The Magnificent 7 apps every PE Teacher should use

Part of the Magnificent 7 series of simple strategies that can significantly add to learning. If I could only use 7 these are what they would be

Key points:

  • Only use technology when it does something you cant do without it.
  • It has to cost much less in terms of effort to learn/money than the benefit (Think of the original Dartfish – fantastic concept but too complex/ too long to set up etc so hardly used )
  • It has to be reliable and be able to work offline
  • Preferably free

These tools are subject to change so please watch and add comments – what would your top 7 be?

(1) Video delay – Simply delays transferring the video for a preset time . So you see what happened 10 seconds ago. Great for self analysis  of tennis serves/golf shots etc or for analysing with the students what they are are doing with them able to see their own performance. Note these do not keep a recording so are for on the fly support

Lots of them reviewed here  they all do a similar thing . Put your phone/iPad on a tripod or simply hold it . Film the students doing high jump/long jump etc. Then they run round to you and you can talk them through their performance

(2) iMovie – This really is a fully featured video editing app . Slow mo , add music, split screen comparisons

Full tutorial

(3) iDoceo 4 – A fantastic racking and assessment app for PE  You can use it offline for registers, lesson planning and recording progress – nice video here

(4) Dartfish – Great analysis app that can enable you to show with data what is really happening on the sports field. Its also perfect for cross curricular maths as the data can be exported

http://feedback.dartfish.tv/knowledgebase/articles/357599-dartfish-note-how-to-videos

(5) Padlet – Simple idea but fabulous way of sharing visual information with the class. Post videos up directly for peer feedback.  One option is to turn on moderate posts and you can broadcast a game with photos and commentary to parents (like the BBC ones) if you use the stream option.

A post by @ictevangelist is here

An example of its use in PE is here

(6) Bleep test – Where technology really makes a difference !

Lots of them reviewed here

(7) Twitter – If only for instantly informing parents / students/ schools  of changes to fixtures twitter has real value . Create your own Personal Learning Network (PLN) . The global community of PE teachers is brilliant. To see my list of PE teachers to follow go to here  Please feel free to contact me to add more people worth following

Showbie is awesome for tracking progress and narrowly missed the list

Sprint Timer is another great one

Tutorial here https://iteachpe.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/how-to-use-sprint-timer-application-for-athletics-time-trials-in-pe-2/

 

A Level Physics – Preparing for the CPAC – Practical Advice

Just a quick draft blog supporting those physics teachers . Please join in the discussions on Talkphysics.org and watch this space as it willbe updated

For those of you on twitter will be using the hashtag #CPACphys lease feel free to ask questions I probably cant answer but willfind someone who can

 

What is CPAC?

A-level practical skills to be assessed via endorsement

Cross-board statement on practical endorsement

The assessment of practical skills is a compulsory requirement of the course of study for A-level qualifications in biology, chemistry and physics. It will appear on all students’ certificates as a separately reported result, alongside the overall grade for the qualification. The arrangements for the assessment of practical skills will be common to all awarding organisations. These arrangements will include:

  • A minimum of 12 practical activities to be carried out by each student which, together, meet the requirements of Appendices 5b (Practical skills identified for direct assessment and developed through teaching and learning) and 5c (Use of apparatus and techniques) from the prescribed subject content, published by the Department for Education. The required practical activities will be defined by each awarding organisation.
  • Teachers will assess students against Common Practical Assessment Criteria (CPAC) issued by the awarding organisations. The draft CPAC (see below) are based on the requirements of Appendices 5b and 5c of the subject content requirements published by the Department for Education, and define the minimum standard required for the achievement of a pass. The CPAC will be piloted with schools and colleges and other stakeholders during autumn 2014 and spring 2015 to ensure that they can be applied consistently and effectively.
  • Each student will keep an appropriate record of their assessed practical activities.
  • Students who demonstrate the required standard across all the requirements of the CPAC will receive a ‘pass’ grade.
  • There will be no separate assessment of practical skills for AS qualifications.
  • Students will answer questions in the AS and A-level exam papers that assess the requirements of Appendix 5a (Practical skills identified for indirect assessment and developed through teaching and learning) from the prescribed subject content, published by the Department for Education.

Check out the very active Forum on Talkphysics.org here  You have to register but it is free and amazing !  Most of this blog is a compilation of ideas from it

AQA have a detailed practical booklet here if you are doing AQA – David Cotton has put together resources that link to TAP on talkphysics here

OCR Guidance is here 

A superb site is Practical A Level Physics it has been organised  to give extensive details about each practical. Included is a photo of the set up, teacher/tech notes, student notes, sample lab book and sample data. It is superb and the author continues to update it

 

 

cpac

 

 

Need to buy equipment ?

copy_of_new_a_level_practical_equipment_cos

Writing up – You could use the Young Scientists Journal

Young Scientists Journal (www.ysjournal.com) is an online science journal written, edited and produced entirely by students aged 12 to 20.

It was founded in 2006 by Christina Astin, one of our Teaching and Learning Coaches in Kent, and now attracts articles and editors from across the world.  17 issues have been published, with articles on a whole range of STEM topics, many of which started off as coursework, extended projects or CREST awards.  The last issue is here: www.ysjournal.com/issue-17

 

Your students can get involved by:

  • reading the journal – it’s free and open access and can be an inspiring source for homework research
  • following us on facebook (/YSJournal) or Twitter (@YSJournal)
  • getting their articles or science research projects published – it’s easy to upload and looks great on a UCAS form
  • joining the team of students editing articles and running the journal – plus lots of other opportunities such as web development, marketing, social media etc

If you have a group of students all keen to get involved you can get set up as a hub school – email editor@ysjournal.com  for more info.

 

What might record keeping look like? – My esteemed colleague and all together fantastic man Jon Clarke posted this on talkphysics (the link at the top of this page)

my record-keeping plans are for the first year through this new system, in case it helps anyone else plan this first time through the Practical Endorsement, or in case you think I’ve missed something – please let me know!(jon.clarke “at” iop.org)

In Monday’s lesson I’m going to run through parts of the AQA A-level Practical Handbook with them (particularly sections D & E), getting them ready to carry out their first required practical (5 – resistivity of a wire) on that Friday. Handily, section E suggests a “pro forma” to guide their write-up. I’ll be explicit with the students that, in this first practical, our learning outcomes are: to use the equipment, record data, and write up a practical. (The quality of their results, analysis or evaluation aren’t my priority yet.)

The exam board require the following information. Here’s what I’ll record for each item:

1. documented plans to carry out sufficient practical activities which meet the requirements of CPAC.
Long-term schemes of work which include the required practicals

2. a record of each practical activity undertaken and the date when this was completed;
3. a record of the criteria being assessed in that practical activity
My own record of work that I write-up after every lesson (do others keep anything similar?), plus I’ll write the passed criteria on each student’s practical notes while they do it, plus a note in a tracking spreadsheet

4. a record of student attendance;
Tracking spreadsheet, plus our electronic registers

5. a record of which student met the criteria and which did not;
Tracking spreadsheet, plus a note on each student’s work

6. student work showing evidence required for the particular task with date;
In students’ folders, interspersed with their theory work

7. any associated materials provided for the practical activity e.g. written instructions given.
A note in my record of work – in the case of Friday’s practical, this will be a full print-out of the IoP’s Teaching Advanced Physics notes for this practical – http://tap.iop.org/electricity/resistance/112/file_45987.doc .

The rest of the TAP resources that support CPAC are here

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/lddljwbtyuw23sh/AAD5U8LrrTWFjxN8eYcsBnyza?dl=0

 

Mobile phones and iPads hamper learning !! – In defence of Technology in Education

“Whats the point of using technology it detracts from learning ” a teacher said to me. All the evidence points against it and the government are going to ban them anyway.

Deep sigh – where has this come from?

“Mobile phones and iPads could be banned from classrooms”

screams the Telegraph citing Tom Bennett

Mr Bennett said: “Technology is transforming society and even classrooms – but all too often we hear of lessons being disrupted by the temptation of the smartphone. Learning is hard-work and children are all too aware of this. So when they have a smartphone in their pocket that offers instant entertainment and reward, they can be easily distracted from their work. The Telegraph omitted the following that the Guardian included:

In a blog for the TES, Bennett poured cold water on headlines suggesting mobiles could be barred altogether in class. “This may shock you, but I don’t think mobile phones should be banned from school. Or iPads from the classroom,” he wrote.

Then there is the LSE report : A study by the London School of Economics in May found that banning mobile phones from classrooms could benefit students’ learning by as much as an extra week of classes over an academic year, benefiting low-achieving children and those from disadvantaged backgrounds most. 

I am a huge advocate of using technology in lessons when it adds significantly to learning and does something you cant do without it.  You dont even need to change your teaching style, just use tools that enhance your understanding of the students learning journey. Assessment for Learning can be transformed with Plickers /Socrative/Shadow Puppet and instantly and painlessly provides you with data that informs your lesson planning.    But first comes humanity and relationships and good behaviour management.

And it is that behaviour management that is key. Allowing students to access the most distracting device on the planet in lessons is clearly going to have a negative impact on learning. In banning them, the schools have removed this classroom management issue and there was a corresponding rise in the results.  Having worked in turning around failing schools It was very clear that anything that you changed in order to improve behaviour – be it uniform, equipment etc had a positive impact as long as it was applied consistently. Those teachers finding mobile phones were a pain would be very supportive of the ban.  I feel it is plausible that simply  enforcing rules may have been a significant factor,  rather than explicitly the mobile phones.  Though the study also pointed out that the biggest impact was on the lower achievers – those most likely to be switched off lessons and hence reach for their phones. Could we look at why they were switched off rather than simply seeing the distraction as the issue?  Could the phones be their solution to the problem of the inappropriateness of the curriculum to their needs rather than the problem itself?

Then there is pedagogy – Headline from BBC Business

“School technology struggles to make an impact”  

We now have digitally competency measurements from Pisa – always slightly worrying how much store governments put on them. Sir Ken Robinson ” Pisa is to education what the Eurovision Song Contest is to music”

The Pisa assessments now provide first-of-its-kind internationally comparative analysis of the digital skills that students have acquired, and of the learning environments designed to develop these skills.

These data show that the reality in schools lags considerably behind the promise of technology.

 

The crux of the piece is that those countries that have invested heavily in technology have not shown any improvements and in some there has been a decline. Sadly there is also no evidence it improves the poverty gap inequality.

What it is not saying is how the technology is being used. These devices are simply tools and if they are being used inappropriately then they will hinder progress.

I totally agree with Tom Bennett  that learning takes effort. See my posts on Clarity vs Confusion and thinking

Technology can make the learning journey very easy. I can copy and paste, use google translate, photomath  and very quickly come up with the answer to things that I do not retain in my memory (hence will be gone by the time the exams come)  So no deep learning has taken place.  Many students are happy to hand in their plagiarised homework  as their idea is that the teacher wants to see work rather than learning.  Or students spend a disproportionate amount of time creating a pretty Powerpoint that keeps them working but not learning and I think this may be a huge issue.  They can work for hours on something, look engaged, but learn nothing. Having taught many different subjects when the students are on computers the amount of teaching I do can fall significantly  as the students are just “getting on with it.”

Only add the Technology when you know what value it adds to learning 

The BBC report gives two interpretations both of which I feel are true

One interpretation is that building deep, conceptual understanding and higher-order thinking requires intensive teacher-student interactions, and technology sometimes distracts from this valuable human engagement.

Another interpretation is that schools have not yet become good enough at the kind of pedagogies that make the most of technology; that adding 21st-Century technologies to 20th-Century teaching practices will just dilute the effectiveness of teaching.

I worry that many teachers are drawing the conclusion that technology hinders learning. There is no doubt that technology used badly is worse than a waste of time. Taking the students to the computer room is often an easy lesson unless you carefully plan why the technology enhances learning. I know I have been guilty of this when absolutely exhausted and needing a break. It keeps the kids quiet !

I think far more training is needed on the transformational technological tools –  not the flashy gimmicks. How to effectively manage your classroom where the students use their mobile phones for learning.  Things have changed and we live in a connected world. Simply banning technology may in the short term be effective at improving exam results, but can we justify our classrooms  diverging even further from the real world?

Technology is neither good, nor bad. It is simply a tool that can massively enhance learning if used well. The problem is that it isnt being used well due to lack of understanding of what it can do.

One thing technology cannot do is enhance poor teaching. A poor teacher with students  who have mobile devices will have a class off task but apparently compliant. It can be used as a  sticking plaster that hides  bigger issues and that is an issue we need to resolve

Blogs worth reading that put pedagogy before technology

Steve Wheeler @timbuckteeth

http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/learning-first-technology-second.html

Mark Anderson@ICTEvangelist

http://ictevangelist.com/tag/pedagogy/

Martin Burrett @ICTmagic

http://ukedchat.com/ictmagic/

Mr Parkinson @ICT_MrP

mrparkinsonict.blogspot.co.uk

Mark Richardson @ICTMarc

rebelmouse.com/wcsict

 

The Magnificent Seven – Simple Strategies using Technology to Transform Learning

Part of what will form a series that aid learning, behaviour  and make me more effective as a teacher. These are my seven favourite things – The Magnificent Seven – Simple Strategies using Technology to Transform Learning – Please feel free to add yours in the comments section or link blogs

My rules for using technology;

  • Only use technology  when it does something you cant do without it (or it makes it better/simpler)
  • It has to improve learning – or my assessment of  their learning (following their learning journey)
  • It has to be simple to learn and reliable to use
  • Free

(1) Plickers – Multiple Choice Assessment App you only need one device to use

How does it work ?

Students are assigned printed paper  Plicker codes that they hold up for you to scan with your phone/tablet. They can choose A,B,C or D depending on their orientation. The scan on your phone tells you who has chosen what and if your wifi is working records it on their website in the reports section . It also has a live view.

It is so good I wrote a blog about it here  see it on UKEdCHAT here 

What makes it so great?

  • Incredibly quick and easy to use
  • Only need a single device – Android or IOS
  • Can use it without wifi
  • Students cant see what each other have chosen so prevents copying and reduces stress
  • Perfect for showing progression

(2) Socrative  Assessment App – Online and cross platform

Its been around for a while and still holds its place for several reasons. As a teacher you create a room and give that room number to the students. They log onto your room using any device and answer multiple choice or short answer questions.

It’s very reliable if you have strong wifi or 3/4G signal but students may have issues in weak signal areas. I would tend to use plickers  for ‘on the fly ‘ multiple choice (unless you need 5 options) as for plickers they dont need to log into a room or have their own devices.

To me where Socrative really comes into it’s own is the Short Answers option. This allows you to ask students anonymously (or given name if you’d prefer) their opinion /ideas or definitions.

So for example I can ask them to define evolution, make an estimate, proffer an opinion as to the cause of …. etc. Socrative then collates these in a list . This is fantastic on it’s own, but the ace up the sleeve is that you can get students to vote on one of the comments so . Which is the best definition/closest estimate/most likely reason etc.  So my students have given their ideas, evaluated others and chosen one in a few minutes . The same question can be asked at the end of the lesson hence progress can be shown.

You can also create test that are automatically marked as well as importing ones that are already made from Socrative Garden here though please check them as they are not quality assured ! They also link to visible thinking  which will be in Magnificent Seven – Simple Solutions to more Active Learning due to be published soon

ICT Evangelist has a blog on Remixing Lessons here integrating Socrative

Socrative guides  available  here 

 

(3) Padlet 

Used to be called Wallwisher another relative oldie. Remarkably simple to use you can create a wall in seconds and share it with your students using a QR code. They then all have access to the wall and can add comments, images, videos, links or upload work.

So perfect for sharing ideas, work ( a dream for Art/Tech/ anything visual) , peer evaluation etc. It’s a great collaborative tool and as you can put links in enables Educreations/Pinterest/Shadow Puppet to be embedded into the wall. Full set of tutorials here 

(4) Shadow Puppet – Instant feedback with audio and video  – Sadly IOS only tho Google Docs users may want to look at kaizena   Thanks @ictmagic

A ridiculously simple way of giving quick feedback – Photograph the students work, highlight areas and add your voice feedback and email it back to them. Or put it on Pdlet or tweet it. Record and highlight videos stop them at appropriate points (PE teachers this is a dream app)

(5) Educreations  – Interactive whiteboard on a tablet

I prefer Educreations over Explain Everything for daily use as although Explain Everything is fabulous and feature rich it takes a bit more getting to know and doesnt give you the hyperlink that educreations does that allows you to instantly share through padlet/email/twitter. Educreations is ridiculously simple – though be aware that you have to register after you have created something!

(6) Pinterest  – Digital Filing Cabinet

Pinterest is used by millions but rarely professionally. It is a brilliant way of compiling a set of resources for whatever subject you are teaching . Either find them already on Pinterest or upload them or add from virtually any website. Create a shared Pinterest for your department to collaborate on resources. Get your students to find great sites and share them with you to populate it

(7) Blendspace – Digital lessons and SoW

So we have a whole load of fabulous resources in Pinterest, have created some wonderful Educreation tutorials, some great Shadow Puppet feedback showing misconceptions , numerous Padlet walls. How can we now combine them in a coherent manner ? – Blendspace !

Could this be a dream app for BTEC and IB teachers – giving the potential of e-portfolios that can be shared and collaborated on. Flipped lessons ? The possibilities are endless

A mention to Twitter for building a Personalised Learning Network and connecting to an awesome global bunch of educators I’m @natkin   for technology  try @ictevangelist and @ictmagic are both awesome

 

Honourable mention to  BookCreator, iMovie, Edmodo, Showbie and Puppetpals HD

What are your Magnificent seven ?