Archive for the ‘Digital technology across the curriculum’


Digital Technology across the Curriculum

In this weeks session we looked at how ICT can play an essential part across the curriculum.

QR Codes

We were tasked to day to work in pairs and create a themed/curriculum resource using  a selection of QR codes. Let’s go to the beginning and find out what QR codes are and what are there purpose. 

 

qr sample QR – Stands for ‘Quick Response. You may have seen QR codes in a magazine advert, on a web page, on a billboard, or on promotional literature. QR codes store and digitally present a lot of data, such as url links and instead of having a hand held scanner such as a scanner that is used to scan bar-codes, most smartphones can scan the QR codes quite easily and bring up the information on your phone in an instant, using a QR code reader app which are easily downloadable.   We were introduced today on alternative ways  of how to use QR codes effectively, such using them as an educational resource in the classroom. I had never thought of using them in this alternate way, who would have thought they have so many uses. This is an excellent idea of having resources on a topic of study on one sheet, a cube or grouped on a key ring! Below is a delightful video of how one class use QR codes in their classroom to get to popular websites which they have bookmarked and can use in an instant. Her explanation of how to use QR is spot on!

 

Amisha and I worked in a pair and decided that our early learning theme would be ‘All about Minibeasts’. We collated six different resources covering several curriculum areas such as Literacy,  Science, Art & Design  and put the QR codes together on one sheet linking them to the relevant url/websites on our chosen theme. I can see the benefits of using QR  codes in the classroom as they can be used across the curriculum subjects, children could put together their own mini project and sharing what they have learnt with their peers, children’s work could also be uploaded onto the school website/blog and parents could access their child’s work using their QR code scanner via their smartphone. 

We looked at various resource sites such as Infant Encyclopedia, Tes, Communication 4 All, BBC Bitesize , Purplemash and many others

 

infant encylopedia

communication 4 all

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both of the sites we looked at have a number of topics to choose from. They are packed full of information, activities and resources that cover many areas of the curriculum. We looked at the Science section for information on our chosen topic of Minibeasts, we liked the fact that there was a wide variety of activities to browse and choose from that children would find appealing such as videos, literacy activities, art and design activities etc. There are also adaptable IWB activities that available within these sites, these sites are well worth exploring as they are a valuable resource to have and use in an Early Years/KS1 classroom.

After we had chosen our activities, we used a QR code generator (we used Scan.me) to make the QR code. We then used a snippet tool to add it into a publisher document. It is very simple to do. Once compiled you scan the codes to find out more information by simply scanning the QR code which instantly takes you to the url/website on Minibeasts. Here is our example which has been added the Teaching Resource bank

 

 

97tf97yfy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking a look at Green Screen

I was interested in taking a look at ‘Green Screen’ as it looked like fun and something that I would like to experiment with. Having looked at a few examples I soon realised that there are many innovative ways to ‘bring the curriculum to life’ and Green Screen is one of them. Armed with your iPad and green sheeting/paper (you can choose other colours for the background but grren works best with skin tones) you begin  by performing in front of the screen, this is were your artistic flair comes in and then using technology the green background is removed and depending on what background you choose you can be transported to any location in an instant.

I think that children would enjoy this as it has so much potential, it could be used as a starter to an activity/topic or to bring the topic to an end. There are many ways that Green screen can be used, for storytelling, a Geography topic on weather, a history topic on The Great Fire of London, there are so many possibilities!

I found an example of how one school has used Green Screen to bring their knowledge together on their topic of the Victorians, the teacher commented that the children were all enthusiastic about presenting in front of the screen and it was an activity that could incorporate all of the children even those who were shy of performing in front of the camera.

Victorians 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the session we watched a video of how one teacher has used Green screening creatively for an introduction on a History topic on WW1, it is really effective and a great way to get the children hooked into the topic. This has inspired me to incorporate using GreenScreeing in my classroom! Watch this space……

Take a look at the video below

 

We were posed a question of ‘What does ICT add?’

Hall (2010) suggests that before technology is introduced into the learning of a subject it is essential that we consider whether ICT should be used, and does it enhance teaching and learning. Hall (2010) goes on to make some valid points does ICT:

  • make it easier, quicker or more enjoyable to accomplish a task
  • improve the quality of the work
  • enable learners
  • provide motivation
  • help to achieve the desired learning outcome?

There is lots of evidence  to suggest that ICT is an effective tool for teaching and learning and providing it is not ‘overused and it is used effectively’ it is good reason to include in the classroom to enhance and not substitute teaching and learning ‘(Hall, 2010, p.15). This article has made me think a little more about using technology in an effective way in my classroom and I will question whether it adds value and content to the learning when planning activities.

We looked at many different websites an apps today such as Recce – London a free app which a great way to explore London’s sites without actual having to take a trip to the capital. This could be way in if looking at a history project of London, such as the House of Parliment,Tower of London, HMS Belfast or Buckingham Palace.

screen568x568 of london

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other apps were explored such as Steet view on Google Maps, this app is amazing an allows you explore landmarks around the world, you can be looking in another part of the world in an instant! Rome, Egypt, India all at your finger tips….This could be adapted and used in the classroom closer to home, the children could make a map of their route to school and by using this app could add a real life dimension to their learning.

 

Making the leaning visible – Collaborating and sharing

Collaboration at a whole school level is wonderfully demonstrated by Bridgewater Primary School in Northamptonshire. The school tapped into the interests and motivations the children, which was a program/game called Minecraft. This was modified it and re-presented to the children as ‘Bridgecraft’  where the whole school worked together on a week-long project covering all different subject areas. Children were so motivated, they were totally immersed in being creative, collaborative problem solvers with so many of their own ideas. Learning was totally visible across the whole school as each year group created a different aspect of the project. This was recorded as stills, video and put on the school blog. I must say, the children, teachers and parents really seemed enthused and thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, the school won an ICT award as a result of their project. Take a look at the inspiring video below of

 

 

Reading

Learning, Digital Media and Creative Play in Early Childhood

 

spotlight picThis thought provoking article intrigued me to take on board introducing technology to young children in the early years that are ‘developmentally appropriate’. Children from a very young age become accustomed to using digital technologies in their play that are a tool for supporting learning. The article suggests that pre-schoolers must still have the important real hands on experiences that they require and need to experience such as riding a tricycle, playing in the sand or making sculptures out of clay or dough. This particular school in the article has incorporated technology as part of their everyday classroom.   It goes on to highlight the market for educational media for young children is expanding rapidly. Almost half of the 100 top-selling education apps in the iTunes App Store were for preschool or elementary-aged children, with games and apps that allow pre-schoolers to do everything from animate their own to cartoons, to learn their ABC’s etc. and all claiming to be educational. The reality is that the research behind if there is any real potential by pre-schoolers playing these games/apps helps their cognitive or social learning and development is yet to be proven. Another point which was highlighted was parents who are’ handing over their smartphones to entertain bored kids in the back of the car. And the iPhone has become, according to one New York Times article, the most effective tool in human history to mollify a fussy toddler, much to the delight of parents revelling in their newfound freedom to have a conversation in a restaurant or roam the supermarket aisles in peace’, in other words a smartphone as the modern alternative to a baby sitter. In my opinion there is a place for technology and I see the immense possibilities that they can create however, there has to be a balance between real life experiences and using technology effectively. Read the full article by clicking on this link to give your view

 

 

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

TS1 – Set high expectations which inspire, motivate and challenge pupils (set goals that stretch and challenge pupils)

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)

 

 

References

Hall,D. (2010) Using ICT to Enhance English. In: Hall, D. (ed.) The ICT Handbook for Primary Teachers. Abingdon: Routledge. p.15-26.

Jackson, S. (2012) Learning, Digital Media and Creative Play in Early Childhood. Source [online]. Available from: http://spotlight.macfound.org/featured-stories/entry/learning-digital-media-and-creative-play-in-early-childhood/ [Accessed 3rd Nov 2014].