Reflections on my ICT Learning Journey


Posted by Sarah | Posted in Apps, My interest | Posted on November 7, 2014





I created a short VideoScribe to take a look at some of the key points I felt I have learnt about ICT in schools during my training. I had never used this app on the iPad before and really enjoyed using it. I think it looks extremely effective, and I can see how this could be a really good way of displaying children’s ideas. It was a little tricky to get used to using at first, but it was quite simple once you knew what to do. I think there is a good choice of fonts and pictures, and I really liked how you could animate some of the pictures. I think the children would find this really fun to use.

Classroom of the Future?


Posted by Sarah | Posted in Children's Learning | Posted on November 6, 2014

Although these children in this picture are older than primary school pupils, it got me thinking about what the classrooms of the future would look like. Will they be more sterile looking as in the picture? Will they be packed full of technology? Will displays be all digital? I think it would be a shame if our classrooms lost too much of their character to accomodate for technology, but I understand that the growth of technology in our schools is increasing. I would be interested to get some opinions from others as to what they think about this classroom? Personally I think it looks very cold, very unwelcoming but at the same time I can see how this could be exciting to children.

Planning For The Future – A Vision For ICT in Education.


Posted by Sarah | Posted in Children's Learning, Directed Tasks, My interest | Posted on November 6, 2014

The world of technology is constantly evolving at a faster pace than ever. Technology doesn’t stand still. As teachers we are helping to educate the next generation using technology that may be redundant by the time the pupils leave school, and to use technology that has not yet been invented. This provides teachers with a real challenge of how we prepare our next generations for these changes.


ICT in the Curriculum.

The importance of ICT in education is demonstrated by the inclusion of the subject in both the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and the National Curriculum.  Within the EYFS ICT learning can generally be found within Understanding of the World and children should be taught the understanding that a variety technology is found and used in places such as their homes and schools. Children should also be taught how to select and use technology for a specific reason (DfE, 2014). It is never too young to introduce children to technology and ICT. Even with our youngest children ICT can help to support their learning. It can be stimulating and engaging and can provide children with an insight into the world around them. Even the youngest children will have been exposed to technology in the world around them from parents using mobile phones, to seeing cash registers whilst out shopping. Introducing technology to young children can feed their curiosity and they appear to enjoy experimenting with the hardware. Children love to take photographs, record themselves or use iPads or whiteboards for drawing for example. When the National Curriculum was amended for implementation in 2014, the role of ICT was adapted to meet the perceived changes in technology and its use in the future. Within the National Curriculum the Government suggested, “A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world” (DfE, 2013 p1). The new National Curriculum aims to provide children with a good understanding of current and future technology, computing skills and for children to be able to write and debug simple programmes. I think it is important that Computing is taught to children across all Key Stages. Teaching children more about ICT than just how to use an iPad or how to play games, should help children prepare for the future. Learning key skills such as computer coding and debugging will only aid our children in inventing and using new technology.


Internet or e-safety is a big concern for many schools, parents and children. It is essential you repeatedly reinforce eSafety messages, whilst allowing children to see there are also gains to using the internet and sharing their work with the world (Naace, 2012 p17). Cyber bullying is also a big topic due to the rise in popularity of social media platforms. Cyber bullying can take place 24 hours a day and can have more impact than face to face bullying as it is not always as visible to other people (Metcalfe et al. 2012, 123). The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) was created to help provide support to Parents, People working with children and the children themselves to help stay safe whilst on the internet, and to help prevent and provide a safe pathway for the reporting of exploitation (National  Crime Agency, 2014). I was fortunate to attend an e-safety training evening at a placement school and this offered me invaluable insight into the dangers and how to avoid them.  I believe it is important that schools have robust policies for teaching children about e-safety, and that all adults and children are taught to adhere to them rigidly. During the e-safety training I was introduced to CEOP’s website, Think U Know and Hector the dolphin. I think these are both fantastic resources for teaching children about staying safe on the internet, and I would certainly encourage the use of this kind of resource to help protect children in my care.  More on the support provided by CEOP can be found at: I hold the view that is also essential to ensure the safety of all adults working with the children when they are using the internet either themselves or in the classroom. I will aim to provide a safe environment where children are aware of the dangers of cyber bullying, and where they feel confident in reporting anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or hurt.


Digital Literacy.

Digital Literacy is something that is growing in importance. 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). Communication through technology has massively increased and children need to be taught the ability to find and share information, as well as be able to communicate with others effectively. “Digital Literacy as important as reading and writing”, stated Gurney-Read. (Gurney-Read, 2013). I firmly believe children should be taught how to communicate through emails and messages, but I do not believe this should be taught to replace written or verbal communication. I have been part of a group who through my son’s school were communicating with a school in the USA. I saw the enjoyment that the children got from sending and receiving emails to each other as well as making video calls. This is a form of learning which can span the curriculum and this is a project I think would be really valuable to the children in my class in supporting their digital literacy and communication skills. I think creating this kind of learning within my classroom also demonstrates to children that technology and communicating through ICT is a feature of life worldwide.

ICT can be taught online or offline, and I consider that both these methods are as important as each other and will strive to support both within my classroom. I have experienced a child who didn’t know the answer to a question and when he asked his friend, the response immediately was, “use Google”.  It’s fantastic that children as young as 5 years old have this awareness of where they can source information, but I think it is important that they are taught there are alternative ways to source information. I want to teach children that ICT isn’t always about using computers or iPads, but that it can be using calculators, cameras and other forms of hardware. It can be writing codes or alogorithms on paper, or it can be giving a verbal algorithm to complete a task. It has been shown that ICT can improve thinking skills especially when relating to problem solving. Wegerif stated,” Computers can help develop children’s thinking skills when used as part of a larger dialogue about thinking and learning” (Wegerif, 2002). ICT learning should I believe be delivered through effective collaborative learning. The teacher needs to help to set the learning whilst at times allowing educational programmes and apps to support and lead to some independent learning. I aim to allow my children some freedom to explore the technology and the ways in which they can independently use it, whilst still introducing them to aspects that are important in the curriculum.

Cross Curricular Learning.

Computing within the classroom and using ICT to support cross curricular learning is something that I am very interested in. C ross curricu;ar learning using ICT can help to bring subjects to life and can offer opportunities to learn in ways that may not be possible without the technologies.  For example children can take a virtual tour of a castle, or they can use slow motion cameras to capture a seed growing in science.Using ICT or technology within the classroom can make the learning more accessible to all. ICT may engage and stimulate in subjects where a particular child does not normally show an interest. It is suggested that using ICT can engage a child in an area of learning for longer than they would normally spend on it, thus increasing learning (Higgins. no date, 8). ICT may support children who have a special educational need, perhaps for example a visual impairment or physical disability. Some children may also require their own ICT equipment to support their learning needs and access to the curriculum. It is important to create an environment that is flexible in regards to using the technologies that are required to allow some children to learn. This is a view supported by Caldwell et al who suggest that children should not feel stigmatised for being different. (Caldwell et al, 2014 p59). I think it is crucial to embrace these needs and look to provide ways of introducing learning through technology that allows these children to engage, participate and enjoy. I aim to promote the use of  ICT to support children with EAL as this could be of benefit for these children In including them in the learning. I will  look to build a collection of resources and ideas that will support the learning of English.  Simpson et al suggest “Children for whom English is an additional language will also flourish where a visual, hands-on approach and collaborative project development is encouraged” ( Simpson et al, 2012).


My Vision For My ICT Teaching.

 During my time at the university I feel I have learnt many valuable ideas of how to use ICT to support learning, how to keep the children and adults I work with safe and have developed a deeper understanding of the technologies available. I believe I have learnt to widen my views on what ICT and Computing actually is and the hardware needed to provide this. It doesn’t have to be all expensive computers and technologies, complicated apps and software as I first thought. I feel extremely confident about using ICT within my classroom to support and extend the learning of my class. 

I thoroughly believe that the use of ICT within the classroom has its benefits in supporting our children in learning life skills and how to prepare for the new technologies of the future. I believe that its use should be encouraged to stimulate learning and to engage with a subject. It should also be used to create new ways of learning and sourcing information to help with learning. I am of the belief ICT should enhance the learning of new skills, but it should not be used to replace traditional methods of learning completely. Children still need to be taught the skills of reading a book and written communication using pens and paper. I want children to feel safe, secure and confident about using various forms of hardware and software, and I hope to stimulate their curiosity in computing and technology evolution. I also envisgae making childrens learning visible to parents. I think it is a good idea to look at possibilities of introducing parents into the classroom to share in ICT learning to help them develop their own skills, but to also allow them to feel more confident in supporting their child. I would also like to intorduce blogginf to my classroom to allow parents and the rest of the school community to share in our learning. ICT is a very exciting area with new evolutions of technology coming thick and fast, and I am relishing the opportunity to help the next generation get the benefits of embracing computing.


Caldwell, H. and Honeyford, G. (2014) Computing and Digital Literacy. In: Smith, P. and Dawes, L. Subject Teaching in Primary Education. London: Sage. p43-64.

Cornell University. (2009) Digital Literacy Is. [online]. Available from: [Accessed 2nd November 2014].

DfE. (2014) Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage Setting the Standards for Learning, Development and Care for Children From Birth to Five. London: Crown Publishers.

DfE. (2013) Computing Programmes of Study: Key Stages 1 and 2. [online]. Available from: [Accessed 2nd November 2014].

Gurney-Read. (2013) Digital Literacy as Important as Reading and Writing. [online[. Available from: [Accessed 2nd November 2014].

Higgins, S. (no date) Does ICT Improve Learning and Teaching in Schools? [online]. Available from: [Accessed 3rd November 2014].

Metcalfe, J. And Simpson, D. (2012) Learning online: the internet, social networking and e-safety. In: Simpson, D. And Toyn, M. Primary ICT Across the Curriculum. (2nd ed) London: Learning Matters.

Naace. (2012) Naace Curriculum Framework. [online]. Available from: [Accessed 2nd November 2014].

National Crime Agency (2014) About CEOP. [online]. Available from: [Accessed 2nd November 2014].

Simpson, D., and Metcalfe, J. (2012) Creating, Processing and Manipulating Information. In: Simpson, D. and Toyn, M. (eds) Primary ICT Across the Curriculum. (2nd ed) London: Learning Matters. P52-76.

Wegerif, R (2002) Literature Review in Thinking Skills, Technology and Learning. [online]. Available from: [Accessed 2nd November 2014].

STEAM Project


Posted by Sarah | Posted in Children's Learning, Directed Tasks | Posted on November 6, 2014

Following an ICT session we were given a directed task which was to watch and reflect upon a short video about a project that a loacl school had carried out. The project was called STEAM and it was conducted at Bridgewater Primary School in Northampton. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. The school focussed upon an interest that the children have in popular game Minecraft, and they developed their project based upon this to stimulate the children’s learning. The project involved lots of cross curricular learning with opportunities for children to use various ICT skills. The whole school was engaged in the project and shared their work creating a sense of shared ownership and community. On reflection I think this could be a really beneficial project to engage children in and it would be very interesting to try to initiate something similar in the future. This kind of project could stimulate children to engage in new subjects, work with different groups of children and also learn new skills.

Education City as a Learning Resource.


Posted by Sarah | Posted in Children's Learning, Early Years | Posted on November 6, 2014

The last session of ICT during my degree has been completed. The three years have gone very quickly but I have learnt so much!

In the final session we looked at some softwares that can be used to suport learning withing the classroom. The first of these we looked at was Education City. This was a programme I had used on a previous placement and it is a software I really like. Education City is bright and colourful and I think it is extremely appealing to children. Education City is broken down into subject areas and these are broken down further into the individual year groups and key stages. I really like how some of these activities had complete lesson plans supporting them which offered offline learning as well to support the topic. These were in the form of a written lesson plan with links to the curriculum and clearly defined outcomes and objectives. There were also printable worksheets to extend the topic as well as the actual online learning. I chose to look at a Science activity designed for a foundation stage class. Children had to complete jigsaw puzzles on screen by selecting the right tool for the job that was being completed in a garden. I thought it was very useful and inclusive that these activities had verbal as well aas written instructions. I found it a really good idea to have a timer on screen as this limits the amount of time children are able to spend completing the online activity.

I also found some nice activities on Education City designed to help develop critical thinking skills and children with EAL. Pictures were shown on the screen and children had to talk about the scenario or move the text into the right order for example. I can see how these could be used to support children’s learning.

Education City can be found at:

To watch a video showing an overview of Education City click this link


I think Education City is a very good resource and I think it is something that I would use within my classroom to support children’s learning. These kind of programmes can help stimulate learning outside of the classroom. Children enjoy engaing with these games style learning tools and may be inclined to complete more online learning outside of school. I have seent his with my own children and their own use of Mathletics as a learning resource.



Making Learning Visible and Assessment.


Posted by Sarah | Posted in Assessment, Children's Learning | Posted on November 3, 2014

Apps that allow for teacher assessment are become increasingly popular. More apps are being made available to schools which allow for the creation of children’s profiles or learning journeys on an iPad or computer. One of the major benefits of using these apps is that it allows teachers to take a picture and annotate the pictures almost instantly. There are many apps and software products available, and I took a look at the Evernote programme.

Evernote allows for a range of multimedia to be used when recording information about children. Teaching staff can take photographs of work that children have completed and save it into a notebook which has been created for each individual child. Children themselves can create notes to annotate their work, but if the children are unable to write either through age or lack of ability they can record their own voice talking about their work. I think this is quite a nice feature as some children may find it difficult to write accurately about their work. Teachers may also interpret the work incorrectly if they annotate it on behalf of the child. This software seems simple to use and would avoid the sticking of work and notes into a book for each child.

Another app which could be used to create a learning profile for children is three ring. This appears to be quite a similar concept to Evernote. Again you can use a range of different tools to create a learning profile for each child. Using this kind of application could save time as snapshots can be taken immediately and annotated. When the teacher uses more traditional methods to create a learning journal for the children notes can be left to one side, photographs may not be stuck in immediately and it may be hard to remember the context of the observation or piece of work.


Tapestry is another app which can be used to create an online learning profile. This app allows quick observations to be made either through photographs or writing, and  allows teachers to select a statement from the EYFS and link it to the observation. Profiles can be built for children that last across the foundation stage that can then be passed to the reception teacher when the child starts school.

I have never seen any of these apps being used on placements. I can see the positives of using these apps and programmes in that they can save time, may be more organised and could look more professional. However there is a associated cost with purchasing these apps as well as time taken in training staff. Personally as a parent I would refer to be handed a hard copy of my child’s learning profile. I think these are nicer to keep and nicer to share with family or friends.

Learning Across the Curriculum Using ICT


Posted by Sarah | Posted in Children's Learning, Early Years, National Curriculum | Posted on November 3, 2014

ICT is being used more frequently across the curriculum. ICT can help stimulate any subject by being used as a starter for example maybe with a video to introduce a topice or a theme. ICT also lends itself to being used as a research tool to support the learning. Children may use iPads or computers to access infotmation on the internet to support their learning in a particular subject. ICT can also be used to create the pieces of work that children produce. Children could create pieces of art or music on a ipad, they could produce a piece of literacy on a computer or they may use pieces of technology in science as part of an experiment.

Geography is a foundation subject that lends itself very well to using ICT. Children can use Google maps for example to look at their local community, before maybe going out for a community walk and then creating their own maps.

Green screening in History would be a great way to bring the history to life. Children could be given the opportunity to record themselves using this technology standing in scenarios or locations linked to historical topics that they are learning about. This could make the learning itself more engaging to the child and could also make it appear more real. Children could interview historical figures or maybe create news reports for events that have happened in history.


There are lots of apps and software that are available to help with cross curricular learning using ICT. These apps could be used to record the children’s work, maybe for an observaation or to allow the children to share their work with the rest of the class later. Apps such as Shadowpuppet ed or Puppet Pals could be used to support literacy learning as children can retall their own stories. Cross curricular learning using ICT can also be done on a larger scale. Smartboard technology or websites such as Purple Mash or Education City can be used for whole class learning. These websites could be used to introduce a whole class to a theme or topic. These activities could then be left on so that children can access them on the whitebaord throughout the session to further support their learning.  Using a whiteboard can help to get a whole class involved in the learning and it could make the children more engaged. I watched a video where a teacher explained how he used the whiteboard to engage his children in a Geography lesson. The teacher explains how children can have a go, see the maps moving and how it brings the learning to life. This is definately an interesting idea that I would consider using in my teaching.

QR codes is something that what completely new to me. I had seen QR codes, I had scanned them occasionally myself but I had never considered how they could be used within the classroom. I thought this would be quite a difficult and complex task to complete but was genuinely surprised at its ease. I can see how children would really enjoy using these codes within the classroom too investigate and complete learning in adifferemt way.

  This image sums up very well exactly what I thought about QR codes prior to this session. I did some further reseravch and reading following the lesson about how to create them and came across a video showing children using them in a lesson. It was great to see how excited the children were about hunting for the codes and seeing what the code would bring up on their iPads. This video also demonstrates how even children in the foundation stage can use basic QR codes to extend their learning using technology. The idea that each one has a different job I think is a really nice theme and is something I would consider using within my classroom.

From my own experience, I have seen how much the children like to access these activities.  I have seen children engage with a topic that they may not have previously shown as much interest in. It is a way of suppporting all the learning styles in the classroom, and unlike writing answers children can easily erase any mistakes without the feeling that they are ruining their work. There is an argument that sometimes ICT can be used too frequently and can take away practise of traditional skills such as writing and drawing, but I think using ICT to support learning in all areas of the curriculum definately has its advantages. It can make the learning more inclusive and also more enagaging, but I hold the belief that ICT should enhance not replace.