What is this hub about?
I try to bring a lot of technology into my lessons as I really believe it is a life skill this younger generation needs. We have a duty as teachers to prepare our children for life in their future and to be able to use a computer in many different and varied ways must surely be a key skill we need to teach in order for these children to operate in this ever increasing technological world.
The way I will put this hub together is to place ideas within topics that you may teach within your school. Some of which I have not taught yet but hope I get to do so one day.
You will notice ...
You will notice that I tend to use the same programs a lot for certain things. There is one very good reason for this - once you teach children how to use one program then they can use it for anything. You just add bits of knowledge to its use every time we come back to it.
Certain programs I use a lot include the following:
This is a great and easy site to use for podcasting or just recording sounds or voices which can be edited by young children to much more advanced students.
Stick to the basics with younger children or lower ability but you can add a lot for the older/higher ability children.
Simply put, you upload a sound file into audacity (you can record straight into it using a microphone or upload sounds you have saved, or even upload sound clips from the internet). Once this is done you can edit that clip, place other sounds over the top of it, decrease or increase the sound in parts, make it faster or slower and many more things.
If you get the context right then kids will love hearing themselves and have great fun using their imagination to produce some really good podcasts.
This is a great animation site that you can access a lot of free things from.
To access all the best features though you need to pay a subscription. There is special discounts for school accounts which would be good to look into as every student would have their own password and login details - think of the great home works you could give the kids to do using this!
This is a great website for the older kids. So much better than the outdated powerpoint most school use.
Everything you can do on powerpoint you can do here and much more. For one, when it is complete it is so much more visually stunning compared to that of powerpoint. It is easy to pick up too. Free to create an account - you only need an email address (which children should be able to access from a school account).
One way to get around this though is to create an account yourself and let the children log onto yours using your school email address (this I never had problems with as I have asked for homework to be emailed to me so they already knew this email address of mine.)
Take a look at the small video clip I got from utube. It is aimed at a professional market, for business users who need to present their big idea. So lets teach our children how to use it so they are ready with these skills to take their 'big idea' to their future workplace.
Powerpoint is so dated, I don't see why we use it in school. Children can use innovative programs like prezi and we can teach using smart notebook etc (which is interactive).
What is prezi?
1. World War 2 Ideas: Research
WW2 is a great topic to teach older children. We normally tackle it in year 5 or 6 and then again in year 9. Using technology in this topic can be innovative and no doubt you will see the progress made with your students. Shouldn't they have a lot of fun while learning?
So I have a few ideas of what we can do with computers during this topic, and I'm sure you can probably add to them:
- The obvious one is to use it for research. You can find anything you want on the internet that is for sure. The trouble is that children can also find a lot of things they do not want, or any good parent or teacher would not want them to find. With a topic as sensitive as war it is inevitable that your students will find material on the internet that could upset them or be used to upset others they know (depending on the child!) How do I combat this? Well for starters my first lesson is a refresher on internet safety. I explain that in schools they have a lot of safety features which will protect them, the filters which stop them looking at videos on utube and going on facebook. I then explain why this is necessary in schools. However there are loop holes to these filters - go to google images and most kids will find an inappropriate image in your lesson! This is where I introduce them to www.kidrex.org
The video has some very good hints and tips to help kids.
I would suggest that you need to teach your students about choosing which website they need. In the video she went down to the bottom of the page before choosing what she wanted - reading as she went. Too many students go to the top of the list and click on that.
They also become frustrated when it is too hard to find information, or if it doesn't just jump out at them. This is where you modelling searching for information comes in. Students should be shown that you go to different websites and pick and choose the information you are going to use. You also need to model about looking at a website and deciding it is no good because you scanned the writing for information and didn't find it so you just went to a different website
There are other kid friendly search engines out there but it is important that we try and get our kids away from google and the such because there is so much bad material on the Internet, and the problem we have is that most parents would not know how to regulate a child's Internet access and certainly won't know what they are looking at. Children need educating so they are protected on the Internet like we protect them in 'real life'.
1. World War 2 ideas: Prezi
- So once they have researched the topic what do you do with it? One idea is to place it into a prezi so they can present their information to the class. In year 6 I gave the children a couple of weeks project. Their task was to learn about how the war effected a certain country during WW2. They researched it all on the web and then made their own presentation. They already had the skills to use prezi so that was all down to them after the initial e-safety lesson. We then spent a lesson presenting our findings, where they peer assessed each other.
- Don't forget that prezi is great for peer assessment as there is a comments box where students can write what they like and how the student could improve it. Don't forget to print screen this and stick it in their books for evidence of peer assessment in other ways than writing.
1. World War 2 ideas: Podcasting
- Another idea for WW2 topic is to produce a podcast set in that era. It could be Neville chamberlains speech when we declared war on Germany. It could be a radio report of an air raid or the aftermath of one. It could be instructions of how to put on a gas mask.
- I would link these ideas to what ever you are teaching within literacy so they can reinforce these skills with speaking and listening skills. i.e if you are writing a set of instructions then do a podcast about how to put on a gas mask.
- If you decide to do a radio report, then why not either start with a newspaper report in literacy so they have ideas for the radio report, or do it the other way around and write a radio report after they have done the podcast. Either way the podcast allows some fun with sound effects of planes or bombs going off as most children seemed to do in my class! www.soungle.com is a great website to find free, short clips to add to audacity.
1 World War 2 ideas: stop animation
Stop animation is easy to do. You need a camera, a microphone and windows movie maker. Plus some plasticine.
- First you need to think of what context you want a movie on. Will it be kids being evacuated? Or could it be kids lined up and being picked by adults in the countryside when they get there? Could it be the many jobs children did during the war? Or do you just please the boys and go for an air raid?
- Once you have the context they can make their figures out of the plasticine. This is done first so they know the characters. I would suggest everyone can make a character, and if they work in groups of 3-4 then they have enough to create a short story.
- Then they need to plan what they want to do. A story board or something would be good for the plan.
- Then they get to take pictures of their characters and move them and take more pictures. Students must note that only slight movements should be used in stop animation and it will take a very long time to get a big scene. Show them the difference between small movements and large from something you did earlier. They should spot how poor it looks if they try to hurry the process along.
- These pictures are then uploaded into windows movie maker and placed in order. Then sounds can be added.
- Once finished the students can then write the story up in their literacy books. A good way to use speech marks in their work.
1. World War 2 ideas: Go-animate
Everything I wrote in the above idea about stop animation can be achieved with go-animate. Some of the applications on here though would require the paid subscription.
2. Victorians: Making a video clip.
I love the horrible history clips and use them in my history lessons a lot. It not only engages the children but also sets up the lesson to learn and have fun.
- On horrible histories they make an advertisement for chimney sweepers - Victorian shouty man. What I have done in the past is get the children to research about different jobs children would do in the Victorian era. From this they would film their own version the shouty man clip.
- Maybe a shouty man advertisement about a factory worker - "lose one child to dangerous conditions then don't worry we have plenty more where they have come from ... "
- This could be filmed using a digital camera. If any editing needs to be done or sound effects need adding then windows movie maker could be used for that.
3. Greeks: Mythological creature maker
A great website to build a monster like creature or mythological creature out of human and animal parts (like the ancient Greeks did) is http://www.buildyourwildself.com/.
- If you are working on myths in your literacy then this would be great to create a character for it. You should then be able to get the children to describe the creature a lot easier because they can see it.
Another website that could be used to create mythological creatures all be it only using animal parts is http://www.switcheroozoo.com/make_play.htm . A fun website that allows you to mix up different animals to make one.
4. Roman: Building a mosaic pattern
This could be as simple as you want. Roman topic does generally come for younger children so it could be as simple as a maths lesson on repeated patterns. There are plenty of websites that can offer help on this. I haven't used any yet so I can't comment on the best.
5. Tudors: Poetry
When looking at the Tudor era you must look at Shakespeare work. Not this is far too complicated for young children and won't appreciate it. What you can do however, is do a topic on poetry to link into his works.
A lot of children find it hard to rhyme and it is a difficult skill to pick up. A website I use to help those who struggle with it (and my own poetry) is http://www.rhymezone.com/ . It is a great website that is really easy to use. Type in the word you want to rhyme and it will give you all the options in the sites dictionary. From there you can pick the best one to suit your needs instead of spending valuable time trying to find a word that would rhyme.
Any topic you teach
Any topic you teach you can write a newspaper report on some aspect of it. Yes this is easy to do in their books within a literacy lesson but lets get more creative in the afternoons and have some fun.
A website that is easy to use and free is http://www.newspaperclub.com/how-it-works/make-a-newspaper-online . On the website it states that :
ARTHR is our online newspaper layout tool. It’s designed to be simple to use, and to help you design and make a newspaper without needing to own or know how to use desktop publishing software.
It's free, and it works in your browser with nothing to download. You can get started with it in just a few seconds, by signing up.
There's just a few simple steps:
- Upload your pictures and text
- Arrange them into order
- Pick your cover design
- Download the PDF to check it over
- Send it to print!
You can order just one copy, or many thousands, and we'll have them with you in just a few days.
Of course, some of these ideas are interchangable
The research idea and prezi can be used for any year group or topic you choose to teach. That's why I spent most time explaining these.
I know you will come up with your own ideas for topics but I hope these have added to the list of resources and ideas you do use in your teaching.