Christine is trying out Appshed with her sixth form classes this week. Here is the worksheet she will use with her Year 12 class. All are welcome to use our resources as they are populated. There will be a similar app available for F324 later this week.
9 Sherwin used the same app that Ian trialled with his Year 8 class. Here are the results:
The students indicated that they enjoyed using the iPads. This was visible in the lesson; all were highly engaged. It was pleasing to note that although a game, the students felt that they learnt from using the app, with 25 indicating more than in a 'normal' lesson. Most said the app was easy to use - though some found it challenging for the first minute or so whilst they worked out what they could control.
The results of two lessons with classes using the iPads for the first time
Using the Camera and Safari apps with a Year 9 mixed ability class:
Christine used the Camera and Safari apps with her Year 9 class. In the previous lesson, they had been taken to the computer room, in order to access the website www.9sherwin.weebly.com which instructed them to find out about MRSA and write a TV or radio script which answered a set of questions, given on the site. They worked in groups of up to 4 students to compile their scripts. Some finished them off at home, where they could still access the website. In this lesson, the students accessed the website again, using Safari, to gather any further information. They then edited their scripts and recorded them using the video option on the Camera. At the end of the lesson, some of the videos were shown and feedback was given to the groups by both the teacher and students. The students then completed the questionnaire, the results of which are shown below:
The students enjoyed using the iPads a lot. All students thought that they learned from the app, and most thought that they learned more than in a normal lesson, although some students thought otherwise. All but one student said that the app was easy or very easy to use. In addition, the students made the following comments:
From the teacher's perspective, after an initial 'play' (students taking pictures of themselves and opening random apps, such as the dictionary), the students soon got down to recording their scripts. They were able to have several 'takes' and delete any they were not happy with. Some decided to record in short segments so produced a few clips. This was useful because if they made a mistake, they only had to re-record a short section. Being able to access the website from anywhere in the classroom was useful. Some wrote their script on their iPad using the Notes app, and some read short sections from various websites, whilst adding their own opinions too.
The problems the teacher encountered were that recording 5 or 6 videos in the same lab was a little difficult, as it was a loud environment. Some students wanted to take their iPad outside (which, for a first use the teacher thought perhaps not) to overcome this, which was a reasonable request. One group went out with the TA and produced a very clear video with good sound quality. When playing the video back to the class, it is essential that the iPads are plugged into some speakers as they were only 'just' loud enough to hear. The class were absolutely silent during play back so they could hear, which the teacher thought showed good respect. The iPads all came back in one piece. Some thoughtful students had closed any apps they had used and deleted anything not needed, though not all had done this. It is recommended that the teacher leave time to do this at the end as it will preserve the battery and not clog up the Camera Roll.
It should be noted that this lesson was held on a Friday, lesson 5 (1.45pm - 2.45pm) of the penultimate week before Easter and the teacher was impressed that the students behaved so well.
Using the Infection Bio War free app with a Year 8 mixed ability class:
Ian used the Infection Bio War app to teach his class about how diseases can spread (epidemics, pandemics and vectors). The students were allowed to use the app for 20-30 minutes and then had to complete a worksheet which asked them scientific questions about microbes. Again, at the end of the lesson, all 30 students completed the short questionnaire. Here are the results:
The students enjoyed using the iPads a lot. All students thought that they learned from the app, and most thought that they learned more than in a normal lesson, although some students thought otherwise. All students said that the app was easy or very easy to use. In addition, the students made the following comments:
The comment "The interactive learning helped me visualise the disease spreading" was an indicator that even though marketed as a game, this app was educational and a good choice for this mixed ability group.
Data collection continues for the next few weeks. Any comments are most welcome!
Alessio Bernadelli, founding member of CollaboratEd, takes us on a tour of some of the most powerful iPad apps and tools for use in the classroom:
1) Reflector: Reflector is an AirPlay receiver that allows you to wirelessly display your iPad or iPhone on your computer. Reflector turns your computer into an AirPlay receiver for wireless mirroring and streaming. It uses technology that's built in to your iPad, iPod or iPhone to display content. Just download this to computer and it will reflect what is on the iPad as long as both are attached to the same network. Of course, the same could be done by connecting a VGA to Lightning cable to your Interactive Whiteboard, but this allows you to walk around the classroom freely. Free trial available for 7 days, then $12.99.
2) Camera: We have all probably used the iPad camera already. Alessio, however, demonstrated using the camera to show convection currents in an empty tea bag and putting a drop of water on as a magnifying glass. Really effective, and free!
3) Padlet (formally Wallwisher): A free Post-it type group collaboration wall. Alessio demonstrated how a class added Post-it notes to a wall using the idea of Reebops. As you can add photos to the Post-its as well as text, students can take and upload photos on their iPad and instantly share them on the Padlet wall. Padlet has some great features, such as drag-and-drop, auto save, and real-time instant sharing. Privacy and permissions can easily be changed and the Padlet wall can be embedded too. Alessio also showed how to use Padlet for a confidence wall, for students to rate their confidence about a certain topic. There is a pre-made background in Padlet which splits the screen into three columns, which is useful for this idea.
5) Alessio then showed us how to use QR codes and a QR code reader to scan to find images and information. An app called QR Reader, for example, is a free scanner that can be used. It allows the teacher to point students to relevant websites easily, without them having to copy and paste or type in a long URL. Generating QR codes can be done by accessing www.qrstuff.com and just pasting in the website link and pressing go. You can tap and hold to save the QR code image and paste this into Pages, for example. Simple, plain text can be coded as well as other things like contact details and calendar events.
6) Total Downloader - Total Downloader allows the following to be downloaded and played: any video files (Flv, Mp4, Avi, Dvix, Xvid, mkv, ts, etc.), Audio (Mp3), Documents (Pdf, Doc, Xls, etc.) and Compressed Archives (Rar, Zip, also multi-part). Downloading any kind of files is as simple: Visit your favorite sites using the integrated multi-tab browser; start a video, select a photo or document on the website and click on the download button that automatically appears. This app can be used to download videos from the web and insert them into various other apps, but check the copyright first. Although Alessio recommended the not free version and said the full version for £1.49 must be bought to do all these things.
7) Aurasma is an augmented reality app which can add videos into places e.g textbooks. It can be used, for example, to enrich books with interactive content. This is insanely powerful and is worth a thorough investigation in my opinion. You can either film your own video or use one from the bank. Then find a good trigger. The bar will go green when one is appropriate. Next time that is scanned by the Aurasma app, the video will be played over that image. It basically turns text books into something out of Harry Potter! Create a channel to share with other Aurasma users.
8) Tellagami - You may need to check if still free on the App Store as it is available free for a limited time. In this app, simply record or type in text and the character says it. Alessio suggested it could be used to improve literacy. These videos can then be inserted into Aurasma if a QR code is supplied to follow the channel of the creator.
9) Anatomy 4D is an app with a virtual human body. Students can perform and explain virtual operations. Really powerful if a bit gory!
10) Explain Everything is a whiteboard app in which videos can be created and inserted into a slide in order to explain concepts. The whole slide can be recorded and then saved to the camera roll or uploaded to YouTube. Seems really powerful, and currently costs £1.99 in the App Store.
11) Educreations is a free, simpler, whiteboard app in which photos can be inserted and drawn on, and the slide can be recorded with annotations and audio script. This can be saved and uploaded onto their own server. This encourages students to create content.
An excellent and informative session which has renewed my love of my iPad! Thanks Alessio, Melody, Nisha and Rushey Mead School, Leicester.
Alessio Bernadelli is founder of CollaboratEd, and this course was callled iPad Integration. Follow Alessio on Twitter @Collaborat_Ed or check out www.CollaboratEd.org.uk