Stage 1 of the 5 stage model is about access and motivation. I think my VLE will be easily accessible to the children in Year 1 because of the way my layout has been designed. It is clear, with a mixture of images and text, and the navigation buttons are clearly accessible on every page to enable children to go back to previous pages and explore others as well. I have also ensured that my VLE is very colourful and vibrant which will hopefully attract the users’ attentions, therefore it will not be boring for them and they will hopefully want to come back onto my VLE to participate in other activities.
In today’s lecture (session 6) we learnt how to add users to our VLE to enable them to use it. This proved to be very easy, therefore it should hopefully be easy for teachers to do so that the students can access my VLE. Eventually, on each page of my VLE I will have some ‘instructions’ on what to do and how to use the technological platforms I have provided.
At the moment, my games page on my VLE consist of different types of games for different purposes, such as applying blending and practicing blending skills. This means that children can work their way through these games, playing one game at a time until they get all the answers correct, to improve their phonics skills. I think this is a form of motivation as it makes the children want to complete all of the games. Eventually I would like to create activities with different levels, such as easy, medium and hard.
Stage 2 is about interactive activity. At the moment the only form of interactivity on my VLE is between parents where I have made a chat forum for the parents and the teachers to discuss any queries that they may have. I also have a chance for teacher’s to write comments to the children after viewing their score on a quiz. In the future I would like to include forums and a chance for discussion between the children and between the children and the teacher.
Stage 3 is about information exchange. The information being exchanged on my VLE will be the resources I upload to my VLE on phonics for children to look at and the discussions between the children, the teacher and the parents through chat forums and comments on the quizzes. I would hopefully like a chance for children to work collaboratively on an activity, online on my VLE, although I have not yet thought of a way I could do this for a Year 1 class.
Stage 4 is about knowledge construction. Sternberg (1999) describes this as critical thinking including judging, evaluating, comparing and contrasting and assessing; being creative by discovering, inventing, imagining and hypothesising; and by practical thinking which involves applying, using, and practicing. In my opinion, I do not think children are able to critically think or be creative using those strategies when learning phonics. This is because children will not be able to judge and evaluate their own or other children’s phonics skills as they are too young to do this and probably won’t be able to do this for their own phonics work. However children can be taught the basic skills to be able to do this and it would be nice for them to have a go at doing so! I also do not think the children using my VLE will have the chance to be creative because I am giving the children specific tasks with questions and answers rather than a project to complete. However, I do think children are able to think practically when learning phonics on my VLE because they are applying and using and practicing their phonics skills.
Stage 5 is about development and I am hoping that the children in the Year 1 class will begin to use the knowledge they have learnt about phonics on my VLE and apply these skills in the classroom, for example when children learn new phases in phonics, and in real life, for example, when reading a book.