Socrative Exit Tickets

If like me, you’ve started the academic year with ideas of improving and enhancing your practises, you’re probably thinking about how best to collect and utilise formative assessment material to inform your teaching and target students who need your help the most. This has always been an area of my teaching that I have struggled with. I always thought that there must be a smarter and more efficient way to collect this information throughout lessons but I could never quite master all of the various suggestions offered to me by many of my peers. Some teachers love handwriting anecdotal notes, pages and pages of it, and that works for them but it never really suited my teaching style.

So after a bit of research, I decided to start using the Exit Tickets survey on Socrative as a reflective tool at the end of all of my Maths lessons for the last 3 weeks. What I have found is that I am able easily to collect important information about how each and every student felt about their ability to understand the content of the lesson. Furthermore, I am able to compile all of this information and quickly review the responses to help me from my next focus teaching groups based on the needs of the individuals.

So let me explain how it works.
1. The teacher creates a free account by visiting www.socrative.com where they are given a unique class code.
2. During the lesson, the teacher logs on to www.socrative.com and selects the “Exit Ticket” for their class.
3. Students can use the free Socrative Student App on their iPads or they can visit http://m.socrative.com/student/#joinRoom and enter the class code.
4. The student are then asked 4 simple questions
a) Their name
b) How they felt they understood the lesson – multiple choice
c) What they learnt during the lesson – short written response
d) Solve the question on the board (the teacher will need to construct a review question on the board for the students to answer using Socrative.
5. Once all of the students complete the survey, the teacher is then able to review the results or email themselves a very handy csv (Excel) file which contains all of the information.

Using Socrative, teachers can also create their own quizzes for students. These quizzes can be made up of multiple choice answers, response type questions or a combination of the two. Again, the results can be viewed online or emailed for your own record keeping.

I have decided to take a baby bite and only use the Exit Tickets for the moment but it is clear that using Socrative has already enhanced the way in which I collect and analyse information about my lessons.

Combining Socrative and Evernote is another powerful way to record, storage and review the assessment data from Socrative. It also allows you to share the data with a team of other educators. The possibilities are endless and I feel as though I have just scratched the surface.

Here is a great video that better explains what Socrative Exit Tickets are and how it might be used within an educational setting. Enjoy.

Photoshop Touch for iPad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The amazing Photoshop Touch app has been available on iPad for quite some time now and I’ve been a massive fan from the first few moments of exploring the app’s capabilities.

Now let’s not get this confused with Abode’s Photoshop Express App that is also available for iPad. The major difference between the two apps is while Photoshop Express offers a range of handy little filters and tools for enhancing your images, Photoshop Touch offers you the whole kit and caboodle! It’s an absolute beast and it pretty much allows you to experience most of the functionality that is available through Adobe Photoshop on a desktop computer. 

Considering that the latest desktop version of Adobe Photoshop CC  is available on annual subscription for $19.99 per month, the $10.49 once off cost for the iPad counterpart is a pretty good deal. 

Rather than go into the nuts and bolts of the app here on my blog, I decided to create some tutorials that show you how to use various tools within the app. These videos can be found as a playlist on my YouTube Channel 

Free ePub – Making Learning Mobile

Last year, I was asked to present at the BEAQ conference in Brisbane. The BEAQ is the Business Educators Association of Queensland, who generally have a member base of, as the name would suggest, Business Studies educators who predominantly work in secondary colleges across the state of Queensland.

My workshop focused on the following areas:
1. Benefits of using mobile technology within and outside of the classroom
2. SAMR model and how it relates to planning and delivering lessons using mobile technology
3. Edmodo – How Edmodo can be used in your classroom with detailed explanations and tutorials about the Edmodo Workflow
4. Showbie – The future of assessment and feedback for students and teachers including detailed explanations and tutorials about the Showbie Workflow

As part of the workshop, I created a multitouch book with all of the content that I presented on the day. The ePub file can be downloaded by clicking on the link below. Please note the due to the video content within this book, the current file size is roughly 215mb but well worth the wait I assure you. I am in the process of applying for the relevant accreditation to publish this book via iTunes so get it while it’s free 😉

Screen Shot 2014-01-26 at 7.14.09 pm

download-now-button

iPads in Physical Education

Recently, I have been asked to assist my PE teacher with the integration of iPads into the PE curriculum. I am fortunate that the PE teacher at my school is quite forward thinking and keen to involve mobile technology into his lessons as we share the belief that the iPad and the available sport apps have huge potential for

improving student outcomes. In it’s simplest form, we wanted to see if using the iPad as a skills development tool would translate into students analysing and critiquing their technique and therefore improve their performance. Needless to say that the natives were very excited about the prospect of using their iPads during lessons.

After a brief discussion, we choose to trial 3 free apps into our PE curriculum.

230288844-iOS-Styled

The first app we asked the students to download was Slo Pro. Slo Pro is a great app that allows you to record up to 1000 fps and play back your video at super slow motion. This app also allows you to slow down a recording at variable rates, which means that you can play sections of your video back and changing speeds. The student were able to use this app with minimal support, the interface is simple and intuitive and the app works as described. The only thing that caused some difficulty was sharing the videos recorded. Even though the free version allows users to upload their videos to YouTube, doing so was very clunky and unreliable. Out of a whole class, 3 students were able to do so successfully. The free version of Slo Pro does not allow the user to save their video to their camera roll on their own device, to be able to do this, you need to purchase the full version, which costs $4.49. Buying the full version also unlocks some other useful features like altering the frame rates of your recording.

1533422242-iOS-Styled

The second app that we asked the students to download was Coach My Video. This app also allowed the students to record and play back their videosn slow motion and with frame by frame accuracy. It also allows the user to draw lines, shapes and calculate angles on top of the  video recording. This made analysing skills much easier as students were able to highlight areas of their technique that require practise. Another great feature of this app is that you can place two videos side by side and play them together. This feature, I believe, is what this app does best. When it came to sharing their work, the students were able to save their images with drawn overlays as jpgs which can then be emailed.

2099711763-iOS-StyledThe third app we experimented with was Ubersense and is my personal favourite of the three apps discussed in this post for a few reasons. Firstly, Ubersense allows you to record your videos in slow motion just like Slo Pro, you can playback at frame by frame rate, and it also allows you to draw and annotate your videos as Coach My Video does. So in other words, it can does what the other two apps do. Secondly, when it comes to sharing your video, Ubersense just works! Users sign up for a free account, this then allows them to not only email their videos, but it also allows them to record audio on top of their video with their annotations. So what they can produce is a video, that not only highlights areas for improvements, it allows them to record audio reflection or commentary of their videos.

We are yet to see if using these apps and iPads within PE classes will result in improved student performance but what is evident, is that our students are already becoming more aware of their technique and are able to describe where they need to improve when watching their recordings. Watch this space for further developments.

iTunes Course Manager

I have been playing around with iTunes Course Manager and I am so excited about the potential applications that it is going to have on my class and beyond. Before I get into the process and my experience with creating a course, I’ll start off by saying that I have always thought that iTunes U was one of the most underused brilliant resources available to teachers. I have worked with people, who I would classify as quite IT savvy, who haven’t  heard of iTunes U at all! This is where things usually get a little awkward as I somehow morph into an almost Evangelical iTunes U fanatic and go on and on with my spiel about “how amazing iTunes U is” and “how there is so much amazing content available literally sitting there waiting to be downloaded and integrated into classrooms. The content ranges in complexity; from Ivy league universities such as Yale, Oxford, Harvard etc to a grade 3 student’s reflection about a ball game they played in PE. It’s awaiting you!” This is roughly about the time that they are backing away from me with a slightly freaked out and bewildered expression on their face…

So back to iTunes U. My tale starts back in 2010. At the time the only issue I had with iTunes U is that after scratching the surface and being completely blown away, I instantly wanted to begin creating and sharing content to my students by creating a school channel or profile. This is where I hit a snag! I couldn’t work out how to apply to become a representative or a content creating organisation. I contacted Apple and found out that Australian Government funded schools could not become content sharing schools, this had to be done through your particular state educational body. In my case, it was The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development  in Victoria. For teachers in Australia, you will understand my dilemma without having to go into detail too much, for those overseas, let me just say that you would be better off trying to train your dog to speak and cook you breakfast rather than have The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development assist you in any way… This was in the days before iTunes Course Manager.

iTunes U Course Manager allows you to create your own media rich courses that are delivered directly onto your students’ iPads. Your students are presented with all of the teaching content, resources such as weblinks, videos, images, apps etc as well as lesson plans and the ability to take detailed lesson notes all within the one neat and well organised place. They are then able to access this information 24/7.

The first thing you need to do is login https://itunesu.itunes.apple.com/coursemanager/
Once you have filled in the required online forms, including an instructors bio, you are ready to begin creating your own course.
Your students will also need to download the free iTunes U app on their IOS device.

Before you create a course and start adding content to that course, you must first create a course outline and a course overview. The overview is a brief statement about the course and what it will encompass. The outline can be a list of the different lessons/activities within your course. The outline is needed to structure your course and allows you to create a detailed post fro each item in the course outline.

Students can take detailed notes directly within the iTunes U app

The main body of the course is created in the form of posts. Each post can be allocated within a topic or a part of an entry within the course outline. When you create a new post, you can choose the section in which you want the post to appear. You can then add a lesson overview or instruction for students and attach material such as audio, video, books, documents, apps or images or weblinks. So when a student opens that post, they are presented with your lesson and all of the digital material required for that lesson. They are then able to use a check box to show that they have completed the work set for them. Furthermore, they are able to take detailed lesson notes within the iTunes U app. These lesson notes are automatically categorised for quick and easily reflection.

Courses can be as simple or as detailed as you wish. Once you have finished adding content to your course, you can share your course by creating a unique enrolment code that can be delivered to your students via email as a direct url. Students simply open the email and enrol into the course. An email is then sent to you requesting approval for that student’s enrolment. You can also provide a short, 9 character, code to your students for them to enter in the Enrol form within their iTunes U app should you wish not to choose email as a form of delivery.

As stated above, I am so excited to be creating courses for my students. I love the idea that all of the digital resources that are required for my lessons can be distributed within the one app. More than that, I love the fact that my students will have access to course content on demand. I have started creating a bunch of courses. One of the courses that I created is a beginner’s guide to The Pinnacle Studio app for iPad which is an absolute killer of an app. I will be creating a post solely about this app shortly but for those who wish to join the iTunes U course about this app, simply open the link below on your iPad. Enjoy.

https://itunesu.itunes.apple.com/enroll/HFV-4MK-7A3

Starting points for use of an iPad in the Classroom

There are lots of great resources out there for teachers who are embarking on introducing iPads into their classrooms. It can be a little overwhelming as you may not know where to start. This is a great little resource shared by  Tom Barrett so you don’t need to worry about coming up with innovative ways to use iPads in your classroom right away.

Apple Configurator and Volume Purchasing Program

ImageI have recently been involved in registering my school to the Apple Volume Purchasing Program. The process was quick and very straight forward. Once I entered my relevant details and submitted the online form, an Apple representative looked through the application and our school was successfully registered 3 days later. The next step was to create a completely new Apple ID that would be used by the Program Coordinator at my school (me) solely for the Volume Purchasing Program.

For those who might be new to the VPP, I’ll give a very brief and simple outline of what it is and how it works.

The Volume Purchasing Program is an Apple program that allows educational institutions to purchase apps for IOS devices on behalf of it’s students, teachers, administrators etc. The apps can be purchased at a 50% discount if purchased in volumes greater that 20. This makes the whole process very appealing to educational institutions. Once the Program Coordinator purchases an app, specialised individual codes are created by Apple.
Apple also run free online seminars relating to the Volume Purchasing Program – They are held every Tuedays until December 19 2012. Be sure to convert the time to you appropriate timezone. Register here

There are a few ways of distributing the redeem codes to each individual user. Here a few examples.

Example 1.
Self Managed – This is the method I am taking up at my school as I believe it promotes a culture where the user has a greater responsibility, ownership and more involvement in the process. My school is entering a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model so this is another factor for choosing this option. It may be a slower option for larger educational institutions but it works for our school.

Each redeem code, for each separate app is recorded, collated and then distributed to each individual user. A new Apple ID is set up the user at an information evening before the codes are handed out. The users then redeem the apps via the App Store on their own.

Example 2.
Apple Configurator – A free piece of software create by Apple to assist in managing IOS devices. Much better solution for larger deployments.

Apple Configurator allows you to prepare IOS devices for distribution, supervise and configure individual or large numbers of devices and assign devices to individual users. Apple configurator can be used to install apps by distributing the redemption codes created in the Volume Purchasing Program.

Example 3.
Casper Suite – A feature packed piece of IOS management software that is designed to simplify Inventory, Configuration, Security Management and App Distribution.

This piece of software is appealing to our school as it allows tech staff many options especially relating to security management. Casper Suite allows staff to check that all students have the required apps, use content appropriate apps, have access to the school wifi, send our security patches, clear pass codes etc. The pricing for Casper Suite includes a two day on-site visit with a JAMF Software Field Service Manager to install the software and provide guidance and training.

The following Links were taken from http://jonathanwylie.com/ – Check out his blog when you get a chance.

iPad Implementation Professional Learning Session

I have recently been asked to deliver a professional learning session regarding the implementation of an iPad rollout for schools. I’m really excited about sharing my thoughts and offering some solutions to some of the issues schools face when moving towards implementing iPads in their schools. I am even more excited about involving some of my students as presenters at this Professional Learning session as two grade 4 students asked if they could demo their favourite app.

Here are the details of the professional learning session.

Implementing an iPad Initiative Professional Learning Session

Are you planning on implementing iPads at your school? Have you recently purchased iPads and are not quite sure where to start? Do you currently have iPads and would like to gain further ideas about classroom integration? Come along to our professional learning session where you will hear the about the benefits and limitations of various implementation options, get advice on finding apps and where you will find the answers to a range of questions that you and your school may have about iPads.

Date            Thursday 23rd August 2012
Time            4:00pm –  6:00pm
Venue          St Albans Meadows Primary School Auditorium, 2 Laurel Street, St. Albans Vic 3021

AppGuides by AppAdvice

I came across this website while searching for apps to help teach students about fractions in a fun and interactive way. Not only did I find exactly what I was looking for but,  did so easily and without hassle so I thought I would share this page for a few reasons.

1) This website is organised and easy to navigate around. The “app list” section groups apps in categories such as Apps for Photographers, Apps for Musicians, Apps for filmmakers etc. Inside each category, you will find a collection of great apps to get you started.

2) The “appguides” section is also a great way to find a selection of categorised apps.iPhone/iPad AppGuides by AppAdvice.

3) This website also has up to date news about Apple products for those who like to stay informed.

Enjoy

rED Writing – Australian made handwriting app and so much more

As an Australian teacher, I am often faced with a small issue when looking for Spelling and Phonic apps. While there are some excellent handwriting apps out there that are great teaching tools, they don’t actually teach Australian cursive font and each Australian State seems to have a different preferred font style. Furthermore, nearly all spelling and phonic apps use American accents making things slightly confusing for some students as some letters or words are pronounced differently.

That is until now…
rED Writing is a relatively new app that is available through the iTunes app store. It is the only app currently available on iTunes that teaches children how to write letters and numbers using Australian education approved font. rED Writing contains 8 x education approved handwriting fonts used throughout Australian schools (QLD, NSW, ACT, VIC, TAS, SA, WA and NT) to trace and learn.It is jam packed with fun activities, while the sticker album and trophy cabinet will keep the students engaged. I particularly like the Shake-A-Letter and the Letter of the Day features, there is also a really great button that allows you to add or remove the writing guide lines to provide a challenge. The hilarious Australian words of encouragement like “Super Terrific” and “Grooovy”

Check it out.