Monthly Archives: February 2012

Using Socrative app for iPad – AfL the fun way!

I have recently started to experiment with the Socrative app that is available online and via apps for iPad, iPhone and also Android mobile devices. Any device that access the internet can utilise Socrative in the classroom.

Socrative brings smart clickers, student response and ease of use to a whole new level. Students can be engaged all lesson with educational exercises and games. You can gather feedback instantly from all students anonymously.

Socractive has a wide variety of activities to use when assessing students learning. Students can access the specific ‘room’ of the teacher to answer the question that have been verbal asked or from a pre setup quiz.

All feedback can be seen instantly by the teacher and can also be shared at the end of a quiz via a report. These reports offer a breakdown of each students response to the question. It even marks the quiz and responses for you!

I recently used a ‘Space Race’ quiz that I had made as a starter activity to assess prior knowledge of a topic and the students loved it. The loved it so much that the students developed there own ‘Space Race’ quiz during the lesson to use during the plenary exercise.

The students can watch their rocket fly across the screen and compete with all members of the class to complete the exercise. Excellent motivation for learning and AfL combined.

The work that @asober, @tesscience and I have carried to make this app a must have in any classroom can be seen here where we produced and shared a collection of Socrative quizzes ready for the exam season this year.

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iBook Author – Apple continues to redefine teaching and learning

Recently Apple released iBooks Author that allows anyone to create stunning iBooks. All you need is an idea (or Scheme of Learning) and a Mac. Apple have offered a range of pre designed templates that feature a wide variety of page layouts. You can add your own text and images, use Multi-Touch widgets to include interactive photo galleries, movies, Keynote presentations, 3D objects, and more. Preview your book on your iPad at any time. Then submit your finished work to the iBookstore with a few simple steps.

iBooks author offers an amazing opportunity for Teachers and Learners alike to personalise learning and offer an enriched interactive learning environment.

The Apple-designed templates give you an easily accessible way to design your book. iBooks Author allows you to import texts and chapters from Page and Microsoft Word.  The ability to add Multitouch widgets adds the interactive aspect to your iBook. Add a photo gallery, chapter review, movie, Keynote presentation, interactive image with callouts, 3D object, or custom HTML anywhere in your book. These could also include a range of ways to make your iBook accessible to a range of learners and abilities.

iBooks a can be exported to iPads running the latest iBook software via email or syncing via iTunes. You are also able to submit your iBook to the iBookstore and iTunes U or share your book as a PDF file.

I will trialling iBooks Author alongside other members of my faculty. It has a massive potential to make sharing resources with learners and colleagues leap into the future. There is so much more to follow!

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Using iCan Animate app in a Science classroom.

I recently used the I Can Animate app with a BTEC group who love demonstrating their knowledge through anything but writing. The lesson was focused on enzyme action and required the students to understand the lock and key theory of how enzymes work, the structure of enzymes and how the enzyme-substrate complex forms and works.

After a brief introduction I handed over to the students. Students were given a success criteria and suggested apps and the rest was over to them. I also chose to make some QR codes available to some students who required more support. These QR codes linked to websites and also short teaching videos to cater for different learning styles and abilities.

All students decided to use I Can Animate app combined with iMovie where they provided a voice over to their animation. I Can Animate is an excellent animation app for only £1.99 as it provides a very simple but effective onion skinning and a range easy to use settings and functions.

I Can Animate App features:

• Capture frames using the inbuilt camera
• Displays onion skinning
• Adjust exposure, white balance and focus
• Time lapse
• Review last five frames
• Preview whole project
• Supports a library of multiple projects

Share your movie
• Export your animation in three movie sizes: medium, large or HD.
• Exported animations are added to your camera roll which can then be shared through email, MMS, MobileMe and YouTube. Exported animations can also be added to an iMovie project for a really polished movie.

I Can Animate provides hours of fun for both the serious and amateur animator. This app also allows students to demonstrate their learning in a fun and creative way that is easy to share during the class and also upload to YouTube or share via Twitter and the you never know the video may go viral!

Once the students had completed their short movie, they were easily shared with myself via email and shared with the world via YouTube. Some examples can be seen below.

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