Tag Archive | iPad

Session 3

Creative Computing

During session 3, we looked at what is included within the new computing curriculum, as well as  how this can be taught within the Early Years and KS1.

First, we discussed how programming resources could be used to teach programming, for example BeeBots.

 [Image: http://www.tts-group.co.uk/_RMVirtual/Media/TTS/Images/ITSBOT_18_large.jpg. Accessed 03/11/14].

Beebots allow the children to programme the object using directional arrows. Floor maps can be used to extend the children’s knowledge of Beebots once they have mastered the arrows, by giving them a starting position and asking them to move the Beebot to another area on the map. One problem with Beebots is having to press clear in between each set of instructions, which in experience have noticed that children sometimes struggle to remember.

We also discussed thinking about computing without actually using a computer, which is called ‘unplugged learning’. Examples of this could be:

  • How to make a jam sandwich – this lets the children think in their minds all the steps needed to make a sandwich, thinking of all the small details, and it helps them to realise that each step is important! For example, if we say put the knife in the jam, but we have not got the knife out of the draw, then that step is impossible!
  • Think about all the controllers the children already use – For example children may already know how to use a remote control for the television, so they understand the steps needed to change the channels etc, so this will already give them a good start to programming other objects.
  • Simon Says – A fun game to get children used to following commands / instructions, and making the link that you have to say simon says before doing the action, just as you have to press the arrows and go to make the Beebot move.

Here is a video modelling the jam sandwich activity on how this could be carried out by a teacher.


We then looked at iPad apps which also help the children master the idea of commuting, using programming skills. Some of these were:

  • A.L.E.X  – This is an App with a robot named A.L.E.X, where the children have to use a series of directional arrows to get the robot from the beginning to the end. At the beginning it is very simple, however it gets quite complicated as the levels grow, and even I struggled to get my head around which way I needed to turn the robot in some situations. Because of this, I feel the app would be suitable for Key stage 1 to carry out independently and work their way through the sessions, however in the Early Years I feel the children may when the levels become more difficult.
  •  [Image: http://carlispina.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/photo-11.png Accessed 03/11/14].
  • Scratch Jr – This is an App which is very Early Years friendly, where the children can simply create their own stories and games. Click here to see how to use Scratch Jr

As well as iPad apps, there are also Computer activities that can help with computing, such as:

  • Purple Mash – Purple mash has a whole section on computing, with a range of different activities for children to practice their programming. For example, 2Go, which is a game where the children can choose a coloured pen, click the directional arrow and choose how many times they want it to go for, and the pen automatically draws. Using this, the children can watch as their programming skills draw a colourful picture:


  •  Scratch – This app is an online website which allows children to use activities which are already made, go into their ‘script’ and change things around to create a new character etc. Dance Party on Scratch is a brilliant, fun game where children can add characters to the party and make them dance in different ways. :




Coding at school: a parent’s guide to England’s new computing curriculum, by the Guardian. 

Click here for the article. 

 This article discusses the reason for the new curriculum as filling the gap between the amount of new jobs needing computing skills, but the lack of skills people have to fill these jobs. They class this as the ‘long-term solution’.

When surveying 1,020 parents of 5-18 year old children, the results were that 60% did not know about the changes in the National Curriculum, taking the ICT out and replacing this with computing.

“ICT used to focus purely on computer literacy – teaching pupils, over and over again, how to word-process, how to work a spreadsheet, how to use programs already creaking into obsolescence; about as much use as teaching children to send a telex or travel in a zeppelin” (Michael Gove, in the Article).

Overall, the idea is teaching the children how a computer works, rather than how to work a computer. Computer Science is the new age of the ‘ICT’ curriculum, giving children a chance to learn how to make their own programmes and make it work in a way that they want it to.


Final Year 2 Post

This is my final Year 2 Post for my Blogfolio before I send it off for marking.

The three ICT sessions I have had this year have been really beneficial to me, as well as the articles available for extra reading. Everything I have discovered over these sessions will help me develop my practice when using ICT within the Early Years and Key Stage One. I have really enjoyed the hands on element, as we were given a task during the first session, and by the end of the third session we had completed everything and had the chance to share within our groups. From this, I feel I have learnt more than I may have done if we were just taking down notes, as we were also given the chance to work within groups, but sharing out the responsibilities to ensure everyone had at least one individual job to do throughout.

At the end of February, I will be beginning my 2a school experience in the Foundation Stage, and I am going to try and fit at least one element of my Year 2 ICT into this to discover if they are as successful with the children as they were with me. I will also take into consideration everything I have read from the online articles, to ensure I am using ICT to benefit the children completely, rather than making my lesson plans more cross-curricular.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you have enjoyed my blog as much as I have making it!

I thought I would leave you with a video which I think is a really nice idea for using QR Codes in the classroom with iPads.
QR Codes are scannable codes for smart phones that anybody can make and can be used for almost anything. Click here for more information on what a QR code is.

Goodbye for now!

Using ICT in Science

During a Science session at University, we were given the task to use ICT to assist us with a misconception.

We chose the misconception based on shadows, with children not understanding that shadows are an absence of light. To do this, we decided to use the book ‘Can’t you sleep little bear?’ as inspiration. To make the video, we simply used cardboard to cut out the bears and the bed, stuck these onto long straws and then used the iPad and a torch the record the video. Here it is:

Although the video was quite simple, and we only used the camera to video rather than a downloaded App, I feel the video is quite effective, and could be adapted and used for a variety of different subjects across the curriculum. In my opinion, using ICT should engage the children more than the teacher just explaining, which should then hopefully fuel the children’s interest as they can see the bears and relate to the story, and hopefully they will gain a better understanding.

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.

Session 2: Curriculum Applications

This week during ICT, we looked further into using ICT specifically for Communication, Language and Literacy in the Early Years, and how it can be used for a story.

In our groups, we had the task of choosing a story, making a curriculum map around the story using ICT and coming up with an idea to either make a trailer or re-tell the story, or a similar idea using the app’s and computer programmes we discovered last week. This week we practiced using the apps to decide which ones we were going to use and also made our curriculum plan.

Firstly, we decided to use ‘The Ugly Duckling’ book, as we knew the majority of the class would be familiar with the subject, and we thought the moral of the story was lovely for an Early Years environment.

During this session, we decided to practice making a trailer using the iMovie app on the iPad. This app is quite an easy app to use, where you can choose the theme you want and it brings up a range of boxes, telling you to add writing, take pictures or take videos, and how long each video should last. Once this is completed, it makes the trailer for you:

Towards the end of the session, as a group we decided to quickly make a trailer using us as the characters. This was made quickly without much planning, but it gave us the general idea of what could be done with this iPad App if planned well and time was taken over it.

We liked this App, however we would like to have more freedom over how we set out or video, rather than being told to take a picture in one frame, then a 2 second video in another. Because of this, we decided that next week we will try a different App to record the story as a video rather than making a trailer.