Tag Archive | ICT

Session 4

ict curr

During session 4 of ICT, we discussed the ways ICT can be used to enhance other areas of the curriculum, rather than an isolated subject.

We discussed the uses of animation, a couple of examples are:

  • Using 2Create a story, children could create a story for any subject. They could re-tell a story already written or could make up their own story.
  • Using I can animate apps to tell a story in Science for example. This uses stop frame animation and Time Lapse.

We then discussed how ICT can be used for exploring places, (which are all great for the Understanding the World section of the EYFS), for example:

  • Photocard apps, for talking postcards. This app allows children to choose a picture (or add their own) and write their own messages on their own postcards, as well as recording their own voices talking. This is an excellent feature for children in the Early Years who may struggle using the iPad keyboard, or struggle with spelling. Other curriculum links this particular app would cover is Expressive arts and design, and communication and language. (Click HERE for a video on how to use the photcard app)
  • The RECCE app, which is an app on the iPad which allows you to see maps in 3D, and explore different places. This will allow children to visit different places, and will be useful for comparing different areas, for example the sea side, to the centre of London.
  • Google Street View – Special Collections.  This can be used on the computer, and has specific locations saved so the children can just click on a place that would like to visit, and see this from the street view:

After this, we were told about an excellent website which allows you to search for any topic you are teaching, and it brings up different sources, from different websites, which have online activities for that topic. This website is called Infant Encyclopedia.  All you have to do is type in your topic into the search bar or click on the matching picture, and your activities will appear. See below.

minibeastsminibeasts 2


Once we had looked at the different websites and apps and how they can be used across the curriculum, we were given the task to make an a4 sheet full of QR codes, that can be used as an activity sheet for children. The use of QR codes means that children who may struggle typing website addresses in, can quickly assess a website by scanning a code. This also eliminates the dangers of typing a general search into a search engine and getting results that are inappropriate.
We were given the task to carry this out in pairs, so Holly and I decided to focus on the topic of Minibeasts. We used a mixture of websites including Purple Mash, YouTube and the Infant Encyclopedia to find online activities. Every time we found a website we liked, we then needed to make that into a QR code which we could use on our sheet. To do this we used the website Scan.Me. This allows you to easily change the website address into a QR code that can then be scanned by any QR code scanning app.
Our final QR code activity sheet looked like this:

MINIBEAST QR CodeMINIBEASTS QR CODES – Click there for the word document.

Unfortunately we ran out of time, so we have had to put the codes on without labels. But if we had more time, we would have added a caption to each othe codes to ensure the teachers knew exactly what the children were accessing. Also, as we have put this on the resources site, it would have been handy for anyone who may want to use this sheet to know what the activities are without having to look at each one individually first.

Overall I think this was a really good session, giving us a chance to see how all the new apps and websites we have been introduced to can be linked across the curriculum, especially using the QR codes as a way to link them all together on one activity sheet.

Why use ICT within an Early Years or KS1 classroom?… at AnswerGarden.ch.



40 Interesting Ways to use QR Codes in the Classroom, by Tom Barett. 

Click here for the article.

This online article gives a huge range of examples of how QR codes can be used both within the classroom, as well as within the wider school.

One idea given is to place the QR codes in a text book, so the teacher could add in some extra information, and when the child see’s the code they can easily access more information about that topic. I think that is a great idea, constantly giving children extra information, while making it fun and interesting to scan the link and see what comes up.

Another idea is an easter egg hunt, which would be a great activity to carry out in a class. I made one of these for Placement 2a, however unfortunately all the websites I used to link pictures to my blog were blocked by the school so I did not get to carry out my activity. Nevertheless, it was a good learning curve for me and gave me the chance to trial QR codes within the classroom.

Overall, this article is a handy information sheet to have available for some inspiration on getting QR codes into the classroom.

iDoceo –  The Teacher’s assistant for iPad – Preparing for the New Year.

Click here for the article. 

I was looking for articles about using ICT across the curriculum, and came across this interesting article. While looking at ICT in the classroom for the children, I had not really thought about how ICT can be used to support the teachers as well. This article discusses a new app which could be the new teaching assistant, which is a massive statement to make! This app can:

  • Set up timetables
  • Set up classes
  • Set up seating plans
  • Includes a diary
  • Includes a planner
  • Resource manager
  • Lesson Planner

Here is the actual website for the app itself. 

From looking at the information, this App looks as though it could be a little bit too complicated, with more on it than there needs to be, for example pictures of all the individual children. However, if this app is available, it would be interesting to see what other Apps are out there for the organisation of teachers!

Year 3 – Session 1

Digital Stortelling and Presenting

Hello everybody! Not only is this the first session of ICT for Year 3, this is also our first session back after the summer holidays! It has been nice to ease back in to University with an ICT session!

This session has been all about how we can tell stories using ICT within the Early Years. We have been given a wide variety of apps for the iPad that are fantastic for telling stories, all in their own ways using different methods. As well as this we have also had a chance to look at how the green screen works, and how this can be used to record something, and then integrate this into the apps we have already been looking at to tell a story. I have seen a green screen before, and heard about them, but I had never thought we would be given the chance to actually use them within our classrooms. Seeing it being used within our classroom at University, it has shown me how easy it would be to integrate this into the primary classroom.

For the main activity in this session, we were asked to get into pairs, experiment with the different apps, and finally have a piece of work we can show the class that tells a children’s story using one of the apps we have been looking at.

Me and Holly chose to work together. We chose an iPad each and decided to click on a few apps to see which ones looked user friendly, with good characters and scenes etc. Finally we came across the Felt Board app. This is a fantastic app which gives the effect of layering felt on top of each other, to make people, scenes, objects etc, all using the finger on the iPad. Here is a demonstration on how the Felt Board app works.

We loved this app, because we chose to re-tell the story of little red riding hood, and this app happened to have all the scenes, animals, people and outfits we needed to recreate this story. The app is extremely user friendly, you can just pick and choose items from the menu on the left, put them where you want, re-size using two fingers, and the app does the rest for you! In terms of the Early Years or Key Stage 1 classroom, I believe this would be perfect. The children can relate to the felt, as they may have had experience layering felt to make pictures already, but it is also so simple to use that they could easily make a few different scenes to then make into a story. This app is extremely cross-curricular, and would be great in the Early Years to develop the fine motor skills.

The only negative I found from this app is the fact that when you have created a scene, you can take a picture of this, but you are limited as to what you can do with the picture. However, this is easily fixed!  When you have taken a picture of each scene, this adds to your camera roll,  these can then be added into the iMovie app for example, to carry on the story telling. We chose to use iMovie to turn our story telling images into a trailer.


Unfortunately, we ran out of time to turn our scenes into a story using a different app, so this will be continued next week, and the resulting iMovie will be posted during Session 2!

Noisy Readers: Little Red Riding Hood

[Image: http://igloobooks.com/browse-books/ebooks/ibooks/noisy-readers-littlered.html#.VDLH6vldXlQ [online] Accessed:06/10/2014].


Do young children need access to computers as much as they need to play with sand and water?

Preston, C. and Scott Baker, M. Do young children need access to computers as much as they need to play with sand and water? In: Burden, K. Leask, M. & Younie, S. (Eds.). (2014). Teaching and Learning Using ICT in the Primary School. Taylor & Francis

SeaWeenies Sand & Water Play Table £143 - Education Furniture[ image: http://www.equip4work.co.uk/shop/seaweenies-sand-water-play-table.html. Accessed: 06/10/14]

This is a very interesting article which discusses the use of ICT within the classroom, as well as the role of the adult within this.

This article suggests that schools value new recruits to teaching, (as I will be next year) as having a good knowledge of ICT and being able to use this within the school, as well as being able to teach these skills to the other colleagues within the school. However, due to the constant stream of new programmes, apps, and technology being introduced constantly, I believe there should be support / training available for staff more often to ensure they are kept up to date, and therefore the children in their class can receive the greatest benefits from this too.

A major benefit of technology, which this article discusses, is the fact that if children are lacking in reading / writing skills, apps / computer programmes give them the ability to carry out activities which could be difficult for them usually.  For example, activities which involve clicking and dragging words into sentences for children that may struggle to write but can read well.  As well as this example, there are a huge amount of other benefits which children can gain from, by using technology during the school day.

However, as well as using ICT regularly, children also need to carry out the physical activities that do not involve ICT, for example exploring with different textures, learning to write using a pencil and playing sports. All these things will give children the skills they will need in later life that cannot be learnt by using an iPad for example.

From this article, I think it is clear that technology within the classroom can be extremely beneficial, and all teachers should feel confident in using this to enhance children’s learning. However, I believe that enhance is the key word, as there should be a definite balance between using ICT, as well as other techniques of teaching and learning which is non-ICT based. Learning should take into account the different learning styles of all children, and it is an excellent way to deepen the knowledge children already have.

Session 3: Sharing and Evaluating

For the final session of ICT for Year 3, we filmed our final pieces for our story of ‘The Ugly Duckling’. We also made activities for the children to carry out using the ideas from our curriculum map.


This was an activity we made based around the book using the Smart Notebook programme. As it is interactive, we thought this would be a good activity for the children to carry out on the interactive whiteboard, and the idea is that the children have to take the animals from the book and decide whether they live on the water or on land by moving them, and also then adding the correct label to the animal.

We finally decided to use ‘Puppet Pals’ to make our video on the iPad. Puppet pals was extremely easy to use:

  1. First you have to find a picture, either off the internet or from a gallery, and then these need to be cut around.
  2. Then when you have all your characters you can upload a background.
  3. Then, you can add characters on and off the screen by putting them on to the stage. Just press record, use your fingers to move the characters and speak at the same time to record the film. Characters can be flipped, can grow, can shrink and can move all with one finger.

Click here for a detailed YouTube tutorial on how to use puppet pals.

This was our final video for ‘The Ugly Duckling’


I really enjoyed using the Puppet Pals App on the iPad, and I believe this would be a great resource for children to use throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, and even upwards through the school. There was only one problem we encountered when using this App, and that was shrinking one of the characters too small, that we couldn’t then fit two fingers on to enlarge them again, meaning we had completely lost that character. This will be something I will be careful of in the future.
As well as being easy to use, it is also a lot of fun finding the characters, making them your own and adding funny voices over the top.
Overall, puppet pals was a success and I would recommend this App to anyone.

Once we had made everything, we then carried out a sharing session at the end so everyone could look at everyone else’s activities and videos they had made. I really enjoyed seeing the outcomes from the rest of the groups, because every activity and video was completely different from the last, with every individual putting their own spin on what they had made and the book they had chosen, and I would like to say Well Done to everyone in the group for what they have completed in the 3 sessions!

Article: How the iPad Can Transform Classroom Learning

There is a very interesting article online about how iPads can not only be a tool for teaching, but also a tool for children to become independent learners, while giving the teachers a chance to use the same equipment to assess the children at the same time.


How the iPad Can Transform Classroom Learning

In this article, Ben Johnson describes the vast ways that children can use the iPads in a variety of different ways from just one task, from finding out information, using this information to gain results, make a graph using these results, talk to other members of the class to compare their results and even find online lectures.
Although this is too complicated for an Early Years group, the same concept can be put into place, using apps for specific subject, and allowing them to carry out educational games during their free flow play would be a great way to incorporate the play into their learning of a specific subject as well as ICT.

As well as the students, the teachers can use the iPad to assess the children, taking pictures, making notes, and even videoing the children, not just while they are using the iPads but throughout the day.

This has really made me think about the wide range of possibilities the iPad can bring to the classroom, and I will definitely be carrying out further research and collecting as many apps as i can to use when I am qualified.

It’s Not About the Gadgets – Why Every Teacher Should Have to Integrate Tech Into Their Classroom

This is a blog all about the importance of how technology is used in the classroom, rather than the resources being available but not being used efficiently.

It’s Not About the Gadgets

The blog on this site talks about their experiences of seeing ICT in the classroom, but not using it as it should be used.

For example, one section talks about how teachers let their students type something on the SmartBoard and think this counts as integrating tech into their lessons, but they disagree with this, and suggest it is too limited. They suggest that integrating properly is when a student films a video for example to show learning rather than making a poster.

It also talks about the need for proper training, as there is no point having a classroom full of ICT technology if the teacher of the class doesn’t know how to use them so the students can develop through them to their full potential.

This is an interesting article, and has made me think about the way I have witnessed teachers using it in the classroom. I agree that teachers may think it is enough to have a lesson including the SmartBoard, but unless children actually have the chance to explore and have a go on their own, they aren’t engaging with the technology enough to be learning from it.

There is also a related article at the bottom of the page.



Early Years ICT – Where to start?

This is an interesting Article all about ICT in the Early Years, in the specific areas of development. It includes links to other websites that could be useful to Teachers and Early Years Practitioners who are looking to use ICT.

Where to start?

Communication, Language and Literacy:

Under this section, it is talking about using technology in the setting to reflect the real world, for example phones etc. As well as letting the children use the computers to write e-mails etc. as this is the norm for most people today, and it integrates ICT with the children’s literacy and imagination skills.

Creative Development:

This section talks about using a wide range of ICT rather than just the usual computer programmes. For example using camcorders to record imaginative play in the role-play area. This can hep them build confidence with their creative skills.

Knowledge and Understanding:

The article talks about the different types of resources children can use to look at the world around them and their lives. For example, looking at living things by taking photographs and recording them. A good example they have suggested is placing waterproof webcams or camcorders in an area of the playground with wildlife, so they can look through the footage afterwards and see the insects wildlife behaving differently to how maybe they would act with people around, or at night time rather than the day.


The Maths section focuses mainly on programmable toys such as floor robots,  to look at problem solving, direction, and counting etc. As well as being educational, these can also be very fun for the children to play with.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development:

An example of this is using programmes such as paint on the computer to draw pictures, and printing these off to keep or show in a display, as this will give the children a confidence boost and they can feel proud of what they have achieved using the ICT technology.

Physical Development:

This section is based more on helping the children gain confidence to carry out more physical activities to develop their skills, rather than ICT which helps Physical Development directly.
An example they have put it similar to the Creative Development, where they can record the children carrying out physical skills for them and their parents to watch back so they can feel proud of what they have achieved, and once they have seen that can do it it may inspire them to carry on and even try other physical activities.


I have found this Internet article very useful, and it has made me think about the different ways ICT can help throughout the curriculum. As well as the information I have wrote about, there is a link for more information under every section of development, as well as other general links at the bottom of the page.


Popplet is an internet site which helps you to create mind maps easily and simply, around any subject you like.  There is a youtube video to show you how to make a popplet and this one includes the use of it in an english lesson.


I have made a Popplet on the use of ICT in Early Years and Key Stage 1, which i will be updating throughout the course.

I think a Popplet would be a good resource to use when starting a new topic which children on an interactive whiteboard. The subject could be put into the middle of the screen. Then, in one colour coming off one side, information the children already know could be added. On the other side in a different colour could be things about the topic the children want to find out.  There are endless ways this resource could be used in Early Years and Key Stage 1 Education.

ICT Games in the Early Years and Key Stage 1

During out ICT session today, we had a range of different ICT resources available for us to try out different games and consider how we could use this for children in Early Years and Key Stage 1 Settings.

We had a wide range avialable for us to try, including:

  • Wii
  • Xbox – Kinect
  • Nintendo DS
  • Computers – Internet

There are a range of reasons why these sort  games could be beneficial in a setting like this, firstly it can build the confidence and self esteem of a child, especially if they are particulary gifted at particular games. They can show off their skills to other members of the group and feel proud of what they are achieving.
Aother reason is that it can be used to motivate the children, for example during circle time if the children have all done well in the week, they can have a go on the Wii for example for the afternoon to have some time to relax, and this lets the children know that they will have a treat at the end of the week, it is something for them to look forward to.
Fine motor skills are also developed in many of the games, whether it is using the keyboard and the mouse on the computers or pressing the buttons on the remotes. As well as these, gross motor skills are also developed on some of the games, for example playing tennis on the Wii or playing the drums on the Rock Band games.
Particular games are good for developing paticular skills, for example Maths Training on the Nintendo DS is a really good game, because children can either play on their own or against a friend, and there is also a range of levels for them to choose from, with every times table available to practise, along with short addition to long multiplication.
Playing these sort of games can also help children with life skills, as ICT is developing rapidly in the world, and in the future when the children I teach become adults, they may need computer skills to gain jobs in specific areas, and by encouraging them at this stage, I can teach them the basics of ICT.
Finally, it can really help children with their social development, as children who may not like speaking out in a class for example, may get involved more whilst playing this sort of game in a group. It also teaches them team work as well as competition, but at the same time about following the rules and taking it in turns.

Further Research and Reading:

I found a few good websites which children can use to play games. A few examples of these are:

Octonauts – This is a game on the CBeebies website, and this helps children learn about taking care of animals, and the places where animals live and the kind of things they eat.

Alphablocks – This is also a game on CBeebies, where children can learn about the different letters of the alphabet and their sounds.

BBC – Early Years – This has a range of links for different educational games for the different areas of development.

CrickWeb – This has a range of online games to play, and they have sections from Early Years all the way up to Key Stage 2.

ICT Games – This website is set out into maths, literacy and topic work with games to help with each.

As well as these websites for children, i also found an interesting article about the use of gaming in education. Can Gaming Help Kids Learn? This website talks about the bad press gaming gets, for example saying it turns children into vegetables. However, this site suggests that gaming can be extremely useful in helping children to learn, helping the children to remember information as well as taking an active role in engaging with the topics.
It also suggests that there is science behind why gaming works so well, because the electronic games actually stimulate the brain to release dopamine which helps with cognition.
Overall, the website talks about electronic games helping children to maintain an active role with their own learning, as well as exploring and experimenting on their own. There is also an infographic which is really interesting all about using games in the classroom.