Today’s lesson was focused on mobile devices and their use in the classroom. We began by reading various online articles and subsequently answering a forum question as to whether mobile devices should be used in the classroom.Upon reading the various articles one of the areas which really resonated with me was a Guardian article by David Andrews, a class teacher; ‘I want the children in my class to create content, not necessarily always accessing it.’ (David andrews, 2012). During both my own time in schools and through extended reading I have found that often if children are creating their own learning and are learning from each other this can be extremely beneficial to the children retaining the information rather than forgetting most of the lesson by the time they go home. Another aspect I believe is important to take into account is ‘Children now entering school are fully fledged digital natives.’ (Curtis, S.2014) and as such we need to reevaluate our school system in accordance with this new digital way of life. I believe mobile devices can play a crucial role in schooling today, if used well by a teacher confident in their own knowledge of the technology.
Sophie Curtis, the author of the article ‘Digital learning: how technology is reshaping teaching’ also took part in an experiment during which an English lesson was taught the ‘traditional’ way, with a teacher explaining the main themes of a play and the class then writing their own analysis using only pen and paper. During the second lesson video clips were used as part of the lesson and they used the internet to research and then a computer to type up an analysis. After the experiment Sophie Curtis detailed how the ‘traditional’ lesson ‘required intense and sustained concentration’ whilst she said of the lesson using technology ‘at no point during the second lesson did I find my mind wandering, which is half the battle teachers fight every day’ (Curtis, S.2014). In my opinion, from what I have learned, researched and witnessed it is important for children to be engaged in their learning and enjoy the lessons through various aspects digital technology can offer. However, the ‘sustained concentration’ Sophie Curtis discussed in her analysis of her first lesson is also an important skill children need to learn and so digital technology and more traditional methods need to be used in conjunction with each other for children to get the most out of their schooling. Digital technology is vital and can add so much to a lesson however it should only be used when it can add to and enhance a lesson.
The benefits of using mobile devices according to Beauchamp are:
- Flexibility and portability – as devices are relatively small, portable and usable anywhere, they allow the learner freedom to learn on the move
- Multi-functionality – mobile devices bring together more than one function that would previously needed separate devices: for instance, viewing web pages and viewing images
- Multimodality – they allow users to create multimodal texts
- Interactivity and communicative potential – communication between a large number of users can be achieved through text and speech.
However, although there are so many advantages to using mobile devices and they play a crucial role in allowing all children in the classroom to engage in lessons. In a poll of 500 teachers it has been found that over a third of teachers are unsure as to how to integrate mobile devices into everyday lessons. Lack of training has been suggested as a cause for this. This means that expensive technology is in schools unused or not being used to it’s full advantage and so hundreds of children are not receiving the benefits this technology can bring to their learning (Curtis 2014).
Today we were exploring the Talking Tin and Easi Speak microphones. Our task was to create a powerpoint showcasing an ‘I Am Poem…’ which we were also to create. Each slide had to be a different line of our ‘I Am poem’ featuring an image and a voice recording. To record sound we used an Easispeak microphone. This is a small, handheld device which can be used to record your voice and can then be connected to a computer and the file is then accessible from powerpoint. As a learner this was a simple yet fun addition to the poem. At first I found it really difficult to record it and hear my own voice however the repetition of the poem forced me to overcome this which is another useful tool for building children’s self-confidence. If they are used to recording and hearing their own voice this can be a really useful aid for their own further learning. The poem could be used as a great health and wellbeing lesson to encourage children to think about their feelings as well as the feelings of others in their class and if I was to use a similar lesson in the future it could cover many Experiences and Outcomes from the Curriculum for Excelling including:
- I am aware of and able to express my feelings and am developing the ability to talk about them. HWB 0-01a/1-01a/2-01a/3-01a/4-01a
- Within real and imaginary situations, I share experiences and feelings, ideas and information in a way that communicates my message. LIT 0-09a
- I can explore digital technologies and use what I learn to solve problems, share ideas and thoughts. TCH 0-01a
- I enjoy exploring and playing with the patterns and sounds of language, and can use what I learn. LIT 0-01a / LIT 0-11a /LIT 0-20a
(Education Scotland 2004).
‘I want the children in my class to create content, not necessarily always accessing it’ (Andrews, D. 2012) David Andrews discusses his journey introducing iPads into his school, the positives and negatives. This quote from him is one of the main reasons I think technology is so important to education. A child creating their own learning, resources, materials and accessing these themselves is far more valuable to their learning, problem solving and self-confidence. The powerpoint we created during today’s lesson is attached below. This is one of many examples of what children could create themselves, allowing them to access technology, work collaboratively, improve their own self-belief, self confidence alongside covering many literacy outcomes. I think this is another valuable resource which can be used in an array of creative ways.
Andrews, D. (2012) An apple for the teacher: are iPad the future in class? [Online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2012/aug/13/schools-secondary-schools [Accessed: 27th February 2018]
Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary Classroom: From Pedagogy, top Practice. Pearson.
Curtis, S. (2014) Digital learning: how technology is reshaping teaching [Online] Available at: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/11051228/Digital-learning-how-technology-is-reshaping-teaching.html [Accessed: 27th February 2018]
Education Scotland (2004) – Curriculum for Excellence; Experiences and Outcomes [Online] Available at: https://education.gov.scot/scottish-education-system/policy-for-scottish-education/policy-drivers/cfe-(building-from-the-statement-appendix-incl-btc1-5)/Experiences%20and%20outcomes [Accessed: 27th February 2018]