Chels' Blog

First time blogger…

ICT the way forward…

Filed under: Vision Statement — Chelsey at 9:50 am on Wednesday, November 21, 2012  Tagged , , , , , , ,


‘The world of education and schools is changing rapidly. This is due in no small part to the fact that learning technology is ever-evolving’ (Gillespie,2006,p8). In today’s modern society many children have gained and developed many ICT skills, before they have entered their first classroom. This has resulted in teachers needing to be up to date with technology and programs within the classroom. Technology has developed in leaps and bounds since I left primary school 10 years ago, nobody had heard of an iPad or an interactive whiteboard however they now play a part in many primary schools around the country.

As a result of this constant change the NAACE has had to re-evaluate their primary framework. The new draft framework describes that ‘a high-quality ICT education teaches pupils how to understand the world through computational thinking, and provides a sense of empowerment and excitement in using and developing digital technology’. This framework highlights the fact that children should be exposed to a range of technology within their classroom.  It also identifies the three areas that ICT should include:

  • Digital literacy
  • Information technology
  • Computer science

Therefore teachers should have a sound understanding of the meaning of these terms to promote them within their classrooms of all ages.

Within the new framework the Department for Education suggest that ‘at all Key Stages, information and communication technology should be used to enhance teaching and learning right across the curriculum’. I believe that technology can develop and engage children in all areas of the curriculum. ‘New applications of technology have the potential to support learning across the curriculum. And allow effective communication between teachers and learners in ways that have never been possible before’ (Dawes, 2001, p61). Within English there are a range of resources available to enhance children’s development from e-books to computer games.

During my own research I have found a website called teach your monster to read. This can be a great resource for children in the early years of school, it contains a range of games based activities aimed to develop phonics based on the letters and sounds scheme of work.

I have also seen story phones used within the early years to encourage reading. Children are given the story phones and books of the story to help them interpret what is going on in the book.

In addition, I have realised the potential that ICT has on children’s understanding within learning. I have discussed the potential of using computing to support science (computing blog). Furthermore, I think that photo story has the potential to engage children within the classroom. I created a photo story linked to sustainability within science.

I would use this with children in a range of science topic across Key Stage 2, to engage children and cement understanding. Although I have discussed the range of ways ICT can be incorporated into all areas of the curriculum, I believe that it should still exist as a subject in its own right. I believe that children should have the opportunity within school to develop skills that cannot be gained from other subject areas.

Although it is clear that ICT has a huge impact on children learning, it is also beneficial for teachers teaching strategies. Many primary classrooms now include a laptop for teachers as well as an interactive whiteboard. This can create opportunities for teachers to create a wealth of resources and interactive sessions. These new resources can also create a range of opportunities for teachers to include children with Special Educational Needs (SEN). ‘Many software applications offer different ranges of activities within a broad theme’ (Duffty, 2006, p40), this allows teacher to set children different tasks suited to their ability. Furthermore, for some children ‘concept keyboards, which have a grid of pressure-sensitive areas, can be used as an alternative to the standard QWERTY keyboard’ (Duffty, 2006, p40). These keyboards can be purchased in A4 or A3 in size to cater for children with motor disabilities. Finally, many programmes require the use of a mouse to control the actions on the computer, ‘when used with an interactive whiteboard this software becomes far more accessible’ (Duffty, 2006, p41). This again can help children who struggle with their fine motor skills. There are many different resources and strategies that can be used within ICT to promote a truly inclusive practice.

Lastly, ‘information and communication technologies (ICTs) has long been perceived as both a benefit and threat to children and young people’ (Cranmer et al, 2009), however it needn’t be a threat to children if they are taught how to use them appropriately. The Department for Education (2012) suggests that ‘involving children and young people in the development of their school’s e-safety policy can minimise risk and embed important principles such as

  • keep personal information private
  • consider the long-term implications of any content posted online
  • do not upload or post inappropriate, offensive or illegal content to their own or other online spaces
  • read and adhere to any website’s terms of conditions of use – including those around age restrictions’.


Through creating E-safety policies for children and staff alike in schools, the use of the internet and social network sites can be used to promote rather than hinder learning. Parents should also become involved in children’s use of the internet at home to encourage sensible behaviour online. Many schools now have barriers on their internet access to ensure children are not exposed to potentially dangerous content. In relation to the internet it is also of crucial importance that children have an awareness of ‘information literacy’. Whenever children find a piece of information, it is important that they develop the skills to ascertain its reliability, bias, timeliness and context (Carvin, 2002). This is a skill that all teachers should aim to develop within their children, teachers should begin to teach the children the differences between reliable and unreliable sources on the internet.

This is a great video to use with Key Stage 2 to reinforce the message of keeping personal information private when using the internet.


Overall, I believe that new technologies play a huge role within the primary curriculum, not only within ICT but throughout the primary curriculum. These new technologies can play a threat to children and young people, however with the right guidence and teaching children should be given the chance to access the opportunities presented through ICT.


Until next time . . . .



Carvin, A (2006)Literacy and content: Building a foundation for bridging the digital divide. In: Loveless, A and Dore,B (eds). ICT in the Primary School. Buckingham: Open University press.

Cranmer,S.,Selwyn,N. and Potter,J (2009). Exploring primary pupils’ experiences and understandings of ‘e-safety. Education and communication technologies. 14(2). Pp 127-142.

Dawes, L (2001) What stops teachers using new technology? In: Leask,M (ed) Issues in teaching using ICT. London: Routledge.

Duffty, J (2006) Extending Knowledge in Practice Primary ICT. Exeter: Learning Matters.

Gillespie, H (2006) Unlocking Learning and Teaching with ICT: Identifying and overcoming barriers. London: David Fulton.

Session 5- Golidlocks and the 3 bears return . . .

Filed under: Mobile technologies — Chelsey at 9:36 am on Monday, November 5, 2012  Tagged , , ,

Hi all,

This week we were yet again let loose with the iPads. As we had such a successful week last week using the trailer option in the iMovie app . . . Me, Angela and Tasha decided to use this app again to create a curriculum resource.

After much deliberation we came to the idea of using the iPad to create a trailer for Goldilocks and the 3 bears. However, we decided to do this using mixed genre. We took this fairy tale and used an action trailer to mix the genres.

This is the trailer we created . . .

We discussed the range of activities that could go alongside this and throught this type of lesson could be used with year 3/4 children, things included:

KS2 – year 3/4


Genres- LO- to demonstrate mixed genres.

Story planning- LO- to create suspense.

Story evaluating- LO- to evaluate and rewrite a story.

We also discussed many cross curricular links with this piece of work:


ICT- Using iMovie to create a trailer

Literacy- mixed genres, fairy tales, adventure stories and story evaluating

Drama-  role play, using puppets

Science/ geography – Where do bears live? What do they eat?

Art/ Design- Create a poster for the movie.

This type of activity does not only lend itself to many parts of the curriculum but would be highly engaging and fun for the children at the same time.

During some release on the internet based on iMovie i found a few example of how children were already using these trailers within the classroom. I particularly liked this one from a year 2 class, giving the audience a tour of their school:


Accessed from . .


In the following video some year 5 children have used iMovie to create a video advert from using good sentences.


Accessed from . . . .


Until next time . . .




Enter the world of QR codes . . .

Filed under: Mobile technologies — Chelsey at 6:52 pm on Monday, October 29, 2012  Tagged ,

Hello again,

During this weeks session we were also introduced to the idea of using QR codes within the classroom. I (as well as many others I am sure) could not see how these simple codes could be used within the classroom. How wrong I was!! One of the big challenges teachers face is keeping children engaged all the time, taking iPads, iPhones and other devices into the classroom will immediately engage children.

In the modern age we live in, children are exposed to technology all the time including QR codes. Children may see QR codes on a day to day basis within advertising. Many companies use QR codes to give people a quick access to websites, videos and promotions. This is just one example of QR codes being used within the modern age. Therefore using QR codes will be second nature to some children.

I have investigated making my own QR codes. I used a website called QRstuff, this website was easy to use and gives children the opportunity to use any URL code to link to a QR code. I think that children will also like the fact that they can pick the colours of the QR codes.

My code below is a link to our class blog:


To be able to read the QR codes, there are a number of free QR code readers to download onto the iPad. All the QR readers are very easy to use and children simply need to hover over the code for the link to work. The simplicity of using  these QR codes lend themselves to being used for a range of uses within the classroom, below are a few examples:


Uses of QR codes in the classroom:

> Use them to create displays, children’s videos can be displayed via a QR code next to their written work.

> Children can go on a treasure hunt with an iPad, the clues could be hidden within the QR codes

> Teachers can add QR codes to children’s homework to give parents an oral explanation of the homework.

> Teachers can use QR codes on information boards for parents.

To name just a few!

Teaching news give further explanations of ways in which we can use these codes in the classroom


QR codes open up a whole range of activities to be used cross-curricular throughout the school day.  However, I feel the best advantage of using QR codes is the children’s enjoyment and engagement.

Until next time . .





Session 4- iPads: A revolution for classrooms?

Filed under: Mobile technologies — Chelsey at 6:29 pm on Tuesday, October 23, 2012  Tagged , , ,

Hello again,

During this weeks session we had the chance to play with iPads. As an iPad owner I thought I knew everything there was to know about iPads, how wrong I was! During this session I was introduced to a range of apps and uses for the iPad within the classroom. I think they are amazing. The amount of apps on offer is mind blowing. Is there an app for everything? I think there might be.

Apple itself recognises the huge array of apps to fit every curriculum subject from science to maths to art. Furthermore, iPads are easily accessible for all learning needs from visual and hearing challenges to special educational needs children.

Today our group particularly looked at the iMovie app, priced at £2.99 it is a bargain. The iMovie app allows to create video and then begin to edit this video using sounds. This can be used for a wide range of things within the classroom, we discussed:

> using the video to re-tell a story during literacy.

> Use the video to record someones gymnastics routine and edit

> Use iMovie to record and edit science experiments

and many more . . . . .

We used the iMovie to create a trailer, see below:

(We will be internet sensations before we know it!!)

Not only did we have a lot of fun making this video, it was also very easy. I would definately use this part of the app within the classroom to make a ‘quick’ movie with KS2 children. I believe with a small amount of input children could use the app with ease. I liked the app because it allowed you to take as much video as you liked but then use only the small amount required, this makes filming a whole lot easier.

I think this part of the app would be particularly good for KS2 children to make a trailer to a book they have recently read. It would allow a good cross curricular theme across ICT, reading and speaking and listening. As an extension activity children could evaluate each others videos.

However, I also think that this app could be used with KS1 children as well. Teachers could create a video to introduce a new topic, this would be hugely successful as it would instantly engage children. Children would love to see a video featuring the teacher!

Talking of cross curricular links, the video below gives an example of using iPads within a DT/History project:


On a final note . . . during sifting through the huge amount of reasearch on the internet concerning using iPads in the classroom, I found this interesting article from the Guardian concerning iPads becoming the future of classrooms. It made interesting reading as it looks at a case study of how iPads are already being used within our classrooms.

That’s all until next time . . .




Session 3- Where does Scratch fit into school?

Filed under: Computing — Chelsey at 7:22 am on Sunday, October 21, 2012  Tagged , , , , , ,

Hello all,

This week we looked at making scratch resources that we could use within the classroom. To begin with we found this really hard, as Scratch lends itself to do a wide variety of things. After some deliberation we chose to make a true or false game, focusing on the topic of plants within science.

This is the game we produced, feel free to have a go (remember: press the space button to reset the score.)


We decided this would be a good game for KS1 or KS2.

KS1- Children could play the game so teachers have a good understanding of children’s knowledge at the beginning of a new topic.

KS2- Children could use the script we made to make their own true or false game. They could begin to make a project based on a topic they have recently done or could create a project for younger children within the school.

Find out how to use the game in detail here.

The great thing about a resource like this is that it can be used within a wide range of curriculum subjects. like demonstrated here it can be used for Science but can easily be adapted from English, Maths and more!!

Until next time…..



What is this KODU?

Filed under: Computing — Chelsey at 3:27 pm on Tuesday, October 16, 2012  Tagged , , ,

Whilst researching computing today, I have come across a different program that some of you may be interested in. We have spent a  lot of time looking at scratch but it turns out other programming software exsits. Who knew!

KODU is a very similar piece of software to scratch, however it is used purely to create games. I am sure the children in any class would like this.

Key features of the program include:

  • High-level language incorporates real-world primitives: collision, color, vision
  • Uses Xbox 360 Game Controller for input — no keyboard required
  • Runs on XBox 360 and PC
  • Interactive terrain editor
  • Bridge and path builder
  • Terrain editor – create worlds of arbitrary shape and size
  • 20 different characters with different abilities.

I think that this programming software would be great to engage them reluctant learners in the class. The children would love the idea of using a xbox 360 controller.

I have found this video which would be really helpful as a tutorial to start any project using KODU.


Hope people find this useful 🙂

Until next time . . .

Session 2- Daisy the Dino to save computing in schools…

Filed under: Computing — Chelsey at 11:20 am on Thursday, October 11, 2012  Tagged , , ,

Hello again,

In this weeks session we have been focusing on programs to teach computing within schools. Computing is a under huge debate by academics as to how it should be taught within skills. Computing is more than teaching children a few ICT skills. Computing is a key link to many other curriculum areas such as science and maths. However, if computing plays such a key role in children’s learning, should it be focused on as a discipline within its self such as Maths and English. Many academics have argued that the decline in computing within schools is due to the fact that school now ‘integrate’ ICT in all areas of the curriculum, this leaves no room for computing to be taught as a skill.

The campaign for science and engineering site, have produced a very informative article on the ‘Collapse of computing education in English schools’.

During this session we focused upon the scratch program. Scratch is an interactive programming piece of software that allows children to create their own games, animations and music. As well as teaching children key computing skills, scratch also allows children to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.

This image is taken as screen shot of the program in use.

The children use the ‘scripts’ at the side to make the ‘sprite’ move and animate. There are several different options such as adding sound, adding sprites, creating backgrounds and creating animations. To create my project I used the starter guide. The starter guide was useful as it explained how to get started with your ‘sprite’  and perform a range of motions. This allows children to begin to understand some skills they may need in the making of their project.

I then began to make my own game, again I used an instruction manual to take me on a step by step guide. When teaching this program within school’s children would learn how to make a project over a 10-12 week period. Each lesson should teach children how to perform different actions until they are able to complete a set of scripts to make a game.

The scratch package also provides scratch cards with a range of different actions on them. Each scratch card has instructions for children to follow.

Once children have completed their projects they can view them in full screen to play their games/activities. You can see a screen shot of my ‘big chase game’ below:

It would be great for children to have stand up and explore other children’s games within the classroom.

After I had completed my project, I began to search my iPad.

The first app in which I began to explore was Daisy the Dino. I would use this app with key stage one children, this app provides a range of options for logic and reasoning.  I liked this app because it began with a tutorial, this means that in schools children could pick this game up and begin to use it for themselves with minimal input from an adult.

Once children had mastered the tutorial they were then able to try out the challenge mode. This enabled to children to test they skills they had already gained within the ‘tutorial’ mode.

The second app which I looked at was cargo bot. This was a very similar app to the previous, however is aimed at children in upper Key Stage 2. This app gave children a range of directions and actions, they were then made to put these into practice to achieve a ‘goal’.

This app again had the tutorial element.

The arrows to the right of the screen demonstrated to the children the action in which they should take next. During the ‘tutorial’ children were given the steps to complete the ‘goal’ (displayed at the top of the screen).

The children could then go on to pick their difficulty in each level.

Once the children have completed the level, they get a star rating. the star rating indicates how well they completed the level: the aim of the level is to complete the goal in the fewest moves possible. I think this game would particularly engage children due to the construction theme. Also, i think the levels would engage children to complete the activities without realising that they are learning key ICT and computing skills.

I think that all the above programs would be suitable to use with a range of children within the primary school. Using the iPads within school will engage children to use computing skills on a day to day basis.

That’s all until next time . . .



Session 1- Keeping our children safe…

Filed under: E-safety — Chelsey at 10:47 am on Thursday, October 4, 2012  Tagged , , , , ,

In our modern age, computers play a big part in children’s everyday life; most children have access to computers at home and at school. . Children use computers and the internet for work and play, therefore it of paramount importance that our children are kept safe whilst browsing.

In 2010, the government launched a new campaign called ‘Zip it, Block it, Flag it’. This campaign was launched to give parents and carers helpful tips and hints to keep children safe on the internet.

The code highlights three things that parents can encourage their children to do:

  • Zip It – get your children to keep their passwords private
  • Block It – make sure your children know how to block people that upset them
  • Flag It – ask your kids regularly if they have seen or done anything online that has upset them.

Although, it is of vital importance for parents to keep their children safe at home, it is of equal importance for parents to keep their children safe within school. For children to be able to use the internet safely within school, teachers should be trained to teach e-safety within ICT lessons.  During these lessons children should be made aware of their own responsibility when browsing the internet.

The following video highlights how e-safety teaching in primary schools reflect pupil’s changing use of the internet.

Furthermore, children should be aware of the types of information taken from the internet. They should be made aware of the fact that not all information taken of the internet can be reliable. Teacher’s should concentrate on teaching children how to find accurate information through good websites.


First time blogger….

Filed under: Blogging — Chelsey at 8:56 am on Thursday, October 4, 2012  Tagged , ,

Hey all,

I have just created my first blog for year 3 ICT.

Watch this space!


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