A blog for students on the FDLT and BALT courses at the University of Northampton

at Leicester and UN

April 27, 2016
by Jean
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Respecting intellectual property

Over the last few weeks I have been talking with Y1 students about using images to support learning and with Y2 students about choosing and using images to make a ThingLink. One important aspect of this has been to consider the need to respect the intellectual property of others – the artists, designers and photographers who make images that we might use in teaching and learning.

In academic work we have ways of recognising the ideas and intellectual property of others through citation and referencing. In the School of Education at the University of Northampton we used the Harvard Guide in our work. Examples of how to cite and reference images are in the guide for students to use in their assignments. Here’s an example:

“Online images
Example: in text citation
The above image highlights the role of religious orders in fighting racism across the world (Colombage, 2013).
Example: reference
Colombage, D. [2013] Clergy in support. Flickr [online]. Available from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dinouk/8691920424/ [Accessed 23 March 2013].”

(Library and Learning Services, 2013, p26)

But what about the resources used in school? It’s all to easy to find and save images from the Internet, take screenshots or use the snipping tool without thinking about whether this is moral, ethical or legal. April 26th was World Intellectual Property Day and the issues of respecting intellectual property and valuing copyright with young people are explored here.on the Into Film blog. The author, Rooney (2016, screen 1) reminds us that we have a role in preparing pupils for the responsible use of digital content. Anderson (2015) also explores this issue from the perspective of teachers’ use of the images of others. You can read his blog post here:

I worry about teachers who blog

It contains some very useful advice and resources.

One of the aims of the programme of Study for computing in the national curriculum requires that we teach pupils to be: “responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology” (DfE, 2014, p217).

In key Stage 1:

“use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies” (DfE, 2014, p218).

In Key Stage 2:

“use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact” (DfE, 2014, p218).

In Key Stage 3:

“understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting their online identity and privacy; recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct and know how to report concerns” (DfE, 2014, p219).

We need to be modelling the responsible use of the material we take from the internet and use to support learning and teaching for ourselves and for our pupils.

Reference list:

Anderson, M. 92015) I worry about teachers who blog. ICT Evangelist. [online] Available from: http://ictevangelist.com/i-worry-about-teachers-who-blog/ [Accessed: 27/04/16].

DfE (2014) National curriculum in England: complete framework for key stages 1 to 4 – for teaching from 1 September 2015 to 31 August 2016. [online] Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-framework-for-key-stages-1-to-4 [Accessed: 27/04/16].

Library and Learning Services. (2013) Harvard Referencing Guide. 5th ed. Northampton: University of Northampton.

Rooney, L. (2016) Respect for IP: Teaching the value of creativity. IntoFilm. [online] Available from:https://www.intofilm.org/news-and-views/articles/respect-for-ip-teaching-value-of-creativity [Accessed: 27/04/16]

March 24, 2016
by Jean
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Exploring education around the world with Mystery Skype.

This week all three Foundation Degree Learning and Teaching (FDLT) groups took part in conversations with Teaching Assistants and students in other countries.

Jamaica Pic1Julie Jones, Estelle Tarry and Emel Thomas used their contacts to set up Skype conversations with schools and universities abroad. The first part of the conversation was focused around asking and answering yes / no questions to find out where in the world they were. The rest of the conversation explored comparisons between the educations systems and school life in each country. Over three days we made contact with educators in three different countries. I’m not going to say which in case it spoils the experience for future students on the course!

Dr Emel Thomas said “The students this afternoon said it was inspiring and something they would definitely do in their schools as a starting point for establishing international relationships.  Students on both sides of the Atlantic engaged in a discussion regarding the routes into education and differing styles of learning and teaching within schools. Some SkypeDay2Rotopics touched on includes: Lifestyle; Cultural Differences; Provision for SEN; Classroom Differentiation; Course Modules; Educational Politics to name but a few!” Julie Jones added that it was “really useful to our students and the conversation that came from the Skype experience was really positive, with lots of ideas about how this type of activity and opportunity could be replicated for children” and Dr Estelle Tarry captured it well when she said it “has inspired (our students) in so many different ways; international networking, employment opportunities, similarities and differences in school setting/curriculum/TA roles and using the model with their class children.”  I felt that it was possible to get a sense of the engagement when it is used in classrooms and Belinda Green added that it was fun – we could see such motivation and team work on the part of the students.

https _padlet-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com_prod_23716904_9b41b4feac4cd88ad91338a7b55eedec141ca2b0_00c20b18a819e76e836d2fce5e41d437The sessions depended on staff and students using a range of digital technology tools. They used Padlets to collect information and reflections, Skype to make contact and internet searching to work out where each group were based. We have also made contact with one of the schools via Twitter since the session. The groups of staff and students were supported by Learning Technologist, Belinda Green and Mark Rowland who provided AV Service support. Emel said “an exciting session with clear routes for future international links – all in all not as scary as you think!”

It was interesting to find out more about the range of student experience from their schools’ involvement with schools abroad.

There’s more about using Skype to contact classrooms around the world here.

If you have a go with your class let us know how it went in the comments below.

February 2, 2016
by Jean
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Spot the station!

stationISSFollowing on from last week’s post about Tim Peake’s mission on the International Space Station (ISS) from this week we have the opportunity to view the ISS as it moves across the UK each day.

The NASA website ‘Spot the Station’ allows us to check the times when the ISS will be moving overhead.

stsYou can enter your location to check the dates and times to look out for the ISS.

If the sky is clear you can see the ISS tomorrow (Wednesday 3rd February) you’ll be able to see the ISS going overhead at 6.47pm. On Thursday 4th you can see it at 5.55pm and 7.30pm and on Friday 5th February at 6.37pm and 8.13pm. You’ll need to keep an eye on the weather forecast.

When you go outside to look the NASA website says: “The space station looks like an airplane or a very bright star moving across the sky, except it doesn’t have flashing lights or change direction. It will also be moving considerably faster than a typical airplane (airplanes generally fly at about 600 miles per hour; the space station flies at 17,500 miles per hour).” (NASA, 2016)

There’s more detail  on the Meteorwatch website here

There’s potential for learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through exploring the ISS from the earth. You could learn about astronomy and weather forecasting.

Reference

NASA (2016) What am I looking for in the sky? web page [online] Available from: http://spotthestation.nasa.gov/sightings/view.cfm?country=United_Kingdom&region=England&city=Northampton#.VquXdFLLmNk [Accessed 29/01/16]

 

 

January 29, 2016
by Jean
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Tim Peake – Principia Mission

On the 15th December 2015 Tim Peake left the earth in the Soyuz rocket for a six month stay on the International Space Station. You can see some highlights of the launch day in this video:

The name of this mission is Principia and during his mission Tim Peake will be undertaking science experiments and research on the space station. There are school activities based around science and technology running alongside this mission that could be interesting and inspiring to follow and join in with. These resources can accessed here.

timpeakeTim Peake has a website which can be accessed here.

You can follow him on Twitter @ASTRO_TIMPEAKE If you scroll through his twitter feed you can that there are so many children and schools being inspired by his mission to the ISS.

You can follow his blog for posts about life and work on the ISS here: Tim’s blog.

There’s lots of possibilities for using this event to inspire and support learning in school. If you want to have a go at growing seeds that have been into space you can find details here

 

January 21, 2016
by Jean
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500 words

500 wordsBBC Radio 2 launched the annual ‘500 words’ writing competition for children this week. You access the website here.

It is for children aged between 5 and 15 in two groups – 5 to 9 and 10 to 13.

There are some great resources to help children start writing which can be accessed here – tips and resources.

Interested adults (teachers and librarians) can volunteer to be judges and help to read about 30 stories and score them.

 

January 5, 2016
by Jean
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Teaching with Tablets

Screen-Shot-2015-12-13-at-16.10.15-21mnlzdDuring February and March our online course ‘Teaching with Tablets‘ will be running. This course is free to anyone to sign up for and take part in. Below are some details:

Welcome to our 5-week Teaching with Tablets course. This is an interactive and participatory online course on how to make effective use of iPads and tablets for teaching and learning.  Our course is aimed at educators across all levels, from Primary to Higher Education, from NQTs to experienced practitioners. Anyone with an interest in the field is very welcome.

It is  a flexible online course that you can join in with at a pace and depth that suits you. We will suggest activities and ideas and encourage you to try them within your teaching. We would like you to leave each session with a new idea to try out in practice and then share your experiences on the Google+ community. In turn you can learn from the experiences and gain ideas from fellow professionals.

Weekly overview:
Course opens – 8th February 2016
Week 1 – 29th February – Manipulating Media
Week 2 – 7th March – Visible Learning
Week 3 – 14th March – Technology Outdoors
Week 4 – 21st March – Digital Storytelling
Week 5  – 28th March – Talk and Collaboration

There will be a new theme and suggested activities each week. You’ll be able to earn digital badges for joining in with these and there will be an option to purchase a verified certificate.

We will begin each week by sharing readings and browsing from our book, ‘Teaching with Tablets’. Then we will suggest some activities that help you plan to put some of the ideas into practice with your own learners.

One of the most exciting aspects of the course is the chance to share and reflect upon these co-created resources with our community of fellow practitioners. Real life examples, photos, videos and comments within the community will give the course a truly practical focus.

You can also follow us on Twitter and use the hashtag #TWT16 to see what others are posting. We will be hosting a weekly Tweetchat during the course.

The idea is to take a few risks, try some new things, share our developing practice in teaching with tablets and learn together as we go.

We hope that our course will inspire you to explore strategies to integrate tablets in a meaningful way. It offers guidance on:

how to use tablets to devise authentic and meaningful learning activities
how to embed tablets in genuine curriculum contexts
how to evaluate which educational apps might be appropriate for your learners

Teaching with Tablets - InfographicIn order to get some ideas before the course starts, you might like to take a look at this infographic.

You can sign up for the course here and this is the link if you want to share it with anyone – http://bit.ly/TWT16

If you are a Teaching Assistant and / or an aspiring teacher this course will support your understanding and practical application of digital technology in the classroom – a useful thing to have on your CV for future applications for jobs and courses.

Please note – if you are an existing or past student at the university of Northampton you will need to create a separate account for Open Blackboard as it is not the same the Blackboard NILE that you are / have used.

December 18, 2015
by Jean
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FDLT animates!

Over the last few weeks the FDLT Y2 groups have been using animation, greenscreen and video editing apps to create short films.

2015-11-30 10.22.34This year we used the animation app ‘iMotion’ to make the animations. This is a relatively simple to use free app (there is a paid for version with a few extra features). This time when we used it some of the groups experienced a problem in that if they stopped animating and watched their films back when they continued the film did not always continue on from what they had previously done. We were able to correct this using iMovie but it was frustrating and sometimes demotivating.

2015-11-30 11.03.42Something else we tried this year for the first time was filming the animation against a green screen and then adding a background using the DoInk greenscreen app. This allowed them to set their story against one or more photographs that they had chosen. As we used it we also found that the animation could be moved around on the screen to a better position and the photo could be adjusted too. This app was very user friendly and a student recommended the DoInk animation app which is something we will investigate for next time (to help overcome the problems outlined above).

After the animations were made and the photographic background added we used iMovie to edit the films. For some this meant reordering their scenes and for all it meant adding sound. Some students chose some music from the limited range available on iMovie. Others added narration, dialogue and sound effects as well. Films can also be edited in YouTube, which has a much larger choice of music.

Along the way students also used the photosforclass.com website to find photos; Dropbox, to save films at different stages and YouTube to share and edit films. It was impressive to see the level of team work, creativity and perseverance from the groups of students as they worked together to create their animations. They can seen on this YouTube channel:

The students learn how to animate and use green screen so that they can explore how to use digital technology to support and enrich learning across the curriculum. Underpinning much of the activity was narration, imagination and storytelling – many of them told stories and designed story boards in order to develop their story before beginning to animate.

2015-11-24 10.20.49Some students set their animations in non-fiction contexts that involved some research about their area (global warming, animal homes). Throughout they listened, negotiated, described, speculated, evaluated and asked questions (English). In addition this some students explored aspects of the history, science or geography curriculum to set their animation in context. All the students were engaged in designing and making sets and props and some made their own characters. Some students researched to find and evaluate images to use for their backgrounds (art and design, design and technology). All the students were engaged with using digital technology to make and edit their films (computing).

2015-11-24 13.09.44We hope that students will go and use these skills in their support for learning in schools as teaching assistants, or in the future as they become teachers. the potential for learning in the classroom or in after school clubs is huge. As adults they experienced an immersive and intensive full day of activity that might be better broken down into a series of smaller activities with children. This would give the chance for greater reflection between each stage.

Furtehr reading:

There’s an interesting blog post here about the educational value of making stop motion animations with children and also these journal articles exploring research:

Fleer, M. and Hoban, G. (2012) Using ‘Slowmation’ for intentional teaching in early childhood centres: Possibilities and imaginings.
Australasian Journal of Early ChildhoodVol.37(3), p.61-70.

Hoban, G. and Neilsen, W. (2014) Creating a narrated stop-motion animation to explain science: The affordances of “Slowmation” for generating discussion. Teaching and Teacher Education. Vol.42, p.68-79.

Pugh, S. (2013) Stop motion animation as an innovative approach to engagement and collaboration in the classroom. The Student Researcher. Vol 2. No 2. pp109-120.

Reid, D., Reid, E. and Ostashewski, N. (2013) Combining iPads and slowmation: Developing digital storytellers in an early learning environment. World Conference on Educational Media and Technology. pp. 1539–1543

 

December 1, 2015
by Jean
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The Educators

theedSome more episodes of the BBC Radio 4 series The Educators are currently being broadcast.

The episodes in this series listed so far are:

1.Character Lessons

The episode is about the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP). This is an American program to support pupils in disadvantaged circumstances. “They work in the most disadvantaged districts of New York, Houston and Los Angeles, where children have less than a 1 in 10 chance of completing a college degree, but their focus on character skills like grit, empathy and determination, is seen as the reason why half of KIPP students will graduate from college.”

(BBC, 2015a, lines 5 -10)

2. What Finland did next.

This episode examines the Finnish education system: “Since the first international comparisons in 2000, Finland has been at or near the top of league tables for the abilities of its teenagers in reading, maths and science. Experts and politicians flocked to its schools to discover what was leading to its success, and came away with a picture of autonomous schools, children starting school much later than in the UK, and having no tests until their final year. What developed was seen by many as a myth surrounding Finnish education success, while the reality could be attributed to extensive teacher training, high quality lessons and a culture of literacy. But now, Finland is overhauling the way it teaches through ‘phenomenon learning’ – periods of the school year where learning isn’t confined to single subjects, but students take on a broad topic and decide what, and how, they will learn. From 2016, it will be compulsory for all schools to teach with phenomenon projects, but Helsinki has already adopted it in the capital’s schools.” (BBC, 2015b, lines 1 – 17)

The programmes are available online at this link and they are saved on Box of Broadcasts.

References:

BBC (2015a) The Educators Character Lessons. [online] Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06ptw79 [Accessed:26/11/15]

BBC (2015b) The Educators What Finland did next. [online] Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06qjyrr [Accessed: 26/11/15]

November 3, 2015
by Jean
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The Secret Life of…

This week the second series of ‘The Secret Life of…’ starts. Last time it was focused on four year olds. This time it is extended to five and six year olds as well.

secret life

If you watched the programmes last year you will know what to expect – a ‘fly in the wall’ insight into the daily school life of a group of children with a focus on their friendships and interactions.

This time it will be interesting to see the differences between the younger and older children.

From your point of view as students you might like to consider the ethics of this filming of young children – how does this relate to the need for informed consent? There is a clip about the making of the programme that you might find interesting.

October 21, 2015
by Jean
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Assessing Without Levels

AWLYou may have noticed that in mid September the ‘Commission on Assessment Without Levels: final report’ was published. It can be accessed here.

At this same link you can access two videos where John McIntosh CBE, Chair of the Commission discusses the benefits of developing new assessment and Sean Harford, National Director, Schools, Ofsted, talks about inspectors of schools assessment systems.

In addition to this you can explore the Association for Achievement and Improvement through Assessment (AAIA) website here. On this website you can see the development of the assessment without levels approach over the last few years, leading up to this report. You can also see videos of Dylan Wiliam and Tim Oates talking about aspects of the approach and also access the NCTL research report.

If you are on the FDLT course this information will be useful to you in year 1 as you work on the PDT1004 assignment and it will be useful to all students and TAs as you seek to keep up to date with changes in education and schools.

 

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