Learner feedback: the role of tech on the Cert Ed/PGCE

June 3, 2015Data 14-15
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Using Class iPadsIn the final class for the Cert Ed/PGCE group I started the session by reviewing my findings for my project and explaining to the students why, although initally planned to use the iPads in a variety of ways, I had only offered the iPads for students to choose to use if they wanted. There was never any planned task that required them.

Looking at the Teacher-Led activities the students then explored two apps that lend themselves to these kinds of activities: Socrative and Show Me.

Socrative: They really liked this app. Very quickly they were able to make quizzes & they discussed how they could use this with their students.

Show Me: They explored this app, some students made videos, others explored videos made by others.

For both these apps we discussed how they can be used three ways:

  1. the teacher could make a video/quiz for students to complete
  2. the students could make a video/quiz for each other
  3. students could be directed to videos/quizzes made by other people

With both of these apps it was really interesting to observe how each student approached them differently. When we later discussed the advantages and disadvantes of these kind of activities with their students the advantages they highlighted were around students being self directed, they set their own pace & they chose what they wanted to do. The main disadvantage they found was around keeping students on task and thought it had potential for students to ‘mess about’.

Next we talked about the student-led activites that could be done with the class set of iPads. I linked the activity they had just done (exploring particular apps in their own time) with how Yvonne and Mo had used maths and English apps. I then asked them to go to the App Store and search for any subject specific apps.

This was a really interesting task. One student looked at the maths apps already on the iPad and started evaluating them for what he liked and didn’t like. Two students found the same ‘beauty’ app and explored this – even though both of them admitted it was a game for younger children and had no educational value for thier classrooms. One student refined her search and found several apps that could be used for different aspects of her animal management course.

role of technologyThe main barrier I’d had to planning tasks with the iPads was due to the large amount of technologies already being used on the course. I was conscious all year not to overload them.

Following a discussion on assessment activities on the course & the role of technology on this I asked “Would having used the class iPads have added anything to the course?”

There inital reaction was ‘no’. They talked about how valuable it was to be able to use their own deveices in class – they were familiar with how they worked, their passwords were saved and important sites bookmarked.

however, they added that had they not had their own devices the iPads/laptops would have been invaluable and they were always aware that they were available if needed. One student talked about when she forgot her device one lesson and given a choice between laptop and iPad chose laptop. I told her about the keyboard option with the iPad and maybe try this while the laptop logs in (they are very slow!) and she found typing on the keyboard, into the iPad was fine and staying on this during the lesson.

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