Year 3

September 29, 2014 | Leave a Comment

It’s hard to believe that I am sat here writing my year 3 blog, it feels like only yesterday that we were being asked to begin our first blog. Our very first session of the year was ICT, and I was glad, because I always have fun in ICT as well as learning something new and useful, every session.

In today’s session, we looked at methods of storytelling using technology. There were many different apps that were discussed and modeled throughout the session, including; Morfo, GreenScreenFX, PicCollage, PhotoSpeak and StoryPatch. There were also new pieces of technology introduced in the session: we have previously discussed the iPads and the use of the different apps on the iPads, but many of us were newly introduced to the concept of Green Screens, and we were also introduced to the idea of using a light box.

photo

Our task for today’s session was to use an app to tell a story. I worked with Sarah M, and we decided to use a piece of technology that neither of us had used before, the light box. We decided to set up a scene on the light box and take a series of pictures to create a story. The picture (left) shows our beach theme scene that we created on the light box. We used small word characters to create a story about pirates stealing treasure. When we took pictures of the light box, there were light lines across the photos, so we had to find an alternative method of capturing the scenes we created. We experimented for a while before finding a solution, we took a slow motion video of the scene for a few seconds, and we then took screen shots of the different video clips to create a still frame. When discussing the pros and cons of using the light box for storytelling, we decided that there were far more pros than cons. We found the light box very easy and simple to use to create different scenes, we also believe that children would be able to complete a task using the light box with  very little adult input. One of the most important factors of the light box, was the unlimited possibilities when creating/retelling a story. With enough resources and materials, children would be able to tell endless amounts of stories using the light box.

Once we had our pictures, we then had to decide on which app/program to use to turn our series of pictures into a story. We decided to use the program, PhotopeachPhoto Peach. This was an app that neither of us had heard of before today’s session, so we were intrigued to have a play around on the app. First of all, we had to upload of photos to the program, this was very simple and easy to do. We then had to chose any subtitles, music or credits that we wanted to add to the story. We attempted to add a pirate theme tune through YouTube, however, unfortunately the YouTube clip would not play, so we chose a piece of music already located on the programs music section.

Below is our story ‘Pirate Trouble’:

Pirate Trouble! on PhotoPeach

I found that there were many positives to the program Photo Peach. The program was easy to use, with clear and simple instructions, and I believe that children would be able to use the program to create a story themselves. I also liked that music and subtitles could also be added to the story, there was also a ‘quiz’ part to the program that would make the story more interactive.
Although the program is extremely child friendly, and would be brilliant to use in a classroom, there were several negative factors when using Photo Peach. One negative that we found related to picture quality; the pictures we took became pixilated and blurry once added to the program. Unfortunately, there was no way to correct this once the photos had been added. The only other negative was the YouTube music, however this issue was quickly resolved.

This session was extremely useful and it was also very enjoyable. We were shown different ways to use technology for storytelling which will be useful in our future careers, and we were also able to have fun whilst learning new skills.

 

Further Reading
This piece of reading discussed many different areas of interest around computing in schools. One of the points I found most interesting, was the reasoning behind why practitioners are reluctant to teach computing. Listed below are some of the reservations teachers about computing:

  • Concerns about e-safety.
  • Poor quality of equipment for children and teachers to use, alongside poor internet connection.
  • Unreliable administrative systems.
  • Clashes between systems and resources.
  • Lack of time to experiment with new technology, and lack of guidance.

The issues mentioned above, are issues that I can personally related to. If I were to avoid teaching computing, or using ICT within my teaching, it would be for one of the reasons above. Throughout several placements, there have been issues with the speeds of the computer systems, and also issues with the speed of the internet. I have also had the experience of being asked to use new technology, without being able to familiarise myself with the technology first.

On the other hand, the article does also reference the positives behind using technology in the classroom, and also outside of the classroom. One positive factor is the amount of resources teachers are able to access for their class, teachers have access to websites in schools and different programs on the internet, they also have access to a bank of resources often shared through a school community, or a wider teaching community e.g. Sparkle Box. Other positive factors relate to the children’s learning, there are many different ways in which technology can assist a child’s learning; one example of this is children recording their learning through pictures and videos, and being able to refer back to the physical evidence.

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.

Reflection:
One question asked in today’s session was, does the digital enhance the physical? Through previous experience in schools, I have seen the digital overrule the physical, and have often seen the digital become more important than the physical. However, I have also seen the digital enhance children’s learning in several different settings. If used correctly, I believe that computing can be used in a complimentary way alongside the non-digital methods of teaching. Although I believe it is important for children to have a correct balance of digital and traditional, I do believe it is important for children to have rich and broad experiences with technology.



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