Archive for the ‘Developing a vision’

Developing a vision

Alas this week was our last taught extended ICT session with our inspiring tutor Helen Caldwell, the last five weeks have flown by! As we approach the end our first term at university it will not be long before we are teaching our own class of children as we embark on our teaching careers.

Today’s session began by an introduction  to ‘subscription software’ in the form of two sites Education city and Help Kids learn. We were given the opportunity to explore both sites, choose an activity and feedback to the group .


education city

I first took a look at Education City. This is an excellent software site which I have seen used by children in previous placements. The site is packed full of learning activities covering the curriculum areas of English, Maths, Science and Computing as well as MFL of French and Spanish. There is also a section on ‘Learn English’ which I thought was particularly useful especially with children who have EAL. The site can be used across key stages 1 and 2 and has a section which incorporates the EYFS. Education City is simple to navigate around and is ascetically pleasing to the eye, an important factor and I feel is one of the reasons that children like to use this site. I discovered there is also an option to display an activity on the IWB, this is a useful feature as you could use the activity as a starter activity,plenary to the lesson or as a continuous provision for children to access.

I had a look at a Ks1 maths activity of ‘Flower Fun’ ordering numbers from 1-20, this activity I found is very user friendly and one which children would be able to do independently. Overall I give this website a big thumbs up and will definitely like to use on my next placement or in my future practice. See the activity example below


edu cit mat











Next I looked at a software site called HelpKidzLearn. This site also has games, activities, stories, a creative section and lots more which is aimed at the early years and those with learning difficulties. Helen our tutor showed us ‘switches’ which can be used  for children who have an impairment or for children to build upon their skills when moving onto using a mouse to complete an activity. When you click on an activity will advise you how many switches can be used (for 1 or more players). I browsed through some of the activities and found them to be very early years and simple to complete, the Education City site I found is more challenging and geared towards both EY’s and primary range aged group, however I do like the fact that switches can be used to complete an activity and will take the idea forward when I am in my future practice.


The site has a story section which has has activities that develops and reinforce children’s counting skills, although limited, for children in FS1 and Fs2 I feel that they would enjoy using and working through the activities independently. I had a look at a counting called ‘Five big Dinosaurs’.




 Exploring Assessment tools












In the next part of our extended session we looked at assessment tools. We looked at and explored:

  • 2Build a profile
  • Tapestry
  • Three ring (free app)
  • (free app)


I have had the opportunity to use the 2Build a profile app on a school placement and found after a little practice it was fairly easy to use. I would say this is a good documentation tool to use for assessment purposes. It allows you to take a picture of the child or children you are observing, then you write your virtual note and tag the observation to the early learning goals, you can also print off the observation to go in the children’s learning journals to share with parents and other teaching staff.This and other apps save time on observations a plus for all teachers, I would highly recommend having a go.

The Three Ring e-portfolio app allows you to collect evidence of learning and capture children’s work in the form of  video (a feature that I like) sound recording and text, it also allows you to organise classes using an iPad. I am totally convinced that the iPad is the way forward it can be used in so many different ways, an essential tool for teachers.

Have a look a this short demonstration video below

I looked at Evernote which is web based and can be used for a digital student portfolio, this tool allows you take pictures of the children’s work,  add text, add audio recording , children are able to talk about what they have learned , what they did and why it was important to them. This app allows you to share the child’s information with parents/carers via email. This app is not designed as an assessment tool but can be adapted for assessment purposes. I may explore this further and use it in my next placement.

 Making learning visible

I  watched an informative video of how one school documents children’s learning through a differentiated learning curriculum as a whole school research project. The research the project developed through the children’s input and interests. Teachers acted as facilitators and both teachers and children documented the learning journey in a variety of ways. The displays of the work the children had researched  made the learning more visible to the whole school community.The children were able to analyse and discuss the documentation they researched with teachers and their families. The project was celebrated and displayed in may ways such as using digital technology, interactive displays, video, drama, art and design etc. to value the learning that had developed from the project. The schools approach in displaying their findings in such creative and effective ways not only made the learning  visible it also enriched the school environment and allowed the children to revisit their learning. 

Take a look at the video below from Woorana Park Primary School


Our final group activity was to assist us with thoughts about the content of our vision statement.

We talked about research from Naace (2014) on the 11 top statements on how ‘ICT could impact learning’. We put the statements in order of importance and then using an app called Skitch we chose our top three statements and annotated them by circling around statements, use arrows and annotate  with text. These where then uploaded onto Show me app,  an online learning community , and shared with the rest of our group. Unfortunately, sometimes technology can let you down and we were unable to upload our top three statements  thankfully I took a picture, our top three were:

  • increase motivation to learn
  • Increase access to resources and tools
  • Enable access for minorities (be inclusive for all children)

You can see Rachel and Co.’s example of their skitch below, by completing this activity has given me some valid points on the importance of ICT and how it impacts on learning.




How the iPad can transform classroom learning

This article by Ben Johnson typifies my vision for computing transforming classroom learning. The focus of the article is the use of the iPad and the possibilities for learning transformation across the curriculum. One of the main benefits is the ability of a teacher to set open tasks that require critical thinking and problem solving. Learners can research, find evidence, model ideas, corroborate with other students and present their learning in form appropriate to the task.

From the teacher’s point of view, the iPad becomes a tool for assessing , evaluating and documenting the learning. In fact, this is already being implemented in some secondary schools where children have their own iPads, which they use during lessons to support and enhance their learning.

Click on link to read the full article


In today’s session the Teachers Standards which are addressed within this session are:

TS3– Demonstrate good subject and curriculum knowledge (have a secure knowledge of the relevant subject(s) and curriculum areas, foster and maintain pupils’ interest in the subject)

TS4– Plan and teach well structured lessons (impart knowledge and develop understanding, promote a love of learning and children’s intellectual curiosity)

TS5– Adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils (have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs; those of high ability; those with English as an additional language; those with disabilities)

TS6 – Make accurate and productive use of assessment (make use of formative and summative assessment to secure pupils’



Johnson, B (2012) How the iPad can transform learning. Source [online]. Available from: [Accessed 2nd Nov 2014].