games-based learning applications could be used in the classroom and can help enhance learning as well as teaching. It can also make the lesson more enjoyable and useful.

 

Playing around with Minecraft

                                          Finished product

References

 

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

 

 

 

  • MagBook (2014) How to Do Everything in Minecraft

 

  • Marc Prensky (2001) Digital Natives Digital Immigrants

 

 

 

Animation (Part 2) Creating our Animation 26/2

In groups, we had to create an animation which either recreates a historical event, represents a geographical process (e.g. glaciation, volcanic eruption), recreates a real-life scenario (e.g. going to the dentist, shopping) or explains a mathematical principle. As we had already made a clear, detailed plan and storyboard it allowed us to start creating or animation as soon as we got in to class.

To create our animation, we used the iStopmotion application, on the iPads, which helped us understand how to use movement, audio, adjust the characters whilst inserting it into a story. Initially, I found the application fairly easy to use and that it was going to create a good product overall, however, the more we used it the more frustrating it became as it was not an advance app and therefore did not have a lot of features. This meant that, when it came to us wanting to add text that was being said by the character, we had to write it on a piece of paper and stick it to the background. The animations consisted of lots of images of individual movements, also known as, frames.

Our animation was based on the mathematical principle of using fractions which were represented by Lego bricks. We believe that this will be an effective way for fractions to be taught in the classroom as it is incorporating ICT as well as toys that are likely used by the children. As explained by Beauchamp (2012, p.66) “ICT equipment is part of pupils’ everyday life, so should be part of their everyday play.” Overall, with the aim that ICT will help enhance a child’s learning and understanding of different curricular areas. For our fractions, we focused on the equivalent fractions in 12 which we broke down into and showed how it could be represented in a fraction wall. Overall, we had the fractions: 1 whole, 1/3, 1/6 and 1/12, with different size Lego bricks representing different size fractions and explained how they can be equal even with different numbers. This would be a main aim of the teachers to focus on that the fractions shown are all equal.

When we went in at first, we began setting up our scene. Initially, we set up our main background which was a construction background, however, there was too much surrounding light and the camera was picking up parts of the classroom. Therefore, we began placing large sheets of black and white card around our set to allow us to make extensive use of the area and be able to film our animation efficiently. We also arranged our Lego blocks so that we were able to place them in shot when we needed instead of trying to find blocks whilst filming.

As I previously discussed, Animation is described as “Animation involves the stringing together a sequence of static images, generally so that they appear to move.” (Jarvis, 2015, p89). Animation is sub-section of ICT but still holds significant importance, as explained by Jarvis (2015, p. 92), “Bertrancourt (2005) suggests three ways in which animation can be used to enhance learning:

  1. To enhance learners’ visual representations.
  2. To illustrate processes.
  3. To provide an interactive element.”

However, animation is well-known to be a rather time-consuming and lengthy process from minimal lengthy outcome. Whilst working on our animation today I realised how true this fact is, as we were working on our animation for 3 hours with only 30 seconds worth of footage. However, I feel that it would still be effective in a lesson and help enhance a lesson to which. The teacher can expand their lesson from the animation I think it is debatable whether animation is worth the time or not, and to a certain I think It can be worth it if the end product is successful. But overall as a student teacher, I find it too time consuming, especially with the amount of other work that is involved with lesson planning, and in general.

Overall, I felt that our process was fairly successful. Due to our plan and prep week (last week) ensured that we were organised for today and were able to get our animation completed to a good standard with minimal issues. Additionally, we were successful in presenting a useful and effective lesson starter and ensured that our animation could be understood by the viewers. Therefore, our plan and prep week was very helpful ad it allowed us, in our groups, to create a detailed plan to stick to but make changes as we went along, if we desired.

Our animation was based on a construction site, we had a worker drive in in a digger which held Lego bricks in the front and he went through the barriers, stopped and jumped down with a sign behind which read ‘Construction Beware’ with an inserted piece which read ‘Today we are going to be learning about equivalent fractions’. We then had the digger reverse out and a 12-piece Lego block move into shot with a ‘1’ on the background to show that this piece of Lego represented one whole, two six-piece Lego blocks then moved onto frame with a ½ shown on the background. This was continued with 1/3, 1/6 and 1/12 with the different sized blocks (as can be seen in the video below). All the blocks are then placed on top of each other and create a fraction wall, which the worker then climbed and held up a sign which read ‘These are equal’ which the teacher would be able to expand upon. Another piece of paper moved into the background which showed each fraction again with a diagram of the different size blocks, as a form or recall. The worker then jumps off the wall and another worker drives the digger into the Lego block fraction wall causing it to all fall apart and the last few frames were of the camera getting closer to Lego before it went to a blackout.

Our first level animation was well-suited with a number of the Curriculum for Excellence Experiences and Outcomes;

  • Through taking part in practical activities including use of pictorial representations, I can demonstrate my understanding of simple fractions which are equivalent.

MTH 1-07

  • Using digital technologies responsibly I can access, retrieve and use information to support, enrich or extend learning in different contexts.

TCH 1-02a

  • I can use exploration and imagination to solve design problems related to real-life situations.

EXA 1-06a

One of the main aims with our animation was to identify and establish what skills would be learned or developed for both the children and the teacher. A skill is generally, something which is learned and practiced over and over again to be able to use it in different contexts and have the ability to do it well. Some of the skills my group identified was;

  • Patience
  • Negotiation
  • Teamwork
  • ICT ability
  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Leadership
  • Problem solving

For the children, these skills will be important lifelong qualities to pick up which will be useful to them in the future in life, learning and eventually work. Additionally, animation involves use of ‘play’ to a certain extent which would be useful to them and help the complete their animation whilst having fun, as discussed; “ICT equipment is part of pupils’ everyday life, so should be part of their everyday play.”(Beauchamp, 2012, p.66).With the children’s’ disposition and capability to develop skills old and new whilst working in their small groups. These skills listed above, along with others are definitely skills that I would want to flourish in the children in my class and will be developed through being taught how these skills will be effective with this task and also be developed naturally as they grow older. For the teacher, these skills are important recaps and can help them in their work life as these skills are all important for a teacher, especially, patience and teamwork.

For teachers, there can be the knock of confidence when carrying out a task, like this, when working in groups as it could lead to many issues which can be worrying for the teacher, as explained by Beauchamp (2012, p.66) “ “Although teachers may be worried by new technologies… we need to be sure that this is not transmitted to young children, or that other obstacles are not put in the way of their natural curiosity and willingness to explore new technologies.” This is where the skills take effect.

To improve our animation, I suggest that we include more examples of different fractions. The reason we only broke down the one fractions into the equivalent fractions was due to the time as we felt that it would be too rushed and would not make a difference to the outcome of our animation and would not be necessary to the lesson. As our animation was an introduction tool to a lesson that the teacher can use to further the lesson. Additionally, it would give the children an initial idea of how to break down fractions, identify equivalent fractions and make fraction walls. Another improvement could be for us to focus on our text for a long period of time to allow the viewer(s) to read it easily. Another issue we had (which was easily resolvable) was lack of certain Lego blocks, however, the ones that we did have access to were useful and allowed us to adapt our fractions to the blocks. In hindsight, we should have ensured we had the exact blocks we needed as it meant that we were only one short of what we needed.

We also decided to add audio to our end product to help make it more intriguing and interesting to watch. This was one change which we made to our initial plan as we did not plan to do this, however, we feel that it was beneficial for our end product. We added an upbeat song which was royalty free.

Last week, I posed some questions that we thought of whilst planning our animation;

  • What skills will our animation help the children develop?                                                A number of skills have been developed or discovered (as listed above), such as: patience, teamworking, leadership, etc.
  • Will our end product be effective?                                                                             Personally, I would say that yes, our end product was effective as it is an interesting lesson starter that holds a lot of useful information and can be easily understood.
  • Does our animation enhance the learning in the class?                                             Again, I think that it would be an effective tool in the classroom that would help enhance the learning as it is a fun, interesting way to make a lesson come to life.
  • Is animation worth it even though it is time consuming?                                 Personally, I am 50/50 with this question as I feel that although animation can have a really effective outcome and can be a very useful tool, I do not feel that it would be an effective use of time in a classroom, mainly due to the large amount of work that has to be done. However, I feel that I would use it as a fun lesson finisher task.
  • Will animation be useful and lead to an effective lesson that will help the children learn?                                                                                                                                         I think that the animation is very useful as it teaches the lesson as well as helps the children learn the topic in a fun, interactive way.
  • Will it make the lesson more enjoyable?                                                                                      I feel that use of our animation or any animation wold help make a lesson more enjoyable for both the children and the teacher as it is a creative way for a topic to be taught, explained and developed upon.

Whilst working on our animation I thought of another question; ‘will children nowadays find making an animation easier as they are ‘digital natives’?’. ‘Digital Natives’ as explained; “Our students today are all “native speakers” of the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet.” (Prensky, 2001, p. 1). Ultimately, I think that children being ‘digital natives’ would definitely be of benefit for them when working with animation or ICT in general as they have to ability to grasp topics and gain a good understanding of them with minimal issues.

In conclusion, I rather enjoyed this task and felt that we carried it out well and created an animation successfully which would be beneficial for the children to enhance their understanding. I feel that I would possibly use this in school. I feel that it would be a task that I would more so do towards the end of a topic to allow the children to create their own animation on what they had learned and also help use their skills. This end task would help include animation as a finalisation to a topic to help secure the children’s learning and understanding whilst using ICT. This would be with use of ICT throughout the topic also. Once our end product was complete, we felt really proud of it and were glad that we were able to do the task successfully and have a useful and effective lesson add-on, to help enhance a lesson. For children, this feeling is important to them when completing a task like this as children will always remember how you made them feel as a teacher and how that helped them learn well.

Unfortunately, our complete animation was rather large in size and therefore I have inserted a link to our video, to allow you to watch the end product. If you click on the link, a small image will appear, if you click on that the video will expand to full size and should allow you to press play and be able to view the animation. Enjoy!    A4AF456F-9A11-4F07-951A-198BBEB197EC

 

References

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

 

 

  • Jarvis, M. (2015) Brilliant Ideas for Using ICT in the Classroom: A Very practical Guide for Teachers and Lecturers.

 

  • Marc Prensky (2001) Digital Natives Digital Immigrants

 

Animation (Part 1) plan and prep 19/2

This week we were given the task to begin prepping and preparing for creating an animation. We made a clear, detailed plan which will help us next week when creating our animation. Having this week will be useful to use as a group and allow us to collect objects that we will need and make any changes to our initial plan that we feel might be necessary.

Initially, we were given some tasks to help us get used to animation. We practiced using the applications ‘Puppet pals’ and ‘iStopmotion’ which helped us understand how to use movement, audio, adjust the characters whilst inserting it into a story with a beginning, middle and an ending which can be easily understood. Practicing this this week will allow us to be more time efficient next week when it comes to creating our end product. We also explored the website ‘Moving Image Education’ which had examples of the different types of animation: cutout, stop-motion model, pixilation, drawn and computer. We decided, as a group, that we were going to use stop-motion model. Additionally, we practice using different objects in our animations such as bendy figures, clay and Lego figures. However the bendy figures were rather hard to use and manipulate as their heads were too heavy for them to be able stand alone, therefore, we were not able to create our practice movie effectively as we were having to hold the characters which meant our fingers were in the shots or our bendy figures were leaning against other objects.  My group decided that we are going to use Lego next week as we found it the easiest and most effective to use and we researched how to make them look like they are moving, walking and running. In groups, we had to create an animation which either recreates a historical event, represents a geographical process (e.g. glaciation, volcanic eruption), recreates a real-life scenario (e.g. going to the dentist, shopping)or explains a mathematical principle.

We decided that the most effective topic in our animation would be to explain a mathematical principle. Therefore, we decided that our animation was going to be all about fractions which will be represented by Lego bricks. We believe that this will be an effective way for fractions to be taught in the classroom as it is incorporating ICT as well as toys that are likely used by the children. We then researched which experiences and outcomes would be useful for our animations’ aim.

ICT is a useful tool in the classroom. As explained by Beauchamp (2012, p.54) ICT allows pupils to ”achieve something that would be very difficult or even impossible to achieve in any other way.” With ICT being an important tool, which is incorporated into all curricular areas not just being a stand-alone subject. As further explained by Beauchamp (2012, p.66) “ICT equipment is part of pupils’ everyday life, so should be part of their everyday play.” Overall, with the aim that ICT will help enhance a child’s learning and understanding of different curricular areas.

Animation is described as “Animation involves the stringing together a sequence of static images, generally so that they appear to move.”(Jarvis, 2015, p89). Animation is sub-section of ICT but still holds significant importance, as explained by Jarvis (2015, p. 92), “Bertrancourt (2005) suggests three ways in which animation can be used to enhance learning:

  1. To enhance learners’ visual representations.
  2. To illustrate processes.
  3. To provide an interactive element.”

However, animation is well-known to be a rather time-consuming and length process from minimal length outcome. The outcome could be effective just not be of great length. Nevertheless, it can help children develop skills of perseverance when they are creating an animation of their own, which is a useful skill to have for the future.

Once we had finalised our plan, we made a basic storyboard with a general outline of how our animation was going to be broken down and had to ensure we had everything we needed to include in it, in it. This again, will help us be more time efficient next week when creating our animation.

I am looking forward to creating our animation next week and assessing if it will be a useful process which I can use in the future in the classroom.

Whilst planning this week, we have been asking questions such as;

  • What skills will our animation help the children develop?
  • Will our end product be effective?
  • Does our animation enhance the learning in the class?
  • Is animation worth it even though it is time consuming?
  • Will animation be useful and lead to an effective lesson that will help the children learn?
  • Will it make the lesson more enjoyable?

Bendy Figure

Researching fractions and Fraction walls

Our general storyboard

References

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

Jarvis, M. (2015) Brilliant Ideas for Using ICT in the Classroom: A Very practical Guide for Teachers and Lecturers.

Moving Image Education Website: [Online] Available: https://movingimageeducation.org/create-films/animation[Accessed: 20thFebruary 2019]

 

 

 

 

Working with iMovie 12/2

Today, we were given the task of creating an internet safety video using the editing software iMovie. iMovie allows you to combine clips and pictures, to which you can then add audio, filters and adjust the different elements in the clips. It was recommended that we work in groups with a minimum of three, therefore, I worked with two other girls as this task required a lot of work and people to do different tasks such as filming another person.

Movie making in education has been shown as effective and a very useful tool in the classroom. This is explained “The use of video to enable pupils to reflect on both their work and their learning has been used in research and is labelled video stimulated reflective dialogue (VSRD), or variations of this.” (Beauchamp, 2012, p.135). Therefore, once the children have watched some internet safety videos, they would be able to take what the learned from them and reflect upon it to make their own videos about internet safety which will help them with their learning and show the importance about being safe online. This can help the children develop in their knowledge about internet safety and how it applies to them.

Internet safety is a very important topic in schools that should be reiterated constantly as it is relevant in today’s society, as explained by the Scottish Government (2017) “The internet is central to the lives of the majority of children and young people. We want children and young people to be protected, safe and supported in the online world and for them to be able to enjoy the internet, show resilience and take advantage of the opportunities it has to offer”. This applies to me as a developing student teacher as it is my responsibility to ensure that the children in my class and throughout the school are safe online; and they know not to trust others online especially if you do not know them personally and understand that actions have consequences. The children need to know that they can trust teachers if they do have a problem with online safety and that their teachers are not trying to restrict their fun but instead help them as stated by Beauchamp (2012, P.58) “…the key idea [is] that e-safety is not about restrictingchildren, but about educatingthem.” It is important that children are aware of this.

Thankfully, one benefit of bad previous internet safety, is that it has led to many schools nowadays introducing policies that help children be safe online. As explained by Beauchamp (2012, p.58) “Most primary schools will have in place a policy regarding e-safety, but they are likely to reflect official policies and perhaps not the reality of pupils’ lives…”. Additionally, safer internet day was introduced in 2004 and it is now embraced by 140 countries worldwide. Introduction of these policies and events have allowed children to be able to identify where people have gone wrong, when children are able to identify these areas it results in successful e-safety (Beauchamp, 2012, p.60).

ICT is a useful tool within education and helps incorporate digital literacy into the classroom.  “ICT can offer a range of unique features to teachers and learners which are not available using other means.” (Beauchamp, 2012, p. 3). Digital literacy is having the skills in order to engage in a knowledgeable, technology driven, society (Weiss, 2017). Nowadays, a majority of schools utilise computers, interactive whiteboards, laptops, tablets and even smartphones. This technology is used by the teachers and the children. This can also help pupils with communication, expression, collaboration and advocacy (Weiss, 2017).

Effective learning and teaching of digital technology can have many benefits on the core curricular areas; Health & Wellbeing, Literacy and Numeracy. Health & wellbeing;Use a variety of approaches including active, cooperative and peer learning along with, effective use of technology.  Literacy; Develop and extend literacy skills when they have opportunities to communicate and collaborate, engage with and create a wide range of texts in different media, taking advantage of the opportunities offered by ICT as well as examples of texts: blogs, web pages, emails, and games. Numeracy; Use technology in appropriate and effective ways, development of problem-solving capabilities and active learning. Additionally, there are some curriculum for excellence experiences and outcomes which relate well with my iMovie on internet safety. We decided that our iMovie about internet safety would be most effective at 4thlevel as we felt that it would be most relevant to their age group and their activity on social media. These experiences and outcomes areshown below:

I am learning to assess and manage risk, to protect myself and others, and to reduce the potential for harm when possible.

HWB 0-16a / HWB 1-16a / HWB 2-16a / HWB 3-16a / HWB 4-16a

As I listen or watch, I can:
clearly state the purpose and main concerns of a text and make inferences from key statements

  • compare and contrast different types of text
  • gather, link and use information from different sources and use this for different purposes.

LIT 4-04a

I can show my understanding of what I listen to or watch by giving detailed, evaluative comments, with evidence, about the content and form of short and extended texts.

LIT 4-07a

To help me develop an informed view, I can identify some of the techniques used to influence or persuade and can assess the value of my sources.

LIT 4-08a

Having investigated the practical impact of inaccuracy and error, I can use my knowledge of tolerance when choosing the required degree of accuracy to make real-life calculations.

MNU 4-01a

We started with a fairly detailed plan on how we wanted our iMovie to go and what we wanted to be included in it to ensure we used our time efficiently. Our story was based around the well-known story of an older man pretending to be a young boy and using it to talk to a young girl and using it as an excuse to be able to talk to her. Even though this is a fairly general story that has been used for years in internet safety videos, it is still relevant and happens regularly even with different policies being introduced. We are first introduced to a young 11-year-old girl, Sophie, who had her Snapchat user name on her Instagram bio and therefore can be seen by people whether they follow each other or not. Which leads to ‘Harry’ adding her on Snapchat, to which Sophie has her initial doubts and so messaged her friend to ask if she should add him. Sophie ends up adding him as she never heard back from her friend. Sophie and Harry talk about how they go to the same school and live around the same area and they exchange ages. It then cuts to a clip of Harry using a feature called ‘Snapmaps’ which allows your friends to see where you are. Harry then asks for a selfie picture of Sophie to see what she looks like, to which she is hesitant about but sends one anyways, she then asks for one back. We then see Harry go onto google and find a picture of a young boy and edit it slightly to send to Sophie. Harry then asks if they could meet up at a river near the school and constantly insinuates that it must only be the two of them and that she can bot tell anyone. By this point, Sophie’s friend has replied, her friend is smart and tells Sophie not to meet up with him and to tell her mum. Sophie then tells Harry that she is going to tell her mum as she does not feel safe and screenshots the messages so that she has them to show her mum and the police. Harry begins shouting at Sophie and telling her to stop doing what she is doing and that she should not tell her mum. However, Sophie has made the smart decision and we see her then blocking Harry as a friend. Gladly Sophie never met up with ‘Harry’ but the children should be aware of the consequences of meeting up with him. This could be an area for discussion from the teacher. We decided that we were going to make our iMovie interactive, therefore, we included questions throughout. For example, ‘what are the red flags?’ which would allow the children to identify the bad points to look out for, ‘Should Sophie meet Harry, or should she listen to her friend and tell an adult?’ which is identify the correct thing to do.

Additionally, we had a few slides dedicated to ‘what to do if this happens…’, 1. Tell a responsible adult, 2. Block and report them and do not put your personal details online. Do not accept people you do not know. At the end of our iMovie there is a slide which states ‘Visit ‘thinkuknow’ website for further information.

Initially, we uploaded all our videos onto iMovie and then edited them from there and adjusting them to our liking. Personally, I find that working with iMovie is fairly straight forward and easy to use, however, this is due to experience of working with it whilst I studied media at school. Therefore, this allowed us to be able to edit our piece together fairly quickly but to a good standard.

Overall, we were happy with our iMovie, however, we have some improvements that could be made. Our first improvement is the length of our iMovie, once fully edited it was between five minutes thirty seconds and six minutes, which I felt that this was fairly lengthy, although we ensured that we had everything included in it that we wanted. On the other hand, I researched other internet safety videos, most of which are between two and ten minutes long. Our second improvement is that we should have used a different way of messaging. We decided that we were going to use snapchat as a means of communication and do a screen recording of the conversation as the messages developed. However, snapchat has a feature that tells you if the person you are talking to is screenshotting or screen recoding the messages. Therefore, we could no longer screen record the messages as we initially planned to do (I also feel that this would have increased the production value and made the messages easier to read). To fix this, we could have used another app, but by this point we had already set up the accounts to new names and would take too long to adapt this, so we decided that we would use an iPad and film the phone receiving the messages.

I would say the main problem we had using iMovie was the limited amount of music provided on the app and if there was a song or a sound effect we wanted, we would have had to buy it.

In conclusion, I feel that we have carried out this task successfully and have created an effective internet safety movie which can be a useful tool to be shown in schools to help prevent anything like this happening to the pupils and ensure that they are aware of situations like these and how they should be dealt with.

References

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working with the e-books/Book creator app and digital devices 5/2

 

Today, we were given the task to use a child’s book and create an e-book of said book which is interactive and can be used to enhance a lesson. I worked in a pair for this task, we decided that we were going to use the story ‘Room on the Broom in Scots’. Therefore, this could be incorporated into a literacy lesson where the children would be able to develop their knowledge of different languages. Additionally, there are elements of rhyming which can be developed into another lesson in the future.

‘Room on the Broom’ is about a witch and her cat that are flying on her broom when suddenly her hat flies off her head. She then flies to the ground to collect it where she finds a dog who asks if there is room for him on the broom. They then continue to fly and lose a bow which is found by a bird who then joins them. Finally, she drops her wand which is found by a frog who joins them on the broom. The broom then breaks in two and everyone falls off except the witch who keeps flying into a storm. She then hears a loud roar which is a dragon that is trying to eat her, it is scared off by the other animals and the witch and the other animals use the witch’s cauldron to create the most fantoosh, fabulous broom with space for everyone. In the Scots version there are some words replaces such as; broom becomes bizzum, frog becomes puddock and most becomes maist, along with many more.

There are many reasons to teach Scots in Scottish primary schools, for example, it can help children gain a better understanding of the world around them as it is likely that they will hear people using different Scots words, it is also highly likely, that they will use some Scots themselves and not realise. This will, in turn, help their communication skills and language skills develop. Additionally, it can help them realise the importance of learning about different languages as explained by Reid, “More and more parents want their children to learn English from a young age…speaking English will help their child ‘get ahead in a globalised world’” (Reid, 2015).

An e-book is defined by Collins (2012), an electronic version of a printed book which can be read electronically. Nowadays digital technology is very important as recently stated by the Scottish Government,“Digital technology can enrich the learning experience for all of our children and young people.” (Scottish Government, 2016, p. 8) Additionally, A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland (2016) is structured around four essential objectives: Develop the skills and confidence of teachers, improve access to digital technology for all learners; ensure that digital technology is a central consideration in all areas of curriculum and assessment delivery and empower leaders of change to drive innovation and investment in digital technology for learning and teaching. Therefore, the use of e-books can be very useful and effective in the classroom.

Research shows that there are many benefits of the use of iPads in the classroom. One trial that was carried out by the University of Hull (2012) reported that;

  • “Many teachers and students wish to have access to the iPad after the end of the trial and are convinced it has changed learning for the better.” (p.11)
  • “Over 90 per cent of students believe that the iPad has helped them to learn more and to learn more difficult concepts and ideas better” (p.10)
  • “Parents say that greater motivation, interest and engagement of their child with learning have been the single largest benefits” (p.10)

To create our e-books, we were to use the Book creator app which is ideal for making all kinds of books, such as: children’s picture books, comic books, photo books, journals, textbooks and more. We were using it to create a children’s picture book. Initially, we were given instructions on how to manoeuvre around the application and we were given the opportunity to practice using it before creating our e-book. I felt that this application was fairly easy to use especially once I got used to where everything was. This shows that it would be a useful tool in the classroom as it can be accessed by teachers and pupils with ease.

As we were to make a summary of our chosen book, our e-book was 10 pages long with a cover page. We decided to keep the cover page simple and include the original cover of ‘Room on the Broom in Scots’. I have included pictures below.

Our second page was an introduction to the witch and her cat with a few sentences lifted from the book along with a picture of the witch and her cat on the bizzum. As this is a Scots version of this book, we considered that many of the children wouldn’t understand some of the words. We, therefore, included a link to a Scot dictionary where the children would be able to search for the definitions of certain words. We also placed audio over the hyperlinked picture of a dictionary, which said “click here to look up Scot words if you get stuck”.

Our third page again included some sentences from the book about how a dog finds her hat. The dog then asks if there is room on the broom for it. At the bottom of the page, we included a task for the children which asked them if they could record how to say ‘dug’. Therefore, the children would be able to use the application and record themselves and insert it into the e-book. Beside this task, there is a picture of the witch and the dog which was hyperlinked, and the children would be able to click to hear how to pronounce the word ‘dug’. Page four is similar to page is the same as page three but it has a bird instead of a dog.

Throughout this e-book there are numerous pages with a red circle at the bottom of the page, this indicates that there is an interactive task for the children to complete.

Page five then includes a picture of everyone on the broom and it discusses how they were going through the storm which causes the witch to drop her wand. We decided to include a storm sound effect to enhance the story even more. Page six is again the same as page three and four and the animal is a frog, however, the children are asked what they think ‘puddock’ means and they can then pronounce it.

Page seven, eight and nine includes more text and pictures from the book. Page seven is of the animals falling and the dragon breathing fire, again, we included a sound effect of a dragon roaring to enhance the story. Page eight is the other animals scaring off the dragon as they disguise as a beast with the children being asked if they can roar like the beast. Page nine is the dragon flying away with a sound effect of this action. There is then a picture of the witch standing over her cauldron creating a new broom with her spell beside the image to which the children are asked if they can help her recede the spell. Page ten, is the final image of everyone on the new amazing broom flying off happily.

The final page says, ‘Now write how you felt about this book and include some Scots language you have learned today!’. This allows the lesson to be continued and solidify their learning and understanding of the Scots words and language.

There are many experiences and outcomes that relate well with my e-book. There are ones for literacy, technology and ones for languages as there is the use of scots in my e-book.

  • ‘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
  • ‘I understand the operation of a process and its outcome. I can structure related items of information.’-TCH 2-13a
  • ‘I can recognise how the features of spoken language can help in communication, and I can use what I learn. I can recognise different features of my own and others’ spoken language.’

ENG 2-03a

  • ‘I work on my own and with others to understand text using appropriate resources, demonstrating my understanding by matching written words to pictures and by reconstructing the text in a logical sequence, for example.’ –MLAN 2-08a
  • ‘I can read and demonstrate understanding of words, signs, phrases and simple texts containing mainly familiar language.’ – MLAN 2-08b

During my recent time on placement in a primary school, I seen this book being used in a primary one class. I felt that it was slightly too hard for them to handle as they were able to use the Scots words, however, they were unable to complete further learning as they would forget what certain words meant or how to use them. Therefore, I decided that my e-book was going to be aimed more towards a primary three or four age group which is roughly second level. As I feel that the older children would gain more from this lesson and would be able to work individually and complete the task on the final page successfully as they would be able to do their own research such as; looking up different word’s meanings. There are also different tasks throughout the e-book that enables the children to use the book creator app. This allows the teacher to evaluate the children’s understanding of different areas such as how successfully the can use this application (TCH 02-02a) and learn from it as well as analyse their understanding of Scots (MLAN 2-08aand MLAN 2-08b) and incorporate their literacy writing skills (ENG 2-03a). overall this would equate to a very successful and useful lesson.

In conclusion, I found todays impute very important as it emphasises the importance of digital technology in the classroom, specifically, the use of interactive tablets and mobile devices which allows individuals to download this application known as ‘book creator’ app and it can be used successfully to enhance their learning in literacy. However, digital technology such as tablets and other mobile devices are important in developing and enhancing the learning in most curricular areas as there are many applications that can be downloaded with the same successful outcome. Therefore, the impute was also useful as it helps me see the true importance of digital technology in the classroom as well as gain experience of working with this application and how it will help me in the future with lessons. I felt that my partner and I successfully carried out the given task as our e-book summaries ‘Room on the Broom in Scots’ well with many interactive elements which can be enjoyable and engaging for the children.

 

Creating our E-book

Cover Page

Page two

Page three

Page Four

Page five

Page six

Page Seven

Page Eight

Page Nine

Page Ten

             End Slide with task

References

 

 

 

 

  • Scottish Government (2016)Enhancing learning and teaching through
    the use of digital technology, A digital learning and teaching strategy for Scotland.
    [Online] Available:https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/publication/2016/09/enhancing-learning-teaching-through-use-digital-technology/documents/00505855-pdf/00505855-pdf/govscot:document/?inline=true/ [Accessed: 6thFebruary 2019]

 

 

Working with Scratch.Jr/Coding 29/1

Today, we were given the task to work with Scratch Jr to create a coding that could be useful in a literacy lesson. Scratch Jr is commonly used with children in early, first and sometimes second level. We began practicing with Scratch Jr on the tablets to ensure we were comfortable with it before attempting the task. We were given small activities to complete, such as: making three characters run in a race, make them dance, etc. Additionally, as I knew we were going to be using this application today, I downloaded it to practice with it and be prepared for class.

Initially, I expected that working with Scratch was going to be fairly complex as I did not realise that we would be working with scratch Jr until I was preparing for this week. I felt that working with scratch was going to be fairly difficult as the previous experience I had with it was in secondary school when I used It for the first time and we used the general Scratch which is available online. However, Scratch Jr has been simplified to ease children into coding. Once I began working with Scratch Jr today, I soon realised that it was fairly easy to use once I got my head around it and learned the different tricks and features.

As we were given the task to base our Scratch Jr creation around a literacy lesson, I decided that I was going to focus on phonemes as they are a big part of early, first and second education. When starting our task, I planned to include a couple of phonemes, such as, ‘sh’, ‘oa’, ‘ll’, etc. but when we began our task, I soon realised that we were only able to do four slides and I would not be able to talk about each one sufficiently. Therefore, I decided to pick one phoneme and focus my whole Scratch Jr presentation on it. I decided to go with the phoneme ‘sh’ as I felt it was the most prominent phoneme and a rather important one too.

My first slide was set with a classroom background to give the impression that we are going to learn something whilst watching this Scratch Jr. creation. Scratch then explains that the children are going to be learning about phonemes, specifically, the phoneme ‘sh’ and he then breaks down the phoneme into the two letters.

My second slide introduced four objects, two of which had the phoneme ‘sh’ in them and two did not. Scratch asks the children to identify which ones do and do not have ‘sh’ in them. There is them a two-minute time gap which would allow discussion in the classroom. Scratch then reveals which ones include ‘sh’ which is a shop and a fish. This introduces that ‘sh’ can be at the beginning and at the end of a word.

My third slide included a rocketship and a mushroom. This is to help establish that ‘sh’ can also be found in the middle of a word. This will help the children learn how to identify ‘sh’, how and where it can be used.

My last slide was Scratch standing on his own and he jumps up and down with a pop sound effect with each jump. He then congratulates and encourages the children for their hard work and explains how the children are now going to be completing a worksheet on the phoneme ‘sh’, this shows that the use of this Scratch Jr. is only an introduction and it will now lead onto a full lesson.

My Scratch Jr. creation linked well with a second level literacy experience and outcome. ‘I can recognise how the features of spoken language can help in communication and I can use what I learn. I can recognise different features of my own and others’ spoken language ENG 2-03a’. My Scratch Jr. creation incorporates this E&O as by the end of the lesson they would hopefully be able to identify the phoneme ‘sh’, as a feature of the English language, in different words and how it can be positioned throughout a word. My Scratch Jr. creation also linked well with a second level technology experience and outcome. ‘Iexplore and experiment with the features and functions of computer technology and I can use what I learn to support and enhance my learning in different contextsTCH 1-04a / TCH 2-04a’.

This E&O links well with my Scratch Jr. presentation as it shows that learning has been enhanced through by the use of technology. The children will also be able to learn how to code and create a similar presentation about what they learned about ‘sh’. Therefore, this leads onto a future lesson.

I feel that to improve my presentation I would have it be more interactive for the children and have them be able to make Scratch/other objects move by touching them on the screen or to have the children insert code throughout the lesson. Therefore, clearly incorporating two curricular areas in one lesson instead of subtly which is how it currently stands with my presentation.

Slowly, the importance of coding is becoming more evident and the need for it to be taught in schools from young age is more apparent. It can help the economy. Coding is now being seen as holding a lot of importance in this modern society, with many organisations such as: universities, gaming companies, the government, manufacturers and even head teachers. These different groups all have their own reasoning for how coding will help them develop and keep up with our futuristic society which is being run by technology. (Naughton, 2012)

Nowadays, technology comes naturally for children as explained by Prensky (2001,p.1) “Our students today are all “native speakers” of the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet.” This can benefit children in the classroom as it can improve their learning in other curricular areas as well as help them develop their understanding of technology, which is important in this forever-changing technological world.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed working with the Scratch Jr. application and found it easy to work with once I got my head around it. Therefore, I personally think that I completed the given task successfully and created a useful literacy lesson. I feel that this application is very useful in the classroom to gently introduce coding into the classroom from an early stage and can be developed over time. Thus, I plan on using this application in future in the classroom.

References

  • Marc Prensky (2001) Digital Natives Digital Immigrants 
  • 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].

 

 

 

Working with ActivInspire 22/1/19

This week we were working with the programme ActivInspire. ActivInspire is a tool used by teachers and pupils to enhance a lesson with interaction on interactive whiteboards/laptops. You are able to create numerous flipcharts which each hold as many pages as you want. ActivInspire also includes many features such as: being able to add text and photos, have moveable objects (such as coins) and audio. Today, we were given the task to get comfortable with how to use the programme and then attempt to create a flipchart with a few pages which can be used to accompany a lesson.

Additionally, our attempt had to be multimodal. As stated by Beauchamp (2012, p.8), multimodality is important in the classroom, “The multimodality of technology is another reason to use it, as it allows teachers to present an idea in a variety of different ways to help pupils understand it.” A text can be described as being multimodal if it combines two or more semiotic systems. There are five semiotic systems: linguistic, visual, audio, gestural and spatial.

Initially, I felt that working with this programme was going to be fairly simple and would not take a lot of time to create a lesson. However, once I started to experiment with the programme I realised that it was going to take more time to get used to working with it, than I expected due to the variety of features that were available. it was also advised that we worked in pairs for this task, personally, I felt that working in pairs was extremely helpful as many of us had not used ActivInspire before. Therefore, we were able to help each other.

My partner and I decided that we were going to create a money lesson through ActivInspire. We started out with a cover page with the title and learning intention. The learning intention was, ‘I will be able to use a variety of coins to create different totals and explain what change is required.’ Then, we included an introduction page which was titled ‘Let’s discuss money…’ and below was the 8 different coins which the teacher would be able to use to discuss the order of said coins (1p-£2), how to distinguish the coins by their shape and size as well as discuss the value of the coins and give real life context, such as a shopping trip. This page was a set background choice which we altered slightly to fit our purpose. We then included examples of how to use the coins to make an amount, we included two very different totals, 62p and £3.40. The children were given the task to move the coins needed, to make the total, to the opposite side which had a piggy bank (as an example of real-life context as many children have piggy banks). Our last page was an example of how to work backwards and be able to explain what change is required. Therefore, meeting our learning intention.

Our lesson included the semiotic systems, visual, audio and gestural. Visual, as our slide was rather colourful and included images. Additionally, our flipchart’s theme was blue with yellow writing as, generally, this combination is easiest to read for most people. Audio, with the different money totals we included an audio recording of that amount being said to so that the children would be able to read it off the board as well as hear it if necessary. Gestural, this is probably the most prominent semiotic systemin our lesson, as the children are able to press firmly on all of the coins and move them to where they desire.

The use of ICT in the classroom can be extremely helpful when delivering a lesson and bringing it to life. This can be achieved by programmes such as ActivInspire. As further discussed by Beauchamp, “The ability of ICT to present ideas in a variety of ways can help to structure new experiences but only if you as the teacher have sufficient understanding on the area yourself.” (Beauchamp, 2012, p.100).

I feel that this programme is very useful to help make a lesson more interactive in comparison to using a different programme such as PowerPoint. However, I find that PowerPoint can be easier to use with both having a similar amount of features. Therefore, depending on the lesson you are planning, decides which programme would work best.

In conclusion, I feel that getting experience of using this programme will be useful for me as a developing student teacher as I can use it in the classroom. Initially I felt that this programme would be fairly easy to us, however, it required more practice than I anticipated. I soon discovered that once I got my head around it that I became more efficient and became easier to work with. Therefore, I look forward to using ActivInspire in the future to help enhance the children’s digital technology skills which are becoming increasingly important as, “Digital technology can enrich the learning experience for all of our children and young people.” (Scottish Government, 2016, p. 8)

Practicing with ActivInspire

Starting to create our lesson

Page one

Page two

Page three

Page four

Page five

References

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

 

  • Scottish Government (2016) Enhancing learning and teaching through
    the use of digital technology, A digital learning and teaching strategy for Scotland.
    [Online] Available:https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/publication/2016/09/enhancing-learning-teaching-through-use-digital-technology/documents/00505855-pdf/00505855-pdf/govscot:document/?inline=true/ [Accessed: 8 January 2019]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Programming – Working with Programmable Toys 15/01/19

Programming – Working with Programmable Toys       15/01/19

This week, we learned about programming. Specifically, working with programmable toys that are used in the classroom to enhance learning. We focused on beebots and their importance in the classroom. Beebots are programmed to follow up to 40 instructions, they are able to go forward, backwards, turn right and left, with a ‘pause’ button and a ‘clear’ button; all of which, when pressed, induce a click which can be heard and felt. Beebots are programmed to travel 15cm per instructions, therefore, the mats that beebots travel on are made up of boxes 15cm by 15cm. Many of the beebot mats used in the classroom incorporate different curricular areas such as mathematics with different topics, for example, money or addition and subtraction. In my digital technologies class this week, we were given the task to create our own beebot mat where we can demonstrate the use of beebots.

We were given the option of working individually or in groups of two or three, I decided to work on my own for this task as I felt it would be beneficial to me so that I could express my ideas and make changes easily. I looked through different Curriculum for Excellence (CFE) outcomes with different curricular areas and began making a list of different ideas for my beebot mat, such as, telling a story, spelling, use of money, adding, or French translation and narrowed it down. During my time on placement, I seen the use of these beebot toys being used during a mathematics lesson as well as seen different lessons where beebots would have enhance a lesson. I decided that I was going to incorporate French at first level (roughly P2-P4) into my mat. My mat covers the outcomes below:

‘I can explore and experiment with digital technologies and can use what I learn to support and enhance my learning in different contexts.’ – TCH 1-01a

This outcome relates well with my beebot task as the children will be able to explore and experiment with digital technologies such as the beebot programmable toy itself. The children will then we able to use said beebot to enhance their learning in different contexts, such as, another curricular area; for example, French.

And

‘I can work on my own or with others to demonstrate my understanding of words and phrases containing familiar language.’ – MLAN 1-08b

This outcome relates to my beebot task as during this task they need to work on their own as well as in a group as they need to work individually but take turns to do so within the group. They are also able to demonstrate their prior knowledge of their understanding of different French words and phrases that contain language is familiar to them.

Furthermore, I researched the different topics that are explored in first level French so that I could incorporate key words and phrases from said topics into my mat. these topics included: basic sayings, food, colours, weather, days of the week, family, numbers, etc.

I came to this decision as modern languages are becoming more and more important in the classroom, as explained by Davinia Hardwick, who works for The British council (2015) “Immersing your students in the target language helps them use it more independently and this can lead to increased confidence and better vocabulary.”

I decided that I was going to have a mixture of French words and English words laid out on the mat and have those words translated on separate cards which the child would pick from. For example, I would have the word ‘Hello’ on a separate card and the child would have to translate it and then find the translation (Bonjour) on the mat. I made my mat four by four squares with an extra box at the top which was title ‘aller’ which translates to ‘go’.

Robots in the classroom has many benefits within different curricular areas as stated by Lydon (2008, p.1) “We have found our nursery children have improved their problem solving, thinking, numeracy and literacy skills whilst using robots and whilst having FUN!”. Lydon also goes onto discussing how engaged the children were during this task and how they were able to pick it up easier than she anticipated. Overall, Lydon found that the use of beebots (programmable toys) in the classroom seemed very effective and useful for the children as it incorporated work and fun.

Additionally, Pekárová Janka (2008, p.112) states that “definition of digital technologies as devices which provide interactivity, response or communication.” This relates well with Beebots as they are interactive as well as contrive a response and also require communication at certain times. Therefore, this shows the importance of beebots within the classroom as the use of programmable toys can have a positive impact on curricular areas as well as skills such as communication, which in turn can help them in life.

The process of making the mats can be broken down into 5 steps.

  1. Plan out the mat and its content.
  2. Measure out the squares 15x15cm with a pencil and include as many as you require on A3 paper (or larger). Personally, I needed 16 squares. And test that the beebot works well with the measurements and adjust accordingly.
  3. Begin decorating the squares as desired and outline with a black felt pen.
  4. Create the corresponding cards.
  5. Explain the game to the children in the classroom and learn whilst having fun!

Additionally, the teacher would explain to the children the rules of the game before playing and ensure they had a sound understanding of how to play and how use the beebot. The rules are laid out below:

  1. Shuffle the cards and turn them upside down
  2. Select a card and translate the word on that card
  3. Find the word you translated on the beebot mat
  4. Make sure you ‘clear’ the beebot
  5. Programme the using the forward, backward, left and right buttons to where you want the beebot to go on the mat
  6. Say, aloud, the French word and its English correspondent to the other class members in the group (this incorporates outcome MLAN 1-08b)
  7. Press ‘clear’ again

In conclusion, I feel I have carried out this assessment task successfully as when I tested my mat with a beebot it worked well, and I feel that it is fairly easy to grasp an understanding of how to play. However, I feel that I could have selected a more interesting title for my game and I could have also divided my time better to ensure that I was able to put my all into each section of this task. I have also gained a sound understanding of the importance of programmable toys and their place in the classroom. Therefore, I am looking forward to the future where I will be able to use programmable toys in the classroom to help enhance learning.

Below are some pictures I captured whilst creating my mat.

                                                    

 Initial idea plan

Progress picture one

Progress Picture two

Finished Product

 

Corresponding Game Cards

 

 Reference list

 

Introduction to digital technologies 8/1/19

Pixabay.com

Hello, my name is Jodie Nelson and over the next 12 weeks I am going to be discussing my experience of digital technologies as part of my BA1 primary education course. Personally, I think that this will be useful for me to be able to reflect back on my time and experiences as I learn about digital technologies which I can use in the classroom. As nowadays digital technology is very important as recently stated by the Scottish Government,“Digital technology can enrich the learning experience for all of our children and young people.” (Scottish Government, 2016, p. 8)

Today we were given an introduction to the digital technologies module and gained a good understanding of the different areas we will be covering. This, for me, solidified the reasons I wanted to participate in this module as overall it looks interesting with the wide range of topics and that it will be a very useful skill. Additionally, I am looking forward to the interactive and practical side of the module including: games-based learning, animation, use of e-books and mobile devices as well as programming and coding, etc. as these topics are all becoming important learning tools in school. As the importance of game-based learning was recently highlighted by James (2014), “Computer games are the most powerful learning tool of our age.” (James, 2014). On the other hand, it appears that it will be a lot of work which will require motivation each week to keep up with the work given. Currently, I have a good understanding of digital technologies. I have a Higher Administration and IT qualification as well as a Higher Media qualification. However, I realise I have a number of areas that could be improved or will need to learn about all together.

In today’s lesson we set the foundation of what digital technology is and its place in Scotland. As Education Scotland (2016) stated digital technology describes digital applications, services and resources which help find, analyse, create, communicate and use information in a digital context.

Education Scotland (2016) also stated that digital technologies is to be placed at the heart of learning for age 3-18 and beyond. The emphasis that is being placed on digital technologies in the classroom is down to a number of reasons. These include: raising attainment and achievement, focus on ‘closing the attainment gap’, engages learners, develops the young workforce as well as fosters creativity, ambition and interest in life-long learning.

In 2016 the Scottish Government released ‘The National Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy’ (2016).  This discusses the four key objectives of digital technologies in the class. Firstly, develop the skills of our educators. Secondly, improve access to technology. Thirdly, enhance curriculum and assessment delivery, and fourthly, empower leaders of change. Which, when all four are combined, has many benefits. The importance of digital learning and teaching was further developed by the Scottish Government (2016) who stated, “It will also provide the stimulus, inspiration and environment for all our learners to develop the increasingly sophisticated digital skills which will be vital to them in later learning, life and work.” (Scottish Government, 2016, p.14)

In conclusion, as I continue in this module, I hope to develop the skills and abilities of my current digital technology knowledge, which was gained through my time at schoolin classes such as Computing, Administration, and IT and Media in S1 to S6.I am also intrigued to see how much digital technology has changed since this time and how it enhances learning and teaching nowadays. I would like to welcome you to join me in the forthcoming weeks as I experience the digital technologies module.

 

Reference list

  • Scottish Government (2016) Enhancing learning and teaching through
    the use of digital technology, A digital learning and teaching strategy for Scotland.
    [Online] Available:https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/publication/2016/09/enhancing-learning-teaching-through-use-digital-technology/documents/00505855-pdf/00505855-pdf/govscot:document/?inline=true/ [Accessed: 8 January 2019]