Digital linking can provide a wonderful opportunity to enhance the linking experience for children and can be an exciting, joyful way to build connections and create additional interaction between linking visits. There are many ways that this can be done, from exchanging photographs and videos to video calling and creating shared books using Book Creator- the possibilities really are endless!
Digital Linking Video Guide
This teacher training video shares learning and top tips learnt during class to class digital linking. It covers:
> Class to class Skype.
> The value of the Edmodo platform for classes to share photos, videos, conversations and classroom work in a safe secure way.
> Tips for helping primary children to make mini videos to send to a partner class
> The power and fun of using green screens.
This guidance document written by TLN in partnership with specialist Educational IT Advisors at the Innovation Centre at Bradford Council walks you through the many opportunities digital linking affords. You can use Skype, email, forums and sending documents and videos. There are many elements of the computing curriculum you can cover with digital linking and this guide provides practical classroom tips and detailed instructions. See also our guidance on using Edmodo.
Video calls, whether you are using Facetime, Skype, Google Hangouts or Zoom can be a really exciting way for children to interact between face to face visits. Here is a suggestion of activities that you may want to do during a video call:
* Play a voting game, where every child is given two pieces of coloured paper. They are then given a choice of things to vote on (e.g. hold up the red paper if you like strawberries, hold up the cream paper if you like apples, hold them both up if you like both). This is a really great game to play to build on the children’s knowledge existing knowledge of similarities and differences between themselves and others.
- Play a game of charades (you may want to practise this before making the video call to prepare children and to help build confidence).
- Share and answer Curiosity Questions
- Sing a song that both classes know
- Discuss big ideas
- Have a shared story time together at the end of the day
Videos can make for a wonderful exchange between classes. These can be as long or as short as you want them to be and can be on a variety of different topics. If you have a class visit coming up, why not take your link class on a video tour of your school? This can be a great way of familiarising pupils with a new place that they might be anxious about visiting and can also build excitement towards the upcoming visit. If you are unable to have a class visit, this can be a lovely way to showcase your school and start the discussion about any similarities and differences between both schools.
Here is a video that one school in Bolton created to share with their link class. You may want to recreate your own ‘Through the Keyhole, style of video. A special thank you to Lostock Primary for sharing this video with us.
If you would like to create your own video tour to send to your link class, this Powerpoint may come in handy.
The videos you share can be short, fun videos and the app Boomerang is great for this. Here is a video that one school made using this app during a neutral venue visit to a local museum.
More in Common Videos
Continue to explore similarities and differences across linking classes by creating your own More in Common Videos. These videos can work really well for a linking visit day or for a digital exchange. Pupils can create a video with someone that they perhaps don’t know as well in their class to send to their link class. This can generate a great discussion about what is similar and what is different across both classes.
Here are two videos here to inspire you! The first video was made by two teachers in Bradford to share with their classes in the lead up to a class visit:
Teachers More in Common Video
Here is a video that two children made during a linking visit day:
Children More in Common Video
Here is a PowerPoint that we have created, which you may want to use when making your own More in Common Videos to share.
How to Green Screen
For those of you wanting to use green screen as part of your digital exchange, this video may be useful. A special thank you to the digital leaders at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Keighley, for putting this together and sending it to us!
Green Screen Top Tips
If you’re after some Green Screen top tips, look no further! We have some tips on using green screen for adults and for children:
Here are some photos that were taken using the Green Screen top tips! If you take any photos of your own (or make Green Screen videos), please do share them with us!
Jean’s Green Screen Photos
As part of their exploration of identity and work on the two Key Questions, Who am I? and Who are We?, pupils from Beckfoot Nessfield Primary School created a shared class poem, which they filmed using Green Screen. Take a look at the video below to see them in action!
Beckfoot Nessfield Green Screen Video
Using Book Creator
Book Creator is a great app, which can be used in the classroom to create a digital book and what makes it even better is that these digital books can be shared between linking classes! This very easy to use app, allows for the creation of a digital book, which can include text, images, video, sounds, music and even allows for the opportunity to actually freehand draw or write on a page. Use the guide and the video below to find out more about how the use this app in the classroom:
Here are just some ways that you can use Book Creator in the classroom:
* Continue the exploration of identity within the classroom by creating Who am I? books. Each pupil could contribute to a shared class book by creating a page about themselves. This page could include a photograph (or a drawn portrait), favourite foods, hobbies etc. This book could then be shared with your link class.
* Create an interactive guidebook about your local area! Explore the question, Where do we Live? by having pupils create a basic map of your local area (you could even take a screenshot from Google Maps of this helps). Import the image into Book Creator and have pupils label or annotate the page with specific areas of interest. Why not include audio notes too about specific areas on your map!
* Create photobooks to share learning or anything exciting happening in each of your schools.
Follow the URL or scan the QR code in this pdf for a guide to how teachers can help children to introduce themselves to other children by creating a slideshow in iMovie.
How to use Google Drive
This video shows you how to use Google Drive to transfer files between tablets and laptops. This is vital so children can share their work with a teacher, so children can see work done by their classmates and so teachers can send images to the tablets if they don’t want children to search for images themselves. It also shows how one school can share the work in their Google Drive with a linking school.