iPads improve learning and increase progress

Good Practice at Upton:

Progress at Upton

There is extensive evidence that using modern technology helps them make greater progress:

Our Year 8 in 2014 without iPads achieved an average level of 5b, whereas our Year 8 with iPads in 2015 achieved an average level of 6c. Both Year groups started year 7 at the same point, with an average level of 4a.

They enjoy learning through technology, and so are more motivated and find it easier to concentrate, collaborate and communicate. It has had a positive impact on attendance.

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See the iPad bumper edition posted on 19/1/15

https://uptonteep.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/ipad-bumper-edition/

iPad launch to Year 6 Parentsupton

We launched the iPad scheme to Year 6 parents on Wednesday 18th March 2015. Please have a look at the video produced by the student E-learning Facilitators (ELFs) and click on the PDF version of the PowerPoint used below.

Video:

Parents presentation

 

Brain food

Scotland

Tablets allow for freedom and flexible learning, study finds. Students become more creative and independent when given their own tablet computer, according to a study on tscotlandhe use of mobile technology in Edinburgh schools. The research appears to bolster the case for moving away from fixed computers and dedicated information communications technology rooms towards providing all students with a tablet or mini-laptop for use throughout school and at home, known as “1:1 mobile learning”.

Students showed more enthusiasm for school after mobile digital devices were introduced – mostly in 2012-13 – in two primaries and two secondaries in Edinburgh, according to University of Hull researchers Kevin Burden and Trevor Male. Students had already been more likely to use mobile technology than school ICT even before it was sanctioned: more students regularly used mobile devices such as smartphones in school (35 per cent) than school computers (25 per cent). But their use of technology in school “increased significantly” during the 1:1 projects at Sciennes and Broomhouse primary schools and Forrester and Gracemount high schools, the research states.The allocation of personal tablets or mini-laptops “alleviates many of the problems and complaints which teachers have traditionally made about using fixed technologies in the standard IT laboratory”, Dr Burden and Dr Male write.

“There is evidence that teachers are shifting their practices in ways which might prove to be very significant,” the report states. “Personal access to the internet enables teachers to set more authentic and realistic tasks for students,” it adds.

Student autonomy was “an immediate benefit”, particularly at Sciennes Primary, where children were given considerable freedom to personalise iPads. Parents were also enthusiastic, with many buying tablets for their children on the strength of the study. One Sciennes parent said: “It has definitely helped him to be more independent; his creative writing is now that of a child way beyond his years as he is not held back by the slowness of pencil and paper.” But problems were identified: teachers found it difficult to support simultaneous use of different types of devices, so the report recommends that schools choose only one. Questions were also raised about the ability of Glow, the digital network for Scottish schools, to support the technology. And there is growing concern among parents – although less so among teachers – about internet addiction and overuse of games. Edinburgh already has about 6,500 iPads in its schools to share among the city’s 44,000 students. The council has promised to match-fund any money that secondary schools put towards providing entire year groups with iPads over the next two years. “We are quite convinced that it’s the way forward,” said senior education manager Karen Prophet. “What’s been fascinating is that this technology has not been stolen or damaged, because young people value it.”Ken Cunningham, general secretary of School Leaders Scotland said that, given that tablets were expensive and required a reliable broadband connection, it would be a long time before each student in Scotland could be equipped with one. However, he said the fact that “not everybody can get (one)” was not an excuse to delay their introduction: it was simply a case of being “sensible” in targeting the initiative. He suggested that tablets might be used to help narrow the attainment gap in Scotland, with struggling students given them first. (See the full report by clicking on the link below).

Scotland-iPad-Evaluation

The USA

iPad changes the way teachers teach and students learn. Students, educators, and institutions are using iPad for countless educational purposes and finding both anticipated and surprising benefits. Examples in this document highlight the following areas across K–12 and higher education: • Improvements in academic performance • Increases in engagement and motivation • Added instructional flexibility and resource efficiency • Integrated focus on content quality and design (See the full report by clicking on the link below)

iPad_in_Education_Results

 England

Study Finds Benefits in Use of iPad as an Educational Tool. The study looks at the use of iPads at the Longfield Academy, where a large scale 1 to 1 iPad program was implemented last year. A brief overview of this groundbreaking study is provided below.

http://www.emergingedtech.com/2012/07/study-finds-benefits-in-use-of-ipad-as-educational-tool/

The iPad as a Tool for Education – Naace report supported by 9ine Consulting (2)

It is not just at Upton: Article of the week

The Positive Impact of Launching a 1-1 iPad Project – The Data from Hove Park School Park

In April 2013 Hove Park School launched a 1-1 iPad deployment for 1600 students. What has been the impact on progress, behaviour and attitudes to learning?

Student Achievement

Evidence based on the tracking of achievement data shows that the introduction of Hove Park’s 1-1 iPad Learning Transformation Project has made a positive contribution to the school’s work to eliminate the gap between the progress of economically disadvantaged students and their peers. Since the introduction of iPads 1-1 the progress of students eligible for pupil premium funding has accelerated compared to the progress of the cohort as a whole.

Student AchievementStudent Behaviour

Analysis of behaviour data at Hove Park has shown that the use of iPads has resulted in a significant decrease in sanctions across the school for the first two terms working 1-1 compared with the same period in 2012. Most tellingly, the sanctions received by the pupil premium cohort of economically disadvantaged students has decreased at a faster rate over the same period.

Other Indicators

 

Hove Park used pupil premium funding to provide eligible students with iPads and a suite of educational apps. These early results show that working 1-1 with iPads has had a clear and positive impact on these students who are now engaging with learning better and achieving at a faster rate.

Student Perceptions Of Learning

In order to gauge the initial feedback from students, the school asked 500 students at Hove Park to evaluate the quality of different aspects of their work before the introduction of iPads and again after 10 weeks of working with an iPad in lessons. In measuring the proportion grading the quality of work good or outstanding in a 4-point response scale, the results were extremely encouraging.

Enjoyment of lessons
Before students had an iPad only 4.7% of students rated the enjoyment of lessons as excellent. Now students have an iPad 47.8% of students rate their lesson enjoyment as excellent. 86.9% of students rate the enjoyment of lessons as good or excellent compared to 31% of students before they had an iPad.

Learning in Groups
Before students were using iPads 61.2% rated learning in groups as good or excellent, compared to 79.6% now.

Support from Peers
There were 58.1% of students who rated the support from friends as good or excellent before they had an iPad, compared to 67.3% now they are working with an iPad.

Sharing Work With Other Students
Before students used iPads 23.9% were sharing work with other students on a regular basis. This has increased to 62.7% of students sharing their work on a regular basis with other students.

It is clear that the use of iPads in lessons very quickly has a positive influence on students’ collaboration and sharing of their work.

Working Independently
66.6% of students rated independent learning in lessons as good or better before using an iPad. This rose to 79.6% of students rating it as good or excellent with the introduction of iPads at school.

Time in Lessons to Explore and Develop Your Ideas
This saw a shift from only 15.8% of students saying they were given time in lessons on a regular basis to 94% of students saying they now are given time to explore and research their own ideas on a regular basis in lessons.

The range of tools in the iPad and the speed with which they can be accessed during a sequence of learning activities means that teachers can plan to hand more responsibility to students for aspects of their learning during lessons.

Completion of Homework
64.5% of students rated the completion of homework as good or better before they used an iPad, compared to 74.7% of students since having an iPad.

Feedback from Teachers
Feedback from teachers was rated as good or excellent by 52.9% of students before they had an iPad. Since students have an iPad, 66.9% of students now rate the feedback from teachers a good or better.

In the first ten weeks, teachers experimented with a range of vehicles for setting and assessing homework. These increases in student responses mark the first steps in the journey to dramatically improve and personalise feedback to students in order to accelerate their achievement. 

Sharing Work With Parents
Only 15% of students were sharing their work on a regular basis with parents. Since the introduction of iPads 55.6% of students are now sharing their work with parents on a regular basis.

One of the key aims of the Hove Park iPad learning Transformation Project is to bring parents into closer contact with their children’s learning. This early gain in the frequency of sharing work at home gives us a good platform to build on as we begin to share our lesson materials on iTunes U in the coming months.

Resources/articles/apps/videos

1) iPads Improve Classroom Learning, Study Finds

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/12/131210-ipad-learning-education-space-science/

2) Improving feedback in a 1:1 environment.

http://newtechtimeline.com/2013/10/20/improving-student-feedback-in-a-11-environment/

3) Explain Everything for superb student feedback

http://ictevangelist.com/explain-everything-superb-student-feedback/

4) Establishing A Twitter Routine In Your Classroom

http://www.teachthought.com/social-media/establishing-a-twitter-routine-in-the-classroom/

5) Why Innovate?

http://dedwards.me/2014/01/28/why-innovate-2/

Upton TEEP Peeps and marking tips

This week the Upton TEEP Champs and E learning facilitators (ELFs) delivered TEEP peeps to their colleagues. Below are the resources they used.

You are the examiner by Mr Caine and Mrs DeCosta

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Click on the links below to download the resources for this TEEP Peep:

You are the Examiner (1) You are the examiner worksheet – lower (1) You are the examiner worksheet – higher (2)

snakes and ladders template (2) Playing Cards Template (3)  blank_wordsearch_grid – Higher (1) blank_wordsearch_grid – Lower (1)

Growth Mindset by Mrs Critchley and Mr Keegan, with a lot of help from Mrs Connor – All Hallows  in Macclesfield

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Click on the links below to download the resources for this TEEP Peep:

TEEP PEEP 24.2.15 (2)

Revision Party presented by Miss McLean, Mrs Smale, Miss Summers and Mrs Melville

We can’t give you the option to download the presentation due to copyright issues, but I think you will get the idea.

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 17.24.36 Slide13 Slide14 Slide15 Slide16 Slide17 Slide18 Slide19 Slide05 Slide06 Slide07 Slide08 Slide09 Slide10 Slide11

http://www.tutor2u.net/

Brain food

How technology in schools has changed over time: This is too difficult to read. Click on it to zoom in.

How-Technology-in-Schools-Has-Changed-Over-Time-Infographic (1)

 

How to reduce your workload – working smart: http://teachertoolkit.me/2015/02/28/the-5minworkloadplan-by-teachertoolkit-and-leadinglearner/

exemplar-5minworkloadplan

 Article of the week 

How to make marking more efficient: three new techniques for teachers

English teacher Andrew Tharby shares his advice on how to significantly reduce the time spent marking while improving the quality of feedback for students
Marking techniques
Andrew Tharby uses the gallery critique technique to help students receive detailed feedback from their peers. Photograph: Alamy

In Ted Hughes’ visceral first world war poem, Bayonet Charge, a young soldier experiences a moment of psychological clarity amid the chaos of the battlefield. He realises that he is running “Like a man who has jumped up in the dark and runs/Listening between his footfalls for the reason/Of his still running…” Sometimes, as I crouch over another seemingly endless pile of marking, Hughes’ words pop into my head. Why am I doing this? Is there any point to this madness?

Thankfully I am a secondary English teacher not a first world war soldier. Research confirms that feedback has a vital role in learning – take the evidence from the Education Endowment Foundation, for instance, or John Hattie’s table of influences on learning. But is it possible to significantly reduce the time spent marking while improving the quality of feedback students receive?

Three reasons lie behind my quest for a more efficient alternative. Firstly, marking saps a huge amount of time and energy that could be redirected into the research and reflection required to plan lessons that genuinely challenge and develop students’ learning. Secondly, the process feels depersonalised because it happens away from the classroom, making it difficult to maintain meaningful dialogue with students. Thirdly, by marking too regularly we create a culture of dependency, denying students the opportunity to develop important self-regulation strategies such as editing and proofreading.

The answer is not to ignore feedback, but to bring it to the forefront of everything we do in the classroom. Here are three ways you can do that in your classroom:

The five-minute flick

This is one of my favourite strategies. I check through a cross-section of books – five or six – to assess how students across a range of abilities performed in the previous lesson. If they have produced a piece of writing, I will begin the next class by showing an example from one student – typed up or photographed – and we critique it together. I guide the class through the editing process, staying focused on common misconceptions and weaknesses, so that we model an improvement together. Individuals then return to their own work and edit independently with this example in mind.

Gallery critique

In my experience, peer-assessment is fraught with problems; however well I train a class to do it proficiently, each student is at the mercy of the accuracy and commitment of the pupil next to them. Gallery critique draws on ideas from Ron Berger’s book, An Ethic of Excellence, and involves students moving around the classroom critiquing one another’s work using Berger’s “kind, specific, helpful” mantra, along with a plentiful supply of post-it notes. Not only do students receive detailed feedback from a number of peers, they also learn from reading each other’s work. I have written in depth about the strategy here.

Live marking

This also has huge potential. As the students are working, I call them up one-by-one to my desk. We discuss their work and l feedback both verbally and with symbols. If you are required by your school to demonstrate evidence of marking, a verbal feedback stamp can be very useful. I find this technique works best if the class is undertaking an extended written piece. I can see a whole class over two lessons and can differentiate the timing of my feedback, as some students need to be left to work independently for longer and others need to be steered on track much earlier. The strategy can be manipulated in a variety of ways depending on the subject and task.

Over time, I think it is possible to replace traditional marking with more efficient and effective alternatives. Marking books will never completely go away, but combined with approaches like the above it can become far less onerous.

Andrew Tharby is an English teacher at Durrington High school and has been teaching for eight years. He writes a blog about his classroom experiences, Reflecting English, and can be found on Twitter as @atharby.

The 5 minute marking plan by Teacher Toolkit

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Click on the link below for the presentation:

5 minute marking plan

Resources/articles/apps/videos

1) Mrs Humanities shows how she has developed DIRT even further within her department. Click on the link below:

https://mrshumanities.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/d-i-r-t-display/

2) IPAD TEACHERS – Video: 20 iPad Lesson Activities in 2 minutes.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=698896713562094 

3) An interview with @TeacherToolkit: How To Become A Great Teacher by @WonderFrancis

http://wp.me/p2HFBD-3jr

4) Andy Griffith – Outstanding Teaching: A toolkit to succeed

5) Teaching Ideas and Resources

http://www.teachingideas.co.uk/

6) Teaching websites

http://www.teachingwebsites.co.uk/

Progress grows through DIRT

Good Practice at Upton: DIRT continues to develop

Geography:Dirt being used with Year 7 in a decision making exercise

 Geog1 Geog2

Click on the link below for an example of an Outstanding lesson plan in Geography using the TEEP planning cycle:

Lesson plan – Dept Review L6 2015

English:DIRT being used with Year 7 for extended writing, and Jet pack Joyride!

Eng1

 

eng2

Click on the link below for an example of an Outstanding lesson plan in English using the TEEP planning cycle:

English Lesson Plan by SJO

History: DIRT used withYear 7 and Year 10 GCSE on sources

History2history1

 

history3 history4

Food Technology: DIRT used to improve recipes and skills

D&T1D&T2D&T3D&T4D&T5

 

Click on the link below for an example of an Outstanding lesson plan in Food Technology using the TEEP planning cycle:

Lesson year 10 Lasagne

 Art: DIRT used in learning conversations

Art1art3

 

 

Maths: DIRT used for homework

Maths dirt 1 maths dirt 2

Click on the link below for an example of an Outstanding lesson plan and PowerPoint in Maths using the TEEP planning cycle:

sequences lesson plan KSP

Click on the link below for an example of an Outstanding lesson plan and PowerPoint in Business Studies using the TEEP planning cycle:

Lesson plan: bussiness ethics Lesson Plan   PowerPoint: the only way is ethics

Science: DIRT being used at KS4

Science Dirt 1

 

Science Dirt 2

MFL:Good practice with DIRT

mfl1 mfl2 MFL3 MFL4 MFL5

Brain food:

How to help students on in their learning:

moving on map

Too small to read? click on the link to download:

ta1-18-moving-on-maps

Using Lego to show population size and growth:

Brainfood1

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 20.21.26

 

Article of the week: We are not the only school doing it!!

Marking – Effective, Developmental & Time-Saving

A teacher marking a exam paper

Raise the profile – Power to the Students!

Put the students in the driving seat, after all, we love to recognise their hard work so why shouldn’t this become a reciprocal arrangement? Hence the ‘Purple Pen of Power’ A simple, yet effective way to engage and empower students to secure progress. I’m not saying this is unique in our school, because it’s not, however, offering frequent opportunities for all pupils to ‘have their say’ in making progress is proving highly successful.

Purple pen of progress

Pen-holders-e1415964255340The strategy of dedicated improvement and reflection time (DiRT) is a much talked about and covered topic which is proven to be highly effective in encouraging students to play a more active role in your marking of their work and the work of their peers. In essence, it creates an element of accountability for all parties involved in the process. In fact, the purple pen is so loved it’s created quite a stir, as enterprising students have taken it upon themselves to create ‘purple pen holders’ and sell them to teachers, with great success I might add – who would’ve thought DiRT could generate such a buzz!?

I’ve been inspired by the insightful work of David Didau ‘The Learning Spy’ and this is where I came across this very useful feedback flowchart, I recommend reading his blog on this topic. if you haven’t done so already:

Screen-Shot-2013-10-14-at-21.00.51

Developmental and effective = Progress

What does marking look like when it’s effective and secures progress for all learners and of course, how do we achieve the marking nirvana that is; Demonstrating progress over time? or to rephrase the question: how often do you set aside time in your lesson for DiRT and what is the ratio between the time you have taken to mark a students work in comparison to the time they have taken to formulate a response?

DIRT - CPD (1)

Time, workload and having a life!

Talking to staff informally, nationally (usually on twitter), locally (usually at various teachmeets) and of course in my own school context, I’m sure it will come as no surprise that time and work life balance always features highly in the topic of conversation. Marking can be a beast, soaking up hour upon hour and if you’re not careful, one that will catch up with you if you take your finger off the pulse. My opinion is that working smart, and not necessarily hard with your marking will go some way to managing your workload.

So with this in mind, what can we do to ensure that marking remains a high-profile element of the teaching and learning backbone? Firstly, we don’t make excuses for not doing it, instead we work together in an open, supportive forum to develop time-saving and effective strategies which will hopefully reinvigorate that love of marking. Here are a couple of quick snaps I’ve taken to try to capture effective teacher feedback where I feel it strikes the balanced ratio of teacher:student workload. What becomes obvious is that the myth that every piece of work needs to be marked, has been dispelled; yes work has been acknowledged but not necessarily in receipt of feedback which is a token gesture. The reason? because it wasn’t relevant for this particular piece of work, and I think this is the fundamental error that some teachers make – remember it’s okay to simply tick certain pieces of work where feedback isn’t appropriate, don’t make up feedback for the sake of it!

Marking blog

Here is evidence of our staff recommendations in action; teacher marking is in green and student response in purple. Consider when detailed feedback is needed, and ask yourself; does it always have to be you that does it?

In summary:

In an educational landscape where teachers workloads are ever-expanding, we mustn’t lose sight of what’s really important in our role, ensuring all students make progress and marking is a crucial aspect in this process. I think that opening up a creative whole school dialogue, in a non-judgemental and supportive culture is essential in ensuring that marking doesn’t become the elephant in the room. And don’t forget, peer and self-assessment are every bit as important as ‘traditional’ marking.

I’d also like to thank Ross McGill (aka @teachertoolkit) for his relentless and quite profound blogging on this topic, offering such practical resources such as this, the ‘5 Minute Marking Plan’ – helping claw back valuable time with our ever-increasing workloads.

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Recommended Reads

1. Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning by John Hattie

In November 2008, John Hattie’s ground-breaking book Visible Learning synthesised the results of more than fifteen years research involving millions of students and represented the biggest ever collection of eviddownload (1)ence-based research into what actually works in schools to improve learning.

Visible Learning for Teachers takes the next step and brings those ground breaking concepts to a completely new audience. Written for students, pre-service and in-service teachers, it explains how to apply the principles of Visible Learning to any classroom anywhere in the world. The author offers concise and user-friendly summaries of the most successful interventions and offers practical step-by-step guidance to the successful implementation of visible learning and visible teaching in the classroom.This book:

  • links the biggest ever research project on teaching strategies to practical classroom implementation
  • champions both teacher and student perspectives and contains step by step guidance including lesson preparation, interpreting learning and feedback during the lesson and post lesson follow up
  • offers checklists, exercises, case studies and best practice scenarios to assist in raising achievement
  • includes whole school checklists and advice for school leaders on facilitating visible learning in their institution
  • now includes additional meta-analyses bringing the total cited within the research to over 900
  • comprehensively covers numerous areas of learning activity including pupil motivation, curriculum, meta-cognitive strategies, behaviour, teaching strategies, and classroom management.

Visible Learning for Teachers is a must read for any student or teacher who wants an evidence based answer to the question; ‘how do we maximise achievement in our schools?’

Useful links/videos/resources/apps

1) Examples of how to populate the TEEP cycle in History

how-i-have-populated-the-cycle-in-history

2) Becoming a TEEP ambassador school

freebrough-academy-teep-ambassador-school

teep-ambassador-roles-and-responsibilities-2014-final

3) Success is: feeling that tingle of excitement about what you do, sticking with what matters through hard times, living a life you can feel proud of in retrospect. These talks say it all.

http://www.ted.com/playlists/redefining_success 

4) Need a burst of inspiration? Wildly creative thinkers share ideas, strategies and warmhearted encouragement to let your genius out.

http://www.ted.com/playlists/the_creative_spark

5) Top 10 apps from Gary King

See. Touch. Learn.  You can build custom picture card lessons and automatically track students responses. Includes a starter set of stunning, high-quality images and 60 exercises.

EarthViewer. What did Earth look like 250 million years ago? Or 1 billion years ago? Or 4.5 billion years ago? EarthViewer is an interactive tool for tablet computers that allows you to explore the science of Earth’s deep history.

The Phrase Verbs machine.  Here you can find animated illustrations of 100 phrasal verbs set in the circus world of ‘Phraso’ and his friends. Frequently, phrasal verbs can have more than one meaning.  You can find an example sentences in English and the translation into five different languages. Also  included are other meanings when they are useful or necessary to fully understand the phrasal verb.

Flipboard. Flipboard is your personal magazine, filled with the things you care about. You can curate the content to and catch up on the news, discover amazing things from around the world and connect to the people globally.

Orbit Architect. Orbit Architect allows you to interactively design and explore satellite orbital geometry through the multi-touch interface of the iPad. You can manipulate a satellite orbit using pinch and rotate multi-touch gestures, see the effects on the orbit and its ground track in real-time, and animate the results. As you change the orbit, dynamic diagrams will illuminate the meaning of each orbital parameter. Finally, the results can then be emailed to yourself or to a friend. Great for Science lessons!

Solve the Outbreak. Fantastic for global awareness learning. Students get clues, analyse data, solve the case, and save lives! In this fun app they are the Disease Detective. Do they quarantine the village? Talk to people who are sick? Ask for more lab results? The better their answers, the higher your score – and the more quickly they’ll save lives. Students start out as a trainee and can earn badges by solving cases, with the goal of earning the top rank: Disease Detective.

Hubble Space Telescope Discoveries. Students can soar through the universe with the Hubble Space Telescope, exploring discoveries from dark energy to colliding galaxies. This highly interactive eBook features video, image galleries and more to reveal the record of scientific breakthroughs behind Hubble’s stunning images of the cosmos.

Comics in the classroom. This is an interesting approach to teaching history to children through digital comics, with topics including Pearl Harbour, Florence Nightingale and Jack the Ripper. Children fill in the speech bubbles to prove their understanding of the subjects. Three comics are included, with additional ones available as 69p in-app purchases.

Hakitzu: Code of the Warrior. This entirely-free app wants to teach students to code using the JavaScript language. It’s presented as a game where they build robot warriors and use their coding skills to control them in battles against friends, or in the single-player mode while honing their abilities.

Bump. Lets students and teachers exchange  information, files and videos by touching two devices together. Great for collaborative learning both within and outside the classroom.

6) A presentation on Growth Mindset:

http://prezi.com/mwew0mm3yusy/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

 

Becoming an Apple RTC, our first training event and an interactive plenary board

 Good Practice at Upton:

We have been designated with Apple Regional Training Centre status and we are now CHESTER RTC

What is an Apple Regional Training Centre (RTC)?

The RRTC5egional Training Centre programme is to provide teachers with training, expertise and access to best practice to support their use of Apple technology in the classroom. The programme brings together a wide community of experienced educators and experts who provide free and easy access to Apple’s creative learning technologies.

Every RTC has unique skills, a different curriculum or subject focus but all share the same objectives:

  • To provide a focus on pedagogy, for sharing best practice and gaining skills
  • To introduce planned, effective, digital solutions to schools using Mac and iPad
  • To train teachers to use Apple’s tools and help enable active and transformative teaching within the classroom.
  • To support, enhance and transform teaching and learning outcomes

The RTC Programme is a community programme and as such the ethos is about sharing learning experiences and knowledge between peers. The RTCs in the UK are learning-hubs within local regions, promoting collaboration and the sharing of resources and practices.
Having achieved RTC status in 2015 we are honored and privileged to share our success story and knowledge with our educational colleagues.
All the Apple technology courses we offer at Upton-by-Chester are free to attend for any of our educational colleagues.  The RTC program allows us to share with others the successful iPad implementations we have undertaken.  We are excited and proud with what we have so far achieved with Apple Technologies in the classroom and welcome all those, at whatever stage along their own journey to come and see how we do things.

Our first training event: Literacy and the iPad – 27th January 2015

Below, teachers from our local primaries exploring apps which improve literacy.

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Opposite, Primary staff exploring the use of QR codes to enhance literacy skills.

This session explored how the iPad can aide and work alongside traditional teaching methods to deliver literacy to all Key Stages. It was well attended with over 30 delegates.

Course Schedule

All courses begin at 4pm, with coffee and registration from 3:30pm.  We have WiFi access for those bringing their own iPad or for those who don’t we are happy to provide one for session.

Numeracy and the iPad – 26th February 2015

Science and the iPad – 24th March 2015

Programming and the iPad – 29th April 2015

The iPad in SEN – 12th May 2015

The iPad in MFL and EAL – 23rd June 2015

Creativity and the iPad – 14th July 2015

RTC Official Launch – TBC

We are in the final stages of organizing our RTC launch event which will be run in conjunction with Apple and JTRS.   The event will give attendees a chance to understand the RTC programme and what it offers, hear what Apple have planned for the future.  The event will also feature breakout sessions for our educational colleagues to understand more the benefits of Apple Technology in the classroom.

Skype in the classroom: Upton students have world at their fingertips

Learning geography simply from maps and atlases could be outdated for school students. Upton-by-Chester High school students closed their books and took to Skype to learn about and identify a specific place in Sri Lanka.

Students on both sides of the world were able to ask questions of each other to identify their country, city and school.

Mrs Mitchell, Geography Teacher, said the Skype session was one in a series of lessons which aimed to help students learn about the world by expanding their learning opportunities beyond the traditional confines. “Technology has allowed students to practice skills such as mapping, using sources i.e. atlases and Google maps and identify what information they need to guide their search for a school,” she said.

The ‘Skype in the Classroom’ project is giving students the opportunity to connect with students in classrooms around the world. It is a fantastic cultural exchange from the convenience of the classroom and an amazing enriching development for Geography.

skype1skype2

 

Brain food 

Geography QR code display: very interactive

BTtcV-3CIAA_umS

 

WWW and EBI Bookmarks

As title states, adapt some lines for other subjects this is intended for use in Maths: click on the link for them in PowerPoint.Peer-Assessment-Bookmark (1)

Capture1

Capture2

‘I helped’ stickers in use in maths:

maths stickers

Article of the week

The Interactive Plenary Board January 24, 2015

After 3 weeks of working on it here and there since the beginning of term, the Interactive Plenary Board is finally complete.

I’m really pleased with the results plus the kids are enjoying it so far.

It built up slowly, going from this…

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to this…

plenary-board

 

I now have peer assessment guidance and have identified what WWW and EBI stands for as no matter how many times we do it somebody ALWAYS has to ask what it means. I’ve also printed off smaller versions of the tickets with WWW and EBI guidance on the back to support learners in writing appropriate feedback.

So far I’ve only really been able to use it with year 8 since year 7 are currently working on their Dangerous World project; they’ve been completing Exit Tickets each lesson to demonstrate their understanding so far.

Year 8 however are engaging with the activities and particularly like the social media based ‘Assess’ activities. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing however!

Since I only see my classes twice a week so far reminding them of the new procedures when they finish the main part of the lesson has been important. Encouraging them to choose a suitable task for the time left e.g if they’ve 10 minutes to go they should choose an ‘Extend’ task; whereas if they have 5 minutes they should pick an ‘Assess’ task or roll a plenary to decide on the plenary task. The ‘Reflect’ tasks I feel need more direction, so I’ll be the one to decide when they do these, once they have practised them a number of times they should hopefully be able to recognise how long they need and choose accordingly.

Under the roll a plenary board, there is a folder with additional activities such as key word and definition match up games and top trumps. These are for pupils to practice what they are learning, most of which have been created by the kids as part of their homework and sometimes classwork.

You can find out more about where some of the resources came from here and here.

Thanks for reading.

Recommended reads

1) Don’t change the light bulbs: A compendium of expertise from the UK s most switched-on educators by Various Contributors (Author), Rachel Jones (Editor)

Change the Light Bulbs’ offers tips and hints on how to be the best teacher you can be, dont change the lightand is written by some of the most respected leaders in education today. It covers primary, secondary and post 16 phases, in addition to cross curricular sections on leadership, ICT, inclusion, creativity, SEN and tutoring. It also presents the practical advice of those who have been there and done it and who now want to share their collective wisdom with you. The aim of which is to make education better, not just in your classroom but for everyone.

Useful links/resources/articles/apps

1) Geoguessr – a website where you can be transported to anywhere in the world that Google has mapped. Students can then explore and guess where they are.

2) Pictureteller – a great way to create photo slideshows. You can add effects and audio to create videos that you can embed, link to or download.

3) Mixlr.com – Use Mixlr to create your own school radio station!

4) Hopscotch – The ipad version of scratch. A great app for doing basic programming on your iPad (Martin claimed it was even better than scratch!)

5) Streatview Stereographic – Create maps of anywhere that Google has mapped using street view and display as a mini world. Great for geography activities whether that’s the local area or furtherafield.

See more at: http://www.mediacore.com/blog/teachmeet-london-inspiration-ideas-and-lots-of-resources#sthash.Y47wZQfm.dpuf

6) Rachel Walker from Chilton Trinity School explains how she encourages the use of props for more effective revision.

http://www.cpdforteachers.com/resources/Effective-Revision-Using-Props

7) Assessment Marking Grid for my year 9 DME – this could be edited to meet the needs of your class.

DME-Sticker-for-books

iPad bumper edition

Good Practice at Upton :

A positive response from Upton Parents on iPads for learning December 2014

My child feels more motivated to work, with their iPad than without it:

IMG_1135Year 7 Parents: 89% Strongly agree/agree

Year 8 Parents: 92% Strongly agree/agree

What the parents said: He loves it. It really taps into what kids are into and so encourages him to want to learn more. It’s easier to research topics, and present in a more interesting way. She is able to research and find out things for herself at home. If I don’t know the answer we can find it together. (Work by Jemma Year 7)

The iPad is helping my child to improve the quality of their work.

Year 7 Parents: 87french% Strongly agree/agree

Year 8 Parents: 89% Strongly agree/agree

What the parents said: He can add more detail, spell check his work, use the online dictionary, thesaurus and include pictures. She has a world of knowledge at her finger tips so she is able to put a lot of detail into her work – an extension of what she learnt in school. (Work by Jessica Year 8)

 

My child is making better progress with the iPad than without it.

Year 7 Parents: 83% Strongly agree/agree  history

Year 8 Parents: 88% Strongly agree/agree

What the parents said: He is more motivated so he is working harder and so making greater progress. Probably because it is more convenient than using different books and of course technology is a major part of life today.The speed of what she is learning has increased. Teachers explain to her how to improve on Showbie and so she can improve her work before the next lesson. (Work by Dan Year 7)

I think that my child’s achievement has improved since they received their iPad.

nateYear 7 Parents: 82% Strongly agree/agree

Year 8 Parents: 86% Strongly agree/agree

What the parents said: His grades have improved because he is more motivated. She is able to work on her own and so has improved at a faster rate. Rosie is improving in most lesson because she using her ipad. My child is keen to undertake the challenge of using the new technology to work with.

 

I feel that my child is able to work more effectively with the iPad than without it.

Year 7 Parents: 86% Strongly agree/agree

Year 8 Parents: 89% Strongly agree/agree

What the parents said: He enjoys learning now. The world at her finger tips! I think my daughter loves working on her iPad. He can research independently. My child is more organised.

My child is able to work more with others with the iPad than without it.friends

Year 7 Parents: 88% Strongly agree/agree

Year 8 Parents: 92% Strongly agree/agree

What the parents said: He can share work using air drop. She can share ideas using iMessage and email. The little video’s they produce from team work are really good. He tells me that he shares his work with others in class. I have seen examples of his work in the ipad news letter too. He also showed me some apps that he uses with a partner.

I am happy for my child to use the iPad regularly in their learning.

Year 7 Parents: 97% Strongly agree/agree

Year 8 Parents: 95% Strongly agree/agree

What the parents said: It is why we chose Upton High. Helps with their learning alongside written work & books. I think it makes learning more exciting, accessible and appropriate for the time we live in. I am happy for iPad to be used along side traditional teaching rather than a replacement. (Work by Dan Year 7)

Brain food:

  • A study from the National Literacy Trust and Pearson, published last month, suggested that touchscreen computers were particularly useful in helping boys and poorer pupils to learn to read.
  • It showed children in poorer households were particularly likely to read on touchscreen computers rather than printed books.
  • Another study from Ofcom last year showed how tablets have spread quickly within families with children. About 70% of five to 15-year-olds had access to a tablet at home.

Exposure to technology – a timeline:

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Article of the week:

15 Unique and Creative Ways to Use iPads in the Classroom by teachingwithipad.org (1 by me JKE!):

Here are some great new ideas to use your iPad in your classroom. The iPad, as we all know, is a great tool for education. We are hoping that you can use at least a few of these new and creative ideas.

1. Use your iPad as a document camera with the Stage Interactive Whiteboard and Document Camera.

With this app, and the help of a dedicated, or DIY, mount you can use your iPad as a document camera, annotate over anything you set under the camera, and even record what you show. Got another $10? Make your own microscope attachment for up to x175 magnification!

 Stage Interactive (1)

2. Review almost any academic topic using the Quizlet app (FREE).

Quizlet is a completely free resource that allows you to create flashcards for your students. Interactive games can also be done on the web. Project them for great review as a class! An optional Teacher account with extra features is available. Students can also practice individually at home for review for upcoming tests. You do not necessarily need the app, as it is a web-based service as well. Run it straight from your browser.

flash cards

quizlet

3. Use your iPad as a “game show” – style soundboard.

Play review games (with the aide of technology or without) and use special sound effects in your class using apps such as Game Show Sound Board.

game show

4. Build Posters using great photography apps like Diptic, Pic Collage and Over.

Have lots of interesting photos to share? Stitch them together using these apps, print them off to display in your classroom! Your students can create poster projects containing multiple images displaying what they have learned. Students and teachers can then add text using the Over app.

photo

5. Use your iPad as a music playlist manager.

Do you sing and/or listen to a lot of songs in class? You can choose to use iTunes to create playlists but did you know that you can easily create playlists in YouTube as well? Find essentially any song you wish on YouTube and play it on your iPad! Better yet, use apps such as Musi to stream your music if you have a strong wifi signal, orInstatube to save your music for offline viewing/listening.

you tube

6. Use your iPad as a classroom management tool

Use visuals on your projected iPad with the app Silent Light ($3.99).

The iPad will monitor noise levels and you as a teacher can set what level is appropriate for each particular activity. Set a goal for points your class to achieve to earn rewards.

traffic light

7. Create a special effects movie with the Doink green screen app.

Recreate your favorite Sci-Fi movies or your own mini blockbuster with the aid of a green sheet and this innovative app. Film your scene in front of a green screen, then layer your background on top if it to create an awesome special effect! Export your video to the Camera Roll and it is ready to be edited further or combined with more clips in iMovie. You might also want to take a look at the Action Movie FX app.

green screen app

8. Record Podcasts with USB Mics.

The iPad is a great multimedia device, but the microphone is not of the highest quality for recording professional sounding audio in video or for podcasts. However, with the help of Apple’s Camera Connection Kits, you can connect good quality USB mics and other peripherals to use with your iPad.

camera connector

9. Create multimedia eBooks with Book Creator.

One of the best uses for the iPad in education is digital storytelling apps, and they don’t come much better than Book Creator for iPad. Over 3 million multimedia eBooks have been created with just this app! You can add text, images, video, audio and more. Choose from over 50 fonts, draw your own illustrations, and send your finished product to iBooks, Dropbox, or share by email. Try it out for free!

book creator

10. Let the iPad choose!

Ever have trouble deciding who gets to answer in class? I still see teachers with a can of 25 names on Popsicle sticks with their students names on them. The iPad can choose names randomly.

Also, Do you have difficulty choosing people for group projects? There are various apps that can do this for you. Check out Pick Me! ($1.99), which can keep a standing record of correct and incorrect responses that the students give. The app is able to choose, based on their individual percentages of correct answers, leveled, random and balanced groups.

Read: Let the iPad choose! It’s the fair way!

choose

11. Capture metacognition with Explain Everything.

We talk a lot about differentiated instruction, but not enough about differentiated assessment. Using Explain Everything ($2.99), students can show you (and tell you!) what they know in a way that works for them. Explain Everything is a screencasting app that allows students to “annotate, animate, narrate, import and export almost anything to and from almost anywhere.” Whether students demonstrate their understanding of a math concept, summarizing skills, or phonemes, Explain Everything allows you to capture students’ thoughts while viewing their work.

explain1

explain2

12. Share your students’ learning experiences with families and other schools using Instagram.

Looking for an easy way to share your classroom with families and other educators? JoinInstagram (for free)! Using the iPad’s camera, you can capture photos and videos to quickly post to Instagram, where families and other educators can celebrate your students’ learning right along with you.

Read: How to use Instagram’s great features without its social sharing issues

instagram

13. Augment reality with Layar or Aurasma.

Augmented reality can change the way your students see the world by offering additional digital information to real objects that can only be seen via apps like Layar (free) orAurasma (free). Post a blank map or timeline, where teachers and students can add different types of multimedia content that can be viewed depending on age, ability, and/or curriculum.

augment

augment1

14. Collaborate with other classrooms using video conferencing and Subtext.

We should never let our students think that their classroom is just the four walls around them. It is essential that students know that the world is their classroom, and the iPad is a great way for students to connect and collaborate with students anywhere in the world. Whether students video conference with FaceTime or Skype (both free) to discuss a book in they read together in Subtext (a social reading app), or to do a Mystery Skype, the iPad opens doors to collaborative learning experiences for students of all ages.

Read: Use Facetime in class.

mystery skype

15. Look at good practice in our school. This one is by me. Click on the link below to see examples on uptoni:

https://uptoni.wordpress.com/

Recommended Reads

1) iPad in Education For Dummies by Sam Gliksman

It′s easy to bring the incredible iPad experience to your classroom today! The iPad is a natural fit for education in the 21st century, and this straightforward, full–color guide shows you just how to deploy it effectively in your educational institution. From understanding how iPads can be used for different learning styles to managing idownloadPad content and classroom use, finding the apps to complement your curriculum, creating interactive lessons, and beyond, author Sam Gliksman, a sought–after consultant on integrating technology in schools, answers all your questions. Helps teachers and administrators see how to use iPads effectively in different grades, classroom settings, and curriculum levels Explains iPad′s built–in media features and the importance of multimedia in modern education Explores iPad best practices, tools, and apps for a successful iPad program in your school Shows how the iPad can be used as a valuable tool for research, collaboration, communication, creativity, and discovery Provides tips and guidance on keeping information updated, managing content, and taking advantage of the iPad as a learning tool iPad in Education For Dummies is your guide to using the world’s most popular tablet to inspire and educate your students in a whole new way.

2) Top 10 UK education Blogs:

The full list: (last Updated 15/01/2014) – click here to visit the page.

  1. @TeacherToolkit
  2. @Learning Spy
  3. @headguruteacher
  4. @HuntingEnglish
  5. Learning from my mistakes: an English teacher’s blog
  6. @johntomsett
  7. Scenes From The Battleground
  8. Geoff Barton’s Pick ‘n’ Mix
  9. ClassroomTM
  10. Tabula Rasa

Useful links/videos/resources

1) Free online textbooks from top private school. Read the full article by clicking on the link below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-30832938

2) Used by thousands of teachers worldwide, Teacher Guide to iPad includes over 500 ideas for lesson activities using iPad across all age groups. 200 Video tutorials walk through apps, ideas and skills in small, manageable sections. Plus pupil work examples, labelled guides and links to resources that have all been tried and tested in school. Click on the link below.

http://www.ilearn2.co.uk/ipadteachers.html

3) ipadteachers.org is a website where teachers and education professionals can share ideas about making the most of the use of iPads in the classroom. Hosted by Hove Park School in Brighton, England, our site aims to share the experiences of our teachers as well as providing links to interesting blogs and articles from around the world. We also welcome direct contributions from any teachers who are excited about the positive impact iPads can make to learning.

http://ipadteachers.org/

4) Ideas and resources for using the ipad for learning

http://teachingwithipad.org/

5) Developing digital leaders

http://www.educate1to1.org/digital-leaders-ipads-school-education-11/

Challenge them and change their mindset

 Good Practice at Upton :

Below is a photo of Hannah and Lauren, Year 8, receiving their certificated from Mrs Dixon Headteacher. They took part in delivering a work shop on Feedback using iPads for learning at the SSAT national conference. Well done!

FullSizeRender (9)

In Science Year 7 have been learning about specialised cells and have produced some fantastic models and cakes for a homework task. The photographs are from Mrs Bradbury, Head of Science.

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 Level 1 TEEP training. Presentations on the TEEP journey below by Upton staff, 12/1/15

the journey

journey2

Brain food:

mind1

mindset responses

 

 

waistcoat

 

Learning that tastes good, and gives us that sense of satisfaction after a good meal.  What might the ingredients be?

  • Staples: learning from the teacher – direct instruction; formative feedback in some form;  learning from books; reading aloud; think-pair-share; asking questions; solving problems;
  • Variety: making videos or websites; teaching part of a lesson; making a model or a composition; acting out a role-play; experts and envoys; peer assessment; debates and discussions; designing your own experiment; pre-learning material from online video tutorials; using ‘ExplainEverything’ to produce a short presentation for the class.
  • Tastes: Having the option to respond in a variety of forms; or to choose the topic; or to work at a pace that suits; to create learning independently; to work collaboratively with a group of my choice; to learn through extended open-ended projects with opportunities for doing some things in depth over time.

Pitch It Up. Aim High. Expect Excellence. Demand It.

It’s not one strategy…it’s more a frame of mind; the cumulative effect of the many micro-strategies that result in higher levels of engagement, longer periods of concentration, wider use of vocabulary, better explanations, deeper learning and stronger performances. Click on the link below and watch the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjbL7zW-Wig

The TEEP planning cycle: Common misconceptions

It has been a while since your 3 days of training and since you revisited the planning cycle. Click on the link below to dispel those common misconceptions.

1-Common_misconceptions_about_TEEP

Article of the week:

Using Tests Formatively by

The goal of summative assessment is most often to measure student learning at the end of a topic or unit by comparing it against some ‘standard’ – i.e. a grade or level. Summative assessments – tests, exams, final projects etc. – are often high stakes and ‘one-off’, and in many students this can lead to a ‘fixed mindset‘ approach to them.

On the other hand, the goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning by providing ongoing feedback that can be used by students to improve their learning. This process should help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work, and in the process help teachers identify where extra support/teaching is needed.

What if we could do both at once? Do we have to choose? Isn’t that what the growth mindset is all about?

Possibilities for using a mock exam formatively:

  • Revisit questions answered incorrectly – students go back and improve, then remark!
  • Break questions down and attempt as a rally
  • Get students to mark / coach each other
  • Agree as a class what is required for the marks in advance
  • Use previous papers to help recognise the type of question and the style of answer
  • Identify common misconceptions to address with students – build this in to D.I.R.T
  • Reflect on one’s own teaching of problem areas to identify gaps in teaching /learning
  • Co-construct a WAGOLL by taking the best student answers from each question – groups have ownership of a ‘perfect’ model paper
  • Incorporate quick strategies like a ‘5 minute steal’ or use question tokens during the exam – students can ask you questions but it will cost them a token!

If you’re going to set a mock exam, you might as well make it work for you. I strongly recommend getting into a habit wherever possible of marking mocks quickly enough so that students can act on your feedback in the next lesson, therefore planning your next lesson for you. If this isn’t practical, why not get them to mark their own/each others in class? Some teachers would recoil in horror at the idea (“what if they cheat?”) So what! Let them ‘cheat’ if it helps them learn! After all, we can never go back in time, all we want our students to do is to do better next time.

How do we ensure that students do better next time? Give them the time and opportunity to improve – D.I.R.T or ‘MAD time’ next lesson. Here’s an example of the guidance given to Engineering students the lesson after their recent mock exam:

Summative Assessment used formatively

They then had a good chunk of the next lesson to ensure they went back and improved their score by at least ten marks. Simple, no bother formative assessment leading to progress for the students.

Recommended Reads

1) The Secret of Literacy: Making the implicit, explicit by David Didau

literacy

Literacy? That’s someone else’s job, isn’t it? This is a book for all teachers on how to make explicit to students those things we can do implicitly. In the Teachers’ Standards it states that all teachers must demonstrate an understanding of, and take responsibility for, promoting high standards of literacy, articulacy, and the correct use of standard English, whatever the teacher’s specialist subject. In The Secret of Literacy, David Didau inspires teachers to embrace the challenge of improving students’ life chances through improving their literacy. Topics include: Why is literacy important?, Oracy improving classroom talk, How should we teach reading? How to get students to value writing, How written feedback and marking can support literacy.

mindsets2) Mindsets in the Classroom: Building a Culture of Success and Student Achievement in Schools by Mary Cay Ricci

When students believe that dedication and hard work can change their performance in school, they grow to become resilient, successful students. Inspired by the popular mindset idea that hard work and effort can lead to success, Mindsets in the Classroom provides educators with ideas for ways to build a growth mindset school culture, wherein students are challenged to change their thinking about their abilities and potential. The book includes a planning template, step-by-step description of a growth mindset culture, and “look-fors” for adopting a differentiated, responsive instruction model teachers can use immediately in their classrooms.

 

Useful links/videos/resources

 1) Carol Dweck researches “growth mindset” — the idea that we can grow our brain’s capacity to learn and to solve problems. In this talk, she describes two ways to think about a problem that’s slightly too hard for you to solve. Are you not smart enough to solve it … or have you just not solved it yet? A great introduction to this influential field.

2) Execellent examples of starters and plenaries.

https://rgslearning.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/mini-teachmeet-5-starters-and-plenaries/

3) Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success.

4) What Twitter offers teachers: The evidence

http://www.aare.edu.au/blog/?p=564#comment-3920

5) Blooms Taxonomy revised and high order thinking

teep_a_Blooms_Revised_taxonomypres

Digital workflows, feedback and progress

 Good Practice at Upton :

Developing literacy skills:

stone coldYear 9 students are currently reading Stone Cold by Robert Swindells. Students have been inspired by the gritty reality of this novel about a homeless teenager called Link. One sentence in the novel seemed to really be the turning point for the two groups – ‘I found  a doorway’. Students based their descriptive writing and poetry around the idea of what it would be like to be 16, homeless and sleeping in a doorway for the first time. Their completed work has been phenomenal.

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Display produced by Miss Farnin’s class and inspired by Stone Cold.

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Michael, Kirsty, Joe and Tayiba are so proud of the work they have produced and have used the feedback they received to improve and make progress.

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The work produced by Tayiba and the feedback she received.

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Hardworking students and proud Headteacher Mrs Dixon, 2nd Deputy Mr Keegan and School Governor Mr Ivison.

Edmodo used by Mrs Critchley

Edmodo is a great way to communicate with your students.  You can set homework, write a class blog, share resources and much more.  Students create their own accounts using their school email address and they will receive notifications when you write a post.  For students who have their school email connected to their phone or iPad, the notification is instant.  As a form tutor, this is a great way to communicate with your form and keep them up-to-date with all school messages.   See below

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Digital workflows and feedback to enhance and monitor feedback

This work was used as part of a workshop at the SSAT National Conference December 5th 2014

Art – Acting on feedback before the next lesson by Miss French

art 2

Drama – Feedback and how to improve by Mr Tierney

Drama 1Drama 2

English – Feedback and discussing literature by Mrs Johns

English 1

Geography – WWW & EBI by Mrs Mitchell

Geography

 Brain Food

Keep Calm and purposeful

How to measure progress over time:

This supports how we monitor progress at Upton by Chester

Progress Over TIme @TeacherToolkit

 Safe & Simple Blogs for Your Students

Over 5 million K-12 students have a voice at Kidblog. We’re trusted by teachers around the world. Set up your class for free in 20 seconds – no student email addresses, no ads.
http://kidblog.org/home/

Improve student literacy using iPads

Improve your vocab! Mess with your friends’ faces! It’s a unique, silly and – believe it or not – educational two-player game! The most fun way ever to improve or revise your language skills – a rapid-fire battle of comic-style, face-mangling quizziness.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vocab-battle-sat-languages/id396143063?mt=8

 Article of the week: 

An article by the ictevangelist which mirrors what we are doing are Upton by Chester

DiRTy Technology – how to use technology to affect impact on feedback

‘Dedicated Improvement and Reflection Time’. Championed by @jackiebeere in many of her brilliant booksand by top bloggers such as Didau (he even has DIRT archives) and Quigley. Rewriting the wheel is not what i’m about here – what I do want to do though is talk about how I’m embedding DIRT in to my classroom making use of technology.

Yes, it is as Quigley recommends:

Dirt sections

So how are we doing it?

The simple answer is ‘Showbie’. With a Showbie Pro account we are able to set all the assignments we want for all of our classes and make great use of the tool to facilitate all of the different aspects of the feedback model.

Focused

Students have time in lesson to reflect upon their feedback which appears in their submitted assignment folder. As Showbie is on a simple level a repository for files, you can put any number of different types of feedback in there, from an annotated Word file (which is what I do mostly with a section on WWW and EBI among other sections, such as student reflection) to a full on Explain Everything feedback video.

Modelled and scaffolded

I’m modelling and scaffolding their responses in a number of ways. Firstly I’ve got a feedback template. Nothing sexy, it’s just a simple template (not even made by me) in Word format which has space for the date of the feedback, their target minimum grade / level, something which states what their piece of work is, a WWW (what went well) section, an EBI (even better if) section and a student response section. It looks like this when you screenshot it from your iPad:

dirt3

 

For those staff who like things a bit more analogue, I did however design a label which can go in to books which is being used as a sticker by some colleagues in their lessons:

Feedback sheet yellow

Targeted

Here, as Quigley rightly points out, DIRT and feedback are essential bedfellows. I am basically aiming to ensure that the feedback that students get is thorough, and taking on board the writings of John Hattie, I am to ensure that the feedback is timely. John Hattie writes that feedback should be:

  • Just in time
  • Just for them
  • Just for where they are in their learning
  • Just what they need to move forward

…and the technology helps me to do that. Showbie lets me know when work has been submitted, when students have responded to feedback, developed their work, so forth and so on. It’s great!

Oral

I love giving oral feedback. So do lots of my students, particularly those who are dyslexic. I like it because I can use technology, particularly with apps such as Explain Everything (read more here), to give much more detailed feedback than I would be able to do just through handwriting or typing along. Showbie enables me to take the feedback to the next level. In Showbie I can record voice notes (as seen in the feedback pane below). What I ask students to do then (just like with the verbal feedback sticker mentioned by Chocotzar in her great post about marking) is write up their next steps and their understanding of the feedback given, just within a note, actually within that assignment within Showbie itself. Magic!

dirt2

Involves peers

This is where I think the power of mobile technology really helps with the feedback. I have been asking for students with their iPads to not only ask their peers to give them feedback to feed forward towards developing their work and critiquing (whilst been kind, specific and helpful – thanks!) but I’ve also been asking the students to ask their parents to give some verbal feedback on the school work of their children. Not many have done it yet – but some are.

Transparent

What I like about it all is that not only is it giving the students the opportunity to reflect upon their work; to think about the feedback they’ve been given in a timely fashion, but it’s also giving students the opportunity to do so anywhere.

I realise that Showbie isn’t the only way this can be done, but for me – it’s a great win. If you’d like to find out more about Showbie and its many more features than I’ve talked about here, download the app and have a play around – it’s free (although note that not all features are free and would involve the purchase of a Pro account).

Recommended Reads

1. The Glass Wall: Why Mathematics Can Seem Difficult

What makes mathematics understandable? What makes mathematics confusing? Could something be wrong with the way mathematics is taught? glass wallFollowing his years of studying human intellectual accomplishments such as language, reading, writing, thinking, and learning, Frank Smith now turns his critical lens on the teaching and learning of mathematics. In The Glass Wall, Smith helps us to understand why some people find the world of mathematics so compelling while others find it so difficult. This original volume examines two different worlds: the physical world (our familiar world of objects and events) and the world of mathematics(a completely different domain of experience), and the glass wall that can exist between them. Smith argues that, because the language used to talk about these two worlds is not the same, many people find themselves behind the glass wall, on the outside looking in.

2. Outstanding Teaching: Engaging Learners

At the end of every week many teachers leave school exhausted. In an era when responsibility for exam results lies with them and not their students it’s time to redress the balance so that students take more of the responsibility for their learning and progress. A class can be skilled and motivated to learn without a teacher always having to lead. Engaging learners in this wengaging learnersay unpicks intrinsic motivation, the foundation that underpins a productive learning environment and helps to develop independent learning, creativity and improved behaviour management. Based on five years of intensive research through Osiris Education’s award-winning Outstanding Teaching Intervention programme, during which the authors have trained more than 500 teachers to teach over 1,300 lessons in schools nationwide, this book is packed with proven advice and innovative tools developed in these successful outstanding lessons. Written in the same humorous, thought-provoking style with which they both teach and train, Andy and Mark aim to challenge all who teach, from NQTs to seasoned professionals, to reflect on their day-to-day practise and set an agenda for sustainable teacher and leadership improvement. Outstanding Teaching: Engaging Learners was short listed for Educational Resources best Educational Book Award 2013.

 

3claxton. What’s the Point of School?: Rediscovering the Heart of Education

What’s the Point of School? takes the reader beyond the sterile debates about City Academies and dumbed-down exams in order to reveal the key responsibility of education today: to create students who enjoy learning. With their emphasis on stressful exams and regurgitation of information, Guy Claxton claims that schools are currently doing more harm than good, primarily making students fear failure. Instead, schools must encourage students to develop their curiosity, ask stupid questions, and think for themselves. He explains scientists’ latest theories about how the human brain learns, and reveals some of the core habits needed to create a strong, supple mind. He then goes on to explain how these are already being successfully implemented in some schools – all without chucking out Shakespeare or the Periodic Table. Professor Guy Claxton is one of the UK’s foremost thinkers on creativity, learning and the brain in both business and education. He is Professor of the Learning Sciences at the University of Bristol, and the author and editor of over 20 books on learning and creativity.

Useful links

1. Resourceful YouTube Channels for Teachers and Educators

http://edtechreview.in/trends-insights/insights/1686-resourceful-youtube-channels-for-teachers-and-educators

2. Free PDF to PowerPoint converter

http://educationaltechnologyguy.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/free-pdf-to-powerpoint-converter.html?m=1

3. 8 apps to improve workflow between student and teacher

http://www.educate1to1.org/8-apps-give-seriously-rigorous-workflow/?utm_content=bufferd4b26&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

4. Developing student independence through the use of iPads

http://www.pedagoo.org/developing-student-independence-through-the-use-of-ipads/
5.Universal skills
http://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/universal-skills-all-learners-should-know-how-to-do/