Bringing Technology into the Classroom

I love bringing a bit of technology into my lessons, I find it encourages me to think of something fun and quirky to engage my students each time. Of course these tips and tricks loose their effect if used too often so save them for special occasions when lessons need a bit of razzle dazzle. Here are a few of my favorites:

QRStuff.com  I am already a big fan of using QR codes for links to homework or further learning. They are so easy to drop into the bottom of a hand-out or blow up on a power point presentation and students are often so eager to use their phones that they are encouraged to access the information.

PollEverywhere This is another one that will get students using their phones constructively in the classroom. Ask students a question and they can vote for the answer by texting in anonymously on their phones. You can watch the results appear live. Its a fun way to assess learning or a class attitude. Student responses can be as open or closed as you like and it is all free!

Sporcle.com  This is free to set up an account and you (or your students) can use existing quizzes or create your own on a whole range of different topics. I find they are great for assessments although you will need to ask students to screen shot their results as evidence.

Something similar is PlayBrighter.com In this you can make a game, create a class list with individual student log in and look at the results. Students seem to enjoy this too as they are playing a game and answering the questions as they go along. This is great for theory based lessons / homework.

ThingLink.com  This is free and so simple to create. It is an interactive image with embedded information. Its great for a fun way to pass on key notes from a lesson for SEN learners.

I am a huge fan of TED -Ed and creating ‘flipping’  a lesson through this is really handy if you have cover or to use as an extended homework / further learning.

GoogleDrive isn’t one I have used yet but it has a ‘big brother’ feel to it. You can monitor your students as they write the work allowing you to give them tips as they go along. Also you will know who is working and who is handing it in at the last minute. I’ve been told this can be great when combined with QR codes to create a treasure hunt assessment quiz.

The last useful website I have to suggest is Gapminder.org/world  This uses real statistics and makes them kinda cool if you need to compare a pattern through time or country in pretty much anything. If you teach a Humanities subject I think it is worth exploring.

Hope some of these inspire you. Do let me know if there are any other websites you think are worth using in the classroom.

I love Tuesdays

I find I am always in a good mood on a Tuesday. Guaranteed time with my budding photographers. Not that I don’t enjoy working in Education Support but sometimes it’s nice to get away and submerge myself in their creativity and fresh ideas.

That said my students are coming to the end of their first 8 hour mock and whilst the final work is good the level of development is… umm… well pretty much non-existent. 12 photographs are not enough to carry you through a Photography A-Level guys! I think the marks I can give them as a result will be low and sink their spirits :(

Once these projects are marked we can have a chat about exam board expectations for their project sketchbooks. Maybe I need to give them a checklist of things to include so more than the bare minimum ends up in their books. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions I would love to hear them.

On the plus side they have started to take photographs in their own time which is a huge leap from where we started and later next month we will go gallery hopping round London for some artist research! I think I may be looking forward to this more than the students!