The start of the third and final year has arrived, and and our first session was ICT. I was pleased to see that our assignment for this was our blog, as I find blogging is a great tool to use and have, especially as most schools use blogs now to communicate with parents. The first ICT seminar gave us an insight into storytelling and the different resources that can be used to develop this within the classroom. Helen introduced us to a range of apps, resources and websites including; storybird, the green screen, light box, tellagami and many more. She then was then able to go through them and explain how they worked and how they could be used within the classroom. We were then sent off in pairs to create our own resources using two of the ones we had been shown.

I chose to look at and explore the website storybird.  9090301512_902f78743a_oI was able to make a short simple book about a knight and a dragon. The website was simple and easy to use with easy access to all the different pictures. I feel that children would be able to use and easily navigate around the website themselves without any adult support. However I felt that a downside to the website was that once you had chosen a particular artist or category of pictures, you could only use those pictures, you could not change them if you could not find a picture that you wanted, or that suited what you needed. Although I was able to adapt my story to the pictures by the artist I had chosen to use, which is something that children may struggle with. Here is a link to the finished book that we made.

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One question which was asked within the session was; does digital technology enhance physical experiences? I found this veryinsightful and it got me thinking about how digital technology is used and whether teachers (including myself), are using it to enhance the physical experiences. It made me think about how teachers actually use technology and whether they allow children to use it to enhance their role play or story telling for example or whether technology is used as stand alone. In my personal experience I feel that digital technology and physical experiences are not intertwined and the digital over rule the physical and in many setting the digital becomes more important than the physical experiences. However i feel that if the two are used together in a complimentary way, children will be able to understand how technology can be used as well as still enjoying the traditional ways of storytelling. 

 

After spending a few days in my 2a placement in a Foundation Stage setting, I have been able to see how ICT is used within taught sessions and throughout free-flow play. Within the classroom they have an Interactive White board (IWB) and a computer, and  iPads that are available within the school. The IWB is almost always used within the taught input to provide a stimulus e.g. a picture, music etc. and then is available for the children to use during free-flow play in pairs. The computer that is in the classroom is available for children to use throughout the day, it has a range of games and software for example simple city, which children are familiar with and can use with ease. The children often use the computer in pairs and help each other with the games and challenges which are on there. The iPads which are available within the school need to be booked out for the class, they are not readily used however when children do get the chance to use them they are a dab hand at being able to work with them and navigate through them.

Although there is not a large amount of technology within the classroom it is clear that the children are able to use it with ease and speed. This can be seen to be the way of today’s society and with children being immersed in technology in their everyday lives both within and out of school. Even with a limited amount of technology available to the children it can be seen that they are confident in their own capabilities of using what is available.

Through the sessions and reading this year I have been able to broaden my knowledge and understanding of using different apps, websites and the use of blogging within the classroom. I have also been able to see how media and ICT can be adapted and including in many other areas of the curriculum, especially with this years topic being to create a media resource in relation to a story book.

I am definitely going to take a lot from this year into our upcoming placement. I will endeavor to incorporate the use of the iPad within a session I will be teaching using one of the many apps we have explored this year. I will also like to use some of the resources that are available of Purple Mash as I feel this website provides resources for many different topics, and that many of these are adaptable.

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Should schools blog?

February 10, 2014 | Uncategorized  |  2 Comments

Blogging has been the single biggest impacting resource I have used in 11 years of teaching – transforming pupil engagement!

David Mitchell, Deputy Headteacher at Heathfield Primary School in Bolton.

Having first had my doubts about the use of blogs and how they work, through these ICT sessions at university my views have been warped, I love blogging! I think it provides one of the best stimulus for teachers, parents and children to keep up to date, as well as providing an opportunity for creativity to be explored. I could sit here for hours explaining why schools should blog, but I feel these children can do a better job;

We were also able to enjoy an art session at Uni with seven children from a local school coming in to take part with us. The teacher who came with them was able to discuss with us the use of blogging within their school and how successful it has been. The blog can be found here. Parents are able to access this throughout the day to see what their little cherubs are up to, it is a convenient way for this to occur especially a most are busy working. It is also a useful tool for children to be able to recap what they have been learning.

There are many positives relating to blogging and the uses it has within schools and the curriculum:

  • downloadTo celebrate pupils’ learning and achievements.
  • To provide real audience and purpose for children’s writing across the curriculum.
  • To promote standards in literacy and facilitate peer review.
  • To develop safe opportunities to collaborate with other schools and outside experts.
  • To encourage the wider community to get involved in the work of your school.
  • To offer visitors a ‘window’ into the everyday excellence that takes in your school.
  • To distribute the workload of maintaining a website more evenly across the school staff.
  • To give a platform for pupil voice to be heard and developed.
  • To allow stakeholders such as governors or parents’ groups to participate in the school’s web presence.
  • To provide a secure and authentic environment through which children can explore and learn about the world of digital literacy.

(reference http://creativeblogs.net/why-blog/

I have found it difficult to find many negatives relating to the world of blogging in schools. However I have been able to find a few;

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  • Takes time to keep a blog updated
  • Some parents may not have access to the internet
  • Not all blogs are private so this could cause a conflict in confidentiality

 

 

 

Although these may occur I still feel that the positives out way the negatives and that blogging is an incredibly valuable resource to any school and classroom. It is something I will definitely be using in the future with my own class.

 

 

Sharing Our Media

February 10, 2014 | Uncategorized  |  1 Comment

lecture

It has come to the final ICT session of year 2, how quickly have these 3 weeks gone! within these 3 sessions I have been able to improve my knowledge of different applications that can be used with stories as well as improving my knowledge of using two different apps; Imovie and Puppet pals to create resources which I can use in the classroom. I have enjoyed using the different tools that we have been looking at and feel I would be confident in using these with my next placement.

During this session we were able to look at the different resources all the groups had made, it was interesting to see how everyone had interpreted their books. We were able to use PowerPoint to prepare a short presentation to go with our media resources created. I was able to get feedback from the other members of my group about what others thought about our work. I was pleased to hear that the other groups really enjoyed watching out iMovie trailer. The feedback we received highlighted the fact that there were advertisements between each scene of our puppet pals. we were aware of this issue and knew that we needed to explore the app more before using it with children.

our presentation can be found here; What-the-Ladybird-heard-Alyson-Emily-and-Katie-1kevlvl-1jwlqyn

All the resources that were made were really good and captured the books in different ways. Some of them are definitely ones which I would consider using on our next placement. However it was not surprising that most groups opted to use the apps iMovie and Puppet pals, as personally I felt these were the most easy accessible ones, and the ones that would be appealing to children. Through exploring other peoples blogs and looking at their trailers I really enjoyed watching Sarah, Hayley and Hayley’s. I especially liked the fact that they in-coproated Sarah’s son to retell the story. This gave it a more child friendly feeling and shows children just how easy the app is to use.

After this final session I feel more confident now going in to placement to teach children using different apps and websites and feel I have gained lots of new ones to add to my resource bank. I have developed my confidence through using different types of media to portray stories and through doing extended reading now have a deeper understanding of why stories through different mediums are used in the classroom.

Resource Making

February 5, 2014 | Uncategorized  |  1 Comment

Whilst browsing through purple mash I came across a section on Health and Growth. I feel this is quite apt at the moment with our science assignment encompassing the topic of nutrition and healthy living.  Looking at the different resources that are available I chose to have a go at creating my own Lunch menu leaflet. I feel that this activity is simple and easy for children as the navigation tools are similar to those that they encounter on a word processor. It also enhances their creativity as they are able to add pictures and text to make their leaflet look appealing. It is also one that can be adapted to suit the needs of the children. Using this tool Children can also be encouraged to work co-cooperatively by being able to discuss their ideas to create a leaflet that includes both children’s ideas.

I also found an adaptable resource which can be used in  literacy in a Traditional tales topic. Using the story Goldilocks and The Three Bears. The resource allows for children to become the character of Goldilocks, and write a letter to baby bear apologizing for her behaviour.

goldilocks

 

It is also a good way of introducing PSHE into the topic so children have the chance to begin to use empathy towards the bears, as well as thinking about how their actions may hurt others.

The use of iPads in the classroom is growing at a vast rate throughout the world, with them being used in all subjects and for some teachers constantly. David Andrews article in the Guardian has looked the pros and cons of using an iPad over using a laptop in the classroom and he has come up with a list of pros and cons, and  come to the conclusion that Ipads are more applicable  discussing that they are easy accessible, and build upon children’s creativity. From this I came to the conclusion that Ipads are incredibly useful to have in the classroom, as they are a great asset to a school’s ICT curriculum and are a fun way for children to learn, with many different features e.g. apps, camera etc..  The use of these have surely got to be questioned though as they are sometimes not always the best form of ICT to use, especially as they are mostly used for for the apps they provide.  Although as Langwitches blog  discusses there are more to iPads than just simply using them for their apps.

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More media making

January 29, 2014 | Uncategorized  |  1 Comment

Back in an ICT seminar again, this week has gone so fast! Today we were able to make another media project based around the book ‘What the Ladybird Heard. At first we were discussing the importance of stories and how they can be used in the classroom to promote learning. some of the ideas that came from our group discussion were; that they can used within almost any topic, they are engaging for the children and that they can be adapted in so many different ways.

Using our book to think of another media project was easy, we decided to retell the story using Puppet Pals, an app available on th iPad. This was more difficult than the first one as a lot more thinking was involved to ensure that we   Retold the story correctly. We briefly discussed the story before we started  to ensure we all knew what had to happen. The app we decided to use was more complicated than I was expecting, as we had to take pictures of the book for the back drops and characters as well as using our voices for the characters. However I did enjoy using the app. After we had recorded our first scene we quickly moved onto the next, unfortunately we forgot to save the first one so had to recreate it which was frustrating, however it was fun and the second attempt worked out better than the first (in my opinion). Once we had created all the scenes we were able to put it all together to retell our version of the story What the Ladybird Heard;

I feel that the app would be appropriate for children to use as once they know what they are doing it is quite simple. With children in the Foundation Stage Adult support may be needed to ensure the children are able to use the app appropriately. However with children in KS1 I feel after a simple tutorial they will be able to use it independently either on their own or in group.

Today was our first session back after a long summer break, it’s good to be getting back into uni life and blogging. In today’s session we were able to recap on what we had learnt last year about ICT and the different ways in which they can be used in schools and early years settings. The main focus of the session was to create a tool which we can use in schools to engage children within a topic and introduce them to a specific book.

Beeban Kidron  discusses the need for us to ensure that stories are still part of our children’s lives. She discusses the idea of using a film club within which children watch the film and then engage in a discussion about it.

The first thing we did was to look at the different apps and websites that were available to us, for example; iMovie, puppet pals, Purple mash , I can animate, Video Scribe and many more exciting apps and websites.   All these apps were available to us to enable the creation of a trailer or a puppet animation to use as a stimulus to start the topic for the book. We were able to explore all of these apps at our leisure. As I was unfamiliar with all of these apps and websites I found it useful to be able to have the time to be able to explore them and understand how they work.   I really liked the IMovie app that is available on the Ipad, it looked simple and easy to use and when i was able to quickly explore it I found my assumptions to be correct. Helen explained we could incorporate our own text and images to make the trailer, but not our own sound.

imovie

When we were set our challenge to create our own piece of media Emily, Katie and I decided that we wanted to make a trailer using the IMovie app as this was one that we all agreed looked easy and simple to use, but also created an effective piece of media. We each had brought a book with us an we decided to use the book ‘What the Ladybird Heard’. we decided upon this one because we felt it was a fun and colourful book which many resources could be created around. After this we looked through the IMovie app and found a trailer template which would best suit the book; we chose the superhero one. This had lively upbeat music which we felt was applicable to the book. We then set off to the library to find some props to use within our trailer. We were able to find a story sack containing some farm animals and a ladybird. We first input the text into the trailer template to ensure we knew where to put each of the pictures and videos. we then took it in turns to take the pictures and videos. We were able to complete this within the hour we were given and were all pleased with the result. The video below is the trailer we were able to create;

Overview

March 31, 2013 | overview  |  Leave a Comment

Although I was sceptical at first about writing a blog and how easy I would find it to use, I surprised myself in how easily I have become accustomed to using the blogging tools and the Mypad website. I also feel that I have been able to learn a lot about ICT and how I can personally use it in the classroom to enusre that it is used as an appropriate stimulus. Some of the key points I feel I have learnt from the sessions are;

  • Learning about different aspects of ICT
  • Developing my knowledge
  • How to make ICT fun
  • Finally becoming familiar with the interactive whiteboard
  • Learning how to use different programmes e.g. Monkey Jam
  • Feeling confident that I am able to use ICT in the classroom

I will take away these key points and continue to develop my knowledge of ICT and its uses in settings, particularly when going into my 1b placement.

 

 

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