During today’s lesson we discussed multimodal presentations, how they can be used in the classroom and the benefits which come alongside this. In order to be described as multimodal a text must combine two or more semiotic systems. The semiotic systems are as follows;
During the lesson we discussed the many positives to using multi modal texts effectively within classrooms including engagement, personalisation, captivating, interactive and the depth of learning which can be not only taught but discovered; “The multimodality of technology…allows teachers to present an idea in a variety of different ways to help pupils understand it” Beauchamp (2012, p.8).
There are many different ways in which multimodal technology is used within classrooms today however during our lesson this week we focused upon the ActivInspire programme. At first I viewed the ActivInspire programme as similar to Powerpoint however by the end of the lesson I realised that it was so much more. There are almost endless interactive options within the programme as it can be used alongside the interactive whiteboards found in many schools in Scotland and so as I mentioned previously children can not only learn but discover for themselves with hands-on learning opportunities. Janice Prandstatter, a teaching and learning consultant also discusses the use of touch displays with children, “Touch displays can become a social learning tool encouraging hands-on experiences, thereby helping children to learn by doing.” (Prandstatter, J, 2014).
After watching some tutorial videos we began creating our own ActivInspire presentations for a chosen lesson using some of the new skills we had gained from watching the videos but also giving us a chance to work the programme out for ourselves. It took me a while to get to grips with the programme as it was so new and different to any programme I had used before and I would unconsciously revert back to built in habits from other programmes. Once I began to feel more confident with it I began discovering some of the countless opportunities available for creating unique and personalised learning materials. I love the interactivity which is available for children to be able to interact with the presentation you have created for them in order to enhance their lesson. Below are some pictures of the ActivInspire programme which I used to create my presentation. The second photo showcases some of the various tools which are available to be used on the interactive whiteboard via this programme. I especially like the ‘spotlight’ feature which turns the whole page black, hiding everything on the slide. You can then control a ‘spotlight’ to highlight specific areas on the page as and when you want them highlighted. Having used this in schools previously I have found this is an enjoyable and engaging way to check the children’s knowledge and understanding at the end of a presentation.
Interactive lessons and multimodality can, and should where appropriate be used across the curriculum and as teacher’s and educators become more familiar and confident with multimodality it is becoming increasingly relevant within Literacy and English. “The Literacy and English framework reflects the increased use of multimodal texts, digital communication, social networking and the other forms of electronic communication encountered by children and young people in their every day lives” (Scottish Executive, 2004). Children currently in schools have grown up with technology and multimodality this therfore must be acknowledged and the way we teach must adhere to this new, highly stimulated, way of life as well as acknowledging the different text types children are both used to seeing and are comfortable with, many of which are multimodal. However as I have discussed in previous blogs, as always, as Beauchamp (2012, P100) discusses; “The ability to present ideas in a variety of ways can help to structure new experiences but only if you as the teacher have sufficient understanding on the area yourself”. This is one of the many reasons why digital technology modules are so important to students studying to become teachers, thus ensuring the next generation of teachers can effectively use various digital technologies in the classroom. Including incorporating multimodality by understanding how, where and when is best to use it.
Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary School: From Pedagogy to Practice Pearson.
Prandstatter, J (2014) Interactive displays in early year classes [Online] Available at: http://connectlearningtoday.com/interactive-displays-early-years-classes/ [Accessed: 29 January 2018]
Scottish Executive (2004) Curriculum for Excellence. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive