During one of the sessions we were introduced to Wordle.
You visit the site and type in words related to a topic that you are studying. You can choose text type, layout and colour and you also have the option to print. If you use wordle you could print out and use for a display. In literacy you could ask for children to tell you adjectives and type them in to display on the working wall. The potential is limitless.
Wordle: ICT blog

History and ICT

During a history session in year 2 we looked at how ICT can be used to teach history. Myself, Louise, Treena and Eden made this short video telling the story of Mary Queen of Scots. This is one example of how ICT can be used in the teaching of history. Children research an event and make a video to tell the story. Simple character puppets can easily and cheaply be made from card, lollipop sticks and blu-tack.

I hope you enjoyed the video and maybe learnt a bit of history too.

Vision Statement

Vision Statement
This vision for the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the primary school is that it encourages children to become creative, it allows children to express themselves through a variety of digital technologies and it promotes communication, collaboration and confidence within each individual child. Fundamental to this is that children should be taught the knowledge and skills with which to keep them safe online, knowledge and skills which will be transferable between both school and home. I also believe that quality ICT should prepare children for the “high tech” world of their future, equipping them with outstanding life and career skills which can be taken with them and developed further in secondary education and then on to the workplace. With this in mind, this vision would also be that ICT is used effectively across the whole curriculum to enhance all subjects through its use.

Teaching must be of a high quality to achieve the above, Bill Gates (2012, page five) states,
“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.”
The enthusiasm, creativity and expertise of the teacher are paramount to delivering a curriculum which will engage and excite the children in order to achieve the above. Ofsted (2012) state that outstanding teachers have consistently high expectations of pupils and outstanding teaching allows all children to make rapid and sustained progress.

I also believe that the government has a duty to the children of the future in providing funding to enable ALL schools to be able to equip themselves with the latest digital technology in order to ensure digital literacy throughout
Great Britain.

With the disapplication of the most recent programmes of study for ICT at Key Stages 1 and 2 schools are free to develop their own curricula for ICT until 2014, at which time the revised programmes of study will be enforced (DfE, 2012). The new draft curriculum programmes of study are listed as: Teaching pupils Digital Literacy; Teaching Information Technology (IT) and Teaching Computer Science, (Naace, 2012). With this in mind, I will consider how this vision of ICT will encompass the proposals for the new curriculum.

Digital literacy is described as “the ability to access, use, and express oneself using digital technology, including a critical understanding of technology’s impact on the individual and society,” (Naace, 2012). Children should be taught to use visual, textual or audio modes in order to communicate and represent their knowledge in different contexts and to different audiences.

“Information Technology (IT) covers the use and application of digital systems to develop technological solutions purposefully and creatively,” (Naace, 2012).
If children are given ‘real life’ problems or contexts to work with in the classroom they can develop solutions to problems in a more purposeful way with deeper understanding.

“Computer Science (CS) is the subject discipline that explains how computer systems work, how they are designed and programmed, and the fundamental principles of information and computation,” (Naace, 2012). Ian Livingstone (2011) states that,
“The UK is slipping down the global games development league table and the UK’s visual effects industry is turning down millions of pounds in business each year.” If children are taught the principles of computer science from KS1 it will equip them for life in a highly technological world.

Watch this video http://www.theblaze.com/stories/tech-savvy-baby-tries-to-work-print-magazine-as-an-ipad , Klimas (2011) which highlights how toddlers are in touch with technology. Children are extremely capable of engaging with technology. By learning how systems work and how they are programmed will reduce the skills gap in industry in the future. Allowing children to create games and animations themselves through programmes such as scratch gives children an introduction to programming. This is a way of equipping children for the future.

The way in which the internet facilitates communication is central to this vision of ICT in the future. Quadblogging is an excellent way in which schools can communicate with one another on a regular basis. Children can communicate globally through such mediums as Skype, e-mail and blogs via the classroom under the direction of the teacher.

Leading on from here this vision includes children being taught how to stay safe online both at school and at home. All schools have an internet policy and probably all schools have a filtering system built in for child safety, but as a teacher, you have a responsibility to your pupils to make them aware of the dangers and risks of using the internet unprotected at home. Children can be taught how to use the internet responsibly and safely whilst finding information they require and enjoying working online.

To conclude, this vision for ICT for the future is to allow children to experience a range of digital technologies in a fun, productive and interactive way which builds confidence and collaboration. ICT should be taught in a stimulating way through the enthusiasm and expertise of the teacher to allow children to make rapid and sustained progress. Through ICT children should be taught computer science skills in order that they may make a contribution to industry in later years. Children should be made fully aware of internet safety which will protect them both at school and at home yet allow them internet access on a global scale.
Department for Education (2012) New Primary Curriculum for ICT [Online] Available from: http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/curriculum/primary/b00199028/ict [Accessed 25/11/12]
Department for Education (2012) Draft ICT Programme of Study not endorsed by DoE [pdf] [Online] Available from: http://www.raeng.org.uk/education/ict_programme_of_study/Initial_Draft_ICT.pdf [Accessed 25/11/12].
Gates, B. (2012) Exciting Learning: Using Technology to Improve Education. [online] Available from: http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDkQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fblogs.msdn.com%2Fcfs-filesystemfile.ashx%2F__key%2Fcommunityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles%2F00-00-01-38-39-Docs%2F3857.Microsoft-Education-UK-ebook-_2D00_-Exciting-Learning.pdf&ei=LtKxUIuoC6OG0AWopYGoDg&usg=AFQjCNFxMrAiu-tHyDOL10m1flEZYbnDuw&sig2=fpN0DpdGWg1irn_WYdNDWA [accessed 25/11/12].
Klimas, L. (2011) Tech-Savvy Baby Tries to Work Print Magazine as an iPad [online] Available from http://www.theblaze.com/stories/tech-savvy-baby-tries-to-work-print-magazine-as-an-ipad/ [accessed 25/11/12].
Livingstone, I (2011) ‘Seismic shift’ in computer education. [online] Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-15926871 [Accessed on 25/11/12].
Naace (2012) ICT Programme of Study Consultation. [online] Available from: http://www.naace.co.uk/naacecurriculum/programmeofstudyconsultation [Accessed on 25/11/12]
Ofsted (2012) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Survey Visits. [online] Available from: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/generic-grade-descriptors-and-supplementary-subject-specific-guidance-for-inspectors-making-judgemen [Accessed on 25/11/12].
Scratch (2012) Scratch. [online] Available from: http://scratch.mit.edu/ [Accessed on 25/11/12].

ICT in the classroom. How will you use yours?

ICT in the classroom – how will you use yours?

We were told about animoto in one of the ICT sessions and that it can be used to create videos. i wanted to try it out so I created a short video showing children using ICT both inside and outside the classroom.

Animoto is a web application that uses photos, video clips and music to produces videos. On the site it states that, “Educators can apply for a free Animoto Plus account for use in the classroom.” This would be extremely useful for creating videos as a stimulus for a lesson, or photographs of the children could be used to create a video to be shown at parents evening highlighting the work that the children have been involved in. The way animoto produces videos and slideshows is more visually interesting than a powerpoint slide show. Text can also be added if you want to.

The site takes you through the process step by step with prompts to help you. First I chose a piece of music, next I uploaded the photographs that I wanted to use. You are able to change the order of the photographs before you produce your video if necessary. Finally, preview your video before producing it.

I would definately use animoto to create videos for lessons in the future as I think they would be a good visual stimulus and could be used across the whole curriculum.

Session 6: Blogfolios

Session 6 was our final ICT session. During the session we were given time to edit and add to our blogs and were given the evaluation sheets to complete. There was also an online survey to complete which I did during the session.

Reflection and Evaluation of learning:

Over the past six weeks I have used programmes that I have never used before for creative projects. I have found the whole six weeks extremely beneficial as it has given me an abundance of resources and ideas to use in the classroom. From iPads, iMovies, wordle, scratch, QR codes, Triptico, PuppetPals, Blogging – all of this has been new to me and will help enormously when on my final placement. I have tried to engage fully with the lessons and have tried to experiment with everything that has been suggested – even if it wasn’t all in ICT (we used iMovie in science). I have learnt a great deal and have enjoyed working in groups to create classroom resources and medium term plans.

I would like to thank Chad and Lindsay for being my work partners and Gareth and Helen for all their help and advice. Thank you to everyone who commented on my blog and for all hints and tips as to how resources can be used in the classroom.

To improve, I need to have more practise using an iPad in order to build my confidence. Using the apps which are available and discovering new apps which would enhance learning in the classroom would develop my ICT knowledge further. I need to continue using scratch at home, experimenting with more ways to create successful games and animations.

Year 3 has been most beneficial and I have really enjoyed the experience.

Session 5: Mobile Technologies: curriculum applications

During today’s session we completed our classroom resource. Myself, Chad and Lindsay worked together using QR codes and scan.me to create a ‘Treasure Hunt’ activity in the University grounds.

Firstly we took photographs around the grounds using a digital camera making some of the images a little more tricky to identify in order to make the activity more interesting. Initially, we were going to use an ipad to take the photographs but decided that the picture quality would be better using a digital camera.

Back in class we uploaded the photographs onto powerpoint slides. It was at this point that we discovered that each photograph would need a URL in order to create a QR code. We also wanted to send a message with the pictures so we placed text on the photos underneath the. The text formed a quotation from Einstein. In order to complete the task children would collect the words and then re-arrange them to create the quote.

Our idea was quite simple but extremely time consuming – we did wonder if this would be feasible as a teacher with limited time but Helen suggested that the children could create the resource themselves. I liked this idea, especially if the older children could create a resource/activity for chilren lower in the school.

Next we created QR codes relating to the photographs. The idea was that children would start in the classroom by scanning a code. This would show a picture and a word. Children would go to where the picture instructed them to go and note down the word which appeared after scanning the code with an ipad.

After finding all the locations and words children should have the quote by Einstein.

We decided to use PhotoPeach to display the photos on our Blogs.

Session 4: Mobile Technologies

During this session we explored Quick Response (QR) codes. I had seen them on some products and on BBM on my phone but had never used them before.

Scan me for a little message.

There are many ways in which to use QR codes in the primary classroom and they could be used in all core and foundation subjects. In maths children could answer questions as we did in our session. In literacy clues could be hidden within them if studying the mystery genre. Children could become detectives in the classroom to solve they mystery. Children could create a classroom museum in history and QR codes could be made to inform children about the artefacts. Initially children could examine the artefacts to decide what they think they are, how old they are, where they have come from and who they may have belonged to. When children have made their guesses they could check if they are right by reading the QR codes. Then they could create their own QR codes and open the museum to other classes.

Session 3: Computing: curriculum applications

Today’s lesson was all about how you, as a teacher, would introduce programming to children.

Our group (myself, Chad and Lindsay) looked at how a year 6 class could use scratch to develop a game.  To add more excitement we decided to create a “Dragon’s Den”scenario where the best game would be chosen.

We tried to incorporate as much ICT into the lessons as possible using Answer Garden, Wall Wisher, Morpho and Scratch.

Following on from last week, Chad, Lindsay and I worked together to produce a unit of work using Scratch. The unit of work is aimed at Year 6 children, as their final ICT project before moving to secondary school.

Overall unit objective:  We are learning to create an animated game.

Lesson 1: Testing games

In the first activity the children are to work in mixed ability pairs to play a range of games from the sqowrl set. They are to add words about what makes a good game to the class answer garden. Children can all work on the class answer garden at the same time, with the words presented updating in real time. If a child likes someone else’s word they can click on it and then re-submit it. This makes the word bigger, showing that more people agree with this opinion.

Ingredients of a good game… at AnswerGarden.ch.

The answer garden can be turned into a word cloud (the one in this blog post was made in wordle). The class can discuss the different words that they have come up with together to ascertain what are the most important ingredients of a video game.

Lesson 2: Fish tank game

Discuss as a class how video games are created.

Introduce the children to Scratch. Go through how to create a simple fish tank game. Get the children to work in friendship pairs. Provide the children with the online video demo of the game, so that they can refer to it when making it in their pairs.

When the children have created their fish tank game they can upload it to the Scratch website and to a class sqworl link (containing the games made by the different pairs). They can they select different scratch card activities to help them further explore the potential of Scratch.

Lesson 3: The Dragons’ Den

Show the children the Morfo video of Duncan Bannatyne setting the challenge for the children by clicking on this link: The Dragon’s Task.

Generate success criteria for computer games with the children using Spicynodes. The children could have a basline target for how many of the different elements to include in their games, for example 3. Here’s an example of a success criteria we created earlier:

Lesson  4: Making games

Children work in friendship pairs to create their games. They use wallwisher as a working wall to document their ideas and queries. We liked the idea of this in principle, but we found that in practise it was chunky and we’d prefer to have it for refernce at all times – not just in ICT.

Lesson 5: Poll rating

In the final stage of the unit of work the children present the work to a panel of Dragons. This can be supported with a poll on the class blog for children to vote for their favourite game.