Category Archives: IPad

#DHTM ~ what to do with one iPad or tablet in class

As ever life at school remains busy however this did not stop a good number of interested colleagues coming along to enjoy the last staff Teach Meet of the term.  I think the subject matter had something to do with this as many of us really want to be able to make the most of our iPads in class and are aware that there are many tools that can help us enhance what we are doing with our pupils.

So, first up was TodaysMeet  which the MFL department had discovered at their excellent start of term INSET given by @joedale.  As the website says Todays Meet :

“gives everyone a voice”

With our virtual room duly set up we were all able to see how easy it is to post a question and for someone else in the room to respond (thus leaving the teacher free to continue teaching). With exam season upon us and revision sessions going on TodaysMeet seems like an ideal digital tool to use.  Furthermore a room can stay open for as long or as short a period as necessary so the questions can, if you wish, keep coming even when the lesson is over.  What an excellent tool to encourage collaborative learning amongst pupils and to help students to revise.  So, although not an iPad tool (although it is possible to access the site on your tablet browser, of course) this seems like too good a tool to ignore.

With our room set up the meeting then moved swiftly on to a bona fide iPad or tablet tool.  is a tool that our Teach Meets have explored before.  However, given the focus of this meeting we had to revisit it.  This is such an easy tool to use and is so effective in providing instant feedback on pupil progress using just one iPad and a few cards with QR codes on them.  It is such a simple idea but is so effective.   For more information on this tool read this blog post here.

Finally, we looked at the Post it Plus app which is only available at the moment on iPad. IN my view, this is its only limitation.  Never again will you have to wonder what to do with all those post-it notes your pupils used at the end of the lesson. Of course, before post-it plus, we simply read through the post-its to gain an idea of what our pupils had understood in the lesson.  With the app you simply take a photo and save the post its for use again and again.  You can rearrange the post-its, add more post-its, annotate them, organise them by category and collaborate with others.  If you wanted to demonstrate to your class how much had been achieved over the course of a topic you could combine two sets of post-it notes (saved on boards) and see easily what progress (or not) has been made.  Export the board and save as a powerpoint, pdf or excel.  Here’s one I made earlier:

post it notes

As you can see one of these notes was annotated and all the notes in fact from this board were examined in class in the next lesson so that the pupils could discuss errors made and accurate usage.  To ead more about this versatile and incredibly useful tool click here.

So three very easy tools were examined this time and colleagues have gone on straight away to make use of some of these in their lessons.

Which tools have we overlooked – please let us know.  Do you use any of these tools?  If so, let us know in the comment box below.  We would love to hear how you use them.

#DHTM – Easy Tech Tools

The first Teach Meet of the term was well attended by teachers keen to see what technology could do for their lessons.  The goal was to keep it simple and look at tools that were easily accessible by all.

First up was @plickers which is an excellent assessment tool that helps teachers gauge how well their students have understood the work covered.  It enables teachers to plan the next steps with an accurate knowledge of the levels their students have attained.  A quick demonstration was given and it was clear to everyone that this is a tool that should be explored more.  It does require one iPad per classroom.  For more information on how to set up your class using plickers click here.

For those who do not have access to an iPad another option  is @GetKahoot .

This is an excellent online tool for use in a language lab or students can get the student version of the tool (kahoot.it) on their lap top. This tool allows you to assess your students’ knowledge in much the same way as plickers with four possible answers to choose from. The difference with this tool is that once the four choices are displayed for all to see on the screen there is a limit on the amount of time that students have to answer the question. The background music adds to the intensity and the leader board posted on screen after each round brings an element of competition to this assessment tool. GetKahoot also saves the data about students’ responses in the same way as Plickers. So another tool that is definitely worth exploring.

Next under the spotlight was linoit. Linoit is just one of a number of online walls or pin-boards where students can collaborate and share ideas. Some of the others are linoit – “colourful collaboration” or padlet – “the easiest way to share and collaborate in the world”. It is easy to set up and you can invite your students to join in advance. Once you have started a sharing wall and set it up with your students you really can take it anywhere; grammar work, diagrams, feedback about a particular topic in biology, character analyses for a set text, or, as the example here, research about a particular, French comedian.

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Once students start adding their thoughts, ideas, answers and so on the path is set for peer assessment, critical checks by critical friends and your feedback and advice.

Talking about giving advice @shampoozil then talked about how she uses podcasts to give advice on how to answer exam questions effectively. Setting up such a podcast is so easy and requires only the ability to record on a mobile phone or computer and the recording is then very easily
accessible by all students. The obvious advantage of recording such guidelines in this way is that students can access the information at their own pace and can access it as many times as they wish. Lesson time can then be freed up for dealing with individual questions and issues. Using podcasts or voice annotated feedback is certainly an area that needs further investigation and with such apps as educreations and notability oral feedback should become increasingly easy.

The final tool to come under scrutiny was shared by @DiEvans18. She talked to us all about memrise an online site and app @memrise that provides a fun way to learn new vocabulary. This tool has a place not just in the language classroom but in many areas across the school curriculum. @DiEvans18 uses it in her Business Studies classroom. This is a flexible tool that allows teachers to input key vocabulary or lets you choose from a bank of vocabulary that is already there. As a teacher it is possible to follow your students progress and, of course, for students they can create their own lists of vocabulary.

As ever, lots of great ideas were shared at this Teach Meet and I am sure that this will be the first of many more great Teach Meets this year. I hope to see you there.

If you have experience of the tools talked about here (or similar ones) then please let us know in the comment box below. We look forward to hearing from you.