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I.C.T Creativity


The Great I.C.T Debate!

Michael Gove (2012), Minister for education:

“In short, just at the time when technology is bursting with potential, teachers, professionals, employers, universities, parents and pupils are all telling us the same thing. ICT in schools is a mess.”

Michael Gove has stated that he feels that ‘I.C.T lesson are boring’ and do not prepare children for the future. So, the question is, how should I.C.T be taught, if at all, in the curriculum? What is the role of the teacher in teaching I.C.T?

There is a current debate about whether it should be taught as a discrete subject or imbedded through other subjects in the curriculum.

Michael Gove Views
Tondeur et al (2007) views that I.C.T plays a crucial role in society when the cultural, economical and social role of computers is assessed. They believe that children progress through compulsory education so school is the ideal place to teach and develop I.C.T skills, crucial for the future. This supports view of Michael Gove.

The NAAC (2011) highlights that I.C.T is different to all the other National Curriculum subjects, due to technological expansion and development and the way that it is used in the world, resulting in the rapid and constantly changing nature of the subject. To combat this issue NAAC guidance believes that schools need to update their programmes of study annually due to these changes. The NAAC believes that the United Kingdom has failed to do this, resulting in the programmes of study becoming outdated and pupils not being academically stimulated and interested when using I.C.T; further supporting Michael Gove’s view.

The new curriculum changes from the new government have seen many changes to curriculum subjects including I.C.T. The draft I.C.T Programme of Study (2012) promotes the view that I.C.T not only has an educational value for children but an economic and societal value, which children will learn. If pupils have a basic knowledge of I.C.T and can use and apply the skills, this will contribute to the digital economy that our present day finds ourselves in and help to prepare children for the future.

The draft curriculum for I.c.T can be found here: http://mypad.northampton.ac.uk/coombesy/files/2012/11/Draft-ICT-POS-22Oct12-1lbivvw-1h8ozp1.pdf (inspired by Chris Coombes blog on the draft I.C.T Curriculum.)

In response to the proposed new national curriculum it is recommend ICT should be taught as a compulsory part of the National Curriculum for all pupils. Further recommendations include that it should be taught as both a discrete subject and across the curriculum to make teaching and learning more effective; a balance between the both should be achieved, (NAAC, 2011).

I.C.T can be used to engage, motivate and teach children collaboratively (Selinger, 2001). Aspects such as Interactive White Boards (IWB) can be incorporated throughout the curriculum to ensure that some elements of I.C.T are present in each lesson, (Coghill, 2002).  IWB’s help a teacher to teach a whole class collaboratively and  interactively through the use of a large screen. This is beneficial to the children for discussion and to introduce concepts and action plans for the lesson. However, IWB’s are not particularly designed for individual learning; this is where computers, laptops or IPad’s can be used to help support a lesson further, (Coghill, 2002).

Edugeek (2006) posted a poll on the net about how the public think that I.C.T should be taught. Mixed views can to light, including people who thought that I.CT should be taught as a specialist subject so that children could learn to appreciate I.C.T as a subject in its own right and learn the skills for it. However, others felt that it should be used to enhance the potential for learning in other subjects. Others believed that there should be a balance between how I.C.T is taught, as both a discrete subject and to support learning across the curriculum. This reflects the NAAC (2011) response to the draft curriculum.

The mixed views from the public poll indicate that a defining and dominant answer has not been reached on how I.C.T should be taught, it can therefore be argued that the top solution would be to give children a balance of learning the skills of I.C.T through a discrete subject, but also the benefits that I.C.T provides can be used to enhance other subjects.

Freedman (2001) states that teachers should plan to use computers and technology in their plans as a part of the lesson, and not an added activity that bears no relevance to the rest of the curriculum. Freedman (2001) furthers this by stating that computers should be used in a meaningful way that enhances subjects and not distracts from the content.

Cunningham (2009) agrees with this view and believes that I.C.T should be taught by integrating it into other subjects in the curriculum. He believes that this allows teachers the opportunity to deliver more dynamic and engaging I.C.T skills. Cunningham (2009) states that if I.C.T experiences can be taught to children in a rich, engaging and relevant way then it will help to benefit their learning in other subjects.

Ofsted (2005/2008) found that in general a teacher’ subject knowledge is mostly good in using I.C.T and is used effectively in classrooms. However, the weakest areas existed mainly in assessment of I.C.T. This could be due to outdated guidelines and outdated programmes of studies leaving teachers out of date with how to assess children’s rapidly developing and changing I.C.T skills.

In conclusion, there are many views on how I.C.T should be taught to children but for now a draft curriculum exists, where I.C.T will be taught as a discrete subject. This does not mean that aspects of I.C.T can not be used in lesson to help enhance the learning opportunities and the I.C.T opportunities for the children. A balance must be achieved and if I.C.T are taught through richly planned lessons, and the skills used and applied by the children then, they will be prepared for the ever advancing digital age.

Do you agree with this? Do you have contradicting view? Please comment and progress this debate J


Cogill, J. (2002) How is the interactive whiteboard being used in the primary classroom and how does this affects teachers and teaching? [online] Available from: http://www.activewhiteboards.co.uk/ifs_interactive_whiteboards_in_the_primary_school.pdf. [Accessed on: 14/11/12]

Cunningham, M. (2009) Should ICT be delivered as a discrete subject? [online] Available from: http://www.cunniman.net/?p=30 [Accessed on: 12/11/12]

EduGeek (2006) [online] What is more important? Cross-Curricular or Discreet ICT.[online] Available from: http://www.edugeek.net/forums/blue-skies/4729-what-more-important-cross-curricular-discreet-ict.html. [Accessed on: 17/11/12].

Freedman, T. (2001) What do you need to teach ICT to the very young? The Guardian. [online] Available from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2001/jun/12/schools.itforschools7 [Accessed on: 19/11/12].

Gove, M. (2012) Michael Gove brands I.C.T curriculum a ‘mess’. The Independent.  [online] Available from: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/michael-gove-brands-ict-curriculum-a-mess-6287885.html. [Accessed on: 15/11/12]

NAAC (2011) A NAAC Response to the National Curriculum Review. Nottingham: NAAC.

Ofsted (2005/2008) The importance of ICT. [online] Available from: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/importance-of-ict-information-and-communication-technology-primary-and-secondary-schools-20052008. [Accessed on 17/11/12].

Selinger, M. (2001) The Role of the teacher: Teacherless Classrooms. In: Leask, M. (ed) (2001) Issues in teaching using I.C.T. London: Routledge Falmer.

Tondeur, J., Van Braak, J., and Valcke, M. (2007) Curricula and the use of ICT in education: Two worlds apart?. British Journal of Educational Technolog. 38 (6). 962-976.

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The use of IPad’s in schools is a developing area. Many schools now provide them for the children to use in schools. As with any new technology they have positives and benefits. Below, is listen the ones which I feel are most relevant!


  1. Tablets are small and compact, allowing them to be easily used and transported around the school for different tasks, rather than them being stationary and sat at a computer, where they can not necessarily be as active.
  2. They are fully compatible with online teaching and learning platforms which can be easily integrated into the everyday classroom, with over 15,000 education apps!
  3. Children can work collaboratively and create and share projects and programs with each other. Social networking technologies such as using wikis can enhance communication between pupils.
  4. Children can record what they are doing to reflect back on through self and peer assessment, and teachers can use it for observational assessments for interaction, such as news reports in literacy.
  5. Children remain up to date and good with using technology, which will help them in the future.
  6. IPads offer students an exciting way to experience field trip destinations, through virtual tours.
  7. Space – IPad’s take up little space in the classroom, unlike computers and laptop trollies.


  1.  The apps have to be approved by Apple and purchased from an Itunes Store.
  2. Ideally one app should be purchased for each IPad in use, which although most are cheap this can cost a lot if their are lots of IPads.
  3. IPad’s are small and portable, which allows more room for damage than a stationary computer.
  4. It is not the same as a computer and can just become an appliance for apps, e.g using it as a video player etc.
  5. It is harder to monitor if students are mobile with them for E-safety purposes.

A report on IPad’s for more information on why they should be used in the classroom and the benefits and implication of doing so. http://www.ipadsforeducation.vic.edu.au/userfiles/files/iPad%20Apps%20for%20Learning,%20Educause,%20Feb%202011.pdf

What have your experiences of IPad’s been like in schools?


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Scratch Habitat Match Resource!


Here is a Scratch resource that myself, Claire Cookson and Toni Suttle created. The instructions and ideas on how to use it across the curriculum can be found in the previous post! This resource was a lot easier to create this time. I feel that this is because the program is quite difficult to use to begin with and because this was the second time I had used it I was more experienced, so felt that I knew how to use it better. Due to this I feel that teacher’s that use Scratch in their lessons need to have a good working knowledge of the software to help the children progress with it.

What do you think? We would love to hear your views!!
Scratch Habitat Match
Learn more about this project

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IPad app IMovie Example!


Following on from the IPad post!! One of the apps that is good to use with children is Imovie!!

To find out more about Imovie including a trailer that can be watched about it click here!

Here is an example of a trailer that children can make! Espionage video

Our was based on the trailer for skyfall, the new bond film with a twist! The spys were clumsy and our James…well you can see for yourself!!


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Scratch Habitat Match


Scratch Habitat Match

This is a game that me and two others have made for children to use! It is in the program ‘Scratch’ (see Scratch post for details) where children have a picture of a habitat in the background and many animals on the screen, some live in the habitat and others do not. The children have to talk about which animals they think live in the habitat and which do not. They then have to click on them to find out if they are right. If the children are correct then their will be a ‘yeaaah’ sound and the animal will spin, if they are not correct there will be a sound to indicate this.

Below are a few ideas of what can be done with the children in both key stages, using the program!

Curriculum Links for KS1:  Science: Living Things In Their Environment 5b. identify similarities and differences between local environments and ways in which these affect animals and plants that are found there.

I.C.T: 2a) To use text, tables, images and sound to develop their ideas

Curriculum Links for KS2: Living Things In Their Environment:  Adaptation

  • 5b. about the different plants and animals found in different habitats. (ICT opportunity: pupils could use multimedia sources to compare non-local habitats)
  • 5c. how animals and plants in two different habitats are suited to their environment.


Curriculum Area:  Science

Age group: Key Stage One / Early Key Stage Two

Scratch habitat match is a simple game that can be used as a starter or in a plenary session. Using a variety of different backgrounds this program can be used to create discussion amongst whole classes or select groups of children on which animal belongs on a certain habitat.


Click on the program below or open it via the following link.

Discuss the habitat with the children. Ask:

What do you think might live here?

What can you see?

Has anyone been here before?

Discuss animals on the screen:

What can you see?

Which ones do you know?

Where do you think they live?

What do they eat?

Have you seen one before?

Which one is the biggest?

Which one is the smallest?

What do they eat?

Then ask the children to discuss which animals belong in which habitat. Get a children to come up one by one and click which ones they think belong in the habitat and which don’t. There will be a ‘doy-doy-doy’ sound to indicate which animals do not belong in the habitat and a ‘hey-yeah-yeah’ sound to indicate which animals belong in that habitat.

Cross Curricular: I.C.T

Curriculum Links for Key Stage Two: I.C.T: 2. Pupils should be taught:
a. how to develop and refine ideas by bringing together, organising and reorganising text, tables, images and sound as appropriate [for example, desktop publishing, multimedia presentations]
b. how to create, test, improve and refine sequences of instructions to make things happen and to monitor events and respond to them [for example, monitoring changes in temperature, detecting light levels and turning on a light]
c. to use simulations and explore models in order to answer ‘What if … ?’ questions, to investigate and evaluate the effect of changing values and to identify patterns and relationships [for example, simulation software, spreadsheet models].

4. Pupils should be taught to:
a. review what they and others have done to help them develop their ideas
b. describe and talk about the effectiveness of their work with ICT, comparing it with other methods and considering the effect it has on others [for example, the impact made by a desktop-published newsletter or poster]
c. talk about how they could improve future work.

Key area: Key Stage Two

Using the template provided can the children make it work for a different background such as the Savannah. Model to children how is done, give them time to explore it for themselves and how to move the animals.


  • Can children create their own habitat? Children can draw one habitat and import their own.
  • Can children add any more animals to the habitat? The animal must have one animation and one sound attached to it in a script.
  • Can children make the animation better? How?





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Just a quick idea that I think would work really well in schools using mobile technology!

Geocaching is a fun an interactive, real world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS enabled devices. Participants can nagivate. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.

FAQ (information from the website)

How is the game played?

At its simplest level, geocaching requires these 8 steps:

  1. Register for a free Basic Membership.
  2. Visit the “Hide & Seek a Cache” page.
  3. Enter your postal code and click “search.”
  4. Choose any geocache from the list and click on its name.
  5. Enter the coordinates of the geocache into your GPS Device.
  6. Use your GPS device to assist you in finding the hidden geocache.
  7. Sign the logbook and return the geocache to its original location.
  8. Share your geocaching stories and photos online.

There are many other levels to the game. Keep reading the guide to learn more!

What are the rules?

  1. If you take something from the geocache (or “cache”), leave something of equal or greater value.
  2. Write about your find in the cache logbook.
  3. Log your experience at www.geocaching.com.

Here is a link to a video containing inforamtion on Geocaching: Geocaching in action

Link to the official geocaching website: http://www.geocaching.com/

Personal Experience

Me and my family love to go Geocaching! We have been to overseas to also try it and have found some really interesting things, which we have put into different boxes including notes and teddybears. I feel that it is a really enjoyable way to use mobile technologies and it has very strong links with other areas in the curriculum such as geography and P.E. I feel that is a a fun and engaging way to help teach about mobile teachnologies and children can make links using a real life context between using I.C.T to support aspects of real life, such as finding things.

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After using the program Scratch me and a peer used the programme to work out how to use and and what it could be used for in the classroom.

We used all of the different commands to see how easy or difficult it would be to use with children.

We decided to follow these simple objectives to see how we got on:

1) Can you change the background?

2) Can you create your own sprites?

3) Can you move your sprites?

We achieved all of these objectives. The first was simple to follow and could be done with children in both KS1 and KS2. It was also fairly easy to create your own sprite as you simply draw it in a paint programme and apply it. This could also be done with children in both Key stages and is quite entertaining. It is, from experience, quite difficult to make the sprites move and we found it difficult to get the to do exactly what we wanted. We had to try many different combinations and it did take the full lesson.

From this experience, we decided that simply moving the sprites could be undertaken by children in both key stages but needs to be differentiated accordingly.

In KS1, a script could already be created by the teacher for the children to manipulate and follow. However, in KS2 more creativeity and freedom could be given to the children to create their own movements.

Below are screen shots of out sprites, backgrounds and movement commands.

One aspect of Scratch that I personally really liked was that you can record your own audio clips for your own animation. I feel that children will really enjoy this and it will make their animation even more personal and allow them to take further ownership of their own work.

Print screen of sratch audio clip

An audi clip being recorded


Sprites created

A Scratch sprite created


Scratch Script

A movement script for the scratch sprites

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Science I.C.T Curriculum


Not only is it important that children can use computers for their own personal use but it is important for children to devlop their understanding of computer science, such as creating their own data, procedures and knowing what these concepts mean and how to convey them. Teachers need to provide children with opportunities to develop their skills in designing, writing, running and debugging executable programs. This will have to be taught over a series of lessons or be made a topic for a term, or half a terms work. Children will also need to have experiences of these types of programs, before they can begin to manipulate them step by step and through modelling.

These programs include Logo. Logo is an interactive program where children can program a turtle online to move in various directions according to some simple commands created. They can create shapes and program the turtle to move into letters, such as the first letter of their name. It is a simple prgram to use and can be used across Key Stage One and Two to help children create simple algorithms to control a device.

Below is a link to a primary school resources page where teachers have posted lesson resources and help sheets on how to use Logo in the classroom.


Scratch is also a program where children can manipulate the movement of characters ‘spites’. It is far more complex than logo and the commands are greated deatailed, such as moving forward a certian amount of steps and turning a certain amount of degrees. It requires lots of teaching but is very good for teaching children about programming and controlling devices. They can see first hand that the data and information they type in has an effect on the characters and that they have to type it in specifically to get the character to do the effect that they want.

A  link to a user guide and forum of Scratch: http://www.scratchguide.com/scratch-programming-sprites-broadcasts-community/

Personal Experience of Scratch

Me and my peer created our own scratch program to get a feel for what it was like to use. We created two characters ‘sprites’ ourselves and programmed them to jump, spin and dive into the swimming pool background. We really liked the program and found that it would be very useful for children to use to create games and animations, however it was very difficult to use. It would require a lot of subject knowledge and modelling to the children before they can complete the simplist of tasks. However, a teacher could create a simple program and then teach a child how to manipulate it and they can add their own take on it. It would also need to be built upon in levels so that children can fully understand the concept of programming and how to use Scratch. The character’s are very child friendly and fun to use and i like that fact that you can draw your own. I also like that the commands are simple, depsite the complexity of putting together a series of commands. It is in child speak, so appopriate for that audience. The program can also be adapted for differing primary school years, although I would recommend using it in Key Stage Two mostly due to the complexities of it.

Print screen:

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I.C.T Blog

Hello! My name is Laura Knight and this is my first post and time blogging!

I am blogging to share ideas, discussions and resources about I.C.T that can be used in the classroom (mainly primary).

Feel free to use any of the resources and ideas.

I would love to hear your views, so please comment!



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E-safety in the primary school!


E-safety: Is about how to stay safe online and to use the internet and other devices safely and securely to benefit the user.

Dangers can include:

  • viewing unsuitable content e.g. hate material, adult content, sites that endorse unhealthy behaviour
  • giving out personal information
  • arranging to meet an online ‘friend’
  • becoming involved in, or the victim of, bullying, identity theft, or making and sending indecent or illegal images
  • spending too much time online (internet addiction), which can effect concentration, sleep and health
  • copying information from the Internet or buying work from other people to use as their own. (reference: http://www.kent.gov.uk/childrens_social_services/protecting_children/e-safety.aspx Accessed on: 23/10/12)

With the ever developing world of cyber techonolgoy expanding rapdily, primary schools are starting to use them to benfit a child’s learning and teach them to use these new devices that will be predominately featured in their future home lives and jobs. It is therefore, extremely important to prepare children for the dangers that lie in the cyber world, just as you would prepare them for reality.  

Below is a link to a website scheme called Think You Know dedicated to E-Safety, resources and new technology that can be used in the classroom. It is informed by Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre who protect children from the internet. It has different sections such as parents, trainee teachers, and age related areas for children to explore. The scheme also promotes use of the “Report Abuse” button to report illegal or inappropriate online behaviour.

  • http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/

In particular I really like the animation introducing Lee & Kim, a brother and sister navigating the online world with the help of their trusted superhero friend SID! This eight minute animation addresses issues such as grooming and digital citizenship, which highlight the importance of good behaviour and treating others well in both the playground and online.

Personal Experience 

From personal placements and experiences I have found little evidence of effective e-safety training for children. The one lesson I did help to teach teach on e-safety, I felt confused the children. it was aimed at reading emails and how to recognise which emails were true and from family and friends and which were from people that they do not know. The children were in year three and did not have much experience of using email, yet alone understanding the dangers of it. Although they got to use an interactive program for emails and decide which emails are good and to be read and which were not, they did not have experience to relate this to. Therefore, I feel it is important for children to use emails in school and to learn about safety alongside so they can practise and apply their knowledge in a safe and secure environenment.

One school I also visited did not have a very good blocking system on the interent, many of the children often used the computers unsupervised and on two occasions I had to close the screen where they were on www.imdb.com and inappropriate images from films had been selected. Although I feel that it is important for children to explore on the interent and to be given freedom, I feel that an adult should be supervising, or close by, so that the child can ask them for help.

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