This term Year 7 students have been learning about a range of artists and cultures in Art, and the iPad continues to be an exciting and creative part of the curriculum. Here is what one student had to say:
“In the last couple of weeks, my Art class and I have been working with clay, using different techniques to mold, shape and mark. We used iMovie to produce our own tutorials, instructing others how to incise, roll and appliqué. In my opinion, this was a lot more fun than just teacher instruction and to be able to explain these skills added to our understanding. Using the iPads in this fun and exciting way enabled us to utilize the technology we have at our fingertips.”
In other classes students have been learning about how a journey is expressed in Aboriginal Art and in the work of British artist Richard Long. Students have recorded a personal journey of their own- their journey to school or a walk as a basis for their artwork. Google Maps or Skitch were used to record their route map, time weather and things passed along the way. Students have also made use of their iPad cameras to make a ‘photo essay’ documenting their journey visually through a set of photographs. In the words of one student:
“In art this term we have used a diverse amount of materials to create our work and the iPads have been a major device and improvement to our work.”
Kirstie W, Technology rep for Arts
My resources on TES have finally passed 30,000 downloads!
Weekly report on your shared resource(s):
All time views: 50953
All time downloads: 30171
Our school has a long tradition of teaching students to perform on the Gamelan and it is an excellent way for students to demonstrate their teamwork and communication skills. There was an on-going issue of how the students could practise these skills between lessons without access to the Gamelan instruments and how they could gain a deep understanding of the relationships between the different instruments within the group. A new free app ‘Virtual Javanese Gamelan’ was given to the students before starting the project and students were able to practise the piece ‘Lancaran Baitok Kandhas’ using all of the different Gamelan instruments before performing the piece as a class and to practise any parts they found challenging between lessons to allow us to spend more of the lesson concentrating on the group performance rather than individual practice.
The performance level and engagement from the students was noticeably better than in previous years thanks to the use of technology and the subsequent filming of the performances with the iPads has allowed students to evaluate their performances in much more detail and given them the opportunity to show their work to friends and family
This past Tuesday evening, nearly 40 Year 7 parents and 9 teachers participated in a presentation and discussion event that we hosted in the library about the role of technology at school and its impact on family life, with particular reference to the current iPad pilot.
I started by recapping the journey so far, giving examples of how use of the device is meeting our stated aims of ‘preparing students for a society permeated with Technology’ and of ‘extending and enriching learning across the curriculum.’ I also explained the rules in place at school and highlighted evolving teaching approaches that reflect the key 21st Century skills we aim to develop in students.
My colleague, Jacqui, Director of Teaching and Learning Resources, then addressed issues around the challenge shared by all parents of teenagers in achieving a comfortable balance of independence, self-regulation and responsibility, and how technology access is different yet similar to other areas that require parent mediation of teen life.
After each of the two presentations, parents split into small discussion groups ‘manned’ by my tech reps as well as the Head and Assistant Head of Year 7, to share openly and frankly what is working as well as strategising areas for development.
Finally, I explained how the Parental Controls settings of the iPad could be a starter for discussion with children at home.
I am looking forward to reading the notes from the discussion groups…my initial impression of the evening was that, whatever reservations/fears parents may have, they welcome our efforts in advancing their children’s learning through technology, and that they appreciate our willingness to raise uncomfortable issues, as well as giving parents the opportunity to share with other parents strategies they can take away….
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Students use the free Snake and Ladder app. They have to count in Target Language as they move. When a sum pops up they have to type in the answer in figures but say it in the target language.
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So, yesterday we used the free Make Dice Lite to practise making sentences about eating/drinking stuff in the Perfect tense using a time frame, a subject pronoun and a past participle. First, I projected my iPad on the IWB and had students make a 6 sided dice in French for each of the 3 sentence elements. They then quickly copied these in English. Ahhh, you say, what about the auxiliary verb? All will be revealed! This was the sequence of activities:
– roll the French dice, help each other translate then move to trying to beat your partner to say the English, first person to 10 points
– same activity, but with the English dice..of course this is a lot harder because they have to provide the correct auxiliary…they could have the verb paradigm in their exercise book to begin with, then withdrawn during the competitive bit
– Extension: students will add various components to the sentence ie what they ate, their opinion, and a justification
Advantage of using tech for this activity: students really engaged, massive random and repeated exposure to the full range of subject pronouns and auxiliaries, lots of French being spoken, fun. Plus, they can practise at home! The dice can be reused and cannot fall off the table!
Over the past week in Year 7, Humanities students have been using the app ‘Sock Puppets’ in a variety of ways to support their understanding and learning. In History, students have used this app to reenact key points in history. Their focus at the moment has been the Battle of Hastings. Questions like “Why I should be King?” have lead to some interesting debates. In Geography, students have been explaining Fair Trade and its issues with this app.
Max, Yasmin and Ayisha were very keen to give some comments: “Speaking through the puppets was interesting and fun”; “I liked the voices and characters it made it a fun way to explain what I knew at the end of the lesson”; and “A great way to finish a lesson and to let my teacher and myself know what I had learnt.”
There has also been further development of the use of ‘iMovie’ for an assessment task in Geography on Fair Trade. The students have been developing their independent research skills on this topic and using creativity to develop their understanding. The teachers are looking forward to watching the completed movies.
Oooh, getting close to 30,000 downloads on the resources for French and Spanish I shared on TES!
Had a great meeting this afternoon with my subject-specific technology reps…one of them fed back from a three-day iPad workshop he attended. Highlights for development for us out of this opportunity are:
– Enabling students to be authors, using BookCreator for example to have audio, text, video and photos and then having students publish their work as a regular iBook. Also, the creative use of templates in Pages and Keynote to make static worksheets become living multimedia documents
– QR codes as a simple way of reassuring observers and managers that students’ otherwise less visible, but extremely valuable, digital creations are linked to in good old-fashioned exercise books, on walls etc!
– iMovie: the need to set clearer guidelines for departments who use this, both in terms of task rigour and achievement criteria, of which we can share good examples, and in terms of how the work is submitted to the teacher. We think we should get parent permission for students to use Vimeo, as it is free, is not blocked in school, kids can upload direct from iMovie and this will free a lot of memory on the iPad.
In addition, we made some decisions on how to recruit for our planned student ‘tech ninja’ team. We will have 2 students for each of the Faculties, they will work with the adult tech reps to identify opportunities for tech integration in the curriculum, run student help clinics, make app videotutorials etc. Applicants will need to make a 1 minute online presentation of some sort..we also want to think about how to reward them in some way..maybe Tech Ninja t-shirts, lunch passes?
Today was about introducing my Year 7s to the joy of Perfect Tense verbs conjugated with être as the auxiliary! First we recapped last lesson by using Socrative for them to discuss and post in pairs a definition of the Perfect tense with an example sentence using avoir. After the allotted 5 minutes I had them vote on the most effective definition, which handily proved to be the one that did actually include all the key concepts and terminology from last lesson.
Then, to introduce verbs that take être, instead of the usual ‘here are the most common verbs, you can learn them as DR MRS VANDERTRAMP’, I took a different tack.
I found this video on YouTube, downloaded it using KeepVid as YouTube is blocked in my school, and posted it to the class edmodo page. Students had to plug in headphones, watch and try to sing along at their own pace, noting down the verbs then using the internet in table groups to find both the English meaning and the correct Past Participle. This was preceded by a useful discussion about the most effective way to search for things like French grammar points. It always pleasantly surprises me by how much kids like to sing and although the song is quite fast, many were able to sing this by the end of the activity.
It was great today to visit Avondale Grammar School and meet Craig Kemp, the Head of ICT and Learning Innovation. We met on Twitter a couple of weeks ago, and our schools have a lot in common in that we are both piloting tablet devices this year. It was great to talk through our common issues/challenges of dealing with parents and staff, sustainable and realistic professional development, student-led learning and the ever-thorny presence of social networks like Facebook and YouTube that have so much learning potential…to block or not to block? Is it better to let students find their own way or to actually teach them to make responsible choices..and teach staff at the same time? A loaded question if ever I saw one!
It was also interesting to compare their choice of Windows 8 Dell tablets with our iPads in terms of expected use, app equivalents, consequences on school desktop provision, insurance, student acceptable use, distribution of apps, to name but a few areas!
Craig has invited us back when their tablets are deployed and in use and we have extended an invitation for a visit to Tanglin to see how our iPad pilot is going. An hour of face -to -face is worth a thousand tweets!
by Jack C
The Senior School at Tanglin has always offered amazing opportunities such as sport and academic competitions, but this year school has introduced something even more exciting. This year, Year 7 students were given iPads to trial for use in class and at home. It was hard to contain our excitement when we first found out, and we couldn’t wait to hear about how we would be using our new technology…
We use our iPads in every subject including languages. We use the iPad to save our work easily, do it more efficiently and be creative. This technology has made school more interesting and helped with learning. In German this year we have used many apps. The main ones that we have used so far include ‘Educreations’, ‘Christmas Card Creator’ and ‘Skitch’. Of course, there are also others that are generic and used across many other subjects.
‘Educreations’ is an app that helps you record voice while writing on the screen at the same time. You can place photos too! Having ‘Educreations’ in our German lesson has helped a lot. For example, we recently finished covering personal information (where you live, name, age etc.). In this topic, we used educreations to make a quick presentation of ourselves in conversation about our details. ‘Skitch’ is an app that helps with diagrams, pictures and slides. On this app you can draw arrows anywhere, as well as hand draw with the pen feature. This has been really helpful when we were learning numbers because we used it as a whiteboard. I think that Skitch has improved our skills in numbers and letters very effectively. Finally, we have the ‘Christmas Card Creator’. As the name suggests, we used this to make virtual Christmas cards written in German for our family and friends. This was fun as well as educational. We were able to decorate the card and write the message in German which was a challenge, but in the end we all got it.
In conclusion I think that the iPads have been a great addition to the lessons, not just because they are fun but because we can do so many interesting things to help us learn.
Have been looking today, with an English department colleague, at apps for making non-linear notes on characters, plot, themes etc. The free mind-mapping tool Popplet Lite is perfect as the ideas can be moved around and linked, to include pics, drawings and text. This way of collating thoughts and visuals can be really powerful, and sharing with peers or teachers is as easy as emailing or saving to camera roll and posting on Edmodo. Of course, popplets can also be printed off to go in exercise book…or a QR code could go in the book..or on a wall display for all to see..so many options!
When students are ready to produce some analysis they can use this as a prompt for creating a multimedia flyer on www.smore.com, which can then be shared online, or in the same way as the Popplets described above.