Archive for the ‘Sharing our resources’

Sharing our resource

Sharing and Evaluating

Our third and final session for ICT was an opportunity for the group to share their media resources that they had been working over the past couple of weeks and to provide feedback. The groups had all worked really hard and it was a great way to see the different types of media that the groups had decided to use. Not surprisingly apps such as Puppet Pals and iMovie trailer were very popular as they were great fun to use as well as Smart Notebook, Make Dice, Popplet, Funny Movie Maker, etc. the different types of media used in the presentations broadened my knowledge immensely and enabled me to think about and how technology can effectively be used in the classroom to enhance teaching and learning in the Early Years and Key Stage 1.


There were two groups who’s resources were really enjoyable to watch, the first being Sarah, Hayley E and Hayley H who used Puppet Pals to retell the story of ‘Hairy Maclary’ by Lynley Dodd. The group were very creative and had chosen to add in their own backgrounds and pictures which gave a great effect. Sarah’s son was the voice over for the story and it really bought the book to life and we could see how it would be an effective app that children can use that teaches storytelling skills and allows the children to be really creative.


Another enjoyable resource which was presented was Emily, Katie and Alison’s Puppet Pal of ‘What the ladybird heard’ by the brilliant author Julia Donaldson. I was unfamiliar with this book and it was lovely to see their take on it, I  liked the characters and the theatrical voice overs, they looked liked they had lots of fun making it, click on the links above to view them.

All of the groups gave very positive feedback to our presentation, we first showed out iMovie trailer of ‘The Gingerbread Man’ followed by our Puppet Pal. I was impressed with how professional the iMovie trailers look on the big screen, having seen the other groups adding music and uploading their own backgrounds and pictures is something I will take on board and put into practice when I use the app in the classroom. I may have to invest in an Ipad as I found the best way to become familiar with all of the many apps that are available is to have a go!

Our iMovie trailer and Puppet Pal can be viewed here

iMovie trailer The gingerbread man

The Gingerbread Man Puppet Pal. This resource has been added to the shared resource bank here


‘Make dice’ another great app which I thought was a simple yet effective idea which can be used in storytelling. This app was used by Emma, Sophie, Holly and Charley group as part of their presentation. It allows you to make any kind of dice you wish instantly, I think that children would like shaking the iPad to roll the dice.  This app is a great teaching tool for children, in literacy it could be used for sentence structure, or descriptive writing and for younger children pictures can be added to create a story cube.


Storytelling plays an important role in the early years and KS1 and is something which children enjoy doing whether it is listening to/retelling a story or acting out a role play. Storytelling helps children to learn language and develop literacy and by introducing digital media can not only support and enrich learning, it is a way of offering an alternative for children to be creative in expressing themselves, boosts confidence and can support all learners in the classroom.

The resources were created to support children’s literacy. The trailer was created to support them in the initial introduction of the book, the narrative, the characters, etc. we chose this app as it is something which the children could do themselves, working collaboratively in groups, using puppets, pictures, acting out the story in a role play etc. to make their own trailer. Using Puppet Pals would enable the children to develop their story sequencing skills, be creative with characters, support children with their communication and language skills, develops social skills with taking turns and working together and develop their ICT skills. The app can also be used by the teacher as a form of assessment.

 Further Reading

I thought I would explore the role of digital technologies and how they could support children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and children who have English as an additional language (EAL).

Article: Assistive Technology for Kids with Learning Disabilities: An Overview

This article discusses the availability of Assistive technology to aid children who have SEN or disabilities. Assistive technology can be a device or a piece of equipment that helps children to work around or compensate for an individual’s specific learning needs.  The technology can help a child to reach their full potential for example, a student who struggles with reading but who has good listening skills could benefit from listening to audio books. As well as supporting the child in their learning, assistive technology can also increase their self-reliance and more importantly a sense of independence. The article discusses the technology available that can address the different types of learning difficulties that children may have in their reading, writing, numeracy, organisation and memory. There are many types of assistive technologies that are available such as:

  • Alternative keyboards
  • Audio books
  • Electronic maths sheets
  • Speech recognition programs
  • Remedial reading software
  • Texthelp

The Texthelp program is designed for those who need extra help with reading and writing. The program allows children to read aloud  from websites, it also has a speaking dictionary, a phonetic spell checker and word prediction. This program is really useful for children with EAL, dyslexia as well as other learning difficulties. The article has highlighted some interesting points that I will consider when on placement, having done some research I found that there is a lot of technology available that can aid, enhance and support children who have specific needs in their learning. Click on the link above for more information.

Further reading

I read an article on iPads/iPods as an observation tool in the EYFS by Miss Leigh , a nursery teacher at Spring Cottage Primary School in Hull. She talks about her settings common issues in relation to observation and assessment methods and how the use of iPads has transformed the way they assess and record observations in their setting.

Screen Shot 2012-07-22 at 09.49.57


Increasingly schools are turning to the iPad/iPod for assessment, especially in the foundation stage. In the context of the EYFS framework, the workload has significantly increased and therefore the need has arisen to find a better way. Hence, many practitioners are trialling the use of iPads with the ‘2simple’ and ‘2build a profile’ apps. The idea is quit brilliant, innovative and smart way to assess and record, a must for practitioners in the EYFS!



How it works?


Firstly you add the children that you are going to observe by taking a photo and inputting their details. Next you take a photograph of their learning experience (the app also allows you to tag more than one child in observations). You can insert a description of the activity and record anything the child/children have said by clicking on the yellow post-it and type in the information. Writing out observations for anyone who works in the EYFS knows too well can be very time consuming, this app is not only efficient but saves time, Apple have described it as a simple and powerful way to log children’s achievements against the EYFS profile in 4 simple steps’.

However, this does come at a price which most budget holders will shy away from. But all is not lost as Apple devices are not the only ones available. The Learn pad is one such example that is available and include the apps and software required. One school is using Samsung tablets to the same and they are quite cost effective. So, the good news is that there are options to suit different budgets.

Obviously, as new technology in introduced, there are going to be teething problems of compatibility with existing systems and local authority firewalls, etc. but these will get resolved. Of course, using android will probably prove easier for compatibility, but whichever path one takes (Apple or android) the way forward is tablet technology to assess, not only in the foundation stage but also further up the school. I can see children taking these SATS exams on these too.

 Thank you for reading.