Our school set of 30 iPads are used on a daily basis (almost), certainly every week across R-10 with the majority of regular use being the R-4 students.
In the first 4 weeks of term 2 our class set of iPads has been booked for 40 out of a possible 120 lessons across R-9. On top of this 11 of those lessons have seen multiple classes accessing the iPads at the same time.
As well as how often are they used it is interesting to look at what they are being used for. With the help of the screen time function in the iPads settings I have been able to look at usage over a three day period in week 3 this term.
The screen time function categorises usage into areas like Education, Creativity etc while also tracking individual application usage.
It is great to see that in the categories section Education, Creativity, Productivity and Readingand Reference came out as the top 4 categories while Other, Games and Entertainment were lower down. Even better is that creativity appears in the top two, indicating that the iPads are not just being used for “traditional” schooling activities.
The top 4 categories mentioned combined for just over 11 hours per day across 23 iPads or an average of 28 minutes per iPad per day.
It is important to remember that this data is taken over a very short time period. Use of apps like iMove, Garageband, Scratch, Geoboard and many others not mentioned are specialty apps which get used when the need arises. For example an English task requiring students to video and edit an oral presentation would involve significant use for a short period of the Camera and iMovie apps. Apps like Safari and Literacy Planet which are research and practice based apps are naturally used on a more regular basis.
While this data is very narrow I believe it is a consistant representation of how we have used the iPads since including them as part of our ICT resources in 2013.
Jackie and Madeline have been working with the Year 3/4 class to create green screen videos using the Do Ink app. This is a simple and easy way to add interest and enhance a student’s presentation.
An extension of this activity could be the following as shared by @bhopteacher on Twitter. The student in the video has created their own African jungle diorama which has become the background for a presentation about owls.
Recording lessons can be a powerful way to support student learning. However before implementing any new technology, especially those that require student engagement outside the classroom certain questions should be asked:
Is there a benefit for my students?
Do I want to invest some time in this?
Is the technology going to work in my school environment?
If not who can help me make it work and will the time it takes be worthwhile in the long term?
Is the technology available to my students at home?
Is it easy to use and access?
Recording a lesson should be no more complicated than opening
the software, pressing record, going about your lesson in exactly the same
manner as any other lesson, press stop recording and then uploading the
video to a place for students to access.
Five reasons to record your lessons:
Absences: Student absences are frustrating. There is nothing worse than teaching a critical lesson, outlining a new topic or explicitly teaching a new concept and one or more students are away. If the lesson has been recorded then the student has the opportunity to catch up on what they have missed without the teacher having to spend time during the next lesson ‘catching the student up’. The link to the video can also be sent to the parent via email or txt message.
Note taking: If students know they can access a video of the lesson at any time they do not need to spend time taking notes during the lesson. Removing the need for note taking allows students to focus on the lesson being presented rather than rushing to keep up with note taking.
Teacher feedback: Recording lessons can pick up the discussions that occur during lessons (a good microphone may need to be purchased). This allows the teacher to hear who is responding and their understanding of concepts. It also provides feedback to the teacher about the lesson – How did it go? What would I change? Was my questioning effective? etc.
Flipped learning: A growing trend in education is flipped learning. This requires the teacher to 1. create a lesson (or part of) outside of normal lesson time or 2. find a video made by someone else and ask students to view the video for homework reducing the time needed in class for explicit teaching of the concept and more time for application and discussion of the concept.
Revision/parent involvement: A series of lessons recorded on a topic provides a resource for students to look back on to revise for an assessment task or test. If parents are made aware of how to access recorded lessons they can support their child at home to access them. This is true for younger students whose parents may wish to sit down and help them strengthen a concept.
You may not be someone who wants to record every lesson (I don't). But you
may want to record the odd lesson or section of a lesson every now and then.
For example a 15 min explicit teaching lesson in maths or a 10 minute
procedure in science or a 5 minute grammar rule in English.
If it is something you always teach then the video becomes a resource
you can use in the future. Having the skills and tools to do this
is a valuable addition to your teaching strategies.
How can I record lessons?
Screen record on the iPad using a new iOS 11 feature
iOS11 has the ability to screen record your iPhone or iPad which allows teachers to create recorded lessons using these devices. iOS11 saves the video into the Photos app. There were some bugs initially with the audio not working when the video file was uploaded to sites like You Tube or apps like iMovie. This bug has been fixed in iOS11.2.
ShowMe developers say: ShowMe allows you to record voice-over whiteboard tutorials and share them online. It’s an amazingly simple app that anyone can use. ShowMe is a very simple and easy way to get into recording lessons. I have used this app previously for this purpose and it is best used with a stylus to write on the iPad screen. Creating a ShowMe account allows you to upload your videos to an online account providing a place for your students to access the completed lessons. You can also access other teacher’s ShowMe lessons in a variety of subject areas. Lessons will also be saved in the app without having to upload to the ShowMe website.
Educreations is another whiteboard app that I have used to record lessons and works in a similar way to ShowMe. It offers more functionality and options but is essentially the same idea. It allows you to record lessons and upload them to the Educreation’s website to be accessed by your students. Educreations also has its own You Tube channel which allows you to access other teacher’s Educreation videos.
As well as creating lessons on the iPad you can also create lessons on your computer once you have logged in with your account. This does require writing with the mouse which I find annoying (easier with a stylus on the iPad or a touchscreen laptop).
To connect your iPad to a your display in the classroom you have a number
> Use Apple TV's Airplay function (Apple TV - $209 and a tech who can make
it work at your site)
> iPad HDMI connection. $49 from Apple - Lightening to HDMI.
Click here to view.
> iPad VGA connection. $49 from Apple - Lightening to VGA.
Click here to view.
Quick Time (Mac)
Quicktime is the video playback app available on Mac which has a function allowing screen recording. If you own a Mac then Quicktime comes as part of the operating system and does not need to be downloaded. If you own a Widows PC or laptop you will need to download Quick Time although it is worth noting that Apple have dropped support for Quick Time on Windows past Windows 7. Apple says: QuickTime 7 is for use with Windows Vista or Windows 7. If installed on other versions of Windows, it may not offer full functionality. You can download Quick Time for Windows 7.7.9 here.
There are many web based screen recorders like Screen Cast-O-Matic. I have used the free version of this (15mins free recording) and it works well. The paid version is also relatively cheap, a one year subscription costs $1.50 per month or a three year subscription costs $1 per month.
This app costs AU $30.99 (US $19.90 for Windows or Mac). While it is expensive compared to other apps it offers some great functionality for those serious about screen recording lessons. Download Ink2Go here. I have not had the chance to use the app to record a full lesson but have played with it and it seems to do a good job.
Ink2Go website says: Ink2Go is an extremely simple yet powerful screen annotation and recording software. You can easily write on top of any other application that is currently active on the desktop, even on a running video. You can then save your annotations as an image file or even record the whole session as a video for sharing. It is a useful tool for presenters to communicate and share ideas during a live session, for educators to create effective video tutorials.
Flipped learning may not be something you want to explore and recording some or all of your lessons does not mean you are ‘Flipping’ your classroom. If you are interested in finding out more about Flipped learning visit the Byron Bay High Math faculty blog which has detailed information about how they have applied the concept of Flipped learning.
iOS 11 has just been released and it offers many new features some of which I have commented on at the end of this post. The main aim of this post though is to focus on two of the more significant alterations to the previous iOS. These are the ability to screen record and Apple’s new ARKit (augmented reality).
Apple’s new operating system iOS 11 for iPhone and iPad can be downloaded to the following devices (source – MacRumors):
Being able to record what is happening on the iPhone/iPad screen is a great addition to the latest operating system. As teachers this function could assist us to make short instructional videos, for example showing students how to use an app or how to effectively search on Safari. These videos could be Airdropped across the class set of iPads ready for students to access during the lesson. It also allows students another way to present their learning, for example completing a presentation using Keynote and then creating a video of that presentation with audio.
“iOS 11 introduces ARKit, a new framework that allows you to easily create unparalleled augmented reality experiences for iPhone and iPad. By blending digital objects and information with the environment around you, ARKit takes apps beyond the screen, freeing them to interact with the real world in entirely new ways.” Apple, 2017
The ARKit which is part of iOS 11 provides a platform for augmented reality apps to be downloaded from the app store and used with the iPhone or iPad. It is worth noting that to get the full functionality of ARKit you require a device which uses an A9 or larger processor. This means you have to have one of the following models: iPhone 6s, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 8, iPhone X, all iPad Pro models and iPad Air 2017 (5th Generation). For most of us we will be consumers of the augmented reality apps developed to use with ARKit as opposed to creating and developing apps.
The following videos are examples of applications created to take advantage of Apples ARKit.
My Very Hungry Caterpillar AR by Touch Press, the company behind the award winning iOS, Android and Windows apps based on the book, will see you nurturing your very own adorable caterpillar, playing with it and helping it grow a garden. Source
For budding CGI blockbuster moviemakers, 3D film visualisation tool ShotPro is taking advantage of the ARKit platform to make embedding dragons and dinosaurs into real locations a simple drag and drop affair. Source
Using Apple’s AR framework and the nothing more than the camera sensor in your iPhone or iPad, the FREE MeasureKit App can measure just about anything without hunting down a ruler or tape measure. However, unlike a ruler, MeasureKit provides precise dimensions not just for height and width, but also measurements of distance, angle, trajectory, level, square, and more. Source
Other cool features
Note: The following information is taken directly from forbes.com
Do not disturb while driving
The Do Not Disturb feature is known for being useful by preventing notification noises while you are sleeping. Apple enhanced the Do Not Disturb feature by providing an option so that you do not get distracted while driving. When you start driving, your iPhone will be able to sense that you are in transit so it can prevent you from being disturbed with phone calls, text messages and notifications. People that try to reach you while Do Not Disturb While Driving is activated will be notified that you are not available right now. Source
iOS 11 is bringing a new app to the iPad called Files. The Files app allows users to search, browse and organise all of your cloud and locally stored files. This includes files stored in cloud services such as Apple iCloud Drive, Box and Dropbox. You can also bookmark your favourite files in a folder on the sidebar called “Favourites.” The Files app on the iPad now feels more like a computer desktop. Source
New Control Centre
The Control Centre has been completely redesigned in iOS 11. And now you can customise it with different shortcuts and preferences. For example, you can add the ability to dim the lights, control Voice memos and place a shortcut for Low Power Mode. And applying 3D Touch (long hold instead of tap) to the Control Centre presents additional controls.Source
Speaker support for multiple rooms
AirPlay 2 support is integrated in the Home app for iOS 11. And with the AirPlay 2 integration, you can control the volume and playlists for the smart speakers in each individual room from the Home app. This allows different music to be played at different volumes from the one device.Source
One of the best new features coming to iOS 11 is Indoor Maps in the Maps app. With this feature, you can view the indoor maps of hundreds of shopping centres and major airports. Now you can see which restaurants are beyond security at airports and the stores that are on each level of the mall.Source
Document scanning in notes
The Notes app now has a Document Scanner function that can automatically detect when a photo of a document is taken. And then the Notes app automatically crops the edges and removes tilts and glares. Plus you can fill in the blanks or sign it with the Apple Pencil. Once you are done editing the document, then you can export it as a PDF or document file. Source
There are significant benefits to communicating a child’s learning to parents outside of the traditional term report, take home book and parent teacher interview. This post looks at two ways to engage parents and caregivers beyond the traditional structures schools put in place to connect student learning with home.
The following are benefits resulting from increasing parent involvement in a child’s learning:
Children tend to achieve more, regardless of ethnic or racial background, socioeconomic status, or parents’ education level.
Children generally achieve better grades, test scores, and attendance.
Parents have a better understanding of the teacher’s job and school curriculum.
Parents’ perceptions of the school are improved and there are stronger ties and commitment to the school.
When schools have a high percentage of involved parents, teachers and principals are more likely to experience higher morale.
Teachers and principals report an increase in job satisfaction.
Schools that actively involve parents and the community tend to establish better reputations in the community.
The following two communication methods are practical examples of how classroom teachers can connect with parents. Both methods have been successfully used this year by Kelly and Ange.
Kelly uses the Seesaw app (available on Apple and Android devices) which allows moments in time to be captured via image or video along with student or teacher comments and made available instantly to the parent of that child. If time does not allow for sharing instantly then video, images and comments can be uploaded later at a more convenient time. It allows Kelly to create portfolios of work for each child with control over what is posted, who can see it and when it is posted. These portfolios can be divided into subject folders.
The benefits that Kelly has found by using Seesaw over traditional take home books include:
The ease at which information can be sent home.
An instant connection with parents. Parents will often comment on their child’s work the same day it is sent.
It provides parents with a more regular up date of their child’s progress as opposed to a take home book that only goes home at the end of each term.
The regular nature of sharing student learning allows parents to have better informed conversations around their child’s learning at home.
Seesaw allows video to be used which is much more powerful (at times) than static work samples or images found in a take home book.
Kelly no longer has to store and keep track of a take home book for each child.
Kelly no longer has to spend time cutting and gluing work samples into a take home book.
NIT teachers for Kelly’s class can be connected to the account and add to student portfolios.
On Thursday of week 10, term 3 Ange invited parents in for the last lesson of the day to have her students show parents some of their learning. This began by showing parents Mindset videos students had made around the topic of maths. This was very powerful as not only was it reinforcing the importance of mindset to students but it was educating parents at the same time. This means that a certain level of consistency has been created between what students are learning and what parents understand to be happening in the classroom. Students then took parents out into the wet area and demonstrated their coding skills with the Bee Bots. The students final task was to show their parents two Keynote presentations which had been made on the iPads. Students had to go through their presentations explaining the content they had created. One presentation was on spiders and the other on a country of the students choice.
Ange’s classroom was packed with parents and caregivers all keen to see what their child had been doing. Every child had an adult attend.
Having had conversations with the parents and teachers involved in these communications methods it is clear there has been some significant upside including improved parent understanding of the curriculum and the teacher’s role, improved parent perception of the school, improved parental engagement in student learning and a sense of job satisfaction felt by the teacher.
Looking for a formative assessment response tool that does not require your students to have an iPad, PC or laptop? Looking for a tool that still allows you to collect and collate students responses quickly?
Plickers does not require students to have their own device only the teacher. Students need a paper response card to hold up for the teacher to scan using their phone. The paper response cards are free and downloadable from the Plicker’s website.
Below is a Plickers student response card. You will notice that when you set up your classes in Plickers that each student is assigned a number. It is important the student has the correctly numbered card. The card below is card number 1. After a question has been asked the student holds the card up with the letter that they think corresponds with the correct answer at the top. On the card below the letter ‘B’ is at the top. The teacher walks around and scans each card collating all student responses quickly and seeing which students answered correctly or incorrectly. Card sets can be used with multiple classes for example card number 1 can be used across four different classes for four different students.
The videos below shows how to set up an account, classes, questions and scan response cards as well as demonstrating the use of Plickers in a classroom.
Plickers Tutorial 2016 Formative Assessment Tool
See how a teacher uses Plickers to identify students pre knowledge about a topic before beginning a unit of work
You Tube is one of the greatest free sources of educational material that we have access to on a daily basis. Want to know how to program your TV, fix an issue with your computer, learn a new language, improve your maths? Then go to You Tube. The list of things you can learn is seemingly endless.
I have previously posted (see below) about how useful Twitter and Facebook can be in the classroom and for professional development and thought it would be useful to look at You Tube in more detail.
Firstly create an account for You Tube. Obviously you do not need an account to access You Tube but if you want to subscribe to other people’s channels or post your own videos it is necessary. Click here to create an account.
Once you have an account you can:
Subscribe to educational channels – keep up with latest videos posted by these channels. They are there ready to use when you are doing a related topic in your classroom.
The image below shows my subscriptions down the left hand side.
Create playlists of your favourite videos. Place videos from different channels into a single playlist. The one below is a playlist I made of videos on body systems.
Created playlists appear in your account – see the centre row of the image below.
Create your own channel. Do you want to create your own educational videos for students? Do you want to get your students creating their own educational videos to demonstrate their learning or to teach their peers? You can use your channel to post and share these videos. Click here to create your own channel. If you don’t want to make your videos Public there are other options when you upload a video including Unlisted and Private.
Here are some You Tube channels to explore:
The Khan Acadamy – The Khan Academy has multiple channels. Go to their main channel and then click on the ‘channels’ link to access specific channels in a variety of subject areas.
Crash Course – Courses on: Anatomy & Physiology; Astronomy; U.S. Government and Politics; Economics. Playlists for past courses in World History, Biology, Literature, Ecology, Chemistry, Psychology, and US History.
ThePhysicalEducator – ThePhysicalEducator.com is an online professional development resource for physical educators.
AITSL – The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) provides national leadership for the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments in promoting excellence in the profession of teaching and school leadership.
Edutopia – Edutopia creates videos about what’s working in K – 12 education.
BBC Earth – You’ll find 50 years worth of astounding, entertaining, thought-provoking and educational natural history content on here (short clips from TV shows like Deadly 60 and David Attenborough documentaries).
Bio – Short biographies on famous people. American centric.
Smithsonian – Smithsonian Channel explores the history of our planet, life and culture.
ThinkEdAust – Resilience, Optimism & Confidence for Kids through Education.
Babble Dabble Do – Combining science, technology, engineering, art and math. More projects can be found on http://babbledabbledo.com/
Tinker Lab – Hands-on activities for kids that encourage creative and critical thinking skills. The projects lie at the intersection of science, art, and technology, and are fun, simple, and use basic materials.
One of the focus areas for my Year 3/4 PE class in the first half of term 1 is preparing for sports day. My aim for the students is to practice and refine the skills needed to participate confidently in our upcoming sports day. In Australian Curriculum language – “Practice and refine fundamental movement skills in a variety of movement sequences and situations”. The year 3/4 students do a 600m run, shot put, long throw (vortex), long jump and a sprint race. We will also be practising discus even though this is not a required event on the day.
Recording student learning
To record student learning I have decided to use the app Book Creator on my iPad.
The book I created has one page per student which includes their name, a space for personal reflection and two spaces for video. To simplify the process I selected shot put as the event I would video for every student. Video one was taken last week (week 2) while the second video will be taken in week 6 or 7 allowing students to demonstrate their improvement over time. The “I have learnt …” section of the page will be completed by the student. Their task will be to reflect on all the other learning they have achieved in the events other than shot put. How have they improved? Which events did they make the most progress in? What advice did they get from the teacher that helped them improve? Did they persist?
Process (I have completed up to part 2 – inserting video 1)
1. Firstly we discussed the focus and aim of our lessons leading up to sports day.
2. Collecting video in the book
In our week 2 lesson the class was divided into 3 groups – long throw (vortex), 300m run then long jump and shot put.
I worked with the shot put group recording their efforts directly into the book in Book Creator. No instruction (other than some safety tips) was given so that the first video reflected the student’s current level of knowledge. Once I had finished with a group all groups rotated to the next activity.
This process seemed to work smoothly and was easily completed in one lesson with 24 students. The process was made smoother by having the groups match the order of student names in the book. Group 1 were the first 8 names of the book and group 2 were the next 8 names etc. This meant I didn’t have to spend time finding student names in the book I just started at page 1 and worked my way through to the last page.
The Book Creator app allows video to be taken and inserted within the app so I did not have to go between the camera and Book Creator apps.
The second video will be added in week 6/7.
3. Using the video to learn
We will go through a process of examining the correct technique for shot put (images/video/me demonstrating).
As a class we will watch everyone’s video (5 secs each) and give feedback as a class to that person. We will have strict protocols around reacting to others performance and the type of feedback we were allowed to give. Showing videos to the whole class will be voluntary (hoping for 100% though – I will be convincing them through discussion about growth mindset and learning from others).
4. Collecting and inserting student responses to “I have learnt…”
In a PE lesson (week 6/7) all students will be given an iPad. Using the Pages app they will record their responses to the reflection questions. Doing this as a group will allow for some class discussion and sharing which will hopefully assist those students who are finding the reflection process difficult.
Students will airdrop their document to me and I will copy and paste their text into the book.
Throughout the topic I will keep my own notes and observations on my iPad separate to the book. When assessing students I will use a combination of what is in the book as well as my own notes.
Using video as a starting point in practical lessons
Video 1 also provides me with a starting point for shot put i.e. what do the students bring? What knowledge do they already have? Taking video in the first week or two of a practical topic provides the opportunity to closely examine where students are at and therefore, starting points for future lessons. Using the iPad camera and photos apps can be powerful formative assessment tools.
Using this process with other subject areas
Use the same process to record student learning over a series of lessons, a term or semester in:
Speaking to the class
Explaining a math concept
Creating a hypothesis (video/text/audio) and then conducting an experiment (video) to prove or disprove the hypothesis.
There are four ways to add student evidence to a book – video, photos, text and audio. All of which can be done within the app.
Teachers are always looking for ways to record evidence of learning and Book Creator is a simple and efficient way of doing this. Once my book is completed I will share the book as a video to my MacBook and also place it into iBooks on my iPad. My goal is to end up with a document that provides me with evidence of student learning that I can reference against my own observations.
Over the holidays, the operating system on the iPads and apps were updated. If you are keen to use the iPads and are wanting to know what is currently available on them then refer to the list of apps further down this post (click on the links to read more about what each app does).
I have also purchased four iPad tripod mounts to use in PE lessons with the school tripods. If anyone else wants to borrow one let me know. Useful for recording oral presentations, performances or a practical demonstration.
Example – display a science experiment up on the whiteboard via the Apple TV using a tripod and iPad (camera app) rather than have the whole class crowding around to see. Record the demo for any absent students to use in a future lesson.
Ask yourself if you can use the iPads to enhance your teaching by doing things that were not previously possible before the iPad (or so difficult and time consuming you never attempted them). How can you use them in addition to your traditional content and teaching methods, giving students another way to access the content and present their learning?
As well as the list of apps below here is a link to a range of examples showing how the iPads can be be used in the classroom:
The use of tools like Facebook and Edmodo (a closed social network) have helped me to improve the way that I interact and communicate with students and their parents. I have been using Facebook since 2013 and Edmodo from the start of this year in my classroom. Both have been valuable inclusions to the way I work and while Facebook and Edmodo have some striking similarities both play very different roles in my classes.
I use Edmodo to:
provide a central location for uploading and downloading assessment tasks.
provide a central location for resources (sorted into folders) including documents, weblinks and videos (there is no storage limit in Edmodo).
provide a place for students to submit completed assessment tasks and for me to provide feedback.
Edmodo – Create folders to store unlimited resources for students and teacher to access
Edmodo – Store, assess and feedback comments and grades to students
Edmodo – Create posts, assignments, quizzes and polls
I use Facebook to :
create closed groups for my students and parents – Yr 12 PE (student group), Yr 11 PE (student group) and Year 7-10 HPE (parent and student group).
provide parents with programs, assignments & content term by term (7-10 HPE group).
provide parents with text, images or video of what is happening in lessons (7-10 HPE group).
to remind students of upcoming class events and due dates (i.e. We are doing the beep test today don’t forget to bring a change of clothes).
Facebook – Sharing information with parents about what is happening in the classroom