IDOCEO

I have been using IDOCEO a few weeks now. It is an integrated seating plan, timetable, mark-sheet, random name generator and planner all in one.

Highly recommended and just a few pounds on the appstore. Class data spreadsheet files can be uploaded very easily and takes very little editing. I use it in every single lesson fro recording homeworks, checking seating plans etc. Best way is to just look at the reviews, but a great bit of kit.

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Socrative

Socrative is an an amazing free program for teachers. It is basically online quiz/exit ticket software with which teachers can generate their own quizzes or import pre-made ones. They then open the quiz up to their students whom can access the website via a computer, or apple or android based app. There is a lot of flexibility as it can be teacher-paced or student paced. It could be led from the front as a whole class activity, or if a limited number of devices are available they could be passed around the classroom whilst students are conducting independent learning, so that by the end of the lesson the teacher will have data on the whole class. The data can then be saved as a spreadsheet. It’s not new technology as there have been quizdom type ICT equipment that does the same job, but the beauty of this is that it is free and can be run on pre-exisiting hardware i.e. smartphones.

I used Socrative this week with my year 9 class to revise photosynthesis. I basically used a who wants to be a millionaire powerpoint template to make it feel interactive and fun and had students answer the questions on their phones. The results was great and I now have a spreadsheet where I realise I need to target fertilisers a little more for revision.

Air Server

Air server is a simple, yet amazing program which basically mirrors your ipad onto your classroom projector. For a small fee you need to install the software onto your classroom computer. You also need a wifi connection. It works brilliantly,

In terms of the classroom, it’s a great free visualizer. You can take photos of a student’s work or project and have the rest of the class level assess it. You can share good practice this way too. You can share any apps that may apply to your lessons on the board. I am sure there are a 101 more ways you can use this too. Amazing!

Google Drive

Google drive is a great way for setting up a file sharing base for teachers and students. Of course, you can use your school’s VLE if available, however the schools I have worked at have used Moodle, which I have found to be far from user-friendly. I was shown a fantastic way to use google drive by a teacher at my previous school. Basically I opened a spreadsheet file and then across the top row I wrote the names of my A-Level students. Down the first column I then wrote all of the criteria on the scheme of work. I made the file open to anyone to edit. I then found the web address for the spreadsheet from the ‘share’ option and then copied it. Finally I went to goo.gl to get a shortened version of the address and shared it with my students.

The students then went onto the spreadsheet and bascially RAG (red, amber, green) graded their confidence levels. I now have a clear picture of what I need to target for their revision.

Skitch App (Force Diagrams)

Skitch is a free app available for both apple and android products.

It basically allows you to quickly annotate a photo taken from the device with text and arrows. The idea behind this is that after teaching students the names of various forces, the students are let loose within the classroom or school to take a photo of an item(s) and then draw force arrows and label it. They then check with the teacher that there are no errors.

I then plan to have students share their diagrams with other groups who can sketch them into their books.

 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.evernote.skitch

 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/skitch/id490505997?mt=8

Padlet

Well, I have started the first week in my brand new school by setting up a Padlet page for every class I teach.

Padlet for those who don’t know is a kind of rolling blog similar to twitter. I have set it up, so only those who know the unique address can access it.

I have encouraged students to use it to help each other with homework and other Science related issues, or just to chat about interesting topics. The rationale is that if they struggle with a concept or homework, they have instant help available.

I have also set up the page to send me daily notifications via email to make me aware of any activity. That way if no one else answers, then I can help.

The year 7 class were the first to be introduced to this and they have been active on it all night. I think that they will require reminders during homeworks that the resource is there.

Let’s see if it works long-term.

First Post

Firstly I would like to say I can’t take full credit (or none at all) for this idea.

Basically my new colleague (Alex) decided to start an educational and travel blog relating to his new job right here in Bangkok. I must admit that as I have now completed the trial that was the PGCE and then NQT, I am concerned that I may have the tendency to then coast. However, I have decided to start this blog as a way to record and reflect upon the various ideas and activities that I try in my teaching career or at the very least in my current post.

I have to admit that I am a fan of using technology in the classroom, but only where it is there to enhance the lesson. I think that ICT plays a far more important role both a student’s life and progressively through their future careers. As a result I believe that we as educators need to embrace this and actively incorporate it into our everyday lessons.

This may not be possible, or even necessary every lesson, but my personal aim is to incorporate at least one new idea a week. Some of which I have used before in my limited career, some which are a completely new gamble.

Here goes……….