When delivering a seminar on a e-learning resource, I decided to choose kahoot. Kahoot is a game based learning site which enables a large group of children to take part in class quizzes and games through the pin the class teacher provides.
When delivering the seminar to the group, I discussed the various factors which makes Kahoot an effective learning resource. The slides are available on the link provided
During the presentation I discussed how it could be used in the classroom. For example, as the teacher makes the quizzes, all of the questions and activities that are made to suit the subject topics the class learn about. The class teachers take control of who is allowed to enter the classroom and who can take part in the quizzes so safety is not an issue. In terms of making a Kahoot page, it is very easy. For the seminar I made a simple quiz in order to model how the programme works. The site allows teachers or users to enter relevant links so children can access websites or watch relevant videos to assist their learning.
The user guide above demonstrates how different quizzes can be made.
There are many uses of Kahoot in the classroom. However, it is mainly used as a formative assessment strategy. Using technology to assess students’ understanding is a change to the traditional testing strategy, however, it is one which is more relaxed and children feel more engaged whilst doing so. The e-learning resource is an example of how the ‘use of collaborative technologies and learning platforms support 21st Century learning’ (Becta, 2010).
Kahoot! has successfully been used across mnay classrooms and is now used internationally as a form of formative assessment in the classroom as demonstrated in the video.
Familiarise yourself with the resources available on the kidSMART website. Evaluate their effectiveness for use in primary school and post this to your blog.
E-Safety is such an important aspect when providing education to children about the effective use of the internet and how it works. With so many online threats children are exposed to through the internet, it is important for them to be guided and educated as to how to keep safe online. KidSMART is an amazing online tool which provides children with helpful information on various popular uses of the internet with an interface that is attractive and child friendly.
The use of kidSMART is effective for the use in primary schools as internet safety is divided in to different sections. Children can select the section which is most appropriate for them. For example:
Each section provides children with helpful top tips on how to safe, provides video explanations and gives a general overview of the topic.
It is effective in primary schools as the information is already readily provided. Therefore, teachers don’t have to make resources to teach the topics and can be used as a good stimulus for developing their further knowledge about online safety
KidSMART is also effective to use in primary schools as it benefits the teacher.
With a bank of readily available resources, teachers who are less confident with teaching the topic are supported with a solid basis for providing good quality lessons to their students about e-Safety. The differentiated pages also help as resources are divided in to age related phases of EYFS, KS1 and KS2. This makes the site applicable and relatable to all students. Overall, the use of KidSMART is an effective teaching tool in primary schools mainly because of the high quality resources and information that is provided. The site is very child friendly as the user interface is easy to use and looks presentable. However, it is a good stimulus for teaching online safety. Teacher would have to plan further about how to ensure children understand the topics through planning lessons which include assessment. For example, asking them to write blogs on how to keep safe, or making posters which display the various topics they have learnt about.
The video conferencing lecture was a really interesting experience of sharing each other’s knowledge about our own sections from the Horizon Report. My section was about redesigning learning spaces and through reading, it was interesting to find how the layout and formation of an educational environment can deeply affect the educational performance of a classroom. A step towards ‘active learning classrooms’ such as moveable furniture and interactive whiteboards has resulted to a more collaborative learning environment.
What does this mean?
This has meant that the focus has been taken away from traditional lecture formats to more class discussion and collaborative learning classrooms.
The lecture itself was delivered online through video conferencing. This was the first time I have experienced doing this however, it was a positive experience. It allowed us to listen, engage and partake in the discussion together through having options such as asking questions through the interactive ‘hands up’ and having a live discussing of thoughts through written conversation. Also being able to see everyone in the group at the same time meant that the lecture was not based on one person, instead, it gave everyone the equal opportunity to voice and partake in the session. Therefore, I would not have classified it as a lecture, instead, a discussion which was led by different individuals.
The picture above illustrates how we were able to view the presenter’s power point on one side of the screen and on the other side we could see the lead speakers and the other group members in order to listen and discuss the matter.
I would most definitely use online video conferencing again due to its ease of access, simple nature and also being an interesting means for collaborating with a group of people from long distances. It presents a professional approach and does not take much effort or computing equipment to set one up.
Class badges is an online tool where teachers can award children with badges for a variety of reasons, whether it be good attendance, effort, achievement etc. Class badges can be customised by the class teacher so it meets the needs for the students within the classroom. Badges can be personalised for the group of children you have, for example:
Badges is very similar to the reward system such as class dojo. However, the difference is that class dojo is fairly generic, the teacher is not able to personalise the rewards given.
For the teacher this is advantageous as the badges awarded can be personalised to meet the academic goals of the school, additionally, it can be altered to the needs of specific students. For example if a particular behaviour policy is in place for children with behavioural issues, badges can be used by teachers as a means of positive reinforcement as children can aspire towards achieving and earning the goals and badges needed.
How does it benefit the student?
Badges benefits the children as it keeps children motivated to track their progress online. Unlike other award systems, class badges encourages children to think outside the box. With such a wide choice of badges to earn and the choice of teachers being able to personalise them, the children are more likely to use their imagination and become enthusiastic learners by aspiring towards achieving a wide range of badges.
Berners-Lee was the founder of WWW and his inspiration was rooted from having various separate information systems and converting them in to one. In this way, it turned in to a system which was open for everyone to read. In this respect, the WWW presents a social constructivist approach to learning whereby users can share, alter, gather and benefit from a variety of open resources. In relation to learning, this is specifically helpful as the WWW allows children to take control of their learning through independent research with a variety of online tools to help them. The Plowden Report (1967) endorsed the move away from formal teaching to group work and learning through play and creativity (Cooper, H. 2011:8). This reflected a move away from traditional teaching styles and since then, the social constructivist approach to learning has evolved through the use of online tools including the WWW.
Below shows an example of how the learning process has shifted to a more collaborative and social environment through the use of the WWW:
For example, taking experience from my own education, the WWW strongly forms the basis of research and this is a practise which I carried out until today. The easily accessible and quick nature of accessing reliable information makes the WWW one of the strongest information providers. Of course, there are always limitations of having loose and inaccurate sites, however, this is another lesson in itself for children to learn.
Furthermore, the WWW can not only be used as an information provider, however, it is increasingly being used as a base for creating new materials. Berners-Lee describes the web as being ‘unbounded opportunity which is limited only by your imagination’. This is practised through computer programming. For example, children have been exposed to playing computer games online that have been created by business companies. Sites such as Scratch, enables children to form their own pieces of work and share with the online community. This is a significant step in relation to learning as children are learning skills such as coding, problem solving and debugging. Programmes such as Scratch are also enjoyed by pupils and has been such as success that Scratch Junior has also been released. It is important that children do enjoy their learning experience and even more helpful to know that the WWW contributes towards achieving this.
Additionally, the WWW can be a great basis for communicating. The rise of video conferencing has been such a positive aspect for children. In relation to learning, children are able to communicate with those from all over the world. For example, ‘Google hangouts’ have been used by lots of teachers to promote collaborative learning whereby children can benefit from experiencing different cultures all over the world. As Time Burners-Lee states, ‘With the web, you can find out what other people mean. You can find out where they are coming from. The web can help people understand each other’.
The WWW is additionally an effective way of achieving a successful learning environment. Not only does it provide learners with a wide range of scope to work from, it is also organized, manageable and easily accessible for a large audience which may include students, teachers, parents, governors etc. The benefits of using the WWW has been widely recognized by many establishments and institutions even to the point of the government pushing forward online workspaces. For example, the Department for Education and Skills highlights the benefits of using e-learning strategies for the 21st century as they can ‘offer personalized support, online communities, flexible study, tools for innovation, collaborative learning…’ attributes which are all necessary for leading a progressive and successful learning environment.
When reflecting up on the benefits of the WWW it made me plan upon the properties I would like to incorporate in to my e-learning platform we have been developing on google classrooms. The characteristics I would like to integrate in to my e-learning platform would include supporting teaching and learning (by allowing teachers to have a platform where they can communicate and collaborate with students) and unifying learner support (allowing students to learn from each other). Revolutionizing teaching by embracing the shift from traditional whiteboard lessons to online classrooms is something “Braincert” is passionate about and emphasizes on the increased opportunities for collaborative and interactive learning. However, spectators may argue that the increased use of online collaboration builds a wall between children and real life society. For example, Ofsted recognises children who may not have access to the WWW.
‘Although individual access was not seen as an issue for the college learners, three colleges did express concerns that, if the internet did become an essential part of learning, any learners without home broadband internet access could be disadvantaged in their learning.’ (Ofsted, 2009).
This viewpoint definitely needs to be considered as although the WWW gives children the opportunity to work creatively and discover new learning experiences, it can also create a boundary between those who can and can not gain sufficient access. On the other hand, Wenger recognises the potential of the increase in flow of information as he states, ‘It does not obviate the need for community. In fact, it expands the possibilities for new kinds of communities based on shared experience’. (Wenger:2015). Although it can create a bigger scope for creating online communities, there is still an issue of whether it is accessible for all individuals in reality. If not all children have the same level of access then it is limiting the scope of which all children can equally benefit from the tools the WWW has to provide.
Therefore, the WWW has the power to achieve so much however, it also has its drawbacks, especially when it comes to teaching. ‘In the same manner students use the Internet as their primary source of information, teachers come to rely too much on the Internet in their planning/teaching’. (Tuver and Blomqvist:2009). The WWW has become so influential in people’s daily routines that it may have taken over the role of independent research as information is so easily accessible. Berners-Lee also recognises the dangers of the WWW as he states, ‘Some people point out that the Web can be used for all the wrong things. For downloading pictures of horrible, gruesome, violent or obscene things, or ways of making bombs which terrorists could use’. However, the WWW is undeniably a powerful source for this generation of learners, it is up to the users when deciding upon how to implement it into their lives… ‘I think the main thing to remember is that any really powerful thing can be used for good or evil.’ (Berners-Lee). As teachers, we can only inspire children by modelling the vast range of opportunities and tools the WWW has to offer.
Cooper, H. (2012). Professional Studies in Primary Education: pp. 8, SAGE Publications.