Enhancing Digital Technology

Would you accept children being failed to be educated on maths or language?  Although they are being brought up/growing up surrounded by it and to have a successful, positive experience within and out with school they must have developing knowledge and skills of these subjects.  I’m assuming your answers would be no, therefore, why do you sit back and accept the fact the majority of children are being failed to be educated on technology.  Why is this the case when children are completely surrounded by digital content whether that’s; television, mobile phones, games, tablets, kindles, laptops…etc.  These are all digital tools which children will see within their everyday life yet it gets pushed away within the classroom.  By doing so children are merely consuming the content of the TV, game, kindle etc. rather than learning about HOW the content is created, why do we not teach children these skills and promote the creation to allow children ownership of what they are growing up admiring.

When exploring the different website’s Derek shared with us my brother was sitting in his bedroom playing Minecraft in his own little bubble.  My brother is someone who loves to learn, as soon as he finds something he is interested in he researches it meaning he knows SO much about Minecraft where he has a number of books he’s read inside out, a huge youtube playlist with a number of videos of Minecraft and a notebook with a number of notes he’s taking when watching his friends play Minecraft.  My brother is 9 years old.  If someone this young is so interested in learning about this game it would make perfect sense if he was taught a little about it.  Therefore I sat with him and we went through the website  which explains how Minecraft is coded.  He was stunned at how HE could code and make the game work exactly like it does when he plays it.  He was so engrossed in the whole process that he completed all the challenges and watched every single video intently.  Seeing him so inspired and enthusiastic to create something which he and all his friends play every other day was very rewarding.  The next day I came downstairs to witness my brother sitting with 4 of his friends (of various ages and genders) going through the challenges learning how to code.  Honestly i was amazed and my eyes were opened to how much children are actually interested in the ‘behind the scenes’ of games they play.

After exploring coding and sharing it with my brother I showed him Mozilla and the features of X-Ray Goggles and Thimble.  We explored these together and learned how to use these together, it was a great experience as I realised he actually knew a lot more than me about digital tools  and he actually educated me on different factors as I was educating him.  During these activities I realised we were actually learning collaboratively as he and his friends were.  We were also sharing our; learning, knowledge and skills.  This highlighted to me that this could easily be adapted to a collegiate learning culture if it was introduced into schools.

In this video it is stated that learners are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities offered by technologies and by doing so it will help raise attainment, ambition and opportunities.  This is stated for digital learning week however from this video it is clear this should be the case for the whole year through and when looking at the principles and practice of technologies this is also the case.  Angela Constance also discusses the fact that schools should embrace digital technologies and I think that with most/if not all schools have access to digital tools therefore we should continuously embrace this fact and take advantage of it.

As a developing student teacher I feel it is essential to reflect on how we are embracing digital technology within the classroom.  I think this is something which is advancing and improving within schools however I think it is essential that we introduce different ways of using and developing digital technology in teaching and learning.  As I stated before children are growing up surrounded by digital technology therefore I believe their interest and enthusiasm for using and learning about digital technology is there embedded in them, it is up to us as teachers to enhance this and take advantage of the children’s interests to allow teaching and learning to be the best it can be within the classroom.  I think there are many possibilities and opportunities when looking at technology and I am very excited to be part of the growing/developing teaching and learning of technologies.

 


The website’s I used to form these opinions are;

https://teach.mozilla.org/tools/

https://code.org/learn

http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Education/Schools/ICTinLearning/DLTStrategy

http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/resources/d/digitallearningweek.asp?strReferringChannel=educationscotland&strReferringPageID=tcm:4-615801-64&class=l1+d86716

http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/learningandteaching/curriculumareas/technologies/principlesandpractice/index.asp

 

 

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Tricia asked us as part of our questioning and discussion to come prepared to the second workshop with a context and questions to follow this context.  When looking at this I felt extremely nervous as it looked a lot more difficult than she had explained.  However as I got started it was such a straight forward, helpful aid to use which allowed me to think of very in depth questions that would make the children think and learn in a wider context than just the topic.  For this I chose children of primary 4/5 and a book called Wonder by R.J.Palacio which can link in with a variety of curricular areas.  I think this would be a wonderful class book to read together as a class as there are so many different learning points within the book.  This book can link to; language, health and wellbeing, religious and moral education, drama and art and design.  I used the Bloom’s Taxonomy to aid me in thinking of my questions and I found this the most helpful process for questioning.  It allows you to start off with simple, easy questions which you can come up with on the spot which you then take and explore deeper with the questions linking.

PBWorks (no date) Bloom’s Taxonomy (Revised) [online]. Available at: http://pcs2ndgrade.pbworks.com/f/1318607148/RBT.PNG (accessed 23/02/15)

RBT

Remembering – Ask the children;

  • Do they remember the key points in the chapter?
  • Do  they remember a time they felt the same way as some of the characters at these key points?
  • Do they remember ever experiencing anything that the similar to the key points?

Understanding – Do the children understand;

  • Bullying?
  • Exclusion?
  • That people are different i.e look different, have different personalities etc
  • That bullying etc. have an effect on other people as well not just the individual who is being bullied
  • Friendships and relationships- can be good and bad…

Applying – The children could put themselves in the position of either the main character or another character from the book, they could write a short story or produce a comic book strip (or something similar) which can show what is happening and how they are feeling about the situation as that person.

Analysing – The children could have a discussion where they can explore the reasons why certain people act/react differently.  Is it possible they’re doing so because their home life and experiences or because peer pressure from friends etc..

Evaluating – The children could put themselves in one of the characters positions and defend their actions which could bring a debate into their discussions.

Creating – The children could create; a comic book strip, story, piece of art, pivot animation or a range of other things which expresses their feelings and point of view of the book.  The children could then work in pairs to have 10 minutes to look and jot down questions they have.  They could then ask those questions and have a discussion with their partner exploring their thoughts and feelings.

 

Excited…

In the technology workshop with Richard we discussed the crossing of curricular areas.  This was something that I hadn’t put much thought into in terms of lesson planning however after this workshop I can’t wait to try this more often.  We discussed food textiles and how one of the experiences and outcomes could be chosen and then applied with another of our choice.  For this task Danielle, Erin and myself all worked on picking two experiences and outcomes and designed a lesson which would fit these.  We chose a food textiles E&O and paired it with a mathematics E&O.  When looking at these we had multiple different ideas which we thought may work.  We decided that there would have been previous lesson which would have introduced the mathematics more and possibly a lesson after this one to discuss and go over what was actually learnt within this lesson.  This made me very excited as the school I’ll be in for my placement has a cooking room which I could book out for a whole afternoon to spend with the children therefore this may actually be possible depending on their stage of mathematics.  Here’s our lesson plan without the timing and assessment as we found some flaws with them and I’m working on improving them.

Individual Lesson Plan Format (Primary)

 

Class/Group: P3…………………      Lesson: …………………………        Date: ………..…

 

Previous Experience

 

Introduced to foods and be exposed to different foods, had their lessons on measuring before hand i.e been introduced to measuring different materials etc.  

 

Working towards outcomes of a Curriculum for Excellence

 

· I can estimate how long or heavy an object is, or what amount it holds, using everyday things as a guide, then measure or weigh it using appropriate instruments and units.

 

· I experience a sense of enjoyment and achievement when preparing simple healthy foods and drinks.

 

·        

Literacy/Numeracy/ICT/HWB (where appropriate):

 

Numeracy, HWB

Learning Intentions

Success Criteria

·       We are learning to use standard measure and non standard measure to investigate and compare the different cakes.

  • ·       I understand how to use non standard measure and standard measure
  • ·       I can follow instructions carefully and successfully
  • ·       I can compare the different cakes

 

Resources  

Flour, caster sugar, eggs, milk, butter, bowls, spoons, whisk, cake tins, oven, baking sheets, power point of each step on a separate slide

 

 

We Need More!

Health and Wellbeing.

This is a subject which I strongly, strongly believe should be introduced more throughout every single year spent within school.  I understand that a lot will be covered within this as it is a main focus within the curriculum however personally I find that many teachers are too shy or uncomfortable with exploring some topics which arise in this area of the curriculum.  As a teacher I will ensure I’m a positive figure that children know they can approach when they have difficult questions or problems that they possibly don’t feel comfortable with taking to their friends or family.

Mental and Emotional Wellbeing is a subject I find isn’t explained as much as it should be in the primary school.  Children must understand that what they feel can take over their mental health if they don’t talk about it.  They must understand that it’s okay to feel a range of emotions but they should learn to overcome feelings which make them upset and unhappy to allow their mental health to stay strong.  They must be aware that support is available for them and that they are not alone!grass  Children must understand that building strong relationships impacts their mental health as I feel some children and even myself forget this/find this difficult to understand until things get tough.  Many children and adults think that being alone is what they need however it’s hard to understand how this affects your mental health until you experience it.  I think that this may be the case because it’s not explained enough by some teachers and parents which is why I’m excited to cover this area with the children in my classroom so I am able to make a change to their lives in the long run!

 

Social Wellbeing is something I wasn’t actually familiar with until this semester.  I think this is an area which is so important within the classroom as all pupils will be able to understand each other and communicate with each other and myself in respectful manners where they can explore opinions and views without causing distress to anyone.  This is so important for children to build and gain confidence within themselves which will strength their self worth.  Children will be able to gain a true sense of belonging as they will understand how important and special they are within their school and community.mind  I think this is one of the most important factors for young individuals as many of them won’t experience this in their home life where their confidence and self worth may be very low and due to this they will struggle to build strong relationships with others therefore it is essential they experience this and understand this through school.  I’m thrilled to be introducing/explaining this area within my own classroom as I will be making a huge change to each individual allowing them to feel good about themselves.

Physical Wellbeing is an area which I was so nervous to learn about as I felt it would be centred around physical exercise which I personally struggle with.  However learning and reading about physical wellbeing has made me more confident as there’s so much more to it than exercise.  It’s very important that children understand what is good/bad for their body and how this actually affects them.  When speaking to children and being surrounded by them I find that yes they understand what foods and drinks are good/bad however they don’t care.  I find that they don’t care because they don’t fully understand the consequences of them – which is why I’m looking forward to teaching them about this as it will inform them on areas which their family members or peers don’t know about.  It’s also so important for children to fully understand how to be safe and how to keep others safe when possible.

3 takes responsibility!

This is a prime example of why children need to understand how to be safe and what to do in a serious, unfortunate accident.  Most of the time children will be surrounded by one or more adults therefore if anything happens usually there’s someone to help.  However in the case of an extreme emergency where the responsibility falls upon the child they must have an understanding of what to do to allow their mental and emotional wellbeing remaining stable throughout the aftermath.

Overall I am looking forward to making a positive difference in many young individuals lives when teaching health and wellbeing.

Control, control, control…

As a pupil and a sibling I feel as though it’s often portrayed that teachers must be in control of the classroom and the children.  I always remember being in certain classes where my peers would have commented on the fact the teacher couldn’t control them therefore they would play up and misbehave.  I also remember my parents commenting on how certain teachers just have no control because they have no discipline within their classroom.  However this semester has really opened my mind to all these comments which I’ve been surrounded by.  As a teacher I am not controlling children therefore I’m not controlling the class.  As a teacher I will be (from day one) building positive, strong relationships with all the pupils in my class where we will gain mutual respect.  Yes there will be set out rules within the classroom however they will not be set in stone by myself as the classroom isn’t mine, it’s ours – mine and the pupils.  Boundaries must be set my myself as I am the teacher however in my experience children understand this and they actually want the teacher to have those set boundaries so they have a clear understanding of their expectations within the classroom which sets a positive atmosphere.  Children/pupils need a certain level of strictness within the classroom to allow them to feel safe and secure, this will allow positive attitudes from both myself and the pupils which then leads to positive behaviour.  Being a teacher isn’t about controlling your classroom, it’s about setting fair rules and boundaries with the pupils to allow; clear understanding, mutual respect, positive attitudes and positive behaviours which ultimately leads to a fantastic running classroom with a brilliant classroom ethos set by everyone within it.

Technology Lesson

During technology input myself, Danielle, Erin, Katie, Ailsa and Lucy worked collaboratively to come up with a lesson plan that involved an area which we weren’t too confident about.  By the end of this workshop I realised that planning a technology lesson wasn’t as daunting as I first thought and it’s something I would love to experiment with in the classroom.  

Here’s our lesson plan:

Individual Lesson Plan Format (Primary)

 

Class/Group: P4/5………………      Lesson: …………………………        Date: ………..…

 

Previous ExperienceLesson on how to safely cut wood using a saw and how to handle scissors carefully.

 

Working towards outcomes of a Curriculum for Excellence 

I explore materials, tools and software to discover what they can do and how I can use them to help solve problems and construct 3D objects which may have moving parts.

 

Literacy/Numeracy/ICT/HWB (where appropriate):Numeracy: measuring –  Literacy: following instructions and communicating
Learning Intentions Success Criteria
 We are able to cut different materials using different tools safely to create a 3D object  ·       I am able to cut paper using scissors smoothly

·       I am able to cut wood using a junior hack saw

·       I can use a ruler to measure the cuts

·       I can follow instructions appropriately to make a windmill

·       I can compare the different resources used

 

Resources Paper, scissors, wood, hacksaw, desk clam, ruler, glue gun, pencil, split pin
 

15 mins

 

5 mins

 

 

 

 

5 mins

 

30 mins

 

10 mins

 

30 mins

 

15 mins

 

 

 

20 mins

10 mins

Setting the context/Beginning the lesson (Introduction) 

Recap on different tools and skills already learnt

 

Share and explain L.I’s and S.C split into groups

 

 

Teaching the learning intentions (Development)

 

Use instructions sheets to divide up roles

 

Create the paper part of the windmill

 

Measure the wood

 

Sawing wood

 

Tidy up while teacher glues

 

Ending the lesson (Plenary)

 

Reflect on the materials and tools used and compare

Use success criteria to evaluate performance

 

 

Discussion

Check for understanding

 

 

 

 

Observation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion and observation

Peer Assessment

Deepening our understanding: Science Literacy

Richard Holme organised; Lauren Summers, Amy Turner, Hannah Stillwell and myself into a group to work on a mini assignment exploring our knowledge of science literacy.  During this TDT I researched more into science literacy which deepened my knowledge of it, as did reading what the others had researched about it. Working together gave us the opportunity to hear different individuals opinions which may have led to discussions about the topic. Richard split up the work for this TDT into sections of which we then took the responsibility of one each:

  1. What is Scientific Literacy? – Lauren Summers
  2. An example of inaccurate media reporting. – Amy Turner
  3. Fair testing. – Myself
  4. Proof Reading and Referencing. – Hannah Stillwell

Scientific Literacy.

Scientific literacy is the theory of scientific approaches and developments which uses written, numerical and digital literacy in order to help people gain a better understanding of science. It has begun to be viewed as the primary goal of school science and can be described as ‘what the general public ought to know about science’ (Durant, 1993, p.129).

Jenkins (1994) talks about ‘Scientific Literacy’ as implying ‘an appreciation of the nature, aims and general limitations of science, coupled with some understanding of the more important scientific ideas” (p.5345). Through using scientific literacy people are now being able to question, discover and calculate the answers to queries that have come about as a result of people’s interest in everyday experiences.

‘A scientifically literate student is able to apply their knowledge of scientific concepts and processes to the evaluation of issues and problems that may arise and to the decisions that they make in their daily life, about the natural world and changes made to it through human activity’ (NSW Department of Education and Communities, 2011)

There have been many different news articles that have incorrectly reported ‘discoveries in scientific research’. One of the most recent examples is of a ‘new planet’ that was supposedly discovered in our solar system.

Amanda Watts (2016) reported that ‘Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have found evidence in the outer solar system of an object that could be a real ninth planet.’ This article strongly implied that a new planet had been discovered arousing much excitement in the scientific community.

A reporter for the Daily Mirror, Jasper Hamill (2016), then refuted this claim by quoting NASA’s director of planetary science, Jim Green, as having said that although this was ‘the start of a process that could lead to an exciting result it is not, however, the detection of a new planet.’

This goes to show that what we read in the media may not always be firmly backed up by scientific research. This once again highlights the importance of one’s own scientific literacy in being able to compare sources and not just belief the incorrectly reported scientific discoveries that the media portray as being fact.

As previously mentioned, scientific literacy is when an individual has the capacity to use their own scientific knowledge to identify queries which arise in everyday life and to relate these to their own experiences allowing them to come to a sound conclusion.

A fair test is when an experiment is carried out in a controlled manner with each variable being strictly monitored.  Within a fair test only one variable must change whilst everything else about the experiment stays the same.  In order to know which variable must change and which variables must be constant one requires a level of scientific literacy.

To know how and why the variables must be kept the same also requires a person to be scientifically literate as they must understand the theory behind the experiment.

Scientific literacy also allows an individual to form a hypothesis for their experiment by drawing on their own experience and by researching and problem solving for themselves.

References.

Dunne, M. and Peacock, A. (2011) Primary Science: A guide to Teaching Practice. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.

Durant, J.R, 1993. ‘What is Scientific Literacy?’  Science and culture in Europe, Edited by: Durant, J.R and Gregory, J. 129-137. London: Science Museum.

Hamill, Jasper. (2016) NASA speaks out about ‘Planet 9′ discovery – and it’s bad news for everyone. Available at: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/science/nasa-speaks-out-planet-9-7223625 (Accessed: 1/2/2016).

Jenekins, E.W. 1994. ‘Scientific Literacy.’ The International Encyclopaedia of Education, 2nd ed. Edited by: Hunsen, T. and Postlethwaite, T.N. Vol.9, 5345-5350. London: Pergamon.

National Science and Education Standards (1996) Scientific Literacy. Available at:http://www.literacynet.org/science/scientificliteracy.html (Accessed on: 11/02/2016)

NSW Department of Education and Communities. (2011) What is Scientific Literacy? Available at:http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/investigate/ (Accessed on: 11/02/2016)

Science Buddies (2016) Variables for Beginners. Available at:http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_experiment_fair_test.shtml(Accessed on: 11/02/2016)

Watts, Amanda. (2016) Ninth planet may have been discovered, researchers say. Available at: http://edition.cnn.com/2016/01/20/us/possible-ninth-planet/ (Accessed: 1/2/2016).