http://mypad.northampton.ac.uk/hayleyelley/

‘Whilst there are likely to be national, statutory ICT requirements that children must be taught, it is important to remember that teachers have control over how they are delivered in their individual schools to best develop their own children’s learning and to make the most of the ICT resources which they have available.’  (Haughton 2013 p3)

This statement really enabled me to think about ‘ICT’ in the classroom, although due to the new national curriculum it is know known as Computing, and the important place it has within schools. Children are being brought up surrounded by several different pieces of technology around them and I think it is important for teachers to provide children’s with experiences to support their learning, while providing them with the tools they need to do this. Digital safety is vital, particularly for young children, I feel it is crucial that children are aware of this from a young age through appropriate discussion, to allow them to gain their understanding. As a trainee teacher I feel it is important to maintain a balance between using digital technology to enhance learning, rather than putting it in as a tool to replace it. From previous experience resources such as interactive whiteboards, iPads, Bee Bots are always successful and gain the children’s attention, because they aren’t something that children often used to as continuous provision. In my vision statement I shall outline how I feel ICT should be used within schools.

Following from the new National Curriculum, ICT is not necessarily part of the curriculum anymore, it is know known as Computing. ‘A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world’ (DfE 2013, p204). The new National Curriculum highlights the importance of creating the high quality education that children require to support their thinking. The curriculum also recognises the deep cross curricular links that computing can hold with subjects such as Science, Art, Maths, and design technology. This is supported through the video I looked at from Bridgewater Primary School following on with their STEAM project. I think it is important that children are exposed to a rich computing curriculum, but that it doesn’t stand alone. I feel children should be given opportunities to develop and embrace their skills before then having opportunities to link them across to other subjects. From my personal experience of working in a nursery, even younger children have a keen interest to explore technology, the EYFS Development matters identifies that at 16-26 months some children develop an interest in toys with simple mechanisms and how to operate them (Dfe 2012 p41).

For several schools, parents and teachers digital safety is a big concern for children.  In one of our very first sessions back in year 1, we looked at digital safety and thought about it on a personal level for us. This highlighted to me just how vulnerable people can become on the internet, and how this could have many implications for all involved whilst in the classroom. I feel it is important that the concerns, of parents in particular, are put at rest where possible which is often done through the use of a digital safety policy within school. Young children should be given the opportunities to develop their own safety while using the internet, obviously in a safe and secure way but I feel the younger the children are when they develop this understanding, hopefully the more conscious they will be about safety. There are some resources available for schools to use that allow children and schools to ensure children are safe while using the internet. Think u know for example is one that I have commonly seen used in schools while on placement. Through using Hector, children can quickly and easily get something off the screen that they don’t want to see, by pressing the safety button an underwater themed screen comes up on to their page, which gives them the chance to then alert a teacher while not having to see. I think this is a great tool and is one that I would like to use within my classrooms as I think it is important that children are safe, especially as now a days the internet is becoming a tool that is used more and more even from a young age.

 Computing can support children’s communication in many different ways, while also linking to supporting parental involvement too. Methods of communication are quickly progressing, and more schools are adapting ways to keep parents informed about the learning through emails or blogs. My 2b placement created a class blog for each class within the school, parents could access this and comment on the learning of their children. However, I think it is important to take into consideration that not all families will have smart phones, or access to a computer. Although technology is fast improving, I feel it is crucial that teachers maintain a balance and don’t move everything across to being electronic. Similarly, the use of creating assessments electronically using programs such as Tapestry can be extremely beneficial within a setting. I will ensure that I create a balance between using paper copies, as well as electronic versions. Children can use technology to communicate with other children within the school, or taking it further and communicate with other schools. This could be used to support several different areas for a child, Hartley (2014) suggested the use of emails to support children moving from year 2 to year 3, by allowing them to have a conversation with the current year 3 to gain first hand experience. I would like to incorporate the use of video, and sound buttons into my classroom as although I have never had experience with these, I would like to look into them further as I can see the benefits that they may have, particularly if a child struggles with writing, or communicating their ideas onto paper.

Digital literacy is becoming more  and more important within schools. Digital Literacy can be defined as, ‘the ability to find, evaluate, utilize, share, and create content using information technologies and the Internet’ (Cornell University, 2009). This can be done through a range of ways to enhance children’s learning, from sharing stories they may have created using an iPad, or researching a topic using the internet. More commonly, children who don’t know the answer to something their first solution is Google. Although I can see the benefits to this, and the advantages for children to have the opportunity to expand their learning and find out new information, I feel it is important to have resources such as books available too. After watching a video (mentioned in one of my further reading posts) this was reiterated to me. One of the first things the children tried to do after being given time to explore an old computer, was to type in Google. I think it is important to ensure that children don’t become too reliant on technology.

Computing opens up a vast range of different experiences for all children, in some cases often making it more accessible, using tools such as eye gaze for all children to be involved. The benefit of technology improving at such a fast pace is the wide range of things that children and adults can now do with it. Throughout the three years of ICT I feel my personal learning has improved, but this is also something that I need to stay on top off, as I feel this will allow me to provide a rich computing curriculum within my classroom.

References:

Cornell University. (2009) Digital Literacy is. [online] available from: http://digitalliteracy.cornell.edu/. [Accessed on 5/11/2014]

Department for education (2012) Development matters in the early years foundation stage [online] http://www.foundationyears.org.uk/files/2012/03/Development-Matters-FINAL-PRINT-AMENDED.pdf [accessed on 4/11/14]

Department for education (2013) The National Curriculum in England. [online] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/339805/MASTER_final_national_curriculum_until_sept_2015_11_9_13.pdf [accessed on 5/11/2014

Hartley, E (2014) Transition. Professional studies. ITT3015. Holdenby. 3rd October.

Haughton, S (2013) How to teach outstanding ICT. [online] available from http://simonhaughton.typepad.com/files/how-to-teach-outstanding-ict-by-simon-haughton.pdf [accessed on 3/11/2014]

NAACE (no date) Where does ICT fit in at the Foundation stage? What Early Learning Goals can ICT support?  Primary NAACE [online] http://primary.naace.co.uk/curriculum/earlyyears/foundation_ict.htm [accessed on 4/11/14]

November 7, 2014 at 4:34 pm and tagged , ,  | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Following on from one of our sessions we had a directed task to do which involved us looking at a project that was carried out by the whole school at Bridgewater Primary School. This project was part of STEAM; which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. The school decided to carry out a large scale whole school project based on the idea of Minecraft (adapted to Bridgecraft). Here is a video that was created talking about the project.

From watching this video, I really liked the idea of the whole school doing the same project idea but allocated different areas and aspects within it. Although this project wasn’t all done using computers, or iPads it still holds a strong value when supporting the computing curriculum. When I was at school we allocated weeks within the school year that were dedicated to ‘culutural weeks’, this meant each year group were given a different country; and then they did a range of work based around that. The STEAM project made me reflect on this, and I feel it would have been nice to do the same as everybody else in school, obviously differentiated and tailored but I think it helps develop the sense of community. Using minecraft to extend the learning for the pupils clearly worked well because it is something existing and current that children are interested in.

After doing some further reading on this, it really highlighted how many different ways the children used computing within this project and how it can support many different areas. Children used tablets, programs such as Popplet, different applications on the iPad to support the children’s learning throughout. The school also paired classes within the school using an online networking tool called Edmodo which allowed them to share their ideas through a closed environment. I think this again supports working together by allowing children to connect and share ideas with children that they may not normally get to work with due to year groups and classes. The school also blogged on a daily basis, linking this with a Twitter account so that the on-going project could be shared with schools and others world wide.

I would be interested to see what it would be like to be within a school using STEAM, as it is something that I had never heard off before, but after seeing the Bridgecraft project I  think the benefits for children’s learning throughout the curriculum could be endless.

November 6, 2014 at 10:13 am | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink

This was our last session of ICT for our final year, it is scary how quick time is going but we had another session full of different activities, to make our combined session count!

Helen started by introducing us to two different websites that the university had recently bought, one called Education city, and one called Help kids learn. She gave us a little bit of time to explore these websites and to see what we thought of them. Both of these websites were new to me, as unlike some others in the group I had never come across either of them while on school placements. I decided to explore Education city.

Education city is a website that is broken down into different sections based on the curriculum areas; but also into key stages. Each section contains a wide range of activities/games that can be accessed by children from the Foundation Stage up to higher key stage 2  in years 5 and 6. Some of the sections contain games for the children, but also information that can be beneficial for the teachers such as lesson plans, activity sheets that the children could do related to the things on the website. As this was the first time that I had ever used this website, I found it extremely simple and easy to navigate around the different pages, as everything was clearly labelled within the sections.

I decided to continue with the computing theme and explored the ICT session for year one first.  One of the games I played was called the Crane Game. Children had to listen to a simple set of instructions to follow a game which was basically a recreated version of the game children may come across in arcades, when they have to direct the crane to a toy for example. The game was timed, which I think could encourage children to challenge themselves to improve as they play, but I also think for some children this could be off-putting and seen as more pressure for them. The actions were given in a list for example the first one was ‘Down, Left’ and the aim was to then click on the item that it would pick up. This particular activity had 8 challenges which got harder as they completed each one. Linking to our session a couple of weeks ago, where we looked at programs such as Logo, I feel this could help support children’s learning as it creates a very simple, straight forward introduction to coding, even though children may not necessarily realize it.

Education city contained areas for different subjects such as maths, english and french, as well as others. One of the things I liked about this website was how the majority of the activities contained a mixture of written text, and audio. Even ones with written text had audio alongside it, which enables children’s learning to progress even if their reading skills aren’t great for example. There are a range of activities that can support children’s learning from sentence building in English, to shape sorting and counting songs in Maths. This is definitely a website I would like to use on placement as I think it would be interesting to see how children access this and support learning through it.

We also discussed how different schools may use digital technology in order to make children’s learning visible, such as creating online learning journals. Having been in a school on my 2b placement which used Tapestry (something I have also included as part of my blog further down) I found it interesting to see what other’s thought on the program.

I think Tapestry is a useful tool within the setting, particularly if staff have consistent access to an iPad so that they can update children’s learning journals quickly. Parents can see and contribute to their child’s online learning journal, however I feel this could be quite limiting in some cases. For example, in the setting I was in learning journals were purely created online. I feel this could be hard for parents to access if they didn’t have a computer or iPad, and as no learning journal was offered in hard copy until the children’s report were compiled at the end of the year, parents could feel out of the loop so to speak. However, I think making learning visible through ICT could have several benefits within the classroom. This could be using things like displays, or creating a slide show of images for children to access, for example a trip they may have been on. This could help to consolidate their learning.

The last part of the session we started to think about our vision statement for our final blog post. We were given a range of statements related to computing that in small groups we had to order into which we felt were most important. I have included this below.

 

Our ideas for vision statement

Our ideas for vision statement

 

We briefly annotated each statement to expand on why we thought it was important and some of the benefits it may have to children’s learning, or what it may look like in the classroom. As a group we then had to use a program called Skitch to help us annotate the images further. Skitch is a program which is designed to allow you to annotate over any image taken. This could be used with children in the classroom although we found it slightly difficult to use. We did however all agree that if it was a program we had more chance to explore and become familiar it could be a useful tool for children to use to allow them to annotate their own work too. Using this program we had to annotate it further and decide on why we had chosen our top three things.

Our top three was;

  • Increase motivation to learn
  • Enable access for minorities
  • Increase communication and collaboration

We decided motivation to learn was vital as we felt if children didn’t have this, then ultimately they wouldn’t want to engage and participate in activities or learning. As I have seen on placement, ICT can be beneficial to help children develop their love of learning especially with tools such as iPad’s etc. We also thought enabling access for children who may have EAL, or SEN, is vital. It is always important to ensure that the learning is accessible for all children within the setting, this could be a child who has special needs, or a child who has a physical impairment. The last point we decided on was the increase of communication and collaboration. We all agreed that this could be on a small scale such as working in groups, or sharing information with parents, but we also commented on the use of tools such as Skype, or email to connect with other schools around the world.

This activity allowed us to highlight the key things that we thought were important for children and computing, and definitely gave me things to think about for my vision statement.

Following from one of the links on the community page it led me to come across this youtube clip of a group of children being given an old computer to explore. I found this video interesting to see how the children reacted to the technology.

From watching this video it highlighted not only how much technology has changed and progressed over the years, but almost how reliant children are gradually becoming on this technology. For example one of the first things the girls tried to do was get onto the internet by typing google in. I found this could potentially highlight just how much children are exposed to technology these days and the common uses. I think this shows the importance of creating a rich learning environment where children can use computers and technology but also other tools, such as books.

Computing is important for many reasons but I think it is important for schools to create a balance within the setting. I also think this exploration activity could work well for some children as it enables them to develop their thinking, and questioning skills. Providing children with an object they may not be familiar can not only have benefits within computing, but also other subjects across the curriculum. I carried out a similar activity with my year one class on placement which involved us looking at and exploring a range of objects from the Victorian times. Children had to discuss the objects together to not only try and discover what it was, but also how it may have been used in those times. I found children gained more from this activity which enabled them to deepen their thinking, rather than me telling them about each object.

November 2, 2014 at 3:05 pm and tagged , ,  | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink

Whilst on my 2B placement I was introduced to an application called Tapestry which allows teachers to create an online learning journal for each child. This was a tool that I had never seen or heard off before, but by the end of the placement I could see how largely beneficial it could be in an early years setting!

This tool allows practitioners to create online observations, using text, photographs and videos combined to make an online learning journal for each child. More schools are commonly creating these documents for parents and children to show the learning their child has done over the year. Tapestry however, provides each child with their own, just online. I have included a link to a page which provides more information on tapestry if anybody would like to find out more. http://eyfs.info/tapestry-info/introduction#overview

I found this application extremely simple and easy to use, after a brief tutorial from my mentor! Observations could easily be linked to the early years foundation stage framework as each section was online and you just had to choose the area, age and statements that applied which would then be included with the observation. This saved lots of time within the busy nursery setting, and staff would often be able to gain a whole range of evidence because it was so easy for them to access. Each child’s parents/carers were given the log in details for their child, meaning they could access their learning journal at any point. For parents who may not have access to computer/iPad teachers could turn the learning journal into a pdf and print it as a hard copy for them; this was the basis for my mentors reports on placements! I also liked the idea that parents could not only comment on the observations/ learning of their child, they could also add their own observations and input to the journal. For example if a child achieved something outside of school that could go on too.


Through the community page I came across this video which linked to the ways that schools may document the children’s learning. Although this isn’t all completely aimed at using technology to present the learning, methods such as using multi media can help to do this. I also like how this school document the whole research project from the beginning to the end so that teachers and staff can access this again. I think this could also encourage children to reflect on their learning, and maybe evaluate their research. They could also think about things they could have done differently to support their learning. I like the idea that displaying previous learning can help children to build on their past, while creating an expectation to build on for their future learning.

I also found another video which highlights some of the benefits that can be brought into the classroom through the use of iPads.

 

After one of our sessions, we were guided an interesting article to read and reflect on our thoughts. Do young children need access to computers as much as they need to play with sand and water? by  Preston, C. and Scott Baker, M.

Although this quote doesn’t necessarily influence the title;it is one of the first things that stood out to me.

‘Research indicates that new recruits to teaching are often highly valued by the senior management because the expectation is that they will know more about digital technologies than existing staff and be able to support initiative in this field’ (Preston 2004: Pachler, Preston, Cuthell, Allen and Tores 2011).

From working in a private day nursery as one of the youngest members of staff this is something that I feel is already in place so to speak. The manager will regularly ask advice and for assistance when it comes to ‘computing’ as she has never had the opportunity to develop her confidence and understanding of ICT. Having grown up with technologies fast improving each year I feel this has enabled me to gain a level of confidence when using this.

The article looks at some of the potential reasons that staff may be reluctant to teach computing. One of the main reasons that stands out to me is the potential lack of understanding. Teachers often felt that due to their personal lack of experience with technology, this automatically created a barrier when they used it in the classroom. One teacher said she felt that learning how to use digital technologies wasn’t part of her job, but she would however use the technologies if she had an assistant teacher who had set everything up ready. I feel this is an interesting attitude to have, especially when it comes to the image she portrays to the children. From personal experience children can gain a level of confidence from seeing you do something before doing it themselves, if they see the teacher however always waiting for somebody to set up the digital technology this could complications.

In regards to the title of the article, I feel it is more important that a balance is created between sand and water play and computers. Both areas can have huge benefits to children that I feel it is unfair to say one is more important than others. Although the technologies are constantly improving and strengthening, areas such as the sand and water can support children in other ways. I think it is important that practitioners recognize the importance of having both, in my opinion computing and computers has a place within the curriculum, but it should be used to enhance the current learning, not replace it.

Using computers within the classroom can have several benefits to the children, allowing them to develop a range of skills. iPads and applications can also be used to consolidate children’s skills, or understanding. However from experience, it is very easy for the negative attitude to be portrayed in regards to technology. Several times I have heard staff say ‘technology is great when it works, but when it doesn’t it changes everything’. I think part of this could stem from teachers feeling that they don’t have the skills to rectify a problem when it occurs, although I understand that sometimes things like school internet/systems being down can’t be avoided and this could disrupt planned learning.

As a trainee teacher I agree with importance of implementing e-safety, which is also included in this article. From a young age children need to be aware of these things!

I have created an answer garden below for people to contribute their thoughts on this article. What do you feel about children needing as much access to computers as sand and water? It would be interesting to see other people’s views, as this article allowed me to think deeper about computing.

Do children need as much access to computers as sand and water?… at AnswerGarden.ch.

November 2, 2014 at 1:41 pm and tagged , , , ,  | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Following on from one of our first sessions this year where we looked at the use of green screen, I found a video through the community page which looked at them in more detail. Green screen was a technique that although I had heard of it, I have never used it, the thought of doing so, like one of the the teachers on this clip was a little bit daunting. I assumed it was a complicated technique. This video looked at some other different ways that ICT and the use of iPad can be incorporated.

Here is the video I watched that was created after a group of teachers attended the university. The teachers attended the university to develop their skills and explore the benefits of linking it with curriculum areas. 

One of the teachers commented on how the use of green screen can allow children to feel they are getting more out of their filming. I think this is a good way to look at it; green screen may be something that children have seen before. Allowing them to make their own gives them the sense of ownership that they are creating something ‘professional’ and concrete to show. They can also do activities such as writing a script for it, which will support their literacy and writing skills.

The video also led me to discover the Socrative app. This application allows teachers to develop their understanding of children’s learning. I have found a video which gives a brief overview of how teachers can use this within the classroom.

I think this could be a highly beneficial tool for teachers to have. By allowing children to not only create their own questions for the quiz, this could also suggest how well a child understands a subject depending on the level of their question. For example, a question that promotes children to think deeper about the question could suggest a stronger level of understanding.

November 2, 2014 at 12:53 pm and tagged , , ,  | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

This session was about looking at the different ways we can incorporate computing into the curriculum as a whole rather than it being separate. I found this session quite interesting as it gave me different ideas to work with, from my experience on placement the schools I have been in have had limited ICT  equipment, or it has always been taught as almost a stand alone subject. Children would go into the ICT room for allocated slots, however I think using it across the curriculum or within topic areas can help enhance the learning on both sides. Computing can become a fantastic tool to enhance learning, but it is also important that it doesn’t replace learning.

We discussed some of the different ways that computing can be linked into other areas, one of the common ones we all came up with was geography. The use of google maps for example could be linked into story telling, children could use the map to retell common stories such as little red riding hood. Through google plus children can also create their own map, with adult support, which could then also be used for them to create their own stories. Children could also create their own maps in order to make a treasure hunt for other children, which would support their problem solving skills also. Another tool that could support geography is on the British airways website.

 

This is a short clip taken from somebody using the tool; I think this can be used in order to create a hook into the subject for children, as it can be made personal to them, the school be used perhaps as the destination. Children could also use it with their own address, discussing bits they recognise from their normal journey to school.  Google earth showcase allows you to create street view tours which could be used in a similar way to the British airways tool, children have the choice to decide how they want to capture their learning through the use of these tools. There are also some websites such as The Big day out which provides children with a range of activities to complete, allowing children to essentially explore Britain through the use of technology.

Smart notebook is another great tool that can be used in any subject to help link the two together. Children can create stories using the themed characters available, or to help with their writing! While on placement I used the snapshot tool to introduce an image to the children, this tool allowed me to only show children a portion of the picture at a time…this gave them time to think and ask questions between themselves about what it may be!

Another website that I used often while on placement was Communication 4 all.

Although this website is broken down into lots of different resources which can be used within the curriculum, I found some of there were complex for younger children. I used this in a year one class and for the lower ability within the class they found parts of it hard to access. This website provides different resources which are mainly broken down into topics, some including interactive activities for the children, powerpoints to explore or activities that can be related to the topic.

For the other part of the session we looked at creating a range of QR codes, which would act as a resource bank for us when we gathered them together. We were asked to choose a topic area before we started to gather resources. Using QR codes sounded daunting to begin with, I have never used them before, let alone created them but I was relieved to find it was actually quite straight forward!! Using the scan me website we could easily create the code, which could then be scanned through the app on an iPad, smart phone or webcam on the computers.

QR codes are simple and easy to use, and I think they would appeal to young children who maybe can’t read independently yet. Using the QR code in the way we did, creating a sheet with a range of codes, gives children the independence to navigate through a selection of resources that you know are all related to the topic. Children could have the sheet, with access to an iPad and explore the different resources without requiring a lot of adult support, as teachers, you also know that they will be on task even though they have a choice!

We created a resource sheet using QR codes, all linked to our chosen topic of mini-beasts. For young children I would make the sheet easier to navigate putting each one into boxes, maybe with a simple picture to link to each code to support children further. This resource was added to our resource bank.

What is a minibeast

Although the QR codes were easy to create, and use we found that some websites such as purple mash were harder to access. Despite having created the QR code to a particular activity it still took you to the log in page, which could be off putting for children, as well as time consuming. I think if there was a way to avoid having to log in to the site each time it would be very simple for children to use!

This was a interesting session for me which created several ideas that I can hopefully use on my last placement linking computing into the curriculum!

 

 

 

 

October 26, 2014 at 11:42 am and tagged , , , , ,  | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

This session was based on the computing curriculum, and was largely focused onto coding….which I have always been a little apprehensive about so the thought of having to do it with children wasn’t so appealing! However, this is also a thought which children commonly have and they think is a difficult area, one of the most important things I feel I took from this session was to make it something they are used to. If children are exposed to the activity, and the terminology it becomes less of a grey area in my opinion.

We were given a large section of the session to explore a wide range of different apps both on the iPad’s and web tools that can be used to enhance our computing curriculum. One of the first things that came to my mind was the use of Bee bots in the early years, a resource that I have seen in the majority of my placements even if the children may not use them on a regular basis. The children are often very good at using these, and can often work in pairs to navigate around obstacles to guide their Bee bot somewhere else.

One of the first programs I looked at was on Purple Mash, a site which has a wide range of different tools for children to use. I used the 2 code sections which provided a selection of different activities for children to use. I explored the snail race program.

 

The aim of the program was to look at the different challenges that it set and try to use the code tool to complete them. For example on the first one you had to set it so that the snail would begin the race when you clicked on the background. I found this very complicated to use initially, as it was difficult to understand exactly what you had to do. I think young children would find this quite difficult to understand if they were using it as an independent activity, but I think it could work well if children were in a small group working with an adult, as it is the sort of activity which could promote problem solving.

Another game that I explored on Purple mash was called Logo. Although this was quite simple to use, it was on a very simple format which to young children could be quite boring, something they may not want to be interested in. I also thought it could potentially get quite boring for young children quickly.

We were then introduced to the Barefoot community. This is similar to a scheme that has been created for schools to follow using several apps that promote the computing curriculum. As part of the session we were given a sheet in groups which gave us an activity using one of the apps which we then had to evaluate. Our particular app was called Scratch Junior. Although there is a separate app called Scratch, based on the web this was quite confusing for us to use to begin with. Scratch junior is a simpler version, which has no words so that it can be accessed by children who may not be able to read as well.

The activity we had looked was based on encouraging children to explore one of the scenes that had already been created on the program. Scratch junior gives children the opportunity to make their own scenes, but also to explore others. As the first part of the activity children had to explore a scene already on there before making their own. I think this is a good way of encouraging children to explore; while giving them the safety of knowing they can’t do anything wrong. Children are often reluctant to try something new to them for fear of making a mistake, but allowing them to explore a pre-made scene takes that pressure away. It also gives the children chance to become familiar with the program before they have to try and create their own. This app was on the iPad, and the lack of words made it a very simple program for us to use. It was easy to navigate around and it was also quite self-explanatory for what you had to do in order for it to work. This would appeal to children, as well as it being very bright and colourful! Even if children struggle with academic work, with this app it wouldn’t influence the amount of learning they could take from this activity. I think this would also be a nice activity for children to do in a small group, to work on a project together within the classroom in a fun way.

After the session I was feeling much better about the computing curriculum, as it enabled me to recognise the wide range of ways this could be accessed, without the scary subject of coding that I was initially expecting! I would like to use some of these apps while on placement, to see how the children access them too.

 

October 16, 2014 at 3:31 pm and tagged , ,  | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

In our second session we focused on creating a story telling resource using an app on the iPad. We discussed some of the different ideas that we could have used, from Puppet Pals, to iMovie among others.

We decided that we would like to explore an app called Tellagami.

This app allows you to create an avatar; which you can then use to communicate with.

Although we will be using this program within ICT, it could be used in many other subjects too. The children can record their own voice to link to the avatar, which could work in a similar way to a puppet in the sense that children may feel more confident if it is seen as communicating by a third person. This could also be used a hook into the subject if the avatar is carrying out an interview which could get the children thinking.

We were both new to Tellagami, so it was a little bit of an experiment for both of us to begin with….which involved lots of starting again!! We chose to have our avatar interviewing Batman, in a secret location (obviously) and then it was time for us to try and use it. The main issue we had was realising that we couldn’t pause the recording each time, so it had to be a continuous conversation between the two. The app also appeared to have a time limit on how long the recording could be, which if working with children this could also be tricky to overcome.

Here was our experiment with Tellagami…


 

Once we had got the hang of it and discovered some of the limitations to Tellgami, I think it would be an activity that children could do with a small amount of adult support depending on the age range of the children. Children in Year one from past experience would be able to think about the constrictions and work with them after they had been shown, however I think for younger children it would be better to do it in a small group with an adult, if you were aiming for a final product. Children would enjoy pretending to be the different characters I think, and would gain a lot out of it even as an exploration activity without looking for a final product.

I think it would be interesting to compare the free version of the app to the one you can pay for also, as this could get rid of some of the constrictions perhaps, or provide more for children to explore.

 

October 16, 2014 at 3:19 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink