October 2, 2016
I’ve spent the last week preparing for a ICT lesson on our ‘networked society’ with year 9. It’s part of a series we do looking at how communication has changed us and society over the years, focussing on the development of the internet.
I publish the course on google sites, so that anyone who wishes to may read or use it.
Every year we teachers have had fun looking for examples of a ‘networked society’ and ‘internet of things’. We also ask the pupils to find examples, and some of them have been fascinating!
This year I have decided to include Amazon Dash as my main example. Further down the page I have asked the pupils to research into smart homes, it will interesting to see how many of them already have this.
September 17, 2016
My school activated Google Apps for Education last year, and it is quite useful. I will write a post about it soon. We also activated Office 365 this year, and I was quite excited about this because of the OneNote Classbook.
As I am now the Director of ICT and have asked a group of teachers to experiment with using ICT in their classrooms, I thought I would also experiment with OneNote. So I picked my Year 9 Product Design class as my guinea pigs. I choose them mainly because they are in a rotation, so I only teach them for 7 weeks before getting a new class. Also they will be generating hand drawn ideas as well as photographs of models.
Setting up the Classbook was easy. I just added the pupils in my class to the notebook. They were then sent an email from ‘sharepoint’ with a link to the Classbook.
In the lesson I got them all to login to OneNote and gave them a tour of the Classbook. In particular how they copy pages from the content library into their own notebook.
In the content library I had already created the pages I wanted them to use for the next few weeks. I discovered (after showing them how to copy into their own notebook) that I could distribute a page into the pupil notebooks.
I also populated the main notebook with the teaching resources I was going to use, as well as exemplars of previous pupils’ work.
After our first designing lesson, I asked the pupils to photograph their designs with their smartphone, email the pictures to themselves and upload the pictures to their notebook on a school computer. At the moment they can’t seem login to OneNote on their phone, hence the slightly complicated work around.
Here you can see a pupils work so far. On each page I have written a checklist for the pupils, which they can tick off as they complete it. To mark the work I opened the OneNote Classbook on my iPad Pro and annotated it with the pencil. It was easy, and remarkably fast, to mark all the pupil’s work.
I’ll find out on Monday (as that is when I next teach the class) what the pupils think!
September 12, 2016
It’s been a while, in fact it’s been 2 years. A lot has happened in that time and I thought I would give a little update.
I all but stopped using my iPad to teach with in 2014-15, for a variety of reasons. But mainly because I prolapsed a disc in my back and had to have surgery to fix it. It kind of put life on hold for 9 months while I got it sorted out. But my love of technology hasn’t stopped, although it did take a while to get back into the swing of things. I am now using an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil (mainly due to my recent 1 year appointment as Head of ICT) to teach with.
My school started using Google Apps for Education last year, and I have been actively involved in training staff in different ways of using drive, docs and classroom. We also activated office 365 this year and I am starting to experiment with OneNote Classbook.
As my use of technology (in particular Apple products) has grown and changed so much, I thought I would have a go at restarting this blog to document the things I am doing now. So watch this space……
January 25, 2014
This week I spent a lovely day at the Apple Education Summit in London. Whilst there were many things in the event that I felt I already know, there were several things that certainly made me think.
Delegates were allocated 2 workshops with demonstrations of how Apple technology is being used in schools. These demonstrations were given by pupils and teachers. I was fortunate to allocated a session with Bohunt School. After an introduction from the teacher, the pupils took us through a science lesson. This wasn’t a normal ‘chalk and talk’ lesson, instead it was based on a ‘challenge based learning‘ approach.
I had heard of challenge based learning before, but wasn’t really sure how it would work. Or more importantly how it could work in my subject.
Although I am still at the start of my investigation into challenge based learning, the basics are as follows:
- You set an overarching challenge to the pupils (in the session it was that a disease had spread through Scunthorpe, but people were dying before the medication could cure them, we had to find a way to double the rate of reaction).
- You give the pupils some guided learning (for example how to use equipment to measure the rate of reaction and how to run an experiment)
- You then let the pupils devise their own way of solving the challenge (for example devising experiments with different catalysts to see if they can reduce the rate of reaction).
- You give the pupils some guidance in how to document their work (using a range of tools, ie written work, video, ‘explain everything‘ etc.)
What I liked about this approach is that it uses children’s creativity and desire to find out things (or learn!). The pupils I spoke to at Bohunt told me that they really enjoyed this approach and they felt that they learnt much more than they did when they learnt science principles in the traditional way.
I am still reading and researching more about this methods of teaching, particularly how I can implement it in Resistant Materials. I have found some iTunesU courses that I am working my way through:
If you are already using CBL then I would love to hear about it.
October 19, 2013
This week one of my most used apps received a very useful update. I use Teacher Kit every day at school, it is my register, mark book and behaviour monitor for each class.
The update came with an optional in app purchase to allow you to generate reports, it cost £1.99 but I think it is worth it.
Now when I open my class, I am given a breakdown of the class performance (attendance, grade book and behavior).
You can generate a much more detailed report by tapping on the report button at the top of the screen.
Instead of tabs to access the different areas in each class, you now have to tap a menu button at the top (slightly more long winded, which is annoying).
But the feature that I liked the most was the ability to generate individual reports on pupils (very useful for the upcoming parents evening!). For obvious reasons I have hidden all the pupils details!
I am quite interested to see how useful the data analysis becomes as the year progresses, especially as we are only 1/2 a term in.
October 12, 2013
I like to use quizzes as a way of assessing how much theory work my pupils have remembered during our FPT projects (that stands for Focussed Practical Tasks and is a project in which there is no designing, just making something so you can learn how materials and machines work). We have now been working on a metal folder for the last few weeks, so it was time for a metal theory quiz. Normally I would have used my school intranet, which has a quiz function, but this was the ideal opportunity to try the quiz function in Edmodo.
Writing the quiz was very easy, they have a variety of question you can use. Most of them are self marking.
I liked the idea of the fill in the gaps question, but the pupil don’t get a word bank (which in my case was ok).
Written answer question have to be marked by you, but it doesn’t take very long.
I have a test pupil account, so I could take the test as a pupil. I found it very easy. The only question I found slightly difficult was the matching question as it was quite hard to drag the boxes around.
You can set a time limit on the quiz which is helpful is reducing ‘internet cheating’ (when a pupil taking an unsupervised online quiz searches for the answer).
The only disadvantage I found was that you couldn’t include picture in the quiz itself, you can upload files but then pupils have to view the file before answering the question. I wanted to use picture in the matching game (so pupils could match the picture of the tool to the correct name).
The pupils who have taken the quiz so far have told me that they liked it, and they found it easier than the intranet quiz (which they have taken with other teachers).
Now I need to find a reason to try out the ‘poll’ function!
September 14, 2013
Now that my pupils are on Edmodo, I have had the first round of preps handed in through it. Almost all of my pupils successfully 'turned in' their prep via Edmodo (some got a bit confused and emailed it to me instead). I thought you might like to see how the marking process works. In order to protect my pupils I have blurred out their names and avatars.
In the notification centre at the top of the screen, I can see how many assignments have been turned in for me to mark. I can click on this link and will take me to the list of assignments, but I prefer to do it by class.
In the assignment I can see who has turned in their work (they are blue). When I click on each pupil I can preview their work (by clicking on the annotate button – shown with the red arrow) or download their work. Then I give it a mark (I did mine out of 10), rate it with a smiley face (which I find very annoying) and include a comment if I wish. The mark I allocate is automatically added to my grade book.
In the grade book as well as seeing all the grades I've given, I can also award badges. These appear on the pupils profile page and it's really easy to create custom made ones.
Here you can see that Harry has received a badge for an excellent mood board. You can also see that pupils can set up limited things on their profile. They can choose a favourite quote, add in how they like to learn and a career goal.
Edmodo gives you a series of badges you can award, but it's quick and easy to start building up a bank of custom badges specific to the way you mark.
Something else I quite liked was being able to see how many pupils had turned in their assignments on the assignment itself.
Plus all your assignments appear in your Edmodo planner (pupils will find it appears in their planner as well, which is useful if they have more than one teacher using Edmodo).
I thought that my older pupils would find the badges 'childish', but they got quite excited when I awarded the first batch. Some asked me (quite indignantly) why they hadn't been given a badge, I explained that they are given for going above and beyond the work set. So it will be interesting to see if what happens when the next set of prep is 'turned in'!