Digital Technologies- Outdoor Learning/QR codes/Module Overview 20/3/18

For our last digital technologies lesson, we focused on the use of technology for outdoor learning specifically the use of QR codes as well as Pic Collage. Prior to today’s lesson I had no previous knowledge of what QR codes were or how to use them. A QR code (Quick Response code) is an image-based hyperlink that can be used as a link to a website, images, text, a map or an audio recording. I had experience of using the Pic Collage app however I would have never considered using it in the classroom setting. This lesson really educated me on the multiple ways I could introduce QR codes and pic collage into future lessons and the many benefits of doing so for my practice and the young learners in my classroom.

The lesson begun with us familiarising ourselves with the Pic collage app and attempting to incorporate the use of all the app features into a collage. As I had previous experience of using the app I found it very easy to navigate and to construct a collage. After this Graham informed us that we would be working outdoors in a QR code cracking task. To complete the task, we had to work within a group using the QR reading app to find scattered QR codes and answer the Scottish based questions in the text attached to the link. It was undeniable that all participants were having fun throughout this task. The task brought out the friendly competitive side in all of us as well as team work. Despite my group being the last to complete the task we all enjoyed working together outdoors in a new and exciting setting.

As a learner using pic collage I found the app very easy to navigate and to use the apps features. I enjoyed taking the pictures of my friends to include in the collage and customising each phot with stickers, text and backgrounds. For the outdoor task, I was excited to start the code cracking treasure hunt and eager to participate in the outdoor learning as when I was in school I had very little experience of it. While participating in the task my group and I remained energetic, engaged and excited to complete the task. I feel this is very important as despite being adults, we were all running around outdoors eager to win the task thus I feel if this is the level of enthusiasm from adults the enthusiasm from children doing this task would be double and therefore we should aim to integrate outdoor learning with QR codes into curriculum lessons.

From the perspective of a student teacher I feel after participating in this lesson as a learner that I must continue to experiment with outdoor learning and QR codes, so I may use them for future lessons. Education Scotland (2010) spoke on the advantages of introducing outdoor learning to young learners “the outdoor environment offers motivating, exciting, different, relevant and easily accessible activities from pre-school years through to college.” As well as these advantages, outdoor learning can also aid children’s personal development through learning problem solving and teamwork. Young learners are also educated on personal safety by being given the responsibility of working outdoors in the community their road safety, respect and sense of stranger danger are tested. Additionally, introducing outdoor learning promotes a healthy lifestyle for young learners by encouraging walking, running, cycling and active play. By introducing outdoor learning to future lessons, I hope to encourage and aid inclusion for all as outdoor learning provides an opportunity for children to showcase new skills they may not be able to show in the classroom.

Furthermore, Learning and teaching Scotland detailed that outdoor learning “provides relevance and depth to the curriculum in ways that are difficult to achieve indoors.” (Learning and Teaching Scotland 2010). Firstly, outdoor learning can be linked to science through outdoor experiments in natural environment as well as social studies lessons through organised field trips.  Additionally, outdoor learning can be linked to health and wellbeing lessons as it encourages children to experiences challenges in the outdoor environment as well as promoting safety. This links to the curriculums SHANARI wheel (wellbeing wheel) which shows how outdoor learning can link to the eight wellbeing indicators: Safe, Healthy, Active, Nurture, Achieving, Responsible, Respect and Included.

Overall after reviewing to the benefits of using QR codes, Pic collage and specifically outdoor learning I feel I must aim to ensure I include these resources in future lessons. After today I am confident and full of ideas of the ways I could link these resources into areas of the curriculum.

In reflection of my time in the Digital technologies class I feel my knowledge and understanding has significantly developed since my first lesson. For my first lesson I barely knew how to navigate my apple mac computer compared to now where I have the experience, knowledge and confidence of using multiple technologies and apps. During my first lesson I rated my knowledge of apps such as Scratch Jr, ActivInspire and Puppet Pals as 1/5 due to having no prior knowledge or experience of using them. However, on our last day we were asked to rate our knowledge of these apps again and this time I chose much higher ratings of 4/5. At the beginning of this module I was naïve to think that technology was used only in the ICT suite, as a reward for good work or to fit only technology curriculum outcomes. However, now I understand that technology can be used as an aid for multiple curriculum lessons and outcomes such as Numeracy, Literacy, Science etc. Finally, over the course of this module my confidence has increased greatly. During the first few lessons I had little to no self-belief that I would be able to understand technology like Programmable Toys and ActivInspire or find the ideas to use them in future lessons. Yet today I feel confident in using all apps I experienced within this module and am full of ideas on how to integrate these apps into future lessons so the young learners in my classroom can experience the educational benefits of technology.


Learning and Teaching Scotland (2010) Curriculum for Excellence Through Outdoor Learning. [Online] Available: [Accessed 20th March 2018]

Education Scotland (2010) Curriculum for Excellence Through Outdoor Learning.

Digital Technologies- Games Based Learning with Minecraft 13/3/18

This weeks Digital Technologies lesson expanded on last weeks introduction to games-based learning. The lesson focused specifically on the benefits of using games such as Minecraft in the children and the impact of doing so on young learners. The lesson involved us firstly reviewing the benefits of using games such as Minecraft in the classroom while acknowledging a variety of opinions. The main task of the lesson involved children from a local primary school, or ‘Digital Learners’, coming to educate us on how to use Minecraft while sharing with us why they thought that using Minecraft in school was effective and necessary.

When the children arrived, we were informed that they would be teaching us how to use Minecraft. When I learned this, I was apprehensive as despite having a brief idea of what Minecraft was, I had no experience of using it and thus was nervous at the idea of being taught it by young children. After we were assigned our group the young girls begun to show us their Minecraft Harry Potter universe that they had created together as a class. It was fascinating to see excited they were when speaking about their creations and how passionate they were about Minecraft. They children were instructed while teaching us to not touch the iPads but instead instruct us with their voices, although we as a group initially struggled with this concept I was surprised by the level of patience the children had with us and how great they were at teaching us.

As a learner with no experience of using Minecraft prior to today’s lesson I struggled to navigate the game initially, despite instructions from the digital leaders I found the game was sensitive to touch and due to this I struggled to construct a building. However, after some persistence I begun to get the hang of it. In my opinion, the ‘design’ feature of the game is by far easier to navigate than the ‘survivor’ mode as in the design feature all of the materials are accessible to you from the start whereas in survival you must kill, dig and find your own materials to survive. In design, children are free to instantly create anything they wish and thus I feel this is the easiest feature to introduce in the classroom.

From the perception of a teacher in training it is understandable why integrating the use of games such as Minecraft into lessons would be beneficial. When I asked the young digital leaders in my group why they feel using games like Minecraft in the classroom would be a good thing they answered because its “engaging” and “it makes learning fun not boring”. As well as conversing with the young digital learners on the benefits of games-based learning I also spoke with their class teacher and asked how she links games like Minecraft into a lesson. She spoke about linking the games with class topic work. For example, the class topic of the children we were working with today is “Harry Potter” and the teacher links this topic work with numeracy, literacy and technology. Todays lesson can be linked with both technology and Expressive Arts curriculum outcomes:

“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

“I have the opportunity to choose and explore a range of media and technologies to create images and objects, discovering their effects and suitability for specific tasks.” EXA 1-02a

As well as curriculum links, todays lesson educated me on the multiple benefits of using games-based learning in the classroom. In today’s society video games, such as Minecraft, are a vital part of youth culture. In 2011 Ofcom reported that around 86% of 5-7 year old children and 90% of 8-11 year old children use gaming devices regularly (Ofcom 2011). Bray (2012) detailed that games-based learning has the best impact on students when it is combined with effective teaching while stating that games should not only be used as a reward in the classroom but as new resource for learning. Thus, if we as student teachers want our young learners to be fully engaged with our lessons in the classroom we must aim to use resources they know and enjoy while expanding our knowledge of gaming and technology. Beauchamp (2012 p.10) spoke on the importance of teacher’s knowledge of the games they are using in the classroom “Achieving particular educational objectives through the use of the game was more dependent upon a teacher’s knowledge of the curriculum with which they were working than it was on their ability with the game.” Therefore, it is vital that aspiring teachers like myself aim to expand my knowledge and experience of using technology and video games that would be beneficial to use in future lessons.

To conclude, after today’s lesson I now feel I have the confidence and knowledge to introduce games-based learning into future lessons. Prior to today’s lesson I wouldn’t have had the knowledge of how to integrate a game such as Minecraft into a lesson however now I feel confident that I can introduce Minecraft into a variety of curriculum lessons. I look forward to continuing to experiment with games-based learning to create engaging, interactive and educational lessons I can use for future lessons.


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

Ofcom (2001). Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes.  [Online]. Available: [Accessed 13th of March 2018]

Bray, O. (2012) Playful Learning: Computer Games in Education. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 13th of March 2018]