This is our last session of Digital Technologies and we started the session by filling in the module evaluation and reflection. The session was focused outdoor learning and QR codes.
Outdoor learning is good for helping children to deepen and provide relevance to their experiences and the curriculum as this can sometimes be restricted when learning inside. This experience can provide memories that will stay with children forever (Learning and Teaching, 2010). Whilst on placement, going outside for P.E as well as using nature for literacy work allowed me to see how even going out in to the playground can help children to open up and fufil their potential. Some children work better outside rather than inside the classroom.
There are many other positives to outdoor learning, for example; helping develop critical thinking skills which can help make links between the different curricular areas, promoting a healthy lifestyle by getting children active and promoting lifelong habits and lastly, personal safety. This helps children learn to develop the skills needed to assess risks. Another benefit is that according to Education Scotland (2010),” The core values of Curriculum for Excellence resonate with the key concepts of outdoor learning. Challenge, depth, relevance and enjoyment.”
Our task for today was to go on a scavenger hunt around the university looking for QR codes to solve a clue when we got back to the room. We were to first download at QR scanner in order to collect the clues as we went along, if we collected all the clues and cracked the code at the end of the task we would receive a prize! Due to a family bereavement, I had to leave shortly before the scavenger hunt took place, but I would have loved to have taken part.
I have loved taking part in the Digital Technologies module, it has allowed me to develop my skills and boost my confidence within my own experiences of technology. I hope to be able to use what I have learned in my own classroom and help pupils deepen their knowledge and help them engage with the curriculum through digital technology.
Education Scotland (2010) Curriculum for Excellence Through Outdoor Learning.
Learning and Teaching Scotland (2010) Curriculum for Excellence Through Outdoor Learning.
With gaming being so popular nowadays, Professor Henry James (2012) states that, “Computer games are the most powerful learning tool of our age.” In order to raise attainment levels and engage learners this could be a crucial development. Most children engage with computer games from a young age, so games being used within education could be helpful in allowing children to relate to the material. Having been on placement and witnessed games based learning in one of the classes, it was easy to see how much the pupils benefitted from the experience.
Although, one of the challenges around games based learning is that most of the educational games are not up to much. They have either been made by people within education so the quality of the game is poor or they have been created by gaming providers and so the level of educational content needed for classrooms is not acceptable. Using big commercial games used correctly can aide lessons by either acting as a stimulus or hub. According to Lord David Puttnam (2012), ” What is being spoke about is computer games not just as games, but as a whole new learning form or platform of learning and one that has quite literally, unlimited learning potential.”
ICT games such as Minecraft can be effectively used within school to help develop skills strategic thinking, communication, group decision making and data handling skills (Beauchamp, 2012). We were able to witness this first hand during the session. Our lecturer had invited pupils from a nearby school who were digital leaders. They had been working on creating parts of the Harry Potter world within Minecraft. They came in and showed us what they had created and gave us a chance to use the iPads and create elements in our own world. I was apprehensive about this because whilst I had heard of Minecraft, I had never actually used it, But, after the pupils had showed us the basics, the game itself was simple enough to use.
Speaking to the class teacher also inspired and encouraged me to use games based learning within my own classroom as she herself was not confident within using Minecraft because once she has started getting to grips with how the game worked, she found it easy to incorporate into her lessons and spread it across different curricular areas. It was really interesting to see how quickly they were able to work and how engaged the children were with game and their topic.
Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary Classroom: From Pedagogy top Practice. Pearson.
Puttnam, L. D. (2012) Playful Learning: Computer Games in Education. [Online] https://www.slideshare.net/Microsofteduk/playful-learning-computer-games-in-education [Accessed: 10.4.18]
James, P.H (2012) Playful Learning: Computer Games in Education. [Online] https://www.slideshare.net/Microsofteduk/playful-learning-computer-games-in-education [Accessed: 10.4.18]
‘Finding out about others: the skill of questioning’ Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practise.
The main aim of chapter 5 Hargie,O. (2011) is taking a more in depth look different types of questions and how effective they are for communication. These types of questions can be used to get the right information dependant on the situation. For example, in a teaching environment or between a doctor and a patient.
There are a few themes that run throughout this chapter including crime and health. However, one of the main themes is education due having subheadings dedicated to the effects of leading questions on children, as well as most of the subheadings having one or more references to children or the general classroom setting.
One claim made in the chapter is that process questions are more effective in raising levels of participation and achievement of people with a high intellectual ability, with recall questions being more beneficial for those who have a lower level of ability. Rubie-Davies (2007) discovered that teachers who had higher than average expectations for pupils used more higher order questions that those with below average expectations. By consistently using process questions, this is more likely to stimulate pupils with a high IQ but might be confusing for those with a lower IQ. This evidence backs up the claim.
One of the ideas presented is the function of pausing as a silent probe is advantageous as pausing before the question means the attention of the listener is stimulated which in turn gives the question greater impact. Rowe (1969, 1974a, 1974b) found that increasing the wait time after pupil’s responses, the length of these responses increased from 7 words with a 1 second pause compared to 28 words with a 3 second pause. She also discovered that pupils who did not contribute much started talking and produced good ideas.
I agree with most of the chapter except for a statement made by (Smith et al., 2006). It was stated the because closed questions have a structured control that this was one of the main reasons that teachers used more closed than open questions. I feel that more open questions are asked in order to gain a better understanding of how the child is coping with a learning objective or is feeling generally.
I was able to identify a couple of words I was unsure of by finding them on the Critical Dictionary of Education and noting them down for reference in the future.
Finding out about others: the skill of questioning’ Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practise. 5th ed. London: Routledge
My first couple of weeks at UWS have been intriguing to say the least. From sitting in on lectures to being challenged to come out of my comfort zone in workshops. I am becoming more confident each day in being able to organise and divide my workload, as well as taking care of a young family and working.
The workshops are allowing me to put the theory I am learning in lectures into practice. For example, in one of our SitComm workshops, being able to try out using different tones in our voices and using the different skills we learned about in that morning’s lecture to become more expressive and confident speakers. Placement is also something I am looking forward to and hopefully I am successful in putting what I have already learned at UWS into practice. Maths is also a module I am really enjoying, despite dreading it before I started university as it was always a subject I really struggled with throughout high school and college.
Gaining a place at UWS to study Education was one of the first steps in helping me start my journey to becoming a primary teacher. It hasn’t been an easy journey to get here, but I persevered and am now determined to reach my goal.
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