Module Overview.

Prior to beginning BA1 course, we were asked to choose our option modules for trimester two. I had little knowledge of what was involved within the digital technologies module however, I am so thankful that this was the module I had chosen. I have thoroughly enjoyed myself over the last twelve weeks, alongside this I have learned and explored many different lessons I could use in my own practice. Through this module, I have come to realise the importance of digital technologies within Scotland’s curriculum in 2018.

Throughout this module, we fully delved into the curriculum, explored the experiences and outcomes and created our own lessons plans. I am really looking forward to using these plans within my own practice in the near future.

Before starting this module, I believed that I already had sufficient knowledge of digital technologies. However, my knowledge has increased significantly and I believe that I am now fully confident to use every device that we have explored throughout the past twelve weeks. The knowledge that I have gained  will allow me to ensure that lessons I carry out will be fun, engaging and educational.

Through reading, I had come to realise that many educators have feelings of nerves and anxiety towards digital technologies and using them within the classroom. However, a main lesson that I had learned throughout this module is that you can allow the children to be the educators and teach you how to use these technologies and include these within lessons. I am so thankful to have completed this module as I believe that I can now successfully implement technologies within lessons and the children will take away learning experiences which will last a lifetime.

Digital technologies allows for educators to create cross-curricular activities thus, enhancing and extending on prior learning. Overall, with the help of this module, I now understand the importance of digital technologies within the 21st century and has allowed for me to be creative when making plans for lessons.

Thank you.

Digital Technologies Week 11.

Today’s focus was centred around the use of QR codes within outdoors lessons. We explored the QR Scanner and Pic Collage applications. Alongside this, we considered the benefits of outdoor learning.

“Outdoor learning experiences are often remembered for a lifetime. Integrating learning and outdoor experiences […] provides relevance and depth to the curriculum in ways that are difficult to achieve indoors”, this excerpt from Education Scotland (2010), clearly identifies the long-lasting benefits that outdoor learning provides for children. They further go on to state that the outdoor environment provides children with several different experiences and that outdoor learning is believed to be; motivating, exciting, different, relevant and easily accessible.

Outdoor learning provides students with the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge about a subject area that they may be struggling with. For example, a child may be struggling with problem solving in the classroom however, once the activities go outdoors this can often spark children’s skills. Thus, they are problem solving often without realising they are doing so. From this, the child could end up being a group leader and encouraging their peers, which may not have occurred otherwise.

After discussing the advantages of outdoor learning we moved on to link SHANARRI with outdoor learning. There are eight different aspects to the SHANARRI wheel which are as follows;

  • Safe
  • Healthy
  • Active
  • Nurture
  • Achieving
  • Responsible
  • Respect
  • Included

Myself and my partner considered how respect can relate to the outdoors and children in our classroom. From outdoor learning, children gain respect for the land/environment, people, animals and property. Alongside this, children feel respected due to being provided with trust and responsibility.

In the practical side of today’s lesson, we started by exploring the Pic Collage application. We were asked to create a themed collage, my collage was of my friend. We then discussed how to use the QR Code application and how to create QR codes for ourselves. Afterwards, we went outdoors as our lecturer had set up a QR code activity for us to complete, the activity was with regards to the social subject topic of Scotland. We had to scan the code and answer the question. For every question, we were then given a letter, at the end we had to look at all the letters and guess the word that it made. In this case, the word was “haggis”. Alongside doing this activity, we were given a second iPad to take pictures throughout and we created another collage using these pictures.

Upon arrival back to class, we were then given the opportunity to create our own QR code lesson. Myself and my partner based our around the science topic of mini beasts (Question sheet attached). This lesson is aimed for early level classes and the outcomes for this lesson are as follows;

  • I have observed living things in the environment over time and am becoming aware of how they depend on each other. SCN 0-01a.
  • I can explore digital technologies and use what I learn to solve problems and share ideas and thoughts. TCH 0-01a.
  • In movement, games, and using technology I can use simple directions and describe positions. MTH 0-17a.

QR CODE CRACKER

I am very excited to use this method of teaching whilst out in schools, I believe this is a fun and interesting was to engage children whilst they are learning. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience personally and I believe my classes will too. Overall, I think this is a great cross-curricular activity.

References

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

Digital Technologies Week 10.

This week’s session was a continuation on from last week’s “Games based learning” input. The focus of today however, was not on Mario Kart but Minecraft within the classroom.

A report created by Ofcom (2011) states that within the United Kingdom, almost 86% of five to seven-year-old children and 90% of eight to eleven-year-old children are using gaming devices regularly. I found these figures quite staggering as I had not fully realised the impact to what gaming is having upon the newest generation of children. Based on this, it is accurate to assert that gaming should be within schools if children are so fascinated by this type of technology. Not only will children be engaged whilst playing these devices, they are gaining life skills which are necessary for their future careers as adults. Furthermore, Ofcom also state that computer games are firmly embedded within the 21st century. Thus, through the evidence provided, teachers and educators should be ensuring that they are also firmly embedding these types of consoles into the curriculum, as they are arguably going to play a significant part to many children’s lives in the future of the 21st century.

Whilst discussing the impact of games in education, Bray (2012), constructed a table of what is involved in games and the outcomes children gain from them;

  • Games are a form of play, which provides children with feelings of intensity and involvement.
  • Games are a form of fun, which provides children with enjoyment and pleasure.
  • Games have rules, which gives children structure.
  • Games often have a final goal, which gives children motivation to complete the game.
  • Problem solving is a feature of most games thus, sparking creativity within our children.
  • Games have storylines throughout and can encourage children’s emotions.
  • Within games, interaction is a key feature therefore, encouraging and developing children’s social skills.
  • Games always provide outcomes and feedback, which provides children with significant learning experiences.

Because of this, there is sufficient evidence of the benefits of games based learning within today’s classrooms if the technology is used within the correct context. Furthermore, Bray agrees with this by stating “Games based learning has the most transformation impact when it is combined with good learning and teaching”. Beauchamp is another supporter of technology within the classroom and agrees with Bray by stating, “in recent years, interest has grown considerably in the potential for play to form the basis of learning”.

It can be argued that there is a lot of apprehension and anxiety amongst teachers with regards to digital technologies due to feeling like they do not have sufficient knowledge on this area. Stephen Reid (2016) agrees that there has been a ‘difficult history’ around games based learning, due to teachers feeling threatened that children are more experienced with technology than themselves. These feelings should not be shut away but should be embraced by teachers. Due to many educators feeling intimidated by children having extensive knowledge of games consoles, they should learn from the children and that is what we did in today’s class.

Pupils from a local primary school had come in to visit our class for the morning, they exhibited their work from the game, Minecraft. Alongside this, they taught us how to play the game. I found this experience very enjoyable and pleasant as the children could be the educators for once. It was clear that the children had also thoroughly enjoyed this experience as they left with very smiley faces. They informed us that their current project on Minecraft was based around their topic of Harry Potter and they had created the Hogwarts school and Hogsmeade.

Upon my attempt at playing the game, I struggled at first as I did not know what to do however, the children were very supportive and by the end of the session, I had managed to create my very own house with two levels in it.

Once considering lesson possibilities of this game, I had concluded of four other areas. For example, the game can be used for topics including; Ancient Greece, Titanic, Egyptians and Romans. With Ancient Greece, the children can incorporate literacy and digital technologies i.e. reading one of the ancient stories then recreating the scenery as they had imagined it in their mind using the game. Another example is using Minecraft to teach about the Titanic, children can use the game to create what they imagine the cabins may look like in the boat, this then provides a stimulus for them to write a diary entry and describe what their room looks like. Furthermore, Egyptian and Roman architecture can be explored using this game as children can attempt to create their own pyramids or coliseums.

I have identified several Experiences and Outcomes in relation to this subject area and are as follows;

  • I can convey information, describe events, explain processes or combine ideas in different ways. LIT 2-28a
  • I have the opportunity to choose and explore an extended range of media and technologies to create images and objects, comparing and combining them for specific tasks. EXA 2-02a
  • I can create and present work that shows developing skill in using the visual elements and concepts. EXA 2-03a
  • Through observing and recording from my experiences across the curriculum, I can create images and objects which show my awareness and recognition of detail. EXA 2-04a
  • Inspired by a range of stimuli, I can express and communicate my ideas, thoughts and feelings through activities within art and design. EXA 0-05a / EXA 1-05a / EXA 2-05a
  • I can extend and enhance my design skills to solve problems and can construct models. TCH 2-09a

There are endless opportunities that this game provides and I am extremely excited to use this within my own practice in the future.

References

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

Bray, O. (2012) Playful Learning: Computer Games in Education [Online] Available from: https://www.slideshare.net/Microsofteduk/playful-learning-computer-games-in-education [Accessed: 2.3.18].

Ofcom (2001), Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes [Online] Available from: https://www.slideshare.net/Microsofteduk/playful-learning-computer-games-in-education [Accessed: 15th March 2018].

Stephen Reid (2016) Teachers Experience Games-Based Learning at Minecraft Launch [Online] Available from: http://futurescot.com/educators-encouraged-open-minds-possibilities-games-based-learning/  [Accessed: 15th March 2018].

Digital Technologies Week 9.

The objective of today’s digital technologies session placed its focus upon games based learning within the classroom.

The Higher Education Academy website states that digital games-based learning is “the integration of gaming into learning experiences to increase engagement and motivation”.

At the beginning of the session we were asked to consider reasons as to why games-based learning is a vital tool to use within educational establishments, my partners and I provided examples such as:

  • Games based learning is exciting for children thus, increasing their motivation to learn.
  • Easy to use across the curriculum.
  • Increases children’s fine motor skills, for example, hand and eye co-ordination.
  • Alongside fine motor skills, games based learning also develops social skills for example, communication and planning.

Jean Piaget and Leonard Vygotsky both studied play and considered the effects it has upon children’s development. The findings of both of these theorists appear to agree with one-another and both claim that play is vital for children’s cognitive development. Based on this, it is accurate to assert that play can in fact improve an individual’s cognitive development from the beginning of their life right through until adulthood (Higher Education Academy, 2017). Thus, through the evidence provided, it is clear that play holds an importance within our classrooms, which arguably shows why teachers should include games-based learning within lessons.

“Like novels, films, plays and other media, games can be high quality materials a teacher uses to enable students to access the curriculum.” (Farber, 2016) This statement advocates the use of digital technologies for learning as it provides both pupil and educator with high quality learning materials and skills for life. It is important for educators to incorporate games into lessons as it allows for children to delve into their education and the curriculum alongside having fun.

For the practical side of today’s input, we were asked to consider how we could use the Nintendo Wii, with specific focus on Mario Kart, as a stimulus for learning. With such games, there are several teaching possibilities with regards to literacy, mathematics, art and music. Teachers may wish to focus on literacy and can ask the children to produce their own storyline for the game, which allows for practice on spelling, grammar and punctuation. For a mathematics lesson, the educator can ask the children to create price lists for the Mario Kart event, price lists may be created for merchandise and/or tickets for the event. Alongside this, the children can calculate profit and loss from sales. Furthermore, to incorporate art into this lesson, the class can create their own race track, design characters or create their very own tickets for the event. Finally, the educator can ask the children to use music apps on the iPad or classroom instruments to recreate the theme tune for the game.

There are a number of Experiences and Outcomes linked with these activities and are as follows;

  • I can use my notes and other types of writing to help me understand information and ideas, explore problems, make decisions, generate and develop ideas or create new text. I recognise the need to acknowledge my sources and can do this appropriately. LIT 2-25a
  • I can use the terms profit and loss in buying and selling activities and can make simple calculations for this. MNU 2-09c
  • Through observing and recording from my experiences across the curriculum, I can create images and objects which show my awareness and recognition of detail. EXA 2-04a
  • I can use my voice, musical instruments and music technology to experiment with sounds, pitch, melody, rhythm, timbre and dynamics. EXA 2-17a

Having played this game myself as a child, I believe I have sufficient knowledge of Mario Kart. I think this will be an effective teaching tool within the classroom as the children will be extremely engaged in their learning whilst playing and having fun. I look forward to incorporating Mario Kart into lessons in the near future.

References

Higher Education Academy (2017) Gamification and Games-Based Learning [Online] Available from: https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/gamification-and-games-based-learning [Accessed: 6 March 2018]

Matthew Farber (2016) Three ways to use game based learning [Online] Available from: https://www.edutopia.org/article/3-ways-use-game-based-learning-matthew-farber [Accessed: 6 March 2018]

Digital Technologies Week 8.

The purpose of this weeks session was to use mobile devices to create a poetry lesson for the curricular area of literacy. The mobile device that we used was the Easi-Speak microphone. Alongside this, we considered the impact of mobile devices within the classroom and we were able to read articles with regards to this topic.

Whilst carrying out reading for the subject of mobile devices, I found a statement that really grasped my attention that “over four in 10 households now have a tablet, meaning that children are becoming computer-literate before they’ve even started school”. This statement emphasises the importance of digital technologies within our classrooms, digital technologies is the future of this generation of children and teachers should be embracing this rather than holding back. The fact that children are computer-literate prior to starting school clearly shows a deep interest of digital technologies from them. Thus, if we use digital technologies to carry out lessons, most children should be very engaged. The same article also stated that the average six-year-old child may have the same knowledge of technology as a 45-year-old once again, this is clearly depicting the importance of digital technologies in a child’s everyday life (Curtis, 2014).

As we progressed on to the practical part of today’s session, we were shown Talking-Tins and Easi-Speak microphones. However, the sole focus was to learn the functions of the Easi-Speak device, use the device then successfully transfer the files into a PowerPoint presentation. We were provided with poem templates for an ‘I am’ poem, I worked alongside a partner and we decided to do the poem from the perspective of a student teacher (Attached below). We then recorded ourselves reciting the poem with the Easi-Speak microphone. We took the approach of saying one line each, the poem had 18 lines in total. The device was simplistic to use and I believe that it is child-friendly and for all ages. We then transferred the audio clips into a PowerPoint presentation and added pictures that corresponded to what we were saying.

Elise and Nicola’s I am Poem

Whilst looking at the Experiences and Outcomes, this activity had linked in with several literacy outcomes including:

  • Within real and imaginary situations, I share experiences and feelings, ideas and information in a way that communicates my message. LIT 0-26a
  • By considering the type of text I am creating, I can select ideas and relevant information, organise these in a logical sequence and use words which will be interesting and/or useful for others. LIT 1-26a
  • By considering the type of text I am creating, I can select ideas and relevant information, organise these in an appropriate way for my purpose and use suitable vocabulary for my audience. LIT 2-26a

Due to poetry fitting the outcomes for all three stages within the Curriculum, I believe that this lesson can be taken into any classroom and used as a means of getting to know your students at the start of the year. The children are able to be very unique with what they submit and I believe that this will give them a high sense of achievement when writing about themselves. Personally, I am aiming to use this lesson in my BA2 placement to get to know my class better.

References

Curtis, S. (2014) Digital Learning: how technology is reshaping teaching [Online] Available from: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/11051228/Digital-learning-how-technology-is-reshaping-teaching.html [Accessed: 27th February 2018].

Digital Technologies Week 7.

The subject of this weeks class was to learn about and use the iStop Motion application on the iPads to create a scene from our own made up stories.

We discussed how the use of digital technologies can allow children to fully delve into literacy. For example, you may ask a child to write a story and they might not be able to create a stimulus and therefore they would struggle. However, with the introduction of applications like iStop Motion, children can often create imaginative stories instantaneously without even realising that they are doing so. Beauchamp (2012, p.54) similarly states that ICT allows pupils to “achieve something that would be very difficult or even impossible to achieve in any other way.”

When creating iStop Motion animations, Moving Image Education states that there are 5 main types of animation, these are as follows;

  1. Cutout
  2. Stop Motion – For example, plasticine
  3. Pixillation – Where humans become puppets
  4. Drawn – For example, classic disney
  5. Computer

The scene that my partner and I created consisted of a family of aliens visiting Earth for the day and the father being bumped from a falling apple on the tree overhead. We created our scene from a paper background and our characters were made out of plasticine. We decided to challenge ourselves by using cutout animation and pixillation animation however, this proved to be quite time consuming as it took us one hour to create a 6 second video. Moving Image Education believes that you should start easy then work up to using harder animation techniques, “animating in the classroom doesn’t have to be with plasticine models – cutout animation is by far the easiest technique to start on.”

I believe that this application can be used for a long-term lesson plan, where in which every day or week, the children can add to their stories by creating more scenes. Over time, the teacher can introduce the five different animation types and this will fully allow the children to explore their understanding of the application whilst gaining enriching life skills.

my partner and I  associated this activity with the first level in the CfE:

“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”

Thus, the child can create multimodal texts with regards to such subjects like literacy. Therefore, they are enhancing their knowledge in literacy through the use of digital technologies.

To end this weeks blog, I am going to leave a quote from the Children’s Parliament which emphasises the importance of movie making within the classroom:

“Making movies was important to most of the children. They wanted the opportunity to remember things and create their  own content to share.” (Children’s Parliament, 2016).

References

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

Children’s Parliament (2016) A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland: The View’s of Children [Online] Available from: http://www.childrensparliament.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/REPORT_digital-learning-consultation_Childrens-Parliament-1.pdf [Accessed: 20 February 2018].

›Moving Image Education website: [Online] Available from: https://movingimageeducation.org/create-films/animation [Accessed 20 February 2018].

 

Digital Technologies Week 6.

The focus of this input was to learn how to create iMovies, which, we as student teachers can take into the classroom with us. Once we understood how to use the application, we were then asked to create iMovies to encourage internet safety.

Beauchamp (2012, p.58) discusses internet safety and states that “…the key idea [is] that e-safety is not about restricting children, but about educating them.” In other words, children should be encouraged to go online and use technologies. However, when they are online, they should be aware of the dangers of accepting and communicating with people that they do not know. He further states that schools with effective e-safety standards will have pupils who know exactly what to do if they feel that they are not safe online. Furthermore, a document created by the Children’s Parliament investigated children’s views of digital technologies within school, the research found that children knew to inform their parents or other adults if they did not feel safe online. The document further states that children had also received sufficient information and guidance around the issue of internet safety from parents, teachers, police officers and ChildLine (Children’s Parliament, 2016).

The Scottish Government states, “digital technologies appear to be appropriate means to improve basic literacy and numeracy skills, especially in primary settings.” Thus, showing the importance and usefulness of digital technologies within classrooms in the 21st century. 

The iMovie that we created was centred around the story of Shrek. The movie started with Princess Fiona sleeping and is awoken by a text from a stranger. The stranger tells her that he is “Prince Charming” however, the stranger is actually Shrek. The stranger then says that he will come and save her from the castle. The movie then shows a clip of Shrek and Donkey on their way to the castle. Once they arrive in the princess’s room, she realises that Shrek is not Prince Charming. The overall message of the movie is that you shouldn’t communicate with people that you do not know as anyone could be behind the screen.

I have associated this task with the first level of the CfE, the experiences and outcomes are as follows;

  • 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.
  • 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

Overall, I found this task to be very fun and exciting. I enjoyed creating our own masks and costumes for the characters. We used the iPads to record our clips and we inserted these clips into our movie. I will definitely be taking this into the classroom because I believe that this is a fun way to ensure children gain knowledge of how to be safe online.

References

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

Children’s Parliament (2016) A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland: The View’s of Children. [Online] Available from: http://www.childrensparliament.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/REPORT_digital-learning-consultation_Childrens-Parliament-1.pdf [Accessed: 13 February 2018].

›The Scottish Government (2015) Literature Review on the Impact of Digital Technology on Learning and Teaching.  [Online] Available from: http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/24843/1/00489224.pdf [Accessed: 13 February 2018].

Digital Technologies Week 5.

This weeks class was to use the Book Creator app on the iPad to create a teaching tool and discuss the benefits of using this within the classroom.

The principles and practices of literacy and English, created by Education Scotland, states that the most effective ways to teach literacy and English is by providing “frequent opportunities to communicate in a wide range of contexts.” (Education Scotland, n.d., a). A multimodal text features 5 semiotic systems: gestural, audio, visual, spatial and linguistic thus, covering a wide range of contexts. Alongside this, the document states that there should be “the appropriate and effective use of ICT”, which can be gained from using multimodal texts within the classroom.

There are a number of advantages to using multimodal texts during school time. (Education Scotland, n.d., b) states that ICT in school helps to raise attainment and achievement, closing the gap between the advantaged and disadvantaged and thus, providing them with the skills for the digitally advancing world that awaits them. In the principles and practices document for Technologies it states “[children] establish firm foundations for lifelong learning and, for some, for specialised study and a diverse range of careers.” (Education Scotland, n.d., c). This statement helps to emphasise the importance of digital technologies in the classroom as many children will need these skills for their future careers.

The teaching tool that I had created during today’s session was based around “The cat in the hat”. As the teacher and class progress through the e-Book, they are exposed to many semiotic systems in which this multimodal text involves. The children will be asked to identify rhyming and repeated words, use adjectives and respond to the text.

The areas of the CfE that surrounds this teaching tool are for first level and are as follows;

  • 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 1-17a
  • Using digital technologies responsibly I can access, retrieve and use information to support, enrich or extend learning in different contexts.           TCH 1-02a

     

References

Education Scotland (n.d., a) Curriculum for Excellence: literacy and English, principles and practice [Online]. Available from: https://education.gov.scot/Documents/literacy-english-pp.pdf [Accessed: 6 February 2018].

Education Scotland (n.d., b) Technologies in Curriculum for Excellence [Online]. Available from: https://education.gov.scot/parentzone/learning-in-scotland/curriculum-areas/Technologies%20in%20Curriculum%20for%20Excellence [Accessed: 6 February 2018].

Education Scotland (n.d., c) Curriculum for Excellence: technologies, principles and practice [Online]. Available from: https://education.gov.scot/Documents/technologies-pp.doc [Accessed: 6 February 2018].

 

Digital Technologies Week 4.

Today’s session was an introduction to the use of Scratch Jr in the classroom. Scratch Jr is aimed at children aged five and above to create interactive games, animations and stories.

The Lead Project (2014) stated, “As young people create Scratch projects, they are not just learning how to write computer programs. They are learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively – essential skills for success and happiness in today’s world”. From this, the benefits of coding programs are exhibited. Alongside having a fun lesson on the iPads, children are gaining skills which they will require later in life in the adult world. Furthermore, this organisation also believe that Scratch Jr is a key tool for a teacher as they can use this application for a number of lessons including: English, mathematics, music, information technology and art & design (The Lead Project, 2014).

The lesson that I created today was aimed for the early level within the Curriculum for Excellence. The lesson was based on phonics and the “oo” sound. The Experiences and Outcomes that I have highlighted for this lesson are as follows;

  • I explore sounds, letters and words, discovering how they work together, and I can use what I learn to help me as I read or write. ENG 0-12a / LIT 0-13a / LIT 0-21a
  • I am developing problem-solving strategies, navigation and co-ordination skills, as I play and learn with electronic games, remote control or programmable, I can work individually or collaboratively to design and implement a game toys. TCH 0-09a / TCH 1-09a

To introduce the lesson to the children, we will sit as a group and I will show them that the characters are looking for phonics with the “oo” sound. We will then progress on to the next slide which asks the children to identify the words with the correct phonic. One-by-one, I will ask the children to come up and select the word they believe features the “oo” sound. Finally, I will direct them to their tables where the game will be set up on an iPad and they will have to think of words for themselves with the “oo” phonic and they are able to add them into the game for themselves.

I will definitely take this lesson into the classroom with me. I believe that the children will enjoy this whilst gaining vital skills for later in life. I thoroughly enjoyed today’s session.

References

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

Digital Technologies Week 3.

The intentions of today’s digital technologies class was to learn about and use multimodal texts. Alongside this, we used ActivInspire to create slides that we can use within a classroom setting to introduce mathematics within the topic of Egyptians.

One of our many discussions included how to ensure lessons are suitable for children with additional support needs. We were informed that using a yellow background with blue writing and comic sans font is appropriate for helping children with dyslexic tendencies, as this makes it easier for them to read. Beauchamp (2012, p8), agrees with this by saying multimodal texts often make the lesson easier to understand, “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”.

The multimodal text that we created was from the programme ActivInspire. A multimodal text is where its creator will use two or more semiotic systems to create the text. There are five semiotic systems, these are as follows:

  • Linguistic
  • Visual
  • Audio
  • Gestural
  • Spatial

Prior to creating our multimodal text, my partner and I agreed to create a numeracy lesson through the topic of the Egyptians. We created a key, where a number would equal to different hieroglyphics. The aim was for the children to be able to add up simple sums with the hieroglyphics, rather than numbers. Once the children understood how to add with the hieroglyphics, we moved on to multiplying with the hieroglyphics. Once the children have finished their work, they can come up and retrieve their answers by moving the revealer. The CfE level that we created this lesson for is first level as follows:

  • When a picture or symbol is used to replace a number in a number statement, I can find its value using my knowledge of number facts and explain my thinking to others. MTH 1-15b
  • I can demonstrate a range of basic problem solving skills by building simple programs to carry out a given task, using an appropriate language. TCH 1-15a

I will definitely use ActivInspire within the classroom, this is an exciting and fun way to present lessons to children. As a result of ActivInspire, I believe the children will be very engaged as they can use the smart board.

References

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