Sharing and Reviewing

October 13, 2014 | 4 Comments

The last week flew past, and here we are again back in ICT. In today’s session we discussed categorising different apps. Before the session, I would have categorised apps by subject (e.g. mathematics based, literacy based etc.), however, today’s session has shown that there are many different ways to group apps. We discussed grouping apps in a different way, Helen Caldwell introduced us to her four categories; Personal Learning, Collaborative Learning, Visible Learning, and Combining Media. These different categories made it clear that apps have different purposes, and how important it is to know the purpose of the app before using the app in the classroom with children. After the discussion about categorising apps, we had time to finish off our own resources, before sharing our resources to the rest of the group.

Our resource:
We were then given time to finish off our resources, or make a second resource related to storytelling resource. I continued working with Sarah M, and we decided to make something that would support our original resource, rather than creating a separate resource. We decided to create a rough outline of how we would use our original resource in a lesson.

We thought we would use a piece of music to get children using their imaginations. The clip below is the theme tune from Pirates of the Caribbean, we would play the theme tune to children, and ask them to guess what piece of music was playing. We would ask the children if anyone recognises the music, and where they think it might be from.


We would then use the program on the interactive whiteboard to slowly reveal a picture of a pirate ship. The picture would slowlypirate ship be revealed and the children would have to ask yes or no questions to find out clues about the picture. The children would then find out that they were going to write the ending to a pirate story. The story on Photo Peach would then be shown to the children (we agreed that we would have to resolve the issue of the pixilated pictures on our PhotoPeach story before using it with the children, we also agreed that if we were unable to resolve the picture issue we would have to use a different app, for example: Story Jumper or Story Bird).

We then decided that we would use a different app to give children a location for the ending of their story. We used the app Make Dice, you can find a preview on the Apple website here. The app allows you to add pictures of text to the six faces of a dice. The app also allows you to use more than one dice, so for older children, you may give them a location, and a theme image (6)for their work. We used pictures on our dice, we chose to use: a dessert island, a pirate ship, mountain setting, farm setting, an igloo and London (see image on the left). We would allow the children to use the dice on the iPad, one by one, and chose their location before creating an end to the story ‘Pirate Trouble’. The children could then go on to write an ending to the story, or use different media to create their story. The children may chose to act out the story, or use a similar app to PhotoPeach to create their own ending.  This clip: Video (1), shows how the dice works when using it on the iPad. The iPads can also be linked up to interactive whiteboards, which would allow the children to see the dice on a larger scale.

Reviewing others resources:
In today’s session we were able to view some of the resources that other people in our group had made. This was an extremely useful part of the session, as it’s interesting to see apps and programs used in different ways. I particularly liked Sarah B, Hayley and Laura’s resource. They used the app/program Puppet Edu, to retell the story of Dear Zoo. The group took pictures of  the book Dear Zoo before combining the pictures in the app. I liked that the pictures were taken from the actual book and I also liked that the girls were able to record their own voices retelling the story.

I also liked Alyson and Alex’s resource made on the Green Screen. They recreated the story of George and the Dragon, and gave their own twist on the story with using the Green Screen. I would really like to use a green screen to recreate a story myself, and I would also like to use a Green Screen in a lesson with children. This is something I will hopefully be able to try out in our upcoming placement.

Reviewing apps:
Throughout the two sessions, I have used a number of apps and have found positive and negative factors with all of them. Some of these apps I would definitely consider using in future computing lessons in school, and I would also use some of these apps in different cross-curricular lessons too.

Make Dice –  The make dice app was extremely quick and easy to use, the instructions to make an app were clear and simple to make dicefollow. The Make Dice App allows you to have more than one dice in the app at one time, so I believe it could be used across different areas of the curriculum, for example: mathematics (two dice may contain different numbers, and one dice may contain the symbols for division, multiplication, addition and subtraction, children would then be able to create their own sums). The app allows you to write on the different faces of the dice, or you can add pictures; which shows that it is easy to adapt the dice according to the age of the children using the app. The only negative point of using the Make Dice App, was that the dice cannot be used in other programs. You can save dice, but unfortunately cannot remove them and use them elsewhere. I would definitely consider using this app in the classroom in the future, I would create dice to help support learning, but I would also let the children use the app themselves to create dice appropriate to help support their own learning.

PhotoPeach – I have reviewed PhotoPeach in my previous blog post, but here is a quick summary of my previous review. I thought the instructions on the app were simple, and could easily be followed by children working independently. The app allows you to add pictures that you have taken, and also allows you to add music. The app had a embed tool, which meant it was quick and simple to use our video outside the app. Unfortunately, our pictures in our story became blurry, which was the only real negative found when using PhotoPeach.

Skitch – I was able to explore Skitch briefly after finishing off our other resources. Skitch allows you to annotate photos, with otherskitch pictures and also with labels. I thought the app was quite simple to use, I believe children would need some guidance before using the app independently. I believe this would be a brilliant tool to use in the classroom for many different areas of the curriculum: I thought this app would be a useful approach to labeling in science, for example: when labeling the human body or parts of a flower. When experimenting with Skitch, I found that the picture used needed to be of high quality to ensure that the picture did not become blurry. I think this app would be useful to use as a whole class activity, the iPad could be linked up the interactive whiteboard, and the children would be able to see the screen on a larger scale. Here is a preview of Skitch on the Apple website.

felt boardFelt Board – I really enjoyed using felt board, I thought there were lots of different scenes and props to chose from, which means children can really use their imagination when using felt board. The app has people, animals, shapes, numbers and letters that can be used, along with lots of different scenes. I believe that felt board would be simple and easy for children to use independently, and also when in a group. Felt board takes still pictures, which works well, however I believe that the app would be more appealing if you were able to create a video or add speech to accompany the pictures, in a similar way to PuppetPals. After the still pictures have been taken, children would need to add their images to an app, such as iMovie, to make their still images into a story.

Further Reading:
Caldwell, H. ‘Manipulating Media’, in Caldwell, H & Bird, J. Teaching with Tablets (In press). Sage, London.
An important part of digital literacy is being able to combine media, and tablets are an accessible way of combining media, both for adults and for children.  The chapter shows that there are many different ways to use media across the curriculum, which I think is something that needs to be considered by all teachers. Many teachers can be put off by using technology in other subjects,  however this chapter shows how beneficial using technology is different subjects can be. The chapter states that tablets can be extremely beneficial to use in the classroom with children, but also tablets can be beneficial for extending learning beyond the classroom.

What are the advantages of using tablets to support whole school activities?: I believe that using tablets in school to support whole school activities is extremely useful and can support learning if done correctly. I believe that children would be able to share information and make use of being able to communicate with children in older and younger years in the school. I think that classes linking through tablets to share their learning would be thoroughly beneficial to the children if the activity was completed correctly. The children could share different approaches to work, and learn from one another.Every person in the school could have an input in the project. A whole school project could be completed, and different aspects of the project could be shared with different members of the school community through the tablets, for example: the head teacher could oversee the school project. The project could be easily combined and then shared with the wider community.

I have seen in this session different ways that apps and programs can be used for storytelling. I have also seen ways in which the story resources that we create, can be used as part of a lesson, rather than just for entertainment purposes. I have also realise that storytelling is not just about a child writing their ideas down on paper, storytelling can happen in so many different ways. I am excited to use different apps and programs myself, and also excited to use them with children. I am also looking forward to the prospect of using these different apps in a cross curricular way, rather than just for literacy.

4 Comments so far

  1.    Emily on October 31, 2014 11:08 am      Reply

    The pirate music and picture reveal is a great hook to the lesson. I like the idea of the dice giving children a theme or location to encourage their story telling and writing skills. I also liked Alex and Alyson’s resource, it was really clever how they put the fire in. Green screen would be brilliant to use with children, especially in the Early Years.

  2.    Hayley on November 2, 2014 1:59 pm      Reply

    I like the idea of encouraging children to ask questions to help them find out clues about the picture. Also the use of the music clip to provide a hook into it is a good idea too! Thanks for sharing!

  3.    Alyson on November 7, 2014 11:23 am      Reply

    I really like the idea of using the pirate music as a hook to get the children involved in creative writing.

    •    Katie on November 7, 2014 12:15 pm      Reply

      I love the idea of using music as a stimulus in the classroom, I think it could be used across lots of different curriculum subjects. I am excited to use something similar in the classroom on our upcoming placement.

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