Bev's adventures in ICT

Posts tagged ‘Visual Literacy’

Getting Inspired

So there’s a  big box and it’s  just sitting under the IWB. What was in the box? Do you think we should open the box? Who does it belong to? What if…? I’m sure you know where this is going: it generates lots of ideas and discussion which you could string this out for weeks.Inside the box is a large treasure chest and this starts the discussion off again: should we tell others about it or keep it as a secret just for us? Should we share it with others in assembly? What if the contents are poisonous – what could we do? And so it goes on…

The chest it was full of eggs (which started off a whole load of What ifs…? and other questions yet again) and in the eggs were little creatures called Querks who come with their own little ‘accessories’ which turn them into more ‘normal’ every day creatures. There was also a book, and plentyof ideas of how the Querks could be used or the topics they could be linked to (Inclusion, PSE, Geography, Animal/Habitats…the list went on). Other ideas that could inspire the pupils could be making it look like a crater or spaceship had landed in the school grounds, leaving clues around the classroom that suggest someone has been there. I’ve also learnt this week how to create a string poem. If you’ve not heard of a string poem before, here are some instructions: String Poem

My ICT tip today is visual literacy themed  – the delights of Deviant Art.  It’s a good place to find interesting pictures (and occasionally videos) that could be used as a basis for visual literacy. Unfortunately it is one of those sites that gets filtered out at our school but it is a fabulous site and well worth exploring at home in the evenings to get a bit of inspiration. As a starting point I have searched through and found some interesting images the night before and prepared them in PowerPoint format. You can see the ones I chose – I split them into three slideshows: Visual Art – Portrait images, Visual Art – Landscape images and, my particular favourite, Visual Art – Into your world – great images of imaginary creatures, and their habitats, from an artist listed as Tommi_75 (who also has a lovely selection called mechanimals too).

To stretch the use of these pictures (and the links to ICT) I suggest people use a zoom tool (like ZoomIt or even the magnifier in Windows accessories) to zone in on areas, or use the spotlight tool on ActivInspire to reveal little bits at a time before revealing the whole image. Another idea could be to import the image into something like LinoIt or Dabbleboard so that the pupils could annotate around it or answer questions posed by the teacher (or each other). You might have other ideas for the images but the site definitely falls into my ‘must see’ category.

Boys will be boys…

Boys. What can you do with them? Never a day goes by when you don’t read or watch something relating to improving attainment in boys. It wasn’t that long ago that we chatted about the differences between boys and girls learning styles on ukedchat and we’ve also seen Gareth Malone recently going on about it on our TV screens. Getting boys engaged in learning is the hot topic of the moment. Everyone’s trying to do something about it. Both Pie Corbett and Tim Rylands give inspiring insets on storytelling, poetry, using Myst, and getting kids interested and there are plenty more people who do the same thing. You can get fabulous ebooks and graphic novels (many from Rising Stars who sponsored TeachMeet Pembs) and  Scholastic’s interactive Read and Respond are also full of inspiring ideas  let’s face it, who doesn’t like Stig of the Dump?).

Just recently I’ve been enthusiastic about visual literacy – great for engaging pupils of all levels. I’ve found some great resources linked a few different titles. If you’ve not checked out The Mysteries of Harris Burdick I’d suggest you check it out! There are a number of resources for it on both You Tube and SlideShare and there are also great resources based on books by Shaun Tan and David Wiesner . There are, additionally, some great video resources available online that they could use in class in a similar way, including a number of Pixar shorts and items from both the BFI and Film Education. Well worth investigating!

ICT can be a good way in when it comes to getting boys engaged in learning.  This is just as true for pupils with SEN and here are some great ideas!  The youngest pupils, many of whom might not be ready for a mouse, can have fun using the Switch activities on Help Kidz Learn (which are also set up to work with a space bar if you don’t have switches) while those slightly can enjoy exploring the land of the Red Fish. Pupils also enjoy accessing 2Paint a Picture and some of the PurpleMash Paint Projects using a touch screen. Older children are just can have lots of fun using the fantastic Publish Projects, again on PurpleMash, which really help them because the features (like the prompts and videos) are just so inspirational and inclusive. I’d also suggest using 2CASS to present work, another fabulously inclusive tool, which I’ll be blogging about at a later date. I’m sure these activities will be loved and adored by any number of boys (and girls) so why not try them out.