research journal: description of a house

One of the units for PSD is Using Money. Most of the students had completed all the tasks for this module, but I had one student who had started late & had everything to complete & I also had a couple of students who still had some tasks to complete.  Therefore I needed to think of  a lesson that would review this topic for everyone but give those who had completed something different to do while I could work with those who still had PSD tasks to complete.

As a whole class we had completed a task where students had to budget for furnishing a room in a house, so I wanted to keep the context of houses for the extension task, while keeping the context of money for those who needed to complete their PSD portfolio.

The plan: To provide an extension task for students to design a house in one app & then create a video in educreations describing their house.

The preparation: I researched different apps related to designing a house. Searching the app store there were quite a few My Houseavailable. Having done the app review with the students I had some idea of the kinds of apps they liked & having done this task it certainly made me more confident with the final decision I made.

The app I chose was called TeenDream. In the free version there is a nine-roomed house & a variety of furniture to drag & drop into each room. I downloaded this app onto one of the class iPads, and because of the set up it appeared on all the iPads.

The lesson: We did a recap on the previous lesson & a warmer task where the student’s categorised different furniture found in different rooms. While the PSD group worked on their PSD task, the others were asked to decorate the house in TeenDream. If there was any furniture in the app they didn’t know they were encouraged to ask their classmates & some of them used Google Translate on the iPads.

Once the house was decorated the students made videos using the Educreations app. I asked them to do an introductory page showing the whole house, and then additional pages for individual rooms.

Evaluation: This was the first time I had used the Educreations app with the students, but I had just found out Ask3 was being closed down so new I needed to explore another Whiteboard App. I chose Educreations because the other ESOL tutor had used this with her students .

There are a lot of similar features to Ask3 & the students didn’t have too many problems in getting started.

Some of the students hadn’t realised that an extra feature of Educreations (compared to Ask3) was that you could have multiple pages in a single video. So some students made more than one video.

student 1: video 1. video 2. video 3. (in this final video you can see where she has made a mistake but the video has been saved anyway.)

student 2: video 1

As this was the first time we had used this, I hadn’t fully thought through the the sign in process & many students used their full (real) names. Therefore, as I promised them anonymity for taking part in this research I am only able to share two videos where students cannot be identified.  Also, the sign in process is lengthier than the Ask3 sign in so some support was needed for this & students complained that they couldn’t review their video before saving it, which had been a feature of SAMRAsk3.

SAMR: The combination of the house design app & Educreations used on the iPads has allowed for a Redefinition of the task. The students approached making the videos in different ways. Some students made notes (usually of the key vocabulary) before they recorded themselves, others wrote out full sentences first while some of the more confident speakers didn’t do any planning.

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