Semester 1 Seminar 6 (online task): Evaluating Resources
Website: ‘Purple Mash’ http://www.purplemash.co.uk/winchester (Links to an external site.)
This website is an online learning tool for use within school or at home, enabling the teacher to set tasks for their pupils to complete. Included are activities for children in Nursery to Year 6, which address many of the primary subjects. A subscription fee is required, however this is paid by the school, meaning that this resource is provided free of charge to children.
The website consists of activities such as ‘Writing Projects’ and ‘Paint Projects’ and includes ‘Creative Tools’ such as the ability to create animations. Interactive group activities such as answering questions in French or Spanish are another valuable resource. The above examples may be carried out during lesson time, set for completion by the teacher and appear on the child’s ‘My 2dos’ section, or alternatively undertaken freely as and when children wish. In addition, there are a variety of games available, including those related to maths and English.
Ease of use
The site is very easy to use as it has each section clearly labelled and the desired activity can be easily found using the search tool to identify the relevant year group and subject. Alternatively, the ‘Topics’ tab displays the variety of topics for selection. In a welcome letter to parents/carers available on the website, it is explained that children will have been taught how to use this resource, and will therefore be able to use it without adult assistance. It is mentioned however that by becoming familiar with the website, parents/carers will be in a better position to provide guidance. The teacher is able to view the work of their class via the ‘Online Work’ tab, which provides a record of the children’s work that could be used to identify progress.
The program could be used to support almost every part of the curriculum, as it provides resources for subjects including: English, mathematics, science, history, computing, design and technology, art, music, religious education, geography, PSHE, languages and literacy.
I very much like that some activities include tutorial videos, as this saves time struggling to understand tasks and provides pupils with the capability to work independently. I also like that the website is very inclusive, in that its supports children from the Foundation Stage to Key Stage 2, and offers a huge variety of subjects. It also provides valuable resources for teachers such as ideas for lessons and offers parent/carer information. This makes ‘Purple Mash’ a worthwhile investment in as it can benefit many.
I feel that the activities could be slightly more varied, as many include writing which may be limiting to children who find articulating their thoughts and ideas difficult. However, by typing instead of writing it eliminates the problem of children struggling with handwriting. The website could possibly benefit from including games related to a wider range of subjects, to spark enjoyment in these also.
Below is a video to support the use of one of the languages activities as previously described: