Archive for the ‘Maximising the use of Mobile Devices’


Maximising the use of Mobile Devices

Looking at the innovative ways Ipads are used in the classroom

In today’s session we looked at a Prezi Helen had created on how primary schools are using iPads in the classroom. Helen showed us many apps some of which she recommended we should take a minute to explore. Helen talked about the Flexible Use of Media and how by using certain apps such as GreenScreen children can have the opportunity to be ‘virtually’ anywhere, an example was shown on how a group of children did a virtual tour of the sites and landmarks of London. I also enjoyed using Feltboard and can see children creating their own stories using this app. I have previously used iMovie in year 2 and Haiku Deck which I feel children can easily get to grips with.

Making Learning Visible, apps that allow children to share what they have learnt, a nice way of sharing and talking about children’s work in the early years would be by taking pictures of the children’s activity and then sharing what they have done using Reflector/Apple TV on the IWB. Another way of making learning visible is One is Popplet which is easy to use and has the option of adding images and video. We looked at answer garden which I have used on previous blogs, it allows you to answer a question that is posed.

Making learning flexible and personal, there are many different types of apps that are available some of which support curriculum areas such as Pocket Phonics, Spellasour app for supporting spelling, Collins Big Cat Books for developing reading. I also had a look at the Grasshopper apps, these can be customized and are good to use for children in the Early Years. It is also important to make learning personal and take into account the needs of all children to include those with SEND/EAL.

Encouraging talk and collaboration is always paramount, there are many to choose from. I have explored apps such as Puppetpals, Toca Boca, Tellagami, ShadowPuppet.edu all of which encourage the use of talk. Take a look at the Prezi below

 

After the session introduction we had an opportunity to finish off our storytelling apps. Amisha and I decided to finish off resource by adding our Feltboard story into Story jumper (an easily accessible webtool) as this would be a great way to showcase the children’s stories in the form of a book. You can see our example below, it looks really professional , I feel that children would be really proud to see their worked displayed in this way.

Book titled 'Rudy's New Shoes'Read this free book made on StoryJumper

 

We also had an opportunity to share our resources, I liked Sarah and Co’s take on ‘Dear Zoo’ using Tellagami app, I also liked the resource created by Alyson and Alex of ‘The Brave Knight’ using Green Screen, it was very effective and I can see how this could be used in the classroom across many curriculum areas such as literacy, history, science, RE etc. children could be transported to any place they choose! This has inspired me to have a go a using this app on my next placement. You can take a look below

 

Using ICT in the Early Years Foundation Stage

using Computers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where does ICT fit in the EYFS?

According to Somerset ELIM (2012) ‘there is a clear place for ICT in the Early Years Foundation Stage’ (EYFS). The Somerset ELIM (2012) document talks about the many ways in which so many of the Early Learning Goals (ELG’s) can be addressed and met using ICT.  ICT is not just about iPads and computers, it can be anything that requires makes pressing buttons/switches and watch to see what happens. Children in the early years are motivated, excited  and engaged when using ICT, they enjoy sharing their achievements.The site suggests examples of weblinks to support specific ELG’s. I had a look the ELG of

Making relationships: children play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.

The site suggests activities such as children working collaboratively using Bee-Bots, Roamer, Big Track or other electronic toys, these types of activities are a great way of children making new relationships and forming friendships. It also suggests the use of appropriate software on a computer, iPad or IWB. Other suggestions are using walkie talkies or toy mobile phones,  I feel that children would enjoy using these in their play and communicating with each, this will develop their language and communication skills. It is also important that children understand turn taking when using equipment and that use of time on devices is limited in terms of usage time. I found this site is really informative click on this link for more information.

As part of our reading for this session we were asked to comment and reflect on why some teachers are reluctant to use digital technologies in the primary classroom. 

Do young children need access to computers as much as they need to play with sand and water?

This article posed some point of interest on ‘Why some teachers are reluctant to use digital technologies’.

I think that most teachers, the ones who are new to recent mobile technologies, do use computers to carry out everyday tasks like online booking, buying insurance, downloading music and videos and social networking. The issue is that they have reservations, namely;

  • E-safety and security of information
  • Reliable networks
  • Availability of on-site technical support
  • Lack of training and time for experimenting with new technology

However, with more reliable networks and the popularity of mobile devices in homes, teachers do find it easier to incorporate software and Apps into everyday teaching and learning. Devices, such as tablets are actually being used for assessment and to record progress of children’s development / skills, e.g.2Build a profile.

On the question of whether children need access to computers as much as the need to play with sand and water, children do need real life experiences however, evidence suggests the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Children as young as two years old are familiar with devices, such as smart phones, iPads or similar tablet devices. I have observed them select their favourite video to watch or program to play with, even at least know how to stop and start. Thus showing familiarity at a very young age and by the time they start formal school, technology has already become part of their normal life.

Touch screen technology has many advantages for children who haven’t started reading yet, they can access to a whole range of learning by following images and voice prompts or dragging and dropping (shapes, for example in a maths based activity) even if they have poor motor skills. With such technology, children can start ‘learning’ even before they start reading and writing. As technology is becoming more embedded in our daily lives, so does the need to be at the forefront of this technology because children of today will be better prepared for the advances of the technology tomorrow.

 

In this week Early Years Specialism our group was tasked to do a presentation on theorist Maria Montessori. Amisha, Rachel and I researched some background information into her educational vision and presented our findings to the rest of the group. I created a Prezi instead of a Powerpoint as I feel this is a really effective way of presenting information. It allows you to zoom in and out and add text and video. See below

 

 

 

Reading

I came across this website (http://www.ideaslab.edu.au/design-lab/ckc/) about how new technology will mean a re-evaluation of pedagogy. I found some really useful background information via a link (http://www.ideaslab.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Understanding-Virtual-Pedagogies_CKC_ideasLAB.pdf)

Increasing use of mobile devices opens up new possibilities and at the same time ‘they re-conceptualise the nature of teaching and learning in a technology-rich learning world.’ As these new learning dynamics are explored, so to the need to evaluate traditional pedagogy because the role of the teacher ‘as the source of knowledge’ evolves as a facilitator of independent, collaborative learning – referred to as virtual pedagogy, which challenges many of our traditional assumptions about effective teaching and learning.

Mobile devices open up enormous possibilities for learners because they provide an instant access, contextual anytime, anywhere learning. New possibilities of connecting and communicating are now presented for the learner as well as the ease of collaborating and working collectively with a much wider group of learners. The quality and diversity of the learning outcomes that arise from the use of these experiences truly has the potential to empower the learner like never before.

I also found the ideas presented by James Long,  interesting in understanding the potential of using ipads. The video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_6TcE4-65E) describes some of the possibilities and benefits of using mobile devices, e.g. ipad. Such devices meet the learning needs for any subject and all abilities and help personalise learning. There are a whole range of Apps that can facilitate learning for a whole range of curriculum areas.

 

References

http://www.ideaslab.edu.au/design-lab/ckc/

https://slp.somerset.gov.uk/cypd/elim/somersetict/Early%20Years/ELGs%20and%20ICT%202012.pdf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_6TcE4-65E

Preston, C. and Scott Baker, M. Do young children need access to computers as much as they need to play with sand and water? In: Burden, K. Leask, M. & Younie, S. (Eds.). (2014). Teaching and Learning Using ICT in the Primary School. Taylor & Francis.