Posts tagged ‘classroom use’

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 ►

Maths apps and BYOD vs paper dominoes

Three of the students from the E3 maths group have downloaded the Penguin Jump Maths Free Game onto their own phones and I have observed them using this in class, competing with each other, while they wait for me to start class! This is a great app because it covers all the four basic rules, the students can pick what they want to practice and they get to complete a race on the iPad and then keep track of the time it takes to do the game and compete with others in this way.

In one session I gave them an option to practice by playing a paper dominoes game or by playing maths games on the iPads and the whole class chose to use the iPads over the paper activity.

 

 

New Year reflections

Maths GCSE: Yvonne’s reflections

I have only used the iPads once in the class. It’s not feeling so ‘easy’ to bledd the use of the class iPads into the sessions as it is with the lower level group. I’m not sure if it’s because they have and use technology themselves already for work, but I don’t know if they are using it to support their maths. It’s not a novelty (which it is to the E3 group). This is an evening class, all students have been at work all day (and work full time) and come straight to class. I had wanted to use them this week, but it was a very intensive lesson so with 30 minutes of the class remaining I finished the class early as they had worked hard and I could tell they had enough – although there was time I felt it wasn’t the appropriate time to bring out the iPads.

Future plans:

  • consider using math specific apps for revision. Currebntly I think this is the only way I can use them, it may change but lets see.

Maths E3

The original plan was to review the apps already on from before Xmas and to choose whether to use these again or to try to find new ones. No wifi so no choice but to use existing ones.

Reflections on the lesson:

  • students are starting to help each other
  • I think the Ss like the iPads because they think they are playing – they are learning – but think it’s great fun
  • one student chose a app that was aimed at GCSE level  and she had a go at it and she got a couple of questions right. The student was happy to get a few right and she said she wants to do GCSE anyway so was happy to choose the app. She used the whole of the free app and then when I explained to get more questions it would cost £1.99 the student said ‘oh, I’ll look at that’. I’ll ask next week if she bought it? She is a new student who only started last week and she is very enthusiastic.
  • general feedback is that they really like the iPads and they have big smiles on their face when they see them!!
  • one student has a laptop, she won’t bring it into college because it’s heavy and bulky and she’s scared someone will steal it. She is now thinking about buying a tablet (after using them in class) because it’s lighter, smaller and easier to carry around. She said if she got one she would bring it into college. It will be interesting to see if this happens

Future plans:

  • Tell the students that there is a limited budget and which free apps do they like best and which do they want to upgrade to the full paid version. This will have to be a class decision – bringing literacy (debate) into the maths class.

Cert Ed/PGCE: Cathy’s reflections

Often during lessons I will say something about how amazing Twitter is, and link this to the lesson. I have also introduced the teacher ed Facebook page to the group and promoted this. During class today a student told me that since I’ve been doing this she has started looking at the Twitter feed on the VLE page and has ‘liked’ the facebook page and has found some interesting articles. Others agreed that these things were about offering opportunities for ss to make their own decisions about whether to use or not.

 

a catch up meeting

How have you been using the iPads so far?

Tutor 1. “I have taken a single iPad into class to film student presentations. In the past I have audio recorded presentations and used these for students to self and peer review, but having the Ipad and recording the presentations meant I was also able to focus on giving feedback on body langauge too. I set the task up by giving students prompts of specific things they should give peer feedback on. This is linked directly to exam prep and evidence of improvement of a ‘soft skill’. I’ll repeat this task later in year so students will be able to see their progress over the course.”

To do: We discussed the possibility of using the You Tube Capture app on the iPad. The videos can easily be uploaded to the ESOL You Tube account keeping them private. During class, this privacy setting can be chanaged so ss can view the video and a discussion can be had on internet safety, privacy issues and ss given the choice about whether they want the links to remain open so they can share them with others.

Tutor 2. “to be honest I haven’t used the iPads yet. When I looked at them before they weren’t charged up so I didn’t use them. I like the idea of using them to record and linking this to mock exam practice. There is a level 1 criteria on body language so video-ing the students and doing a peer review task would be really useful. I can video them this week and plan for feedback next week.”

Other ideas: We looked at the Show Me app and discussed the possibility of higher level ESOL students creating videos on a particular grammar point. We also talked about Powtoon and whether this was a PC based software or a mobile app.

 

 

BYOD – ss sharing photos to practice describing people

Here is a short reflection from an ESOL tutor:

“All the E2 ESOL students have their own phones & in class they predominently use them as dictionaries. I had a lesson on describing people & I wanted to personalise the lesson by asking students to describe photos of people they knew – so asked them to take out their phone and look at the pictures on their phone. Many of the students looked worried when asked to do this and it took about five minutes of cajoling and encouraging for everyone to take part.

Once they did take part they really enjoyed the task & I had to work hard to stop the task and bring everyone back together!

Why the inital nervousness? Was it because they thought they would not be allowed to use their phone? That it wasn’t a useful classroom activity? Was it because they had reservations about sharing private photos in the class?

I’m not sure what the answer is, but once on task they all really enjoyed it and we repeated the activity at the end of the class for a chance to practice describing people again using the langauge we’d covered in the lesson.”

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 ►

BYOD vs college owned devices

I’ve been thinking a lot about the role of BYOD in education and the assumption not only that students own mobile technologies and bring them into college, but that they are happy to be asked to use them by their teachers.

Last year I spent quite a lot of time exploring WhiteBoard apps on the iPad and for me this seemed to be something that I could only consider doing because I had access to a set of iPads. I don’t think I would feel confident at this stage to be planning an activity that would rely on asking students to download a specific app to their own devices.

Meeting with Yvonne this week it was interesting to hear her views on this. She is an iPad owner (and has a Kindle Fire). Neither of these devices does she bring into work or undertake any kind of work activity on. Last year, when she took part in the project she had access to a college iPad. This she used (almost soley) for work related activity.  She sees a very clear distinction regarding using her own device for work or personal use.

For me, I use my phone and my iPad fairly interchangably, despite one being a personal device and one being a college device. Although, I would say I predominently use my iPad for work acitiviy, but it is a college device so ……  I am not sure that I would buy an iPad, or that if I did, would I bring it into college to use at work.

So how does this link to what we can reasoably expect to ask of students. I think if I  were a student, I think I would consider buying an iPad and I would take it into class with me.  Noteability is my prefered note taking app and this would be invaluable during a class. I also like to be able to check things during a class – I am one of those annoying students who likes to find an answer on Google or to search for something if I find it interesting. If I were a 16-18 year old behaving like this I would be on SOOOOO much trouble! But is there something I would be unhappy with the teacher directing me to do on my own device? I’m not sure.

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 ►

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: ESOL feedback

The Plan

To give my ESOL students an opportunity to share about their use of digital tools in general and how we have used the iPads in class this year specifically.

The Preparation

As this is a low level ESOL group I needed to think about how I could be sure that students were giving informed consent to be allow their work and their views to be included in the project. I took advice from someone doing his phD in digital literacies & collated logos for different technologies we had used in class over the year and technologies I thought students may use at home.

The lesson Read more ►