Digital Technologies- Games-Based Learning 6/3/17

This week’s Digital Technologies lesson focused on Games-based learning. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the lesson due to weather conditions. However, to ensure I caught up with the learning I had missed, I reviewed the PowerPoint and conversed with my peers who attended the lesson.   Today’s digital technologies lesson focused on Games based learning and the benefits of introducing games as an educational aid into the classroom to enhance children’s learning. Games based learning is the use of gaming for educational learning to increase learner’s enjoyment and engagement.

After talking with my peers, they informed me that today’s lesson involved the class working in groups to construct a mind map based on why they feel that games-based learning is an effective tool in education. This made me think of my own thoughts of why games-based learning is an effective tool in education. My main thoughts were that games-based learning would undoubtedly be a fun, engaging and interactive tool to aid children with their learning. The use of games in learning would also reinforce the connection of home learning with classroom learning by using games they would typically use in their homes such as Minecraft and the Nintendo Wii.  Despite my knowledge of these benefits I felt that there were many more than the ones I had previously listed. Therefore, to expand my knowledge on the benefits and impact of games-based learning in the classroom, I began to review the PowerPoint presentation and examine the opinion of experts.

The Higher Education Academy detailed that theorists Jean Piaget and Leonard Vygotsky believed that play is a vital element of cognitive development from an individuals birth to adulthood while stating that the introduction of computing and gaming in the 90s created new opportunities for play (Higher Education Academy Website). As well as this games-based learning increase learners motivation to learn while reinforcing prior knowledge and aiding them to recall information. Additionally, games-based learning can prove to be an effective aid for children with additional support needs who tend to struggle with sitting at a desk and writing. As well as supporting children with ASN games-based learning can also be an aid for children of all ages, Porter supports this view by stating “The digital environment provides a unique opportunity to empower people of all ages” (Porter, 2004, p.35).

Despite games-based learning typically being used as a reward for quick finishing at the end of the lesson, there are many ways that games-based learning can be used to fit a wide range of curriculum outcomes. As part of the lesson, we were challenged to think of lesson plans that would integrate Mario Kart into a variety of different curriculum lessons and outcomes:

For example, a possible literacy lesson could include learners writing a journal entry from the perception of an audience member watching the race. Showcasing their ability to use a variety of adjectives and descriptive words to describe the setting and atmosphere. “I enjoy creating texts of my choice and I regularly select subject, purpose, format and resources to suit the needs of my audience.” LIT 1-20a / LIT 2-20a

For a numeracy lesson we could use the games-based learning of Mario Kart to educate the children on money. By giving each child a set budget, they can analyse what race cars and characters they could buy for that price. I can manage money, compare costs from different retailers, and determine what I can afford to buy.’ MNU 2-09a

For a technology lesson, the learners could draw their favourite characters from Mario Kart and use iStop Motion to create a story using the characters. ‘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 technology lesson could lead to an expressive arts lesson. After the children have created a story using iStop Motion using their favourite Mario Kart characters, they could then act out their stories using costumes to become their characters. ‘I have experienced the energy and excitement of presenting/performing for audiences and being part of an audience for other people’s presentations/performances.’ EXA 0-01a / EXA 1-01a / EXA 2-01a

For a health and wellbeing lesson, learners could use cardboard boxes to make themselves into race cars from Mario Kart and practice the rules of road safety with their peers. ‘I know and can demonstrate how to travel safely.’  HWB 0-18a / HWB 1-18a / HWB 2-18a

After reviewing the many ways learning through games such as Mario Kart can be fitted into various curriculum outcomes, I feel as a student teacher it is vital that I aim to integrate games-based learning into as many class lessons as I can because they have proven, from the benefits listed above, to be an effective and engaging tool for young learners.

Overall, despite missing todays lesson I feel I am now more knowledgeable of the impact and importance of integrating its use into class lessons and the many ways games-based learning can be used to fit curriculum outcomes. I feel I am now confident after reviewing todays lesson that I could execute an engaging and effective lesson that integrates the use of games-based learning into a curriculum lesson.



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

Higher Education Academy (2017). Gamification and Games-Based Learning. [Online]. Available: . [Accessed: 6th May 2017]

Digital Technologies- Mobile Devices 27/2/2018

This week’s digital technologies lesson concentrated on the use of mobile devices in the primary classroom. At the beginning of the lesson we were faced with the question of whether mobile devices should be used in the primary classroom or if their use should be limited to home. While contemplating the answer I read a variety of online reports and articles to expand my knowledge on the pros and cons of introducing mobile devices into a primary classroom.

To answer the question, I stated that I feel that mobile devices should be used in the primary classroom for many reasons. Firstly, The Telegraph published an article entitled ‘Digital Technologies: how technology is reshaping technology’ which detailed that “Over four out of 10 households now have a tablet, meaning that children are becoming computer-literate before they’ve even started primary school”( Telegraph 2014) in other words today’s children are so familiar and engaged with technology prior to entering education thus if mobile devices were integrated into class lessons the children are more likely to be engaged with the lesson. The article also spoke of an experiment that aimed to compare two English lessons, one lesson involved no technology while the other used a variety of technology devices. The experiment found the lesson that used no technology required more concentration and was less appealing than the lesson that used technology which was found to be more engaging.

Furthermore, Teaching Times released an article entitled ‘Games consoles benefit children’s education’ that supported the view that mobile devices should be used in the primary classroom. Despite stating that “39 per cent of educators stated that children should not have access out of school to mobile phones”, the article also included research carried out by the British Educational Suppliers Association which analysed the results and impact of pupils using mobile devices in and out of the classroom. The report found that “the majority of schools indicated internet access at home and at school as the most beneficial technology for pupils”(Teaching Times). Therefore, after revising the evidence I feel that children having access to the use of mobile devices at home and in the classroom would prove to be most beneficial for young learners.

After completing the opening task, we then progressed to the lessons main task of creating an I Am poem using an easy-speak microphone. The I Am poem began with sentences such as “I am….” Which we had to complete. My partner and I decided that we would pretend to be aliens and use our poem to provide clues to the listener of what we were. For example, we used lines such as:

“I am green and mysterious”

“I feel lonely on my little planet”

My partner and I had great fun making the PowerPoint and using the easy speak microphones and spoke about how a lesson like this would be fun and engaging to use in a classroom with the children guessing what our character might be. The lesson could be extended to the children making their own I am poems using the easy speak poems with their own mystery characters.

As a learner I found the easy speak microphones interactive and engaging to use. I enjoyed recording my voice and hearing the recording play back. Although I did find it time consuming to record each sentence individually, so the recording clips could be placed on individual PowerPoint slides. Also, after we had recorded each sentence individually myself and my partner connected the easy speak microphone to the computer to find our recordings had not saved as the microphones storage was full. As a result, we had to record each sentence again. Despite the setback we learned that before using easy speak microphones in future we should check its storage. Overall, I feel I would use easy speak microphones again particularly as a student teacher in future lessons.

As a student teacher I believe there are many benefits to using easy speak microphones as well as other mobile devices in the primary classroom. Beauchamp spoke on the multiple benefits of introducing mobile technologies into the primary classroom. It was detailed that mobile technologies “increases motivation and engagement with learning” and “reaches places traditional learning cannot” (Beauchamp 2012 p.91). After examining the multiple benefits of mobile technologies, I feel it is vital in todays society that we as student teachers aim to incorporate them into future lessons.  An article by the Telegraph revealed that almost 50% of UK teachers are not using technology in the classroom as they are unsure how to integrate its use into their class lessons. The article spoke on the importance of teachers using technology in the classroom as the government spend millions each year supplying technology to schools as it has been proven to improve learner’s education. Instructure director of schools Stephanie Blyth stated in the article, “There is clearly no lack of enthusiasm for technology among UK teachers and there is broad support for the principle that it improves learning.” (Telegraph 2015).  I feel it is vital to my practice as a student teacher that I educate myself on mobile devices and the ways I could use them in future lessons that are n line with curriculum outcomes. For instance, creating the I am poem in todays lesson is in line with both Literacy and Technology curriculum outcomes:

“I regularly select subject, purpose, format and resources to create texts of my choice.” LIT 1-01a / LIT 2-01a

“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

To conclude, todays lesson informed me on the benefits of using mobile devices in the primary classroom. After my experience of using the easy speak microphones I feel I now have the experience and confidence to successfully integrate the use of mobile devices into future lessons. I look forward to continuing to experiment with mobile devices and using them with young learners as a fun and interactive resource.



Gurney-Read, J (2015). Classroom technology ‘rarely used’ by half of teachers. The Telegraph [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 27th February 2018]

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

Curtis, S (2014). Digital learning: how technology is reshaping teaching. The Telegraph [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 27th February 2018]

Teaching Times. Games consoles benefit children’s education. Teaching Times [ Online]. Available: [Accessed 27th February 2018]


Digital Technologies- Animation (20/2/2018)

This weeks Digital Technologies lesson focused on the use of animation programmes such as ‘Puppet Pals’ and ‘Stop Motion’. Throughout the lesson we looked at the benefits of using animation programmes in the classroom as well as experimenting with animation ourselves from the perception as both the learner and as a student teacher.

The lesson begun with us working in partners and experimenting with ‘Puppet Pals’ as learners. The app allows users to create a short story involving a range of characters from fairy tales to zombies, appealing to every child’s interests. Learners can also move their characters around the screen while using their own voice recordings for their characters voice, bringing their animation to life. As a learner I found the app relatively easy to use and interesting. However, as time progressed I found my mind wandering from the app and the task and therefore I feel the app is best suited to young learners. As a student teacher I can see why young learners would find the app fun and engaging in a lesson.

After our experiment with Puppet Pals we looked closely at what animation is and why we as student teachers should incorporate its use into future lessons. Jarvis defined animation as “the stringing together a sequence of static images, generally so that they appear to move.” (Jarvis 2015 p89). Moving Image Education stated that there are five main types of animation; cutout, stop-motion, pixilation, drawn and computer. Despite acknowledging that cutout animation is the quickest and easiest form, the next task of the lesson focused on stop-motion and the benefits of using this type of animation in the classroom. Stop motion involves the compilation of photographs taken individually with each photo showing a slight movement of the objects in the frame. When grouped together the photos create an illusion of movement.

To begin the task my partner and I discussed the potential storyline for our short Stop motion animation. We settled on the story of a house catching fire as we could use the individual photos to create the illusion of a fire spreading. Once we had settled on the storyline we began to design our background and characters and eventually began taking each individual snapshot which we would later combine to create our animation. Overall, we were very pleased with the outcome of our animation and it was rewarding to see the completed project:


As a learner I found Stop motion to be extremely enjoyable and engaging. Although, the animation was time consuming to construct and required a lot of determination and concentration from the learner, I feel this did not minimize the fun constructing the animation.  I found that in contrast to my experience with Puppet Pals I continued to feel engaged with Stop Motion, despite stop motion being more time consuming.

As a student teacher I feel that I would unnotably integrate the use of animation programmes such as ‘Puppet Pals’ and ‘Stop Motion’ into future lesson plans. After today’s lesson I feel I am now aware of the many benefits of using animation in a primary setting and now have the confidence to successfully construct an enjoyable and educational lesson that involves animation. Beauchamp spoke on the importance of teachers feeling confident while exploring and teaching new technologies as the teacher’s confidence and enjoyment of the lesson is mirrored by the young learners in their class. Therefore, if a teacher showcases their nerves and reluctance to explore new technologies to the children, the children will in turn be unwilling to experiment with new technologies (Beauchamp 2012). In addition, the use of animation in the classroom can be used to enhance children’s learning. Jarvis detailed that although the use of animation can be time consuming, there are many benefits to its use “Animation can have a big visual impact” (Jarvis 2015 p.90). Jarvis also included Bertrancourt’s (2005) suggested ways in which animation can be used to enhance learning; to enhance learners’ visual representations, to illustrate processes and to provide an interactive element.  Furthermore, despite belief that technologies should be kept as a separate subject from the main curriculum areas such as literacy, the use of animation and other technologies can be used to fit into a variety of curriculum outcomes. For example, the lesson we were involved in today followed both Literacy and Technology outcomes:

“I enjoy creating texts of my choice and I regularly select subject, purpose, format and resources to suit the needs of my audience” LIT 1-20a / LIT 2-20a

“I can explore and experiment with sketching, manually or digitally, to represent ideas in different learning contexts.” TCH 1-11a.

To conclude, after today’s lesson I feel animation programmes such as Stop Motion are a beneficial and engaging tool to use in the classroom. I feel after today’s lesson I now have the confidence and knowledge to successfully incorporate animation into future lessons and am hopeful that by doing the children’s knowledge and enjoyment of technology will continue to develop.



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

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