Digital Technology Week 7- 20/02/2018 (animations)

Today’s lesson we focused on animations.  Upon further reading I discovered there are five main types of animation:

Cutout- this is one of the easiest and quickest forms of animation

Stop-motion – this includes but is in no way limited to, plasticine animation

Pixillation – Humans become the puppets

Drawn – A classic form of animation-such as many original Disney animations

Computer – Also known as CGI which is found in many  games and movies

(Moving Image Education)

Whilst exploring various sources on animation something I found really interesting was on the Moving Image Education website which discusses the almost endless opportunities when it comes to animations. As shown in one of their video examples; leaves can be turned into dolphins; rice; paint; jewellery; pasta; ice; almost anything can be placed under the camera and be animated. Likewise, just about anything can be used as the background (Moving Image Education) . I found this so exciting as children’s imaginations are often incredible and endless.  The following quote came to mind which I absolutely love when it comes to children and their creativity. I particularly liked the idea of incorporating nature into their animations as this would then allow you as a teacher to cover so many topic areas and could lead to discussions about anything from seasons to the importance of wildlife conservation.

(Pixabay. com, 2018)


This not only allows children’s creativity to blossom it also makes this a more accessible activity as at the simplest level besides the iPad children could use many every day objects found around the classroom from a pencil and a piece of paper to ‘treasure pieces’ used in mathematics. This could also incorporate arts lessons as children could design and create their own props.

Before creating our own animation with props we were given time to explore puppet pals and create an animation cased upon a fairytale we had previously read. We were to create a story with a beginning, middle and an end which included voice recording, movement and change in size of the characters. The app was simple and easy to use and if different packages were purchased it gave children the opportunity to take pictures and use the faces of themselves or friend to be the star of the story. After using this app I have found that this could be another great way to encourage and engage children who usually struggle in engaging with story writing. As Beauchamp discusses (2012, p.55); “e-Inclusion aims to use digital technologies to minimise the problems that pupils with learning difficulties experience”. It also gives all pupils the chance to bring their stories to life and “through the use of ICT and technology it could allow pupils to accomplish something that could be difficult or even impossible to achieve in any other way”.(Beauchamp, 2012, p.54).

Once we had a chance to explore puppet pals we then discussed the IStopMotion app on the iPad. As a class we were provided with various props and there were no limitations as to what we were to create. We used paper and coloured pens to create the ‘sea’ and the ‘sky’ as a background as well as paper boats which we moved using the stop, start animation. I found this enjoyable however it was also challenging as there were so many small aspects to think about between each shot and often we would forget to move one piece and so would have to re-take the shot after watching it back. We used bear figurines as the main characters in our animation and the photos below show a brief example of what we created during the time given.


This was a fun task and I became more confident with using the app and I am impressed with what we managed to create using simple objects which would be found in most classrooms and basic colouring to create the sea and the sky. I am excited to bring the feeling of accomplishment I had to a classroom of children with all of their wonderful ideas. Below are the outcomes we decided could be covered within this lesson in a classroom.

“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”

“I enjoy exploring events and characters in stories and other texts and I use what I learn to invent my own, sharing these with others in imaginative ways. LIT 0-09b / LIT 0-31a”

 (Education Scotland, 2004)


This has been one of my favourite resources we have looked at so far as the opportunities for children’s imaginations are almost endless and the pride children would feel having created the animation from start to finish would be great for their self confidence as well as the opportunity to cover so many areas of the curriculum.



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

Education Scotland (2004) – Curriculum for Excellence; Experiences and Outcomes [Online] Available at: [Accessed on 24 February 2018]

Moving Image Education website: Animation [Online] Available at: [Accessed: 24 February 2018] (2018). Free Images – Pixabay. [Online] Available at: [Accessed: 24 February 2018]

Digital Technology Week 6- 13/02/2018 (i-movie)

We began today’s lesson by discussing safety online and the important role the teacher plays in educating children on how to be safe online. I found it interesting and a bit intimidating just how important a role I could one day play in a child using the internet correctly and being safe online. Some people may view this as the job of the child’s parent/guardian however some adults are not confident themselves in using technology and therefore may not understand or be aware of all of the dangers and threats which are all over the internet. As a teacher if we can show children that there is always an adult who they can go to for support and advice then we can help keep children stay safe online (Simpson & Toyn, 2012). One of the main teaching points I took from today’s lesson was that, as Beauchamp discusses, when educating children on how to be safe online, this is not to be done in a way which restricts what children can do, rather in a way that makes them aware of the dangers and how to seek help. Beauchamp discusses this further by stating that the schools which have been most successful in regards to internet safety are ones which ensured children knew what to do when they had an issue online (Beauchamp, 2012.).

Whilst discussing internet safety we were shown and given time to explore various online resources to help children understand safety online. One I found particularly interesting was a website which had various resources for different age ranges including animations such as ‘Hector’s World’ showcasing some of the dangers that may be encountered online (ThinkUKnow, 2008).


Once we had discussed the importance of teaching children about being safe online and discussed various ways to approach this alongside discovering helpful resources online, we formed groups with which we would create either a short movie or a trailer related to staying safe online. We worked collaboratively and decided upon a movie highlighting the dangers of meeting someone who you have began talking with online with some humorous aspects so it maintained engagement throughout a serious subject. We took advantage of using the iPad and visited various places on the university campus which would be extremely useful when using this with a primary class as they could use various different areas and settings so more than one group could work at the same time without interrupting each other. There are many experiences and outcomes which could be covered in this lesson including (Scottish Executive 2004):

  • I understand that there are people I can talk to and that there are a number of ways in which I can gain access to practical and emotional support to help me and others in a range of circumstances. HWB 0-03a/1-03a/2-03a/3-03a/4-03a
  • I have experienced the energy and excitement of presenting/performing for audiences and being part of an audience for other peoples presentations/performances.   EXA 0-01a/1-01a/2-01z
  • I can explore digital technologies and use what I learn to solve problems and share ideas and thoughts, TCH 0-01a
  • 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 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/2-20a


We used a popular piece of film/literature to create an alternative, humorous ‘Hairy Snotter’ in place of Harry Potter to highlight one of the many dangers of online, you never really know who you’re talking to. This was a creative, fun, engaging and memorable task and so would be great to use in Primary Schools where the finished products could then be showcased for the whole school which would not only be an exciting and proud moment for the children involved but would also highlight some of the dangers of playing online to the whole school and could create an open forum for asking questions and reminding the children if there is anything they are worried about to speak to an adult.



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

Simpson D., Toyn M. (2012) Primary ICT Across the Curriculum. Sag

ThinkuKnow (2008) Hector’s World – Animated Safety Videos [Online] Available at: [Accessed: 18 February 2018]

Digital Technology Week 5- 06/02/2018 (e-books)

At the beginning of  today’s lesson we were asked to work in groups to create a mind map of what we thought an e-book was alongside any advantages or disadvantages of e-books based upon our current knowledge of them.  After some class discussion, various online videos and resources we then returned to our mind map and added any new information which we had learned about e-books. As can be seen in the picture below, the purple writing is our first attempt at describing e-books and the black writing is what we added to our mind map after our reading and discussion. Some of the main points we added after our research into e-books was the versatility of them, how many options you have to add, change, make bigger, smaller, and re-position colour, text, videos and images. Although I believe the e-book is everything we defined and much more, a more concise definition of what an e-book is can be found in the Oxford dictionary where it is described as “An electronic version of a printed book which can be read on a computer or a specifically designed handheld device” (Oxford Dictionary 2018).

It is this personalisation which I believe makes it such an invaluable tool for teachers and learners. As Paul Beauchamp discusses; “ICT can allow pupils to record their thoughts in a wide variety of ways. They are able to write, draw, record both sound and video, or any combination of these depending on their age and ability.” this personalisation allows children to not only read and write but to engage in their story telling. It is also a more inclusive tool to use in the classroom as it doesn’t requite words to tell a story, those who find literacy more challenging are able to express their thoughts and opinions through pictures, videos and animations. (Beauchamp, 2012, p.101).

Our next task was to work in groups to create a brochure for prospective students of UWS. We were to do this using the iPads on the Book Creator app. I really enjoyed this task and it allowed me to explore the Book Creator app, I especially liked how you could record and use different sounds on each page and this featured heavily in our e-book to add humour and enjoyment to our brochure. As we were using the iPad we could take it anywhere. We went outside the university, downstairs, upstairs and anywhere else we wanted to take photos and videos. With the iPad being so light and portable this added another fun dimension to the e-book which I can imagine using with children and they would love the freedom, adventure and opportunities/choices it would allow them. Using sound recordings, videos and pictures alongside our placement of texts this turned our e-book into a multimodal text as it used more than two of the semiotic systems which I have discussed in previous blogs. This instantly makes it more engaging and interesting for the audience rather than reading plain text.

After completing this task the final part of our assessment task was to work individually and create a smart or a different version of a children’s book using Book Creator. This could be done with children in a classroom and would enhance their learning and understanding of a book whilst covering Experiences and Outcomes from the Curriculum for Excellence (Education Scotland, 2004.) two appropriate outcomes would be;

“I can show my understanding of what I listen to or watch by responding to and asking different kinds of questions. LIT 1-07a”

“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”

We had been provided with various children’s books however by the time I got to the front all of the shorter children’s stories were gone and I was not familiar enough with the remaining Roald Dahl stories to construct an e-book without re-reading them. I therefore found it hard to get started as I was trying to think of an appropriate book with imagines online I could use to enhance my e-book. After some quick research I decided upon The Very Hungry Caterpillar as there were a lot of good aids online to enhance my story including audio and visual and I could create some humorous and fun sounds to further engage my audience. I found this task quite challenging as I only had the full use of one hand and so holding the iPad to take a picture and holding the iPad whilst trying to also record the sound from the computer was challenging so my e-book wasn’t as clean and well presented as I would have liked it to have been. However, I managed to include all the audio, video and pictures I wanted to they just weren’t as well presented as they otherwise would have been. I believe having a cast on one arm during this activity has possibly helped me for the future as before this task I did not foresee me having any problems using the eBook Creator app on the iPad as I had thought it would be relatively easy to use with one hand however there were a lot of features and movements I hadn’t taken into account which involved a lot of arm/hand movement. Due to this, in a future classroom I will now be more aware of anyone with a disability or an additional support need and the extra help they may require when using this app. Although I found this task more challenging I now have a good understanding of how to use the Book Creator app both for my own use to create engaging materials for learning and in the classroom. I think it is a good tool to bring in to the classroom to enhance children’s learning.

The Curriculum for Excellence defines literacy as: ‘the set of skills which allows an individual to engage fully in society and in learning…the range of texts, which society values and finds useful.’ (Education Scotland, 2004.). The breadth of this definition is intended to ‘future proof’ it as the Scottish Government acknowledges and is moving forward with the impact of digital technologies and the benefits they can bring to the classroom. The e-book allows pupils and teachers to bring story-telling to life and also familiarises children with another variation of text, one of which is moving more and more to the forefront of society. By allowing children to become engaged with and familiar with e-books in their daily lives, this is not only preparing them for life in the 21st century but also keeping education up to date with how life is changing and taking into account materials and technologies children are likely to be familiar with from their home environment.




Beauchamp, G (2012) ICT in the primary school: from pedagogy to practise Harlow: Pearson

Education Scotland (2004) Curriculum for Excellence; Experiences and Outcomes  [Online] Available at: [Accessed: 2 February 2018]

Scottish Executive (2004) Curriculum for Excellence. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive

Oxford Dictionary (2018)  E-Book Definition [Online]  Available at: [Accessed: 10 February 2018] Author: Oxford University

Digital Technology Week 4- 30/01/2018 (Coding, Scratch Jr.)

In today’s lesson we explored coding, specifically through the programme Scratch Jr. which is used in many schools. We experimented with Scratch Jr. ourselves and discussed how coding could enhance learning for children. We referred to both further reading on professionals opinions of coding as well as through our own experiences and creations of lessons plans on Scratch Jr.

Scratch Jr has been designed to allow children to create and explore and so it can support many different learning styles which is essential in modern day,  busy classrooms where every child is an individual and has their own preferred style of learning. There are many other benefits to the use of coding programmes in schools; Children are not only being encouraged to be creative, they are also gaining reasoning skills and learning how to work collaboratively. All of these are skills are essential to becoming successful later on in their life. To have a programme which can engage and help children with many different learning styles in areas across the curriculum is an incredibly useful tool (The Lead Project, 2014).

During today’s lesson our objective was to create a story using Scratch Jr. to promote literacy skills in a chosen level of the curriculum i.e. early or first level. We had to link our story with our chosen level alongside the specific experiences and outcomes which we had also chosen from the Curriculum for Excellence. There were some online tutorials which talked us through various aspects of the programme; how to choose a landscape; how to choose various characters and how to move these characters around. I had never used any programme like Scratch Jr. before and so this style of tutorial with a step by step guide was very useful before the upcoming assessment. I decided to focus upon first level and I decided on the following outcomes;


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

I am learning to use my notes and other types of writing to help me understand information and ideas, explore problems, generate and develop ideas or create new text- LIT 1-25a

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

(Education Scotland, 2014)


In the story I created for my lesson I set out the basic outline for a fairytale story. My first slide featured a girl in a car driving away from a house. From experience in schools I have found that many children, and adults alike, find getting started the hardest part of story writing and so this is why I believed it was important to include this as my opening slide in the story. On the slide I provided various story starters for those children who may need more help to get their story started e.g. ‘Once upon a time…’. My next slide is an opportunity for children to describe the scenery and how the main character might be feeling at this point. I decided to leave my story at a disequilibrium to give the children some freedom and allow them to use their imagination to decide what happens next to the character.  Before starting this particular lesson with the children, in previous weeks I would have introduced the Scratch Jr. programme to the class and each week shown them a new feature of the application, therefore on this week they would be more confident in using the application so I could focus the lesson more upon literacy. I would read through my story with the children, pausing to ask what they thought on each slide and writing down different ‘buzz words’ that the class came up with to describe characters feelings or the scene so they could refer back to the board earlier, see the buzz words and use these in their own stories. I would also give the children some thinking time and ask if they had any ideas what might happen to the main character after the story as well as sharing some of my own ideas so that children who may find this a daunting task would have lots of ideas to use in their own  story.

This photo is an example of how customisable this programme is. For all of the characters provided in ScrathJr. you can add to them and change their colours. Also, for some of the other characters children can take a picture of their own, or someone else’s face, therefore allowing them to add themselves into their story, the child can become the hero, the driver, or one of the characters having a conversation with a dragon!




After thinking of how I would use Scratch Jr. in a classroom setting this made the idea come to life for me and I understood how useful a tool this could be to a lesson. It is very engaging and makes the story come to life which would be incredibly helpful for children who struggle to engage with story writing, before having to describe the dragon on paper the class could create their own purple dragon with red eyes, a jaggy jewelled tail and terrifying teeth on the ScratchJr. app.





Education Scotland (2004) Curriculum for Excellence [Online] Available at:  [Accessed: 31 January 2018]

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