Active Learning and ICT

 ICT and Active Learning


It is important to remember that as children play and learn they will develop an interest, confidence and enjoyment in ICT skills that can be transferred and applied in different learning contexts.

Aims for ICT this academic session

  • To identify simple ways ICT can extend and enhance active learning in the classroom
  • To pilot ICT activities which promote active learning
  • To evaluate ICT equipment which could promote active learning

What we are doing.

Stage 1- identified potential ICT equipment which might be useful, things we could see the potential of

Stage 2- tested these ourselves to see if they really were that easy!

Stage 4- Looked at the curriculum for opportunities to extend and enhance learning

Stage 5- created a core set of activities to trial

Stage 6- trialled the activities

Stage 7- evaluated the activities for ease of use, fun and learning potential

Stage 8- plan key opportunities into the curriculum

Stage 9- ensure staff are aware of other equipment which is easy to use so they can use it as required.

Stage 10- budget for equipment.


Great ICT tools to enhance active learning

 1.    Digital cameras

 The children took it in turns to record welly walk moments using the digital cameras

  •  It allowed items to be recorded but not moved- e.g. fungus
  • It allowed children to record what they thought was important which could be analysed by the teacher later
  • It allowed children hands on experience of using equipment
  • It encouraged discussion with others- why have you chosen that? What makes that special? Tell me about your choice…
  • In class, children borrowed the camera to record excellent work, the photos were displayed on a wonderful work wall.
  • In class, children took photos of each other wearing hats to make a hat book
  • Children took photos of pictures made with matchsticks, which would otherwise be lost.

 2.    Video Cameras

 Children used the Flip video camera to record their welly walks. Once in the classroom they watched themselves.

  •  They were able to discuss things which they were too busy to stop and talk about.
  • Video could be frozen to allow lengthier discussion about topics,
  • items collected could be examined in more detail,
  • memories could be explored together.
  • It could be shown again after the next welly walk to discuss similarities and differences.
  • There was not time for all children to video, however, this might be possible during the year.
  • The Flip video was easy for children to use (blazer cam!)
  • The flip camera plugs straight into a USB port to watch (great for IWBs)
  • We tried a head cam attached to a well (wellyvision) but the footage made us seasick!)

 3.    Talking postcards

 Children attached pictures or photos to their postcard and then recorded their 10 second message.

  • Messages could be accessed by children at any time
  • Parents and siblings enjoyed listening
  • Writing or reading skills were not needed for ideas to be shared.
  • Postcards are portable
  • New vocabulary could be introduced
  • Clear diction was encouraged

 4.    Chatterbox

The children recorded description of their pictures into chatterbox.

  •  They had to decide on the important part of their photo
  • They had to record in clear voices
  • They could listen to the thoughts of others over and over again.
  • New vocabulary could be introduced.

 5.    Bee-Bots

 Children had to program Bee-Bots to move through tunnels with reading words on.

  •  They were reading and discussing words in pairs
  • They could go choose to go to words they could read, but were introduced to words their partner could also read.
  • They were encouraged to try other words so they could help bee-bot
  • Words could be changed for different groups.

 6.    Voice recorders

Children drew pictures of stories and then read them into the voice recorder. The recordings were added to their pictures in PowerPoint to make a talking book for all to share.

  •  The process of creating a longer story could be undertaken without worrying about text.
  • An audience provided a great motivator
  • Illustrations were as important as the story.
  • The stories could be revisited as often as the children wanted, either at the IWB.

  7.    Easiscope

 Use of the easiscope is being investigated by Primary 2 staff, in readiness for minibeasts and senses. We hope…

  •  children will investigate their world up close
  • will develop more specific language related to the objects
  • will develop a greater understanding of the similarities and differences between objects.

 8.    Interactive whiteboard

 Interactive whiteboards allow you to show what you want, when you want to, to a class or group.

  •  Pictures, video, PowerPoint stories, microscope images, internet activities, google earth… all at you fingertips and large enough for all to see.
  • Children can collaborate more easily on group activities
  • A large page is very inviting for many


  My Top 5 tips when choosing ICT equipment to enhance active learning.

1. Children only start to understand how technology works by using it themselves. They need as much hands on experience as possible. Children watching what others are doing are learning too. Just make sure they have hands on experience too.

 2. Technology must be robust enough and easy enough to use, choose carefully. Also make sure you can maintain it… batteries, SD cards etc….

 3. Technology should be time efficient, if it takes to long to do, is it really worth it?

 4. Make the best use of what you have. It’s not how much you have, but how you use it. It should be FUN!

 5. Technology is only as good as the teacher, so make sure your learning aims are in place first.





One response

24 03 2010
BeeBots | educationcomputing

[…] Technowellies Weblog. (n.d.). WordPress Weblog (Blog) Retrieved March 24, 2010, from […]

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