One way we’ve been able to integrate speaking into our English work is by creating podcasts. We’ve created several informal ones this term already, but this new one was a more formal podcast to explain our recent investigations in Geography. The students went on a walk around the area (see previous post) and completed several surveys. They then used this information to judge the livability of three of the streets. They have already completed a complex project on the topic, but the podcast was another way of presenting the work to a wider audience.
Today we had an end of term maths test and the students were absolutely thrilled. Yes, it does sound a little weird, but this was a test with a difference. Half the test was a conventional one, written on paper, but the other half was made using QR codes. If you’re not sure what a QR code is just scroll down this page and you’ll see ours in the right column (a square thing with squiggly patterns on the inside). They require a QR code reader which our amazing library officer Ms Higgs installed for us on the iPads. I created a number of QR codes which had maths problems on them that appeared when scanned. These had to be answered by the students before racing around the school to find the next code. Some of the answers to the codes gave clues to the next destination and the students had to use their maths knowledge to work them out. It was quite a task to create the test but the enthusiasm of the students made it all worthwhile. Thanks to Mr Avery for the inspiration (see link on “School Blogs”). Click on the photos to see them full sized.
This year’s students have finally got their podcasts up and running. It’s surprising just how easy it is to create the podcasts and just how enthusiastic the students are to do them. To get warmed up our first podcast was a very informal one, with the students talking about themselves (something of a natural talent with this group). The two I’ve included here are fun and easy to listen to and have such a relaxed style. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did and perhaps learn a thing or two about the students.
This particular art activity took a lot of time and effort to prepare, but I think you’ll agree it was well worth the effort. Each student had to take around 30 photo’s of themselves before cropping them, copying some and and creating a collage for the background to the finished product. They then used the Brushes app on the iPads to create these stunning images. These are just a few, but the students are in the process of putting their own images on their blogs so you may find more there, check them out. Click on the images to see a full size version.
This week we’ve had a concerted push to try and spread a little of the technology we use at school further across the age ranges. On Thursday we had a PD afternoon where four of the students from LA19 helped show the staff how to create podcasts. Following this, some of the students went across the school on Friday to help tutor other students in the skills of producing podcasts with the iPads. Below are a selection of these fabulous efforts. These are just the first few and will be added to shortly. I hope you enjoy them.
Today the students from LA19 buddied up with the young pre-primary kids from EC2 to do some work with the iPads. We worked with the Brushes app to give the students experience with using the iPad and developing the types of skills and control needed to use them. The students from LA19 first created pictures of the names of the Pre-Primary students and uploaded them to Dropbox. They then connected the iPads to Dropbox, downloaded the pictures, opened them in Brushes and used the tools and layers to colour the names. The students from LA19 were absolutely fabulous and were so patient with their buddies, while the PP students couldn’t wait to tell their parents what they’d done after school.
For the past few weeks the students have been creating art masterpieces using iPads. We looked at the art of Julian Opie (famous for the Blur album cover that people as old as me may remember) and have tried creating our own versions of our own faces using the Brushes app. We first took photos and uploaded them to Dropbox. Next, we connected to Dropbox on the iPads and downloaded the photo’s so we could work on them. We opened the photo’s in Brushes and away we went.
This activity had many learning opportunities attached to it. The obvious one is that we learned to use a new app on the iPads and developed our skills in working with the technology. We learnt the concept of using layers in art applications, the same types of skills which are used in Photoshop and other design programmes. We also developed our understanding of working in “the cloud”, of how we can store and retrieve work external from the device we are using. Finally, as I’m sure you’ll agree, we made some amazing art.