This online resource is the exciting outcome of contributions from several Leicestershire out of school club settings who volunteered to participate in a Digital Media project co-ordinated by the Early Learning & Childcare Service. Its aim was to inspire settings to explore exciting ways of using Digital Media to enrich and support children’s communication and language, imagination and creativity allowing children to explore and follow their own ideas and interests.
Starting Point of project
Out of school settings were invited to an interactive day which included a workshop delivered by Debi Keyte-Hartland of Creativity and Innovation in Education followed by an opportunity for providers to explore a wide range of creative digital resources to discover possibilities they could offer for children’s explorations in their settings.
Following this settings were invited to participate in the project. All 5 settings introduced the project to the children:
We carried out an audit of our ICT/digital equipment to see what we currently offer and what we could purchase to develop the children’s digital experiences.Person:Craft Kidz Club
Part of this involved engaging with the children talking about digital media activities they had ideas for.
A record of settings individual project journeys
Little Apples After school club – Curiosity, Communication and Creativity in a Digital World - But what does this mean in our setting?
This project details how children chose and used open ended resources with digital media and other equipment to develop their skills.
Extra Time Club – Digital media project
The objective was to introduce new media activities and involve the children in creating a fun activity.
Introducing an iPad, the children started to ‘perform’. This interaction enabled a boy with additional needs to join in and lead the small group.
Ellistown Primary School Before and After School Club – Lego movie project
The story is about some people who live in Lego City. One of their people gets captured by some giant men and taken to the evil giant on a planet called Zorg. The people in Lego City plot to release their man so a guy called Wildstyle flies to Zorg. He has a fight with the evil giant and wins. He then brings back our man and they have a party to celebrate.
Crafty Kidz Club – Digital media project
After involving the children to decide on how they could use different digital media, they were proactive to initiate their own learning, sharing ideas and putting these into action. The children have been very imaginative, stimulated and excited when using digital media.
Examples of success stories
Ellistown Primary School Before and After School Club have benefited following parents involvement as an employer has donated IT equipment including laptops and tablets they no longer have use for.
Little Apples After School Club linked up with their host school project about the history of their village. Using a projector to make a collage of the church to be framed and donated to the church, one of the children said ‘I loved the church drawing and talking about the murder’.
Individual children’s motivations and impact
A child with English as an additional language has recently only joined our setting. When she first started she spoke little English. As a result from joining in with the digital media project we have found that she is using an increasing wider range of vocabulary and in herself demonstrates more confidence.
When working as a team with the other children on the bug hunt she was joining in with other children and making new friendships. She regularly reflects on how exciting the bug hunt was and how she liked using the ipad and microscope asking for it to be out as an activity on a regular basis.Person:Crafty Kidz Club
Two children with additional needs attending different clubs had powerful, positive experiences which supported them in developing their communication and relationships. Previously both found social interaction difficult but by participating in the project with other children their confidence and interactions have increased. For example one child so inspired by the digital music created, asked to perform a dance in front of the whole school assembly leading all the other children in the club.
Another child was particularly fascinated with directing other children whilst using a video camera to create a film. His improved confidence and relationships with peers has been noted by the club and school teacher, the school are now using more IT equipment with him to help unlock his learning.
Here are some examples of learning that the settings observed to flow from children’s play experiences through using digital media, opening up opportunities for:
Communication and language
- Conversations, explaining ideas and thinking
- Building up new vocabulary and descriptive language
- Extending creative/expressive language
- Connecting and clarifying thinking and creating roles and experiences
- Giving children who are reticent, or struggle with using language to express themselves by tapping into their digital technology interests
- Exploring different resources and understanding that different media can create new effects
- Experimentation by adapting and combining resources, constructing own experiences and questioning ‘why’ and ‘how’
- Interacting with and increasing technological skills
- Self- expression, capturing own perspectives
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Boosting self –esteem and confidence,
- Expressing ideas and feelings
- Taking control and ‘can do’ as children have ownership of own learning.
We would like to thank all the staff and children of the following clubs for participating and sharing their digital journeys, and it is hoped that by reading them, other settings will be similarly inspired to begin or extend, with your children their own digital journeys.
- Conkers Before and After School Club
- Crafty Kidz Club
- Ellistown Primary School Before and After School Club
- Extra Time Club
- Little Apples After school club