student interview: trainee teacher

During the interview with the Teacher Trainer she spoke about a trainee teacher who was using subject specific apps in her practice. This trainee teacher works in the science department within the college and she agreed to be interviewed for this project.

Here are the themes from this discussion:

Subject specific apps & different devices

There are a several good apps available. For example, the AQA (awarding body) app is being used as an assessment tool at the end of class by linking the tutors iPhone to the IWB screen through the VGA cable that she has borrowed from me.

However, she has a Windows tablet which has better quality science apps available than the iPhone, which she would like to use in her classes. However, there is no cable available in college to link her Windows tablet to the college IWB and she feels, while she doesn’t mind using her own devices to support the whole class activity, she doesn’t want to have to buy the hardware to link these to college systems or give out her own device for students to use individually.

Current & potential use

Currently, the tutor is using one specific app available on her own iPhone as an assessment tool at the end of class. The iPhone screen can be projected onto the IWB through a VGA cable (borrowed from me, via the Teacher Education tutor) for whole class activity.

There are apps available in her Windows tablet, such as a digestive system app, which would be really beneficial for the students. While it is possible to get hold of some realia, such as sheep hearts or lungs, it is not possible for students to get hands on experience of the digestive system, therefore having access to an app that lets them explore different organs, click on different parts for more information or to answer questions would be beneficial.

For this to happen she would either need access to a college device that she was able to let students explore individually or in groups, or access to a cable to project her personal tablet to lead whole class activity.

Rationale for exploring subject specific apps

The tutor talked about how she researched specific apps and gave the following criteria she considers:

  • subject dependent
  • quality of the app
  • is it visual
  • is it interactive
  • will it give something extra for the students – something they can’t get anywhere else
  • is the information valid and current
  • can it be used for assessment – a different tool from oral Q&A when students may be reluctant to answer in class

“What’s your motivation when you’re sitting at home to look for these apps to use in class?” “Oh, I don’t know, you just do don’t you. You want what’s best for the kids.”

BYOD and different devices

Different groups of students have access to different devices. One group of students don’t bring anything into class while another group almost everyone has something – “iPads, Microsoft, Samsung, everything.”

One student talked about an app he had used in school which the tutor thought had real potential to explore further. However, the student said he was unable to access the app in college due to the permissions settings of the college wifi.

Access to the class set of iPads

She would be interesting in joining the project to have the opportunity to experiment with something new to consider interactive learning and add a different dimension and variety to teaching science.




  1. […] ← interviews: ESOL tutor student interview: trainee teacher → […]

  2. […] key theme to emerge from both the Teacher Education interview and the trainee teacher interview was that of BYOD and the variety of devices & how these can be used to support collaborative […]

  3. […] key theme to emerge from both the Teacher Education interview and the trainee teacher interview was that of BYOD and the variety of devices & how these can be used to support collaborative […]

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