Final Blog – Module Overview

Through taking part in the Digital Technologies module, it has been not only enjoyable but has also enabled me to realise that the use of technology has a massive impact on teaching within the 21st century.

I am pleased that I had chosen this module as part of my Trimester 2 within the BA Education course, as I have gotten the chance to become educated upon the various uses of technology within a teacher’s lesson planning, construction of ideas and classroom experiences in an appropriate manner.

Through growing up within both the world of technology and experiencing the Curriculum for Excellence at first hand, I have realised that the digital skills and opportunities I have learned throughout growing up and in addition to this module can make myself as an educator stand out and create lessons which are different and engaging. In addition, the learning experience from children will be modern and exciting with emphasis on technology, which differed from what my school learning experience was like.

Technology was always a subject that was never confidently carried out in the classroom, but now I think that with the learned impact that it has on a child’s development of many different skills, us as educators should be confident in our own abilities with regards to technology and through practice we should demonstrate it more within our classroom and children’s experiences.

I now know and understand that digital technology can be usd in a variety of ways in order to make links between all aspects of the Curriculum for Excellence. Whether it be through Art, Music, Science, Social studies and many more. Along the course of this module there have been many different ideas given to us for ways in which we can use technology to cover aspects of the Curriculum. I will definitely be encouraging future BA1 students to choose this module as it has widened my technology skills and developed my creativity with regards to thinking about different lessons to carry out.

Thank you!

Digital Technologies – Week 11

For our final week of Digital Technologies, we were learning about and exploring the use QR codes to enhance outdoor learning.

Outdoor learning is a vital part of the Curriculum for Excellence, which provides all educators and learners with different skills that may not be achieved within the classroom. Going outdoors may seem simple and non engaging, but its advantages it possesses are endless. Through further reading it was learned that:  “Outdoor learning experiences are often remembered for a lifetime. Integrating learning and outdoor experiences, whether through play in the immediate grounds or adventures further afield, provides relevance and depth to the curriculum in ways that are difficult to achieve indoors.” Learning and Teaching Scotland (2010)

“The core values of Curriculum for Excellence resonate with long-standing key concepts of outdoor learning. Challenge, enjoyment, relevance, depth, development of the whole person and an adventurous approach to learning are at the core of outdoor pedagogy…” Education Scotland (2010)

The relevance and depth to the curriculum that outdoor learning provides includes:

Personal Development: Children can develop and begin learning skills in areas such as communication, problem solving, and working with others when outdoors and completing tasks together.

Inclusion for all: It can provide opportunities for children to use a range of skills and abilities not always visible in the classroom.

 Critical Thinking Skills: Outdoor learning can help children to make links between other curricular areas which may not have been clear when indoors, such as:

  • Health and Wellbeing

Encouraging and capitalising on the potential to experience learning and new challenges in the outdoor environment.

  • Science

    As children and young people progress in their learning of the sciences, teachers can take advantage of opportunities for study in the local, natural and built environments.

    Not only does this link to other curricular areas, but also links in with the SHANARRI Wellbeing Wheel which is a vital part of the Curriculum for Excellence and with regards to the wellbeing of all children within it.

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

In today’s session, we were able to explore the PicCollage App on the iPad. By using this App, it allowed us to use our creativity skills to create a collage of photographs from today’s outdoor session. We then were introduced to Quick Response (QR) Codes. QR Codes can link to a short bit of text, an audio recording, a website, a phone number, an email address, a map location, an calendar event. This linked to our outdoor session as we were to work in groups to crack the code given by the QR codes, which were located clues hidden outside the university.  We collected one letter from each location if we answered the question correctly then used the six letters to discover the secret code. The questions were based around the social studies topic of ‘Scotland’. The questions consisted of common knowledge about Scotland, for example its population or number of islands it has. This as an educator is an excellent way to engage pupils with a new topic and fin out information they perhaps did not know before taking part in the outdoor learning task. It also makes it exciting and fun, rather than going on the internet and researching for hours about Scottish facts.

Throughout the activity we were able to capture photographs from the camera roll to summarise our learning experience in a new and modernised way by adding them to PicCollage. As an educator, I think this is a well structured idea of allowing  children to explore and play around with a new App on the iPad, developing their media and digital technology skills. In addition, this adds to their development of creativity skills and being able to demonstrate their work in a collage of images that tell a story of what their learning consisted of.

I thoroughly enjoyed this task and I will definitely be using QR codes and PicCollage within future lesson plans for introducing new and exciting topics. It can adapt to any learning experience and the use of QR codes is endless. It is such a useful resource and I am very gad we were introduced to it at an early stage in my teaching career, as I had seen them before whether it be for tickets to concerts or advertisements for restaurants, but never did I believe I could use it to portray a lesson in a classroom situation.

REFERENCES

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

Learning and Teaching Scotland (2010) Curriculum for Excellence Through Outdoor Learning.

 

Digital Technologies – Week 6

In todays session for Digital Technologies we were learning about creating a movie linking it to internet safety using the movie making program: iMovie.

Through wider reading it was found that: “Most primary schools will have in place a policy regarding e-safety, but they are likely to reflect official policies and perhaps not the reality of pupils’ lives…” (Beauchamp, 2012, p.58) He also states that the main idea of discussing e-safety is to only educate them on the use and dangers of internet not to restrict them of what they can go on.

We also explored the various different digital platforms that us as future educators will be able to access as individuals and to show to our pupils to help raise the awareness about the issue of internet safety. This can help us to educate children and to know what to do if they come across any particular case of unsafety when they may be at home online and will know how to approach the situation by informing a responsible adult or parent. The use of digital technology in this day and age helps to portray a story that can be used to address many different issues that we as educators can use:

“The digital environment provides a unique opportunity to empower people of all ages to manipulate, combine and distribute their self-expressions as living stories that can be sent into the world and through time.” (Porter, 2004, p.35)

Digital Literacy helps to develop:

Practical and Functional Skills

Critical Thinking Skills

Awareness of e-Safety

Collaboration Skills

Ability to Find and Select Information

Effective Communication

Creativity

My group created a movie by using the iMovie app on the Ipad which helped to address the issue of internet safety. We based the story around the famous Dreamworks animation movie: Shrek. Princess Fiona thought she was meeting Prince Charming who she had met online but in actuality it was Shrek who she was meeting. We dressed up as Shrek, Fiona and Donkey and acted out many of the scenes with use of audio and music. It was fun creating an iMovie and it also helped to portray the idea that people who you may meet online may not be as they seem when meeting them in person. It helped to convey this message in a humourous way. As an educator, it is important to address full internet safety and demonstrate a way to show what the consequences of being unsafe online entails.

With regards to the Curriculum for Excellence Experiences and Outcomes this links to the Technologies outcome:

“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” (Education Scotland 2004).

I think the use of creating movies through iMovie is beneficial for the children to use within their primary school as not only does it develp their media and digital technology skills, with endless creativity. It also enables them to manipulate a story such as Shrek and be able to put a story in to a different context in order to explain an important issue, like Internet Safety.

This enables myself as an educator to convey a message and create awareness about the issue of internet safety in a modern and creative way instead of getting the children to read about it or write about what they know, they are being able to make links to the digital side of the curriculum for excellence, whilst learning and understanding how to be safe online.

References

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

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