The 3rd Pick ‘n’ Mix module focuses upon the information technology and digital literacy strand of the National Curriculum. It focuses in depth upon:
- App making
- School Radio
- Immersive environments
BLIPPIT is a tool in which children and teachers can create and publish apps. Blippit has a wide range of uses:
- as self-contained projects in their own right
- as part of a wider topic in the classroom
- to engage reluctant writers
- to personalise learning & promote children as independent learners
- to help you as a teacher assess children’s knowledge and understanding
The apps can be created and once published, accessed by iPhones, smart phones, tablets and even on a web browser. In addition, the apps created only need to be approved by the teacher before they can be submitted for the world to see. A quick guide and tour of the programme can be accessed here.
Film Education is a charity organisation which supports and promotes the use of film within the curriculum and classroom. The web page details about getting started, tasks for pupils to complete and resources on animated film.
Stop Frame animation is a technique that can be used and adapted within the classroom to create short videos on a variety of topics. Oscar Stringer is an experienced stop frame animator and produced an ‘Animation Course for Teachers‘ resource which introduces the basic skills to get started alongside some project ideas.
Another great video to show stop frame animation in action is ‘Making a model from clay‘. It quickly shows you how to create an animated video from modelling clay in a simple yet effective way.
I believe that animation is a brilliant skill to teach children. It will know only give the children chance to use their creative side but as projects can sometimes be quite big, it allows children to communicate ideas, collaborate and create as a group. Animation could be used in every curriculum area, ranging from a persuasive advert in English, explaining a concept in Maths and re-enacting a historic battle or past time within Topic lessons. In addition. children could be split into teams and each team creates an informative animation regarding an aspect of Viking life, different aspects of a contrasting culture/country or even book reviews.
The possibilities for effective use of animation in the classroom are endless and therefore teachers should try and incorporate these were appropriate.
School radio is a great motivator for students to write for purpose within English. It gives children a contextual reason to plan, research, write, read, speak and listen. It may be a story for younger years or a podcast outlining important details about ancient Greeks for their peers. Teachers could also incorporate
Audacity is an app that can be used to record, rerecord and edit voice clips, particularly useful for school radio and podcasts. This would enable students to work individually or collaboratively whilst improving their digital literacy and information technology knowledge and understanding. Audioboom is another website which allows students to create and broadcast podcasts and school projects on a ‘school radio’.
Children could be split into teams and create podcasts about E-safety, informative talks and discussions about the decision made by characters in a book or furthermore, interview other staff and students at an event such as sports day or world book day. This would enhance the learning of students within English as well as developing skills they can use in later life. I believe a school or class radio would be invaluable to the learning of every student and that many students would thrive and prosper on such an exciting opportunity.
Many schools now have access to rooms known as immersion environment rooms. These rooms offer many opportunities to enhance learning and improve creative writing. Immersion rooms are where a projector projects moving images onto the walls around the room. These images could be space, world war 2, bonfire night, a forest etc giving the children chance to ‘immerse’ themselves within an environment they may not have had opportunity to visit or to give them an idea about what it was like. More recently, in newly built schools, rooms which have screens on every part of the all are built to facilitate the same effect as the projections.
I believe that these immersion environments would be beneficial to children of all ages to enhance and facilitate learning of specific topics. It would create an atmosphere in which students can generate plenty of ideas to take back to the classroom and even then incorporate back into immersion environments. For example, a projection of a soldier within world war 2 could be accompanied by a student composed and read aloud daily diary entry to bring about emotions and thoughts amongst other children.
Animation and developments using computing and in particular developing digital literacy and information technology skills can greatly enhance other curriculum subjects aiding in the overall individual development of children. I will use plenty of these ideas and techniques within my own teaching as I feel they will be of great value.