Whilst some of the group were finishing off their resources, we got to explore and experiment with ‘PurpleMash’.

We were told that PurpleMash had plenty of resources that spread over a range of topics, however after exploring the site for myself, I think this was a bit of an understatement!! PurpleMash is like a little resource genie for teachers, there are so many resources and different things to create, based around so many different topics!!

Australia and Purple Mash

One thing that caught my eye on PurpleMash was the amount of resources based around different countries. One activity that I have seen children complete several times, is to create a postcard. Children often are given a piece of paper with the outlines of where to write the address and put the stamp, and are asked to draw their own picture. However there was a program on PurpleMash which allowed children to create their own postcard.  The children would have been able to choose a picture they liked, as well as writing the postcard on the computer. There were useful hints and tips about the types of things that people tend to write on a postcard. The children would have been able to choose different colours and fonts for their writing, and also vary the size of the writing. There were over 20 different types of postcards from different places that children could use. I have inserted a screen shot of an example of the Australian postcard, as unfortunately I could not embed my finished piece, due to a problem with edublogs.

On PurpleMash there are areas related to Numeracy (patterns and shapes), Literacy (authors), Science (plants), History (famous people), Geography (London) , R.E (Diwali), PSHE (feelings and emotions), and lots of other curriculum subjects. There are resources related to dinosaurs, aliens, space, cooking.. This website will be such a valuable resource in the future!! I am really looking forward to using PurpleMash in my next placement, and in my future teaching career.  Click Here To Read More

I can’t believe how quick this week has gone. But here we are, back in ICT.

Today the group was given time to add finishing touches to the videos and apps that had been made in the previous session. We had already finished our previous app, so after some discussion, me and my group decided that we wanted to make another resource that we could use, related to the same book as last week, ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ by Julia Donaldson.  We decided that we wanted to try and tell the whole story through an app. We decided that we would use Puppet Pals. Puppet Pals is another iPad app, and we again found the app was very easy to use. On the app there are many pre-made characters and backgrounds, but you can also add your own. This is something I was very impressed by, the app could be used to create a random story using what was provided, however it was not limited as extra pieces could be added. We therefore decided to use a mixture of our own characters and backgrounds, and also some of the ones that the app already had, as we wanted to experience how easy/difficult it may be for children to use. To add characters and backgrounds, all that was needed was a picture, and for the characters to be cut out (which we thought may be the only difficult part for those little fingers!!). To make our Puppet Pal video, we recorded the key parts of the book, whilst moving the characters on the screen and speaking. Another reason I was impressed with this app, was that more than one character could be moved at one time, therefore meaning that it would be easier for children to work in pairs or groups. Also, the sound recorded for you from the moment you pressed play on a specific scene, which for children would be ideal, as it’s one less thing for them to try and remember.  The only negative thing about this app is that it does not blend more than one video together.  Click Here To Read More

Back Again

October 10, 2013 | iMovie  |  Leave a Comment

After a fantastic, fun filled summer, here we are, back again. The summer flew past, and are now in Year 2. Scary stuff. Feels like only yesterday we were having our first session on blogging, but now I’m back and blogging again. I have been enjoying getting back into Uni life after Summer, and today we had our first ICT session of the year. I did not think I would be saying this, after the my original view of blogging last year, but I am very much looking forward to blogging again for Year 2.

Today we were asked to start to create a media resource around a book – me and my group jumped straight into the task. And we decided to create a trailer, we originally chose to do a trailer because it looked fun and interesting to create, but we soon realised that there were many different things we could use this app for.
First of all we had to chose a book, we had 3 to chose from, but we went with.. ‘What The Ladybird Heard’ , by Julia Donaldson. We chose this book because two of the members of the group had not read the book and we thought it would be an interesting challenge to pick a new story.

To create our trailer we used the iMovie app on the iPad, As mentioned earlier, none of us had used the iMovie before, but it was simple and easy to use. We had no troubles in starting our trailer, and we found that there were clear instructions of what we needed to do. There were different settings that we could chose from, that would determine what music and theme our trailer would have. We were able to click on each different theme and could watch an example trailer, which helped us to make our decision. Click Here To Read More

Well, considering the fact that I was absolutely dreading the prospect of having to blog. I have actually really enjoyed blogging about each session, and I have enjoyed the ICT sessions even more.

When starting the ICT course, I thought I knew quite a bit about the types of programmes that are available and the types of ICT things you could use with young children. However, I know realise I didn’t know as much as I thought I did. I have genuinely learned some extremely valuable information that I will use in the future. I have learned a lot about programmes that I will definitely use in my future career, for example: about MonkeyJam and Interactive Whiteboards. I have also learned that ICT does not have to be restricted to a single session, but can  be used throughout the curriculum. ICT is more important than I thought it was at the beginning of these sessions, as ICT covers more than just playing on computers. It covers the different technology that children will come across in the future, and important things such as Internet Safety. ICT can also help with developing children’s physical, social and intellectual skills, which before the ICT sessions, I would not have considered. Not only have I learned a lot throughout these ICT sessions, but I have also had fun, and enjoyed myself at every session.

I am genuinely looking forward to Year 2, and the prospect of blogging again.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog, and found it interesting and informative.

When on placement, and throughout this course, I have seen ICT being used to help teach many other subjects.


During 1A placement, I witnessed Music and ICT being used alongside each other. The children used large floor keyboards, and drum sets that connected to the computers. During our Music session on this course, we have also been shown how to use large electronic instruments. And we were given several websites that we have been told were useful when teaching music:


Other Subjects:

During this course we have also used ICT in PE and Art. During an art session we created patterns  and pictures on iPads, and also searched the internet for pictures and images. During PE we did an orienteering task and took pictures on iPads when we found the areas around the university that we were looking for. In Geography we used the internet and apps on our iPhones during sessions, and in RE every member of the group created a PowerPoint presentation in groups. I have also seen ICT being used several times during placements, the children would use cameras, floor turtles, the interactive whiteboards and the SmartNote software, and also they would use laptops and iPads for various activities.

Internet Safety

March 26, 2013 | Internet Safety  |  1 Comment

Today’s session was on internet safety, and the different ways that children should and can be protected from the internet. Before this session I believed that internet safety focused on children not speaking to stangers and keeping their information safe online, however there is much more to it than this.

Before this session, I always thought that internet safety was more about the safety of the older children. I thought internet safety was about teaching children how to keep their information safe online, and warning children about the dangers of chatting to people online. I never really considered the fact that young children also need protecting from the dangers of the internet.

There are different sites and ways to protect children and teach them about internet safety. the thinkuknow website has several videos that will help to teach children about the dangers of the internet, in a way they are able to understand. For example; the video below. There are videos that tell children about keeping information safe, talking to strangers and about the help they can get when they are unhappy with something on the internet.


There are so many other programmes that can be used to protect children when using the internet. For example; there is a programme that can be downloaded, which allows children to press a picture of a dolphin if they come across something on the internet if they do not like. A picture then covers the screen until an adult is present. However much teachers and practitioners try to protect children on the internet, there is no secure way of protecting them 100%, therefore programmes like this are the next best thing in protecting and safeguarding children on the internet.

Click Here To Read More

In today’s session our task was to create a resource that we could use to help us teach related to a book. There are so many wonderful books that we could have picked, however we chose, ‘Sharing a Shell’ by Julia Donaldson.  We had many different ideas of the types of activities that we could create and use with children. We considered creating a MonkeyJam video with puppets that had been made. We also considered making a PowerPoint presentation to help us to tell the story through pictures and sound clips. Finally, we decided on making an interactive whiteboard activity using SmartNote.

However first of all, we used a video of an underwater scene from the little mermaid, this scene incorportates a song. We said that we would have the children up and dancing, getting them active and ready to learn.

We then decided to create a SmartNote , to help us to teach around the book of sharing a shell. Here is a link to our SmartNote creation: Under Water World SN. We decided that we would create a game that the children would be able to participate in. We had a picture of the sea, and a picture of the land, along with several pictures of different animals (some that live in water, and some that live on land). The aim of the activity is for the children to drag the animals onto the place where they believe the animals live. Some of the animals also had sounds, so the children were able to hear what the animals sound like.

Click Here To Read More

Today’s session has been about gaming in the Early Years and Key Stage One. During my own education, games were always used as a reward or a treat. Or they were used at wet breaks and things like that. And I have seen them being used for the same sort of purpose in placements. But after today’s session, it is now obvious that games and other interactive activities can be used for more educational purposes.

There are hundreds of different games that could be used in the classroom,
– wii games
– nintendo games
– interactive whiteboard games

And there are so many different ways that these games could be beneficial. One thing, that I never actually thought of before today’s session, were how useful games can be when it comes to developing physical skills. Motor skills can be developed when using the wii for example. Fine motor skills can be developed when using the nintendo ds. Gaming also helps to develop a child’s hand-eye coordination. And if working with more than one person children will develop their social development through sharing and turn taking, also through team work and learning to follow rules.  As a group, we also discussed the fact that gaming can boost a child’s confidence and self-esteem and increase a child’s imagination. We also said how gaming develops an understanding and ability to use modern technology.

Gaming is not just about the consoles available but there are also games on the internet that are suitable for children, and plenty of these games are educational. The CBBC website has plenty of educational, suitable games for young children to play. There are games to help with phonics, numeracy and other curriculum subjects.

Click Here To Read More

Monkey Jam

March 8, 2013 | Monkey Jam  |  1 Comment

In today’s session we discussed MonkeyJam and the uses of MonkeyJam in the classroom. Monkey Jam is a programme which is used to make still photos into a movie. Using a webcam or other digital camera, you take several still images of a scene, making small movements to the scene. The programme then turns the still photographs into a movie. Children would be able to make a movie about anything they like. The movies could be made about the work they have been doing in class, or they could make a MonkeyJam for fun. Teachers and practitioners could also make and use a MonkeyJam for a similar purpose.

During the session, we all had a go at making our own MonkeyJam video. Unfortunatley our video failed to save properly, so after downloading MonkeyJam at home, I have created a short clip to show how it works:

I believe that MonkeyJam is an extremely simple programme to use, and I believe it would be a good resource to use in Key Stage One and above. Once shown what to do, I believe that children would be able to use this programme unassisted. I would definitely consider using this programme in my future career teaching children!



The past two session have been about Interactive Whiteboards and Smartnote software, so I decided to combine the two in the same blog. And the past two session have been soooo much fun!

The session on Interactive Whiteboards has opened my eyes to how useful and educational using this piece of technology can actually be. I have used the Interactive Whiteboard before, in my own education and when on placement. During my 1A placement, I sure the Interactive Whiteboard being used on a daily basis; the teacher would often use the Whiteboard when teaching, and the children would use the WhiteBoard during session and during free play. When watching the children use the Interactive Whiteboard, they were able to use the Whiteboard unassisted – they also knew how to use and navigate around the Whiteboard, and were able to get themselves onto the games and software they wanted to use.

We had a group discussion about Interactive Whiteboards in schools and the benefits of it:

  • Development of fine and gross motor skills.
  • Children are able to be interactive and engage in the activities.
  • Children develop social skills through sharing and turn taking.


The following session was on the SmartNote programme, which is a programme used on the Interactive Whiteboards.
I had seen the SmartNote programme being used in  Primary Education and in the Early Years Foundation Stage when on Placement, and I have seen the programme being used for several different cross curricular subjects. There are hundreds of different ways to use this programme in education.

This programme can be used for many different curriculum subjects. There are activities related to phonics, writing, spelling, numeracy, science, geography and many other subjects. You are able to upload photos and videos onto the programme, and also create games and activities for the children to complete. The children are able to use the WhiteBoard unassisted with this programme and will be able to learn through being active and having fun.

Below is an example of how Smart Note can be used to teach a small part of maths, english or music.

I believe this would be a valuable tool in the Early Years and Key Stage One, as children are able to be interactive and use the programme themselves.

Click Here To Read More

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