This session was about looking at educational visits and how they can benefit learning in RE. We also looked at the pros and cons of having visitors in the classroom.
Bringing someone into the classroom can give information that comes directly from a primary source and can engage children more. It can excite them and up their interest levels. It will also allow children to ask questions but it is vital that these are thought up before the visitor comes in so that the teacher can ensure they are suitable. It is also important that the teacher checks what the visitor is going to talk about and they also need to make sure that the visitor talks about appropriate material.
Before moving onto talking about educational visits we were asked to talk about visits that we had been on as pupils. This helped to think about what makes a trip good or bad and why they are beneficial.
We then split into groups and planned a visit to a specific location. We chose Exeter Cathedral. We came up with different ideas about what pupils could do their on the day, this included ideas such as drawing windows or creating a piece of creative writing. There is also a virtual tour on the website. this could be visited before using ipads or the smartboard for the pupils to plan their visit.
In this session we experimented with different activities to do with coding.
We chose to settle with Bee Bots. These are electronic devices that can be easily programmed by pupils to move in certain directions. These can then be used to do a range of activities. We came up with the idea of getting the pupils to make their bee bots move in directions that would take them from their current location to the school hall.
They could create maps on A1 pieces of paper and make their bee bots travel along it. This then links into geography (map work) and maths (co-ordinates).
There is also a Bee Bot app for ipads which allows the children to do certain tasks and travel their way through mazes and obstacles interactively.
During this session I also created a Tag Cloud using the Widgets option.
In todays session we were manipulating media to use in the classroom. We decided to create a video of Is this the way to amarillo? This is because children in need is on friday and so this this activity could be done by the children.
We originally planned on using a green screen to change the background of where we were but the app for this would not work due to the ipad being updated to ios7 and the app itself not being changed. Because of this we decided to film it in different parts of the campus and then put the various clips together using Windows Movie Maker before later uploading to youtube.
This activity can be easily replicated by children but it shows the issue with technology. When planning to do this in the class the ipads would all need to be checked beforehand to ensure all are working.
This link from the BBC discusses iPads in the classroom and gives some key tips to teachers who are thinking about using them and ideas on how to get the most out of them.