School Experience Badge – 100 points
What computing resources were available during my school experience?
On my school experience I saw the children use the computing resources in a variety of ways. In the reception class we had three iPads which the children could use during their free ‘discovery’ time. The children all knew how to unlock and use the iPads independently, there were also set rules for using the iPads. These were:
- Hold using both hands
- Only go on the apps of the week
- Be sensible at all times
- Sit down when using the iPad
- Share the iPad with your friends; take turns
- Only use the iPad when your allowed ( discovery time or with an adult)
We had certain apps of the week which the children could go on, these were changed every week with the aim to help the children’s learning and development. The children enjoyed using the iPads as they saw it as a treat and reward. The teacher would often use the iPads to work one to one with children on their phonic skills. This made it more exciting for the children but the teacher could still assess their level of development.
In the year two class I saw the children use the bee bots. The teacher laid out a course for the children to explore. The courses included: a shop, a street, a zoo and a school. The children had to follow the set instructions and programme the bee bot to get to the locations on their instructions. The children struggled with this as they found it difficult to predict how to programme the bee bot. The used their debugging skills to think about what went wrong, and how to improve their methods.
The teacher in my class used her interactive whiteboard every day for a variety of purposes such as;
- Lunch choice: the children would use the IWB to tap their name and pick their lunch choice for the day, based on the menu. The children enjoyed doing this and they could do it with ease, independently.
- Register the children: the teacher would put the class list register on the IWB for all the children to see, so they could follow along. This also helped the children when they did the silent name register, because they could see the line moving down each time.
- Phonics: most of the phonic input would be done with IWB, as it meant all the children could see the images and new sounds.
- Phonic games/math : when the class went into groups, one group would get to do the interactive phonic/math games on the IWB.
- Geraldine the giraffe videos: every phonic lesson the children would watch the video on the IWB to introduce the new sound of the day.
Each classroom had an IWB and laptop for the teachers to use. They used the IWB more than they used the freestanding normal whiteboard. This was because it was bigger and it has so many more functions.
The school also had a library computer, where the librarian and teaching assistants could check books out for the children. This system allowed the librarian to track and monitor the books that were being taken out by all the pupils.
Each teacher had an iPad, where they would do observations on the children using software called TAPESTY. The teachers could take images of the children, write a comment and link it to the Early Years Foundation Stage principles.
Computing activities I did during school experience:
- I worked with children during phonics on the classroom’s iPads. I set up the iPads so each child was on the correct level and then I explained to them that we were going to use the app to practice the new diagraph ‘th’ that they’d just learnt. Once my group were confident with this sound we rotated so I worked with three new children. While working with the children I sat with them and encouraged and supported them by looking at what they were doing. Some children needed support using the iPad because they couldn’t understand the hold and drag concept to move onto the next word.
- I used the IWB during a phonic activity which I led with the children. I had a slideshow of images beginning with the sound ‘sh’. The children sat on the carpet and we worked together to try and sound out the word. I wrote down the letters and sounds on the IWB so all the children could see, this way it was easy for the whole group to get involved and for them to notice any mistakes. After we completed the words which I had planned we had a few spare minutes so I got the children to think of some ‘sh’ words and they wrote them on the IWB themselves.
- I also used the TAPESTRY app to complete observations of some of the children. I found this very interesting because the app was so efficient and helpful. I think it is a really convenient and quick way to complete observations because all you need to do it take an image, write a comment and then link it to the EYFS. The app produced a list of EYFS principles so it was easy to scroll through and find the relevant objectives. It also saves carrying around paper observation forms and then trying to take an image on a camera at the same time.