Week 8: Music

Year 7 Students are arriving in Music lessons with their iPads, eager to learn how they can be used as a music-making tool and full of ideas for how they can improve their performances and compositions. Students completed a solo or group performance during the first six weeks of term and these were recorded with their iPads and then uploaded to Edmodo on the same day so students could watch back their performances and analyse strengths and areas for improvement for themselves and others. Many students noticed aspects about their technique, expression and performance skills which just would not have been possible from listening to an audio recording. It has also allowed students to have dialogues with each other and Music staff without having to wait for our weekly Music lesson. Students have also begun using the Garage Band app to create, edit and record music to a standard which would have required a roomful of expensive specialist equipment a few years ago. They can record soundtracks to films, practise a virtual instrument, work on their music theory, and listen to music at any time they like at school and at home. After half term, Year 7 will be using Garage Band to record or compose a piece of Programme Music and will then vote through Edmodo on who has produced the most creative and captivating piece of Music at the end of the project.

 

Will Hyland, Tech rep for Music

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Week 7: Maths

In Maths, Year 7 students have been using their iPads to explore geometry and the properties of common 2D shapes. Using the app ‘Geometry Pad’ they have been investigating and deducing formulae for finding areas and perimeters of triangles and quadrilaterals. Some students have also been looking at polygons and describing the properties of different shapes. The apps ‘Show Me’ and ‘Skitch’ have been used regularly to enable students to explain their understanding and to practise using mathematical language.

Paul Coggles, Tech rep for Maths

September 2012: Issue of iPads to Year 7

There was an air of efficiency and order, tinged with a ripple of excitement and anticipation, in the new Senior School examination hall this morning, as the first batch of iPads for use by students was issued to Year 7 parents. 115 iPads were distributed in the morning session, with some eager students bringing their parents up to the hall at 7.00am to be the very first to collect their device. Year 7 will have a week to set up their iPad and install the necessary ‘apps’. They will be expected to bring their iPad to school everyday from Week 6 (Monday, 24 September).

Year 6 students will also be getting iPads as part of our ‘iPads in the classroom’ trial. Year 6 parents will be asked to collect their child’s iPad on Monday, 15 October, so that it can be set up and ready to use immediately after the half term break. For the Year 7 students, this effectively marks the beginning of the iPad pilot year. However, much unseen work has been going on behind the scenes over many months to lead us to this exciting point:

• Y6 and 7 teachers and tutors have been attending training with the TFL (Technology for Learning) representatives in each Faculty and Year group in the use of general and subject-specific apps.

• A separate iPad microsite was conceived, designed, built and finally launched on Wednesday this week, as part of the TTS Portal. This site contains advice, app lists and tutorials for every aspect of setting up and using the iPads.

• The EBT (Educational and Business Technology) department has completed and is still engaged in a huge amount of technical work to enhance our wireless network, to ensure that the iPads will integrate with existing classroom projectors and interactive whiteboards and to process and distribute over 500 iPads.

• Y7 students have had PSHCE lessons on cyberbullying, a special assembly on both the advantages and significant responsibilities of having an iPad in school and at home (the presentation has been shared with parents on edmodo).

• ICT lessons have been planned for the coming weeks to ensure that no student is left behind with all the core apps and functions that will be required for school.

• A similar series of assemblies/ lessons to act as a reminder and reinforcement of the need for students to be diligent and thoughtful with their iPad use has been planned for Year 6 students. The instant and continuous connectivity of the iPad will offer a new set of choices and challenges for our students. These PSHCE sessions will remind them of the need for maturity and responsibility that goes hand in hand with such an exciting privilege. The whole-school Technology Working Group, the Senior School’s Technology for Learning Faculty, the EBT department, the Y6 ICT team and the Communications team all deserve a thank you for their efforts so far.

The rest of the school will watch with interest – and possibly a little envy – as the pilot progresses and examples of student creativity begin to emerge! 

Article by John Ridley, Director of Studies

Day One

So after a year of thinking about it, with a bit of tweeting inbetween, here is my first real go at a blog. Why now? Because I have switched from running a large Languages Faculty for 10 years, and am now running a new Technology for Learning Faculty and we have just launched an iPad pilot involving 400 students in two year groups, Y6 and Y7, and 100+ staff.

 

I will post what we have done so far and then use this as my journal of where we go from here! I have learned loads from visiting other schools (both in person and virtually) and want to make more connections along the way to share ideas and successes as well as woes and obstacles.