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An update and some maths apps

GCSE – still not using the class iPads but we are having discussions about different apps and giving them the choice about whether they want to download them themselves. recommended apps Ss have used are:

photomaths - With this app you can take a photo of an equation (it can’t be words or handwriting)). The app then gives the answer and an explanation of the steps taken to solve it.

This app has been shared by various different people. Sean (a mahts tutor) told Dionne (a GCSE student and a LSA in college) who told the GCSE group about it.

GCSE maths geometry – This app has 14 different categorgies for geometry, with 10 quesitons on each. I like this because the feedback is good – once you have completed the quiz there is a clear expanation of the right answer. This app has been recommended to the GCSE group and I know of at least one student who has paid for the app and says she’s finding it useful.

I found this by ‘playing’. I put GCSE in the app store search, this app came up & I liked it enough to recoemmned it. I like apps that are easy to use and useful. I don’t want anything where the technology is too hard and gets in the way of practicing the maths. Read more ►

New Year reflections

Maths GCSE: Yvonne’s reflections

I have only used the iPads once in the class. It’s not feeling so ‘easy’ to bledd the use of the class iPads into the sessions as it is with the lower level group. I’m not sure if it’s because they have and use technology themselves already for work, but I don’t know if they are using it to support their maths. It’s not a novelty (which it is to the E3 group). This is an evening class, all students have been at work all day (and work full time) and come straight to class. I had wanted to use them this week, but it was a very intensive lesson so with 30 minutes of the class remaining I finished the class early as they had worked hard and I could tell they had enough – although there was time I felt it wasn’t the appropriate time to bring out the iPads.

Future plans:

  • consider using math specific apps for revision. Currebntly I think this is the only way I can use them, it may change but lets see.

Maths E3

The original plan was to review the apps already on from before Xmas and to choose whether to use these again or to try to find new ones. No wifi so no choice but to use existing ones.

Reflections on the lesson:

  • students are starting to help each other
  • I think the Ss like the iPads because they think they are playing – they are learning – but think it’s great fun
  • one student chose a app that was aimed at GCSE level  and she had a go at it and she got a couple of questions right. The student was happy to get a few right and she said she wants to do GCSE anyway so was happy to choose the app. She used the whole of the free app and then when I explained to get more questions it would cost £1.99 the student said ‘oh, I’ll look at that’. I’ll ask next week if she bought it? She is a new student who only started last week and she is very enthusiastic.
  • general feedback is that they really like the iPads and they have big smiles on their face when they see them!!
  • one student has a laptop, she won’t bring it into college because it’s heavy and bulky and she’s scared someone will steal it. She is now thinking about buying a tablet (after using them in class) because it’s lighter, smaller and easier to carry around. She said if she got one she would bring it into college. It will be interesting to see if this happens

Future plans:

  • Tell the students that there is a limited budget and which free apps do they like best and which do they want to upgrade to the full paid version. This will have to be a class decision – bringing literacy (debate) into the maths class.

Cert Ed/PGCE: Cathy’s reflections

Often during lessons I will say something about how amazing Twitter is, and link this to the lesson. I have also introduced the teacher ed Facebook page to the group and promoted this. During class today a student told me that since I’ve been doing this she has started looking at the Twitter feed on the VLE page and has ‘liked’ the facebook page and has found some interesting articles. Others agreed that these things were about offering opportunities for ss to make their own decisions about whether to use or not.

 

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 ►