Can this app morf its way into the Curriculum?

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Posted by Shane | Posted in Animations, Mobile Technology | Posted on November 7, 2012

Now its time for a look at another app available for iPad called Morfobooth. This is a strange app in that its purpose is to either play around with one of the pre-loaded faces or to add a face to the app either by loading a photo or taking one. I say this app is strange as it seemingly has no obvious outcome or objective to complete and seems to be designed purely for entertainment.

Me in Morfobooth

   So… Can it be used in the Curriculum?

 In a break from the norm perhaps, I’ll get straight to the point. In my view it can, but   in a very limited sense, especially when compared to other apps. This is because the limited functionality of the app leaves me wondering, for quite a while, about uses for this, particularly outside of ICT. One benefit of this app however is that videos made within it can be used in iMovie (an app that will be looked at in a future blog that has great potential and functionality) meaning that this software can be used alongside iMovie to create effective videos. However this, apart from using it as a stand alone app for fun, is the only beneficial use of this app within ICT.

The only other use I can spot for this app, that could be quite effective, is to use it to add a character into an activity, for example a narrator of a story or an interviewer. The only drawback being, which isn’t actually based upon the app, is that there are many other ways of doing this in a classroom without using this app that could be more fun and also more effective, such as; using video cameras for recording children’s work or other resources such as costumes and masks or perhaps the best resource possible (as they say) the imagination.

 

To wrap this up, as we all like a blog that is short and sweet, whilst this app admittedly can be fun, I think the fascination would soon wear off (and it certainly did on me). I think it could be used in conjunction with iMovie and possibly within other tasks but beyond this its usage, for me, seems very limited so I wouldn’t be in any rush to go and buy it (69p). If you are interested try it on a UoN iPad before paying for it yourself.

So its goodnight from me and its goodnight from him (the picture version of me).

Always wanted to say that.

What are these mysterious squares??

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Posted by Shane | Posted in Mobile Technology, QR Codes | Posted on November 7, 2012

Most of us have seen them somewhere, in the most of random of places appearing on everything from movie posters to food packaging and even potentially, as will be discussed, in schools.

As can be seen the squares seem to contain random patterns that make no apparent sense to anyone, children and adults alike, or do they?..

I say this because in fact what can be seen left is readable to just about any person it just needs ‘decoding’ as it were. To do this all that is needed is a QR Reader, that is an application that can take such a pattern and read it to provide the user with its actual meaning.

There are several different QR Readers available for different pieces of hardware including a free app called ‘Scan‘, available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone Software by following the link.

Once this QR reader is available all that a person needs to do is use it to scan the QR code to read the message. Why not try it on this QR Code above, (It may not mean much to you yet).

 

QR Code 2

These codes can display any message that can be typed and can even be linked to websites and therefore videos and pictures. This provides teacher’s with many opportunities to use these both inside and outside of the classroom as well as in many if not all areas of the curriculum.

To do this teacher’s will need to create the QR Codes, which can be done using this website. Here any message can be written to fit the appropriate curriculum area and then all the teacher needs to do is print of the QR Codes and place them where desired and ask children to go around scanning them to read the message (although this technique may need to be demonstrated).

This will require the children to have the appropriate hardware however, for example iPads or other tablets. As these may be of a limited number activities such as these could be done in small groups.

 

QR Code 3

WHERE CAN QR CODES BE USED IN THE CURRICULUM:

Maths: As clues to a puzzle; for example as I have done to identify a number from given clues, or perhaps to identify a shape given it’s properties.

Science: Clues could be given as to a type of animal by describing how it is adapted to its habitats, or another example could be to list examples of food and children have to name the food group.

Literacy: Messages could contain adjectives relating to pictures (then pairing the QR Code to the picture), or they could a video of emotive acting with children then discussing the characters emotions and reasons for them

ICT: These QR Codes could be numbered with the order providing children with a step-by-step guide on either how to use a piece of software or how to complete a piece of work in an ICT. This could also include children learning how to make their own QR Codes, as it is not a difficult process, and then designing games or riddles for the classmates.

 

So that was my blog looking at QR Codes which I chose to focus on as I had little time to look at them during the session. I also felt it was important for me to look at them as I hadn’t used them before but after this I feel confident that I could use them both inside and outside of the classroom.

Thank you and Goodbye everyone

 

E-Safety Post

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Posted by Shane | Posted in Internet Safety | Posted on November 3, 2012

Hello. So hopefully most of you, at least in Group 2, noticed that I did not attend this session as I was on my 2B placement at the time. However when I discovered that the session had focused on E-Safety I was, admittedly, a bit relieved as this is an area that we have covered previously in ICT and that I have also had experience of teaching in schools, meaning that, hopefully, the gaps in my subject knowledge would not be too vast.

 

I feel it would be fair to say that most people in modern society are aware of the importance of E-Safety, or at least are becoming more and more aware, perhaps due to key examples highlighted in the press of situations where E-Safety has either not been delivered effectively or where ignorance concerning it has led to serious issues.

 

Issues such as these, that have been highlighted in the news have led to a greater significance being placed on the teaching of E-Safety in primary schools, especially as many children, rather worryingly perhaps, seem to have personal access to sites such as Facebook and services that have online facilities such as gaming sites/consoles. This in my opinion is disturbing as Facebook, as an example, is not permitted for children under 13 meaning many are potentially lying about their age.

 

In schools, as I have already mentioned, I have luckily had the opportunity to teach a session on E-Safety using a piece of software called Broadband Detectives. The session I taught focused on identifying who would be safe to talk to and who isn’t safe to talk to, using key features such as pictures, information provided and the relationship they share with that person. The main activity in the lesson involved selecting the cards that have people on who would be safe to talk to and all of the children could identify factors that help to identify people who are safe to talk to.

 

However children also need to feel safe online within school as well as out of school. This can be done by giving children advice as to how to stay safe online and also it is very common that a school will display posters providing similar advice to children, with the most common tips involving:

1. Always do what an adult has instructed you to do when using the computers,

2. If you see anything that makes you uncomfortable, tell an adult immediately,

3. Never give out personal information

Whilst these rules only provide a small part of the advice that can be given to children it is clear that these rules should apply anyway in other areas of the school meaning that the rules should be both easy to implement and also easy to follow.

 

So that was my blog about E-Safety, I feel that it is an area within ICT that I am fairly comfortable within as I have had experience of teaching and observing it in schools and would be confident that I could deliver sessions on it. One issue that did arise however, that I would be greatful if people would comment on, regards the Broadband Detectives software.

http://shop.sherston.com/sherston/brde-win-cdrm-1.html

 

As can be seen in this photo children are asked to sort messages into those that are safe, those that have some risk and those that are unsafe. However the picture clearly shows that the software classifies a teacher as someone who is safe to talk to, arguing that it is a trusted adult but I felt that teachers would never speak to the children and therefore this would be unsafe, a factor I had to explain to the children. As a result I would be interested in knowing if people agree with my view that the teacher is not safe to talk to.

Ok, this is the actual end of my blog. I would put a funny caption at the end here but I cant think of one.

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