Discussion and Findings

June 1, 2015Farah
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Discussion: Getting Started

Looking back I had a few barriers of my own to overcome. I needed time and space to explore an iPad. Taking one home, that linked to the class set in college, was invaluable. Cathy helped me gain skills and confidence in using the iPad – I needed help to learn about how the ‘Settings’ worked. How to log in. How to access the app store. I also learned how important the safety aspect was  – that students needed to know how to log in and out of the wifi.

My daughter was also really helpful. She helped me with exploring the apps. I learned how to open and close them. How to navigate through them. It was through this trial and error at home and with Cathy that I was able to be confident enough to take them into the classroom.

I had lots of ‘getting started’ and I think this shows how many stages I went through before I was really confident to  take them into class.

Finding: first session with the students

lesson on: present simple and present continuous

iPads discussion:

  • dicussion on using the iPads (and how we’d used them once before in Septemeber!)
  • 8 out of 10 students said they had some tech at home
  • only their children used them

technical issues

  • my students struggled with spelling @kirkleescollege.ac.uk at the log in page
  • I explained the importacne of internet safety
  • helping students understand the difference between using a PC and an iPad

choosing app

  • I encouraged students to go into any of the apps they wanted
  • the students needed lots of support in opening, navigating through, and closing the apps. This really mirrored what I had recently learned.

Student feedback

The students were very happy. They told me they liked the apps that helped with spelling and making sentences. We agreed as a class that I would bring the iPads to class every 2 weeks and use these to review the grammar and skills we’d been covering.

Some students started to get their own smartphones out in class. They looked for the apps from the iPads and put them onto their own phones. I was so surprised by this – I hadn’t thought they had their own devices so was so pleased when they wanted to do it in their own time.

Only one student said she didn’t like them. Her kids didn’t have technologies so she didn’t see any reason for her to learn how to use them.

I knew that I wanted to carry on with the project and I’d carry on taking the iPads into all my classes.

Discussion: What I learned in the beginning

Even this early on into the action research project I was realising what I was learning, and how much I was learning. My own confidence in using the tech was growing and the responses from the student was really reassuring and I knew that it was worth the effort.

I was also learning about the class set and what I needed to do to make sure they ‘talked’ to each other. Not all the iPads had the same apps as each other and I didn’t know why. It was at this time I started to understand how the app store worked.

Discussion: getting on the wifi

One of the best sessions I’ve had is asking the students to write their own instructions on how to get onto the wifi. Because I had just recently learned how to use an iPad, I knew I couldn’t assume any skills/knowledge from my students – but maybe they did know something. There was also a lot of new vocabulary for them to learn, eg wifi, eduroam, forget this network

Therefore I planned a session where the students had to write some basic instructions for using the iPad, eg sliding between sceens, using the Home button, finding ‘Settings’ and ‘wifi’.

We used these instructions when I take the iPads into class every two weeks.

Findings: Following Sessions

Once I’d got started I was so excited. Other tutors in the offfice were asking about my project and telling me they wouldn’t know how to get started. I thought ‘that was me – that was me last Septemeber!’ I have now brought back the iPad Cathy lent me as I felt that I’d learned all I needed from it and I wanted an extra one in the class set.

Discussion: my research questions

  1. Do students have access to their own mobile technologies?

Some do. Some don’t. Those who do have been very positive. They have talked about how they help their kids now, and they also talk about how they use it themselves – which they never did before. Those who didn’t have their own are happy to use the iPads in class. The student who said she didn’t want to use the iPad initally - she is now happier to use them in class with help from another student. I think that she was scared about using them and had a fear of failure. The other students have been very supportive.

  1. Do students have wifi at home? Do they know how to access the college wifi?

I still don’t know if they have wifi at home. It isn’t something I’ve asked. At the start of the project they didn’t know about the college wifi, and there were problems with them remembering their (long) email address to log in. This gets easier every session and the students help each other. Watch the video where I talk about the iPad basics my students need to learn.

  1. Will students be motivated to want to learn to use an iPad

Absolutely. Their motivation has motivated me to look at other things. Can I put books on the iPads. How can I put their favourite apps on all the iPads.  (because some are iPad1s – not all apps work on these as they are ;out of date’) How else can I use them?

 

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