Vision Statement

Technology is ever more prominent in the lives of each individual today both young and old. This has lead to the importance of enabling environments where ICT and other technology based learning occurs can work alongside traditional teaching methods. ICT has been seen as an ideal tool for making the links between the different subjects and because of its very nature it can run concurrently with other forms of learning.  In the 21st century most children arrive at school with some experience of using ICT therefore the need to teach as a specific subject has reduced as most children seem able to learn both the ICT skills and the subject simultaneously.  In view of this fact the Draft ICT Programme of Study does not require a dedicated emphasis on learning ICT as a standalone subject.

The Programme of Study aims to show children that the use of digital technology and computer science is not only a means of accessing vast amounts of knowledge in an educational setting but that so much of the ‘adult world’ is based and relies upon computer technology. Therefore it is important to equip children with skills as early as possible which will allow them to play a vital role in society as they grow. However, because the Draft Programme of Study is non statutory, there is a fear that teachers who are insecure and ‘illiterate’ themselves in their ICT skills may neglect and reduce learning opportunities. Many feel that this point will result in some children not experiencing ICT ‘lessons’ for two years until the New National Curriculum is implemented in 2014.  The concern that children who have access to technology at home could progress more than those who don’t, thus resulting in a disparity in the skill level of children.

ICT is a constantly developing and evolving medium that impacts in all areas of everyday life, so it is important that children understand its language and how to use it to gain the maximum from its use. Understanding how computer systems work (Computer science) and therefore how to apply them (Information Technology) results in the ability to access and use it (Digital Literacy). All these things empower the child to take responsibility and direction of their own learning but also it encourages exploration and investigation in a creative way.

ICT often bridges the development gap especially in areas such as writing, spelling and maths where the automatic correctional facility enables a child to be involved in learning in a truly interactive way. In the Early Years the use of technology is cross curricular and multipurpose. It can be both an aid and a tool for learning which can be used discreetly or directionally. The use of a camera for example not only teaches children how to use the camera but also leads on to discussion of the image photographed.

iPads can have a vast range of different apps, both educational and social so this single tool can be provide access and resources for many areas of learning in contrast to books which are usually subject specific. This one tool alone can develop and improve hand eye co-ordination, cognitive development through matching. By introduction to ICT at a very young age the learning becomes subconscious. iPads are instant and simple to use, appealing to a wide variety of learners and can be used anywhere. Schemes and grants now exist to reduce the financial impact when purchasing initially, therefore many schools are favoring this versatile learning and teaching tool which can constantly be updated.  Although it appears to personalise learning some feel mobile technologies can be  an anti social tool reducing interactive communication (Speaking) giving children an unreal perspective on real life situations, this term is known as Toxic childhood. Siraj-Blatchford, however, disagrees with this and feels that they in fact encourage interaction as even games can be played through the internet with remote partners. Rosie Flewit, discusses how in fact the use of iPads in early education at the moment is the exception rather than the norm, so these fears about toxicity may not be representative.

Mobile technologies such as iPads, cameras, microphones etc present to teachers yet another medium to assist and create learning.  With such a variety of technologies  every areas of teaching seems to have an appropriate application to ensure every child can get the maximum from the learning experience.

Every teacher has the responsibility to make sure every child becomes a digital citizen, by raising awareness of the need of thinking before typing, the implications of the work as well as cyber safety. Hectors World not only focuses on eSafety with the dolphin button, but is now starting to present to teachers the importance of digital citizenship and has a whole host of ideas on how to implement and raise awareness of this matter.  Children need to know that internet sites whilst providing opportunities and information for learning can also have ‘malware’ and can be subject to undesirable content and use. The need for eSafety and limiting exposure to acceptable and appropriate apps and websites has been highlighted by the occurrence of child crime inspired and motivated by games and access to inappropriate websites. Thus, children need to be taught how to police their own ICT use.

It is evident that ICT is becoming a global tool not only for learning but education in general. Therefore whilst embracing that new technology will shape the children who will become the citizens of tomorrow, as with all learning it needs to be approached with a responsible attitude. It should also be seen as yet another medium which should be used alongside the already exciting catalogue of teaching tools.

To summarise I have created this mind map reflecting my learning over the past few ICT sessions

ICT in Schools… at AnswerGarden.ch.

References

Answer Garden (2012) ICT in Schools. [online]. Available from: http://answergarden.ch/view/43081 [Accessed on: 14.11.12]

Answer Garden (2012) Why use apps with children?. [online]. Available from: http://answergarden.ch/view/41845 [Accessed on: 15.11.12]

Belshaw, D. (2012) Digital Literacies and Web Literacies: What’s the Difference?. [online]. Available from: http://dmlcentral.net/blog/doug-belshaw/digital-literacies-and-web-literacies-whats-difference [Accessed on: 12.11.12]

Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (2008).  Hector’s World Safety Button. [online]. Available from: http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/5_7/hectorsworld/Hectors-World-Safety-Button1/ [Accessed on: 16.11.12]

Hector’s World (2012) Digital Citizenship. [online]. Available from: http://hectorsworld.netsafe.org.nz/parents/digital-citizenship/ [Accessed on 16.11.12]

ITNNews .2011. Nursery uses iPads to teach children.[ online]. Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZfSpd9aZZ0 [Accessed on: 10.11.12]

Landsdale PS.2008. iPromise. [online]. Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TcKHWP4cBr8 [Accessed on : 14.11.12]

Learner, S. (2011) Middle-class angst over technology in the early years. [online]. Available from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/jun/07/early-years-anxiety-digital-technology?INTCMP=SRCH [Accessed on: 14.11.12]

Marston, M. (2012) iPads in the classroom. Times Educational Supplement 2. (6) Pp.4-7

mrandrewsonline. 2012. Why iPads in Education?.[online]. Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Bq9yss1KRwE [Accessed on: 14.11.12]

National Association of Advisors for Computers in Education (NAACE). (2012) ICT Programme of Study Consultation. [online] Available from: http://www.naace.co.uk/naacecurriculum/programmeofstudyconsultation  [Accessed on: 18.11.12]

Newcastle City Learning Centre (2011) The use of the iPad in the primary classroom. [online]. Available from: http://www.newcastleclc.org/index.php/learning-development/ict-curriculum-team/24-stories/20-the-use-of-the-ipad-in-the-primary-classroomb [Accessed on: 16.11.12]

NextGen. Skills (2011) Will schools to be required to publish ICT and Computer Science offer online from September. [online] . Available from: http://www.nextgenskills.com/will-schools-to-be-required-to-publish-ict-and-computer-science-offer-online-from-september/ [Accessed on: 15.11.12]

Shah, S. (2012) Skills Commission warns government against withdrawing ICT curriculum. [online]. Available from : http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/news/2167085/skills-commission-warns-government-withdrawing-ict-curriculum  [Accessed on: 15.11.12]

TechTerms. (2012) IT. [online]. Available from: http://www.techterms.com/definition/it [Accessed on: 14.11.12]

Webopedia (2012) Computer Science. [online] . Available from: http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/computer_science.html [Accessed on: 14.11.12]

Wilson, I. (2012) Ipads in Education: Ipads in Schools. [online]. Available from: http://www.ipadineducation.co.uk/iPad_in_Education/iPads_in_Schools.html [Accessed on:  14.11.12]

The Three Little Pigs

During this lesson we brought together all of our knowledge of Ipads, Apps and using mobile technologies to assist learning experiences and as a group created a classroom resource. We decided on the story ‘Three Little Pigs’ and chose to make the resource using the Ipad as we felt they are increasingly being favored in settings.

First we looked at using the app VideoScribe. However, after using it briefly we realised we could not get some of the images we desired and it was very time consuming. We reviewed this and thought VideoScribe may not be so appropriate for the Early Years.

We then decided to use the app we had all explored previously ‘Explain Everything’ which I had also previously used. Whilst creating our resource we aimed to draw together all of our knowledge from the previous sessions as well as sharing our own knowledge within the group.  The app ‘Explain Everything’ was very easy to use; the layout of the app and the facilities it offered were easy to initiate and alter. All members of the group were able to access this app and we all felt it would be appropriate for children in the Early Years and Key Stage One.

We created an example of what children could make themselves in a Key Stage One class independently or possibly with adult assistant in the Early Years. The app ‘Explain Everything’  enabled us to use drawings, along with sounds and writing to retell and create the story. We also felt there were a range of skills developed by the using this app.

Please click on the link below to see an example of the kind of product children could make:

This app could be used in a variety of ways which are discussed in our planning:

Plan- Three Little Pigs- Ipads- Explain Everything

To consolidate the session every group presented their created resource , explained and demonstrated  how to use the specific app. I felt this very beneficial as we all accessed the app and then were given a step by step guide about how to create the resource. I decided to video these presentations to allow for personal reflection.  Once recorded using the Ipad, I wanted to upload them to YouTube. I had to create an account and then upload the video, this however, was not as straight forward as first thought, and was very time consuming.

Now I have a YouTube account, I feel I could use this in settings to share with parents and carers children’s work, I would ensure the privacy settings are appropriate and that the video would not be public.

 

Apps in relation to accessibility and impact on learning.

This week in ICT, after been allowed to explore apps freely over the last few weeks, we were tasked with reviewing apps for IPADS in relation to accessibility and impact on learning. Apple its self states that all their apps are created with the intention to help everybody ‘connect with the world in new ways’. There are a variety of apps all aimed at different age groups and abilities as well as foci on learning.

Early Years and Key Stage One:

Name: Doodle Buddy

Accessibility: Really easy to use drawing tool that is simple.  It has a variety of accessories- stamps shape and text which can be used to enhance the drawing .You can email the photo to save it and print it off so that work can be recorded.

Impact on learning: Children can explore with this app as a means of expression, to represent a story or a specific outcome. This app can be used as an aid to another area of learning as it is simple to use.

Key Stage One:

Name: Saving Seeds

Accessibility: Children are given seeds which need to get into a pot, they need to draw lines to save the seed in the pot. This can be differentiated easily with the level selected. This app is accessible to all, however, it may need some explanation in order for children to use independently.

Impact on learning:  This app promotes a lot of co ordination and estimation skills. Forward thinking is also needed along with recollection of what worked earlier.

A key point acknowledged when reviewing these apps was how the evidence could be saved. Some apps allowed for emailing or printing , whereas others did not save. I feel using ipads are a valuable resource but i feel recording and evidencing the work on them is just as important. Apps such as VidRhythm  allowed for images to be recorded and put into an animated video. This could then be shared with parents and carers as well as peers.

Please click here to look at the rest of the apps I reviewed : please feel free to comment on this post if you have reviewed similar apps, I would be interested to see your opinions.

A little bit more….

When looking further at apps that can be used I came across the website ‘Fun Educational Apps’. This site gives a brief review of the learning points as well as positive and negative ideas relating to the app. You can pick specific apps related to age ranges which i feel is good in ensuring the apps are age appropriate.

The media also reviews apps and the Independent  has come up with top 10 free educational apps. I feel because this is in a news paper, parents and adults may look at them and this will impact on children’s learning at home. This is not specifically related to child age apps, but general apps so could be useful of informing teachers. It should also be noted that IPADs in education are not only being implemented in the UK but world wide as nobody wants to ‘be left behind’ Aaditi Isaac

Finally to review learning related to using mobile technologies- IPADS we created mind maps in small groups, to display all our knowledge and understanding relating to accessibility and impact on learning which we then jigsawed to share our knowledge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Photos taken from ICT Session)

 

 

 

Creative Coding …..creating resources

Children having ownership of their own learning is an important aspect when planning. Allowing children to create games and learning resources to assist their learning and development is therefore vital.

This week we worked as a group to create an interactive simple coding resource to be used with children aged 3-5 years.  This allowed skills to be drawn from each person to create an overall resource which could be used in school. This resource would be ideally used on an interactive whiteboard.

We decided to use the program 2DIY as  we were all confident in using it. However, during the session we did look at other programming and coding programmes such as Purple Mash.

Based on the book ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ By Eric Carle

This ‘catching’ game allows children to develop and bring together a variety of coding skills.  This game could be created during a small adult lead session, where children get to collaborate and retell the story.  See plan: Overview Plan

 

Click here to play :Caterpillar game

The aim of the game is for children to direct the caterpillar to different fruits to gain points, this game created is cross curricular looking at many aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage and can be adapted depending on the age and ability of children. Children use mathematic skills to count the fruit and the total they have collected.  Skills of estimation and direction are used when directing the caterpillar to the fruit.

Using the program 2DIY to create a resource means the degree and complexity of the coding involved can be differentiated.

Another resource we tried to make was on the app

‘Explain everything’

Here teachers and children can create a resource to be used on a whole class scale.  Our resource created was an interactive story of the Hungry Caterpillar, which could be used as a stimulus to the game created above. You could record sounds and speech and insert images to represent your talk. Unfortunately, as we went to save, the battery ran out so there is not an example available.

But check out the video below, as it is a great resource to be used in schools.

 

 

Creative Coding

‘‘There is an argument that the ‘R’ of pRogramming needs to be a fourth ‘R’ alongside Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic as a basic foundation of 21st-century education’

Martin Belam.

Therefore the need for children to be exposed to and for programming to be incorporated into the curriculum is vital.  With Michael Gove ‘scrapping’ the existing ICT curriculum, it has left space for a richer curriculum to be developed by schools, which includes that of teaching children skills they will need for life, that of programming and computer science Eric Schmidt.

As a result of this, a whole host of programming applications have been developed and are available to be developed to assist and develop children’s learning.

Many of these applications are available on tablets which are seen to be an important tool for learning, however, with the use of tablets becoming ever more, there are still many debates over the accessibility in terms of price.

‘Scratch’ is a coding program available both on an IPad and the internet, which allows children to create interactive stories, games, music and art along with many other applications by themselves and in turn share them on the internet. This resource does not only promote coding skills, but mathematical and creative skills.

During the ICT session we explored a few apps which are suitable for children in the Early Years. These were all accessed using an IPad.

Daisy the Dino

This app is very user friendly and allows for experimentation. Due to the ease of using the app, children do not need to read or follow instructions before beginning the game. This app could be made real life with children directing other children in the same form as on the app.

The second app reviewed from the session was Tinkerbox 

I found this app to be quite frustrating ; this was because instructions had to be undertaken in order to grasp the game and it did not allow for the same amount of exploration as Dizzy. I also felt this app was very male orientated, so could be used to help hook boys if they are struggling to engage with the session but may not appeal to girls in the same way.

In school practice I have seen initial ‘coding’ taking place through the means of BeeBots. Here children have been given or create their own directions which are then put into the BeeBot . I found children grasped this really well and it was a successful activity.  Using BeeBots, not only develops children’s coding skills but also is cross curricular in developing skills of direction.

As well as apps, we looked at a computer program 2DIY and the coding activities they offer. Below are several examples of work I created to develop different coding skills. This program was easy to use and accessible.

 

 

 

 

 

For nursery and reception- simple matching games can be created, where children can drag and drop items to create the desired outcomes.

For more able there are activities such as ‘catching’ games and ‘quizzes’. I created was a ‘catching’ game which would enable children to work together to create an activity that is cross curricular and uses several coding skills.

I feel coding is a vital tool for children to use at a young age, because as they grow up and develop they will have more skills to apply to their learning and have different ways to show their knowledge and understanding.

Internet Safety

With ICT becoming an ever evolving technology it inevitably brings risks. The safety of those using the internet in particular children is constantly changing with the progression of programs and websites. Therefore the need for children to be internet aware is vital to ensure they keep themselves, their friends and others safe. As a trainer teacher it is vital to be aware of what safety precautions are out there, to use both on teaching practice and for our own safety.

Image from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/teacher-network/2012/feb/10/literacy-digital-teacher

With children becoming so technically advanced at such a young age it is vital that their safety on the internet is addressed even at a very young age. There are many simple free online websites and programmes to assist this.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) has set up a website: http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/ .This is a child friendly website which targets a variety of age ranges, with age appropriate activities and information stressing the importance of web safety and how to be safe.

On school placement in a reception class, I noted that the whole school- children, teachers and parents included used one specific tool provided by ThinkuKnow, ‘Hectors World’ http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/5_7/hectorsworld/Hectors-World-Safety-Button1/. I had not previously heard about this safety tool, but had seen it on computers .Here, a dolphin swims at the top of the screen and when a child feels ‘confused or scared’ they are able to click and it covers the screen until an adult is able access the computer. As mentioned above parents used this tool as well, the school ran an ‘How to be Safe at Home’ workshop, where the school promoted the use of ‘Hectors World’ on the home computer. I feel this is such a good idea as children will be familiar with this tool.

Along with interactive resources for children, ThinkuKnow also provides useful resources for teachers. I tried to sign up to this, but you can’t as a trainee teacher, but there are some resources that are free as an unregistered teacher .

(http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/5_7/hectorsworld/)

Print Screen from:http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/5_7/hectorsworld/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In all my placement schools I have observed that at ICT stations and areas, rules have been devised by the children and teachers in order to keep safe. I noticed that on ThinkuKnow there is also a section ‘Top Tips’, which could be used a stimulus with older children to create their own rules (http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/5_7/tips/. )

Print Screen from: http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/5_7/tips/

I feel this website offers a wealth of resources which can be accessed and used by children, adults and parents.

This is defiantly a safety tool I will ensure is used in my setting.

Other websites I accessed were:

Kidsmart- (http://www.kidsmart.org.uk/)

Print Screen from: http://www.kidsmart.org.uk/teachers/ks1/readsmartie.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I specifically accessed an online safety story aimed at children in the Early Years. Here an online story showed the importance of online safety http://www.kidsmart.org.uk/teachers/ks1/readsmartie.aspx. To link with this, the website offered lesson plans and activities children could do which related to the story.  This site also offered opportunities for home learning- where a book related to the class teaching can be downloaded.

This I felt was a great website with a whole host of resources free and readily available to access.