Posts tagged ‘practical ideas’

a to do list

It was really useful to get together with an ESOL colleague to discuss using the class iPads and we were both reminded of how important collaboration is – not only to get ideas but mainly as a motivation to try new things with the technology.

From the meeting I came away with a short to do list:

1. review access to the iPads. There are several people using the iPads now and it’s important people know they can plan to use them so we need to ensure the system for this is working OK

2. Neither of us had ever asked the students to access the VLE on their own devices or on the class iPad. We thought having them accessing the VLE on the iPads initally may encourage them to think about accessing it on their own devices, so we set up a VLE link button on the Home Screen. We now need to think about how we can set up At Home tasks to encourage using the college VLE outside class.

3. Folders – as more and more apps were being added the Home Screen were becoming crowded. We reviewed how to make folders & we need to let people know that they can create folders at any time, but really one person needs to have an overview of all the devices to keep them ‘tidy’

4. Overcoming Tech issues: sometimes when the wifi doesn’t connect the first time if you use the ‘forget this network’ and then reconnect it then works. Students need support in getting onto the wifi initally.

 

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.”

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.

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 ►

student feedback: my ESOL class

The students worked so hard sharing how they used different technologies in class and at home.

While the students were working in groups, cutting and gluing the icons and sharing how they used technologies gave me a chance to go around and talk to them individually. What was challenging about this was that I was so busy talking with the students that my notes were quite brief.

College and home use

Here one student talks about how what she uses at home and on the bus as well as in college.

Another student talks about how he practices reading and listening in English by using his mobile phone and playing games that are in English. Read more ►

research journal: exam prep for ICT functional skills

The students were registered for the Entry 1 Functional Skills ICT exam. Throughout the year we had had a lot of practice at using Word, predominantly around designing posters or flyers that linked to their PSD topics. I was feeling confident that they had the ICT skills to pass this assessment, what I was concerned about was the amount of reading they needed to do to be able to understand the task. The assessment could be in any context, but the task was to open an email to receive two things. Firstly an attachment to a poster or flyer & secondly to find out some information that needed amending on this flyer. This amendment came in two stages: 1. add some extra information. 2. change some information.  In addition to to amending the information provided in the email, the students also have to label the image. This information is given in the assessment paper. 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.

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: differentiation & iPads

I had two new beginner students, plus an existing beginner student,  one student who is orally very strong but a very weak reader & then the usual mish mash of E1 readers.

The Plan: To have a vocabulary re-cap warmer on the topic of food as a lead in to a reading task about healthy eating.

The Preparation:

One set of pictures of different foods to be used as prompts for a spelling test type activity. One set of words (to be used to match to pictures) & one list of food words with two incorrect & one correct spelling.

eg. chicken / chken / chikan.

A reading text & a photo of the reading text on the iPad which was inserted into the Ask3 app where I then made a video reading the texts aloud. Read more ►