Semester 1 – Seminar 1
Reflecting on the national curriculum for computing:
After my first seminar on ICT, I believe I have a sound knowledge on technology that are used in schools such as, iPad’s, Computers and white boards. In this module I think it will help me gain more experience and knowledge of the use of computing within the Primary Curriculum, and show me other techniques I can use in schools using ICT.
Some strengths in computing that I have are; being able to use all Microsoft software to an average level, understand how to use social media professional and I have good skills when using my iPad mini and know some good Apps that will engage children in their learning and are fun. E.g. C. Collins Big Cat (story making App).
Some weaknesses I feel I have are not understanding or knowing all the important software that are used in schools, and also some words within the Computing National Curriculum I am unsure of but will complete reading to gain more of an understanding of these.
My learning objectives for this Computing/ICT Module are:
- To earn 2400 points in the ‘Hungry Games’ challenges (games) to pass the module.
- Become a skilled user of technology and use our skills in practice.
- All games will get us better (achievements), also learn new things (challenges) and explore different skills to improve (exploration).
- The module is training for real practical games in school settings.
Governmental source – Computing National Curriculum 2014:
‘The module will expand on and give you practical experience of the Computing programmes of study: Key Stages 1 and 2 National Curriculum in England’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nationalcurriculum-in-england-computing-programmes-of-study/national-curriculum-in-england-computingprogrammes-of-study).
The Computing National Curriculum is an education for pupils so that they are able to use ‘computational thinking’ and their creativity to understand the world around them but to also change it. Computing also has links with Maths, Science and DT, which shows insights to the natural and artificial systems. Children should have practical experiences and time with computers, so that they become responsible, competent, confident and creative users of technology.
Semester 1 – Seminar 2
The use of iPad’s within schools:
In our second seminar for ICT across the Primary Curriculum we looked into the use of iPad’s in classrooms and the apps we can use as student teacher as well as what teachers are already using in Primary schools.
The uses of iPad’s for teachers are that they can; access information quickly, access media, differentiate instruction, organised, curate, can improve professional development and mobility. Meaning that when children get the chance to use iPad’s they will be; exploring, communicating, connecting, extending their learning, engaged and being creative.
The uses that iPad’s give children include:
- Extra reading
- Story telling
- Video production
- Testing, evaluating and assisting
- Online portfolios e.g. reading
- iPad’s for art e.g. drawing
- QR codes
- Parent communications
For children to be able to use all of the above you need to have a good amount of apps on the iPad’s which help the children with their learning. Some good examples of apps for children are; C.Collins Big Cat, Book Creator, Puppet Pals HD and QR reader. All these apps are helping children with their understanding of computing but are also usually cross – curricular too, meaning it will benefit the children in other areas of their learning too.
During our seminar 2 ICT session we did an activity which we could also complete with children in practice. We used our iPad’s and QR codes to go on a treasure hunt for certain items outside. Below are some pictures that we took in our group, we had to find objects with different shapes e.g. something with 3 sides etc.
Academic source – Apple Education:
“iPad is transforming the way we teach and learn. Powerful creative tools, interactive textbooks and a universe of apps and content make for endless learning possibilities.” (http://www.apple.com/uk/education/ipad/)
On Apple’s website they have a section for education, and the reasons why using iPad’s in education is a good thing. They believe that iPad’s give children a hands on experience with customisable learning experiences. They also state that iPad’s can be used to plan lessons for teachers – which is something that we did not discuss in our ICT session, but could be a good idea in the changing world of ICT. It also has a link to find out what ‘real teachers’ are doing with their iPad’s in their lessons.
Semester 1 – Seminar 3
Animation and their learning opportunities:
As a group we were given the task to produce a short animation of anything we liked! Beforehand we watched two example animations to give us an idea of what we were expected to produce. One animation we watched was called ‘Baboon on the Moon’ and the other was called ‘Laughing Moon’. These animations were inspiring and very different from one other, they gave me a few ideas of how I was going to make my own animation.
As a group we were set the task to create a mini animation. We discussed an idea and then went through the process of making the video. In this process we used the apps; iMovie and I Can Animate. We all had a different role to play within the group e.g. one person taking the photos, another 2 moving the props and another creating any extra props we needed. Below are some pictures of the making process. We used paper as our backdrop, and made farm animals out of Plasticine and then starting the process of taking photos between each small movement of the animals. To do this we used the App I Can Animate. After we were happen with our mini animation we moved onto iMovie, where we could add sound effects and music to our mini movie.
I believe this would be a great task to complete with primary aged children. I think they would find it creative, fun and would be able to use their imagination. You could also make the animation a cross-curricular activity where they have to make a movie about a subject or topic they have been learning about recently.
Academic source – Technology, good or bad?
“Technology in the Classroom: The Good and Bad” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/parentingcom/technology-in-the-classroom_b_2456450.html and https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/239033/PRIMARY_national_curriculum_-_Computing.pdf)
In this article it talks about the good and bad aspects of technology. Mindy Brooks, director of education at sesame workshop, states that apps that are used in the classroom have been developed for a curriculum goal to hit. This could include our lets animate app which is developing children’s computing skills such as; ‘use technology purposefully to create, organize, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content’. (National Curriculum, 2014).
Our final animation video!!
Semester 1 – Seminar 4
Safe use of technology to support learning:
In seminar 4 we looked into Digital Citizenship (e-safety). We looked into appropriate ways of sharing information, and how schools can help keep children safe online.
We first used the app ‘Padlet’ to record our existing knowledge around e-safety. This App enabled us to type up our ideas as a group, as well as discussing our knowledge together. Padlet could also be used a good teaching tool in classrooms.
We then moved onto the 9 elements of digital citizenship:
- Digital Access
- Digital Commerce
- Digital Communication
- Digital Literacy
- Digital Etiquette
- Digital Law
- Digital Rights & Responsibilities
- Digital Health & Wellness
- Digital Security
In pairs we discussed the meanings of the 9 elements of Digital Citizenship. We then had to use this knowledge in real life scenarios. We were given 5 scenarios as a class to talk about how we would react to the situations appropriately as a teacher. This activity was eye opening to me because all the situations we discussed had happened to our tutor. During this activity I realized the importance of understanding how best to respond to such issues that will arise within computing in schools.
Another aspect of our lesson was cyberbully. We looked into our responsibilities to support children but also the importance of following the policy to teach and give children the knowledge around digital citizenship.
Useful website link:
I found a useful slide share link all about e-safety, computing and inspection. This website is more useful to adults to gain more knowledge around this area of learning instead of children. It has in-depth information, Ofsted reports and research.
Resource to support safe use of technology:
A good resource to support the safe use of technology in the classroom is a video shown on Newsround, on CBBC website. In the video is shows a story of a little girl who gets into danger after meeting someone in a chat room. It also includes lots of tips on how to be safe online and real-life experiences from children and when things have gone wrong.
Another resource from CBBC is there page on staying safe online. It has links of videos of children talking about their experiences, advice and support for children to read or contact someone.
Ofsted – ICT in schools 2008–11
In this article it has a section about e-safety, it discussed how not all teachers were provided with e-safety training. The report also found that e-safety training was weak when the head teacher had no responsibility for it or did not include e-safety within the training for child protection or ICT.
Semester 1 – Seminar 5
At the start of our interactive whiteboard (IWb) session we discussed the different types of IWb. The main 3 are: Promethean Board, SMARTBoard and RM Easiteach. We then moved on to talking about the different levels that teachers can achieve through their IWb skills. These were: Foundation (level 1), Formative (level 2), Facility (level 3), Fluency (level 4) and Flying (level 5). I want to aim for at least a level 3 ability of using IWb’s when I have my own class.
How to use an interactive whiteboard to support learning:
In groups we then moved onto talking about the reasons behind using IWb’s. We came up with a few ideas being:
- Engagement and motivation
- Generate competition and increase competition,
- Support different learning styles,
- Increase the pace and provide a structure for lessons.
After this we were given the chance to use ‘ActivInspire’, is a software to use on IWb’s. ‘Designed for use in the classroom, it enables teachers to lead the lesson on an interactive whiteboard.’ (http://support.prometheanplanet.com/server.php?show=nav.29751). I learnt a few tips and tricks from practicing with ActivInspire, these were: rub and reveal, text extracting, layering (to hide things away) and transparency. ActivInspire can be used for mos subjects, if not all.
Useful website links:
http://www.iboard.co.uk/iwb/Chameleon-664 – Another fun game for young children, but a little more challenging because you have to choose which actions to do with words.
Resources to support using an interactive whiteboard:
A good resource to use for an IWb for maths is, a caterpillar ordering game found on: http://www.topmarks.co.uk/ordering-and-sequencing/caterpillar-ordering.
This game is challenging the children’s sequencing and ordering skills. This resource could be used for whole class or small groups (if board and space is available).
Another useful resource for IWb’s is: http://www.literactive.com/Download/live.asp?
swf=story_files/Fishing_Bowl_US.swf. This resource is great for key stage 1/ early years literacy. It helps children understand the different between letters and sounds.
Semester 1 – Seminar 6
I researched into the website – Planet Sherston. This was a free website to join, and has many resources for both teac
hers and children to use (having a separate student log in).
This website has the option to choose different subjects, these were;Website Maths, English, Computing and Humanities activities. The websites activities had different age ranges; from early years to upper key stage 2. The basic functionality of the website is for children to complete activities to aid their learning. The teacher can filter the games down to the age range, subject, topic and level. I believe this website would be appealing for children to use for extra learning outside school (in a fun way) or a great tool for teachers to use in the classroom for either whole class session or smaller groups/ 1:1. The website gives the children a chance to beat their old scores in the activities they have completed in the pass. This is creating a aim/ focus for the children to try and achieve, meaning they will try and push themselves to work harder for a better result.
Ease of use:
I believe children would be able to access this website without any problems, and complete the games and activities without any adult input. It has many tabs for the children to choose from, including a blog and performance tab to keep a record of achievement for the children. This performance tab will also manage the children’s progress for both the teacher and student to look back on for assessment.
I think this website supports many areas in the curriculum because of its different subject areas it offers. For example the maths subject has many addition and subtraction games which will support key stage 1 children meet the aim of being able to: “… Solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.” (National Curriculum, 2014).
Two things I liked about the website:
- The use of animation and amount of different games/ activities on offer.
- The filtering options (e.g. limiting English down to each topic)
Two things I think could of worked better:
- Make it easier to navigate for younger children.
- Having different sections for the different subject areas.