Pīkau 13: Digital outcomes - Challenge yourself with PO1
Why this matters
Progress Outcome 1 in the Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes technological area describes the knowledge and skills learners will need to acquire as they become creators of digital content.
While common classroom activities, for example presentations, can be used to deliver the skills and knowledge for this progress outcome, there are also a wide range of alternative, more interesting and perhaps more challenging ways to engage learners with digital outcomes.
It is important that as learners progress toward Progress Outcomes 2 and 3 they are able to draw upon a repertoire of skills and knowledge to produce digital outcomes. These alternatives - for example, graphic design, stop motion or physical computing, to name just a few, will help learners expand their digital toolkit to use in a variety of authentic technological challenges.
Links to existing knowledge
You might already know some of this.
To make best use of this pīkau, you should be familiar with Progress Outcome 1.
Some of the skills and strategies described in this pīkau - for example video recording, graphic design and blogging may be familiar terms to many teachers.
You should also be familiar with your learners’ prior knowledge and unique context as described in the companion pīkau: Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes: Introducing Progress Outcome 1.
Expand your digital toolkit
There are many exciting and interesting ways to teach progress outcome 1 that use a variety of digital tools.
Explore the items below to see:
- what it is
- a list of useful resources
- a video clip of how it can be used in the classroom
- a planning overview for the video clip, including teaching tips.
While you are looking through these examples, reflect on how you might use them in your own teaching.
You don't have to look at all of the examples on the following pages.
Use the navigation menu on the left of the screen to jump to the examples that interest you most.
Classroom example: Graphic design
Graphic design sounds complicated but is actually quite simple. Communicating ideas using illustrations, photographs and images or deliberate use of typography - for example selecting appropriate fonts - are all elements of graphic design. By careful choice of colours, letter and pictures, graphic design helps to make things easier to understand.
There are many opportunities for using digital graphic design skills in your classroom, many of which you may be familiar with. Any activity that includes choosing a font, selecting or editing a photograph, or designing a logo will use the principles of graphic design. When thinking about the opportunities for graphic design in your classroom, try considering what ideas are being communicated, the purpose of the communication and the audience. Authentic graphic design contexts abound, so make the most of them.
The software required for completing graphic design projects that are appropriate for progress outcome 1 will be varied. Professional graphic design packages are likely to be far too complicated. Tools that learners are already using competently, for example office tools, are a good starting point.
The concepts of graphic design can be incorporated into almost any digital outcome, even for Y1 as shown in the video below.
Draw and tell: Stella Josephs from Maheno School.
Blog post about explaining graphic design to primary age learners.
Classroom example: 3D design
Digital 3D design is the process of creating three-dimensional drawings, plans or designs using digital tools. Sometimes - but not always, the designs will then be made in to physical artefacts. This can be achieved using a 3D printer, or other suitable materials - even paper or cardboard! By making scale size conceptual models, designs of very large objects such as buildings can easily be managed within your classroom.
3D design is a great way to enthuse learners about using the technology process to address authentic problems they encounter. With a little imagination, it is possible to see opportunities for 3D design in many areas of the curriculum.
It is important to understand that the 3D design itself (i.e. the design that is created and manipulated on a computer) is the digital outcome that is part of the new curriculum content. Any physical artefact that is made using a 3D design (for example a 3D printed model) is a materials outcome. This means that a 3D printer is not necessary (but would certainly be useful) to produce 3D designs.
There is a range of software of producing 3D designs (fortunately much of this is free and web-based) so is easy to use on devices that schools are likely to have. While some of these programs are useful for creating 3D designs that will be made into physical artefacts, others are more usually used where the digital design itself is the final outcome, for example Minecraft.
Watch Myles Web from Auroa Primary School explaining how they use 3D design in their school.
The following list of resources may be useful as you explore 3-D design. Thy are provided without recommendation.
- Tinkercad 3D design program (Years 1-8)
- Sketchup Pro and Sketchup for Schools - The Pro version is installed on computers and is covered by the MOE’s education licensing, while the School version is available to schools that have G-Suite for Education.
- 3D Print School - This site by Myles Web of Auroa Primary School has a wealth of information and experience gathered during their 3D printing journey over the last four years.
Classroom example: Blogging
Blogging, a term that many of us will be familiar with, originates from the phrase web log. A blog is simply a personal journal, available online. The journal can include written text, images or video. Some blogs are produced entirely using video and are known as vlogs (video blogs). The frequency that a blog is updated will depend on many things - it could be based on time (weekly, termly etc) or event-driven (e.g. at key points in a project).
Blogging provides many opportunities for developing key skills and key competencies right across the curriculum. For example learners could blog: a critique of their reading during a term, an ongoing reflection about a project they are completing or a series of reflections about work they are doing in class. Things to consider when thinking about blogging include the topics being covered and the audience, which combine together to define the purpose of the blog. You will also need to decide if interactions (e.g. online conversations) with the audience are desirable. You will also need to determine any privacy considerations when students are publishing work online.
George Couros presents Five Good Reasons to Blog.
This post suggests that blogging moves students beyond commentaries on life, entertainment, and other social ideas. It allows them to gain a deeper understanding of content they are learning as they actually synthesize the information. Students love the opportunity to express themselves and blogging allows them to do just that.
The resources required to blog are minimal. While specialist (and often free) blogging platforms exist, the tools available in G-Suite or Microsoft Office 365 are perfectly adequate to create blogs. The ability to record good quality sound and video on cell phones means that the barrier to producing vlogs is low.
This video Improving student writing using Blogs: An authentic audience giving specific feedback from the enabling e-Learning website includes parents giving online feedback to the students at from Wairakei School.
Download the transcript for this video.
At Fendalton Open Air school Sue Gordon and Judy Harford used Halbert and Kaser’s Spirals of Inquiry (2013) to transform their teacher practices and raise literacy levels for boys in their classrooms. Their research is here on the Enabling eLearning website.
Here are three other suggested readings about the benefits of blogging:
- How blogging improves writing and reading skills - blogpost by Silvia Tolisano.
- Ten reasons you should get your class blogging
- Why are you blogging with your class?
Sharing is relatively easy to do using Blogger or any of the other blog options listed above. Parents can feedback using the blogger tool, where they can respond to a post. You could further explore tools such as Padlet that you can add to a blog post, or you can ask them to vote or share an idea on a Google Form. If you refer to the example below from Wairakei School you can see how students helped parents by having a criteria for feedback.
Some schools choose to sign up to Quad Blogger. This assigns schools together in groups of four where they take turns sharing and reviewing school blogs. It means each blog gets regular feedback and is responsible for posting for a wider audience.
Classroom example: Stop motion
Stop motion is an animation technique where objects are moved incrementally and photographed so that a somewhat jerky appearance of motion is achieved when the photographs are viewed quickly in order. Claymation is a type of stop motion that uses clay or plasticine as the medium from which the animated characters are made.
Stop motion can be used to tell stories and is a fun way to produce a digital outcome. Extra complexity can be incorporated with the addition of a soundtrack. Any context that includes communicating ideas or the telling of a story can be used as a context for a stop motion digital outcome.
Plasticine or clay is often used to model the characters. Along with a digital camera the easiest way of producing a stop motion animation will be to use specialist software. Both cloud-based and on-your-computer applications are available to help you produce your animations.
Classroom example: Video
Creating video recordings is a fun way to capture the moment. In an educational setting video can be used in a variety of ways:
- telling a story
- capturing an interview
- explaining an idea
- as an alternative to a presentation.
The process of producing a video can be quite involved and is an ideal opportunity for developing key competencies.
Even a simple video may have the following stages:
- deciding on the content
- researching the content
- storyboarding the content
- rehearsing the video
- recording the video
- reviewing and editing the video
- publishing the video.
Don’t forget that authentic contexts are great for encouraging students to produce quality outcomes and that videos can often be used in place of text or presentations.
Green screening - as outlined in the video is an interesting way to produce video explanations that will motivate learners.
Most schools will have the equipment to produce and edit reasonable quality videos using, for example phones, Chromebooks or iPads. To improve the quality of your videos, consider using an external microphone (good quality audio makes a huge difference to a video) and a tripod or gimbal to steady your camera.
There is plenty of advice online to help you produce quality videos including:
- use the rule of thirds
- record in landscape
- use a tripod
- smile for a few seconds before talking (it’s much easier to clip to a smile :-))
- keep the background simple and uncluttered.
Classroom example: Physical computing
Physical computing is the term given to using small micro-board computers (for example picaxe or the BBC Micro:bit) to create digital devices that solve a problem. Simple programming is sometimes required to create the required solution. Physical computing can be used, for example, to create a digital name badge, play an audio recording when a button is pressed or detect when a person is walking and count the number of steps taken.
The opportunities for using physical computing in the classroom are extensive. If an opportunity presents itself to automate a process, the physical computing should be considered. Authentic contexts are particularly easy to use when solving problems using physical computing.
The barriers to starting physical computing are quite high, especially in terms of expertise. Having a fellow teacher or other knowledgeable person to show you the ropes will go a long way to getting you started. The actual dollar cost of physical computing devices can be reasonable (less than $50 per device) especially as just a few devices can be used with a whole class.
Design a bot: Lisa Byers shares her years 3-4 design a bot project which incorporates microelectronics and cardboard construction.
Download the transcript for this video.
Lisa Byers, years 3–4 teacher, gives tips for primary teachers wanting to start out in DDDO.
Classroom example: Block programming
It is easy to overlook that writing a computer programme is a digital outcome. But, because the programme is stored as a digital file, it is just as valid a digital outcome as a video or presentation.
A block programming language is one where draggable, interlockable ‘blocks’, representing programming constructs are sequenced on a stage. The interlocking nature of the blocks means that syntax errors are not possible (as the pieces cannot lock together). Block programming languages have been shown to reduce the cognitive load on those learning to programme. Block programming applications have been developed for use for beginner programmers - from preschool through to university - so choosing the right one is important.
For progress outcome 1, a simple, age-appropriate, block programming application will enable learners to productively get to grips with programming simple sequences - often with animations - to tell simple stories or make simple presentations.
In the classroom, for progress outcome 1, block programming is most likely to be used for sequence based story-telling or presentations. Progress outcome 2 of the Computational Thinking technological area (where age-appropriate programming environments are introduced) is mid-way between PO1 and PO2 of DDDO, and is aligned in difficulty.
Block-based programming languages can be either cloud-applications or ones that need installing on a device. It is worth trailing a variety of these applications.
Laura Butler of Cobden school explaining how block programming is used to support literacy.
Download the transcript for this video.
There are a variety of block-based programming languages suitable for NZC level 1-3. Two of the most well known are:
Link to programme design
Authentic contexts are the key to firmly locating digital outcomes as a technological area. With experience you will be able make clear connections to authentic contexts for learning that suit the needs and abilities of your learners. An outcome is authentic if it is designed to be used by a person for a purpose. When your learners plan, create and evaluate a digital outcome they are working in the Technological Practice strand. Understanding that digital tools are built by and for humans allows your learners to demonstrate achievement in the Nature of Technology strand.
The skills and knowledge described in this pīkau and progress outcome 1 are incorporated easily into a wide-range of learning programmes of work. For example, students could make a presentation to the Board of Trustees with the purpose of describing the problem of school litter. The presentation could include digital photographs, text and surveys combined in a way that is appropriate for and engages the audience. Being familiar with the nature of digital outcomes will allow you to identify existing and new opportunities for integrating this content in any curriculum area.
Wrapping up and where to next
Progress Outcome 1 covers New Zealand Curriculum Levels 2 and 3. You should expect learners to increasingly work towards Progress Outcome 2 as they gain confidence and capability. The ideas outlined in the current pīkau will allow you to design activities that meet the needs of learners across this wide range of ability.
You might already be trialing activities, where younger students (Levels 2 and 3) are given opportunities to become designers and creators; using a variety of digital technologies. In the Ngā Kiriahi discussion topic for this pīkau you are invited to share these experiences and collaborate with others to help design rich activities for DDDO PO1.
If you are working through this pīkau as a group feel free to download and use these facilitation notes: