I’ve had the opportunity to speak to the Secondary PGDE Students at Edinburgh University for a few years now. But this week I was given the chance to speak to the BEd Primary Students on ICT in Education.
I’ve been trying to up-date my handout and slideshow for my ‘new tools’ talk for some time now - I’m still not quite happy with it but its getting there and I used it on Tuesday.
If you were at the presentation I hope you enjoyed it and as promised here are the slides and links that I referred to. Please feel free to get in touch and leave a comment if you have any questions.
Main content and links:
Use generators to liven up your lessons and to set learning / home learning objectives in a more creative way. Some good examples include:
Fodey – Includes the famous wizard text and the newspaper generator
Wordle – Turn paragraphs of text into beautiful work clouds (try it with your exam syllabus departmental development plan or anything else you can think of!)
Smoke Signal Generator - Make smoke signals come out of your location. Imagine if you were learning about Japan and your lesson objective floated out of Japan on a Google Map.
2. 21st Century Students
21st century students expect a new level of engagement and they have very high expectations. Many young people now exist in a high tech, multimedia rich and highly glamorized world. We need to be prepared to deal with and capitalize on this in our classrooms.
- Think about your own on-line presence (social networking, ex-directory in the phone book, be careful what you post etc…)
- Make sure you know what resources your students have at home. For example how many of them have a computer with Internet access? How many have the capacity to play an mp3 file? How many have a games console? If you don’t know this information how will you set appropriate and imaginative home learning tasks and get a real understanding of prior learning?
- Also make sure you know what skills your students have. Many of their ICT skills will be more advanced than yours. Lots of children have made an animation, edited a video and created a website. Make sure you know what skills your students have . Use these skills to build progression and to extend learning.
- Regularly talk with your students about what websites they use. Not only will this keep you up to date but it will also provide you with opportunities to coach and nurture children and young people in Internet safety and Responsible Use. It is particularly important that primary teachers gain an understanding of appropriate behavior in virtual worlds - this will be the on-line environment that they grow up in. Teachers have a responsibility to keep children safe where ever they are - that includes on-line.
- If you have gathered the above information it will make setting appropriate assessment tasks so much easier.
- There is some interesting research on young people and on-line behavior here.
3. The Basic Tools
Use the Advanced Google Search – remember you can use this to get specific file type returns such as just PowerPoint or shockwave flash (animation) files.
Quintura - provides a really good visual search – excellent to use with children on project work.
Google News - searches the most up to date news web sites.
Don't forget Advanced Google Image Search
Flickr can provide really good and powerful images that can be used in education. Many of these images are are licensed under creative commons. Which means if properly attributed they can be used in education for non-commercial purposes.
- Big Huge Labs - make your own motivational posters that are truly cross curricular. More details of how I did it here.
- The BBC Day in Pictures – great starter or discussion activity.
- The BBC 3 minute news bulletin – children like to watch the news if you give them the chance!
3. The audience tools
Tools such as blogs, podcasts and wikis allow you to quickly publish information to the Internet. Most importantly they can be used as an alternative to traditional assessment and give the children a real sense of audience. Use these tools to make your own World Wide Wall Display.
Audacity is a free audio editing piece of software that will also w you to edit voice and audio recordings. It is also available as a Portable App – which means you can run it off a memory stick.
Think about getting your students to write Wikipedia articles. Also make sure your students know how to use Wikipedia. I've written in length about his here.
4. The Creative Tools
- Comic Brush – On-line comic book creator (a bit like Comic Life – but free!)
- Pixton – Sophisticated on-line comic book creator
- Go Animate – Robust on-line combined on-line / animation software
- Google Earth – Watch my 15 minute mini-note from Teachmeet NorthEast on how to use Google Earth in the Classroom here.
5. Computer Games Based Learning
Good case studies of games based learning available on the LTS Consolarium website.
Here are some examples of web based games that can be used for home learning:
- Classic Sim City – Useful for teaching about towns, cities and settlement.
- Ordnance Survey Map Games – Good for homework.
- Fantasy Farmer – Manage a farm for a year
- Stop Disasters Simulator – Can you protect the world against floods, volcanoes, earthquakes and other nasty stuff?
- Sim Sweat Shop – What is it really like working in a sweat shop in a less economically developed country?
- An idea for setting web based games for homework activities
Remember the use of off the shelf games and games consoles can make a massive contribution to education. For more information in the use of computer games to improve literacy have a look at this recent workshop that we ran in the Highlands.
The future of CPD is on-line:
The future of CPD is on-line:
Find CPD opportunities using CPD Find
Record your CPD using CPD reflect
Download CPD from LTS iTunes U
Take part in a CPD event in GLOW (eg: Glowing Thursday’s?)
Develop your personal learning network by finding out more about:
Teachers TV – good classroom and professional development resources
Slideshare – A place to up-load and view PowerPoint and other presentations
Microsoft Innovative Teachers Network – join and collaborate with teachers globally
Follow some other teachers blogs and find out about their classroom practice. For starters try:
Tom Barrett - Primary School Teacher, technology advocate and all round good guy form England
Jen Deyenberg - Primary School Teacher, Technology advocate and GPS Jedi from Canada
If you were at the presentation. Please leave any comments and feedback from the presentation below or get in touch via email (see top right for details).