Monthly Archives: December 2011

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Protected: Christmas 2011

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Using Popplet app to produce a revision mind map.

A hand full of students enjoyed some after school revision today that involved learning with the iPads. Students were able to independently revise with the aid of the iPads, Popplet app and also the internet.

Students worked well using the Popplet app and BBC Bitesize to aid revision. Students produced a mind map that could be shared via email to other students in the form of a jpeg. The students were able to import photos, videos, drawings and text to customise their mind map.

Popplet is available as a free (lite app) or full version which is £2.99 for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Full details of the differences between the versions can been viewed via the app store.The popplet app that we used was the lite version which provided limited control over the way that the mind map could be shared and saved. The full version of the app provides multiple mind maps to be saved and revisited at any time. Popplet is also available online which requires uses to sign up,  allows users to save mind maps and also an excellent way to share the mind map via twitter. This option allows provides an excellent way for teachers to check progress, demonstrate learning and also collaborate with others. Using the web version, users may share the link to their poppet to allow group collaboration. This would provide an excellent opportunity for students to learn collaboratively in school, at home or on the move.

An example can be seen below.

Using ComicLife app to produce revision comics

A lesson today saw Year 11 GCSE students use the iPads as part of their revision for their forthcoming exams. Students worked in pairs to produce a revision comic using Comic Life. Students decided to use a range of different sources such as the internet, text books and their work books for information. The students had 20 minutes to produce their comic, following this they were considered experts in their chosen subject area.

Once the comics were completed one member of the pair visited other groups to learn something new from their peers, whilst the other member of the pair used the comic to teach other students within the class. Students were engaged and showed excellent team work and peer teaching skills whilst producing an outstanding revision resource that can be easily shared via email, twitter and also Facebook.

Some examples can be seen below.

The start of the future? Using iPads in the classroom.

Today saw the first lesson where I had planned to use all 9 of the iPads to enhance the learning and had planned to allow the students to be creative when demonstrating their scientific knowledge.

The students were starting a new Assignment and were asked to work in pairs or threes when using the iPads. This allowed for collaboration and continuos feedback from their peers. Students were engaged in the task from the start and enjoyed working collaboratively, where discussions with their partner were always focused on learning. Initially some students were a little dubious about using the iPad as they didn’t know how to use it. However, after a few minutes of demos from myself and their peers they had gained the confidence to give it a go and try different things.

Using Dropbox, I shared the assignment brief with all devices along with some key websites and vital information such as the success and assessment criteria. Students needed to use the internet to research all about maintaining a constant environment within the body to produce a leaflet using Comic life to hand out to runners at this years Race for life. Some QR codes were also positioned around the room which were linked to websites and useful information. This allowed curious students to discover the potential of QR codes, all of whom found them ‘amazing’ and one student commented ‘thats well cool,sir’.

Other members of the class chose to combine their comic with a document produced on Pages where they felt they had more freedom with different fonts and layout.

Some students seemed to be slightly distracted with the cameras and were very amazed by the fact that they could take pictures. Those students where quickly advised that this was not part of the success criteria and were reminded of the expectations. I feel that the pupils felt that they were privileged to use the iPads and treated them with a lot of care and a usually lively class was very quite as the students were engrossed in the iPads.

All work, once completed was then emailed to a faculty account that had been set up as dropbox does not support the ability to upload documents other than pictures and videos. Dropbox doesn’t allow you to email the files to be stored which would be a perfect way to share the work with other users and their devices, although this may be developed in the future. Overall, I feel this lesson was a good introduction into the use of iPads within education.

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