Friday 26 September 2014

Reflections of an iPad classroom 26/9/14

Oh blog, it's been a while. Apologies but I'm sure I'm just like the rest of you, hitting the ground running after the summer. 

So the iPads are still with me for the foreseeable future and the HODs and SMT in school have all got one each too. It's been weird for me trying to think about how to use one iPad in a classroom when I'm used to at least one between two, one each at A level. There are certain apps which lend themselves to it of course, from the fabulous Explain Everything to my two of my favourites for starters,  Decide Now and Make Dice Lite. 

I have been using Explain Everything in three main ways. Firstly, I have made some videos, using old PPTs and recording audio with them, as a way to flip the classroom. The videos are uploaded to Edmodo and the pupils can access them there in advance of the lesson, which frees up the lesson time to consolidate learning. Secondly, I have marked pupil work which they uploaded to Edmodo, talking through mistakes as I circled them using the pen tool and then I uploaded the video back onto Edmodo for them to watch and correct their work. Lastly, I have taken pictures of pupils' work in class as we have worked through translation work. It is easier for them to see corrections if they can see the base model on the screen and we talk through the different options they have too. I am finding that they are contributing more than they would otherwise. 

With the set of 17 iPads, we have been using Quizlet in bursts within the lesson to consolidate vocabulary acquisition. The pupils love it and feel it has really helped them learn the vocab. I set up a departmental account that they all log in to, which means that the tailored vocabulary is there waiting for them. Interestingly, we find the website better than the app, if you choose to use it. 

Finally, today I used Plickers for the first time. I had read about it on Twitter but hadn't done anything with it yet. It's a way of using one iPad in the classroom to assess pupil understanding and record answers. I'll do a separate blogpost on it soon. 

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