vision

 “Children today are proclaimed to be the first truly digital generation; a generation that appears to have everything at its fingertips” (Kenyon, 2012). 

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a fundamental part to the ever growing society we live in, and can be seen as an ‘integral and accepted part of everyday life’ (NCCA 2008).  This reflects how important technology is for children’s education, inevitably starting in the Early Years. The children of today are growing up in a society which is full of technology everywhere we look, enriching and enhancing their learning. The report published in 2009 by Ofsted, emphasizing the importance of ICT, suggested that teachers should reinforce the importance of ICT and appreciate it as not only a subject itself but also embedded across the curriculum (Ofsted, 2009). I agree with this, as a teacher I feel it is important that ICT is embedded within the curriculum, as personally I feel it can be used to enhance the learning of children in many different ways. As there are many forms of technology it does not only have to be a computer or iPad that can be used.

Now the shift in the curriculum has taken place and children are being taught the abstractness of ‘Computing’, with the focus being on computer science; children are being taught ‘the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming’ (DfE 2013). It is important that children are taught the basics of computing, developing their computational thinking. As well as allowing them to become digitally literate to ensure they are able to adapt to 21st century thinking. With plenty of research  carried out to ensure my personal subject knowledge is sound enough I feel I am going to be able to teach children the new elements of technology, throughout the curriculum and within the computing subject itself.Through technology the curriculum and learning as a whole can be seen to be more inclusive. This can be seen through the vast amount of apps and websites that can be used within the classroom to allow those who are impaired to be included in the learning. It can also be seen through the use of switches which can be attached to both computers and tablets to allow those children who have a difficulty with their fine motor skills, to be able to access the games and software which are available.

Teachers today are seen to be teaching children for jobs which have not yet been created (Fisch et al. 2008). Therefore it is important that they are equipped to deal with this. Digital Literacy is defined as;  ‘the capabilities which fit someone for living, learning and working in a digital society’ (Jisc 2014) and can be seen to be have grown in importance within the classroom. As Surman (2013) encompasses the idea that digital literacy is just as important as reading and writing, showing that it is a ‘step in the right direction’ as many future jobs place a high importance on digital literacy; informing the idea that this is a vital subject which teachers need to consider. I feel that this has a strong value within the classroom and my classroom will reflect this through embedding technology within it, showing the value of computing both on and offline. As Ivy (2011) shows that as a wide variety of adaptable resources are available it is seen that it can be easy to link this through different threads of learning.

When using ICT in the classroom it can be seen to increase the motivation to learning, as Passey et al. (2004) share findings of the fact that there was more positive motivation to learn when ICT was being used for both the teaching and learning within the classroom. This is shown especially within the Early Years, where children are constantly using ICT within their free-flow play; both with computers, iPads, interactive whiteboards and many more technological devices, being readily resourced with apps and software. This allows the development of collaborative learning and independence. Technology also allows children to understand that it is not just the teacher that can be the main source of knowledge (Caldwell 2014). But they can use a wide range of resources to allow them to access and find out new information for themselves. This can be done through using the internet and accessing different websites like infant encyclopaedia, and purple mash.

As these websites are aimed at children they are seen as safe for them to use. E-safety is of the utmost importance when using technology with children. It is vitally important that they learn how to use technology safely and ensure that they know they can talk to someone if they ever have a problem on the internet. It is important to teach children not to share personal information online and to teach them that some things they need to keep to themselves. To help me teach E-safety I would use such tools as Hector the dolphin safety button which allows children to close a screen which makes them feel uncomfortable. This is available on the thinkuknow website, which has many other resources to help teach e-safety. With the ever growing society of technology it is important for children to learn how to be safe when using all types of technology, especially mobile phones, and not just the internet.

Through the use of technology information can be shared much easier than in the past. It can be seen as a way of including parents in the school community, as well as sharing children’s work, thoughts and ideas. This can be carried out through sources such as blogs and community pages, which allow information to be shared quickly and easily. It can be seen that many schools use blogging as a tool to keep up-to-date with the learning of the children and to allow parents to be involved in this, through being able to comment on the blog posts. Although I have not seen this carried out in a school, I feel it is something which I will consider using, through starting a class blog when I start teaching next year as I feel it is an exciting and engaging way of sharing information.

To conclude, technology can be seen an a part of everyday life and can not be ignored or overlooked. It is important to reflect this within the learning environment to ensure that children are able to adapt and cope with the ever changing world around them. Children need to be taught how to be skilled and competent in using technology, and as a teacher it is vitally important that I am able to equip children with the knowledge and skills then need to do this. However it should be noted that technology should not take over completely, and children should still learn the basic components of reading a book and writing with pen and paper.Throughout my three years at University I have been able to develop a vast amount of ideas and resources which I am able to take forward to my teaching career. I feel confident in using these to teach with and about technology.

Reference List

Caldwell, H. (2014) Why teach computing? [online]. Prezi. Available from: http://prezi.com/-x2be-ikl2sc/why-teach-computing/ [Accessed: 31/10/14].

Department for Education. (2013) The 2014 Primary National Curriculum In England. No place: Shurville Publishing.

Fisch, K., McLeod, S., Brenman, J. and Sony BMG. (2008) Shift happens. YouTube. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emx92kBKads. [Last accessed 6.11.14.]

Ivy, R. (2011) New Technologies in the primary classroom. In: Georgeson, J., Moyles, J. and Payler, J. (eds.) Beginning Teaching Beginning Learning: In Early Years and Primary Education. Fourth Edition. Maidenhead: Open University Press. pp. 168-176.

Jisc. (2014) Developing Students Digital Literacy. [online] Available from: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/guides/developing-students-digital-literacy [Last accessed: 06/11/14].

Kenyon, T. (2012) Digital literacy must become an essential part of the ICT curriculum. The Guardian [online]. Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2012/nov/15/digital-literacy-curriculum-future-skills. [Last accessed 6.11.14].

NCCA (2008) ICT (Information and Communications Technology). Dublin: online. Availabe from: http://www.ncca.ie/en/Curriculum_and_Assessment/ICT/ [last accessed 6/11/2014]

Ofsted. (2009) The Importance of ICT. London: Ofsted.

Passey, D., Rogers, C., Machell, J., and McHugh, G. (2004). The motivational effect of ICT on pupils. Nottingham: Department for Education and Skills.

Surman, M. (2013) Cited in: Gurney-Read,J. (2013) Digital literacy ‘as important as reading and writing’. [online] Telegraph. Available from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationopinion/10436444/Digital-literacy-as-important-as-reading-and-writing.html [Last accessed: 06/11/14].

MIRRORI can not believe how quickly the past 3 years at University have gone. Within computing and ICT I have developed a wealth of knowledge and gained many different resources which I am going to be able to use this within the classroom. This can be done through both plugged and unplugged activities to enhance the learning of the children. The different sessions throughout the three years have covered many topics which I had not previously thought of, for example gaming in the classroom. As well as those which I was unsure about approaching, for example e-safety. I feel I am now prepared to teach both of these topics to children, because of the knowledge which I have acquired. I also feel that I have been able to develop my bank of resources through gaining many apps for the iPad and websites that can be used in the classroom to enhance the learning. As well as those that children can use within their free-flow play, especially within the Early Years.

The Google Communities page and Resource Bank will allow me to keep accessing the resources made by everyone throughout their time at university, so I am able to use these in my upcoming teaching placement as well as getting ideas from them to use in my future teaching career.

Looking forward

November 6, 2014 | Inclusion  |  Leave a Comment

So today marks the FINAL ever session of Computing at university.  In today’s session we were exploring the different apps and tools that can be used to carry out assessment. We were also able to look at and explore two different websites which have many different activities and resources that enhance inclusive education for SEN children. We were also able to think about what we might like to include within our vision statement.

Education-City-Logo

I was able to explore the website Education city. The site has easy access for children, is colourful and engaging. The activities and resources that are offered are for the core subject areas within the National curriculum, and the key areas of learning within the EYFS curriculum, which reflect the core subjects. When looking at each activity if gives you the option whether you want to play or use it in whiteboard mode, which is useful within the classroom as some activities become distorted when they are used on the Interactive whiteboard. The activities also offer teacher notes, lesson ideas and an activity sheet. This can be useful especially when thinking about the teaching of phonics. I was able to explore the different activities that are designed to help children with their phonics. I looked at the sound ‘air’ which is taught in Foundation 2. The activity read aloud what the child has to do, which is good, especially for those children in the Early Years who are just beginning to read. I was also able to explore the computing area for KS1, which has many activities for children to use for algorithms. I played the ‘crane game’ which wass easy and simple to use. I think i would be fun and engaging for children, and uses simple instructions which the children can follow to pick up the different toys. The children can listen to the instructions so do not need to be able to read, which reflects the inclusiveness of the activities provided by the website. The game also reinforces the children’s knowledge of left and right as they have to know this to play the game, it helps them do this with the use of arrows which light up when that instruction is given.

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Helpkiszlearn is a website that offers games for the EYFS especially those children with Special Educationa Needs. The games offered can be played with the keyboard provided, or with switches that can be attached to the computer or iPad. Switches are used as an alternative for a mouse and can help those children with poor fine motor skills to access the computer. The teacher can set the accesss for the activities so switches can be used to allow access for all children, during free flow play and independent learning. I looked at the coconut shy game, which was fun and can be set to allow for children of all abilities to play as this can be played with a swithch as we well as the keyboard. The game was fun and interactive and would help children to develop their concentration skills and reaction time. The website also offers teachers the chance to make their own activities, which can be tailored to the topic that children are learning. As well as being adapted to the learning needs of the children within that particular class.

Assessment tools

There are many different assessment apps and tools that can be used to enhance the assessment of children within the classroom. These can be used to make the task of assessment easier for teachers. The different apps and websites that were mentioned within this session were; 2build a profile, Tapestry, Three Ring Ipad app and Evernote. These are all tools that teachers can use to create an online learning journey for each individual child.

2build a profile– This app is linked to the 2simple software which most schools use within the EYFS. The app allows teachers to take a picture of the child while they are in learning moment, you can then add a virtual post it note to explain what the child is doing, you can then tag the appropriate Early Learning Goals to the observation. I have seen this app being used in my 2a placement, where the teacher was able to carry around her iPad and carry out snapshot observations of the children while they were engaging in free-flow play. She was then able to quickly write about what the children were doing and saying, in the exact moment to get a good picture of where the child is developmentally at.

Evernote– Although this is not usually known as an assessment tool, it can be see to work quite well for this purpose. The video below explains how it can be used to carry this out. I have not seen this being used but the video shows it to be a simple and easy tool to use to create a profile for children.

We were then able to have the chance to think about what we might like to include in our vision statement. We were tasked to look at the Naace, ’The value added to teaching and learning by ICT’. We went through the 11 statements and had to put them in order of importance. This is the order that myself, Emily, Sarah and Katie decided on:

  • Increase motivation to learn
  • Increase communication and collaboration
  • Enable access for minorities
  • Re-balance teaching and learning
  • Increase access to resources & tool
  • Use more information channels
  • Extend learning time
  • Enable games-based learning
  • Enable publishing and audience
  • Automate management and recording
  • Increase scalability and replicability

We were unhappy with the statement that stated about different minorities, so we changed it to inclusive access, which we felt was more appropriate. We were able to explore and explain our top three points which were;

Increase motivation to learn- we considered this to be the most important aspect because if children are not motivated to learn, the quality of their learning and their understanding be affected. If children are motivated and want to learn they are more likely to have a greater understand and better knowledge base.

Increase communication and collaboration- we thought this was incredibly important because communication is crucial in children’s early education, with teachers, peers and parents/carers alike. The use of technology can help teachers to easily communicate with parents/carers, other teachers and the wider community.

Inclusive access- we thought this was an important point because education should be inclusive to everyone. Every child has a right to education so this needs to reflect this and be made accessible to every child.

We were able to use the app skitch to annotate the list to explain our top three points, and then upload this to the website show me, so we were able to share this with the rest of the class. Below is our annotated list;

Through being able to look at these points and sharing thoughts with other members of the class, I have been able to gain lots of ideas which I can include in my vision statement.

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After the session I was able to explore the website infant encyclopedia. The website is focused on the Early Years Foundation Stage and offers many different resources and ideas linking to themes which are most commonly taught within the EYFS. The site is colourful and engaging for the children. It also uses pictures as well as writing to represent each theme to aid those children who still have difficulty with reading.

mainI decided to explore the theme of Bonfire night, as this is a topic which is currently being taught in schools, with Fireworks night fast approaching. To teach this the site offers videos, activities and gives information. The information that is provided for the children is basic facts about Guy Fawkes and who he was and how bonfire night came around. The information can be read to the children, if they struggle to read lending itself to being more accessible. I particularly enjoyed the video about fireworks safety, as it was colourful, fun and engaging for the children;

Bright spark – follow the fireworks code from Parkfield Primary on Vimeo.

I also explored the theme of autumn and harvest, which was available on the website. This offered many of the same resources and basic information about the topic to the children. This was also easy accessible and simple for  young children to be able to grasp and understand. I particularly enjoyed the signs of autumn activity, which allowed the consolidation of learning as children had to label different pictures, which were given as a ‘sign of autumn’.

signs of autumn

 

Within this session we were able to look at ICT and how it is used across the curriculum to enhance all subjects. As ICT can be embedded into all subjects across the curriculum it is important to look at how it impacts upon the children’s learning. This can be seen through allowing children to work collaboratively or independently on a task, with ICT showing that the learning it personalized and tailored to the children’s learning. As what the children produce using the different apps, websites and resources allows teachers to see things from the child’s point of view.

When thinking about linking ICT into the curriculum is is important to think about using ICT to capture and review the learning that is taking place. It can also be used to reinforce physical activities e.g. counting in maths and phonics work. ICT can also be a good way to explore the outdoors through trails and treasure hunts, which allows children to explore their outdoor environment. However there is always a question about whether ICT improves the quality of teaching and learning; which can cause a debate within a school. Add your own views to the answer garden below;

Does ICT improve the quality of teaching and learning?… at AnswerGarden.ch.

Helen Caldwell was able to show us some useful websites and apps that could be used across the curriculum to enhance the learning of the children. The first subject we discussed was Geography; within this we were able to look at Google earth tours, which can be used in street view and children can explore the place they are in as if they were actually there. I really liked the idea of this as this can be incorporated in many different lessons and allows for the opportunity of exploration for places which would be impossible to take a class of primary children to, for example the grand canyon.

grandcanyon

 

I also liked the use of a green screen in History. Using it to create a hook to get children excited and involved in a new topic. The example we were shown was a teacher who was introducing WW1 to her class. The clip was shown to a year 6 class and would not be used with young children, however I thought it was a good example of how green screening can be used effectively.

Although ICT can add great value to a lesson it is important to think about how much value it adds, and how much it hinders the opportunity of other types of learning. When thinking about whether to use ICT within a lesson it is important to ask yourself key questions about whether it is really worth using it; can i do this any other way? Am I able to differentiate the learning through using ICT? Is the use of ICT adding more context to my lesson? Asking these key questions before starting to incorporate ICT into a lesson will ensure that the ICT that is being used, is used for a purpose and not as a sign of ‘laziness’. It is also important to ensure that when ICT is used that a pleanary is planned that will allow time for the children to be able to share the ICT they have been using, but to also look at the subject matter rather than just focusing on the ICT (unless this was the main objective for the lesson).

Within this session we were asked to look at the different themes that are used in the EYFS and create some QR codes that linked to different resources for that particular topic. Using QR codes is simple and can allow for children to access the activities and work easier as they do not have to type anything.

Pmash

Emily and I Looked at the communication4all website and the Purple mash website and decided on a common theme of the seaside, which is normally taught within the Early Years and in to Key Stage 1. We decided to link some of our QR codes to different activities that were available on the purple mash website. We found these easy and simple to use, and we thought that they would be user friendly for children too. After making a few templates for the different activities, we then linked these using QR codes. 

scan@2x

We used the Scan.me website to create our QR codes, which was simple and easy to use. Although if using it with children it would need to be scaffolded for them as they could get confused. 

qr code

If we were able to have more time we would have ensured the codes were labelled to ensure that the audience knew what each code linked to, so it would be easier to use with children. The codes we have created can be used across the curriculum; story telling for Literacy, we’ve linked it with The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch but there are many more books that could be used. The deep sea diver could be linked with history- finding old artefacts under the sea and talking about them using the record button. The brochure can be linked to Geography- considering where the seaside is, how is it different e.g. old and new. A green screen could also be used for this (which we didn’t have time to do) of the children being at the seaside looking at different areas of the town and talking about it. The Lighthouse Keepers Lunch can also link to Science–> creating a pulley and lever system, you could use time lapse or hyper lapse to see this process being carried out.

After today’s session I felt a lot more confident in my knowledge of the terminology of computing. I have also been able to explore the BBC Bitesize website to consolidate and extend my own knowledge. It offers simple yet effective ways of exploring the different components within computing.

I was also able to read the first chapter in the book by Bird et al. (2014) called algorithms and computational thinking in KS1.

‘Although terminology is used for clarification, it can also serve to be a hindrance to embracing new ideas.’

The first line of the chapter is able to sum up the use of terminology. It is important that children are able to learn and understand the use of the terminology that is used within the subject, however it is also important that they are able to explore and embrace the new idea to ensure this is learnt before they are able to use and understand and use the terminology. This is to ensure that the terminology is used correctly to identify the correct concept. The chapter also discussed the idea of clarifying the terms used within the new National Curriculum related to computing, and giving guidance for professionals to be able to meet the needs of the new curriculum by making the learning suitable for the age range which they are teaching by embedding the learning into ‘good practice’.

 Bird, J., Caldwell, H. and Mayne, P. (2014) Lessons in Teaching Primary Computing. Sage, London

The third session of ICT has come quickly come around, it’s amazing how quickly 3rd year is going already. In today’s session we were able to look at the new National Curriculum, where ICT is now known as Computing. This shift in the curriculum allows for the development of children, and for them to be able to learn about programming as well as software and basic computer skills. The National Curriculum aims for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 are;

  • can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
  • can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
  • are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.

After reading the curriculum prior to the session I felt overwhelmed, by the terminology and how much more children are now expected to learn (especially after reading the aims). It also concerned me that on a personal basis I do not feel confident with the Computing terminology, as well as being able to carry out the process of ‘programming’ or know what an ‘algorithm’ is. However within the session we were able to unpick the curriculum and learn the definitions of the terminology that the children are now expected to learn. It became apparent that children are using different ‘algorithms’ within their everyday learning. After going through the the curriculum with Helen within the session I now feel slightly more confident in being able to teach this to children.

The video below ‘program your teacher’ shows computing as a simple unplugged activity which can be used within the classroom;

After learning about the curriculum we were able to experiment with different apps that have been created for use with it.

Daisy the dinosaur- app, easy and simple to use, children will be able to use it independently, gets them started with the idea of programming, children need to be able to read to use the commands, colourful, engaging, uses computing terms

5898904a43820ebbcc5746a1c89565fascratch junior- children will need support to start with on how to use the app and what the different functions of each button are. Alternatively you could allow children to use app independently to develop these skills and learn through experience. The app was good for children who can not read as this is not needed to carry out any of the tasks. It allows children to be creative, and to learn the basics of programming. Within the app the children can chooses their own character and picture which they have to programme, and can even make their own background which links with being creative. The app works well for using with young children, engaging them in their learning as well as developing their knowledge and understanding. The app has a sister website simply known as Scratch, which is suited to older children as it delves into the complex areas of programming.

The app Cato’s Hike. This used simple instructions which are given to allow children to learn how to use the app, as well as the art of simple programing. Children need to be able to read to use this app, which can be seen as a floor if trying to use it within the EYFS or for the low level readers in KS1. The app was colouful and engaging for children to use. After carrying out the instruction phase where children get to know the app they are able to create their own map to navigate around.

screen568x568I was also able to explore the use of Bee Bot as both plugged and unplugged activities. Bee Bots can be used physically and the children can program them to carry out different tasks. They can also be used as an app on the Ipad. Both use the idea of a basic ‘algorithm’ where children are asking the Bee Bot to carry out a simple task. The video is a good way of showing how Bee Bots can be used to carry out a simple algorithm which can be repeated.

 

 

The Barefoot website provides different adaptable activities for children to understand an algorithm through unplugged activities. I was able to look at the sharing sweets activity which is aimed at KS1. It is an unplugged activity which

Barefoot-logo develops children’s knowledge of what an algorithm is. It also provides links to maths e.g. sharing and halving. The guidance provides a definition of an algorithm as; An algorithm is a precisely defined sequence of instructions or a set of rules, for performing a specific task. The activity allows children to consolidate their learning of sharing as it asks them to explain it as if they were teaching a reception child. The guidance gives the example for the teacher to share with the children showing that an algorithm is a simple set of instructions, or a recipe, by giving a simple but clear example;

  • draw two children, a pile of sweets and then write
  • 1. Snatch as many as you can
  • 2. Run away
  • 3. Hide
  • 4. Eat them.

The aim of the activity is for children to work in small groups to make up their own algorithm, which incorporates the idea of sharing, it highlights that most children will adopt to use the ‘one for me, one for you’ approach. Children can represent their algorithms using words or symbols.  This activity and the many others that are provided offer many opportunities for children to talk to each other, to discuss the activity, to consolidate their learning and to be able to express their own ideas and view points. The guidance for the teacher also gives teachers examples of how the activity can be differentiated, as well offering some guidance in how to assess, with regards to understanding what an algorithm is.

 

Digital literacy is an important part of manipulating media and demonstrating to children the ability to combine media, and how it can be done in a meaningful way. The article expresses the idea of children using digital media to express their ideas and enrich their learning alongside other activities.

The article focuses on Bridgewater primary school in Northamptonshire and how they have used digital media to enhance the learning of all children across the curriculum, throughout the school. Bridgewater used ICT and media to create a ‘bridgecraft’ virtual world for avatars, based on the game ‘Minecraft’. Each year group were given a different element of the world to create using a range of physical and digital artifacts. The project incorporated computing, science and art, to create their worlds.

The tasks the children were set included them to be able to use a range of apps in combination with each other. I feel this is a complex idea to get children to carry out, however the article makes it seem plausible. However the learning could be taught through scaffolding to ensure the children know how to put the different app creations together.

‘The media capabilities of tablets have the potential to support different modes of learning and that this versatility supports learners of all abilities. Tablets support anytime, anywhere learning and, when integrated with curriculum subjects in a purposeful way, they can extend learning beyond the classroom to informal learning contexts outside school. In addition, the process of engaging with media production can deepen children’s awareness of the role of media in society and develop their critical understanding. ‘ (Caldwell; in press). I feel this quote optimizes the use of ICT and technology within school and how it supports children’s learning.

The article summarizes the key point as; putting children in control of pursuing their passions and sharing their creations. The Bridgewater school project has shown how this can be put into practice through a structured challenge of children working collaboratively, to use both digital technologies enhanced by physical art to amplify the learning.

After reading the article, it has got me interested and excited about how we are able to combine media to create something. I found it incredibly interesting to read how the school had used the different medias enhanced with physical art to create a whole school project. This would be something that I would be very interested in, and want to incorporate into my teaching into the future.

Here is a link to the schools blog which gives more information about the project. I was also able to find a YouTube clip from the school which shows how successful the project was;

Caldwell, H. ‘Manipulating Media’, in Caldwell, H & Bird, J. Teaching with Tablets (In press). Sage, London.

Apps, Apps and more apps

October 23, 2014 | Story telling  |  1 Comment

The start of the second week and our second session of ICT, and today we were looking at different apps on the iPad and how we can use them within the classroom. Helen introduced us to the idea of categorizing apps and how this can be done. She was able to show us that apps can be categorized based on what the app is used for e.g. personal learning, rather than just subject based e.g. literacy. Helen introduced us to the four categories within which she would group apps; personal learning, collaborative learning, visible learning and combining media. Through using these categories it is clear to see the purpose of each app, which is exceedingly  important to know when using them with children. Below is the Prezi that Helen used within the session.

We were given the chance to finish our projects from the first session and my partner Alex and I decided to explore the green screen app on the iPad. I found this an incredibly interesting app to use as I had never used something like this before. To create the background we were able to use a picture of a castle from the internet for the princess scene and a youtube video of a dragon breathing fire for the knight scene.

Here is a finished version of our green screen;

I thought the app was easy to use and one that children could easily get to grips with. I also feel that it was an excellent resource to use with children because they could pretend to be wherever they wanted to, as you can add your own picture or video as the background. This could be adapted and incorporated into any scheme of work to make it interesting and fun.

At the end of the session some groups were able to share the resources they had been making throughout the last two sessions. I particularly enjoyed the tellagami made by Sarah B who used the app to create a lesson starter for the book Dear Zoo. I thought that it was a good way of using the app, and showed how apps can be combined to create a finished product.

 

After today’s session we were directed towards an interesting article; Do young children need access to computers as much as they need to play with sand and water? by  Preston, C. and Scott Baker, M.. The article firstly discussed the new National Curriculum which was brought in, in September 2014, and how ‘ICT’ is no longer taught as just learning how to use different technologies but has been renamed ‘Computing’, where children will learn how to program in addition to being able to use technology. Preston and Scott Baker discuss the need for professionals to have continuing professional development (CPD) to ensure that they are able to deliver successfully the necessary curriculum to the children. The article looks at some of the potential reasons why teachers are reluctant to teach computing;

  • E-safety considerations;
  • Poor quality of equipment and internet support;
  • Unreliable administrative systems;
  • Clashes between interoperable systems;
  • Lack of appropriate formal or informal CPD.

As a trainee teacher I can relate to many of these reasons why teaching computing can be daunting, especially when technology becomes unreliable. I can relate to this having had problems with technology within my own teaching placements. I also feel that E-safety is of up-most importance  especially within today’s society, and my fear of it being pushed to the side with the new curriculum as more focus is on how the software is made rather than how to use it.

The article summarizes the fact that there is a potential for the new curriculum to empower children to become independent learners as well as being able to learn collaboratively at an early age.

The article has definitely given me food for thought and how it is important for children to be able to learn how software is made, which in my opinion I feel is good for children as they are able to keep up-to-date with software as it is forever changing, which gives children the opportunity to learn life-long adaptable skills.

 

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