Monday, 7 April 2014

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Sign my petition please!

This is my blog - I think it is something you may be interested in signing and sharing?

https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/rt-hon-david-cameron-mp-get-rid-of-being-able-to-write-anonymous-to-someone-on-social-media-websites-such-as-ask-fm

It has come to the point now where young children and teenagers are seriously harming themselves or committing suicide over bullying on websites. There are a lot of campaigns about ask.fm but there is a lot of other social websites where you can write to people anonymously. On some gaming websites you do not even have to write your name - you can be a "guest" and write to people and say whatever you want. This is not acceptable. You have no idea who is on the other end of the game/social media website and this is where bullying and stranger danger issues begin. 
Why is it acceptable to be "guests" or "anonymous" on websites? It isn't. Think of it this way, if there was no "anonymous" on ask.fm then maybe the people that committed suicide wouldn't have. Half the time there is no way of tracking these "guest" and "anonymous" bullies so they can continue bullying people online.
This needs to stop. 
As a teacher in training I am beginning to see just how vulnerable children and teenagers are. Bullying can lead to the most horrific situations from self harming to committing suicide. I am sure you realise that this needs to stop. 
Please can you get rid of the "guest" users and writing "anonymous" functions on ALL social media sites and games before anyone else does something dreadful and we see another death in the news. 
If we can get rid of these "guest" and "anonymous" type features on social media websites and online games maybe the youth of today will be able to have fun online without the risk of bullying. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formspring#Controversies as you can see on this website another "anonymous" able website shut down after a teenager committed suicide due to bullying. Why is this acceptable? Why are people allowed to be anonymous online?

Friday, 15 November 2013

Is Your Red the Same as My Red?

Today (15/11/13) I had a Digital Literacy session on the concept of Perception. I was wary as to what this session would bring. 

What would you say Perception is? Is it the way we view something in our eyes or is it to do with our viewpoint on a certain topic?

Did you come up with any of these? Perception is all of these depending on the situation in hand. 

Steve Wheeler placed a ball under a glass and told us to move it from one table to the other. Easy task. Pick it up and move it. However, the rules stated that we had to only touch the glass and the glass must still be upside down. I had already seen this trick a few years back but the rest of the group hadn't. Everyone had the same look of confusion. One of my classmates came up with the idea of spinning the glass so the ball span inside and moved it like that. It was interesting to see how she looked at the glass and imagined how she would move the ball across to the other table. 

Carrying on with the lesson we got told to draw 9 dots on our pages just like this: 
We then had 4 lines and had to connect all the dots. But yet again, we were given more rules. 
1) Can't take the pen off the paper
2) 4 lines only
3) Can't go back over the lines
4) Can cross through lines
5) Must cover all the dots. 

Looking around the room everyone seemed stumped trying to connect all the dots together. I could feel myself getting more and more frustrated with this task as at first glance I thought it would be rather simple. Steve decided to show us on the board exactly how to do it and this is the result.

The whole class "ahh'd" at this. When we looked at the nine dots we all saw a square and attempted to draw that. That was our perception of what we were seeing on the paper in front of us. We made up our own rules. Not once did Steve saw "you can't go outside of the dots" or "it must be a square" but as soon as we saw the dots form a square shape we all thought that's how it must be joined. 
When looking on this website "http://www.clevelandconsultinggroup.com/articles/gestalt-principals.php" I found the following quote: 

"Although individuals are capable of holding in mind two different or opposing patterns, one or the other will dominate depending on the environment or context (Brytting & Trollestad, 2000, p. 70)".

This made me think about what I had done whilst trying this task. As I was looking at the nine dots I only saw the obvious square pattern as my mind fixated on this shape, along with everyone else. However once the triangle had been drawn on I can now see that this shape holds more than just the simple square. It can be rotated to become a diamond also for example. This has given me a lot to think about as it is now allowing me to see more than what I already do. 

I spoke to a few people tonight about Perception and how we perceive the world and someone told me about this theory that he had heard elsewhere. This really made my head spin. 

Think of the colour red. Are you thinking of it? Good. Describe it. Can you? It's not that simple is it? Try looking online for a definition. It simply states where it is on the colour spectrum and words that relate such as "fiery" or synonyms.  

This is from a man on YouTube under the name of "Vsauce" with a video labelled "Is Your Red the Same as My Red?" He describes colour as an "illusion". He then continues on to explain that "colour is created inside our heads". How do we not know that our perception of colour is completely different to each other? We can't jump inside another person to see - we simply agree a colour is blue or green or yellow. But when I see a yellow banana you may be seeing what I see as green, but you classify it as yellow. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evQsOFQju08

Even as I am writing this I feel very confused. So I shall leave you with that thought. Do I see something completely different to you just because of how I perceive it? Or do you see the same? 

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Coaching Tag Rugby.

On the 9th May myself and two other Plymouth University students helped out at Ridgeway School. The primary schools in the local area are all in practice for a Tag Rugby event at Marjons. The purpose of the session at Ridgeway was to give the children more coaching and preparation for the big event.

The purpose of myself and the two other students was to be referees to the game. We were told to not be 100% strict on the rules but to give them the experience of playing the game and to learn from their mistakes before the big event.

When arriving at the school at 3pm the sky was grey and rain was begin to come down. Not great conditions to play Tag Rugby. After meeting Claire and a few more introductions we braced the cold weather to set the pitch up. Using cones we created two pitches for the games with colours indicating specific areas of the pitch. The red cones separated the two pitches and as Claire said the children are being taught to know that the colour red means stop. Yellow cones were placed down the sides of the pitch to represent the sidelines which the children could not pass over. White cones indicated the try line which they were obviously aiming for.

As the children arrived moans and groans arrived with them. "It's cold!" "I don't want to go out in the rain!" and so on. Despite this the children put on rain coats and headed outside for the warm ups. We three students made them run, jog, skip their way up and down one pitch and then back to the beginning for stretches. There were 5 schools in total so there was a small part of the field dedicated to skill building and practising which is where I was placed.

In the skill building myself and a year 11 on DofE work led the children into ball throwing activities and running. (The running mainly to keep them warm as most of them were shivering!!) It seemed that the ball throwing is what let them down as some seemed to struggle with the throwing and catching element of the game.

4pm hit and the rain was still pouring down but the children still shivered and shaked their way through games and skill building. At 5.10 the games were all complete and the afternoon was over. Once they were told it was the end they all sped their way indoors for the luxurious heat and warmth.

I absolutely loved doing this event today, despite the horrid weather, and am very thankful that I had the opportunity to do it. I will definitely consider doing something like this again!!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Alfie Boe Performance

I can't stop listening to Alfie Boe music at the moment so I wanted to write a little something about it in the hope of inspiring other people to start listening to Alfie.
Where do I even begin?
His voice is one of a kind; it is the most relaxing yet powerful voices of all time in my opinion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GedLhCzizH4

He can sing pretty much anything.
I love every single song Alfie has ever performed. I can sit and listen to his music all day long. He has one of those voices that is simple entrancing; the type of voice where you just sit and listen - you don't need to watch him perform you can just sit and listen to the beauty and perfection of his voice.
Saying that, when he performs it is just that much better. I went to see him in Les Miserables and the week before he had a knee injury. I felt like my life was over. My mum had spent so much money on getting seats a few rows from the front just to be able to see him properly and then he says he's ill!! I was not having that haha. I made sure that I tweeted him and wished him well. I just wanted to hear that perfect voice on stage. The day of the performance arrived and it said on the voice over that Alfie was indeed performing. I burst into tears straight away. I was so excited. The opening number came on and I could see him as soon as he came on stage. It was incredible. I cried the whole way through.
As soon as "Bring Him Home" came on I couldn't wait. The introduction came on and I had goosebumps all over my arms. I couldn't wait. Then he started singing. The whole room was silent; you could hear a penny drop. The way he sung was so amazing because he looked like he was putting such little effort into the power of his voice but what came out was phenomenal. It was so powerful and full of heart and soul. You could tell he was really feeling what he was feeling.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jM1oorWikpM

This song was played at my grandad's funeral and since then it has meant a lot to me. I can't not listen to it. I never go a day without listening to it. It is actually incredible.

Apart from the singing Alfie is such a nice person. When I met him at Bluewater for his book signing I jumped straight in front of him and starting blurting out a load of rubbish. I was meeting the man that is my idol; I couldn't contain my excitement. When he asked if I wanted a hug I almost cried. I couldn't believe it. Thinking about it now I am getting so tearful. It was the best day of my life. Meeting him was incredible and I am going to do everything I possibly can to meet him again, it was the best day of my life and I will never forget it.





I really insist you listen to his music. It's lovely when music touches you in the way his music touches me. Music is important in life. Never forget. No matter if you love singing and aren't good at it - show it off. Be happy to sing. If you enjoy it; so what?! Hence why I made these two songs on youtube, I love singing and gonna show it off, even though I'm not the best!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BNg1dc_xb0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzyGXF-4Y50

Friday, 26 October 2012

Specialism Week

This week at Plymouth we had a specialism week where we focused on our chosen specialism, mine being digital literacy. I went into this week not knowing at all what I would be doing, worrying slightly as to whether I'd be able to do it or if I'd struggle.
When I first settled into the room I found out we'd be making animations and then teaching them to the children that we were going to be teaching. We started looking at a programme called "I Can Animate" and could choose whether we used and iPad or the laptop. In my pair we chose both of them so this gave a good mix. I automatically went for the iPad as I long for one, they're so cool. We went out of the computer room and sat outside and set up our green screen. We used blu - tack to keep our little lego people still and moved them a little bit every picture. When you use I Can Animate you have to take one photo, move the lego slightly, take another etc. This is a long process and when using the iPad that you aren't able to stand up your arm begins to ache. After a long time of moving and snapping we finally created this little project..

video
So once we had worked on this for a day we then moved onto working out how to teach it to the children at the school we were going too. The teachers came in to inform us that we were going to be teaching Tudors to the children. Unfortunately, I remember very little from my days at school about the tudors. I struggled to remember the rhyme let alone information to teach with. I knew that both Tuesday and Wednesday I would have to do a lot of research about the Tudors so that I knew exactly what I was teaching them and so I didn't look like a fool.
By Wednesday night I had prepared an example video (see below), a lesson plan, activities and resources and was raring to go. I knew that Thursday was going to be a long day but was looking forward too it.

video


As soon as I arrived into the school I could tell that this was a completely different school to where I had worked before. There was silence. That was the main shock as we walked in, no noise from screaming children excited to see everyone, no stern voices from teachers. Either the children were really well behaved or we were entering a school with outstanding discipline. Once again we had to hide our phones and walked to the ICT room. On first glance we didn't know how we were going to work in here because of the computers in the middle of the desks but no one said anything. Just after an ICT teacher came in and pressed a few buttons on the desk and the computers started lowering into the centre of the table. Even though we are all ICT students we were all fascinated by this. We then moved into the classroom to introduce ourselves to the children. They all sat there and stared and we stood there and stared. Safe to say, it was a very awkward introduction session.
I moved my stuff into the classroom and set up with my pupils. They sat there and stared at me, not uttering a word. I knew that I would have a lot to do to help these two to feel comfortable enough to work. I asked them about the wives and about who was beheaded and who wasn't and then they finally began to open up and chat more. I had them colour in their Henry VIII pictures and then set them to work on writing a script and their storyboard. They seemed very excited about making the animation and were more talkative now.
After a few struggles of having to set up the webcam and green screen we finally had it all set up and were ready to go. The children found it hard to understand that you only move the pictures a little bit each photo and didn't always move their hand so I had to go back multiple times to correct that picture. They were very happy with the end result.
However, the laptop I was using decided to have a funny five minutes and wouldn't let me export the video and now it has corrupted and is unable to play. I was very disappointed about this as I really wanted this one to work. As bad as that was, I knew what I needed to do the next day to change what happened on this day.
The next day was more relaxed and instead of going into the classroom I stayed in the ICT room to see what the change of atmosphere would have on my teaching. I felt more relaxed in the ICT room but I still haven't really worked out why. The two children I had on the Friday didn't talk much at all. Until over half way through the day. The boy knew an excellent amount of information about animation and the tudors and I could just tell he was a fan of history by the way he spoke so passionately about it.
They seemed to understand the small movement concept a lot more than the previous children on the previous day. They kept leaving their hands in the camera though, that still was a problem. They were very keen about looking at their video and were so happy with their work. They sat making their credits and choosing their animations, effects and transitions so that their video would be the best. They invited their teachers over for the big moment of seeing their video as one complete film. The teachers praised the children and you could see the glee shining. They were very proud of themselves. Below shows their creation.


video

This week gave me a lot of time to see whether teaching is the course for me as it shows how much stress can go into just one lesson plan. Many questions go through your head "will they enjoy it?" "will they both understand what to do?" and so on.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the school and on the specialism week. This course is amazing and I'm glad I'm doing it. Just want to be an actual teacher now though!!

Friday, 12 October 2012

Wordle - Internet Survey Results

In Digital Literacy today we were inputting our data that we collected from a Primary School and analyzing it. 
We looked at intagrams at first. An intagram is graphic visual representations of data. We used a website called "www.easle.ly" and started creating them. I spent about 20 minutes playing around and then Oliver introduced us again to Wordle. Wordle is a website where you put in a load of data, click create and it create a bundle of the most used words. A better way to explain Wordle is: a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. 
I fiddled around for a while with the data inputting it and created this first image: 
I felt that this didn't represent our data to the fullest. Our question for the analysis of information was "Do Boys and Girls Use the Internet Differently?" From the following images you can see that they do in fact use the internet differently. 





Question: Do boys and girls use the internet differently?
Analysis of data:
YEAR 2 GIRLS: (Ignoring boy’s analysis due to lack of data):
With the data which we collected for year 2 children there wasn't a sufficient amount of male results to include into our data for the question "what ways do you use the Internet?" so we decided to just analyse the results for girls in this year group. Some of the data which was collected was very relevant to the question for example some children said they use the Internet to search for things and to use google, which shows us that these pupils understand how to the use the Internet but are unaware of the many different ways in which the Internet can be used. Other pupils didn't understand the question and were giving answers such as 'Microsoft word' which isn't a form of using the Internet therefore is not valid for our analysis of this question. 


YEAR 3 GIRLS: (Ignoring boy’s analysis due to lack of data):
The data that was collected for the year 3 pupils mimicked the data from year 2 in terms of their being a lack of male data therefore we again chose to only undertake the analysis for the girls of the year group. For the question "what ways do you use the Internet?" the majority of children who was asked, misunderstood the question and was giving answers such as "computers" and "interactive whiteboards" which again was not relevant data for this question. Although the data from the bulk of this year group was irrelevant there we're a few useable pieces of data which shows that the children have a brief understanding of the internet for example they knew that the internet was mainly used for searching.  


YEAR 4 GIRLS:
From the information we collected we can see that the girls we interviewed gave us more information to support our claim that “do boys and girls use the internet differently?” The boys data was very lack and gave us little information. The question we asked the children was “in what ways do you use the information” and it seemed two children misunderstood the question. Answers “tablets, computers and laptops” were incorrect and signs that they did not understand the question. However one child said they used the internet for google showing that this child was on his way to getting the correct answer. One child said they used the internet for “get photos and search for games” presenting that he understood the question.
The girls gave us a lot more information and they understood the question more. We had four year four girls answer and only one misunderstood the question by replying “PCs/Through Smart Boards”. The other three girls answered: “maths, Microsoft powerpoint, presentations and videos”.
The evidence given proves that girls in year four appear to be more educated about how they use the internet. It could also be said that girls don’t feel the need to play up or copy their friends whereas boys do, to feel “cool” or “part of the group”.


YEAR 4 BOYS:
From the information that is shown from the results that year 4 boys have answered with, the results show that they have understanding and knowledge about the internet but interpreted the question in different ways. With only 3 boys actually answering the question it was hard to get a good amount of understanding. Two of the three answered the question based around what hardware they used e.g. the computer, laptop ipad etc however the third answered about what he does on the internet e.g. gets photos, searches for games and uses google. For just general websites. With only this amount of data it is hard to fully comprehend how they use the internet as the answers were not very clear.


YEAR 5 BOYS:
Half of the boy’s data relates to the technology they use to go on the internet and the other half refers to what they do once they are on the internet.
Two boys who answered the questionnaire referred to Laptops, Computers, Projectors and Ipads as ways they ‘use’ the internet, I think we are allowed to observe that these children may have misunderstood the question.
The other two said they used the internet for research, information, educational games and front covers; this is more relevant to the question.
From the data we can suggest that boys like to be academic when they use the internet, there is no reference to uneducational entertainment games. However, the answers may have been slightly biased as the boys may have felt the need to lie as they were in a school setting whist answering.