Posts tagged ‘apps’

An update and some maths apps

GCSE – still not using the class iPads but we are having discussions about different apps and giving them the choice about whether they want to download them themselves. recommended apps Ss have used are:

photomaths - With this app you can take a photo of an equation (it can’t be words or handwriting)). The app then gives the answer and an explanation of the steps taken to solve it.

This app has been shared by various different people. Sean (a mahts tutor) told Dionne (a GCSE student and a LSA in college) who told the GCSE group about it.

GCSE maths geometry – This app has 14 different categorgies for geometry, with 10 quesitons on each. I like this because the feedback is good – once you have completed the quiz there is a clear expanation of the right answer. This app has been recommended to the GCSE group and I know of at least one student who has paid for the app and says she’s finding it useful.

I found this by ‘playing’. I put GCSE in the app store search, this app came up & I liked it enough to recoemmned it. I like apps that are easy to use and useful. I don’t want anything where the technology is too hard and gets in the way of practicing the maths. Read more ►

Getting to grips with Show Me – an Interactive Whiteboard App

Last year I spent time exploring the Whiteboard App Ask3, which I really liked. I was disappointed when I heard that TechSmith were closing this app down to concentrate on their other WB app ScreenChomp (but it was a good reminder that most educational apps are at the mercy of the markets) & it has left me looking for a new WB app for my low level ESOL class.

I played a little with Educreations, but found that the sign in process too cumbersome & the fact that you needed to sign in before you reviewed the video was also laborious. So now I am exploring ShowMe.

What do I want from a WB app?

1.It has to be easy for students to use. They need to recognise the graphics- for record, erase, next page.

2. You must be able to pause the video and re-start it.

3. To be able to add & edit images, eg crop, change size, rotate.

4. Sharing the video is really important. I don’t want something that just lives on the iPad that it was created on. But the students need to be aware that what they are creating may be shared and to have the option to keep this private. My group are a very low level ESOL group and I’ve yet to have a lesson on Internet security or introduce the language of public and private so until I do that I need their videos to be private. If the students were able to see each other’s creations on their own devices this would be an added bonus.

5. The sign-in/log-in must be simple. Read more ►

Recommendations: ground rules, iPad skills & routines with students

Ground Rules

When you first introduce the iPads, or the use of any mobile technology,  to your students consider what ground rules you need to negotiate with students. Possible ground rules include:

  • don’t log into facebook or other social media apps on shared devices or ensure you remember to log out when finished.
  • don’t take photos of anyone in class without first asking permission
  • use mobiles for work purposes only in class
  • log out of wifi, close all apps and shut down the iPad at the end of class.

Access to wifi Read more ►

Lessons from the Classroom: Discussion

When the tutor interviews took place in March/April the themes that emerged were around general issues with the technology – general benefits and limitations of it, practical issues around access to it & confidence in using it, both technically and appropriately.

The biggest theme to emerge was the importance and value of collaboration, of having other tutors to meet, discuss and share ideas with. Following these interviews the project has continued, tutors have continued to use the iPads with their students and to share and discuss with those in the group they see in offices and in corridors.

So it was only later in the project that I was able to start to unpick what has been happening in the classroom and to reflect on how the technologies has been used. This evidence comes from my reflection on my own practice and the corridor conversations with all the tutors on the project.

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classroom activities: discussion

Reviewing the activities I’ve done this year using the iPads as part of my own reflective journal has been really interesting. Before I started the review I felt that I had used the iPads predominantly as student-led activity. Over the year there have been more lessons where I didn’t plan to use the iPads, but I would take them into lesson anyway & let the students self-select if they thought they would be useful.

However, looking back at all the teacher-led planned lessons has given me a different insight into this. I started the project wanting to do something different with the technology, & at times I certainly felt that I had set myself a tough task & the possibilities felt so overwhelming I almost couldn’t figure out the starting point. Read more ►

research journal: peer observation

I was so pleased that one of my colleagues from the project was available to come peer observe me for this session. The feedback was so positive it was reassuring to hear how well the students engaged with the task and I got a different perspective on the lesson.

Involving students in research

I think the most reassuring thing for me was around knowing that the students had given informed consent to take part in the research, to be videoed and for me to share their work with others. This was an area that I had struggled with a lot around exactly how I was going to get feedback from my students. Read more ►

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.

interviews: Teacher Education tutor

We started the discussion reviewing the tutor’s initial ideas in taking part in the project.

Her aims in taking part in the project were:

  • to allow students to explore iPads and available apps
  • to introduce BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) into sessions to allow for the opportunity to explore different devices as well as different apps

Student presentations on how they have included emerging technologies in their practice: Read more ►

research journal: a pre-reading/grammar practice task

There was a reading text with comprehension questions the students had to answer as part of their PSD assessment task in the unit Local Services.

The Plan: To identify the verbs in a word cloud & make present simple sentences using these words.

The preparation: I created a Wordle of the text & inserted this into an IWB presentation. A class was created in Ask3 & the code for this class included on the IWB. Students could them take a photo of this to create a video using Ask3.

The lesson: The students had been doing work on the present simple for daily routines with their personal tutor, so I started the session with a quick warmer. Students had list as many verbs as they could think of in 3 minutes & during feedback for this they had to make sentences using these verbs. Read more ►

research journal: ESOL apps 2

I was so pleased to have a week to reflect on how the lesson had gone with the ESOL quote 2students and I was also fortunate to have an ESOL tutor come to peer observe me.

The plan: The biggest challenge I found for this lesson was the level of my students and what language they would need to review their apps. It took me a while to think about how I could simplify this enough & give them the language they would need.

model text

model text

Read more ►