Scorecard

My Score Card

 

Blog Task Description of Task Points Point tally
1.       Session Blog Post 1 Initial thoughts on Computing and Computational Thinking 200 200
2.       Session Blog Post 2 iPads in the Classroom 200 400
3.       Session Blog Post 3 Animating 200 600
4.       Session Blog Post 4 E-Safety 200 800
5.       Session Blog Post 5 Interactive Whiteboards 200 1000
6.       Session Blog Post 6 Purple Mash Website Review 200 1200
7.       Session Blog Post 7 BeeBots 200 1400
8.       Session Blog Post 8 PurpleMash coding & Logo 200 1600
9.       Session Blog Post 9 Scratch 200 1800
10.   Paperwork 200 2000
Badge Tasks
·         Pinterest Create multiple education themed Pinterest boards. 100 2100
·         Twitter Create a professional Twitter account 100 2200
·         Facebook Review school FB pages 100 2300
·         Apps in Education Review free educational apps 100 2400

Scorecard

Blog Task Description of Task Points Point tally
1. Initial thoughts on ICT 200 200
2. The use of iPads in the classroom 200 400
3. Animation 200 600
4. Digital Citizenship and

E-Safety

200 800
5. The use of interactive whiteboards in the classroom 200 1000
6. Online Task – Website Review 200 1200
7. Key Stage 1 Computing 200 1400
8. Key Stage 2 Computing 200 1600
9. Scratch 200 1800
10.
Badge Tasks      
· Pinterest Badge 100 1900
· Twitter Badge 100 2000
· School Experience ICT Badge 100 2100
· E-Safety Awareness Badge 100 2200

Scorecard

Blog Task Description of Task Points Point tally
1. Initial thoughts on ICT 200 200
2. The use of iPads in the classroom 200 400
3. Animation 200 600
4. Digital Citizenship and

E-Safety

200 800
5. The use of interactive whiteboards in the classroom 200 1000
6. Online Task – Website Review 200 1200
7. Key Stage 1 Computing 200 1400
8. Key Stage 2 Computing 200 1600
9. Scratch 200 1800
10.
Badge Tasks      
· Pinterest Badge 100 1900
· Twitter Badge 100 2000
· Apps in Education Badge 100 2100
· E-Safety Awareness Badge 100 2200

Scratch

In our seminar last week, we briefly looked at a programming software called Scratch on the iPads. This week, we developed this further by exploring Scratch on the computer.  The program is free to use at https://scratch.mit.edu and is designed for children to use as it simplifies coding into blocks that are easy to use.

The children have a vast range of different characters to choose from and keep them engaged.The variety also allows for the software to be linked to the curriculum, for example, when studying the ocean as a habitat, the children can create an ocean themed Scratch animation using the different sprites.  choose a ‘sprite’ and give commands for the sprite to carry out, such as ‘move 10 spaces’ and ‘turn 90 degrees’.

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The computer program gives a wider range of functions to use, such as making sounds or changing costumes, whereas the app ‘Scratch Jr’ is more restricted. However, the app is a good starting point to introduce children to the software and to coding.

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The children also have the option to change the background that their sprites are on. This can help when the children are creating their own stories or habitats as they can either choose a background, upload an image, or design their own background using the paint software embedded in the scratch program.

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These websites offer a range of ideas for using scratch in the classroom:

https://scratch.mit.edu/educators/

http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/scratch-programming-classroom-activity-ideas.shtml

http://www.literacyfromscratch.org.uk/teaching/introduction.htm

Apps in Education Badge

I’ve had a look at multiple free apps that could be used in classrooms and I am going to briefly run through the uses of these apps here.

GarageBand

I love this app and I love the possibilities that it can give children to be creative. You can use it to easily create pieces of music by layering tracks. There are lots of options, you can use LiveLoops and be like a DJ, actually play a keyboard/guitar and layer these tracks, or use presets to layer chords. You can then export these pieces of music to iMovie to be used alongside videos. I think this could be used across the curriculum, linking music to other subjects, for example writing historical music, writing music to accompany written poetry, or looking at art and composing based on that.

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Maths, age 4-6

This imaginatively entitled app contains a wealth of simple and activities and games to stimulate interest in maths and develop maths knowledge. They start with some spoken knowledge and then instructions in the activity. For example the activity below started with a woman describing a heart shape as symetrical and explaining why that is. Then the user would have to click the shape that was symmetrical. This app would be good to set up on iPads during discovery time/free flow time in KS1.

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Pic Collage

This app is good for presenting ideas. It would be best used in KS2 to present work and arrange images and labels, however it could be used in a much simpler capacity with KS1. It would be a good way to present research for more fact based subjects or create a mood board for subjects like art and D&T. Below is an example of a usage for the app in maths, showing different forms of creating one number. Because the app is on the iPad images can be taken using the device and put straight into the app, making observations in science or evaluations of artwork/group work very easy.

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ScratchJr

This app is a simplified version of Scratch to be used for KS1. This app version is very simple, with less commands and al the commands being displayed in symbol form. The options are mainly in terms of animating the sprite to move around the screen, change size and speak. There are also elements of inserting timings, e.g. waiting for 2 seconds. This would be a good way to introduce visual computing before getting into the complex nature of Scratch, however I feel that there could be some more actions so that more could be done.

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Bee-Bot

This app is a great substitute for physical BeeBots, with the programming buttons in the corner. The bee doesn’t move as you press the buttons which is really good, as it works in the same way as the physical Bots. There are challenges to follow, for example getting the bee to the flower. This makes the process seem more like a game and less like a task.

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Socrative

Apologies that I don’t have images of this app, but it’s not a very exciting looking interface and I need a quiz code to get on there! The app is a quiz app, the teacher sets up a set of questions and the app generates a code. This code is given to students who log in, the questions are done one at a time on an IWb/screen, and the children answer. Class statistics are put up at the end of each question. I really like this app because it incentivises a form of assessment, almost making it a competition. The only downside is the lack of communication so it might be worth pairing children up ocassionally. This app can be used with any curriculum subject.

Thanks for reading,

Jack

Apps in Education Badge

This badge encourages us to look at educational apps that we may or may not use in our own teaching practice.

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Scratch Jr.

This app would be used in ICT when encouraging the children to look at coding. It would require the children to enter in different controls in a sequence so that their character does things. For example you could get the character to walk to another one and have a conversation with it.

  • One advantage of this is that as iPads are becoming a regular feature of a classroom, it doesn’t mean you need to book out the computer room.
  • Another positive is that the app is very easy to navigate yourself around and very child friendly.
  • A negative aspect of this app is that it does limit how far children could get with the app, for more advanced coding sequences you would need to get the appropriate software for the computers

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Duolingo.

This app would be appropriate for Key Stage 2 as it helps children to develop their language skills for other languages. It has gradual steps to build them up to saying a whole sentence. With prompts and different sections such as animal and clothing and food, the children could gain a lot of expertise and help with key words during and in between lessons.

  • A positive aspect of this app is as I’ve said before, the difficulty levels is gradual so it builds upon previous knowledge
  • Another positive aspect is that once you’ve finished a section on the app then you can have little tests and refresher input so you don’t forget it
  • A positive aspect can also be the fact that you can track your progress and your strong sections with the bar along the bottom of the app
  • A negative aspect of this app is that there is no way for their to be individual pages on the app so there is no way for a teacher to track individual progress

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First Step Country. 

This app will help develop children’s knowledge of the outside world including (as you can see in the picture to the right) different flags, currencies, where places are on the map and famous monuments around the world. This will be an invaluable app for teachers in the classroom because it will add extra information to what the children will be learning in the classroom.

  • A positive aspect of this app is that it is very easy to navigate yourself around
  • Another positive aspect is that the app is based around games within the 4 different sections, so there is no pressure on the child. It is a fun way to gain new information
  • A negative aspect is that there are no good alternatives for Key Stage 2 aged children as this amazing app is focussed on Key Stage 1

 

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First News Newspaper.

This is an award winning, weekly British newspaper written for children and young people aged between 7-14. The newspaper covers lots of topics such as; UK and international news, sport reports, stories about animals, facts and puzzles and games.

  • A positive side to the newspaper is that it gets children interested in the events that are going on around the world which is something that as teachers we need to encourage
  • Another positive aspect is the fact that it has won awards! Obviously people in education and parents recognise the greatness of the app which can’t be ignored
  • A negative aspect is that you get to a point where you need to pay to download the different issues, but you can subscribe and the cost for subscribing is cheaper than buying other magazines once a week that don’t have the same educational input

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Cooking fun for Kids. 

This app offers up healthy recipes that children can easily follow. As many schools are healthy schools and offer dinners to children, its surely a good thing for teachers to offer opportunities to learn key skills for cooking as well as learning about eating healthily.

  • A positive aspect to this app is that the recipes are very clear with lots of lovely pictures for the children to look at and understand what they are aiming for in their cooking
  • The app also includes videos for the children to watch so that they can learn key skills for cooking
  • A negative aspect of this app is that it is very limited on the audience that it is appropriate for

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BrainPOP Jr.

This app offers up a weekly movie for children to watch and then there is an opportunity to  look at related quizzes and activities. There are two main characters who go through everything with the children, Annie and Moby.

  • One positive view on this app is that the app is engaging and colourful which makes the children interested in the different things that the app offers
  • There are different levels of difficulty for the apps so the child has more control over what they are being tested on, as can be seen in the picture below

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  • A negative aspect of this app is that it is aimed at KS1 and there isn’t a KS2 alternative

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Drawing Lessons 

This app is simply an app that will help children develop their drawing skills. The lessons take form in careful, simple steps that will help the child to build up a beautiful and complex picture. There are lots of key and helpful features that the child will need such as undo/redo, edit, modify and erase.

  • A positive aspect of this app is that because the drawings are on the iPad they can not only be saved but you can directly print from the iPad so that the child has a copy of their work
  • Another positive point to the app is jay there are 216 lessons available for the children that focus on different things from transport and robots to animals and dinosaurs
  • A negative aspect of this is that it is very time consuming so wouldn’t be something that you would offer in an art lesson or a quick 10 minutes before lunch time

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Little Story Creator. 

As the title explains, this app allows children to put together an app. It uses pictures and videos and you can add text, borders, audio and drawings to develop and make a story.

  • This is a great app as it allows children to be creative in a different way than the opportunities in the classroom perhaps offer
  • Its also good because it mixes different subjects together such as English, Art and ICT
  • A negative aspect of this is that because of the nature of the app, the stories, if left to be completed at a different point, can be opened and then edited by anyone. But the beauty of this is also that it can be an excellent opportunity to make group work such as writing stories interesting and exciting

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Weird but True!

This is a fantastic science app that holds lots, in fact 625, facts that are presented in a fun, colourful and interactive way that will grab children’s attention! It is put together by the National Geographic Society which makes it a more reliable source that teachers can trust.

  • A good aspect of this app is that you can bookmark or save the weird and wonderful facts, so if as a teacher you came across an interesting and relevant fact for a lesson you can easily access it and put it up on the interactive whiteboard for all the children to see
  • Another good thing about this app is that you can select which topic you want to hear facts on such as animals, weather, space, science
  • A negative aspect of this is that the free aspect of the app doesn’t last for long and to access more facts you have to buy the bundles

The beauty of having these apps and others like it on an iPad in a classroom is that the children can not only learn from them at school but also download the apps if they have iPads at home so that the learning can continue outside of the classroom.

Thanks for reading!

Miriam

 

Key Stage 2 Computing

In our seminar this week we continued to look at computing in the national curriculum, this time focusing coding and programming in Key Stage 2.

We began by looking at a website called ‘purple mash’, which provides many different activities relating to different areas of the computing curriculum. One of these activities allowed children to program fish to move in the directions instructed.

purple_mashWe also explored ‘Logo’ on the ‘purple mash’ website, a software that allows children to practice their programming skills by typing commands to create shapes and patterns. This can have cross-curricular links with both maths, as it looks at shape and angle, and art, as the children can create images by programming.  We also learned how to conduct a ‘procedure’ where a series of commands can be activated with one command.

pentagon

We also looked at a computer programming software called ‘Scratch’, which allows children to be introduced to programming in a way that is both simple and fun. They begin by choosing a ‘sprite’ character to give commands to, and then are able to explore all the different functions that the software provides.

E-safety Awareness badge

For this badge we were asked to look up posters that help us and children to be “digital citizens”.

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E-safety is a growing concern as it is more readily available to children of young ages. The growing field of social media opportunities such as Facebook  Twitter are allowing children access to the outside world without leaving their room and exposing themselves to whatever is on the internet. The growing interest in another social media app is Yik Yak. This is an anonymous account where you can post anything and anyone in your local area can see it. This has the potential to be dangerous as there is no accountability to anything that you may post because of the anonymous nature of the app.

Some key ideas that come across in these posters are:

  1. Don’t share your personal information (such as your number, address) with anyone online
  2. If you see anything that makes you feel uncomfortable then tell an adult like your parent or teacher
  3. Don’t send a message that you wouldn’t say to the persons face
  4. Think carefully before you post anything, is it appropriate? Is it necessary to share that about yourself?

As part of the badge we were then encouraged to make out own internet safety poster, the image below is mine.

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Thanks for reading!

Miriam