We all live in a technology heavy world and schools are no different, but the key to technology in education is to give students the opportunity to use technology tools, such as iPads and laptops, in a range of situations for a range of purposes so that they begin to see technology as being the same as any other learning tool they have at their disposition.
Starting at the junior end of the school students are using technology as a way to help explore the world around them and make connections with new learning, share their understandings and to solidify language acquisition in numeracy and literacy. Some year one classes have been exploring how to show animal movements through the use of play dough and stop motion animation apps on the iPads. Year two classes are making connections with the way that computers work and have been focused on computing skills such as file management, manipulation of text and use of images within their work. During lessons students also got to experience innovative technology through Virtual Reality headsets, which is a technology that is becoming more accessible in both content and affordability.
In Milepost 2 students are learning how to access the Google Suite and how to use technology as a way to communicate. They are now emailing and discovering the tricky nature of keeping your online identity safe through the use of safe and secure passwords. Their next step is to begin their individual blogs and to use them as a tool that is able to reflect upon their learning.
Year Four students are also working around coding in scratch and how to code simple animations and games. Coding is seen by many as being an important part of our future as more and simpler technologies need elements of coding, but other than this it is a learning area that is hugely beneficial for all other learning areas as it helps children to develop their logic and reasoning skills and their problem solving skills.
Milepost Three is where technology is beginning to look like another piece of stationary on your pencil case. The year 5s and 6s are really understand the collaborative nature of technology and have been using their Google Accounts as way to collaborate with their classmates over distance to create presentations and to complete assignments. The year 5s and 6s have also identified that there are some skills that they would like to explore further and these wonderings are being investigated in lunchtime Geek Out drop in sessions in the ICT room, where students drop in with an idea and then get pushed in the right direction with a little support. Some students are investigating how to make video games and some are exploring how they can use technology like a MakeyMakey to build innovative video game controllers. It is also very exciting to see how meant girls are interested in online coding courses and learning about gears and motors through the use of Lego.
Finally, intertwined in all areas of the curriculum and across all ages is the concept of citizenship, both digital and in the real world, and the ways that students need to act in order to keep them safe in the online world that we now live. We talk about different scenarios that they may find themselves in and how they stay safe through making sensible choices and seeking the advice and assistance of an adult if they are feeling uneasy, confused or unsure of any digital situation that may confront them.
Luke Dyer, ICT Lead Teacher