Jennifer Davies

https://mypad.northampton.ac.uk/jenns/

My Vision for my Future Career

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‘The children we teach today are the adults who will be determining our own futures ‘tomorrow’, and it is our responsibility to enable them to make informed choices and to be in control of the technology they will use’ (Hayes, 2006, p.1).

imagesThis statement struck a chord with me as I believe that in an ever-growing society technology is becoming more and more important in every aspect of life. Every day most people will use a piece of technology within the first hour of their lives, whether it be a television, mobile telephone or computer. In the majority of careers people are expected to be able to use technology and this is becoming increasingly important. Therefore, teaching the children of the future how to use these tools and how they are made is of paramount importance. In this vision statement I will outline my vision of how ICT should be used within schools.

Curriculum:

Becoming a Foundation Stage or Key Stage 1 (KS1) teacher has given me the opportunity to learn two different curriculums and how ICT can be embedded within both. In a broad sense, ICT is specified as ‘Understanding the World: Technology’ (DFE, 2012) in the Early Years Curriculum. Although it has this section in a specific area of the curriculum, I believe ICT should be embedded within all areas of the curriculum to allow children to be able to apply their technology skills to everything. This will help them in their future lives to be able to use technology for a variety of purposes. The NAACE gives a wealth of ideas of how ICT is already embedded within all areas of the early year’s curriculum. If teachers are teaching ICT, then the children are likely to become motivated and have a sense of enjoyment, so the teachers are then also teaching ‘Dispositions and attitudes: Being excited and motivated’ (no date, line 10-11). This can be true of all areas of the early year’s curriculum as is highlighted in the NAACE document.

The National Curriculum was reviewed in 2013 and ICT changed to Computing. The reason for this was to go from a curriculum that taught ICT to one that was more rigorous and had more computational thinking and more chance to apply practical programming skills (DFE, 2013a, p.3). I believe this is very important in the teaching of this subject as it is often thought of as just teaching children how to use computers and iPads whilst forgetting that these children could be the new inventors of the future and may never have been taught how technology is made or works. ICT should be embedded within other subjects of the National Curriculum as again this will help children to adapt ICT skills to all areas of their lives. The National Curriculum outlines that ‘Computing has deep links with mathematics, science, and design and technology’ (DFE, 2013b, p.178). I also think it can be linked to all subjects for example programming Beebots around a map of Great Britain (which can be seen on a previous blog post), which could be used in a Geography lesson.

Digital Literacy:

ICT can be used online or offline for many purposes. During different lessons ICT can be a tool to use to solve problems and find information. For example, if there is a question in History (or indeed any lesson), often children will turn to the internet to find out the answer to a question. From my own experience I have had a child who asked me a question and I did not know the answer. I asked him how we could find the answer and he asked if he could use the internet on the iPads. Together we sought the answer to the question and he used technology to solve his problem. Easingwood suggests that the internet can be used effectively to find information from a number of sites (2007, p.109). Therefore, ICT will be valued in my classroom as it is a means of finding out more information and exploring topics deeper. Extending on this, not only can the internet be used to find information but can be used to explore things for example virtual tours of places around the world (Easingwood, 2007, p.109).

Communicating through technology is becoming more and more important in the lives of children/adults and indeed everybody. This could be through iPads, iPhones and the internet which are all sources of communication through technology. If used effectively, I think it could be very beneficial for schools and my own practice. In one school I saw a scheme where the school was in partnership with a school in Ghana and they emailed each other regularly. The children were shown how to use email and were enabled to communicate with children from a completely different background on another continent. Activities and experiences like this help children to realise that communication through technology is a positive thing when used effectively. Easingwood suggests that communication is critical and children should not be passive recipients to ICT, they should have control over the computers and be able to learn how to use them for many purposes (2007, p.108). Therefore, in my classroom I would want to set up this type of communication for the children to ensure they know how to use technology effectively as a tool for communication. Furthermore, technology can be used as a tool for children with physical impairments (as can be seen on the previous blog post), to communicate using eye gaze or switches.

E-safety:

There are many positives to come out of an effective ICT curriculum in schools. However, the e-safety factor is often off-putting for teachers and a constant worry. To ensure that this will not become a worry of mine, I would ensure I follow all policies on e-safety that the school has in place and I would also like to encourage the schools I work in to download a tool that can stop children accessing pages that are not suitable. For example Hector the dolphin can be used to help reduce this risk. I would also teach the children in my class how to be safe on the internet and I would use the think u know website to do this available from: http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/5_7/hectorsworld/. Overall I will ensure I will keep my research up to date on e-safety to ensure my class can explore technology creatively but safely.

My Time:

During my time at university I have had chance to access a multitude of resources I can use within schools. Through my blog I have kept a log of these resources and linked them to how they can be used in practice. During the last session of university ICT I made a poster that ordered the main reasons behind why ICT is important in schools with my peers. Here is a link to our ‘Show Me’ poster with our highlighted points of importance:

I believe that it is very important to ensure minorities have access to an equal and balanced curriculum for inclusion for all. I also think ICT allows for communication amongst communities, schools and countries within a classroom as discussed earlier and also that publishing and valuing children’s work is also of paramount importance. This could be through assessment tools such as Tapestry or children showcasing their work using an online tool or iPad app such as iMovie. Therefore, I will value these things when in school to ensure I am providing this for all the children in my care.

I will ensure I always use technology within the classroom in a relevant way to enhance learning and to ensure children can adapt the use of ICT to everything that they do. I will give children time to explore and connect with technology as I realise it is not an easy thing to learn (Duffty, 2006, p.156). An Ofsted report in 2011 detailing the effectiveness of ICT within schools highlighted the need for teachers to have more professional development in ICT (DFE, 2011), and this is something that I think this course has given me: a broad knowledge of ICT and a wealth of ideas of how to use it within the classroom. Referring back to the initial quote of this vision statement, teaching of the children of tomorrow and enabling them to use ICT as well as understand it is my overall vision for my future teaching career.

 

 Reference list:

Department for Education. (2011) Report Summary: ICT in schools 2008-11. Ofsted [online]. Available from: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/ict-schools-2008-11 [Accessed 28th October 2014].

Department for Education. (2012) Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Foundation Years [online]. Available from: http://www.foundationyears.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Development-Matters-FINAL-PRINT-AMENDED.pdf [Accessed 24th October 2014].

Department for Education. (2013a) Consultation Report changing ICT to Computing in the National Curriculum. London: Crown Copyright.

Department for Education. (2013b) The 2014 Primary National Curriculum In England. No place: Shurville Publishing.

Duffty, J. (2006) Extending Knowledge in Practice: Primary ICT. Exeter: Learning Matters Ltd.

Easingwood, N. (2007) ICT in the primary school. In: Moyles, J. (eds.) Beginning Teaching, Beginning Learning. 3rd ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press. pp. 106-114.

Hayes, M. (2006) Introduction: Teaching For Tomorrow. In: Hayes, M. and Whitebread, D. (eds.) ICT in the Early Years. Maidenhead: Open University Press. pp.1-5.

NAACE. (no date) Where does ICT fit in at the Foundation Stage? What Early Learning Goals can ICT support? Primary NAACE [online]. Available from: http://primary.naace.co.uk/curriculum/earlyyears/foundation_ict.htm [Accessed 28th October 2014].

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Assessment and Website Hunting!

Website Hunting:

During session 5 & 6 we explored some websites that we have received login’s for and I found them really useful. I explored Education City and played a phonics game where the children could identify which objects began with the sound ‘b’. This helps them to practice their sound recognition and I think this would be a great activity to use as a starter or a practice game to reinforce learning at the end of a session on an IWB. During my special needs placement I saw a lot of these games from Education City being used on the IWB and I found them very effective as the children were able to come up and touch their answers. It also reinforced learning and is a ready-made resource. The game is called Bathtime Bubbles. I believe that these games are brilliant however they must be used effectively and in moderation, not just used as the only source of phonics teaching to ensure the children all get a broad range of teaching. aaaa

Alongside programmes like the one reviewed above, we also explored tools for SEN children within the classroom. I have never used switches before and I like that the Helpkidz website has options of whether you want to use the mouse, 1 switch or 2 switches. The switches are for children with limited physical skills and could be used before a child learns to use a mouse. They allow children with physical impairments to be able to control the activities if they cannot use a mouse. We also learnt about Eye Gaze which is a tool that could be used in schools for children who have no physical ability and only eye control. They use their gaze to control the programmes which I think is fantastic and innovative and enables children who cannot access many areas of learning to communicate through technology and programme computers. The Helpkidz website is good for SEN children and has many easy to access activities for children. The activities can also be used for any child, however they need to be explored well to ensure children are learning through them as some are very simplistic.

Assessment:

We learnt about how ICT can be used as a tool for assessment and programmes and apps that contain a bank of information on classes of children including photographs, videos and notes. These apps and programmes came up a lot and seem to be very popular. Some of these are described below:

aaaTo the left is an example of the Tapestry website to explain how Tapestry works. It is an online learning journal where teachers can take photos and annotate them and it allows for teachers to make an online repository for all assessment information. I find this way of assessing an excellent tool and a great way of making children’s learning visible. Other versions that are available are:

– 2 Build a Profile

– Three Ring

– Evernote

I will explore these other apps and programmes in my own time. I think the advantages of using an assessment tool online or on an iPad is that you do not have to worry about writing everything on post it notes or stickers, you can annotate photos straight away and you can also add videos and audio clips. This is something that has never formed an area of assessment in a learning journey before in my experience and I would love the opportunity to capture talk for assessment as often in the early years, talk is the way in which children express a lot of their learning. Therefore, not having to scribe this and to be able to record and the review later is only a positive thing. Some cautions I would advise is how much information is shared with parents and keeping information safe on the internet. The app or programme used needs to be checked to ensure it is a safe place to keep information on children’s development as it is confidential. In session a peer mentioned that she had seen one of these programmes working where the information got sent straight to the parents phone as it had been completed. I think we still need to have control over what we share with parents and having a time when something is to be shared with parents should still be valued. Therefore I would want to use one of these tools as long as it allowed me control over this in school.

Readings:

Below is a video I explored from the reading list on how you can use Google Drive on an iPad to create e-portfolios for children where you as the teacher or the children can share all of their work and leave it as a repository of work. This can only be done if Google Drive is tied in with other apps such as iMovie where you can record videos of the children. However this seems quite an easy process. This could then be used to assess each child as you have bank of all of their work in one place and can assess where they are in their development. Instead of buying one of the tools off the internet that cost money, I think this option could be looked at in schools. Again this is another supporting item for using ICT to assess children and using it as a resource for assessment. I believe these forms of assessment will become more popular over the next few years as they become more widely known. The video is available at: http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/05/a-great-how-to-tutorial-on-creating.html.

Reflection:

Reflecting upon today’s session I can see how assessment using the iPads or online learning journals holds many advantages for teachers and other members of staff. It can be time saving, multi-modal and easy to retrieve. In my placement and future career I would like to explore the school’s assessment policies and procedures and suggest an online resource such as the ones discussed in this post as I really think they would be useful especially in the early years classroom. The websites explored at the beginning of today’s session are websites that I will look into using within my own practice, especially Education City that had a wealth of ready-made resources that I could use within my classroom. Overall, this last session of ICT has brought everything together to be able to write my vision statement for ICT.

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ICT Across the Curriculum

Today we explored many ways of using ICT across the Early Years and KS1 curriculum.

Firstly we were given a variety of ideas of how ICT can be used across other subjects and I have represented these in the following Popplet:

There are many other ideas of ways in which ICT can be used to enhance other subjects but I think it must always be remembered that we are looking to enhance other subjects and not take over the main learning objective with an ICT learning objective. The world is very much technology orientated in the 21st century and I believe being able to adapt ICT to any lesson will give children skills that are vital for their future lives both social, personal and academic.

Myself and Hayley Hughes decided to work together to make a QR Code Sheet to use with children around the topic of Remembrance Day. Below is the finished copy and a link to the Microsoft Office Word document to print:

Capture

QR Codes for remembrance

Neither of us had created QR codes before and we soon realised that it is a quick and easy process and allows for much use within the classroom. Our idea was for the children to complete all the activities on the worksheet, which were for all learning types including videos, music and a quiz. Another way I would love to use these is to do a QR code hunt. The children could be in teams with an iPad and could be sent around the school with clues as to where the QR codes were. They could then complete the activities e.g. watch a video and then gather back to share their results. I think children would find this exciting, fun and it is suited to all learning types. The educational value would be to find out a wealth of information about the topic of the session and also a ICT objective of being able to use the iPad to discover QR codes and different forms of media.

As well as creating this resource for ourselves on placement I have uploaded it to the resource bank for others use as can be seen on this link: http://mypad.northampton.ac.uk/resourcebank/. Adding to the resource bank will give everybody else chance to use the sheet we created for their own future use. I also explored everybody else’s QR sheets that were uploaded to the shared area and have saved them for future use.

Reflection: Reflecting upon this session I think I have discovered a tool in QR Codes that could make a strong contribution to my teaching. I also think schools often like it when new things are introduced and I would like to introduce this to the schools I work in. This session has given me a wealth of ways that ICT could be used across the curriculums. Referring back to my first post of this year I stated that I still was not confident in using ICT in schools however after the last few sessions and today I think I feel a lot more confident in my ability to deliver not only a computing curriculum, but ICT within many other areas of the curriculum. I do not just feel like I will now include ICT because it is recommended but because I want to and feel it will enhance and enrich my lessons in all areas of the curriculums.

Reading:  

  • Before this weeks session we were asked to read Caldwell, H and Honeyford, G (2014) Chapter 3 Computing and Digital Literacy. In Smith and Dawes (2014) Subject Teaching in Primary Education, Sage, London. This chapter was very interesting and what came over very strongly was the message of knowing what you are teaching children and have a clear perspective of this in mind. It also suggests that I should have a variety of techniques and tools to use in schools as this will show my own enthusiasm and enjoyment in ICT. I think I have built his toolkit over the last 3 years, however the world of technology is ever expanding and I will keep building on my knowledge and resources.
  • This week I watched the video on a Tech day from a school. It was really interesting to see the amount of involvement the children were having in exploring a vast range of technological equipment. I liked to see the photos of the children using microphones and I really liked how they were learning how programs worked and I agree with the man at the end who said if we don’t teach children how things work then we will not have any engineers in the future. The video was also interesting as I have not seen a Tech day at any school and it is something I would be interested in holding or suggesting when in schools. It also shows the children using technology for many purposes and links to today’s session in that it teaches children how to use technology for all lessons and to embed it within their everyday lives. I have embedded this video into my blog as I think it holds some key messages and would like others to watch it.

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Creative Computing!

In this session we have explored a wealth of ways we can explore computing with children. The first available resource I have explored is the computing section on Purple Mash, available from www.purplemash.co.uk/sch/northampton. If you click creative tools-2code, then there is a range of resources available for computing.

Purple mashThis website could be used with KS1 children and I would definitely use it within schools. It allows children to start programming by completing challenges on the computer. The only limitation is that you would need to spend a bit of time explaining the games and going through them with the children as it took me a few minutes to understand it so would need explaining to the children.

I then explored some apps, firstly the Daisy the Dino app was excellent for use in all years. I think as a starting point even in reception you could use this app to explore programming the dinosaur. Children would have to be able to read single words to know what commands they are using with the children. Below is a video of us programming the dinosaur:

The next app I explored was the BeeBot app which is very similar to the floor Beebots you could use with children. Here is one of the challenges available within the app:

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I believe this would be a good extension after using the floor Beebots as the children would then know how to program the Beebots and would be able to access the app independently. You could also use this app on the IWB and use it as a starter to a computing lesson to show the children how to do it and allow them to collaboratively work on computing. You could then give each group a challenge and see if they could achieve it. Very easy to use and a great way of teaching computing. Some other apps available for computing are: Kodable, Scratch and Scratch Junior, Move the Turtle, Toca Boca Builder, Cato’s Hike and Tynker: I will go on to explore these apps in my own time.

We explored the Beebot floor robots and we found a mat that had a map of Great Britain that the children could give instructions to each other to move the Beebot to each destination. Here is a video of myself and Rachael playing this game:

There are a wealth of resources that you can use with children:

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Reflection: It is very hands on computing using the Beebots and it is adaptable to any age and can be used in a cross-curricular way. You can use a range of mats, programme the Beebots to dance, race, draw or many other things. A limitation would be the amount of children who could use the Beebots at one time. I would overcome this by either setting each group a different challenge using the Beebots, however this would be dependant upon how many Beebots were available or I would do a rotational activity with the children where they could do challenges with the Beebots in small groups alongside completing other programming activities. I have used Beebots in school to teach instructions during an English lesson and it was very effective as the children all had a turn and could show me they were able to follow instructions and give them to others.

At the end of the session we explored Barefoot Computing which is a website with contributions of lesson ideas for computing from expert teachers across the country. We explored Crazy Character Algorhythms which was a complete lesson plan with introduction, main activity and plenary. It introduced Algorhythms without explaining what the word meant to the children and the children had to follow some instructions to draw an alien, the children could then see that the alien’s all differed and could then make more precise instructions. Reflection: I would definitely use this lesson plan in schools and adapt it to the needs of my own class. It will help me as I am new to computing to be able to teach effective computing lessons within school.

Reading:

  • Before this session we were asked to read an article that can be accessed here: Chapter 1: Algorithms and Computational Thinking in KS1 in Bird, J., Caldwell, H. and Mayne, P. (2014) Lessons in Teaching Primary Computing. Sage, London. It was very interesting how it suggested that algorithm and computational thinking is not new and that it may be a bit scary to start with due to the language. When broken down, we can see that we use it all the time. I liked the practical examples this article gave e.g. buttering the toast as an algorithm and will look into this article in more detail in my own time.
  • After this session I read on this website and watched some videos on how to use Scratch (a computing programme) to teach Beebots in a classroom: http://www.resources.digitalschoolhouse.org.uk/key-stage-1-ages-5-6/219-scratch-beebots-a-probots. I would definitely look at these when teaching and use them to think of ideas of how I can use this in classrooms. The programme Scratch can be adapted to create Beebots on it and teach children how to programme Beebots. This can be much cheaper than buying Beebots however if my school did not have Beebots then I would request to get some as I believe learning about computing away from a computer is just as important as learning it on a computer. Beebots and other resources like this can be very valuable within a classroom. I am glad I watched some of these videos however as if my school could not get Beebots then at least I can still teach them how to programme them using this.
  • I also explored a short writing on what children should learn in KS1 computing available from https://sites.google.com/site/primaryictitt/home/key-stage-1. It allows me to select what I will need to teach children in KS1 and I can see how the computing programmes, apps and resources explored in todays session can be used to reach this criteria. I will need to keep reminding myself of this criteria to ensure each lesson is meaningful to what the children need to know.

Reflection:

Reflecting upon today’s session I can see how computing has become much more important in the National Curriculum and that is it is important to value it in schools. Children need to learn how to programme objects and be able to use algorithms. Therefore my aim for the future is to keep myself up to date with computing software and resources that I can use in schools and I would also like to teach computing on my next placement to ensure I have a firm grasp on what is required before I start my teaching career.

 

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Amazing Apps!

The vast amount of apps available to us is just mesmerising! In this session I have explored many apps available to use with children, some being better than others. I believe that you can find an app for nearly everything you need to use with children. For example I think the Mrs Potato Head app would help in the Early Years with learning how to dress themselves. Below is a photo of the app:

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I reviewed an app called Scribble My Story and I added a comment to the Early Years Community along with my fellow students. The reviews are available to view here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pfkTK3YRj1eP81yz7xFgKT75B_lXTBMgNFeFgjWHTAI/edit?hl=en&forcehl=1

As it shows from my comment to the community blog I think the app is good for fine motor skills and being creative. I think it also helps children to express their feelings through a story. The children can choose what story model they want to use. Below is a video of my story that I drafted on the app:

Reflection; The only flaw I found with the app is that it will share within the app but you cannot download it to a computer to keep. Therefore, if I was to do this with children I would ask them to share it within the class and with their peers and I would record the children doing this to keep this as evidence of what they had created. We could also print of screen shots of the books and put them on display with speech bubbles to show what was said in the story.

Pocket phonics is another app I have reviewed. It allows children to practice many phonic skills e.g. listening to sounds and choosing the right sound to go in the word. I think children would be able to access this game independently and I think I would use it as an extension activity at the end of a phonics session. If children are working at all different paces then I would ask the children who finish early to go on the app and complete some phonics activities to reinforce their learning. Below is a photo of the app:

IMG_0034-1queexx-300x225

Overall today’s session has allowed time for me to explore a wealth of apps and to appraise their qualities and disadvantages. On reflection I will look for some apps of my own and I will look back at my blog for advice on apps when I am on placement and in future work.

Review: At the end of the session there was time for some groups to share what they had created. Sarah and Laura made a Story Jumper which I found interesting as it used a familiar book and allowed them to take photos to add their own illustrations to the book. This is something I will look into as I like the idea of children creating books, illustrating them and being the voiceover for them. Although Scribble My Story was good to use, it did not allow me to take my work away from the app and therefore Story Jumper may be an alternative app to use to be able to do this.

I believe viewing each others work gives us all new and fresh ideas and allows us to review a lot of programmes in a short space of time. Therefore with Primary pupils I would also want them to share their work and I would also do a sharing activity in the Early Years. I would encourage the children to be proud of what they have done and show them that not all apps/programs are suitable for every purpose therefore it is good to be critical of ICT and then use or not use these in the future. I would encourage the children to be analytical of everybody’s work and would always ask for 2 stars and a wish to ensure the pupils felt their work was valued.

Reading:

  • Before this session we were asked to read an article on a school that created a week around avatars available from: Caldwell, H. ‘Manipulating Media’, in Caldwell, H & Bird, J. Teaching with Tablets (In press). Sage, London. I found it interesting how they had had this week based around avatars and the different classes did different things. It struck me that lots of computing was used during this week and this was one of the main aims. Apps were used and they were combined to create different things e.g. in Y1 the children made animals and then made Puppet Pals to give them a voice. Overall it was an interesting read, giving lots of innovative ideas for future use.
  • After this session I decided to explore some more apps and found that road block is a fantastic app to practice children’s spelling on. It allows you to create any words and I think it would be a good way of asking parents to have an involvement in children’s spelling at home, using this app.
  • I also decided to look at some of the reading list. Wow I just found this fantastic wheel of apps that could be used with children, this will help to inform me for the future! I have printed a copy and saved a copy for use at a later date available here: padwheelposter.
  • I have also explored an article on apps in schools and educational apps from  http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/ilearn_1_.pdf. It was a very interesting read and what I took away from it was the fact that early years apps are used more in settings and that apps that incorporate many subjects are more popular. Language apps are the most popular, and I think this may be due to the wide variety of EAL children within many classrooms and teachers need to ensure they also get the same learning opportunities as all other children. One more thing I found interesting was the price of children’s educational apps and how they are cheaper than adults apps. Therefore I think they should be valued within the classroom and used wherever possible to enhance and consolidate learning.

Reflection:

Reflecting upon today’s session and extra research I can see the educational value apps can have in the school and I believe that in my future career I will use many of these apps and explore more apps as they come out. Apps are forever changing and new ones are being made and keeping informed on new educational apps is of paramount importance to me to ensure I keep up to date with new technology. Anything that will enhance my teaching or help me in my teaching career is very welcome.

 

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Session 1 of Year 3!

Session 1 of year 3 and I am pleased that we have 6 sessions in year 3 as I am still not 100% confident in using ICT in schools. However, on placement 2b I was exposed to a lot of technology and I integrated the iPads and interactive whiteboards into my lessons. This year I plan to explore new tools and ways of using technology within lesson and on placement.

In session 1 we discussed different forms of storytelling using different apps and programs. Here are some of the suggested apps and programs:

I worked in a pair with Hayley and we decided to use the story of the 3 little pigs and then adapt it so it was a story of 3 farm animals and a storm that blew away their houses. I decided to use the Morfo app as I hadn’t used this before. It was easy to use and I took a photograph of the pig from the story to tell the story from his viewpoint. Below is the finished Morfo I created:

Some advantages of using Morfo with children would be it is a simple tool and once you have taken the initial photo of the character you would like to use then the children can change it to their desired effect and then add a story to the character using the voiceover. It also changes the voice so it doesn’t sound like the person speaking, I think this holds the advantage for children who are shy and lack in confidence as they may feel more empowered knowing that they made the voice but it isn’t apparent to the whole class.

Hayley decided to create the same story on Telligami. She told the story from the viewpoint of the farmer, to give another perspective. We agreed that in a class you could split the children into groups and give them each a character for whom they have to use an app or program like Morfo or Telligami to relate their feelings from the story. Here is Hayley’s Telligami:

Some positives of Telligami is that it is also quite an easy app to use and the people look very real. It also uses the voice of the person speaking into it, this may be an advantage for children who are confident in hearing their own voice on the iPad.

Reflection:

For both the apps we found that the longest clip you could record was 30 seconds, this is a disadvantage of both apps as children couldn’t tell the whole story in that time and it may cut them off when they are speaking. To overcome this we were informed that you can upload both the Morfo and Telligami onto iMovie and create a movie using the characters created on the other 2 apps.

Reading:

I read: Preston, C. and Scott Baker, M. Do young children need access to computers as much as they need to play with sand and water? In: Burden, K. Leask, M. & Younie, S. (Eds.). (2014). Teaching and Learning Using ICT in the Primary School. Taylor & Francis, after this session which can be found at https://nile.northampton.ac.uk/bbcswebdav/pid-211950-dt-announcement-rid-1890646_1/xid-1890646_1.

This was very interesting to me and a few things stood out from the chapter which I will take away from it. The first thing is that although ICT is taught in schools and has been for a long time now, there has never been any teaching of how software is made, just how to use it. This interested me and is why the government have now included computing in the new National Curriculum. If we are going to keep adapting technology and making it better then surely we need to be educating children on how it is made. Another thing that stood out was that using the internet can make things come alive. We, as teachers, can access things to view on the internet that children might never of seen or might never see in their lives. For example a variety of countries, the tallest buildings, the most beautiful nature etc. Therefore I really value its importance in the classroom and will be using it in my future teaching career.

Reflection:

Reflecting on some key issues that were asked of us, I think computing is as important as exploring water and sand as it was specified that most people could not get through a day without technology in modern society. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to educate children on how to use it effectively for their futures. The advantages of children interacting with multi-modal texts on a computer or touch screen could be that it could be more interactive, therefore holding more of an interest to the children, for example voiceovers or animations. I am a firm believer that it should not replace books or any other physical objects but could be used alongside these things to benefit the children and their learning.

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And finally…

And finally my last blog post of Year 2 is reflecting upon this year’s ICT development. Over the 3 sessions and individual work I have gained a wealth of knowledge about Ipads and apps and the suitability of these in schools. I will now take this knowledge and use Ipads with a newly formed confidence within schools.

Reflection:

Last year I achieved A- for my blog. I received feedback stating that I should review other blogs to improve my reflective voice, which I have tried to do and also to engage and reply in responses which I am currently ensuring I do. One thing I took on board from last years blog was finding new tools to use myself through the edublogs help page. This year I have investigated and found a tool called ‘Fotobabble’. It is an exceelent resource, it is quick and easy to make and could be used with any age of children. I firstly uploaded a photo from my computer and then was able to set it in a theme and add my own voice to it. I believe children would love to hear their own voice on the screen, especially being able to animate a photo with their own voice. Therefore I am glad I found this tool and will use it in the future. Here is the one I made:

Blogging over and out for Year 2!
 

 

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Presenting the finished product ….

In session 3 (the final session of ICT for this year), we presented our resources to the rest of the groups and then we watched others present theirs. First of all we had a bit of time to perfect what we were going to present. We decided to make a popplet to show how we could use the app of puppet pals across the EYFS curriculum. Next we volunteered to present first and we agreed to be filmed doing our presentation, below is a link to the finished presentation-

http://youtu.be/-BSteXrxl_8

Reflection:

Being filmed was highly nerve-racking, but has major benefits including self reflection. Although some would say it is ‘cringy’ watching yourself on camera, it also gives you chance to review how well you present things and can then make improvements on these. For example I think I may speak with a clear voice but sometimes I rush through the information and don’t expand enough, although this may have been because I knew we had a time limit. Some of the feedback we got from the other groups about our resources were –

  • It was very informative and geared towards the Early Years
  • The photos used in the trailer and PuppetPals were very clear so everyone could see what was going on
  • One wish would be for the text to be clearer on the iMovie.

We had already realised that the format we had used for the iMovie was not very relevant, especially for children, as it was hard to see and didn’t have the best format. Therefore, if we were to do this again then we would be more careful in our selection of format to use, and if we were using this app with children then it would be a good idea to check for suitable formats for them to choose from before they start. It wouldn’t be an effective lesson if it got to half way through and then we realised that the format didn’t suit the purpose – it would lead to missed learning opportunities for the children.

After presenting ourselves, we watched the other groups and gained lots of ideas for the use of books and ICT. An app used in one of the presentations was a Make Dice app, which I thought would be lovely to use with children and showed that group’s exploration of apps. Below is a picture of the dice app for future use-

image

Overall, I have learnt lots in the 3 sessions about digital media and different ways of using it in the classroom with children.

After this session I engaged in some reading of the reading list and here is an overview of the reading that interested me-

  • The first of the links I explored was http://lhstv.weebly.com/6-word-stories—6-shot-videos.html. This was brilliant, it was students asked to tell  story about themselves in 6 shots. I think you could do this in schools, perhaps in the Early Years it would take a lot more assistance but as you moved up the school they could start to take more ownership of their own 6 shot movies. I believe this is a great tool for PSHE  development, as if the children are worried about something but struggle to express it, they may express it through this means instead of verbalizing. Equally it shows children’s creative side and how they perceive themselves. Reflecting upon this I am going to see if this would work in schools by discussing it with teaching staff at the next placement, it may be something they want to attempt in KS2.
  • The final bit of reading I will reflect on is http://spotlight.macfound.org/featured-stories/entry/technology-in-early-childhood-advice-for-parents-and-teachers-from-a-truste/. This article reviews the use of ICT in early childhood and it in interested me because it is a topic that I often think about, as I wonder if children under 5 really benefit from using ICT. I grew up without ICT until I was at secondary school and therefore wonder how it might have benefitted me under this age. However, the article states that children over 2 do benefit and learn from using ICT as long as it is used in a useful way. I think this is very important, to use ICT in the Early Years but for a purpose and for a suitable amount of time. Non-passive ‘Tv time’ can actually stunt development therefore it needs to be used in a useful way.

Reflection:

Reflecting on this I am going to try and use ICT more on my next placement with Early Years children. I need to have more confidence in how much children of this age can incorporate ICT into their learning without it being too difficult. Therefore I will first of all practice my own technology skills e.g. looking for useful apps to use in schools and then I will use them in the classroom.

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Making amazing resources!

I never thought ICT could be this enjoyable – making resources surrounding our book opened up a wealth of new ideas and as we loved using them so much, then I am sure children would respond in the same way. As we used IMovie in the last lesson and we weren’t 100% keen on it, we decided to make another resource using Puppet Pals. This is another app available free on the Ipad. It was self-explanatory and these are the steps we used to make our PuppetPal movie –

1. We took pictures of puppets brought in from home that represented the characters from our book (The Enormous Crocodile). See pic below –

photo

2. We took pictures of interesting backgrounds that we thought suited the story.
3. We practiced and wrote a script of what was to be said in the movie.
4. We worked as a team with different roles to create the movie – I took on the role of moving the characters and backgrounds and narrating the start of the movie. Rachael was the voice of the crocodile and Hayley was the voice of the other animals.
5. We created and reviewed the story.

Reflection:

I thought this tool was brilliant for working with children, it encourages team work, a sense of pride, many various ICT skills, fine motor skills and story telling.

Below is the movie we created –

After this session I had a browse of all the readings on the list and some particular ones that I found interesting are described below-

  • Beeban Kidron’s TED Talks video about the Shared Wonder of Film is very interesting to me as it explains in depth why film making and film watching is important for children, some reasons being for children to find out about other people’s stories and to make stories of their own. Reflecting upon this video I will definitely be exploring film with my classes in the future. I have embedded the video below:

  • I then read an excellent article by David Andrews on how he introduced Ipads in the school he is working in available at : http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2012/aug/13/schools-secondary-schools. The reason this interested me so much was because he explained the need for teaching staff within a school to become trained on Ipads and the teaching and learning that can occur through Ipads before investing and using them with children. He also listed the top 10 apps he would use with children. Reflecting upon this reading I will now explore some of the apps on the list and use them on placement. It seems the variety of apps he used could have potential cross-curricular links to many areas of the curriculum which is fantastic when creating a ‘Creative Curriculum’, where everything can be integrated.
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Hello Year 2!

The start of Year 2 and in the first of three lessons we learnt about visual media and different ways of using media with children in schools. Some of the programs suggested were –

  • ICan Animate
  • IMovie
  • Videoscribe
  • Puppet Pals
  • Explain Everything
  • Colin’s Big Cat Books
  • Storyboard
  • Story Jumper

We chose groups and I decided to work with Hayley and Rachael to create a group of open-ended tools to use with children based on a book of our choice. We decided to use the book ‘The Enormous Crocodile’ by Roald Dahl. We liked the look of IMovie to make a trailer on the Ipad.

Reflection:

On reflection I saw some positives and some negatives of using IMovie with children. Some positives were that it is visual and you could include pictures of yourselves, which I think children might enjoy as they can be included in the story. However, some negatives were that you have to finish it within your session as you can’t save it and come back later – children may need a break and this may be a limitation of this app. Another negative was you cannot change the sound in the background: so it is a set piece of music – it would be nice to have picked our own piece of music. Reflecting upon this session I would use IMovie with older children as they can understand the time limit they have to make their movie within. In the next session we are going to make more resources for our chosen book using different apps or computer software and then I will review and evaluate these in the coming weeks.

Below is the resource we made from this session – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bA4BrYp9Dbw&feature=c4-overview&list=UU7JJVgxOca29ZZ7kb73UP2A

After this session I embarked on some reading from the reading list to see how I could adapt my own skills in technology and to see if I could find some good resources to use with children. I have given a brief overview of the reading below:

  • MediaEd have created an excellent website all about how to make films with children, available from: http://mediaed.org.uk/using_film_in_schools/teaching-filmmaking. I would recommend and use this website when working with children as it gives you basic tips about how to position your camera etc, to ideas for projects and teaching ideas. This source will prove very handy when working with children on film making.
  • ICT in the Early Years is another website that gives lots of information about ICT in education, it is aimed at very young children and therefore will be very beneficial for me to use when teaching in the Early Years. It suggests ideas of how to teach different concepts, how to assess and gives some relevant resources to use. It is available from: http://www.teachnursery.com/learning-and-development/view/ict-in-the-early-years.

After all my reading and research, I have discovered the importance of digital media in the Early Years and KS1 and I will take this on board when in practice.

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