student forum: maths

The maths tutor introduced me & reminded the students about how using iPads was something new for her this year. I introduced the ethics form and the students signed the consent forms.

On the IWB I had a Google Docs displayed with three main headings:

  • What have you used iPads for?
  • What would you like to use them for?
  • What are the barriers to using the iPads for learning?

I typed notes directly into the document so that the students were able to see how their contributions were being recorded. The following themes came out of the discussions:

Ease of use

The students reported that, with support, they found using the iPads to be easier than using laptops. They said they needed a lot of help, especially at first, and one student talked about being worried about touching the wrong thing and breaking it.

They talked about the help they got from the tutor, both in terms of using the iPad and for completing the maths games.

“It was hard at first but [the tutor] was here to help.”

student-led learning

The students reported that they like to be able to choose their own maths games and that the apps allowed them to move up the maths levels easily. However, one student talked about when she had finished a game she was then unsure where to go next.

When asked what they would like to use the iPads for the students talked about how they see other people using mobile technologies in everyday life. One student talked about how a friend had shown her how to use the camera on her phone one day when she was at the market. Another student shared how her son made videos at home and there was a discussion about how kids learn so fast from each other.

support from the tutor

Some students talked about how using the technology in class gave them confidence in using it at home. One student talked about how she enjoyed using the iPad in class and she went home and started playing maths games with her sons (8 and 13 years old) and how her boys enjoy learning together with mum.

But others said they found the maths hard and only practiced in class where they knew the tutor could help them if they needed it.

“I’ve been on My Maths at home, but there’s no one to help at home so can get fed up and do something else.”

Barriers 

Getting onto the wifi in college has sometimes been problematic. The classroom is a the top of the college and the wifi can be unreliable.

 

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