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ISSN 2053-5104

ICT in Practice Transforming education through sharing knowledge and practice Created by educators from around the world ISSUE 7

P3 / CODE KINGDOMS Kids, let’s get coding with Code Kingdoms!

P14 / ICT CURRICULUM How to adapt your whole school ICT Curriculum

SPRING EDITION APR 2014

P19 / MINECRAFT Minecraft; An unlikely tool to develop life-long learners

P31 / E-LEARNING E-Learning in a Biology Classroom

www.ictinpractice.com


From the editor

Yes, it is spring! Even out here is Shanghai one can hear the birds celebrating, their warbling notes muffled by their tiny air filtration masks. I love spring. It is the season of hope, of looking ahead to next year, despite the challenges that still lie ahead before the end of term. More honestly, it is that stretch of the calendar when everyone realizes that the apparent lack of time before IB, AP, and all other summative assessments, is real. Ahhhhhhhh! Peace! There is yet summer, forever immortalized by that singing snowman, Olaf, from

Disneyʼs Frozen. You may prefer Idina Menzelʼs “Here I Stand”, or

have the honor to serve, with the best administrators, the most

perhaps you are mesmerized by

magnificent colleagues (both F2F

the impressive CG, but for me, those images of summer sustain

and online), all while teaching the most amazing kids. I refuse to

my soul. Of course, the reality seldom lives up the hype. If we are

miss a moment of it. And that is why you do it, too.

alike (I pity you that), then your

So bring on the tech conferences,

summer itinerary is already booked with tech conferences,

the seminars, sessions, unconferences, and more. I canʼt

ICT presentations, LMS seminars, and one weeklong vacation

wait to try those new apps, websites, and services. A new

wedged in between the others

LMS to roll out? Childʼs play! It is

(really, just to say that you took a break). Did I miss a wedding? Oh,

the most marvelous insanity. Who needs boredom? Here is to … wait

the stress of trying to relax is killing me!

for it … spring! (Ha! You thought I was going to say, “summer!” Didnʼt

Donʼt cry for me, ICTers. The truth

you?)

is I never tire of all these wild days, this mad existence (OK, Iʼll

Cheers to 2014-15!

stop here, before the Evita copyright people come after me). Like you, I realize that my crazy schedule is of my own making. I know why I do it. I teach at the greatest school in which Iʼll ever

Christopher Carter Social Science Team Lead/ Tech Coach/Teacher Concordia International School Shanghai, China

Contents ‘Kids, lets get coding with the Codekingdoms ’ page 3-4

‘The princess is in another castle...Teaching?’ by Vivian Lu page 5-9

‘How to adapt your whole school ICT Curriculum’ by Taryn Hauritz page 10-12

‘Games Based Learning Making it Happen’ by Paul Ladley page 13-14

‘Minecraft; An unlikely tool to develop life-long learners’ by Elliott Plumb page 15-17

‘Apps for learning’ by Francisco J. Alfonso Domínguez page 18-24

‘Using Technology in Primary Science’ by Maggie Morrissey page 25-26

“E-Learning in a Biology Classroom” by Mila Bulić and Daniela Novoselić page 27-28


Kids, let’s get coding with Code Kingdoms! www.codekingdoms.com

Meet  Lacey,  Ruffles  and  Paws,  our  

brother  learn  coding.  He  was  obsessed  

puzzle-­‐savvy  heroes  ba@ling  through  

with  MinecraR  at  the  Ime  so  I  started  

magic  JavaScript  planets  in  the  Code  

building  a  game  in  a  similar  style  so  he  

Kingdoms.

could  code  in  a  creaIve  environment  he  

They’re  out  to  save  friends  from  hordes  

truly  loved.”

of  evil  Glitches  that  have  invaded,  luring  

The  pair  has  been  meIculous  in              

them  into  spike-­‐invested  volcanoes,  

producing  a  gender-­‐neutral  design  that  

navigaIng  perilous  traps  and  coding  

appeals  to  kids  aged  6-­‐13.  They  code  

their  way  to  victory.

cute  animals,  pesky  Glitches  and  other  

But  the  fun  doesn’t  stop  there  -­‐  Kids  use   the  coding  skills  learnt  in  the  game  to   build  their  very  own  planets  to  challenge   mates.  Code  unleashes  creaIvity  in  a   whole  new  way,  allowing  the  Code   Kingdoms  universe  to  take  on  a  whole   life  of  its  own.  If  your  kids  aren’t  already   playing  you’re  missing  out! I  met  with  co-­‐founders  Hugh  and  Ross   who  explained  more. “Before  we  met,  Ross  and  I  were   teaching  programming  in  our  separate   ways:  Ross  was  in  schools  with  Intel   while  I  was  helping  my  8  year  old  

interacIve  objects  in  levels  to  make   exciIng  challenges  for  their  friends  -­‐  all   with  an  intuiIve  drag-­‐and-­‐drop   JavaScript  interface  that  develops  with   the  kids  as  they  get  more  confident   about  coding.


In  September  2014  coding  is  being   made  compulsory  in  primary  schools   across  the  UK  -­‐  not  only  is  Code   Kingdoms  free  online  and  the  app  store   but  they  also  produce  free  curriculum   materials  for  schools. Ross  and  Hugh  joined  the  startup   incubator  Entrepreneur  First,  a   presIgious  programme  who  last  year   produced  the  likes  of  AdBrain  and   Prizeo.  They  teach  ‘The  Lean  Startup’,  a  

“We’re  now  looking  to  expand  in  to   homes  and  schools  internaIonally.   Coding  is  something  that  every  kid   should  know;  it’s  the  most  empowering   skill  in  the  21st  Century.”

methodology  for  producing  tech  

They’ve  captured  the  imaginaIon  of  

companies  by  solving  a  problem  with  a  

kids,  parents  and  teachers  across  the  

product.

country.

The  problem  Code  Kingdoms  is  solving  

“I  feel  we  will  be  stuck  with  this  game  

is  the  lack  of  fun  and  creaIve  coding  

for  quite  some  Ime”  Lee,  parent  of  2

resources  for  kids. “When  Ross  and  I  met  he  took  one  look   at  the  prototype  and  jumped  into   acIon.  He  knew  this  was  exactly  what   children  wanted  from  his  Ime  teaching   coding.  Within  a  couple  weeks  we  were   working  together  and  back  in  schools   tesIng  the  first  prototype  with  kids.  

Rose  and  Hugh


The Princess is in Another Castle … Teaching? by  Vivian  Lu, Student  at  Concordia  Interna5onal  School  Shanghai

As  a  child,  I  have  been  nagged  5me  and  5me  

obsolete  nature  of  our  species.  Now  games  are  

again  from  both  parents  and  teachers  alike  

going  to  be  contaminated  with  forced  aKempts  

claiming  that  games  were  a  waste  of  5me,  

at  educa5on?  Laaaame!  The  words  “Fun”  and  

money,  and  effort.  My  mother  would  oAen  bat  

“Learning”  seemed  incompa5ble  and  did  not  

a  controller  from  my  hands  and  say  I  was  

fit  in  the  same  sentence.

“going  to  get  addicted,  go  clean  your  room   instead,  why  didn’t  you  do  the  dishes,  you  

Recently,  however,  I  have  come  to  the  

never  do  anything  for  me,”  etc.  Gaming  horror  

conclusion  that  gaming  can  be  used  for  

stories  were  common  and  silly;  some  parents  

educa5on,  and  very  effec5vely  so.  However,  it  

would  gossip  that  gaming  could  turn  a  child  

must  firstly  be  a  good,  enjoyable  game.  Some  

into  a  hobo-­‐parasite,  forced  into  living  in  their  

educa5onal  games  have  been  quite  successful  

basement.  Personally,  gaming  was  a  loved  

because  they  are  a  joy  to  play  and  experience.  

pas5me  for  my  brother  and  me,  and  

However,  placing  a  game  into  a  classroom  

fortunately,  a  new  trend  of  acceptance  has  

seWng  can  instantly  change  its  connota5on.  It  

arisen,  which  has  ushered  in  the  era  of  gaming  

is  therefore  important  that  games  are  

as  a  medium  for  educa5on.  The  concept  of  

introduced  and  presented  in  a  classroom  in  a  

“Educa5onal  games”  has  goKen  more  and  

careful  and  sensi5ve  manner.

more  popular,  as  parents  and  gamers  have   now  finally  found  a  way  to  resolve  the  long-­‐

What  makes  a  truly  successful  game?  

las5ng  conflict  between  the  gaming  

While  some  of  the  mul5player/compe55ve  

community  and  the  “responsible  ones”.  

games  could  be  enjoyable  to  play,  in  my   opinion  as  a  gamer,  a  truly  “successful”  game  

I  was  ini5ally  against  the  idea  of  using  games  in  

should  have  a  polished  plot,  a  relatable  or  

educa5on.  How  could  “educa5on”  be  

likeable  protagonist,  and  an  effec5ve  method  

“played”?  Growing  up  in  an  Asian  family,  I  have  

to  engage  further  playing.  Some  of  my  

constantly  been  under  the  stress  of  “doing  well  

favorites  are  The  Legend  of  Zelda  and  Portal.  

in  school”.  Playing  games  was  my  only  escape  

The  Legend  of  Zelda  has  a  remarkable  plot  and  

from  the  day-­‐long  stresses  of  existence  and  the  

an  admirable  protagonist  named  “Link”.    


Link  has  been   canonically  depicted  as  a  young  

remaining   challenging,   but   do-­‐able,   while  

child,   a   teenager,   and   an   adult   in   different  

schools  oAen  operate  at   the   lowest   common  

games,   so   he  is   relatable   to   players  of   most  

denominator.   Since   games   are   oAen  

ages.   The   plot   is   generally   the   same,   with  

challenging,   but   do-­‐able,   they   are  oAen   also  

varia5ons  in  each   game.  Link  goes  on  a  quest,  

pleasantly   frustra5ng,   which   is   a   very  

encountering   thousands   of   enemies   and  

mo5va5ng   state  for   human   beings”   (Gee   2).  

bosses,   exploring   several   temples,   and  

The  sa5sfac5on  of  comple5ng  a  difficult   level,  

discovering  new  places  and  people,   to  defeat  

in   addi5on   to   the   incredibly   amusing  

Ganondorf,   gaining  glory   and  upgrades   along  

interac5ons  between  GLaDOS   and  the  player,  

the   way.   The   gameplay   and   plot   is   so  

keeps  the  player   playing  and  looking  for  a  way  

enjoyable,   and   many   players  are   fond   of   the  

to  defeat  GLaDOS  and  escape  the  laboratories.  

series   from   their   childhood   days,   which  

In   summary,   good   games   u5lize   a   relatable  

provides   ample   mo5va5on   for   finishing   the  

protagonist,  who  can  feasibly  “win”  or  achieve  

game.  

a  goal,  an   engaging  plot,  and  a  mo5va5on  for   con5nued  play.  They   also  mo5vate  the  player  

Portal   is  essen5ally   a   problem   solving   game,  

by   seWng  the  games   at   the  “challenging   but  

blurring   the  line  between  educa5on  and  logic  

do-­‐able”   level.   This   gamifica5on   strategy  

training.   Here,   the  player’s  character   is  Chel,  

should   work   well   in   classrooms.   Through  

who  is  a  research   subject   for   the  abandoned  

games,   players   can   learn   a   variety   of   new  

Aperture   Science   labs   He   has   been   trapped  

skills,   such   as   cri5cal   thinking,   strategic  

there  by   the  robot   GLaDOS,   who   s5ll  runs   it.  

thinking,   and   crea5vity.   Almost   every  

GLaDOS   forces   Chel   to   undergo   a   series   of  

successful   staple   of   game   playing   helps   to  

poten5ally   fatal   tests   using   technologies  

craA  a  beKer   player  in  some  way,   be  it  cri5cal  

d e v e l o p e d   b y   A p e r t u r e ,   w h i c h   u s e s  

thinking,  reflexes,  rhythm,  health,  etc.  In  fact,  

increasingly   difficult   puzzles   that   must   be  

Portal  has  been  used  in  the  classroom  to  teach  

solved  before  the  player   can  move  on   to  the  

spa5al  reasoning.  The  level  creator  mode  is  a  

next   level.   Ever-­‐increasing   levels   further   the  

good   way   for   students   to   enrich   their  

journeying   experience,  as  explained  by   James  

understanding  by  crea5ng  puzzles  themselves,  

Paul  Gee,   “Good  games  operate  at   the   outer  

rather  than  merely  solving  them.

and   growing   edge   of   a  player’s  competence,  


What  makes  a  good  educaIonal  game?

levels,  the  ‘Captain’   would  promote  the  player  

“Games   and   interac.ve   so1ware   can   help  

with  a  higher   rank,  and  the  player  could  then  

pupils   acquire   complicated   skills  and   rigorous  

tackle   more   challenges   to   capture   all   of  

knowledge  in   an  engaging  and   enjoyable  way  

Carmen  Sandiego’s  goons.  I  played  this  several  

…   Britain   has   an   incredibly   strong   games  

5mes,  and   this  game  taught  brief  glimpses  of  

industry,   with   vast   poten.al   to   engage   with  

world   history   that   have  remained  relevant  all  

educa.on  both  in  this  country  and  all  over   the  

the  way   up  to  high   school  AP   World   History.  

w o r l d .   W e ’ r e   a l r e a d y   s e e i n g   t h e s e  

As   one   can   see,   this   game   retained   an  

technologies   being   used   in   imagina.ve  

interes5ng  plot,  protagonist,   and  a  mo5va5on  

ways”  (Ladley).  

factor   typical   of   most   likable   games,   at   the   same  5me  being  educa5onal.  

If   normal   games   can   already   teach   students   important   life   skills,   they   should   be   able   to  

There  are  many  successful  educa5onal  games,  

teach  kids  academic  things  as  well.  Contrary  to  

but   some   games,   while   educa5onal,   do   not  

earlier   opinions  held  by   teachers  and  parents  

engage  children  at  all.   For  example,  Brain  Age,  

that   gaming  is  addic5ve,  a  waste  of  5me  and  

while  it  received  a  lot  of  aKen5on,   was  rather  

money,   and   an   unnecessary   distrac5on   for  

ineffec5ve   because   it   required   an   already  

their   children,   a   new   perspec5ve   has   taken  

exis5ng   mo5va5on   for   improving   the   brain,  

hold:   that   gaming  can   be  used   effec5vely   for  

and   not   many   kids   who   bought   it   (or   rather  

“formal”   educa5on.   There   have   been   many  

whose  parents   bought   it)   enjoyed   playing   it.  

aKempts   to   reconcile   educa5on   and   “good  

Brain   Age   did   not   have   a   protagonist,   an  

gaming   experience”,   some   of   which   were  

effec5ve   mo5vator,   or   a   plot   to   make   the  

disastrous,  others  incredibly  enjoyable.  

game   interes5ng,   making   it   not   very   fun   to  

One   of   my   favorite  games  to   play   as  a  child  

play.   Rather,   it   relied   on   the   player’s   own  

was  Where  in   Time  is   Carmen  Sandiego.   This  

consciousness  of  health  and  forced  educa5on.  

game  involved  a  player  working  as  a  rising  star  

What   a  successful  game  has,   aside  from  being  

agent  with  various  partners  to  capture  a  great  

educa5onal,   is  that   it   is  engaging  and  fun  by  

thief   throughout   5me.   It   had   an   incredibly  

itself,   both   plot-­‐wise   and   gameplay-­‐wise,  

engaging  plot  with  puzzles  and  characters  that  

subtly   adding   informa5on   into   the   story   so  

made  the  game  “fun”,  with   the  added   benefit  

that   it   is   both   relevant   and   interes5ng.   “If  

of  all  this  occurring  during  the  Mongol  reign  of  

Games  Based  Learning  (GBL)   is  to  succeed,   it  

China   or   the   inven5on   of   the   first   prin5ng  

needs   to   be   more   than   a   bit   of   fun   that  

press  by   Johann   Gutenberg.   AAer   every   two  

mo5vates  students.  It   should  be  underpinned   with  learning  theory”  (Ladley).  


Forced  educa5on   in  any   way   is  irrita5ng   and  

such  engagement   in  the  classroom”  (Sandford  

bothersome,  and  this  applies  to  games  as  well.  

52).  Based   on  my   own  experience,   mo5va5on  

Games   are   oAen   made   first,   and   then   later  

i s   a ff e c t e d   g r e a t l y   b y   e n f o r c e m e n t ,  

repurposed  for  educa5on,  such  as  the  famous  

connec5ons  based  on  interest,  and  relevance.

MinecraA   PC   game.   Building   on   what   is  

The   enforcement   and   introduc5on   of   the  

already   a   successful   game   or   franchise   has  

game   will   help   students   solidify   their   first  

helped   many   corpora5ons   stay   afloat,   and  

impressions   of   the   ac5vity.   Sufficient   5me  

teachers   have   made   excellent   use   of   such  

should   be   allowed   for   both   teacher   and  

games   in   their   lessons.   Educa5on   cannot  

students  to   become   familiar   with   the   game.  

detract   from   the   game   itself,   and   some  

The  introduc5on  should   be  clear   and   explain  

teachers  follow  these  guidelines  in  the  games  

to   how  the  game   is  related  to  what   is  being  

they   incorporate,   such   as   using   MinecraA   in  

learned.   For   example,   it   would   be   more  

teaching   construc5on   and   geometry   (Levin).  

effec5ve  to  students  of  my  age  group  (age  15)  

Essen5ally,   games   must   first   be   concerned  

to   explore   a   game   with   the   teacher   during  

with  being  fun,  before  being  educa5onal.

class   5me,   rather   than   it   being   assigned   as   homework.   If   I   was   not   introduced   to   the  

How   should   games   be   used   for  

game  during  class,  I  would  be  less  recep5ve  to  

educaIonal  purposes?

it  as  homework  assignment.  

Discovering  how  educa5onal  games  should  be   used   in   educa5on   is   one   of   the   first   steps   toward   modernized,   interac5ve   educa5on.   First,   there  are  key   “game  metrics”   to  enforce,   such   as   making   sure   there   is   an   aKrac5ve   beginning   and   maintains   the   mo5va5on   for   con5nued  use  of  the  game  as  a  resource. “Mo5va5on  is  the  most   important   factor  that   drives   learning.   When   mo5va5on   dies,   learning   dies   and   playing   stops.”   (Gee   3).   Simply   supplying  a  game  is  not   going   to  keep   students  mo5vated  for   very  long.  We  need  to   move  “toward  a  more  nuanced  understanding   of   exactly   what   in  game   play   is  mo5va5ng   in   order   to   best   understand   how   to   engender  

Another  way  to  maintain  interest  is  to  connect   students’   lives   with   the   content   of   one’s   classes  through  games,   by  rela5ng  the  topic  to   something   already   familiar   to   them.   Personally,   if   what   I’m   learning   does   not   interest  me,  then  I  will  pay  less  aKen5on  to  it.   Connec5ons  from  outside  the  gaming  universe   and   the  classroom   help   to   reinforce  what   is   being   learned   and,   especially   in   the   more   eager   youth,   make   them   more   enthusias5c   and   open   to   learning.   For   example,   the   difference  between  depic5ons  of  mythology  in   popular   media,   such   as   Marvel  Superheroes,   and   the   actual   stories   in   myths   can   be   an   interest  factor.  


Popular   culture   and   common   interests   have  

resource.   This   process   of   integra5ng  

always  been   a  good   conversa5on  starter,  and  

interac5ve   entertainment   in   educa5on   is  

in   the   way   interests   connect   people,   it   can  

undoubtedly   confusing   and   complex.   In   the  

also   connect   learning   and  fun.   If   the  content  

simplest  terms,   it   is  impossible  to  predict  the  

of   the   game   directly   relates   or   is   closely  

wants  of  the  human  mind,  and  “success”  is  an  

related  to  knowledge   learned   in  class,   it   will  

en5rely  subjec5ve  measurement  for  a  subject  

be   help   students   by   reinforcing   their  

that   u5lizes  so  much  guesswork.  Regardless,   it  

knowledge   and   interest   in   class  as  well.   The  

is  my   hope  that   learning  can   be  made  into  a  

game  should   be  related  to   the   content   of  the  

more   crea5ve   rather   than   standardized  

unit,   not  just  the  content   of  an  ac5vity  in  the  

ac5vity,   a  more  enjoyable  pas5me  rather  than  

unit.   This  not   only   ensures  that   students   will  

a   chore,   and   more   interac5ve   rather   than  

pay   aKen5on,   but   it   also   helps   them  

passive  opera5on.   I  believe  the   applica5on  of  

understand  the  course  beKer   if  they  are  given  

educa5onal  games  is  the  first   step  to  fulfilling  

mul5ple,  yet  differing,  instances  for   learning  a  

that  role,  and  it  is  certainly  possible  given  the  

par5cular   event   or   subject.   Encouraging  

right  amount  of  care.

reflec5on  and   review   at   the  end  of  class   will   solidify   what   was   learned   from   the   game.  

Works  Cited:

Most   of   all,   it   is   important   to   prac5ce  

Gee,  James  Paul.   What   Video  Games  Have  to   Teach   Us   about   Learning   and   Literacy.   New   York,   NY   [u.a.:   Palgrave   Macmillan,   2003.   Print.

understanding  when  challenges  arise,  be  they   technological   or   carbon-­‐based.   If   the   class   does  not  turn  out  well,  it   is  important  to  figure   out   why   it   was   unsuccessful,   as  well  as  test   out   the   technological   side   of   things   before   incorpora5ng   it   into   class.   Prac5ce   makes   perfect. To   have   a  high   quality   educa5onal  game,   it   must  be  a  high  quality   game  by  itself,   and  the   learning  must  be  a  part  of  the  fun,  instead  of   no5ceable  and   forced,  with   a  meaningful  and   mo5va5onal   plot   and   characters.   To   use   educa5onal  games  in  the  classroom,  one  must   give  a  posi5ve  first  impression  and  mo5va5on   for   students  to   con5nue  using   the  game  as  a  

Ladley,   Paul.   "Games   Based   Learning   Theory   and   Prac5ce."   ICT   in  Prac5ce   1   Oct.   2013:   n.   pag.   Print.   hKp://www.ic5nprac5ce.com/ 2013/games-­‐based-­‐learning-­‐theory-­‐and-­‐ prac5ce-­‐by-­‐paul-­‐ladley/ Sandford,   Richard,   Mary   Ulicsak,   Keri   Facer,   and   Tim   Rudd.   "Teaching   with   Games  Using   Commercial  Off-­‐the-­‐Shelf  Computer  Games  in   Formal   Educa5on."   Diss.   N.d.   Future   Lab   (n.d.):   1-­‐62.   Teaching   With   Games.   EA,   Future  Labs.  Web.  04  Jan.  2014. Levin,  Joel.  "How  my  MinecraA  Classes  Work."   MinecraA   Teacher.   MinecraA   Edu,   24   Mar   2 0 1 2 .   W e b .   9   F e b .   2 0 1 4 .   < h K p : / / minecraAteacher.tumblr.com/post/ 4057926292/how-­‐my-­‐minecraA-­‐classes-­‐ work>.


HOW TO ADAPT YOUR WHOLE SCHOOL ICT CURRICULUM by Taryn Hauritz

The   new   compu5ng   programme   of   study   states   that   “A   high-­‐quality   compu5ng   educa5on  equips   pupils   to   use   computa5onal   thinking   and   crea5vity   to   understand   and   change  the  world”.     Wow!     This  is   preKy   exci5ng  stuff.   But,   if  you’re   anything  like   me  and  don’t  have  a  background  in   computer  science,  where  on  earth  do  you  begin? Taryn  is  an  Australian   born  Primary   School  

Earlier   this   year   I   started   to   write   a   new  

teacher   who   has   had   a   passion   for   using  

compu5ng  curriculum   for  a  family  of  prep  schools  

learning  technologies  in  the  classroom  since  

in  London.  Having  taught  ICT  there  for  ten  years,  I  

she   started   teaching   in   1998.     In  2002   she  

thought   that   this   would   be   a   fairly   straight  

w r o t e   " T e a c h i n g   w i t h   L e a r n i n g  

forward   process   and   I   was   excited   about   the  

Technologies:   A   Handbook   for   Primary  

possibili5es.  

School  Teachers",  then  moved  to  the  UK  to  

researching   and   studying,   I   found   myself   going  

take  up   a  post   as  Head  of  ICT   at   Thomas's  

round  in  circles.    It  was  almost  like  there  was  too  

C l a p h a m   i n   L o n d o n .   A A e r  

much  informa5on,   but  somehow  not   exactly  what  

teaching   Recep5on   to   Year   8   ICT   for   ten  

I  was  looking  for.

  But,   aAer   several   weeks   of  

years   she   then   stepped   out   of   the   classroom   to   become   the   Director   of  

AAer   aKending   the   BETT   show   in   January,   I  

Learning  Technologies  for  Thomas's  London  

realised   that   I   wasn’t   on   my   own.     There   was  

Day   Schools.   She   is   currently   working   on  

support   out   there   and   I   just   needed   to   be  

developing  a  new  compu5ng   curriculum  for  

proac5ve   about   it.     So,   aAer   several   years   of  

the  family   of  four   preparatory   schools  and  

resistance   I   finally   decided   to   join   twiKer.     I  

will  be  moving  into  freelance  consultancy   at  

started  to  build  a  network  of  experts  and  teachers  

the  end  of  September  later  this  year.

from  primary  educa5on  in  the  UK  and  beyond  and   I   was   blown   away   with   how   many   amazing  

Taryn  Hauritz @tarynhauritz www.tarynhauritz.com

resources  and  ideas  were  being  shared  there.    


I  finally   I  felt  as  though  I  had  my  finger   on  the  pulse  

though,   because   so   many   of   them   will   s5ll   be  

and  was  slightly   embarrassed  that   it  had  taken  me  

suitable.    They  will  just  need  some  “tweaking”.  

that  long  to  join.    If  you’re  new  to  twiKer   and   are   grappling  with  the  new  compu5ng  curriculum,  I  can  

So  that  you  can  adapt  your  current  ICT  curriculum  

highly   recommend   following  

for  September  I  have  created  the  following  

these  people  as  a  star5ng  point:

algorithm  (see  what  I’ve  done  there?)  to  get  you   started:

@ m b e r r y   @ C o m p A t S c h  

STEP   1:  

  Read   “Compu5ng   in   the   na5onal  

@ d e p u t y m i t c h e l l  

curriculum:   A   guide   for   primary   teachers”   This  

@ d i g i t a l m a v e r i c k  

guide  is  priceless.    It  explains  everything  you  need  

@compu5ngchamps   @DrChips_  

to  know  to  get  started.

@dughall   @englandraider   @esafetyadviser   @ianaddison   @lordlangley73   @MissPhilbin  

hKp://www.compu5ngatschool.org.uk/data/

@naace  @terryfreedman  @yallsop  @5mbuckteeth  

uploads/CASPrimaryCompu5ng.pd{Kp://

@bobharrisonset   @TimRylands   @ZoeRoss19  

www.compu5ngatschool.org.uk/data/uploads/

@mwclarkson   @suesentance   @CodeBoom  

CASPrimaryCompu5ng.pdf

@andrewtuson   @ICTEvangelist   @dan_bowen   @eyebeams  @pegleggen  @DrTomCrick    @syded06  

STEP   2:     Download   the   “Compu5ng   Progression  

@ukedchat  @tonyparkin  @tarynhauritz

Pathways”.     Familiarise  yourself  with  each  of  the  six   strands.   It’s   important   to   note   that   primary  

Alterna5vely,  you  could  follow  my   “Compu5ng”  list  

children   are  expected  to  reach  the  end  of  the  blue  

@tarynhauritz  where  I  have  them  all  saved.    There  

strand.

are  plenty   of   guides  for   new   twiKer   users  online,  

hKp://community.compu5ngatschool.org.uk/

but   the   best   thing   to   do   is  to   jump   in   and   start  

resources/1692

playing.    You’ll  soon  figure  it  out.    Just  don’t  give  up   too  soon.

Alterna5vely,   you   could  download  the  Progression   Pathways   divided   into   three   strands:   Computer  

AAer   some  extensive  networking  on   twiKer,  I  then  

Science,   Informa5on   Technology   and   Digital  

aKended  a  number  of   conferences  and  Compu5ng  

Literacy:

At  School  events.     I  have  learnt  an  awful  lot  about  

hKp://community.compu5ngatschool.org.uk/

the   compu5ng  curriculum   over   the  last   couple   of  

resources/1946

months  and   I   have   to   say   it’s   all   preKy   exci5ng.   There’s   no   need   to   throw   out   your   ICT   plans  


STEP   3:     Get   out   your   current   ICT   curriculum   and   use   the   strands  above  to   iden5fy   any   areas   of   weakness  in  your  current  scheme  of  work.      I  actually   found  it  easiest   to  download  the  child-­‐friendly   version  (see  step  7)  and  s5ck  the  descriptors  on  my  yearly  overview.     STEP   4:    Join  Compu5ng  At  School  and  use  the  website  to  find  resources  (including   CPD)  to   help  you   plan  any   new  units  of  work   to  “fill  in  the  gaps”.     If  you  need   more  5me   to  do  this  properly,  plan  to   teach  these  units  next  summer.   www.compu5ngatschool.org.uk STEP   5:    Adapt  the  units  of  work  you’d  like  to  keep  for  the  new  curriculum  by  upda5ng  your  medium   term   plans   with   the  new   Programme  of   Study   and  the  progression  pathways  indicators  in   step  2.     Usually  it’s  just  about  adap5ng  the  vocabulary  and  finding  the  relevant  new  PoS  statements.   STEP  6:    Add  Computer   Science  Unplugged  ac5vi5es  to  as  many  of  your  units  of  work  as  possible.  They   really   help  encourage   computa5onal  thinking   across   the  curriculum   and  are  great   for   kinaesthe5c   learners. hKp://csunplugged.org/ STEP  7:  Download  the  child-­‐friendly  compu5ng  progression  pathway  statements  from  the  CAS  website   and  use  them  for  pupils’  self  and  peer  assessment.    I  would  also  use  them  for  an  interac5ve  display  so   that  you  and  your  pupils  can  reference  them  regularly. hKp://community.compu5ngatschool.org.uk/resources/1744 STEP   8:  Design  some  compu5ng  badges  for  your  children  to  earn  for  each  of  the  six   strands.    An  even   beKer  idea  would  be  to  get  your  children  to  design  them  in  class. hKp://www.makebadg.es/badge.html My   final   advice   to   you   is   to   “Reach   Out”.   Keep   networking   and   discussing   ideas   with   as   many   colleagues  as  possible  -­‐  a  problem  shared  is  a  problem   halved  and  together,  we  really  can  change  the  world!  

Taryn  Hauritz  and  colleagues  working   on  the  new  compu5ng  curriculum


Games Based Learning - Making it Happen by Paul Ladley How  can  teachers  ensure  that  their  investment   in  games  based  learning   (GBL)   delivers   desired   learning   outcomes?   This   ar5cle   looks   at   five   aspects  of  GBL   that  ought   to  be  considered  when  introducing  GBL  into   the   classroom.   These   five   aspects   are:   design,   delivery   (usage),   technology  &  support,  outcomes  and  cost. Paul is an innovative learning professional, games based learning & gamification expert, project manager and instructional designer with over 20 yearsʼ commercial experience acquired on corporate, public sector and education projects. He is MD of pixelfountain which designs, develops and delivers

Design  considera5ons  (GBL  needs  to  be  fit  for  purpose): Is  the  game  fit  for  purpose  offering  a  relevant  context  and  ac5vi5es? Is  the  game  pitched  right  in  terms  of  complexity  and  age  level? Does  the  game  support  mul5ple  learning  styles? Delivery   considera5ons   (GBL   needs   to   work   in   typical   educa5onal   seSng): Is  the  game  focused  on  learning  suppor5ng  collabora5on,  conversa5ons   and  teacher-­‐led  interven5ons  and  scaffolding? Does  the  game  provide  a  challenge  that  generates  learning  flow? Can  the  game  fit   into  a  standard  lesson,  but   also  be  used  for   events  /  

workshop-based learning simulations (serious games). pixelfountainʼs games-ED (http:// www.games-ed.co.uk)

term  topics?

brand provides games based learning for schools, colleges and universities. He also blogs at http:// www.games-based-

Is   support   provided   in   the   game   and   via   communi5es   /   guides   /  

learning.com

Technology  and  support  considera5ons  (GBL  need  to  u5lise  typical   kit   and  offer  support): Will  the  game  work  on  classroom  computers? resources? Outcome   considera5ons   (GBL   need   to   reach   the   parts   tradi5onal   teaching  doesn’t): Will  the  game  engage  the  pupils,  including  reluctant  learners?   Will  the  game  solve  problems  that  tradi5onal  learning  finds  difficult? Is  the  game  linked  to  the  curriculum  and  does  it  support  assessment? Will  the  game  improve  generic  and  employability  skills? Cost  considera5ons: Is  there  enough   money   in   the  budget,  not  forgeWng  hidden   costs  such   as  consoles  and  mul5ple  licences? Does  the  game  offer  value  for  money?


Any particular games based learning product or

•And  finally   a  debt   is  owed   to  Jan  Herrington  

lesson does not need to answer all of the above

and  Ron  Oliver,   who  have  wriKen  on   situated  

questions and it is important to realise that the

learning   and   mul5media,   and   have   inspired  

aspects are not mutually exclusive; for instance,

games  and  simula5on  designs.    

a well-designed game is more likely to deliver better outcomes. Therefore, scoring reasonably

The   Games   Based   Learning   Analysis   and  

well across the board is more important than

Planning   Tool  has  been   developed   by   games-­‐

excelling in one area. A   Games  Based  Learning  Analysis  and  Planning   Tool  (which  expands  on  and  makes  use  of  the   five   aspects   outlined   above)   can   be   found   at   hKp://www.games-­‐ed.co.uk/resources-­‐ contact.html.   The  tool  has  been  developed  by   pixelfountain   /   games-­‐ED   who’s     experience   has   been   built   up  over   a  decade   of  designing   and   delivering   serious  games  /   games   based   learning   in   both   the   adult   and   educa5on   sectors.   The  tool  also   takes,   some   inspira5on   has  come  from: •Becta  report  (2010)  on  games  based  learning; •The  RETAIN  Model  -­‐   Gunter;   Kenny   and   Vick   (2007);

ED  to   help  educators  select   and   u5lise  games   based  learning.  It  can  be  used  to: •Create  buy-­‐in  for  games  based  learning; •Help   when   choosing   a   par5cular   supplier   /   product; •Plan  the  use  of  games  learning; •And,  if  we  can  be  so  bold,  to  help   developers   design  games  based  learning. Conclusion Like  all  aspects  of  educa5on,   GBL   needs  careful   planning.   This   tool   will   hopefully   bring   some   rigour   to  that  planning  and  so  ensure  the  GBL   can  deliver  on  its  promises.


Minecraft; An unlikely tool to develop life-long learners by  Elliott  Plumb

Introduc5on

where  any   teacher   afraid  to   take   on   such   a  

As  a  newly   qualified  teacher,   it   is  usually   a  

task   could   develop   a  pupil-­‐led   project   that  

case  of  survival  to  reach  the  end  of  the  year.  

would  allow  the  teacher  to  learn-­‐as-­‐they-­‐go.  

Jump   four   months   into   the   year   and   I,   the   NQT,   am   at   the   tail   end   of   an   extremely  

Even   so,   what   became   clear   was   that  

exci5ng   and   successful   compu5ng   project.  

although   there   was   some   strong   prior  

The   project   was   to   be   a   blend   of   my  

knowledge,  some  children  had  no  experience  

Compu5ng   Co-­‐ordinator’s   knowledge   of  

using   the   game.   The   ini5al   lesson,   where   I  

gaming   and   my   knowledge   of   local   history.  

allowed  the  children  to  explore  the  MinecraA  

‘Forty  Hall’,   a  local  landmark,  was  ripe  for  the  

program   gave  me   the  opportunity   to  assess  

picking   when   deciding   on   a   building   to  

those   who   were   confident   and   those   who  

develop   on   the   MinecraA   program.   Having  

needed   scaffolding.   I   then   grouped   the  

just   opened   as   an   educa5onal   centre,   the  

children   according   to   experience   and  

Hall  welcomed  us  with  open  arms.  

knowledge  of  the  program.  Each  group  had  a   confident  learning  leader  who  could  lead  and  

At   the  beginning  I  was  unsure  of  the  benefits  

keep   their   group   focused.   This   helped   to  

but   this   project   has   come   to   reveal   the  

keep  the  learning  as  pupil-­‐led  as  possible.

extensive   range   of   learning   opportuni5es   that   MinecraA   has   to   offer   to   children   in   schools  today.

The  Children’s  Prior  Knowledge The   children’s   passion   for   the   MinecraA   project  was  nothing  short  of  overwhelming.  If   the   children  did  not  play   it   at  home  already,   they   had   heard   their   classmates   talking   or   reading   about   it.   Interes5ngly,   there   was   a   huge   amount   of   prior   knowledge   amongst   my   class   when  it   came   to   MinecraA.   This  is  


The  Learning  Journey

point.   Closing   all   the   gaps   in   the   children’s  

Part   1:   The   History   curriculum   in   England  

learning   and   addressing   misconcep5ons   was  

demands  that   children   study   a  local  landmark.   We  visited  Forty   Hall  to  engage  closely  with  the   history  and  the  structure  of  the  house.  I  divided  

aided  significantly   by   using   a  three-­‐part   lesson   structure.  

the   children   into   four   differen5ated   groups.  

The  lesson  Structure

These   groups   gathered   resources   that   would  

The   lessons   were   taught   in   three   parts.   A  

enable  them  to  build  on  MinecraA   later  on.  The  

refocus   at   the   beginning   of   each   lesson  

children   were   able   to   sketch,   use   measuring  

encouraged   the   children   to   collaborate   and  

instruments  and  take  photographs  to  build  up  a  

verbalise   their   task   for   that   lesson.   Children  

bank  of  evidence  and   tools  that   they   could  use  

would  then  spend  up  to  an  hour   building  and  

when   it   came   building   on   MinecraA.   By  

collabora5ng   with   their   group,   making   sure  

collec5ng   their   own   resources,   children   could  

they   u5lised   the  chat   func5on   to   talk   to   and  

take  ownership  of   their   learning.   Higher   ability  

guide   each   other.   Learning   leaders   would  

children   were   required   to   calculate   ra5os  and  

assess  situa5ons  that  would  arise  and  problem  

make  links  with  their   mathema5cs  skills.  This  is  

solve  accordingly.  As  the  teacher,  I  could  assess  

one   of   many   ways   in   which   the   project   was  

all  children  in  the  game  from  a  computer   and  

cross-­‐curricular.    

offer   encouragement   and   advice   if   they   desperately   needed  it.  Fundamentally,   as  it  was  

Part  2:  AAer  visi5ng  the  hall,  the  children  had  a   strong  knowledge  of   Forty   Hall  and   had  access   to  a  host   of  tools  and  resources  that   they   had   collected   themselves.   In   the   second   phase   of   the  project,  children  were  able  to  collaborate  in   their   groups   to   decide   which   resources   they   would  keep  to  help  assist  them  when  it  came  to   build   all   the   par5cular   details.   The   learning   leaders  then   had   to   organise  which   task   each   child  would  take  during  the  project.   The  groups   then   mind-­‐mapped   a   plan   and   this   saw   each   child  take  ownership   of  a  sec5on  of  the  build.   The  children  were  then  ready  to  begin!

Part   3:   This  sec5on   of   the   learning   saw   the   most   progress   with   the   majority   of   the   successes  of  the  project   becoming  clear   at   this  

a  pupil-­‐led  project,   I  would  be  looking  for  great   collabora5on   and   effec5ve   problem   solving   from   the   learning   leaders   and   the   class   members.   Having   a   ‘revisit,   review   and   improve’   session  aAer   each   compu5ng   lesson   gave   the   children   some   5me   to   discuss   the   successes  in  that   lesson   but   it   also   gave   them   the   opportunity   to   draw   up   where  they   were   going   next   in  their  project.  This  was  wriKen  up   on  a  poster  and  kept  to  be  put  on  display  in  the   next  lesson.  Children  were  constantly  reminded   that  they   had  to  refer   to  this  to  move  forward   with  the  project.


Learning  and  Progress AAer   just   two   months   engagement   with   the   project,   the  children  have  had   the  opportunity   to   develop,   prac5ce   and   apply   significant   learning   and   skills   that   stretch   beyond   Compu5ng.   In   the   beginning,   the   learning   leaders   were   the   trouble-­‐shooters,   the   strong   self-­‐reflectors  and   would   guide   the   project   to   the  next  stages.  AAer  approximately   six  to  eight   lessons,   I   was  beginning   to   see   more   children   take  on  the  responsibility  of  problem  solving  for  

Eliot   Plumb   is   a   Year   5   teacher   at   Wilbury  

other   members   of   the   class.   In   addi5on,  

School   in   Edmonton.   He   graduated   in  

encouraging   children   to   use  the   chat   func5on  

Educa5on   from  the   University  of   Cambridge  in  

on   MinecraA   would   be   a   target   in   the   ini5al  

2013   and   enjoys   inspiring   children   through  

lessons.   As   the   project   matured,   the   children  

teaching  Compu5ng,  Dance  and  History.

naturally   collaborated   through   the   chat   and   would   offer   each   other   advice,   problem   solve   issues   and   revise   their   construc5on   work   together   to  make  sure  they   were  achieving   an   accurate  replica  of  Forty  Hall. As  a  result   of  MinecraA,   the  children   have  had   the  chance  to  prac5ce  and  develop  their   ability   to  become  suppor5ve  and  helpful  collaborators,   successful   problem   solvers.   At   the  same  5me,   they   have  been   given   the  opportunity   to  take   responsibility   for   their   own   learning.   The   MincecraA   project   has   given   the   children   a   chance  to   develop  skills  which,   with   con5nual   prac5ce,   will   allow   them   to   become   life-­‐long   learners.  Fundamentally,  the  children  can  apply   these  skills  in  not  only  Compu5ng  but  within  all   subjects  across  the  curriculum.  


“iPad  is  changing  the  learning  experience,  making  it  more  engaging,  interac.ve  and  completely   mobile.  With  features  you  won't  find  on  any  other  educa.onal  device,  iPad  inspires  crea.vity  and   hands-­‐on  learning.  Powerful  apps  let  students  engage  with  content  in  interac.ve  ways,  find   informa.on  in  an  instant,  and  access  an  en.re  library  wherever  they  go.  iBooks  textbooks  involve   students  in  a  dynamic,  Mul.-­‐Touch  experience  full  of  interac.ve  diagrams,  anima.ons,  photos  and   video  all  designed  specifically  for  iPad.” www.apple.com

I  think  for  an  app  developer  one  of  the  best  ways  of  developing  apps  appropriate  for  educa5on  is  to   establish  strong  links  with  schools  and  educators  so  that  they  can  provide  feedback  to  develop  their   product  further.    Luckily  online  communi5es  provide  us  with  such  links.  This  is  how  I  met  Francisco  J.   Alfonso  Domínguez  from  www.e-­‐imaxina.com  .  Over  the  next  pages  I  will  be  sharing  some  of  the  apps   that  they  have  created.  This  is  not  an  adver5sement  or  product  marke5ng,  it  is  merely  sharing  some   interes5ng  apps  that  you  may  find  useful  for  teaching  and  learning.  What  is  marvellous  about  Francisco   is,  he  wanted  to  hear  the  sugges5ons,  as  he  wanted  to  keep  making  his  designs  beKer  and  more   appropriate  for  learners.


Chispas is an interactive story that will delight your children whilst teaching them the importance of respect for animals and emotional intelligence as a foundation for the understanding of oneself and others. Roberto Maquieira GarcĂ­a is the author of this magnificent story. As an experienced educator and school counsellor, Roberto uses short stories in order for children to learn about the importance of certain values and emotional resources to help them understand the small things that bring joy to peoplesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; lives.

www.e-imaxina.com


An educational application about the vital role of the relationship of man. Through the nervous systemâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s response to external stimuli, we relate to other living beings and to our surroundings. Our senses receive stimuli; the nervous system processes the information and responds in the most appropriate manner; then, the musculoskeletal system implements the action. Available in English and in Spanish, the development of this application was supervised by educational and medical professionals to explain the workings of THE SENSES, the NERVOUS SYSTEM, and the MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM in an enjoyable and entertaining way.


A complete educational application, focused on the human body´s cycle of life. Available in both English and Spanish, its creation has been supervised by professionals in the fields of education and medicine. In a fun and entertaining manner, it explains the secrets of fertilization, gestation, and human growth. THE RACE OF LIFE The application is rounded out by a fun educational game: You must help a tiny sperm navigate through the female reproductive system. Your mission: fertilize the egg. To do this, you must complete five exciting phases, loading up on energy and speed to overcome all of the difficulties you will find along the way.


A complete educational application about the vital role of human nutrition. We get the energy necessary to live, the materials necessary for tissue construction and regeneration, and the substances which regulate the body´s internal reactions through the role of nutrition. These functions are carried out in the digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems. Available in English and Spanish, the development of this application has been supervised by educational and medical professionals to explain the functions of the DIGESTIVE SYSTEM, the RESPIRATORY SYSTEM, and the CIRCULATORY SYSTEM in an enjoyable and entertaining way.


Using Technology in Primary Science by  Maggie  Morrissey h`p://www.technologytoteach.co.uk/ Throughout  my  teaching  career  I  have  enjoyed   using   technology   in   educa5on,   especially   in   science   lessons.   As   an   ICT   coordinator   I   introduced   teachers,   teaching   assistants   and  

the  development  of  other  science  skills  such  as   argumenta5on.   Furthermore,   what   about   dyslexic   children   who   struggle   with   wri5ng? Will   the   wri5ng   process   truly   reflect   what  

children   to  a  variety   of  digital  resources  such   as:   data   loggers,   digital   microscopes   and   simula5ons   to   help   support   the   teaching   of   science.  

these   children   know?   Finally,   remember   our   younger   scien5sts,   whose  recording   skills   will   be  hampered  by  their  age.  

As  an   independent   primary   consultant   I  now   provide  training  for   primary   teachers  on  how   to   develop   their   teaching   of   science.   During   each   course   I   ask   teachers   to   outline   the   posi5ves  or  nega5ves  of  teaching  this  subject.   There   are   oAen   many   posi5ve   comments   about   science   especially   on   how   it   engages   young   children.   The   nega5ves   prove   very   interes5ng.   Other   than  worries  about   subject   knowledge   and   finding   resources,   teachers   oAen   say   how   much   they   and   the   children   dislike   the   recording   or   wri5ng   up   of   their   work.  Here  are  two  typical  comments:     ‘The   poor   way   in   which   experiments   and   results  are  recorded,  kills  enthusiasm’ ‘Marking   books   and   having   to   give   wriPen   feedback   takes   too   long   but   it’s   our   OFSTED   target’ I   believe  this  over   reliance  on   wri5ng  hinders   not   just  the  enjoyment  of  the  subject  but  also  

Talk in Science Talk   for   wri5ng   is   becoming   increasingly   popular   in   schools   so   what   about   talk   for   science?   Teachers   are   oAen   encouraged   to   illicit   children’s  ideas  at   the  start   of   a   science   topic   to   find   out   what   misconcep5ons   or   understanding  they   have,  but  what   happens  to   this  talk?  As  Robin  Alexander  points  out: ‘Talk   is   temporary   and   unless   par3cularly   interes3ng,   it   soon   fades   with   par3cipants   o:en  forge;ng  what  has  been  said.'   In   a   busy   classroom   with   lots   of   ideas   and   thoughts  being  produced,  how  can  the  teacher   and   even   the   children   reflect   on   the   discussion?   During   this   process,   do   we   as   teachers   really   know   what   each   child   understands?   In  addi5on,   what   impact   is   our   ques5oning  having  on  the  children’s  ideas?  As   part   of   my   MA   I   am   researching   how   technology   can   help.   Here   are   some   ini5al   ideas.  


Video Recording

their recordings after editing. Needless to say they

This can be used both at the start of a topic and as

real audience for their work would make that writing

the topic develops. Placing the video camera so

process far more interesting and relevant.

would still have to write and plan for this. Having a

that it can pick up the whole class; the starter question and initial ideas can be recorded. This

Whether you decide to go for some of these

recording could be used for the teacher to truly

options or incorporate all of them I do not think you

reflect on what the children truly know and identify

will be disappointed. Not only will your children

any misconceptions they may have. It can also be

become more enthusiastic about their science work

returned to during the work so that the children can

but you as a teacher will have a greater

reflect on how their ideas and knowledge have

understanding of what your children know, making

changed. This is also a valuable opportunity for a

your assessment more reliable. This is going to be

teacher to reflect on their own questioning skills.

extremely relevant when the new curriculum commences in 2014.

Recording devices There are now a variety of mp3 audio recorders

Links and references

available to be used in classrooms. These are

Audacity - http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

excellent for recording discussions in small groups.

Audioboo - http://audioboo.fm/

They are fairly simple to use and some can record

Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/

up to four hours of sound. The recordings can be

Lgfl: http://podcast.lgfl.org.uk/

played back and stored on your computer. The

Robin Alexander â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Towards Dialogic teaching

main problem is the files can build up quickly so a good system for naming and filing these is essential. Children can go on and edit their work using free software such as audacity and post their discussions into other digital applications.

Podcasting Podcasts are digital media files mainly audio but can include video. I currently use Audioboo but an alternative is Soundcloud. Subscription to both is free. They give the children the chance for their science work to reach a wider audience. They can post directly to the site or upload their work from


E-Learning in a Biology Classroom by Mila Bulić and Daniela Novoselić

A   modern   man   of   the  21st   century   should,   in  

lessons:  Structure  and  func5on  of  sexual  organs,  

addi5on   to   tradi5onal  language  skills,   possess  a  

Concep5on   and  development   before  birth,   Life  

wealth   of   knowledge,   environmental,   health,  

periods   of   human   life   and   Responsible   sexual  

economic,  social  and  computer  skills  in  order  to  

behavior.   Through   Moodle   the   teacher  

lead  a  high-­‐quality   lifestyle.  As  our  students  are  

monitored   each  of   the   students’   logins,   his  or  

a  part  of  a  digital  society   with  access  to  a  wide  

her   work   on   the   given   lesson,   forum   and  

range  of  informa5on  provided  using  informa5on  

discussions  ac5vity  and  quiz  results.

and   communica5on   technology   (ICT),   it   is  

 

important   to   include   ICT   in   the   educa5onal  

Twenty-­‐four   students   par5cipated   in   the   e-­‐

process  as  well.  In   order   to  make  this   possible,    

learning   project.   They   were   all   eighth-­‐graders  

schools   should   not   only   have   the   necessary  

aKending   the   Pujanka   Elementary   School   in  

infrastructure   and   adequate   space,   but   also  

Split,  Croa5a.  The  project  was  conducted  at  the  

computer   literate   teachers   who   are   able   to  

beginning   of   the  spring   semester,   in  the  school  

create  diverse  teaching   scenarios  and  use  ICT  in  

year   2012   –   2013.   The   24   selected   students  

the   classroom.   In   Croa5a   there   are   few  

made  up  the   experimental  group   which   learnt  

individual  examples  of  good  prac5ce  in  using  e-­‐

using   the   digital   materials   on   Moodle   on  

learning  in  teaching  science,  therefore  teachers  

computers  in   the  school’s   IT   lab.   At   the   same  

should  be  made  aware  of  the  possibility  of  using  

5me,   the  biology   teacher  taught   the  same  unit  

modern   technology   in   class,   as   well   as   being  

to  another  group  of  24  eighth-­‐graders  aKending  

addi5onally   educated   through   professional  

the   same   school   (A   control   group),   using   the  

training.  

tradi5onal   teaching   approaches   and   various   knowledge  sources,   as  well  as  various   teaching  

Moodle  and  Biology The  e-­‐learning  project  using  the  Moodle  system   (a   free   web   applica5on   for   on-­‐line   learning)   began   with   the   development   of   the   digital  

methods. The  digital  teaching   materials  on   Moodle  were   arranged   in  a  way   to  ensure  a   simple  and  user   friendly  interface  for  the  students  (Figure  1).

materials   necessary   for   teaching   the   Body   composi5on,   reproduc5on   and   development   unit   for   the   8th   grade   of   elementary   school   biology   classes.   Various   addi5onal   prac5ce   materials  as  well  as  quizzes  designed  to  test  the   students’   acquired  knowledge   were  developed   to   be   used   aAer   finishing   each   of   the   four  

Figure 1. User interface on the Moodle index


Before   the   e-­‐learning   project   began,   the   students   had   been   introduced   to   the   Moodle   interface  and  an  e-­‐mail  address  had  been  given   to   them   by   the  biology   teacher   in   case  any   of   the   students  needed   addi5onal   help   resolving   problems   or  ambigui5es.   Students  also  had  the   opportunity   to   ask   ques5ons   on   the   News   Forum  available  to  all  users.  It   was  interes5ng  to   no5ce   that   the   students   preferred   to   ask   for   help  individually   via  e-­‐mail  rather  than  using  the   forum,   which   confirms   their   unwillingness   to   publicly  share  their   own  thoughts,  ques5ons  and   problems. To   ensure  that  the  student’s  were  independent   and   given   thorough   e-­‐learning,   the   materials   were   divided   into   smaller   units   listed   in   the   Lesson  menu,  located  on  the  leA  side  of  the  user   interface.  The  students  accessed  these   units  by   simply   selec5ng  the  desired  topic.  Also,  various   audiovisual   and   visual   sources,   pictures,   illustra5ons,   graphs,   3D   models,   videos   and   anima5ons  were  added  to  the  textual  materials   (Figure  2).

tradi5onal   teaching,   at   the   end   of   the   Body   composi5on,   reproduc5on   and   development   unit  the  acquired  knowledge  was  tested  both  in   the   control   group,   taught   in   a   tradi5onal   classroom,  as  well  as  in  the  experimental  group,   taught   through   e-­‐learning.   The   results   of   the   test   were   compared   and   all   students   were   surveyed  about  the  learning  methods  they  used.   The  survey  shows  that  students  are  sa5sfied  and   have  posi5ve  feelings  toward  e-­‐learning,   as  the   mean   value   of   80%   of   the   answers   given   to   statements   are   above   4,5   showing   complete   student   sa5sfac5on   with   using   e-­‐learning   in   a   biology   class.  The  students  pointed  out   that  the   textual   and   visual   descrip5ons   were   highly   helpful   during   the   learning   process,   but   they   were  also   aware  of   the  addi5onal  effort   needed   for   successful   e-­‐learning.   Namely   the   experimental   group’s   quiz   results   were   not   significantly   beKer   than   the   control   groups’   results.  However,   students’  sa5sfac5on  with  the   learning   process   itself   should   certainly   be   a   source  of  mo5va5on  for  teachers.  

Figure  2.  A   Moodle  page  containing  educa5onal   materials  and  a  video

Figure  3.  The  Moodle  quiz  page  designed  to  test   acquired  knowledge

Various  prac5ce  materials  were   available   at  the   end   of   each   lesson.   At   the  end  of   the  unit   the   students   took   a   quiz   that   included   different   types  of  tasks  (Figure  3)   such   as  matching  short   answers,   true/false   ques5ons,   matching   pairs,   mul5ple   choice,   embedded   answers,   short   answers  and  calcula5on  tasks.

These   already   designed   and   implemented   e-­‐ learning   projects   should   be   a   mo5va5on   for   teachers   to   con5nue   crea5ng   digital   teaching   materials  and  various  digital  ac5vi5es  which  will   ensure   that   students   develop   skills   allowing   them   to   recognize  and  solve   real  life  problems   concerning  health  and  sustainability.    

As  the  objec5ve  of  this  project  was  to  determine   the   efficiency   of   e-­‐learning   compared   to  


EDITORIAL TEAM

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Yasemin Allsop

All materials are strictly copyrighted and all rights are reserved. Reproduction of any materials from this

yallsop@msn.com

magazine without permission is strictly forbidden. We accept no liability in respect of any material submitted by users and published by us and we are not

Christopher Carter christocarter@mail.com Des Hegarty desnkerry@talktalk.net Published by ictinpractice.com London, UK

responsible for its content and accuracy.


ICT in Practice Issue 7  
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