Student digital leaders in Denmark, a case study.

What happens if the sea level rises?

Seminarieskolen, Denmark, Dlab year 3.

To begin the process, the students received a letter addressed to the whole class.

Desperate for help, people from the future had sent a letter back in time to them. The world was flooded, and they had nowhere to live, so it was up to the students to find housing solutions for them that they could use in the future.

Over the years, the European borders had blurred and new languages had been created, so the letter needed deciphering.

Til menneskene fra fortiden.

We hebben dringend jullie hulp nodig.

Vi skriver til dere fra fremtiden, hvor vi nå mister landet vårt på grunn av overforsvømmelser.

The sea levels are rising rapidly, and with every day that goes by, more and more of it goes underwater.

Snart vil hele verden være tabt ligesom Atlantis. Help ons uit te zoeken hoe we in deze waterwereld kunnen leven.

Vi trenger hjelp av dere for å finne ut hvor vi skal starte.

What would you do if you were in our place?




Once the code was cracked, the students had a brief understanding on the theme of the day.

“How would we live if the sea level rises?”

Development stage

After the brain storm, the students started sketching houses that could be built on or under water. The students collected resources and began building their houses.

While building, the students tested their houses in a water tank.

During the whole process, the teachers tweeted, so the students could see what the students in the other countries were doing.

We wanted the students to be innovative, but realistic. So we had to consider giving the students limited resources, or working with more unlimited resources.












Deliverance stage

Green screening.


When the houses were finished, the students took photos of their houses on a green background and uploaded them to a Padlet.

As a background, they chose a video of the sea and then exported the videos to IMovie and included explanations and text.

The final results were videos showing how houses from different countries could be combined in a future world that is flooded.

The students then received another letter from the future, thanking them as they had survived the flooding thanks to the housing designs the students had produced. But the people from the future now had other problems as to their everyday lives. They now needed ideas for clothing, food, entertainment, travel and water in conjunction with their new life on water.

So the students had the task of designing and producing products to help with these problems.

Digital leadership reflections from Belgium

DLAB: STEM to STEAM – a must for every teacher who wants to truly educate our future generation

As a teacher trainee at Howest (Belgium) I consider it to be my main task to keep innovating myself.

This is exactly what Digital Learning Across Boundaries has offered me. When my lecturer presented me with the possibility to be part of this wonderful project I didn’t hesitate.

Math is my subject and I have always felt as if it could use a new approach, one that is completely out of the box. I hoped the A in STEAM (arts) could offer me exactly that.

Digital playdate: Bruges

In October, the partners from other countries came to visit Bruges to make arrangements for the upcoming year.

During this week we interacted with a lot of different speakers and came up with the main themes of the projectdays. These were: ‘losing a sense’, ‘moving to space’ and ‘changing size’.

The days were set and an plan of approach was created. I also got familiar with eTwinning, an international, digital platform to share ideas and projects and met some wonderful people during this week.

Project days

As I am still a student and part of the younger generation, digital development comes naturally to me. Though I must say that DLAB has really taught me new ways of using digital tools in my lessons.

During the project days (where pupils interact across boundaries) we have used a variety of digital tools such as greenscreen editing, virtual reality and apps to use in the classroom. With a Tweet beam and organized skype sessions between classes, it really felt like the future was here.

The pupils were engaged and got familiar with brainstorming, designing, problem-solving thinking and much more. Furthermore, the learners had to use English to express their thoughts to classes from other countries.

The concept of STEM evolved to the next level: pupils got introduced to writers and artists and combined art with science and math. STEAM had arrived! Spaceships were being build, visual illusions were created and the pupils had a lot of fun while learning.

Exchange to Denmark

With the projectdays behind us, all students, teachers and lecturers came together in Denmark to create courses for other schools and teachers ready to use.

Our experiences and created tools were constructed into a MOOC. In this template (which can be found on there are detailed instructions on how to set up your own project day!

I can only advise to look this up and try and set up a project day using STEAM. I feel this experience has made me a stronger teacher-of-the-future and formed new concepts in my head I didn’t know where possible before. A must for every student and teacher who wants to truly educate our future generation.

Digital leadership in action DLAB Y3 Day 1

DLaB International Day 1

The Digital Learning across Boundaries Erasmus+ project held its first International Day of this year on the theme of sustainable cities and language learning.

The University of Northampton are working with Northampton International Academy and Castle Academy, alongside partner schools in Norway, Belgium and Denmark.

You can see a video of us designing and making sustainable cities made by ITT student Charlotte Bennett here.

Student digital leaders worked with university lecturers, teachers and pupils to explore our theme: sustainable cities. 

Digital leadership in action DLAB Y3 Day 2

The DLaB Erasmus+ project held its second international day of this academic year, based on exploring language and communication within the sustainable cities of the future theme.

Classes at Northampton International Academy and Castle Primary worked with partner classes in Norway, Denmark and Belgium to think about the questions, ‘What if we lost our language?’ and ‘What if you were new to our city?’.

They created a range of outputs, such as phrasebooks in a hybrid language combining Flemish and English, invented sign language sentences, public poetry, migrant testimonies, city signage, city guides, and eBooks documenting their work.

Charlotte Bennett, one of our digital leaders made a film of the day which you can view here.

Brussels students present their digital leadership experiences

On 8 May 2019, Howest student Tibo Desoete and international coordinator Frederik De Laere presented the DLAB project in the Future Classroom Lab in Brussels, on an eTwinning event for teacher trainers.

They gave an overview of the project, showed a lot of materials that have been developed and talked about the way of planning and communicating, the digital playdates and the training-learning events and about how eTwinning is integrated in DLAB.

After the presentation, the participants showed a lot of interest and all agreed that DLAB is a great example of project based and innovative teaching and learning.

A DLAB digital leader explains her role.

In January 2017, I became a volunteer digital leader at my university for a project called DLaB (Digital Learning Across Boundaries). The purpose of this project is to promote digital learning across the boundaries of physical spaces, across curriculum subjects and across languages and cultures, to facilitate collaborative learning across national boundaries.

As part of the 3-year project, in the 2nd year of the project we focused on STEM to STEAM, adding the Arts to the integrated study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths creating challenge-based online learning resources. I wanted to be involved in this project as I wanted to encourage more girls to get involved in STEAM as well as encourage teachers, parents and children to get more involved in STEAM too.

I took an active role in helping promote new STEAM activities as well as helped run STEAM based activities. This included coming up with some new STEAM activities to be placed on the DLaB website as well as participating in some Skype calls involving those countries involved with the project to share our ideas.

As part of the England Team, I visited Bruges in October 2017, where we worked together with teachers, students and lecturers from Norway, Denmark and Belgium to help learn new ideas of STEAM based activities as well as help plan what activities we would complete on our international collaboration days at our partnership schools to help support the making of the MOOC. As part of the experiencing team, I helped plan the experiencing space lesson which we thoroughly enjoyed coming up with ideas and were looking forward to seeing them in action.

I helped with two of our international collaboration days. The first collaboration day focused on size where I helped with a Year 5 class, making large butterflies which the pupils thoroughly enjoyed doing.

In the second international collaboration day, it was based on space, which was based on my group’s planning from Bruges. The pupils focused on how they would transport items from Earth to the new planet. They then decorated their own planets and used VR headsets to feel like they were on their very own planet which the pupils thoroughly enjoyed and shared their experiences with pupils from Belgium through Skype.


Furthermore, I helped with a STEAM event where teachers from Northamptonshire came to the university to share their ideas based on STEM/ STEAM and learn some new activities to. I helped to teach some teachers how to use drones which was good fun.

In addition, with some teachers and students from my university course, we helped at the Big Bang Event at Silverstone. We carried out a marshmallow catapult challenge which was very popular. The children in groups constructed a small catapult using marshmallows and then tried to fire the Marshmallows from the catapult into the bucket. I also ran the activity at the Girlguiding Anglia Ready 4 Take Off STEM event on the 17th March 2018 where there were around 500 leaders trying out a range of STEM activities.

Evaluating my practical project, I now have a greater understanding of what STEAM is and what activities I could carry out. I have learnt a range of STEAM based activities from a range of people and as well collaborating with people to come up with shared ideas.


I have met my aims as I have been able to spread awareness about STEAM awareness especially from feedback too. For example, when carrying out marshmallow catapult at the Girl Guiding event I received comments such as that I will definitely try this with my unit and one unit leader said that this was the best activity they tried at the event which was great to hear. Furthermore, from carrying out the activity at the Big Bang event pupils were saying how much they were enjoying it. I would like to carry on learning new STEAM activities and trying them out with a range of people.

DLAB reflections from student digital leaders

English Students’ reflection of international week at the University of Northampton as part of Digital Learning across Boundaries (DLaB) project. March 2019.

After our successful project days with lecturers, teachers and students from Denmark, Norway and Belgium we gathered together at the University of Northampton week commencing 25th March to create an online course inspired by our work on our project days. We had a jam-packed week, planning our online course looking at ‘what if the sea level rises?’ exploring language and culture in a future setting as well as exploring parts of Northamptonshire.

On Monday 25th March, we met everyone and enjoyed a meal at Waterside restaurant. It was great to see everyone again after meeting each other in our week in Denmark, October 2018.

“It was great to see so many familiar faces as well as meet new people and share our experiences of our project days.” – Charlotte.

On Tuesday 26th March, we started sorting roles and gathering information to place in our online course. We then supported some outdoor activities which emphasised team building, and many expressed their competitive spirit.

“It was brilliant to see a different side to our colleagues, as their tactics and winning strategies were on parade – the best teams won.” – Cora.

Afterwards, in teams they went around the university taking selfies in front of different landmarks across the university, it was a great way for them to explore all the amazing places we have at the university. That afternoon, we had a tour around Boughton house and had a delicious buffet and watched some beautiful ballet dancing in the grand hall. Then we ventured around the gardens with some glorious weather.

On Wednesday 27th March, we had the opportunity to spend our day at Northampton International Academy. It was great for the group to explore how the education system and setting is different to their own countries education settings. We completed more of our online course working in teams and observed a lesson at the school.

We then had a yummy roast dinner which many of the international students had not experienced before and had a tour around the school. Afterwards, we sat in the theatre where it was a great delight to hear some of students from Castle Academy and Northampton International Academy share their experiences of the project days, we even saw some of their prototype buildings. We then watched a variety of dances which was great to see and had a go at dancing which was lots of fun. Afterwards, we walked to the Albion brewery where we learnt about the history, had a tour which was fascinating and had a delicious meal.

On Thursday 28th March, we completed lots of work for our online course making it engaging and visual. We then ventured to Rushden lakes where we explored the wildlife and the lakes, it was very scenic with stunning views. We then had a look around the shops and had a delicious farewell meal. It was sad to say goodbye to everyone, but it has been a good week creating lots of memories.

“I’ve had the most amazing last week being a part of the project for 3 years, I have built so many skills, friendships and memories over the years. It has been a great experience which I will never forget.” – Charlotte.

“This has been such an invaluable experience as we have developed as teachers and created so many bonds with other professionals – our professional pen pals. It has been amazing to share ideas and be involved in such an awesome project.” – Cora.

It was a lovely week, making lots of friendships and creating an online course that we are proud of and can’t wait for everyone to join in. Please feel free to sign up to our free online course in May. More information on:

By Charlotte Bennett and Cora Taylor (3rd Year Primary Education students in University of Northampton)

Bramblewars- A STEAM Project for Year 6

A STEAM Project for Year 6

During week 3 of our placement,  the majority of the year 6 children were going on a residential to PGL. We were asked if we would be able to create and run a programme of activities for the 17 children remaining at school; a challenge we were delighted to accept . Following the  work towards the exhibition and the children having had a lot of art time we decide to create a STEAM project   instead of retaining a purely art based focus. The idea of a shift from STEM to STEAM has been a particular interest to me as an art specialist and digital leaders so this was a fantastic opportunity to implement  a trial project.


The development of  STEM learning is  actually about a philosophy of  how children learn and emphasises the importance of  helping students integrate knowledge across disciplines, encouraging them to think in a more connected and holistic way.  The traditional approach of teaching topics in isolation does not support the ways that children learn best and over the  years  there has been a big drive advocating the benefits of STEM learning Recently, the idea of adding the arts to STEM programs has been gaining momentum. This model is championed by Ruth Catchen (2013), an artist and educator turned STEAM pioneer. According to Ruth, the arts are a great learning tool and can serve as an avenue  for some children to access STEM. Engaging students’ strengths using art activities increases motivation and the probability of STEM success. She views art as a way of offering more diverse learning opportunities and greater access to STEM for all types of learners. Further to this, Art also provides diverse opportunities for communication and expression. Ruth believes that in our  digital world, we have a responsibility to educate the whole child to become a ‘global citizen’ in his or her community. According to Jolly (2014), the benefits of a shift to a multidisciplinary paradigm such as STEAM would be beneficial in the following ways:

  • Within Design-Art can serve a practical function. Students might apply design and decoration to products that were created during the course of a design challenge. They could use computer graphics to create logos or stylized designs to include in communications or presentations. Through industrial design, students could improve the appearance, design, and usability of a product created during a STEM project.
  • Within Performing arts, such as drama and speech. What about technical or persuasive writing? Those arts fit naturally into the “Communications” stage of the engineering design process. They would work well as part of a STEM project. (If you want students to get REALLY ambitious and creative, check out this video of students in Paraguay who made instruments out of discarded materials!)
  • Creative planning. As students brainstorm solutions for an engineering problem, encourage them to adopt a playful, inventive, artistic approach. Calling on their artistic right brain can help them to generate more creative and innovative thinking         (Jolly 2014)

She concludes  that in todays modern world we need students who are motivated and competent in bringing forth solutions to tomorrow’s problems.

When push comes to shove, it’s not STEM vs. STEAM—it’s about making every student a fully-literate 21st-century citizen.” ( Jolly 2014)

Having established the idea of running a STEAM project we  contacted Helen Caldwell ( Digital Literacy and Computing Senior Lecturer at the University of Northampton ) to get some practical advice on how to approach  the idea. Helen provided us with a range of resources and links to material and projects which she felt would benefit us  and serve as inspiration. She discussed with us some of the apps we may lie to use as well as arranging for us to borrow the university’s Green Screen.  We were able to clarify with Helen that although there should be elements of each discipline within the project that it was not a necessity to make sure they were equally weighted the most important factor was that the tasks and activities were characterised  as open ended, collaborative and provided opportunities for problem solving again  using the Challenge based learning model as we had with the art project.

Looking at some of the examples Helen had provided we were particularly taken with the  Bridge Craft STEAM week which was run at Bridgewater Primary school in 2014. This was a great example of STEAM learning across a whole school based on the popular computer game Mine craft. We liked the idea of running a theme based project and also the use of digital avatars which would talk to the children and provide an interactive experience so we decided to run a Starwars based project called Bramblewars. We spent a long time preparing resources which we hoped would be engaging and motivating to the children this included a Starwars Crawl which introduced the project. (we had a bit of a problem with uploading music so the music was played from youtube in the background)

followed by messages from talking StarWars avatars which we created using the app Morfo.

Our first challenge was for the children to build a spaceship launch tower for the Millennium Falcon, the children used spaghetti and marshmallows and worked collaboratively in small groups  to attempt to build the tallest tower. They had access iPads  during the activity so they could carry out research  to support their ideas as they progressed.image

Our second challenge was building an Ewok village. The children worked in pairs outside in the woodland area. They used natural found materials, glue, and string to construct tree top houses. They had specific requirements which needed to be included; an escape route, camouflage, a soft area to sleep, a sheltered area and a garden/outdoor area. We were so lucky with the weather on this day and the children really enjoyed the task and became absorbed in their designing and making challenge. We spent a fell day out in the woodland area completing this task and when the village was complete the children made a Pic collage  showing the features of their Ewok home. We also then invited year 2 to come and explore our Ewok village to share some of our fantastic and imaginative designs.image image image

Our third challenge was to create  a TV advert to advertise our Ewok homes. The children wrote a script using persuasive language and then filmed their advert in front of the Green screen . we then imported photographs of the houses as a background so it appeared that the children were standing outside their own Ewok house.image

Our third a final session was a free choice session where the children  were allowed to choose to create something Starwars related. We had some children create spaceships using Sketchup Pro, some creating Powerpoints about the films and others who drew starwars characters.

image image image


The preparation for the project was time consuming but certainly worth the while as it created  a sense of excitement and engaged the children by asking them to solve real world problems.I would recommend to anybody to have a go at a STEAM project, its not as scary or intimidating as it may sound. It was so much fun and drew in many strands of the curriculum (not just STEAM subjects!).I will be looking to develop and improve the STEAM program further and hope to run a further improved project this coming year.

I would love to hear about any experiences anybody has had running either STEM or STEAM projects however big or small 🙂

Digital Art with Billingbrook Special School

The project enabled the children to explore and develop their knowledge on Horticulture by creating a painted garden on their school wall (see figure 1). Horticulture is studied at Billing Brook Special School as a hands-on approach that provides sensory purposes and works as a therapy. It also provides trips, aids social skills and results in a qualification. This is something extremely important to the school, especially next year when GCSE’s will be taken out of the curriculum and replaced with functional skills.

Throughout the topic the children were able to experiment with different techniques and mediums to assist the key component of the topic, the wall. The various mediums (paint, paper, collage materials, colouring pens/pencils and iPads) enabled the children to create and develop numerous techniques so that the project was accessible to all. Digital art was something vaguely new to the school and therefore a pleasure to teach.

To begin our project, we began by discussing our initial ideas to suit the chosen theme. It was highlighted by the school that they did not want the painting to be in a cartoon style. Taking this into consideration, along with the theme, we felt that the picture embedded many different flowers in size and colour, this therefore emphasizing diversity (a key component to the school).

The main aspect to the project was ‘the wall’. Most of the children had an exploration lesson before hand so that it could remain focused, either one-to-one or for bigger classes a few children per student/TA. For those children who joined the project in the last week (due to the requested extension), an exploration was provided before they painted on the wall however this was very brief. Most of the children were able to visualise the expectations from looking at the wall and discussing it (what they think the flowers have been made with and how).

evie1 evie2 evie3 evie 6 evie5 evie4

Stop frame animation on placement

A day in the life at Wollaston School

As a digital leader I was keen to lead in sharing a project of some description whilst on placement. I decided to offer a stop frame animation club to the children in my class. This was going to take place one lunchtime a week for the 8 weeks that I was on placement. The club was offered to all the children in the class. When I first introduced the idea, I asked the children what they thought stop frame animation looked like. A few responses were along the lines of Lego Movies and Minecraft. However, within the classroom there were a pair of bookends with the iconic image of Morph. The children recognised that despite being nearly forty years old he still entranced and amused children and adults alike with the magic of stop frame animation. Modern contemporaries in the guise of Shaun the Sheep and Wallace and Gromit were also identified. I told the children as places were limited to six they had to write me a letter persuading me to be part of the club. I had just started the placement and had not as yet seen much evidence of the children’s written work as they were focusing on grammar and comprehension.  I had planned to do persuasion writing within the topic so this had given me an insight into the children’s abilities.

I received approximately eight letters varying from a scribbled note on the back of a piece of scarp paper to a full addressed letter within an envelope. I accepted the first six letters I received and announced that at 1pm every Tuesday after they had eaten their school lunch they were to come to the classroom. The apps used on the project were I can animate and iMovie Maker.

1st session – I brought from home a load of plasticine and Lego characters. My own iPad mini suffered a collision with the floor so the university were very generous in loaning me one for the duration of my placement. In fact, I had originally planned on doing a green screen project based around the topic Guitar Hero to make rock videos. With that in mind university loaned me an iPad, iPad stand and green fabric. Getting back to the session, the children brainstormed what kind of story they wanted to animate. Various suggestions were given such as one involving an ensemble of angry birds, minions and Lego characters all at once. In the end it was agreed to animate ‘A day in the life of Wollaston School.’ The children started to sculpt their characters. They were very creative due to the limited range of colours that I had but it didn’t deter the children and in fact caused quite a few giggles.

2nd session – The children wanted to stage their backdrops and had the idea to use the actual surroundings. So armed with the iPad, photos were taken of the entrance, classroom and hall as a backdrop. They also had the great idea to record the sounds in and around the school. However, there was an issue the original iPad was not recording the sounds. Thankfully the university came to the rescue and loaned me a second iPad.

Further sessions.

During the 8 weeks that the club was in session the children overcame quite a few obstacles. The backdrops were photos taken from around the school which was then stuck to a piece of cardboard which then had the plasticine figures stuck to it. Quite often the dictionaries, of which there were many, would slide about which meant that the continuity would be affected. Additionally, the figures would frequently drop off the photos. Towards the end of the session, the eagle eyed viewers of the animation will notice that the figures have changed to Lego characters as they were much lighter.  There were many contributions within the school towards the project with the voices of Head Teacher Sally Hamson, Class teacher Tom Goacher and the children in the playground.

I’m sure you’ll agree that what the children managed to create in eight 20 minute sessions is outstanding and an enjoyable way to spend a lunch break. I hope they get further opportunities to explore their animation skills.







Digital Art and Drawing using Rollworld and PicCollage


We Welcomed some international guests from Weingarten in Germany who are trainee teachers. We introduced them to Art and design using a Prezi and by using the Apps Roll world and Pic collage created some digital art.


weingarten 1weingarten 2

Digital Art on Placement

Following the work I have been doing on digital art at university ,I was keen to bring my experience in to the classroom on placement so when my mentor asked me to organise making Mother’s Day cards I had the perfect opportunity  to do just this. Working with year 1 I decided to use just one app to introduce the children to digital image manipulation and I felt RollWorld  would be  a good choice as it is easy to use and most importantly , it creates fantastic images;I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t love using it!   The children created some art work which focused on shape and colour initially using felt tip pens, we the photographed their work and they manipulated it in RollWorld. The children loved the different effects they were able to achieve and were really proud of their very professional looking Mother’s Day cards which were produced. Most importantly , the mums  all loved their unique and unusual cards  and  we even managed to create a fantastic digital art work display to brighten up the class room.Many of the children enjoyed using the app so much that they went home and downloaded it on their own tablets so they could continue to experiment and create their own body of digital art.image image

Documenting evidence from placement

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If you have read any of my previous posts you will probably have a picked up that I am a big fan of using the app Pic Collage! I find using pic collage is an effective way to visually document evidence to enhance my RPE. Here is a Pic collage I created which documents some of the creative methods I used to engage the children in literacy. My collage shows a screen shot from the iMovie I created, a photograph of the ‘letter’ which the class received from Penny the Explorer and  photographic evidence of some of the shared writing  we produced as a class before the children  wrote their own factfiles. One of the reasons that I  have found this to be such an effective method to document evidence is  that is quick, efficient and an accessible and  effective visual reference for  assessors when they look at my  RPE.  This collage along with my lesson plans and work produced by the children created a strong pack of evidence to go into my RPE and I had very positive feedback from my PAT who felt that the addition of a visual to complement and enhance the usual evidence they would expect to find.
By Gemma Wade

Exploring lights with Rowan Gate Primary

A group of BA Special Educational Needs went to Rowan Gate primary School in Northamptonshire for the afternoon to explore using Multi-Sensory equipment for children with SEN. The children used a range of applications to make and create images in relation to digital art. The children were able to share their experiences through technology using apps like Adobe Voice.

The children really enjoyed the activity and it was amazing to see how they all used the technology. The children were able to use the iPad’s extremely well and needed very little guidance in navigating around the technology and applications. The afternoon helped the children develop their skills in both ICT and Art and the afternoon brought these two subjects together in an enjoyable and fun way for the children.

We also had a class discussion at the end of the session and shared the images that the children created. The children were all really proud of what they created and it was really nice to see them share there experience with their peers.

Overall, using technology like the iPads to create images can be really effective within the classroom. Using the Multi-Sensory equipment allowed the children to create images that they found interesting and enriched the experience for the children.

Jack Gilbert

Digital Art -RollWorld & Procreate

As part of my art specialism course at university we have been exploring digital Art and how we may use it as a new form of media for children to express their creativity. One of the most striking  impacts of  the inclusion of digital media as a new medium is the  opportunity it provides as a way in for   children who think they are ‘not good at art’ .Our group led a workshop for a group of EYTS students many of whom, were  quick to  say that art was not one of their strengths however,  after using some very simple and easy apps such as roll world and fragment  there seemed to be a shift in attitude as the students where pleasantly surprised by the work which they managed to produce. What happened during this workshop  clearly demonstrated to me the transformational and innovative potential for digital media to offer a new  engaging medium for learners to express their creativity and perhaps discover new skills which they have not been able to explore through traditional  art mediums. Here are some examples of art work created using RollWorld, student went out and about on camp as searching for shape, texture and pattern. They then took photographs on iPads which they manipulated in RollWorld to produce some striking images. image

As part of our second year portfolio of assignments we were asked to write a learning outside the classroom curriculum map for a venue of our choice. My assignment focused on a trip to Warwick castle and  I planned for children to carry out the same activity as we had used with the EYTS students. Children would be challenged to be shape detectives and collect a series of photographs of different shapes they found within the building at Warwick castle, they would then create some abstract art by manipulating their photographs through RollWorld and Fragment. Here is a collection of images produced from photographs taken on the iPad at Warwick castle.image

Another aspect of digital art which I was keen to experiment with was  digital photography and image manipulation. This is something I would like to bring in to the classroom but with very little experience I decided to carry out some of my own exploration to get to grips with what there is on offer first. I started by experimenting with the art app Procreate which allows you to work on isolated layers, import images and photographs, draw images with a range of brushes which replicate traditional art mediums  and add a variety of special effects  and filters to your work.  Below are some of the images which I produced using photographs I took on the  river Thames in London.image image imageThese images were combined with images of my daughter and photographs of the skyline and buildings. These pieces of art are an exploration of childhood identity and are part of my art specialism module this year . The app is very easy to use one you are familiar with all of the tools . I would recommend if you want to use an app such as this for children in school that they have plenty of opportunities to experiment and play with the app prior to  attempting a project with a specified outcome in order to gain confidence using the different tools and also become accustomed to working in layers which provides lots of opportunity for fantastic work but can be confusing at first. Moving forward, now I am on placement I am going to explore some digital art with the children in my art club which starts after half term. I will of course, keep you posted !

Introduction and using Green Screen by Do Ink


As I not sure what time of the day it is when you are reading this I think I will try to cover both bases. So good morning to you early risers and good evening to you people who are just finishing a long and tiring day. Firstly I would like to offer my apologies for the delay in actually posting my first blog, but dont worry there will be more to follow, let us just help that you enjoy this blog and come back for more.

Now that I have apologised I feel that I need to introduce myself, my name is Dom Olney and I am the team leader of the Northampton University Digital Leaders (DL’s). I feel that I should only give you the short introduction as hopefully you will get to know me throughout the year via this blog. I wanted to show a small example of what we as DL’s are trying to do in schools, so the rest of this post will be dedicated to what myself and one of my fellow students managed to accomplish in our first placement.


  • Oakfield Primary Academy (Year 6)
  • Subject – English, topic- Macbeth.


  • Green screen by Do Ink (do to the wonders of technology app is available through the link)
  • Physical green screen (if not available any colored wall is OK to use)
  • iPad
  • Magisto (Simple app for creating final montage)

OK, now that I have listed what we used for this lesson I will begin to take you through the lesson.

The idea for the lesson was  to build on previous lessons that pupils had been taught about Macbeth. We used a specific scene in the play to get the children hooked and set up the lesson. To begin the lesson myself and Jack had created a simple news report video using green screen. This was used during our lesson intro to explain what we wanted the children to do. By using the video you see below (please don’t laugh too hard at the acting) we were able to give the children a sneak peak of what was going to happen.

Now we had the children hooked, we explained that they were going to be creating answers to questions from a news reporter. This was to be done from the perspective of individual characters. The characters used were; Macbeth; Lady Macbeth; Banqou; King Duncan’s Sons and finally the witches. Once this had been done, the children were then going to have to act these answers out in front of the green screen.  All of the children were extremely excited about this opportunity. Here is the final result:

Here is one of the interviews the whole way through:

Well that is it for my first post. If you have any questions please let me know and I will do my best to answer them.

Hopefully see you again for the next blog.

Thank you and good bye.


P.s please like the Facebook page Northampton Digital Leaders

School DLs working with University DLs

University of Northampton’s Digital Leaders welcome pupils from Standens Barn Primary School for an interactive afternoon of film making

Digital Leaders working together to create a film using technology and art

Digital Leaders working together to create a film using technology and art


The University of Northampton welcomed 12 children from Standens Barn Primary School on Friday, for a fun packed afternoon working with our University students to explore creative technology and media.

The visit was organised by the STEM Champions Programme and the School of Education’s STEM to STEAM project team, and involved student volunteers from across disciplines. The volunteers form a team of Digital Leaders, and their work combines combine Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Maths through technology. This group aims to work with local schools to offer interactive workshops helping children to explore a cross-curricular approach to the new primary computing curriculum.

The pupils from Standens Barn Primary – who are all Digital Leaders within their school – worked alongside University students to make short films. They used iPads, cameras and smartphones to capture their work, and explored a variety of media techniques including green screen technology, screencasting and stop-frame animation to create short narrative films inspired by their images.

While at the University of Northampton, the Standens Barn pupils had the chance to explore the campus during a QR coded treasure trail, and were able to ask questions about what it is like to study at University.


Linda Davis-Sinclair, STEM Champions Programme Lead commented “ This was a really great way of extending the skills and experience of our STEM Champions so that when they go out to local schools to deliver Digital Leaders activities they feel confident and prepared. What was really exciting was to see our students and Standens Barn students learning together”

Helen Caldwell, Senior Lecturer in Teacher Education added: “We were delighted to see pupils and students creating digital stories together inspired by their exploration of our campus environment, and we look forward to our volunteers undertaking mobile technology projects across schools and settings, so enhancing partnerships, aspirations and employability.”

To view the children’s work, visit YouTube. A gallery from the day is available here.