Some of us who teach on FDLT, BALT and other education courses along with students and local teachers are part of an Erasmus+ project called Digital learning Across Boundaries – DLAB for short. We are working with educators in Belgium, Denmark and Norway.
In May we are sharing a free online course based around our theme this year; using digital technology to support learning outside. The materials will be based around our themes:
art in the environment
You can read more about the course and sign up here.
If you are working in schools you will be able to access stimulating and creative approaches and activities that you can use with your pupils. Part of the course will be based around online sharing of activities and outcomes through a Google Community.
The project has a twitter account: @DLAB_Erasmus and a website where you can find more details and examples from the project.
This year the FDLT Year 1 students in both Leicester and Park Campus, Northampton used the university Ipads as part of their learning. In a session focused on using digital technology to enrich the curriculum (art) they were given a key art idea to search for examples of and photograph. They went off to observe, capture and edit around the outdoor environment. It was interesting that because they had been given a very specific focus on what to look for they began see examples everywhere and be quite creative in the way they captured these examples.
When they returned to the classroom the students collected their images together and presented them as photo collages using the PicCollage app. They added borders and text and then airdropped them to the session tutor so they could be shared with the group. All the collages were added to a ThingLink that also contains the relevant subject knowledge information which is enhanced by the visual examples present in the photo collages.
Over the last few weeks the FDLT Y2 groups have been using animation, greenscreen and video editing apps to create short films.
This 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.
Something 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.
Some 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).
We 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.
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 Childhood. Vol.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
October is the month of the The Big Draw in the UK and all over the world.
‘The Big Draw is the world’s biggest drawing festival with thousands of enjoyable, and mainly free, drawing activities which connect people of all ages with museums, outdoor spaces, artists, designers, illustrators – and each other.
The Big Draw is for anyone who loves to draw, as well as those who think they can’t!
Every day a new picture is revealed on the Pobble 365 website. It is run by the very popular Lend me Your Literacy (LMYL) website. It emerged from Jonny Davies’s experience as a classroom teacher – he explains that he would look for a striking and extraordinary image to inspire thinking and discussion in his classroom. This is what Jonny says:
And this is exactly what happened in our classroom: each Friday morning at 09.05 I would reveal one of these unique images. As it appeared on the board, I looked around the classroom and I could see a mixture of open mouths, excited whispers and animated discussion. The children talked about whether the giant that was crawling out of the ground was searching for a companion or baying for blood, or whether the mysterious forest of eyes contained fairies or werewolves. The pictures I chose were surreal, abstract or conceptual. To the children these images were weird and wonderful, fantastic and bizarre.
Imagine your favourite children’s book: when you read it your mind becomes full of fantasy and colour as you paint a picture in your mind, bringing the pages to life. This is what these images did, even for the children who didn’t enjoy reading.
The provoked conversation gradually became filled with rich vocabulary as I channelled the children’s thinking towards describing a character or a setting. Their imaginations ran wild, and poured out onto the paper. I can still remember the goosebumps on my skin as the teacher in the adjacent classroom and I would sit down with a coffee at 4 o’clock and read through the writing produced. I thought to myself ‘this is what teaching is all about’. These are the moments that we must cherish as educators.’ (Davies, 2015, lines 20 to 46)
You can sign in to Pobble with your Facebook, twitter or Google account or by creating a sign in with your email address and a password.
Each day a picture appears and along with it some resources to help you use it with pupils. These include story starters, questions, a link to exploring sentences and other ideas. You can download the picture and ideas as a PDF or if you join as a teacher you can use the images in your lesson more directly.
Here’s a link to the picture for today, October 2nd. How would you use it?
There are many other interesting aspects to the Pobble website including, if you join as a school, being able to share your pupils’ writing and make and receive comments about it.
Comment below if you use Pobble365 or to share ideas about using pictures in learning and teaching.
Davies, J. (2015) Going Global: from Picture of the Day to Pobble 365. [online] Available from: http://blog.pobble.com/picture-of-the-day-to-pobble-365/ [Accesed 25/09/15]
On Monday June 22nd from 5pm until 7.30pm the Northampton Inspire network is holding its final event of the academic year.
The theme is ‘Forest Flight’ – and we will be exploring the physical and digital world across the curriculum and age groups with a focus on steAm (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics). There will be lots to join in with and take away to develop further in school. This time we will be making birds using card and de-constructed electronics, composing and recording music to go with them and displaying them in the Forest School.
Please visit the Northampton Inspire blog to see some of the Meetings and Teachmeets that we’ve held – there are plenty of resources for your classroom there too.
Free tickets for ‘Forest Flight’ on 22nd June are available at the link.
You might also be interested to follow up the Access Art Share a bird project. There is more information about this here.
How Can Schools Request to Receive a Bird?
Schools can register their interest by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that we cannot guarantee any school will receive an artwork – it entirely depends on how many artworks we receive gifted by artists / makers. Artworks will be gifted by region on a first come first served basis.
If you decide to take part we’d love to hear about how you get on.
On Monday 23rd March we will be holding our next Northampton Inspire Network Meeting.
This will take place in the Sulgrave building – go to reception and you will be directed from there. it will start at 4.30pm although refreshments will be available from 4pm.
We will be creating immersive sensory experiences around a theme.
This session explores cheap and effective ways of creating multi sensory environments for visual and sound stimulation using portable dark and white rooms. We will experiment with a wealth of light and sound equipment, create images using luminous paint, and project sensory iPad apps and video onto 3D objects. The aim is to create controllable experiential activities that encourage engagement and interaction for all learners, and to think about creative ways of theming these. We have been inspired by the work of Richard Hirstwood: http://youtu.be/ihMSw8BIXF4 and http://youtu.be/PkIKpOn7y98.
You can book free tickets here and feel free to let others know about the meeting – it is for students. teachers, teaching assistants and other interested people.
In the early weeks of this campaign there have been some programmes focusing on creativity and the arts. One was the BBC Four Arts Question Time.
A panel of leading creative people answer questions from the audience about the challenges, opportunities, failings and future of the arts in the UK.
There was also a radio debate ‘The Front Row Debate’ where John Wilson hosted a discussion exploring the relationship between the state and the arts. You can listen to it here.
You can watch / listen to these on iplayer until the end of March and I have added them to Box of Broadcasts which you can access if you a University of Northampton student.
If you explore the Get Creative part of the website you can see lots of ideas for creative activities and articles about related people and issues. You can sign up for the weekly creative challenge – you’ll be sent an email with a 20 minute, an hour and a half a day challenge so you can choose the one that fits the time you have.
This week the challenge is based around colour and looking around us. The responses can be shared with others through the 64 million artists website or by using #BBCGetGreative on social media.
I’ve signed up because I think the ideas could be useful for using in teaching as well as in my own art.
The approach – setting an open challenge – could be a useful one in school too. It would be interesting to set the challenge on a Friday afternoon and give children the opportunity to respond at home and at school and then take a look at what they did after a week.
You can also explore Get Creative in your region here. There are lists of organisations nearby that offer creative activities.
If any of you are using the BBC Get Creative resources in school (or at home) comment below and let us know how you are getting on!
Last week creativity was in the news as the Warwick Commission launched their report ‘Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth’ and the BBC launched their ‘Get Creative’ celenration of the arts, culture and creativity across the UK.
‘Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth’ is based upon a year long investigation by people working in the arts and culture, supported by academics at the University of Warwick.
It was chaired by Vikki Heywood, CBE, who said:
‘The key message from this report is that the government and the cultural and creative industries need to take a united and coherent approach that guarantees equal access for everyone to a rich cultural education and the opportunity to live a creative life. There are barriers and inequalities in Britain today that prevent this from being a universal human right. This is bad for business and bad for society.’ (p8)
The report can be downloaded here – Final Report You can read tweets about the report and join in the discussion here #enrichinggb
For those of us working in education and schools it is interesting to note that the report calls on the Government and Ofsted to ensure all children up to 16 receive a broad cultural education and urge that no school should be designated “outstanding” without evidence of an excellent cultural and creative education.
Goal 3 (of five goals) is focused upon fully harnessing the importance of creativity in education and skills development. Goal 3 states:
A world-class creative and cultural education for all to ensure the wellbeing and creativity of the population as well as the future success of the Cultural and Creative Industries Ecosystem. Education and skills development are essential in order to maximise our nation’s full creative and cultural potential. The key to enriching Britain is to guarantee a broad cultural education for all (through arts skills acquisition, participation in arts and cultural events and enhanced appreciation), an education and a curriculum that is infused with multi-disciplinarity, creativity and enterprise and that identifies, nurtures and trains tomorrow’s creative and cultural talent. The English education system does not provide or encourage either of these priorities and this will negatively impact not just on the future of the creative industries but on our capacity to produce creative, world-leading scientists, engineers and technologists. As the evidence in this report demonstrates, children born into low income families with low levels of educational qualifications are the least likely to: be employed and succeed in the Cultural and Creative Industries; engage with and appreciate the arts, culture and heritage in the curriculum; experience culture as part of their home education and have parents who value and identify with the cultural experiences on offer from publicly funded arts, culture and heritage. (p15)
If you are seeking to preserve and enhance and culture in your setting this report contains powerful evidence and arguments to support you.
Come along to an evening of sharing teaching and learning ideas. We’ll have mini presentations on creative classroom activities across the curriculum and there will be lots of ideas you can start using straight away. Everyone is welcome to join in: teachers from all types of schools, teaching all subjects and age groups. The main part of TeachMeet is hearing stories about any aspect of learning from teachers. It is a chance for teachers to meet to hear ideas from each other and be inspired by colleagues. Presentations can be on absolutely anything that you’d like to share from practice: the futuristic theme simply refers to the way our Events Management students are helping to style the venue.
We are delighted to welcome Sally Hamson, Head of Wollaston Community Primary School to help host our TeachMeet. We’ll also have refreshments and some exciting technologies to explore such as Oculus Rifts, Robotiky robots, Raspberry Pi add-on kits and green screening demos. Rebecca Heaton and Jean Edwards will be drawing some visual minutes for us to document the presentations.
You can sign up for a free ticket by clicking the link to the right of this post.
You can read some more information about the presenters at the TeachMeet wiki wiki
You can tweet about the event using #TMNorthants2015
Here’s a provisional list of presentations:
Seven Minute Micro-Presentations:
1) Digital Leaders from Standens Barn Primary: Imaginary Worlds @SnakeyChalmers
2) Wayne Chalmers and Helen Caldwell: School and University Digital Leaders working together @SnakeyChalmers @helencaldwel
3) Scott Turner: Making and programming Junkbots @ScottTurnerUoN
4) John Ginger: Programming with Robotiky robots @Robotiky
5) Katharine Childs: The impact of CodeClubs @primaryicttech
6) Jennifer Hogan from Irchester Primary School CodeClub: Our Story @Lab13_Irchester