Glossary video on "Sustainability factors"
Aimed at Grade 1's to 3's.
Topic: Reading and Spelling. Learning letters and pronounciation
Learning Area: English
Year Level: Foundation-Grade 2
Digital Technology: Website : 'Starfall'
Location and screen shot: http://www.starfall.com/
Learning goal/statement from curriculum: recognising and saying the name and most common sound made by each upper and lower case letter of the alphabet, including consonants and short vowel sounds, such as /a/ in cat
Link to digital technologies: experimenting with very simple, step-by-step procedures to explore programmable devices.
Strategy: On the home page of Starfall, you can choose whether you want to learn the alphabet or whether you want to learn to read. There is also a "Fun to read" button which has more engaging game-like simulations which incorporate reading into their games. In the alphabet option, you pick a letter, for example 'A' and the program sounds the letter out to you, you then go to another screen which sounds out the different ways the letter 'A' can sound. For instance, 'a' in cat is a short a sound, whilst the 'a' in the word rainbow is a long 'a' sound. This website is for the younger student's as it is very basic and easy to use. Not very challenging, and is very colourful with lots of sound effects. The use for teaching is below.
How to use for teaching: - each foundation child will have an ipad or computer of some sort. - The teacher will instruct children through the alphabet telling them which letters to focus on. - This would be a fun activity: each day focus on a new letter and go through the website as a group.
Verdict: This is a great website for young students. The website is colourful and playful and has great sound effects, these aspects would engage a young child and would make learning words and letters fun for young children. they would also feel at ease that this isn't a 'winning or losing' activity, you can have as many goes as you want until you are satisfied. It has a systematic approach, in conjunction with audiovisual interactivity, is perfect for kindergarten, foundation, first grade, second grade, special education, homeschool, and English language development (ELD, ELL, ESL). Starfall is an educational alternative to other entertainment choices for children.
Topic: Learning about animals & spelling
Learning Area: Science & English
Year Level: Foundation
Digital Technology: App "ABC Wildlife"
Location and screen shot: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/abc-wildlife/id379192277?mt=8
Learning goal/statement from curriculum: recognising common features of animals, for example, head, legs and wings.
Link to digital technologies: locating image or text data, for example searching through a digital photo library, taking into account cultural considerations
Strategy: Teaching children about the wild world of Animals! Little Explorers ABC Series teaches children new words through sight, sound & touch. Let them explore a world of monkeys, tigers, elephants & more through beautiful pictures, lively videos, and interactive scenes. Plenty of facts about the animals, and plenty of opportunities to learn how to spell and read.
How to use when teaching: Each child will have a mobile device (iPad, iPhone, iPod etc.), allow this app to played when children have finished their other work so it is seen as a reward. Children will be more engaged with it and learn about animals and the spelling of the animals. It will achieve the learning goal when the app takes the child through live footage of animals, allowing them to recognise parts of the animal and how it functions.
Verdict: This is a fantastic app which allows student's to learn about what animals are, where they live, and how they live. The numerous animals this app has on display include all real photo's and footage, real giving students a closer look into animals. However, the app is not just about learning about the animals, but it also incorporates learning to read and spell. The app spells out the word of the animal shown. This is a fun, real-life, educational app for younger students, I believe it will excite young students. The app is not free which could cause issues.
Learning Area: Math
Year Level: Years 1-6
Digital Technology: A paid website: Mathletics
Location and screen shot: http://au.mathletics.com/
Learning goal/statement from curriculum: determining which questions will gather appropriate responses for a simple investigation
Link to digital technologies: collecting, and sorting data through play.
Strategy: Sit all students' in front of a laptop, computer, iPad etc.. Allow them to play some free time on the website 'mathletics' some will build their skills up on a certain topic, e.g. chance and data, which will build their confidence. When a student is feeling confident, they will enter the live option of the app, where you can verse any student from around the world who is online at that time, in a quick paced 'Math off'. Or you could verse the person next to you, or the computer. Winning gives students' points which allows them to buy cool accessories for their avatar, this is a motivational aspect of the game.
Mathletics was designed for the Australian primary school curriculum, so anything in this game is valuable. This game does have a cost, but I believe it is worth it. Students' all over the world are engaged with this game and their mathematical skills are improving. Teachers oversee all of how the students' are progressing, and can change what questions and topics students are given, catering for all students' abilities.
Verdict: Mathletics switches kids on to maths. It’s engaging, highly supportive with activities targeted to the Australian mathematics curriculum. It is a fantastic way to get kids loving maths. For example, a child may be good at maths, but not have the confidence to show it. However, this game brings out a competitiveness in kids. They strive to be the best and win the most points for their avatar, or maybe just to impress their teacher. I would definitely incorporate this game into my classroom.
Topic: Learning about habitats and sustainability
Learning Area: Science
Year Level: year 1 & 2
Digital Technology: App. "Habitat the Game"
Location and screenshot: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/habitat-the-game/id858068710?mt=8
Learning goal/statement from curriculum: exploring what happens when habitats change and some living things can no longer have their needs met.
Recognising that different living things live in different places, for example, land and water
Link to digital technologies: constructing a model of a real or imaginary digital systems device for use in role-play scenarios and explaining the features of the device to an adult. For example, an endangered virtual pet to look after.
Strategy: Student's will learn about caring for the environment by adopting a polar bear and keeping him healthy by completing events and performing good deeds in the real world, like turning off the lights when they leaves the room. By turning on location services on the app, the student can also find real-world habitat locations and collect pins in the game for visiting them which creates a motivating factor for student's.
How to use when teaching: Fifteen-twenty minutes each day towards the end of the day should be used for this game. Teaching children a sense of responsibility, as if they had their own real pet. Also, showing kids that we must continue to look after nature. The game is played on a mobile device, and should be played in moderation, but must be played frequently to demonstrate the responsibility behind the task.
Verdict: I think this a fantastic App for young student's. It is hard to make sustainability fun for students, but I think this app would work extremely well as the graphics are beautiful, modern and atheistically pleasing. The ownership of a virtual polar bear would appeal to many children (especially those who want a pet) and you learn a lot about the environment, sustainability, animals, global warming etc. Perfect for little kids!
Reflection: I have learnt the benefits from using digital technologies in the classroom. I already knew it had benefits, but going through and playing some of these educational games really highlighted the importance of incorporating a bit of fun into the classroom through the use of technology which most children know how to use. Computers are the world now, and we need to incorporate them whether we like it or not. Using games when teaching is great, but should be used in moderation. In order for someone to learn, they have to be focussed and engaged, bringing gaming and learning together allows this to happen. I have also learnt that a lot of the digital games out in the world relate directly to the school curriculum, and a lot do not. The best program I found was Mathletics. It relates directly to the Australian Math curriculum. The use of ICT in classrooms is necessary and can be extremely beneficial is used correctly.