Classroom of the Future?

1

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.

0

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.

 E-Safety.

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: https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk. 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.

References.

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: http://digitalliteracy.cornell.edu/. [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: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/239033/PRIMARY_national_curriculum_-_Computing.pdf. [Accessed 2nd November 2014].

Gurney-Read. (2013) Digital Literacy as Important as Reading and Writing. [online[. Available from:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationopinion/10436444/Digital-literacy-as-important-as-reading-and-writing.html. [Accessed 2nd November 2014].

Higgins, S. (no date) Does ICT Improve Learning and Teaching in Schools? [online]. Available from: http://dysgu.cymru.gov.uk/docs/learningwales/publications/121122ictlearningen.pdf. [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: www.naace.co.uk/naacecurriculum. [Accessed 2nd November 2014].

National Crime Agency (2014) About CEOP. [online]. Available from: http://ceop.police.uk/About-Us/. [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: www.futurelab.org.uk. [Accessed 2nd November 2014].

STEAM Project

0

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.

0

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:  http://www.educationcity.com/

To watch a video showing an overview of Education City click this link http://www.educationcity.com/uk/video/showcase-educationcitycom

  

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.

0

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

0

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.

Computing in the New National Curriculum.

0

Posted by Sarah | Posted in Children's Learning, National Curriculum | Posted on October 13, 2014

In todays ICT lecture we have been taking a look at some simple programs that can be used to introduce computing and coding to Reception children and Key Stage 1 children. The idea of computing being introduced into the curriculum was previously quite scary as I wasn’t really sure exactly what this is involved. Also some of the language associated with computing is quite scary, but when you look at the definitions it becomes a lot less daunting. The word Algorithm filled me with horror when I saw it in the new National Curriculum, but when you see it defined as a step by step set of instructions to solve a problem it suddenly seems so much friendlier.

I chose to take a look at the 2code program on Purple Mash. This offered lots of options for writing simple codes using simple game style challenges. I chose to look at the snail race. I thought this would be an idea that would appeal to many young children and it is something that you could link to other areas of the curriculum for example Science or Understanding of the World. The program itself was very bright and colourful and I thought it was visually appealing. The program itself was fairly easy to use once you understood the principles, but I can see how younger children would need the task explaining to them. This is  maybe something that could be done as a group or whole class activity to introduce the program and to explain the instructions. There were many other coding activities on Purple  Mash that could be used to introduce children to basic computing skills, and these could link to many other areas of the curriculum and also to unplugged learning.

Computing in the new Curriculum can be as simple as moving a sprite or character around a screen using a set of instructions. Children can write algorithms to move the. Bars gets around the screen often to complete a challenge such as collecting items or following a prescribed path. Good apps for introducing this type of coding from the Foundation stage include Move the Turtle or Daisy the Dinosaur. Both these apps are bright and colourful and would appeal visually to children. They are both quite used friendly and simple to use the functions. Daisy the Di issue however is only a small app and only has 5 challenges to complete and this may not stretch some children’s learning very far. Daisy also requires some reading to be able to programme the dinosaur to move, so this app may require a bit more explanation or support from the adult.

 

After today’s session I definately feel more confident in teaching computing in Key Stage 1.  I am going to further my knowledge by taking a look at the BBC Bitesize we page about computing to get some further ideas on how to introduce he subject and for some activities I can use whilst teaching.

Apps and Web Based Learning Tools.

1

Posted by Sarah | Posted in Apps, Children's Learning, Early Years, My interest | Posted on October 11, 2014

There has been a huge increase in the number of apps and web based programmes designed to support learning both inside and outside of the classrrom. Today in our ICT lecture we took a quick toour through some of these apps and webbased programmes to discuss how they could be used and where they link to with regards to supporting children.

Having two primary aged children of my own, I have seen the increase in the amount of web based and app based learning that takes place in schools. Both of my children have recently been issued with access to a website called Reading Eggs designed to help children develop further their reading skills. This website uses games , songs, puzzles and activities to encourage children to read. My children do not access this website very frequently, but when they do they really enjoy the learning and can spend large amounts of time completing activities. Children can earn golden egg rewrads every time they complete a challenge which allows them to open up more activities.

To watch a short video about Reading Eggs, please click the link.

   

Another app and web based learning tool I have become more familiar with recently is Mathletics. Again my children have been issued with a login via their school. Mathletics allows children to complete learning tasks and then test themselves on various areas of learning in maths. The learning tests get progressively more difficult as the child moves through the learning. The children earn points as they progress through the challenges and this can be used to purchase items to adapt their profile avatar. These poi ts can also be collected and stored and when a set total is achieved, the child can print off a certificate of their achievements. Mathletics also allows children to take part in global challenges, and their is also a global score board that they can feature on if they earn enough points. This app has been particularly good for supporting my eldest sons maths development, and he will frequently access this app. As a aprent I have enjoyed using this app with him and I really like the way the app looks and fuctions. To find out more about Mathletics, click on the picture below.

 

We were introduced to apps and web based programmes that can help teaching staff create a digital learning journey for their pupils. These apps and programmes may be used intstead of the tradiotonal written versions to create an end of Foundation Stage profile for example. This is something I have never had the exeprience of using, but having spoken to teachers who have used them they would appear fairly popular. Any member of staff can access them and they are often considered quicker and easier to use as there is no loose papers to be stuck into books and they can contain video clips to show the childs progress.

 

 

Storytelling in ICT part 2

2

Posted by Sarah | Posted in Children's Learning, Early Years, Story Telling | Posted on October 6, 2014

Today we are going to share our story telling creations with the rest of the class. I am really pleased with the finished product I have created. I managed to combine media from three different apps on my iPad to produce my finished product. I started by creating an avatar on Tellagami which I used to create an introduction to an imaginary lesson using ICT to tell stories. I then used an app called Puppet Edu to import photographs I had taken of the actual book to then turn it into a digital book. I really liked using the Puppet Edu app. It was simple to use and you were able to use your own photographs or pictures and backgrounds that were already stored on the app. To combine these two apps to create one story, I imported both individual pieces into iMovie. This allows the introduction to the lesson and the story to follow on from each other. To view the two alternative finished pieces please click on the links below.

This is the original version made on Shadow Puppet Edu.

 

I really enjoyed creating these resources. I think it would be a lovely idea to give children the opportunity to create their own digital books using ICT. The Shadow Puppet app was a really simple and easy app to use and I can definately see how this could be used within an Early Years setting as well as in later Key Stages. I really liked how you could choose the kinds of pictures you added to the story, and this would allow lots of flexibility to give children the choice to create their own pictures using photography or art work, or use backgrounds and pictures already stored on the app. I thought it was a really nice feature that you could also add text to the story. This will allow children to practise communication through speech if they record their story, but also to practise literacy skills to add the written text. This is an app I would like to try to use with children on my next placement if the opportunity arises. Tellagami was an interesting app to use and I could see how this could be used to introduce a lesson or a new theme to a class. I think the idea of using a Tellagami avatar to conduct interviews or pose questions to the children would be quite exciting to try. The only thing that lets this app down is that the editing choices are very limited unless you purchase upgrades to the app. There are only a few backgrounds to choose, and only a few options that can be selected to change the appearance of your avatar. However, if you are happy to purchase upgrades the options become much wider.

Using ICT in Storytelling

0

Posted by Sarah | Posted in Children's Learning, Early Years, placement, Story Telling | Posted on September 30, 2014

First day back at university and its the first day of year 3, my third an final year of teacher training! First lecture back and it’s ICT. This time last year I had left the session feeling frustrated that a lot of the contecnt had gone over my head. I felt I had little confidence or experience and found some of the technology really hard to use. This year, the first ICT lecture was a completely different story! My confidence is much higher and I feel I have  much better understanding of technology, the softwares and apps and the vocabulary. Being on two further teaching placements have allowed me to use some of the technology, and see the positive benefiits and results that can be found when using it with children.

Story telling is a vital part of child development. It helps a child develop a wider vocabulary, a greater understanding of language and language comprehension and it can also help develop a childs confidence. Some children may have the most wonderful ideas when it comes to creating a story, but may struggle to get this story into a written form. This is where the use of technology becomes very useful. There are many apps on the ipads for example that can allow a child to create a story without the need for written language. Children can verbally tell the story and add their own artwork or photographs to help tell the story. My last teaching placement I was working with a child in the writing area in the nursery. The particular child had a aprticular fondness for superheros. The staff had been trying very hard over the past few weeks to encourage the child to begin to mark marks and to write his name. The child sat next to me and drew picture after picture of superhero in a notebook and it was an absolute delight to hear the child explain what was happening on each page. As the child drew, I wrote down the story he was telling to me so that we could share it with the rest of the children in the nursery at the end of the session. I explained to the child I needed him to put his name on the book so that the children knew who the very important author who wrote the book was, and the child happily obliged and attempted to copy his name from the name card on the table.  As a surprise I took photographs of the book the child had created. I then uploaded these into iMovie and shared this with the child and then the rest of the class which the child absolutely enjoyed. It was fantastic to see how the child responded to this and it was great to see him then attemot to make and write a story the next day. Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to extend this learning or offer the opportunity to other children to use the technology to tell their own stories.

Below is the pictoral version of the book created by the child. He then explained as this was on what was happening in each picture to his friends.

 

<i

It was good to refresh our memories on some ot the apps and web based programmes available to help support children and teachers in storytelling. We were introduced to some new apps such as shadowpuppet edu on the ipad. This is an app Iam unfamiliar with but would like to experiment and learn more about in the near future.

Another method of stroytelling we were introduced to was Green Screening. This is something again I have never had the opportunity to do. I think it would be a great tool to use with children, as it would allow them to appear in their own stories and they can instantly be transported to any location using the technology to create a scene behind them.

Puppet pals is an app I really enjoy using. I find this app simple to use and understand and this is an app I have not yet had the chance to use with children on teaching practice, but would love to have a go with. I recently upgraded my app to Puppet Pals too and was really impressed with the extra features this newer app has to offer.

I really liked the idea of Tellagami. I have never seen this app but I think this would be a fantastic tool to use for introducing a new idea to the class. The teacher can create an avatar based upon either themselves, one of the children or a completely random character perhaps from another planet. I think children would find this very engaging and I imagine they would be very keen to create their own avatar to tell the story they have produced to the rest of the class. This wouold also be a fantastic way to encourage a less confident child to speak to the rest of the class. The child can use theri own voice to share their work without the embarrassment sometimes caused by having to stand up and speak out loud in front of people.

 

To find out more about Tellagami click on the picture below to be taken to the website.

 

The idea of making an ebook is also a fantastic activity to make with children. I have been asked on a previous placement in a reception class, how do you make books? This would allow the children to explore the concept of making their own book, and it would also allow them to experience the proceeses that must be gone through. Children can learn about creating their storyline, their characters and this also allows opportunities for children to practise writing skills, communication and crtical thinking and imaginative skills. Some of the sugested websites and apps for these ideas were a little complicated I thought but I really liked the Story Jumper web based programmes that allowed children to create ebooks using their own photographs and text.

To find out more about Story Jumper click on the link below.

open book

Story telling no longer has to be about providing a child with a piece of paper and telling them to sit and write a story. ICT offers new ways for these stories to be interactive, cross curricular and done using multiple forms of media. ICT use in story telling allows all children to participate whether it be taking photos for the story, narrating their story using an avatar or creating their own books using pictures and text. ICT also allows the teacher to explore new ways of telling a story rather than the traditional sit down and read a book scenario. However I still firmly believe children need to be taught the fundamental skillls of physically writing their ideas and stories on to paper, as well as listeninng to a story from a book or reading a book.