Death by Power Point?


Posted by Sarah | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on March 28, 2013

It is often suggested that too much learning that takes place is done through Power Point. It’s a case of sit down, look at this and learn. It’s repetitive, unengaging in many cases and really boring if used all the time. Yes Power Point is a great resource for learning. It can be a good way to display pictures, information or work in a visual way, but this isn’t the only way to do these things.

Many adults find Power Point overused and dull, yet often children are expected to use it as a learning tool frequently in the classroom. With this in mind I thought I would post a funny video to my blog to share the thoughts about death by Power Point.

Smartboards are really smart!


Posted by Sarah | Posted in Children's Learning, Directed Tasks, Early Years, Uncategorized | Posted on March 1, 2013

Today’s ICT session looked at how the use of Smart boards has developed in the classroom. Smart boards are a fairly new technology to me. I have had a little experience with them through my previous job, but they were not at any of my schools probably because the technology wasn’t available.

The smart board is a multi sensory learning aid that can be used by all the staff and the children in a class or setting. The smart board offers opportunities for whole class learning, small group learning or individual learning. It can be used in conjunction with a variety of software and other ICT hardware to enhance learning. Teachers are able to create and produce their own learning tools as well as providing opportunities for children to create their own work.

Smart boards can be an effect tool for showing video clips, creating spider diagrams of class ideas about topics or pictures for example or for playing education based games. However there is a theory that smart boards can be over used. Do the learning objectives need to be written on the board every day? Does the teacher need to demonstrate learning on the smart board or are there other ways to do this? Does it always have to be the teacher leading the learning on the smart board?

Creating an ICT based learning activity for the smart board was surprisingly easy. It was very interesting to see exactly how these games or learning activities can be created. I found the idea of showing a picture and revealing it bit by bit and writing the children’s ideas of what they thought they could see down on the board a really great idea.

The smart board can be used to help develop both fine and gross motor skills in children depending upon the activity. It could also be a great resource to use with children who need additional support with language and communication. It can be used as a visual aid to help the teaching staff or children understand what is happening in the day or in the learning.

I can see many ideas for using the smart board with even the youngest children. They could use it to view pictures and discuss, listen to sounds, play learning games and create their own artwork to name a few ideas. The smart board can definitely be used as a cross curricular resource and can be used to support the learning in any subject. I think it is definately important to ensure other resources are used to support the learning so that the excitement remains when the children get to access the smart board.

Click the link to voew some examples of smart board work that I created in the session on smart

Becoming an animator!


Posted by Sarah | Posted in Children's Learning, Directed Tasks, Early Years, Uncategorized | Posted on February 15, 2013

The session today was all about creating animations using ICT. This was an area I have absolutely no experience in, and expected to find it quite a difficult subject with the different technologies and software’s. However, the session was amazing! It really opened my eyes even further to the endless possibilities of using ICT in the Early Years.

Using a free downloadable software called Monkey Jam, in a small group we were able to create our own short animation using stop frame filming. This is the technique of using a camera to catch individual stills which are then played in a sequence creating a film. One of the most difficult aspects of the filming process was remembering not to move your props too far in one go so that the film doesn’t appear jumpy. Some of us found keeping our hands out of shot pretty tricky too!

Monkey Jam was a fantastic piece of software to experience using, and can see a whole number of possibilities for its uses in the early years setting. The software and equipment was very simple to use and this could be easily used with even the youngest members of the class with adult support, to allow the children to create their own animations. This activity would allow for the children to be creative and use their imaginations in a fun and engaging manner. It is an activity that every child regardless of ability could engage in. It could be used to support a child with EAL in the learning of English for example.

The animations could fit into many areas of the early years curriculum and a lesson involving animation could be very cross curricular. There would also be the opportunity time permitting for the teacher to produce a small film clip to support children’s learning in the classroom.

The session was extremely interesting and very good fun, and I enjoyed it so much I even had a go at home with my own children. This was a fantastic opportunity to observe how children may use the software and hardware, and both children appeared to highly enjoy creating their own video. I can’t wait to get into the classroom and give it a go there as well!


Answer Garden


Posted by Sarah | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on February 8, 2013

What are the benefits of using ICT in Early Years?… at