Comupting #2

In session 7, we were again able to look at computing. In this session i looked at a different game Kodu. This hyperlink shows you features to the game but also an overview of whole game. To get myself started with this game, i had to sit and watch the tutorials, which although quite boring these gave me the vital information and basic skills for the game.

The screenshots below, show some steps which i went through during exploring this game. The first print screen shows what i see when right clicking on my kodu, once clicking on program it takes you to print screen two, this is an example of the commands which i gave my Kodu, for example when bumping into a apple collect 1 point and when bumping into a coin collect 100 points. Similarly, on print screen 3 i have given some commands to the fish. The last screen shot and video below both show me playing the game!


If you want to check out another game, i suggest you check out jasmine blog! She loves this kinda of thing so it will obviously be good! http://mypad.northampton.ac.uk/jazzytay/

Two good videos on games with children, links are below:

http://www.ted.com/talks/gabe_zichermann_how_games_make_kids_smarter.html

http://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_shows_how_kids_teach_themselves.html

Scratch

In session 6, we looked at a computing programme called “scratch”.
For this session we had to make our own game, i decided to make a game similar to a touch game ‘fruit ninja’: my game included the elephant collecting the fruit. The software is free to download from: http://scratch.mit.edu/, the website states that it is mainly for children aged 8-16 but both younger children and older adults are able to use the software. Once signing up to the website, children are able to upload and share scratch projects. Scratch provide a ‘getting started’ pdf file, which is 14 pages long and gives a step to step introduction to using the software. These include:

  • Start moving
  • Add sound
  • Start a dance
  • Again & again
  • Green flag
  • Change colour
  • Key press
  • Add sprite &
  • Explore

Obviously, not all of these sections will be used when greeting a game with children but, it provides a clear understanding to either the teacher or children to how to make something move or repeat itself. The two image below an examples of what the software looks like, within the picture there are commands for the game; these will the sprites what to do during the game. Also below the images is an example of my game.

Learn more about this project

Micheal Gove is currently in discussion about at adding in computing into ICT national curriculum, this is due to the country not producing enough people able to work with computer programming. Therefore children will be able to design and create their own games which can link to any part of the curriculum, not just ICT. If you would like to know more about this then read here.

In July 2009,  ScratchEd was launched, this is a online community where educators share stories, exchange resources, ask questions, and find other Scratch educators. The video below shows some examples of what you can use ScratchEd for.

When looking at wider reading i found that, Futurelab provide a handbook about computer games and learning which is download-able as a PDF file. As the term ‘game’ is very board the document gives definitions on different games, and has game elements which can all be explored during a lesson. Also within this there is a large section on ‘games in school’ looking at the following areas:

  • Role of teachers,
  • Using game as a stimulus,
  • Using games to teach &
  • Creating games and others.

If you want to learn more about games within the classroom, i suggest to read it!

When visiting techradar.computing, one school which is keeping their children up to date with technology is Cedars School of Excellence. This school in Greenock, Scotland has provided each child with an ipad. They were first looking at getting children an ipod touch but then realised that the keypad would be small and it couldn’t be projected on a whiteboard. A quote from the article states that “on the first day, it ran and ran. I couldn’t make the battery die, and I realised this alone would transform the technology experience in the classroom. Even teachers who weren’t confident with technology and didn’t see a place for their laptops in school started bringing their iPads with them every day, and everyone found different ways for Apple’s tablet to enhance their classes” This shows that technology is getting easy to use and that all people are able to use and teach with the simplest things, and also if charged correctly they can be used throughout the day! So therefore teachers shouldn’t be scared when using new technology. For more on this article, read here.

Data, Modelling & Simulations

In sessions 5, we looked at data and different ways to represent them. We were able to use 3 different websites: piktochart.com, visual.ly and infogr.am. These are all free to sign up to, to create a infographic’s. Infographics are a representation of information which can be data or general information. These make the information quicker, clearer and easier to read and also add graphics to make it more appealing to read. Once you have signed up to these you are able to upgrade to get more themes. These images below show three examples for each website. First piktochart, second visual and third infogr.

To represent my data i chose to use piktochart. Piktochart is easy to use and provides you with 4 basic themes to get started. You click on the theme and simply edit/add text. You can move the text, add or remove images, add personal uploads and create flow charts. As shown on the image below.

We could use this in schools through presenting data that children have found during a maths lesson. For example we looked at average foot size and compared it to data found on the Internet. Whereas other students in the class did: favourite colour, sport and if people smoked or not. The children could find out favourite colours and make a poster via this website. Our Example of using piktochart is shown below:

Another website which you could use to represent data could be: http://www.primaryschoolict.com/pictograph/.This has a blank template as well as templates which you could use. Children in key stage 1  would be able to put the data into the template instead of making a poster which would make it easier for them.


Make your own pictogram with the Primary Technology Free online Pictogram creator

Looking into other websites about this topic i found a excellent video on: http://www.schrockguide.net/infographics-as-an-assessment.html. This video shows you many different things. For example:

  • What are infographs
  • Ways to use them
    • Learn
    • Targets
  • Why should they be used
  • Different infographs which can be made
    • Snapshots,
    • Statistical,
    • Timeline,
    • Informational,
    • Process,
    • Game board &
    • Personal preferences.
  • Steps
  • Teaching students organization models: ‘LATCH’ (areas they can look at)
    • Location,
    • Alphabet,
    • Time,
    • Category &
    • Hierarchy.

It just shows how many different areas of school learning can be used via one thing: infograms.
Have a look?

Thanks for reading, bye!