I’ve done it. A lesson with iPads

September 23, 2013ESOL, reflections, teaching

I was so incredibly nervous at the start of lesson. I knew this week I had plenty of tasks to keep the pesky ‘wizz though everything fast’ 16-18s so it wasn’t that. I think I had the groups pretty well sorted out so it wasn’t that. I have to put my hands up and say it was the tech. I know I was nervous at the beginning of the Tech for Learning course, but after the first couple of weeks this soon went & I wasn’t ever bothered by the ‘tech’ issue.

So it’s probably been good for me to be reminded of what that feels like. To have butterflies about trying something new, with technology. I’m pretty sure this is a lot of teacher’s default positions.

I was honest with the students about this. In fact I really hammed it up. I told them I was trying some new things & I didn’t know how it would go. I told them I was really really nervous. They were sweet. As the reassurances came my way I thanked them and said I was happy they were willing to help me with these new things. Crafty huh.

iPad task 1
After brainstorming countries I gave the iPads out and asked the students to find the name of the currency for each country.

Hiccup 1
The iPads wouldn’t connect to the new college new wifi. Luckily for me, I had nicked my very accommodating partner’s mifi unit. This was switched on & iPads swiftly connected. #phew

This went pretty well. The groups worked fairly independently. I think they did as well as could be expected for their third lesson with me. I still needed to give lots of reminders to work together and help each other, but each group had at least 2 people that were working together and on task.

They didn’t have any issue with accessing the internet on the iPad and managed the touch screen and keyboard well.

iPad task 2
After feedback all the different currencies we then talked about exchange rates and they were asked to find out how much £1 was worth in five different currencies.

I was only vaguely aware at this stage that I was encroaching on my planned excel task. In my plan there was a Socrotive quiz first, as a lead in to researching specific exchange rates and making a bar chart in excel to show the differences. But actually, the flow of the lesson meant the ‘compare how much £1 is in other currencies’ task fitted here.

They did really well with this. Again, much as with the first one, most people in the group were engaged and there was definitely some collaboration happening.

iPad task 3
I’d made a gap fill on the IWB for the students to give me numbers and currencies to answer questions such as: £5 is equal to 22Yuan and 15 zloty is more than 25 rupees. Then, in Socrative I’d made a ‘speed quiz’ for them to race who could find the answer.

It did mean they got to practice how to multi-task on the iPad. They used the swipe between Safari and Socrative. But actually, the Socrative quiz was a little forced and they could just have written the answers. I wasn’t able to show the ‘race’ aspect of the quiz because they needed to see the questions. The use of Socrative definitely needs some more thought.

It was at this point that I realised that they’d had enough currency work and that doing the planned excel task would really be forcing the issue. I sent them off for an early break and got ready to Pinterest them.

iPad task 4
After the Pinterest task, where everyone made a board titled ‘Things I would buy with £1,000,000′ I gave the iPads out one last time. This time using the note pad with siri. I asked students to tell each other what they would buy with their money, speaking into siri and then checking the text that appeared.

This was really great. It highlighted some pronunciation issues students had and I will definitely think if some other tasks to work on this. It also allowed some error correction of the written text, and this brought in another skill of the iPad – using the press and hold to get to magnifying glass to move the cursor.

So that was it. Four hours. A PSD topic of ‘managing money’ and lots of iPad & laptop ICT practice (not quite sure how any of the skills from today fit with the E1 ICT curriculum mind!)

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