Using A Choice of Apps To Teach History

Today with one of our Year 5 classes, I decided to teach some cross-curricular computing with a focus on learning about the games and toys that Victorian children played with as they are studying the Victorians in history.

This particular group of children are one of our most able when it comes to computing which means I can really drive the cross-curricular aspect as they can work with a range of apps/software with confidence. They also happen to be absolutely obsessed with Minecraft.

For this particular session, I initially gathered the children’s ideas about what kind of games/toys they thought Victorian children would have played/played with. We discussed the fact that they didn’t have the technology we have today and how this would affect both the toys they played with and the games they played.

I then pointed them towards a Google Doc I had created with links to some websites about Victorian games/toys. This was saved in the school Dropbox folder for their year group which saved time typing in web addresses (which often take a few goes to get right). This meant the children were able to access the information they needed quickly and the technology would not ‘get in the way’ of the learning. Indeed it sped up their access to it.

They used whiteboards to jot down notes from the websites and saved relevant images to the iPad’s camera roll. As they were doing this, I gave them a choice of how to present what they had found out. This was because they were at a point in their knowledge of computing where they were able to make sensible choices about how to present digital content. The choices included : Vidra (a free presentation video app), Explain Everything (one of my favourite classroom apps – not free though), Adobe Voice (simple but effective presentation app) and Minecraft. I also included a couple of apps that would not be ideal for this task as I wanted to test the children’s choosing of an effective tool to do the job.

Some of the children built Victorian playgrounds on Minecraft including villagers playing some of the games they had learnt about and some of the toys. Others produced very informative Vidra presentations. Two pairs of children even took it upon themselves to produce iMovies containing screenshots of the playgrounds they had built. Below are some of the results.

Photo 19-05-2015 10 51 47 Photo 19-05-2015 10 53 19 Photo 19-05-2015 11 00 15

Links To IMovies and Vidra Presentation.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/bii0h2wba5yqnal/Video%2019-05-2015%2011%2036%2037.mov?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3cu1ditjsf33ink/Video%2019-05-2015%2011%2033%2001.mov?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jc3cobkxsrhpizi/Video%2019-05-2015%2010%2057%2027.mov?dl=0

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