Students as digital leaders

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?

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iPads in French

Today was about introducing my Year 7s to the joy of Perfect Tense verbs conjugated with ĂȘtre 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 ĂȘtre, 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.

Visit to Avondale Grammar School

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!

iPads in German

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.

iPads in English

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 many options!

When students are ready to produce some analysis they can use this as a prompt for creating a multimedia flyer on, which can then be shared online, or in the same way as the Popplets described above.

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iPads in French


It has been fantastic having iPads in my Y7 French class this year, we have used the device frequently in meaningful ways and the kids’ repertoire of tools is becoming impressive. Today, having drafted a piece of extended writing about what they typically eat and drink for each meal of the day, including an introduction to the concept of le goûter, we focused entirely on pronunciation. Students had previously peer-assessed speaking work using ShowMe so they each had targets to pay attention to this time. We brainstormed specific tips for ‘sounding French’ on Edmodo, kids then checked any tricky-to-pronounce words using the speaker function of the Google translate app. When ready, they then used the Educreations app to make a narrated slide for each of their meals, posting to Edmodo for all to see.

Student portfolios on iPad


A trial group of Y7 students today sharing their first entries in their Evernote portfolios..they have been shown how to tag each entry with one of our school’s learner profile attributes: caring, balanced, open-minded, reflective, principled, knowledgeable, thinker, communicator, risk-taker. There were some innovative uses of the camera, with photos of certificates achieved, positive feedback from teachers on written work, team photos, dance performances and even a picture of a full roast lamb dinner one student had proudly made for her family! I guess she tagged that under risk-taker and knowledgeable? Students certainly found out things they did not know about one another and so did staff. Evernote does not natively embed video, which is a shame, but with video now able to upload into Google drive, kids can post a web link to that. Can’t see a way to create that link on the Drive app itself, but can on the web version…

Interested to know if anyone is using a different platform for portfolios!

iPads in Gymnastics

by Archie

As everyone knows, Year 7 has been given iPads. Among all the brilliant uses of them has been ‘SloPro’, which is an app that lets you film something and play it back in slow motion. In gymnastics we have been using it to record and evaluate our balances. Watching movements back in slow motion helped us to identify the strengths and weakness in the performances. We could watch it back many times and even stop it to look at skills more closely. Using the iPad camera to record the skills helped us to see what we did wrong so we can do it better next time. I think that this is an amazing idea to help us evaluate performances and we should carry on using it. Gymnastics is fun but using ‘SloPro’ helps us learn more quickly. 

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Meograph: Four-dimensional storytelling – Fab for timelines/plotlines is an awesome way for students/teachers to easily create, share, and play back stories in context of Where and When.
They call it four-dimensional storytelling … pretty cool.
Can include maps, narration, video, images, text etc

I made this quick Meograph about Vichy France in three minutes. :

The website has a really easy video tutorial. Every feature works on iPad as well as online except the recording audio narration element, so slight compromise.

Fun iPad game for all subjects is an online bingo card maker..can use brilliantly on iPads as kids can play in pairs or individually – or can print off for other year groups Teacher (or student) enters key terms into a grid, (commonly misspelled words, geographical/historical/scientific terms, symbols, numbers, square roots, periodic table, anything!) then hit ‘Generate’ to create a web link. The following link for example is for the food vocab from the unit our Y7 French students are doing You share the same link on Edmodo but each kid magically sees a randomised card when they click the link. Genius! Teacher (or student) uses the wordlist to call out the words ie Kids tap the words they hear on their ipad and they get crossed off just like a real bingo card. Once a line is crossed off, kids have to explain the terms on that line to win the game/prize/merit.. SAMR level: Augmentation if teacher makes and directs, Modification if students make and direct the activity as this would not have been possible without technology and is therefore changing the traditional task.

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