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

at Leicester and UN

February 23, 2015
by Jean
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Get Creative! (part 1 of 2)

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.

warwick‘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.

January 23, 2015
by Jean
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TeachMeet Wednesday 4th February

What is TeachMeet?

Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 11.23.49Come 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

7) Karen Fretwell: Exploring Lego Fusion @Bluesrunner

8) Nicholas Tollervey: How can @ThePSF help teachers (a request for feedback & collaboration)? @ntoll

9) Kevin Hewitson: Helping learners develop learning skills, attitudes, attributes and behaviours @4C3d

10) Sway Grantham: Inspiring Curiosity with Edmodo @SwayGrantham

11) Kat Howard  Student Ownership @SaysMiss

12) Mark Allen: Change is Hard: slaughtering some sacred cows @edintheclouds

13) Neil Smith: Mini band: making music with Pis, Arduinos and SenseBoards @neilnjae

14) Ian Pratt @sciencelabman

15) Stacey Ramm @Tiffybum Using Google Classroom 

16) Mike McSharry You Bought It -You Name It @mikemcsharry

17) Farid Charidine Using AudioBoom to provide verbal feedback  @fcharidine

18) David Whale IET Schools Liaison Officer and STEM Ambassador, Essex: Teaching Coding using MinecraftTeaching Coding using Minecraft @whaleygeek

 

Reserves:

Two Minute Nano-Presentations:

1) Helen Caldwell and James Bird: Lessons in Teaching Primary Computing: The MOOC @helencaldwel

2) Sway Grantham: Why? @SwayGrantham

3) Neil Smith: The BCS Certificate @neiljae

4) Anna Cox: Padlet Ideas to Inspire

5) Isabel Trott Kitchen Chemistry

6) Julie Jones Professional Development of Teaching Assistants

7) Jane Badger

PLEASE NOTE this event is in the Newton great Hall at Avenue Campus – there is a map on the wiki.

January 14, 2015
by Jean
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Northampton Inspire

The next Northampton Inspire Network Meeting is next Wednesday January 28th at 4.30pm.

We’ll be in Sulgrave 034 (the art room) with refreshments available from 4pm.

Screen-Shot-2015-01-04-at-14.38.20-1xn7mlnWe’re going to be making creatures like these (on the right) using wire, paper, glue and tape. Then we’ll be setting them into digital environments and manipulating them.

This is an opportunity to connect physical and digital art, learn to use green screen and be creative with a supportive group of lecturers, teachers, students and teaching assistants.

You can book a free ticket through eventbrite and read more information here

December 3, 2014
by Jean
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Film making with Into Film!

Rico and Sophie, explaining how to use the equipment.

Rico and Sophie, explaining how to use the equipment.

Over the last few weeks we have been exploring digital technology with FDLT Y2 students. We were fortunate to have support from Rico Lowson and Sophie Burrows from the organisation Into Film.

In the first session Rico and Sophie introduced animation and shared some ideas to help children understand were the process had come from. This included exploring the illusion of movement created by the ‘persistence of vision’. this can be explored through looking at the work of Eadweard Muybridge, an artist working with photography at its earliest stages, or making flip books, zoetropes or thaumatropes.

if you haven't got a tripod, you can use a clear plastic file stand to hold the ipad still as you work.

if you haven’t got a tripod, you can use a clear plastic file stand to hold the ipad still as you work.

Using digital technology we can now make a range of simple types of animation in the classroom. Rico and Sophie introduced us to claymation (using plasticiene), paper cut-outs and silhouette animations. In the sessions students used the apps imotion, imotionR and imovie to film and edit  animations, and it is possible to use other equipment and software as well. It was very useful (for both students and tutors!) to have Rico and Sophie with us to show us examples and give us practical tips.

The MK group at work

The MK group at work

These included:

  • using imotionR with imotion (through the wireless network) so that one ipad could remotely control another, eliminating movement when the ipad is touched,
  • ensuring that hands were kept out of the picture by having a line to stand behind when images were being captured and some agreed signals for when items could be moved around,
  • taking 5 shots for the opening or for any reading (credits) and then taking 2 shots before moving the items,
  • using the ‘onion skin’ on the app so we could see where each had had been, and move a little, or readjust if necessary,
  • going through and deleting any shots of hands in the imotion app, before exporting to imovie.
UN group at work

UN group at work

Across our groups at Park Campus, Northampton; Beauchamp College, Oadby and Milton Keynes we continued to work on this in another session, exporting them to imovie to edit. We created eight short animations to and they can be seen on this YouTube playlist

Reflecting upon the experience (both as observer and film maker) I was interested in the possibilities for learning inherent in the activity of creating a stop go animation. Teamwork, co-operation and negotiation was vital throughout the process. Creativity, having ideas and making them real, was apparent from beginning to end and there was so much practical problem solving. It was essential to be organised in both planning and filming the animation and there were numerous roles to perform at each stage. As adults with limited time in a taught session we produced enough of a film to get a sense of the overall process but  I can imagine that going from the initial idea to the end product could be an absorbing and rewarding experience – and a film show on a big screen would be great occasion in school!

The Oadby group at work.

The Oadby group at work.

In Northamptonshire there is an organisation called filmnorthants who will screen films from children and adult film makers – this could be a great opportunity for class films. Another possibility is setting up a film or animation club after school or at lunchtime – many children are keen to learn how to do this and pursue it in their own time as well as at school.

The CPD session that Rico and Sophie led for us was a great springboard to having a go ourselves, first with their support and later on our own – you can contact them through Into Film. If you are a school who would like to book training for 15 or more staff, you can email CPD@intofilm.org or ask to speak to the CPD team on 020 7288 4520.

June 15, 2014
by Jean
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Exploring World War 1 with FDLT Y2

Some students explored words - poetry or vocabulary.

Some students explored words – poetry or vocabulary.

This week we completed the PDT2008 curriculum module with an exploration of World War 1. The students used a ThingLink to follow interesting links to stories about World War 1 such as women in WW1, the role of animals, war artists, life at home, local stories, thankful villages and commemoration. You can see the ThingLink here and read more about making and using them here.

One student made a mini diorama, one explored the role of women and two others explored what 'thankful villages' were.

One student made a mini diorama, one explored the role of women and two others explored what ‘thankful villages’ were.

After exploring some of this material the students each used a matchbox as the basis for their response – they had to make a small artefact using or contained by the match box. This idea was inspired by the #moreTEA project happening in schools. You can read more about it here – moreTEA

It was interesting to see the different ideas and stories the students followed as they made their creations. You can see all of them on a Pinterest board here.

Some students explored and represented the roles of animals in war.

Some students explored and represented the roles of animals in war.board here. (I think they’re all there, but if yours isn’t please let me know!)

 

After they had finished their artefacts they were displayed with a title and maker name, and some were annotated with ideas for learning opportunities. Some students are taking the idea into their schools to try out and I’m looking forward to seeing how they develop.

Some students were inspired by the story of the pocket bears.

Some students were inspired by the story of the pocket bears.

 

 

 

 

 

Two students developed their artefacts further by choosing a piece of music to suit the mood of their work – you can see one of the videos here – Animal Mascots

Another way of developing this idea would be to use the app Pixntell to add a recorded description to go with each photo.

 

 

June 7, 2014
by Jean
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FDLT Y1 exploring learning outdoors!

This week each FDLT Y1 group spent a day at an outdoor location to explore the potential for learning outside the classroom. The Oadby and UN groups visited Newton Field Centre near Kettering and the MK group visited Green Park near Aylesbury.

Oadby Y1 2014

Oadby Y1 2014

 

On Monday the Oadby group were lucky to have warm and sunny weather for their day at the Field Centre. Have a look on the Oadby Y1 1014 page for more details.

On Wednesday the UN group arrived amidst pouring rain but we did the river geography activities regardless! More details on the the Oadby Y1 2014 page of this blog.

UNY14.jpg

UN Y1 4th June 2014

The MK Y1 group went to Green park, Aylesbury for their outdoor experience.

MK Y1 June 5th 2014

MK Y1 June 5th 201

To follow up the experience I have made a ThingLink for students to explore. This poses some key questions and recommends some useful reading and websites.

Click here to access it:

ThingLink

 

 

May 29, 2013
by Jean
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FDLT tutor

With a group of children at the Alfred East Gallery, Kettering

I am Jean Edwards, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education. Some of you may have met me or corresponded with me in my role as Admissions Tutor for the FDLT course. I teach on the FDLT and also on the BA Learning and Teaching.

Before I came to work at the uni I was a Headteacher of a lower school and in total was a teacher for nineteen years. As a headteacher one of my teaching assistants went on the FDLT and BALT courses, she then did a GTP course and is now a teacher herself. I enjoyed supporting her development and seeing her achieve her ambition to be a teacher.

One of my interests is in using resources and sites beyond schools to inspire and enrich learning and another is learning and teaching in art. In the photo above both those interests were combined when I worked with a class of children in an art gallery and then later at a local Field Centre.

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