Mobile technologies and manipulating media

Welcome to our third and final ICT session. This week’s theme revolves around playing with media and combining sound, images, video and text in various ways.  We’re also focussing on how to get the best out of mobile technologies such as iPads and tablets.

These two ideas go together well, as one of the benefits of the iPad is its versatility when working with media. Many apps can be integrated with one another to create shareable digital products such as animations, songs, films, designs, slideshows, and ebooks. By giving children open-ended problems and creative tools to engage with, the iPad can become a real tool for thinking rather than just a collection of apps, allowing them to refine and present their ideas in a purposeful way.

Bearing this in mind, here are some challenges you might like to try this week, on a Christmas theme of course!

How about creating an eCard on the iPad by customising an image using the sketch effect in BeFunky (free), editing the image with drawing tools in Doodle Buddy (free) or Drawing Pad (£1.49) and then adding a message and layout in Phoster (£1.49)?

Our efforts may not be up to the standard of David Hockney’s magazine cover below, but this type of activity will give children a feel for how the iPad can be a dynamic art tool giving them experiences they couldn’t gain in any other way.



Sticking with the idea of images, you could use the Comic Life app (£2.99) to create instructions for a Christmas recipe. This would be a fantastic way to document any practical classroom work.

Our iPads can also shoot movies and combine sound and animations from other apps. How about creating a film based on a Christmas story in iMovie (£2.99) and adding your own music from Garageband (£2.99), or making a stop-frame animation with I Can Animate? (Here’s a video on how to add the music). Or you could use the wonderful iMovie trailers to document Christmas at UoN. (Here’s how). Our Year 3 students made some iMovie trailers on the theme of story genres:

Another advantage of the iPads is their portability, making it easier to capture learning that takes place outside the classroom. And one great way of getting out and about with technology is through QR codes, quick scannable images, like bar codes, which take you to a digital destination such as a written or spoken message, a document or a website when you hold a webcam, phone, iPad or iPod camera up to them. We’ll look at using an app called Scan by QR Code City. (Here are some instructions for using it).  Imagine how engaging it would be for your pupils to have the code for book trailers they made in iMovie inserted into library books, to go on a treasure hunt looking for coded clues, or to have a talking display of work in the classroom. You might try making a seasonal QR code trail based on finding the carols to spell a mystery word by encoding links to youtube videos.

On the computers you might continue the theme of exploring media by capturing your typical xmas day as a 5 frame story in Animoto:

Or PhotoPeach:

These two tools are so simple to use and yet produce results which children would be proud to share. I used the Compfight search tool to find these creative commons photos to make my slideshows: Magic bokeh! by kevin dooleymerryxmas by nivekhmng,The Grinch by pareeericaChristmas Tree Fruit by Lutz-R. Frank, and Happylucky by in da mood. Both tools also allow you to add text, opening up possibilities for creating or interpreting poems in words and pictures, or for exploring themes in other subjects.

I hope you’ll enjoy exploring some of these ways to help children create using digital media, and begin to put together your own ideas for using similar techniques to provide rich cross-curricular learning opportunities.



Session 2: Data, modelling and computing

Welcome to ICT Session 2.

This week we’ll be exploring ways of collecting and interrogating data, manipulating variables and representing findings through infographics, graphs and charts.

Alongside this, we’ll look at software for beginning computing skills and think about how a simple project might be introduced at Primary level.  I’ve posted more about these themes here.

We hope you’ll enjoy making a computer game using some free software called Scratch and looking at resources for introducing programming concepts in the Early Years, including a really simple iPad app, Daisy the Dinosaur:

The good thing is that these tools are intuitive and easy to use; you don’t need to be an expert or even have any previous programming experience yourself. You really can take the role of facilitator and learn the basics alongside the children. It’s all about helping them learn to solve their own problems and figure things out for themselves. But I do hope you get a buzz out of dabbling with computing and end up with a game you can share with your family. You can get a real sense of achievement when the computer does what you tell it to do!

Find collections of links and resources for Primary Programming here and resources for Infographics and Data here.



Hello everyone!

Welcome to GTP ICT. We’ll use this blog to tell you about what’s coming up each week and to record highlights as we go.

We’re excited to be using blogs with you to collect thoughts and discoveries, and we look forward to linking to your individual blogs from here so that we can all share ideas easily.

Here are some links to get you thinking about using blogs and wikis in schools.  Mr Mitchell and Mr Avery‘s blogs are good examples.  BrainPOP made a fantastic recording of a group of Year 6 children from Heathfield School:

This week we will be looking at the course outline, thinking about recent changes to the ICT curriculum in schools, and setting up individual blog and twitter accounts. You can read about recent curriculum initiatives on Helen’s blog and explore your free blogging tool on MyPad from the tools block on your Nile homepage. You’ll get caught up browsing through the 137 edublog themes (Helen has tried them all!). It would be useful to set up a twitter account so that we can share our ideas on the School of Education screens and further afield using the hashtag #unsoe.

This week we’ll also be exploring interactive whiteboards and presentation software. We’ll have some hands-on with the whiteboard and visualiser and also think about the software and tools you can use to make the most of them. Gareth has been posting about interactive whiteboards. I have posted about presentation software, including eBook-making. I have also made some sets of bookmarks using a tool called Sqworl which will be useful in the session. There is one set of bookmarks on Interactive Whiteboards and another on Presentation software.

Your directed task this week will be to use your blog and twitter to comment and reflect on the session, making a comparison of tools.

Look forward to working with you,