This term we decided to start a new venture two or three times per term to support students keen to share and use technology together. Our first, early in September, was an introductory ‘fun time’ in Escape Rooms. We provided a simple ‘Covid Friendly’ breakfast and our event was booked out in two days.
Following this we held another event today when students came prepared to work in Minecraft to imagine and design a new library space. Again breakfast was a very important element.
We saw some amazing designs emerge – a floating library high above the earth with a lift system, a Japanese inspired building, a library with a ‘dungeon’ space deep below the earth for the Teacher Librarians to plot together, and a beautifully organised library full of books surrounding a pool!
This was a great example of how collaboration and teamwork occurs in that vital ‘Third Space’!
Sean Junkins has created this table of apps grouped according to their use. As he says:
“Technology is constantly changing and evolving, so we’re all novices as new tools emerge. But we don’t need experts, we just need people willing to take risks in order to empower teachers and engage students.”
This chart found on David Andrade’ blog Educational technology Guy covers most educational activities and provides relevant tools to assist in making or sharing. As new tools pop up all the time this updates many lists I have collected before.
Do we want to collaborate, consume information or create a product from learning? Doug Loader at iSupport selects appropriate Apps for each of the three Cs. We are inundated with Apps for everything but Doug suggests we just need to utilise a basic toolkit.
Saomya Saxena posted a list of 20 ‘Real-Time’ tools on the EdTechReview blog. These are annotated to make selection easier. Each one suits a slightly different purpose so thankfully holidays and time for ‘exploration’ are just around the corner!
Learning about size and measuring dimensions is bound to be an entertaining learning experience if using this online activity. Students take their measurements then compare them to similar features of animals.
The sheer number of tools available can be overwhelming. Learning a new tool can be a steep learning curve but usually only for a short time before its use becomes indispensable. Every tool has a different purpose and every user has immediate and personal needs. Matching these is what can be difficult.
TeachThought has listed 9 Digital Learning Tools every 21st Century teacher should be able to use. Useful tools come… and are then superseded by something better whilst others stand the test of time. This list is a good place to start – to find readily accessible and practical ways to implement technology and become fluent in its application.
Kathy Schrock has revised her former Bloomin’ Apps for iPads into a format showing the “interlocking of the cognitive processes”. Appropriate Google Apps and Web2 Apps are also charted below these.
Since the cognitive processes are meant to be used when necessary, and any learner goes up and down the categories as they create new knowledge, I was thinking another type of image might be more explanatory.
The first step of Guided Inquiry is to Open the topic area to the students with a wide range of experiences and information. They go on to Immerse themselves in this broad topic area then Explore and finally to Identify an aspect of personal interest.
This site has an large variety of interactive activities for many topic areas and could be used by the teacher on an interactive whiteboard or individually by students on personal devices. The activities would be very beneficial to students in the early stages of inquiry learning.
Select the subject area
Select the topic area
Select and explore the available activities
This blog post from Reflections of a Passionate Teacher clearly explains sound strategies to keep organised as a teacher using apps on the iPad for planning units of work, lessons, record keeping including reflection and more.
It’s that time of year – end of term evaluation is taking place; evaluation of the products of students’ work, of outcomes achieved, of teaching methodologies…
As we move into the use of technology in the classroom using Apps on hand held devices, how should we be evaluating Apps when we purchase them and before we use and recommend them? This rubric from a post by Tony Vincent on LearningHand is valuable.
This website (with recently released free App) has a wealth of videos on educational topics – mathematical concepts, biology, art, history and more. Secondary teachers: Integrating one into lesson revision or as a starting place for discussion would work well with these videos. Many are available on YouTube and can therefore be embedded into Moodle lessons.
This morning one of our teachers used an iPad App to teach her PDHPE class about the human heart. The IRC’s new SMART Board attached to an iPad had the students enthralled – as of course did the teacher’s excellent demonstrations,manipulation of the App and her questioning techniques! It was a wonderful example of quality teaching and switched on learning!
Scoop.it! curators are presenting us with a wealth of material in one place. This “Handy Online Tools for Schools” Scoop.it! curated by Petra Pollum has links to many new technologies and tools that work in the classroom environment.
Following on from Apple’s educational announcement last week, this article looks at some of the benefits of using the iPad as a tool in education. This article is worth reading as we decide which way to ‘jump’ at our school.