All posts by John Johnston

I am a teacher, currently working in Banton Primary for North Lanarkshire Council. I also act as Product Owner/provide support for Glow Blogs.

Nintendo DS at Greengairs

posted on Behalf of Mrs Scott.
The DS were used with pupils during the final term to develop mental mathematics skills in a variety of context.
Pupils used the DS Nintendo daily for 20 minutes and chose the activities which they felt would help develop their mathematics skills. It gave the pupils’ choice and increased their motivation.
Pupils were keen to improve their brain age and to try and beat the teacher as I also took part in the project.
One of the pupils who receives learning support was pleased when he received a stamp and this motivated him.
DS Nintendo Pupil Comments.
I liked the interactive way that the Nintendo taught us. It was amazing how we could learn and play at the same time. It was
just fantastic. Samantha
When I was playing the DS Nintendo I liked to get good scores. I t was fun to play the different games. I liked Head count. It was hard but I enjoyed the challenge. Jamie
I liked playing the DS Nintendo because every time that you worked hard your brain age improved. David
I really enjoyed using the Ds Nintendo. I think that it helped me become quicker at answering times tables, adding, taking away and dividing. I think that it really improved these skills. Ben
I enjoyed using the Ds because it was great fun and as you were playing games you were learning. Daniel
I enjoyed the Brain training as I like doing maths. It was very puzzling and I like solving the problems. It has improved my brain. Chloe

Animation After School Club – Cumbernauld Primary School


Posted on behalf of Helen Westell


The animation after school club ran from January to April in two 5-week blocks.  15 children attended each block to learn how to use animation software and film techniques.  The first week the children looked at various animations using the Glow site and previous animations done in the school.  They split into groups and worked on creating a storyboard and ideas for their animation.  Week 2 the children designed props, backgrounds and plastiecne models.  Week 3, 4 and 5 the children filmed their animations using I Can Animate software and editing the films using imovie, following instruction videos on Glow from the computer centre.  Each child was presented with a disc of their film and these were uploaded to the school website for all to see.

How ICT supported learning and teaching

ICT supported teaching and learning and was used as a tool for language and literacy projects during the after school club. Reading, writing of storyboards and talking and listening in group work and editing animations.

Children worked co-operatively in groups using social skills and peer coached and mentored each other.

Impact / conclusion

The children are confident and successful in using animation software and setting up the webcams.  The animation club children will be used as peer coaches and mentors to use the software and hardware in other classes for interdisciplinary work.

Animation have been uploaded to the NLC  Glow site  ICT for Pupils – Animation

iPod touch- Sacred Heart Primary

Angela Harley writes:

In Sacred Heart we set for Maths. I used the i pod touched with the children in my group. I have a group of very bright P.7 children and a group of children from P4- P.6 who can be challenging to hold their attention.

With the P.7 children they took ten minute slots each on the maths games pre loaded on the i-pods, daily. The aim was to challenge their mental maths skill and for them to beat their own scores and times. The children had a great deal of fun and it encouraged independent working. The children kept their own records of scores and made sure the allocated times was shared among the group.

With my other group they also used the pre-loaded games but at a less challenging level. My aim was to use the i-pods to encourage the children to work smarter and maintain their focus on their work. Each day the children had to be at a certain point in their work before they got their slot on the i-pods. This worked well and the children aimed to complete tasks to get their go, This group of children were not fully aware that the games I asked them to go on were in fact improving their mental maths skills.

In my own class I also used the i-pods as an incentive to promote positive behaviour. The children opted to use the i-pod touches for their Golden Time. The condition was that they had to have their full Golden Time by the end of the week. This seemed to work well especially with boys who display negative behaviours in the class. If they did lose Golden Time then they worked greatly on the positive side to earn it back. On this occasion I let the children use any of the pre-loaded games and some connected to the internet.

iPod Touch – Victoria Primary School

We borrowed 20 Ipod touches to assist in the teaching and learning of all curricular areas. We also shared these with our P5 and P7 classes who were timetabled to use the ipods for 2 hours per week each. The remainder of the time was dedicated to P6.
How ICT supported learning and teaching
Maths – Used in conjunction with active maths sessions to reinforce more formalised maths lessons. Children especially enjoyed the apps on multiplication and were engaged longer than more conventional teaching tasks such as board games, textbooks or even laptops.
Language- Children used Safari to research Victorian Laws such as the mines and factory acts. From here they constructed posters to advertise the advent of these new laws and the impact that they would have on Victorian living. Children also researched crime and punishment and devised ‘apprenhension’ sheets of criminals from pictures and real life Victorian stories from the web.
Interdisciplinary learning – Children used the ipods to research Victorian transport and shops. From here we developed a Victorian Street in which we placed means of transport. The children also independently research a whole range of Victorian facts, which were then presented onto a fact card that they shared with other children in the class.
Impact / conclusion
The ipods proved to be a very value teaching tool and all children were very confident in using the ipods to conduct individual research on our Victorians topic. The fact that these could be instantly turned on and children had access to their own piece of hardware made organizing lessons much easier and increased the amount of time that they were learning.
I would thoroughly recommend the integration of ipods into classroom as children were immediately engaged on tasks and enthused about the prospect of using them to further their learning.
Similar views were held by the teachers from P5 and P7 who felt they were an excellent teaching tool.

Colin Thomson

Flip Video Cameras – Saint Patrick’s Coatbridge

Working with a group of children from p.5-7 on id topic the very important bear as part of the school’s senior area theme, “film, theartre and media studies”. Children had to: decide on group name for film company, create a character, plan and script a short movie for their bear to star in, record their movie and edit adding music and sound effects.
How Ict Supported Learning and Teaching
Children were motivated and worked together to solve problems. The children developed new skills as they used various technological equipment to create movies. they have now been able to transfer the new skills to different activities and demonstrate for others.
Impact / Conclusion
The one problem I found with the flip cameras was that the recordings could be played on all computers within the school but we could only use the images and create movies on one computer. It was suggested to me that the computers have been updated and that the flips could be an older version. I am not very sure if this is the case but it certainly caused a problem for me especially since I had to ensure that all groups completed their movie in time for oscar night.
Flip cameras are fantastic, easy to use and help bring out side experiences into the class.

Kate Campbell

iPod Touch – Glencairn Primary

My Primary 6 class have been using the iPod touches to assist with their learning since January.  I have found them to be both a worthwhile and motivating resource to support learning and teaching.

Using iPod touches within the classroom has helped to promote independent and responsible learning.  The children have been given unlimited access to their own iPod touch and make decisions and choices about when to use it.  They take responsibility for the care and ownership of this and must ensure it is fully charged overnight.

In the beginning the children were introduced to the different apps available to them and they were given time to explore these before using them within lessons.  This was beneficial as it prevented valuable teaching and learning time being wasted .

The apps available on the iPod touch are very varied and have helped to develop literacy, numeracy, ICT skills and the children’s general knowledge.  I have found the maths games to be very useful and the children find them challenging and enjoyable.  Other apps which have been worthwhile are: Flags, The Human Body, Slideshow, Comic Twist, Wikipanion,  Google Earth and Safari.

With every child having their own iPod touch it has meant that internet research can be carried out at any point in the day, therefore not limited to when the class has laptop access.

I have planned lessons to incorporate the use of the iPod touches.  Google Earth has been used as a focus for maths lessons,  Safari has been used almost daily for a range of activities,  Notes has been used for writing lessons, Wikipanion for research projects and many purposes.

The children are also given the choice to use the ipod as a follow up to lessons.  They are provided with a choice of tasks and enjoy this.  They are eager to finish their other work to get onto the iPod tasks.

The children have learned to post comments onto the Glencairn iPod Blog.  Many children can access this independently to upload photos, podcasts or write text.  Parents and the wider community can access this blog to keep up to date with progress and comment.  Parents have reacted very positively to this project and the comments reflect their enthusiasm, many identifying the benefits associated with this initiative.  The children are highly motivated by the outside interest in their work and regularly check this.

To summarise, the benefits of using iPod touches have been:

  • Increased motivation
  • Apps enhance learning and teaching
  • Promotes independence and responsibility
  • Unlimited access to the internet
  • The children’s ICT skills have improved

Many opportunities for revision or consolidation, ie maths/ language games

There have been some challenges to overcome during this initiative.  Firstly, navigating around the ipod touch was difficult for some children due to poor motor skills, especially when typing.  Another problem we encountered was when sharing resources.  We had set up First Class as a way of sharing work, however this did not work well.  It would be helpful if there was a way of resolving this.

We also experienced some problems with the airport signal within our school and we were unable to use the ipod touches all at once.  This problem was resolved by updating the system.

The benefits certainly outweigh the challenges and I have found the iPod touches to be a very worthwhile resource within the classroom. So much so that the school are planning to invest in their own for all the children to use.  The primary 6 class will act as mentors for the rest of the school.

Thank you very much for the opportunity, it has been a  great experience.

Robyn Moonie