Blogging in the Classroom

As I am new to blogging, especially to the idea of using them within the classroom, I have familiarised myself with the ways they are currently being used and the benefits of blogging.
Blogging offers many opportunities to both staff and pupils, http://theschoolbloggers.co.uk/school-blogs-benefits/blogging-in-the-classroom/ explain these in further detail:

  • Pupils and teachers love it!
  • Showcase your pupils’ best work to a far greater audience
  • Fantastic tool to help the support the raising of levels of attainment across your school
  • Students become independent learners
  • Easy differentiation to meet all abilities
  • Everyone learns and teachers
  • Develop relationships with the local community
  • Incredibly powerful tool for project collaboration
  • Create links with schools both nationally and internationally
  • Foster links with businesses
  • A window into the classroom for parents

Making comments on blogs was another aspect I felt unsure about; the content and tone of the text is also something I have looked into. Comments should be:

  • written like a letter; have a greeting, main content and an ending.
  • correct in terms of spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  • complimentary to the writer, ask a question or add relevant information that is relevant to the post.
  • professional; not identifying any personal information.
  • checked over and edited before being published.

The children in this video explain how to write blog comments:

Reflection:

I think blogging is a great way of sharing ideas and work, with the possibility of receiving comments which could enhance your ideas. I intend to continue blogging and commenting on other people’s blogs so it becomes second-nature to me, so I am completely confident using them in schools with children.

Inspirational ideas for ICT in the classroom

I’m trying to think of all the ICT equipment I have ever encountered in classroom, as a student myself and whilst working in primary schools. Powerpoint presentations spring to mind the most (as an adult learner) and Interactive Whiteboards are probably what I have seen most frequently used with children along with digital cameras, PC’s for word processing, games and research, video recording children’s performances and using floor robots.

This short video – only 1:15mins long – is an excellent summary of how rapidly ICT is evolving in the classroom, and it’s us, as teachers, who have to keep up!

ICT in the Early Years shows a lovely video of how ICT can be integrated into the EYFS. The children are encouraged to independently access IT equipment e.g. digital cameras, the children all have their own floppy disk (which can be identified by the child’s photograph on the front) so they can download the photo’s they take, and print them. ICT is also used as much as possible in the role play area e.g. a hospital will have a laptop, a light box to use as an x-ray machine and a telephone. This site offers a range of resources and planning materials – it’s well worth a look!
I came across the Hot Potatoes suite which enables you to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises for use with children. It is free and can be adapted to suit any project.

Good use of ICT not only enhances experience for students, but the outcomes they generate too.” – Mark Anderson

Peers can be the best teachers, because they’re the ones that remember what it’s like to not understand.” Peter Norvig. His video is really interesting and you can relate to it… I found myself nodding in agreement to my laptop! Worth watching: http://www.ted.com/talks/peter_norvig_the_100_000_student_classroom.html?quote=1698

This video shares 5 ways in which ICT can be used within the classroom:

‘Building’ a PC with Year 5 – Chris Leach. This idea involving the children ‘becoming’ the components of a computer is a super idea, the active learning will certainly help them to remember the different components of a PC. This ICT lesson was taught through the use of freeze framing, much more fun than a worksheet!

NAACE offer workshops for Teachers, Subject Leaders etc to help plan for “full integration of ICT into all aspects of school life”. They are a professional association concerned with improving education through ICT.

Reflection:

This first session has opened my eyes to actually how much ICT is actually involved  in schools; until now, I was only aware of the basics. Having divulged into the ‘Browsing and Reading section’ for session 1 I am more aware of how ICT is, and can be, used in the primary school. I am keen to continue researching resources to use in the classroom whilst enhancing my personal ICT skills at the same time. I have also ordered ‘The Really Useful Book of ICT in the Early Years’ by Harriet Price.

 

My First Blog

Starting to blog as of today! 🙂

How ICT is used in the Foundation Stage:

  • PC’s – websites, software e.g. word processing
  • Floor Turtles
  • Digital Cameras – photographer of the day, use during outings, evidence of progress/achievement
  • Camcorders
  • Interactive whiteboards
  • Music
  • iPads/tablets – apps
  • Visualiser to show children’s work
  • Mobile phones – text parents for achievements

Although I know of quite a few ways in which ICT is currently used in the classroom, I do not know how to use this equipment to it’s full potential, or have many ideas for use with children. Therefore these ICT sessions will really benefit me and I’m really looking forward to finding out more.

Also, you will see that I didnt list ‘blogging’ this is because I’d never heard of blogs being used in the classroom; I will certainly be researching into this over the next few months.