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

at Leicester and UN

July 21, 2021
by Jean
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Develop your use of technology in learning

There are a number of opportunities to take part in free online training in using apps and tools that are useful when supporting learning in the classroom and in your own study. Listed below are four places to start. You might consider the apps and tools most commonly used in your setting and see what is offered in relation to those or just follow your own interests. 

BookCreator Certified Author

This short online course provides a through overview of all the tools available in BookCreator and is a great starting point for using this excellent tool.

Creating visual learning materials with ThingLink

This is part of the Microsoft Educator Center set of training modules. It is worth browsing these are these are some interesting and useful short online courses of relevance to classroom support. 

Adobe Creative Educator Level 1

This short course introduces you to using Adobe Spark to make visual and interactive  learning resources. It is one of many useful short courses available through Adobe Education Exchange.

Apple Teacher / Portfolio

Completing the six ipad or Mac Apple Teacher units is a thorough introduction to using Apple apps and tools to support learning with pupils. If you have done this the next step is build your Apple teacher Portfolio.

As you complete these courses you can use the digital badges you earn on your email signature and of course, add them to your CV. 

June 18, 2021
by Jean
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A creative finish to FDLT Year 1!

making of stop motion animationsThis week our FDLT year 1 students reached the end of their first year at university. It was great to be able to welcome them back to Devonshire Place and the Waterside Campus, Northampton to work face to face making stop motion animations. As you can see from the animations on the Padlet below they worked creatively and co-operatively to explore this approach and produced some great results. For many of them it was the first time they had made animations.

We used the app StopMotionStudio and there is potential for the animations to be opened in iMovie so sound effects, dialogue and music could be added – most of us did not have time to do this in the session! 

As you can see from the photos here the students have great skills of making, measuring and improvising. This is what makes them such great supporters of learning back in school.

We wish them all a restful and enjoyable summer so that they will be ready for FDLT year 2 in September!

Made with Padlet
screenshot of vestival padlet

May 7, 2021
by Jean
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An international online event!

The Digital Learning Across Boundaries (DLAB) Erasmus Plus project is sharing a year of creative digital activity in the DLAB virtual festival #DLABVestival. Pupils, teachers, students and academics in Belgium, England, Denmark, Norway and Spain have been working together to devise and test out learning activities using digital technology and international collaboration. 

From 9am on Monday 28th May you will be able to enter the Vestival and explore tents of ideas, resources and examples focused on overcoming challenges and barriers and breaking boundaries. 

Book your free ticket here.

screenshot of vestival padlet

February 24, 2021
by Jean
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Adding sound to art!

This week I gave an online talk at the Primary Art Craft Design Network Meeting for County Durham Art Co-ordinators. It was based around using audio and images together in viewing and making art.

Here is the digital book used to support the talk. It includes details of how to use the BBC Sound Effects website; how to make a Google Slide with added audio; how to ‘hide’ sound effects in a BookCreator image and using ThingLink to add sound to images along with other ideas about being creative with sound and images.

 

 

February 5, 2021
by Jean
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Children’s Mental Health Week

This week (1st to 7th February) is Children’s Mental Health Week in the UK. This year’s theme is Express Yourself. The website that supports the week’s activities can be accessed here

There are supporting resources to use with primary and secondary pupils and free training for adults through Place2be’s Mental Health Champions Programme available here.

You can find a fantastic series of video virtual sessions called “I express myself through…” that explore ways for children to express themselves creatively. These include: art, dance, creating content, writing and acting. These resources can be viewed here and are on the YouTube playlist below.

January 29, 2021
by Jean
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Creating with BBC sound effects!

BBC sound effects web pageBBC Sound Effects is a useful site that can be used to create resources. It can be accessed here.

It can be searched to find a huge variety of sounds that can be downloaded or linked to for educational purposes. Read more about the terms of use here.

As can be seen on the screenshot there is a ‘mixer mode’ where sounds can be chosen and played together to create a soundscape. Have a go at this here.

Combining sounds with images can be an interesting and creative activity. Here’s an example I have made, adding environmental sound to Georges Seurat’s painting ‘A Sunday afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte’. I have used a Google Slide. I’ve chosen and downloaded the sounds to Google Drive and then used ‘insert / audio’ to add them to the slide.

It would be possible to do this in Powerpoint, BookCreator and ThingLink.

November 20, 2020
by Jean
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Digital Futures Commission

Today, on World Children’s Day, the Digital Futures Commission (DFC) has been launched to explore digital innovation with a focus on children and young people and informed by their voices. Their research focus is on:

  1. play in a digital world
  2. beneficial uses of education data
  3. guidance for innovators

You can read the results of a consultation called Children and Young People’s Voices here. The report focuses on the question: what do children and young people value about the digital world and what changes do they call for? in relation to the three research focuses listed above. 

cover of Free Play in a Digital WorldToday the DFC has launched a consultation on play called ‘Free play in a Digital World’ and is seeking views from children and young people, parents and carers, and professionals who work with children.

You can download it here. The consultation opens today and runs until the end of February 2021. If you fall into any of the categories above you can join in by taking part in a 45 minute discussion online. Read more details on p4 of the document. 

You can also read more about free play and why it matters here in a blog post by Dr Kate Cowan who has written a review called The Panorama of Play. As a student you would read the blog post as a way into reading the actual review, which you would find informative for your work in PDT1076. 

apple teacher modules

July 13, 2020
by Jean
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Learning to use digital tools 3: Apple Teacher

apple teacher logoMany of you will be using iPads to support learning in the classroom. As you use the iPad you and your pupils will quickly be able to work out how to use various tools as and when you need them. One of the great features of the iPad is the way you can use it intuitively and rapidly work out how to use it to support your own learning and the learning of your pupils. 

Another way of developing your skills is to complete the Apple Teacher course available through the Apple Teacher Learning Centre. You can access it here.

apple teacher modulesOnce you have used your Apple Teacher ID to sign into the site you can work your way through the iPad modules: iPad, Pages for iPad, Keynote for iPad, Numbers for iPad, iMovie for iPad, Garageband for iPad and creativity with iPad. Having worked your way through these modules and taken a test you can then display the Apple Teacher digital badge on your blog and email signature. In addition to the iPad learning there is also set of four modules with a focus on coding and Swift and a set focused on using the Mac.

The modules are user friendly and informative, based around digital books that you can download and return to. Alongside them are many other useful resources in the site that can take you further with using tools such as Clips and explore themes such as being creative and remote learning. 

If you have completed Apple Teacher let us know in the comments below. How has it supported your work in the classroom?