Category Archives: Digital Technologies

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]

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.









Digital Technologies- Movie Making 13/2/2018

Todays Digital Technologies lesson focused on the benefits and impact of iMovies in the classroom. The lesson focused on the ways iMovie could be used to promote internet safety. We begun by taking part in a class quiz on internet safety before learning some information on internet safety. Finally, for our assessment task we created our own short films using iMovie that promotes internet safety.

Our assessment task today was centred on the theme of promoting internet safety. My group discussed the many ways we could promote internet safety while highlighting the danger of the internet. Eventually we settled on the idea that our movie, entitled “BEar Safe”, would focus on the issue of people hiding their identity online and that you never know who you might be chatting to online. After this we wrote a quick plan for our movie (see featured image) then divided our group into those who would edit the movie and those who would set up Instagram accounts and set the scenes. In the short iMovie the main character Bear can be seen displaying his personal details on his public Instagram page for example his age, where he lives and his school location. As a result, anyone online can access this information and easily find Bear. As the film progresses we see Bear receive a friend request from Unicorn, a stranger who Bear has never met, and they begin to chat online. The chat soon results in Unicorn asking Bear to meet with Bea becoming sceptical and telling his mother who advises Bear to delete Unicorn and make his account private. The movie ends with the reveal that the Unicorn is in fact a terrifying werewolf who has been posting fake pictures to chat to Bear. I feel our movie gave the important message of internet safety while warning viewers to be mindful of who they are speaking to online and that if they have any worries they should speak to a parent or teacher. I also feel our movie, which won “Best Original Script” at our class Oscars Awards, is relevant to today as it uses popular social media website Instagram to highlight how easily a stranger can access your personal details online.

As a learner, I found the iMovie app fairly difficult to use, the editing process was time consuming however shooting the movie was relatively easy. Despite the process being time consuming myself and my group enjoyed the movie making process. We enjoyed working together as a team to shoot the scenes of the film and edit to create the finalised project.

As a student teacher I feel the iMovie app would be an educational and engaging tool to use in the classroom, specifically as an aid to promoting internet safety amongst young learners. The children could work in groups to create their own short films that showcase the dangers of internet safety as not only would this allow them to have fun and experiment with technology, but it would also inform them of the dangers they are filming. Beauchamp (2012, p.58) discussed internet safety “the key idea [is] that e-safety is not about restricting children, but about educating them.”. In other words, rather than discourage children from using social media and technology we should educate them on the potential dangers they could face. The NSPCC supported this view by stating in their ‘your children’s online world’ guide for parents, “try to strike the right balance between keeping an eye on your child and giving them the independence and freedom to explore” (NSPCC 2015, p.6). They advised parents and careers in their leaflets to take an interest in what their child does online and establish regular conversations with your child about what they do online. In turn your child will be more educated on the dangers of the internet while feeling comfortable to share any concerns they may have.

Additionally, A lesson like the one we took part in today could potentially combine multiple curriculum outcomes such as Technology, Literacy and Health and Wellbeing:

“I understand positive things about friendships and relationships but when something worries or upsets me I know who I should talk to.” HWB 0-44b / HWB 1-44b

“As I listen or watch, I can identify and discuss the purpose, key words and main ideas of the text, and use this information for a specific purpose.” LIT 1-04a

“I can extend my knowledge of how to use digital technology to communicate with others and I am aware of ways to keep safe and secure.” TCH 1-03a

Overall, todays lesson highlighted to me the many ways I might teach a lesson on internet safety besides giving a talk to the class. By using technology resources such as iMovies the children can interact with the lesson and display their ideas on how to stay safe online while absorbing the crucial information they need to stay safe online. As a student teacher I am now confident that I can teach a lesson on internet safety while combining multiple curriculum outcomes and most importantly making it informative an engaging for the children.




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

NSPCC (2015) Your child’s online world: A guide for parents. England.

Digital Technolgies-Mobile Devices/Ebooks 6/2/18


Upon reflection of Digital Technologies week 5 lesson on the use of E-books in the classroom it is clear as to why the use of e-books is becoming increasingly popular in todays society. Firstly, the Oxford dictionary defines e-books as “An electronic version of a printed book which can be read on a computer or a specifically designed handheld device.” (Oxford dictionary). However, despite being aware of the definition of an e-book prior to this lesson, I was not aware of the multiple benefits of e-books. At the beginning of the lesson we gathered into groups to create a mind-map discuss the benefits of e-books before experimenting with E-books and creating our own for the lesson task.




Today’s task begun with us working in groups to create a multimodal brochure advertising student life at UWS.  To do this we had to take photos and videos of the university’s main attractions such as the library and lecture theatres.  We then combined the photos and videos to the text descriptions in the brochure, making it a multimodal text. Despite my group falling short of time to complete the task the activity gave us the experience and confidence of using the Book Creator App that we needed for the assessment task.

The assessment task involved editing a children’s book we had read into a multimodal e-book we could potentially use in a lesson. The book I chose to edit was “Froggy goes to bed!” by Jonathan London.  The book is about Froggy being feeling exhausted from a day of play however when it’s time for bed Froggy finds any excuse not to go to sleep.  After reading this book it is easy to see why children love the book, the book follows a child’s stereotypical bedtime routine of bathing and brushing teeth while adding an abundance of onomatopoeia and adding the comedic element of Froggy always losing his possessions. While editing the book I included questions for the readers to show their understanding of the book such as “use an adjective to describe Froggys mother” (see featured images).  To make my e-book multimodal I included the semiotic systems; linguistic, visual, audio, gestural and spatial.



As a learner I had pervious experience of reading E-books however no experience of creating my own. After watching some YouTube tutorial videos, I found the app and its features easy to use. I enjoyed adding text, drawings, audio and images to my book.

As a student teacher I feel E-books would be an educational and engaging resource to introduce to the classroom.  After using E-books, myself I feel children would have no trouble creating their own e-books and that they would find it fun and engaging. The Scottish Children’s Parliament released a document entitled “A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy” that detailed children’s responses to questions on technology. When asked whether they would like to use digital technology more often for learning and how, many children answered that “this was seen as having the potential to make learning more fun or engaging” and “that accessing iPads or other classroom technology should be seen as the usual/normal thing to do, and not just something offered as a reward or part of Golden Time” (Scottish Children’s Parliament 2016). Additionally, the use of e-books provides children with an unlimited range of stories to choose from. Therefore, they are no longer restricted to the same books from their classroom library and in turn their literacy skills will continue to develop as they read new and exciting texts. Also, the use of e-books can result in the learner feeling more engaged with the text they are reading through its multi-modality. Lots of e-books now have engaging features such as sound and pictures to encourage the child to interact more with the story. For educators, e-books supply a helping hand to children who may struggle to read as there is a feature enables the learner to have the book read to them aloud, meaning they no longer must wait for the help of the teacher if they are struggling to read the text themselves.

In addition, e-books provide a classroom the opportunity to incorporate 21st century technology into lessons. Children in today’s society are heavily familiar with the use of technology such as I-pads and smartphones hence why they are considered ‘digital natives’ (Beauchamp 2012) as they are surrounded by it every day thus they are more likely to be excited to use technology that they use in their home life than they are to read a book. Beauchamp (2012) spoke on the implications this may have on a classroom as with more and more children becoming ‘digital natives’ it is likely that children have greater experience in the use of technology than their teacher does. Therefore, it is vital that we as student teachers expand our experience and knowledge of using technology to keep up with the digital age.

Furthermore, E-books can be used in line with multiple Curriculum for Excellence outcomes. For example, I feel my e-book would be a good asset to a lesson that is in line with the Technology and English areas of the curriculum:

“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 show my understanding, I can respond to different kinds of questions and other close reading tasks and I am learning to create some questions of my own.”     ENG 1-17

To conclude, todays lessons on e-books developed my understanding on the importance and impact of using e-books in the classroom. I now feel I have the skills and confidence to progress with using e-books to develop my ideas on the ways I could incorporate the use of e-books into future lessons. I look forward to introducing e-books into future lessons as I feel they will be a fun and interactive asset to many lessons within the curriculum.



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

Children’s Parliament Consultation (2016) A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland: The Views of Children. [Online] Available: . [Accessed on 6 February 2018]


Digital Technologies- Coding/Scratch Jr (30/1/2018)

This week our Digital Technology module introduced Coding programmes, specifically focusing on Scratch Jr. Scratch Jr is a programme that allows children to create their own interactive stories and activities. They can make their chosen characters move, interact and sing to bring their story to life. Prior to today’s lesson I had no knowledge of Scratch Jr or the impact it can have on children’s learning throughout a lesson. I feel that many teachers particularly student teachers such as myself would feel reluctant to introduce fun technology games into a class lessons from fear of losing the children’s attention and causing too much excitement that it would be difficult to recover from. However, throughout the class we studied the benefits of using Scratch Jr in the classroom while acknowledging the opinions and views of educators as well as the curriculum and I learned that this might not be the case. As well as this I got to experience using the Scratch Jr app from the perception of a first time learning and as a student teacher in training.

Today’s lesson involved using Scratch Jr to create our own story that we could use as a lesson. I chose to base my story on a baby pig named ‘Bella’ who on her birthday wishes to go swimming in the ocean. After being told by her parents that pigs cannot swim she enlists the help of her friend ‘Froggy’ to help make her wish come true. My story ends with both Bella and Froggy jumping into the ocean without indicating the outcome. I chose to leave my story on a cliff-hanger as during today’s lesson we looked at how educators can use Scratch Jr in a literacy lesson with Scratch Jr being used as an introductory activity for story writing. Therefore, by leaving my story on a cliff-hanger I am providing an aid to the children who struggle with their imagination by showing them an example of the beginning of a story while providing learners with the opportunity to continue the story and add on characters, use imagery, describe the ocean setting and develop the plot.

As a learner using Scratch Jr for the first time I found the app relatively easy to navigate and use.  I enjoyed the apps features of making my character move while using the audio feature to give my character a voice. I found the app interactive, engaging and inspiring my creative thought.

From the perception of a student teacher I feel Scratch Jr is an interesting and enjoyable app that has many benefits for young learners.  Firstly, it is the opinion of some that coding is the new literacy and while I feel that this statement is far-fetched I understand that learning the skill of coding is largely beneficial for learners. It is important today that we teach children from a young age the skills to comfortably use code computer programmes as the use of coding is becoming increasingly popular in today’s schools. The lead project reiterated this point as they spoke of the vital skills young learners may acquire from using Scratch Jr. “They are learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively – essential skills for success and happiness in today’s world.” (Lead Project 2014). Thus, by teaching children these vital skills coding programmes such as Scratch Jr provides children access to specific careers “Gaming companies want more programmers. The government wants more high-tech start-ups. Manufacturers want trainees who can design embedded systems” (Naughton, 2011, p2).  Therefore, after acknowledging these points it is apparent as to why coding is a valuable component of literacy in modern society.

Jr can be used in line with a variety of Curriculum outcomes. For example, my lesson followed the curriculum outcomes for both First and Second level of ICT to enhance learning and First level tools for writing:

“I explore 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 contexts.” TCH 1-04a / TCH 2-04a

“I can present my writing in a way that will make it legible and attractive for my reader, combining words, images and other features.” LIT 1-24a

Upon reflection on today’s lesson of using Scratch Jr I feel the programme is easy and enjoyable to use and a programme that I would consider using as a resource for future lessons. I feel the programme is an undoubtedly beneficial and engaging resource for children of various levels and that there is a range of ways I could use Scratch Jr in future lessons to enhance children’s literacy and digital literacy. Therefore, I am eager to continue experimenting with the Scratch Jr programme as an aspiring student teacher to further improve my skills of using the programme and inspire my ideas for future lessons.



The Lead Project (2014) Super Scratch Programming Adventure: Learn to Program by Making Cool Games! No Starch Press.

Naughton, N. (2012) Why all our kids should be taught how to code. [The Guardian/Observer Online] Available:  [Accessed 30 January 2018]

Digital Technologies- Multimodality/ActivInspire 23/1/18


This week the Digital Technology model focused on interactivity and multimodality, specifically on the importance and impact of ActivInspire in the classroom. A text may be called multimodal when it features two or more modes of communication such as image, sounds, written language etc. These modes can be described formally as semiotic systems, there are five systems which can turn a text into a multimodal text: Linguistic, Visual, Audio, Gestural, Spatial. The use of these semiotic systems in a lesson can result in the educational content becoming more engaging for the learner as it allows them to understand and interact with the lesson through hands on learning. During todays lesson we reviewed the benefits and impact of introducing multimodality into the classroom through apps such as ActivInspire while creating our own ActivInspire lesson.

During the class we got to experiment with ActivInspire by designing a lesson that incorporated the use of Activinspire into a literacy or numeracy lesson. Myself and my partner chose to use ActivInspire as an introduction activity for a literacy lesson, specifically as an aid to help children with their creative writing. Our activity challenged the young learners to work together as a class to construct a fictional piece of text based on an imaginary day in the jungle while using imagery such as similes to describe the animals they encountered. We planned on engaging with the children by asking each volunteer to come to the board and select an animal they wished to include in their story while asking them to provide an appropriate simile or adjective to describe their chosen animal. After all animals have been chosen our activity would progress to constructing sentences with the whole class designing an opening sentence for their story. This would provide the children with examples of adjectives they could use to in their own stories while supporting them with the opening sentences to inspire their thought process.

As a learner using ActivInspire for the first time I feel it is a difficult application to use. Before using ActivInspire I watched multiple YouTube tutorials on how to navigate the app and use its features however I feel even after watching the time-consuming tutorials I still struggled to use the app. Thus, I feel ActivInspire is not an app I would have young children using alone but perhaps as an aid for a lesson perhaps a smartboard activity for the whole class as we had designed in our lesson task.

From the perception of a student teacher in training I feel that ActivInspire would be an effective aid for classroom lessons as they have multiple benefits and a significant impact on young learners. Hands on learning allows children to absorb the educational content more effectively as they are physically engaging with the lesson. Educator Janice Prandstatter spoke on the impact of interactive displays in early learning on an online article ““Touch displays can become a social learning tool encouraging hands-on experiences, thereby helping children to learn by doing.” (Prandstatter 2014). Thus, it is important in education to always strive to maintain your learners’ attention and aim to encourage their interaction with the activity or learners will switch off from the lesson and not learn anything. Beauchamp spoke on the importance of using multimodality in the classroom and the impact of its use on children’s understanding “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.” (Beauchamp, 2012, p.8). Ergo, it is apparent that if I wish to develop my knowledge of digital technology to further develop my practice I must experiment with ActivInspire and other multimodal technologies to enhance my experience that I can incorporate with future lessons.

Additionally, ActivInspire can be used to support multiple curriculum outcomes. For example, we based our ActivInspire activity around the Curriculum for Excellence guidelines, specifically Literacy and Technology outcomes:

“Throughout the writing process, I can check that my writing makes sense.” LIT 1-23a

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

To conclude after my research and trial of Activinspire in today’s lesson I feel it is a teaching software I would consider using as a tool for future lessons.  I feel it would be a great asset to use as an introduction for lessons such as creative writing or addition and subtraction lessons. However, I personally feel the ActivInspire activity can take a long time to prepare thus I would be unlikely to include the activity in everyday lessons. Nevertheless, due to their multiple benefits they can have on a child’s learning it is important as a student teacher that I focus on incorporating the use of ActivInspire into future lessons.


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

Prandstatter, J (2014). Interactive Displays in Early Years Classes.[Online] Available: . [Accessed: 23 January 2018)

Digital Technologies- Programmable Toys 16/1/2018

As part of our second lesson of the digital literacy module we explored the use of programmable toys in education and the many benefits of its use. The use of programmable toys was first introduced to education in the 1960s when the programme Logo was created. The game allowed children to learn very complex programming in an entertaining and engaging way. However, since the 1960s the use of technology in the classroom has continued to rapidly increase. Beauchamp, G provides evidence to this statement ” the walls of the classroom and the home have been expanded by social media, the cloud, wikis, podcasts, video- conferencing etc”. (Beauchamp, G. 2017, p.2) Thus, with the ever-growing popularisation of technology in society and in education it is vital to myself as a student teacher to continue to educate myself on the ways I might incorporate the use of programmable toys into future lessons and the benefits that I will see when doing so.

The programmable toy we focused on throughout the lesson was Bee-Bot. The lesson begun with us reviewing the advantages and benefit of using programmable toys such as Bee-Bots in the classroom and the impact of doing so on young learners. After this we turned to the lesson task where all students were instructed to design an activity for young learners that incorporated the use of Bee-Bots with a numeracy lesson as well as following other curriculum outcomes. My group designed a treasure hunt game (see attached photos) which challenged learners to take their Bee-bot on their boat one space at a time to find the treasure while answering questions on the 3 times table, they may only progress if the answer is right as each card with an answer that instructs them where to go next.

As a learner using Bee-Bots for the first time in the task we created I found them to be fun and interactive. It presented the learner (myself and other members of my group) with the challenge of moving the Bee-Bot around while encouraging our problem-solving skills by presenting the task of finding the treasure.  It also provided us as the learners with full control over our learning while instantly showing us if we were right or wrong in our direction of the Bee-Bot.

From the perception of a student teacher I feel it was be greatly beneficial to introduce programmable toys and Bee-Bots into future class lessons. After today’s lesson I feel the use of programmable toys in the classroom has multiple advantages for both educators and learners. Programmable toys encourage interactive responsive learning which heightens the learners understanding and enjoyment of the activity while allowing both learner and teacher to clearly identify instantly if the learner understands the activity. Educator Alison Lydon detailed her thoughts and findings after she introduced Bee-Bots during a lesson, she wrote that the children “gained independence faster than I anticipated. Twelve out of twenty-eight were able to use the Bee-Bot without any adult help after the initial instructions.” (Lydon, 2008, p.2). In addition, Bee-Bot as well as other programmable toys can be linked with multiple curriculum outcomes and lessons such as literacy and numeracy. The National Centre for Technology in Education found that the use of floor robots in classrooms contributed to the development of the children’s skills such as ” logical sequencing, measuring, comparing lengths, space orientation and expressing concepts in words”. (2012, p.1). Our task we created today follows the Curriculum for Excellence Technology and Numeracy outcomes:

” I can explore and experiment with digital technologies and can use what I learn to support and enhance my learning in different contexts” as it encourages the young learners to practice their math skills while also familiarising them directions such as north, south, east and west.”- TCH-101a

“I can use addition, subtraction, multiplication and division when solving problems, making best use of the mental strategies and written skills I have developed.”- MNU 1-03a

Prior to the lesson I had no knowledge of programmable toys or their significant impact on education and was not educated on the many ways Bee-Bots could be used in numeracy and literacy lessons.  However, after completing the lesson, I feel I have gained the knowledge and skills to use programmable toys when appropriate to enhance my learners’ enjoyment and understanding of the content I am teaching.


Beauchamp, G (2017) Computing and ICT in the primary school : from pedagogy to practice. Second Edition. Abingdon, Oxon; New York: Routledge.

Lydon, A (2008) ICTopus Article – Sharing Good Practice: Robots in Early Education. [Online] Available: [Accessed: 16 January 2018]

National centre for Technology in Education (2012). NCTE ICT in the Classroom: Floor robots- focus on literacy & numeracy lessons (Primary). [Online] Available: [Accessed: 16 January 2018]