Session 4: Digital Technology across the Curriculum

This session focused on how digital technology can be used across the curriculum, below are some of the ideas that we had discussed:

Scribble Maps: Is a tool that an be used to enhance geography skills as it allows children to pick their location on the map  which they can then draw and write on.  Previously, on one of my placements in a reception class we had looked at the schools locality and the children had drawn maps to show their journey from home to school. Although this was  a fun and exciting session I feel by using this ‘Scribble Maps’ the pupils will become familiar with what a map is by looking at their local area as their would be recognisable features, such as parks and shops.  The pupils can then go onto drawing their journey from home to school as the tool allows you to draw freehand, straight lines and shapes over the map. As the tool also allows you to write text, literacy skills can also be assessed. Finally, pupils can print save and print there maps which then could be used in the plenary to discuss a journey.

Scribble MapsBy using this tool pupils are given he opportunity to build on their ICT skills by dragging and dropping, clicking and typing. They are also learning about maps and their locality (Geography) as well as practising their literacy skills. it can be said that the use of ICT is enhancing learning as it enables practitioners to plan across the curriculum.

Other tools we discussed that would be good for Geography are, Google Maps, Google Earth Tours, green screening and Morfo.

The second half of the session focused on web resources  and how we could use them to enhance learning. We had looked at Infant Encyclopaedia and Communication 4 All, both web tools provide various resources for early years right up to KS2.

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AAThe task was set out to compile a range of information/tasks for children to do through an A4 sheet of Quick Response (QR) codes.   Although many of us had seen QR coqrcode.25812730des before used on websites and magazines we were quite unsure of what they were, until today!Its simple, a QR code is like a quick link to specific data, in order to be able to access that data a QR code scanner is needed which can be downloaded on any smart phone or tablet.  Below is a video clip we had watched in class about a young girl explaining how and why they use QR codes in their classroom.

As a group we had discussed the different ways in which the practitioner could use QR codes in the classroom such as, QR code cubes on particular topics, having them on a keying or even stuck around the class. this provides a fantastic opportunity for children to us technology independently to enhance their learning in particular subject areas.

The topic Naz and I had chosen was “All about minibeasts” as this is a popular early years topic. we had used both the websites above to gather information and video clips about minibeast, followed by simple tasks children could do independently , such as, designing your own minibeast.

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It is evident that the use of QR codes in the classroom could prove to be very beneficial  as it works across the curriculum. Another great way QR codes could be used is through a whole school approach for communication to parent and celebrating children’s work. As many school now use email and text to communicate to parents they could also send QR codes which parents can scan to access information on the schools website.

After Naz and I had compiled out activities we used a web tool called QR Stuff to generate our codes which we could then paste into a office document. We had tested our codes using a app called Scan on the iPad to ensure the code takes you to the correct site, and too our surprise it did! This task has been uploaded to the Teaching Resource bank.

Further Reading:

Maths teaching livened up by ICT resources

“Experts say maths should be a journey of discovery, rather than a case of ‘teaching to the test’. And ICT can be the key to making this work.”

A key government priority is raising standards in numeracy but for generation adults themselves feel inadequate in maths let alone helping their children to do their maths homework. This article discusses how ICT can aid maths, for example, something as simple as using the interactive white board. It is reported that by using ICT to teach maths motivates and engages children as it can provided and interactive and fun element to learning. The overall message the article provides is that ICT is a “powerful tool” where children can feel confident to have a go and “if it doesn’t work they can click on it and it will disappear. No big red cross in a book.”

Reflection:

from my previous school experience I have seen ICT being used across the curriculum, such as, digital camera, beebot, laptops and iwb’s. This session has provided me with a wide range of apps/ web tools that I can use in my future practice. The session have built by confidence with using technology in the classroom with young children as I have now explored and used some of the apps myself.

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