Posts tagged ‘reflections’

a reflection on methodology: tutor interviews

tutors and curriculum areas

tutors and curriculum areas

An unstructured interview was chosen as it allowed for the different approaches each tutor had taken to engaging with the class set of iPads. Depending on each tutor’s response the interview could evolve organically.

Another advantage of the unstructured interview, to be completely honest, was that in March/April when the interviews were scheduled, I was struggling to really get my head around the whole project. It felt quite big & I didn’t have a very clear picture about what I was looking for. I was disappointed that there hadn’t been more opportunities for the whole group to meet as this was something that I had really hoped would drive the project.

Therefore, the interviews were a genuine chance for me to meet with each tutor and discuss their projects and share ideas.

Looking back now, I think the interviews were an important stage of the project & there were several outcomes from them: 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: 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.