Mid-point review: Learning & Tutor Feedback: Mo’s students

May 7, 2015Data 14-15, Mo
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Student feedback

Every time we used the iPads I got some informal feedback from the students. The students say they prefer the iPads to using the netbooks. One student had asked that they use the iPads to do some project-type work. He asked if they could use the camera on the iPad to take photos, eg around town. The students said didn’t want to use them ‘just for the sake of it’, but were never really clear about what this meant. They would use the ‘free time’ activities to go onto FaceBook even though we’d agreed not to do this.

Tutor thoughts

I didn’t take them into class every week, but the weeks I did take them we used them for different things. When I started this project I had a clear idea what I wanted to use the iPads for, and I wanted it to be a structure resource. However, as the weeks went on this became looser and looser as I became more relaxed with the iPads. I stopped planning activities to use with the iPads and I used them in two different ways:

1. students – led: I set a task. the iPads were available. Students could choose whether to use them or not. They predominently used them for the online dictionary and visual thesaurus, and Word to take notes.

2. student-led: Using the iPads freely was given as a reward at the end of the session. At this time students could use them for whatever they liked. I told them they could use it to practice English or …….. Every week I reminded them about the college guidelands about what they shouldn’t be using, but beyond this they had free reign. I didn’t want to restrict them too much, but social media was generally not allowed. I wanted them to do something they wouldn’t normally do at home. For example, one week we had been talking about different hobbies so I suggested they try to find blogs of people that wrote about a hobby they were interested in.

Issues – my students wanted to go on FaceBook, and I was clear this was not what they were to be used for. Some of the students did log in and I viewed this as a classroom management issue. If I saw students on FaceBook I would remind them this wasn’t allowed and they needed to use this time productively to practice their English.

I liked it to have another resource at hand to add variety. It was different way for them to do writing. Most of the students used the dictionary app regularly.

There was one student who had very good IT skills. He said he was very confident in using the technology as he’d come from a school where they had used them. He had his own (basic) smartphone, but no other tech at home.

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