Archive for the ‘Reflective Journal 13-14’ category

research journal: about

This section of the report are my reflections on the project, including reflecting on classroom activity and collaboration between different tutors.

For each classroom activity I have written about I have reflected on where the activity sat within the SAMR model.


research journal: peer observation

I was so pleased that one of my colleagues from the project was available to come peer observe me for this session. The feedback was so positive it was reassuring to hear how well the students engaged with the task and I got a different perspective on the lesson.

Involving students in research

I think the most reassuring thing for me was around knowing that the students had given informed consent to take part in the research, to be videoed and for me to share their work with others. This was an area that I had struggled with a lot around exactly how I was going to get feedback from my students. Read more ►

research journal: ESOL feedback

The Plan

To give my ESOL students an opportunity to share about their use of digital tools in general and how we have used the iPads in class this year specifically.

The Preparation

As this is a low level ESOL group I needed to think about how I could be sure that students were giving informed consent to be allow their work and their views to be included in the project. I took advice from someone doing his phD in digital literacies & collated logos for different technologies we had used in class over the year and technologies I thought students may use at home.

The lesson Read more ►

research journal: exam prep for ICT functional skills

The students were registered for the Entry 1 Functional Skills ICT exam. Throughout the year we had had a lot of practice at using Word, predominantly around designing posters or flyers that linked to their PSD topics. I was feeling confident that they had the ICT skills to pass this assessment, what I was concerned about was the amount of reading they needed to do to be able to understand the task. The assessment could be in any context, but the task was to open an email to receive two things. Firstly an attachment to a poster or flyer & secondly to find out some information that needed amending on this flyer. This amendment came in two stages: 1. add some extra information. 2. change some information.  In addition to to amending the information provided in the email, the students also have to label the image. This information is given in the assessment paper. Read more ►

research journal: description of a house

One of the units for PSD is Using Money. Most of the students had completed all the tasks for this module, but I had one student who had started late & had everything to complete & I also had a couple of students who still had some tasks to complete.  Therefore I needed to think of  a lesson that would review this topic for everyone but give those who had completed something different to do while I could work with those who still had PSD tasks to complete.

As a whole class we had completed a task where students had to budget for furnishing a room in a house, so I wanted to keep the context of houses for the extension task, while keeping the context of money for those who needed to complete their PSD portfolio.

The plan: To provide an extension task for students to design a house in one app & then create a video in educreations describing their house.

The preparation: I researched different apps related to designing a house. Searching the app store there were quite a few My Houseavailable. Having done the app review with the students I had some idea of the kinds of apps they liked & having done this task it certainly made me more confident with the final decision I made.

The app I chose was called TeenDream. In the free version there is a nine-roomed house & a variety of furniture to drag & drop into each room. I downloaded this app onto one of the class iPads, and because of the set up it appeared on all the iPads.

The lesson: We did a recap on the previous lesson & a warmer task where the student’s categorised different furniture found in different rooms. While the PSD group worked on their PSD task, the others were asked to decorate the house in TeenDream. If there was any furniture in the app they didn’t know they were encouraged to ask their classmates & some of them used Google Translate on the iPads.

Once the house was decorated the students made videos using the Educreations app. I asked them to do an introductory page showing the whole house, and then additional pages for individual rooms.

Evaluation: This was the first time I had used the Educreations app with the students, but I had just found out Ask3 was being closed down so new I needed to explore another Whiteboard App. I chose Educreations because the other ESOL tutor had used this with her students .

There are a lot of similar features to Ask3 & the students didn’t have too many problems in getting started.

Some of the students hadn’t realised that an extra feature of Educreations (compared to Ask3) was that you could have multiple pages in a single video. So some students made more than one video.

student 1: video 1. video 2. video 3. (in this final video you can see where she has made a mistake but the video has been saved anyway.)

student 2: video 1

As this was the first time we had used this, I hadn’t fully thought through the the sign in process & many students used their full (real) names. Therefore, as I promised them anonymity for taking part in this research I am only able to share two videos where students cannot be identified.  Also, the sign in process is lengthier than the Ask3 sign in so some support was needed for this & students complained that they couldn’t review their video before saving it, which had been a feature of SAMRAsk3.

SAMR: The combination of the house design app & Educreations used on the iPads has allowed for a Redefinition of the task. The students approached making the videos in different ways. Some students made notes (usually of the key vocabulary) before they recorded themselves, others wrote out full sentences first while some of the more confident speakers didn’t do any planning.

research journal: a pre-reading/grammar practice task

There was a reading text with comprehension questions the students had to answer as part of their PSD assessment task in the unit Local Services.

The Plan: To identify the verbs in a word cloud & make present simple sentences using these words.

The preparation: I created a Wordle of the text & inserted this into an IWB presentation. A class was created in Ask3 & the code for this class included on the IWB. Students could them take a photo of this to create a video using Ask3.

The lesson: The students had been doing work on the present simple for daily routines with their personal tutor, so I started the session with a quick warmer. Students had list as many verbs as they could think of in 3 minutes & during feedback for this they had to make sentences using these verbs. Read more ►

research journal: ESOL apps 2

I was so pleased to have a week to reflect on how the lesson had gone with the ESOL quote 2students and I was also fortunate to have an ESOL tutor come to peer observe me.

The plan: The biggest challenge I found for this lesson was the level of my students and what language they would need to review their apps. It took me a while to think about how I could simplify this enough & give them the language they would need.

model text

model text

Read more ►

research journey: ESOL apps

Following a discussion with the maths tutor about how her students were using the maths apps I had the idea of how I could get my E1 ESOL students to explore ESOL apps.

Quote from my blog

Quote from my blog

The Plan: I hadn’t used any subject specific apps with my students, and at this time wasn’t really sure what would make a ‘good app’. Therefore, I wanted to include my students in evaluating app so we could decide together what makes a ‘good app’

The Preparation: I searched the app store using the four skills (listening, reading, writing, speaking) and was confident there were enough free apps available for students to explore. Read more ►

research journal: differentiation & iPads

I had two new beginner students, plus an existing beginner student,  one student who is orally very strong but a very weak reader & then the usual mish mash of E1 readers.

The Plan: To have a vocabulary re-cap warmer on the topic of food as a lead in to a reading task about healthy eating.

The Preparation:

One set of pictures of different foods to be used as prompts for a spelling test type activity. One set of words (to be used to match to pictures) & one list of food words with two incorrect & one correct spelling.

eg. chicken / chken / chikan.

A reading text & a photo of the reading text on the iPad which was inserted into the Ask3 app where I then made a video reading the texts aloud. Read more ►

research journal: maths apps

Co-incidental meetings in the corridor would often lead to discussions about how we were using the iPads. After one such meeting with the Maths tutor, she made a decision there and then that ‘Today is the Day’. She went to collect the iPads and she introduced them to her students for the first time.

The plan:

To let students go directly to the app store to search for maths apps to download and evaluate.

The Preparation:

She ensured that she had the iTunes password that she could share with the students (there is no credit card attached to the account so only free apps can be downloaded)

The first class: Read more ►