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Published on November 6th, 2013 | by Alison McCandlish


Learning about all the good things people in education are doing with creative uses of technology

The team at Digital Commonwealth have been enjoying finding out about many exciting projects which people are already involved in around Scotland; since September we have attended the Scottish Learning Festival, Scottish Learning Festival Teach Meet (#TMSLF13) and the recent Teach Meet Tablet session #TMTablet.  This blog post shows a snapshot of some of these projects.

Glowing in Space

This bilingual seminar at the Scottish Learning Festival showed us how 57 pupils worked together on Project Planetarium- each group has tasks to complete using different IT skills to explore the topic of learning about space, with five “missions” over 5 weeks.  Their missions included using powerpoint to make a fact file, making scale models of the solar system and recording these in a collaborative blog hosted on Glow, writing a documentary on space missions, designing a brief for the spacecraft of the future and reporting contemporary space events (like a newsdesk).  In each task people took different roles (quality checker, facilitator, reporter, recorder, time keeper and resource manager along side producing their content to answer the missions), and also took turns in commenting on each group’s work through Glow (positive comments and some questions with suggestions).  It was good to hear from the learners themselves about what they enjoyed most in the project as they helped present their work at the seminar alongside their teacher.

Memory Blogs

The Moray Heritage Memory Project  is an inter-generational history project, where pupils from several schools worked with Moray residents aged 65+ to capture stories on first jobs and lost skills.  So far 290 memories and 100 events and places have been featured.

When Keith Primary school was closing, a blog was set up to record the memories of pupils past and present.  This has a mix of audio and written materials, with photographs and tagged posts which allow you to search for posts on a particular topic.

Using video to address sensitive subjects

The Scottish Learning Festival Teachmeet was shown this Unicef video on UK Child Poverty.  It was created by pupils from involved St. Kentigern’s Academy in West Lothian as a creative and heartfelt response to learning about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Using Audio to explore an area

Living Communities in Perth and Kinross have been using Audioboo in recent projects, in these examples the area of Glen Lyon is explored


Creative use of tablets in class

The Teach Meet Tablet evening had examples of the use of tablets in class, from only one device through to every member of a class having their own device.  There was also a lot of discussion around apps which could be downloaded for free, or at a small cost and how to use these to provide opportunities for creative responses to assessments (e.g. a video diary being used for a transition project in Dumfries and Galloway or using the photo, video and audio tools together to help a pupil check their reading skills at Glasgow High). Apps such as iBooks Author can be used to create your own interactive notes and books for each class, including importing notes or text from Word (Hamilton Grammar School), and the notes feature in iBooks allows learners to add their own notes to different sections of the book (demonstrated by David Muir).

Using technology with a SAMR approach

There were several interactive sessions at the TeachMeet tablet, including an introduction to using tablets, I attended the session on SAMR which means substitution, augmentation, modification and redefinition; it asks us to consider the different stages of how we might use technology to complete common tasks, and then methods or stages to achieve this in different ways to enhance interactivity, learning and collaboration (the slides from this are provided on a link from the Teach Meet Tablet site in the round table section).  It would be possible to apply this method to all uses of technology, whatever your chosen platform or operating system, and examples from different areas of the curriculum were considered (e.g. how might you study Shakespeare or make a travel guide using this model, and how might technology enhance assessment methods).

A selection of other resources

Other interesting projects which were showcased or discussed at these events include:

We would be interested to see more examples of using video, audio, social media and blogging for schools projects, perhaps you could add to this selection of digital resources?

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