Developing a Vision
This week we had sessions 5 and 6 together to ensure we had all sessions before the assignment deadline. We had a chance to look at a few more resources, as well as having a chance to discuss the assignment.
During my 2b placement, Education City was a programme that was used daily for both phonics and maths lessons. I also used it as an introduction or a plenary to a topic, for example I used a science waterproof materials game to introduce the idea of ‘waterproof’ before taking them out in groups and carrying out a follow up activity in the water tray. On Education City I particularly like how the website is set out, grouping the subjects separately, and then breaking them down. The letters and sounds section is split up into the different sets, with activities to teach the letters as well as activities made for practising. I would definitely like to have this website available to me when I am teaching my class.
On the Help Kidz Learn website, the activities are all very simple. However there is a teacher activity where you can make your own activities, called Choose It! Maker 3. I really like this activity and managed to quickly make my own science activity. It was really simple to add or remove boxes, pictures and text, as well as chance the colours and backgrounds. This could be useful for making a simple activity for any part of the EYFS or National Curriculum.
We then looked at ways of assessing children using technology:
- 2 Build A Profile – This app is a paid app which allows the Teacher / Early Years Practitioner to take a picture of a child carrying out an activity, link it to their profile, add notes and also add other children carrying out the activity with them on the iPad. This is also automatically synced to the computer. This removes the need to have cameras and to try and remember what was happening at a later date, as the notes are all made at the time it happens. Here is a video about the app:
- Three Ring App – This is an app that can be used by both teachers and students. Pictures can be taken of the children’s work, discussions can be recorded of the children, and children can also upload anything they may want to.
Here is a video for Three Ring:
- Evernote – This is another app which allows the teacher to take photos and organise the observations online.
We used Pinterest to look at ideas for different areas of Early Years, and I now have a wide range of pins for the classroom, including resources and assessment. Luckily I had already used Pinterest so knew how it worked, however today I added a few of my friends who signed up today, meaning I can now pin pictures to their boards and I can access their boards when I want to. I really like this website, as it is great for searching for some inspiration during placements, and ultimately when I have my own class.
Importance of ICT within the Early Years and KS1
Finally, we were given a task to work in groups of three and order a list of statements in terms of their importance in ICT in Early Years and KS1. We decided that the top point was to increase motivation. As a group, we were in agreement that ensuring the children are inspired, motivated and enjoy the activities was the most important thing, as this will then encourage them to build on their learning. We took a picture of this on the Skitch app, which is a handy app which allows you to annotate pictures on the iPad.
ICT In the Early Years, by Rachel Ager
This website discusses how to introduce technology into the Early Years. This article suggests that we as teachers may feel as though we do not need to teach due to the children already having a vast knowledge of how technology works. However, it is not the case that just because children seem to know what to do with the technology that they actually engage with the ICT. When looking closely, children may know how to press the buttons, but do they actually know why they are using this piece of equipment, or what they can gain from it? I feel strongly that we need to observe what children know, and build on this to show exactly what children can gain from using the equipment, to ensure that they gain as much as possible from their experiences with ICT, and they can then take these skills further up in the school to benefit them in other areas of the curriculum
This article also discusses how the Early Years Foundation Guidance is too vague, with not enough help on what kind of technologies we are to use. Basically we are told to teach the children about every day technology and how to use it. However, I feel this gives the teachers the freedom to use a wide range of technology with the children in their Reception class, and while observing the children using these activities they can see which types of technology certain children really engage with, and will aid them across the curriculum further.
The value of play with ICT is also stressed in this article, speaking about how it is just as meaningful as mark-making is to learning to write. Children need the chance to explore the technology and enjoy it in play form, before being taught about the many uses and exactly what it is for.
Tagging the Learning Journey at Rosendale Primary School, by Deerwood.
This is an interesting online article about an assessment project which was put in place in a school in London to capture learning reflections, then use this to inform next steps for the children.
They decided to put this in place because they felt as though the assessment methods they had in place was not enough to capture the whole learning story of every child in their class. They decided to put the pupils in control of their own assessment using technology.
Firstly, the children were all given their own digital notebook using the Evernote app which I mentioned earlier in this blog. The children were given the task to capture their own moments during school, which they can do using various pieces of technology, and then these can be transferred into their own notebooks. The children were all extremely enthusiastic carrying out their own learning journeys throughout the year.
I really like the idea of giving the children the task of capturing their own learning, as it gives them the chance to look at their own work, assess their own work and then decide if they are proud enough and worked hard for this work to go into their personal diaries. This really does give the children time for self-assessment, as the children in this particular class were in Year 3, so it proves how teaching the children how and why we use technology right from the Early Years, they will have the capability for something like this as young as Year 3, and maybe even younger!