Archive for the ‘reflective journal 14-15’ category

Getting to grips with Show Me – an Interactive Whiteboard App

Last year I spent time exploring the Whiteboard App Ask3, which I really liked. I was disappointed when I heard that TechSmith were closing this app down to concentrate on their other WB app ScreenChomp (but it was a good reminder that most educational apps are at the mercy of the markets) & it has left me looking for a new WB app for my low level ESOL class.

I played a little with Educreations, but found that the sign in process too cumbersome & the fact that you needed to sign in before you reviewed the video was also laborious. So now I am exploring ShowMe.

What do I want from a WB app?

1.It has to be easy for students to use. They need to recognise the graphics- for record, erase, next page.

2. You must be able to pause the video and re-start it.

3. To be able to add & edit images, eg crop, change size, rotate.

4. Sharing the video is really important. I don’t want something that just lives on the iPad that it was created on. But the students need to be aware that what they are creating may be shared and to have the option to keep this private. My group are a very low level ESOL group and I’ve yet to have a lesson on Internet security or introduce the language of public and private so until I do that I need their videos to be private. If the students were able to see each other’s creations on their own devices this would be an added bonus.

5. The sign-in/log-in must be simple. Read more ►

A new year. A new project.

I am really excited about being able to continue this research project for another year. I wanted to move the focus this year away from the tutors collaborating together and bring the students and the classroom practice more to the forefront.

The research questions currently are:

What are the educational benetis of using mobile technology in a classroom setting?

What is the impact of using mobile technologies in the classroom on students’ use of their own devices?

I am excited to be working again with my maths colleague. This will be the third year we have worked together – the first year we did a joint presentation at the RSC-YH regional conference on the Technology for Learning Delivery Course. Last year she took part in the iPad project, you can see the posts relating to her class here.

Last year I realised that the student voice had been initally missing from the project, so an aim for this year is to include the students at an earlier stage.  Yvonne has already made a start with this, and has introduced the project to her two groups – an entry level and a GCSE maths group. This has currently been done ‘informally’, the students will also be asked to sign a consent form to ensure they are aware that they are taking part voluntarily. Read more ►

BYOD vs college owned devices

I’ve been thinking a lot about the role of BYOD in education and the assumption not only that students own mobile technologies and bring them into college, but that they are happy to be asked to use them by their teachers.

Last year I spent quite a lot of time exploring WhiteBoard apps on the iPad and for me this seemed to be something that I could only consider doing because I had access to a set of iPads. I don’t think I would feel confident at this stage to be planning an activity that would rely on asking students to download a specific app to their own devices.

Meeting with Yvonne this week it was interesting to hear her views on this. She is an iPad owner (and has a Kindle Fire). Neither of these devices does she bring into work or undertake any kind of work activity on. Last year, when she took part in the project she had access to a college iPad. This she used (almost soley) for work related activity.  She sees a very clear distinction regarding using her own device for work or personal use.

For me, I use my phone and my iPad fairly interchangably, despite one being a personal device and one being a college device. Although, I would say I predominently use my iPad for work acitiviy, but it is a college device so ……  I am not sure that I would buy an iPad, or that if I did, would I bring it into college to use at work.

So how does this link to what we can reasoably expect to ask of students. I think if I  were a student, I think I would consider buying an iPad and I would take it into class with me.  Noteability is my prefered note taking app and this would be invaluable during a class. I also like to be able to check things during a class – I am one of those annoying students who likes to find an answer on Google or to search for something if I find it interesting. If I were a 16-18 year old behaving like this I would be on SOOOOO much trouble! But is there something I would be unhappy with the teacher directing me to do on my own device? I’m not sure.