Get Kahooting!

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If you haven’t already heard of Kahoot, it really is worth investigating. The online quiz creator is one of the best free tools available to teachers to add a new engaging, simple-to-use but brilliantly fun dimension into your everyday teaching.

Teacher Perspective

Getting started is easy. Sign up for an account at https://getkahoot.com/ and once this is established, you click on the New Kahoot button or choose between a quiz, discussion or survey.

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Whatever option you select, you will be redirected to the same screen. There is no difference in the set up for a quiz, discussion or survey, rather you will need to pose the questions in a different way. The next screen you come to will look like this:

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It’s pretty simple to fill in and one really nice feature is the ability to add an intro video. Basically, the YouTube video that you choose will play in a loop whilst the players of the game sign up. Therefore, I would recommend the video is not too long. You could even upload your own videos to YouTube to use!

Once the Description page is completed, you start entering your questions. A really helpful feature is that you can add a picture or video to accompany each question. This could just be a visual prompt or actually form part of the question as shown in the example below:

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You then set the rest of your questions and once finished save your Kahoot, ready to be played.

This can be done by hitting the play button. Once it has been clicked, a pin number will be automatically generated and appear on the class projector.

This is the pin the children need to join the game!play

Pupil Perspective

It could not be any easier for pupils to join the game. They simply need to visit www.kahoot.it and they will see this screen:

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To join the game, all they need to do is add the teacher generated pin code and a nickname! Any silly names can be easily deleted along with the player who entered them. Children soon learn they are missing out on a whole lot of fun!

CPD

Kahoot very helpfully has a whole webpage dedicated to CPD resources! It includes a slideshow available in PDF, PowerPoint or Keynote format, and even has some speaker notes with guidance and prompts!

Get Kahoot

I could not recommend Kahoot enough. I love writing the quizzes and children absolutely love playing them. It’s a simple but sure-fired way to get ALL your class involved in the lesson and motivate them to achieve whilst you get to monitor their knowledge and understanding of any part of the curriculum you choose to use.

 

 

 

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1:2:1 is Working – The Results Are In

In September 2015, we rolled out 1:2:1 iPads across our Second Form (Year Six). This was a huge step for King’s, a school which only adopted WiFi in 9 months earlier in January.

Learning in action

After the WiFi install, all pupils in the Prep School had access to a bank of 20 shared iPads and although they proved incredibly popular for staff and pupils alike, the limitations of shared devices was somewhat frustrating. Device set ups were changed, work was lost and functional attributes like contacts, calendars and email were unavailable.  Nevertheless, 99% of pupils agreed that lessons had become more enjoyable when iPads were used to enhance their learning experience, yet 90% also agreed that their experience would be improved further still with individual, personalised iPads.

Happily, we were able to respond positively and with a mixture of parent-owned school managed devices and BYOiPads our 1:2:1 vision became a reality in September. Second form (y6) Pupils are now routinely using iTunesU, regularly using Apps like Padlet, Explain Everything, BookCreator and iMovie and even working from digital iBooks and submitting their work via ShowBie. It has been an exciting journey for pupils and teachers alike – lots of mistakes have been made along the way, but we have learnt so much. We have come along way in a short amount of time but before we start making plans for expansion of the project, has it actually made a difference to learning? Does the theory that real change can only take place in a 1:2:1 environment ring true? We put it those in the best place to answer these questions: the students of Year Six…

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The results of the survey are pretty conclusive. The pupils all agree that their learning experience has improved since adopting 1:2:1 iPads. Having access to information at your finger tips has fundamentally changed the dynamics of the classroom and the role of the teacher. However, it must be remembered that although the role of the teacher changes in a 1:2:1 environment, their importance does not.

Teachers get to grips with their iPads

Teachers get to grips with their iPads

Teachers need to know how to create courses, share resources and suggest Apps through which students can both demonstrate their knowledge, understanding AND creativity. Teachers need to know how to set work, collect work, annotate work and return work to students therefore it is imperative that in any 1:2:1 model, teachers are provided with the necessary equipment and training to make the project a success.

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10 Things I learned from ADE Institute, 2015

Amsterdam, or more specifically Noordwijk, played host to this years ADE (Apple Distinguished Educator) Instiute which welcomed the amazing Class of 2015 to the programme. As in Cork 2013, the best thing about institute is the opportunity to meet like-minded, dedicated educators from across the planet. Of course, Apple provide the opportunity for all attendees to learn a lot about their awesome products and how best we can use them in the classroom but I also learned (or had confirmed) a few other things that I would like to share:

1 – I`m not mad

I work in a school that only had WiFi installed in January this year. Although a roller coaster ride, the thrills and spills were worth it as we are initiating our inaugural 1:2:1 programme THIS September! The details of our journey can be seen in this short film: However, what the movie does not show is the feeling of isolation suffered at various points on our journey. People who don’t get educational technology often look on it (and the people that purvey its benefits)  with cynicism and scepticism.   However, at the ADE institute, every single attendee, ‘get’s’ technology in the classroom. They have seen first hand the difference it can make and help me to realise that I am not a lone-madman hell-bent on a irrational desire to force technology upon schools who ‘don’t do things that way’.

2 – Tech changes lives

One of the greatest aspects of the ADE institute 2015 was the daily round of ADE showcases. ADE’s from all over the World had three-minutes to tell their stories. The school locations, age-ranges, demographics etc. varied wildly but what every story shared was clear and compelling evidence of the difference schools and teachers who embrace technology were making to the lives of their students.

3 – Tech is a tool – it’s teachers that really matter

IMG_1359Great teachers have existed since the dawn of humanity whilst arguably, decent technology in schools is still in it’s infancy. Part of being a great teacher is the ability to adapt your practice and embrace change when it enhances learning. There is NO doubt that technology has changed the potential in and outside the classroom (ask any ADE). However, without proactive and creative teachers forging new ways of using the technology, progress and change would be impossible.

4 – iTunesU Course is getting better

I’ve used iTunes U Course manager a few times, but with shared devices I was unable to utilise it’s full potential. Clearly, with a 1:2:1 project I am already looking forward to harnessing the huge power of the fantastic classroom tool. However, I attended a session where the fantastic new features were shared and we can now enjoy:

  • Homework hand-in
  • Annotation tools
  • Private discussions
  • Integrated grade-book
  • Multiple attachments for assignments

Essentially, this means that iTunesU can now replace Edmodo, Showbie and the like as your complete digital learning environment. However, this is only possible in an iPad 1:2:1 setting and not forgetting a considerable amount of staff training. I’ll be pushing out my first course in September – if you are facing in the right direction, all you have to do is start walking…

5 – Deers and rabbits live on sand dunes 

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Nathan Ashman and I enjoy an early morning run

I love running. There is NO better way of getting to know a new place than pulling on your running gear and setting off into the unknown for an explore. I had looked on a map and noticed that we were near a beach but it wasn’t until @coby_mr ran it, that I realised how close it was. Then, during a conversation with @vickiebacondpc, she mentioned another avid runner in attendance – @nathanashman. He told me about the extraordinary 96 mile run he has planned in the next few weeks and we promptly arranged a 5:50am, 9 mile run to the Dutch dunes. It was one of the highlights of the week. The run was brilliant; we even saw a deer and sand-rabbits and although our bromance was short-lived, our conversation will live long in the memory.

6 – Twitter connects people, globally.

The conversations above involved real people. However, I have deliberately referenced their Twitter handles as connected teachers NEED to be on Twitter. I didn’t meet one ADE who was not on the influential social media and when we began work with our communities (like-minded professionals), we all instantly exchanged Twitter handles and have used it as a forum of discussion and collaboration ever since. The collaboration within our groups was truly first class: problems were aired to the table and solutions found within seconds. Imagine every staffroom being that productive. My brilliant group consisted of these fabulous educators, all of whom are well-worth a follow –   nielswijnhoud  However, global connectivity is not simply limited to twitter, it is with great excitement that I am now looking forward to sharing content on the brilliant iPad Educators site founded and run by the inspirational ADE, Steve Bambury (@steve_bambury).

7 – I love creativity

Another highlight was the live demonstration of Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro by two Apple employees, who basically designed them. It was mind blowing. They started with a few pictures and video clips and then, live on stage, cut between the two programmes to produce a stunning short clip, complete with self-composed sound track and 3D titles. Very cool and an idea of how (relatively) simple it has become for students to produce high quality productions if they have the necessary tools.

8 – Profile Manager is getting better

As mentioned before, we roll out a 1:2:1 iPad project across Year Six in September. This is a big deal for any school and we want it to work. We have installed a significant amount of trust in our resellers, Solutions INC from Brighton, and they have recommended we use the Lightspeed MDM version as the original Profile Manager would not be fit for our needs. We have used Profile Manager with our shared devices and it has been OK. However, the session on the Profile Manager updates suggested that Apple were increasingly aware of the drawbacks and were making forward thinking changes that will enable it to be more trustworthy in a 1:2:1 setting. However, I`m going to wait until I hear feedback from other schools before suggesting any form of change…

9 – Photography really is an art

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Bill Frakes inspired photography by Gavin Smart

Another highlight of the week was the session by Bill Frakes, a Pulitzer-Prize winning photographer and general fascinating bloke. His photography is stunning and he showed a film that showcased his talents and his focus on the sky. It really was a breathtaking session and reiterated the talent required to spot everyday occurrences, moments in life, and turn them into extraordinary art. After the session, @gavinsmart emulated Frakes with this great shot which, unbeknown to me, featured myself calling home. I did attempt to emulate Frakes myself when I got to the beach after a run, however my work resembled a photograph taken by 5 year old learning how to use a camera for the first time. In fact, that’s probably a disservice to 5 year olds but did re-iterate the talent photographers have.

10 – Every Teacher has a story

People. The abiding memory of the ADE Institute 2015 in Amsterdam is people. From the initial shuttle bus to our hotel, right until my train journey back to London Victoria, conversation was flowing about the fascinating, absorbing and compelling world of education. Meeting so many great educators was a real privilege and listening to each respective story reiterated what a wonderful job we all do. Living during a time of international tension and conflict, it was so refreshing to meet people from every corner of the planet, each with a common goal and a unique story to share.

The Impact Of iPad – Results Are In…

Over the Christmas break, King’s was involved in a flurry of activity. Despite the lack of students, the ancient Meru APcorridors were witnessing a fundamental change in the learning environment. WiFi was being installed…

Across the school, peculiar little white boxes adjoined with four flappy panels appeared on many of our walls and ceilings. These devices, otherwise known as AP’s (Access Points), offered a seismic opportunity for change in our classrooms and opened up the endless potential of transformational digital technologies to our pupils.

In the Prep School we took the decision to invest in a number of iPads. Although we are well aware that the devices are better used in a 1:2:1 environment, the acquisition of shared devices is a huge stepping stone in the right direction and an exciting statement of intent. Eight weeks into the project, the iPads have been in almost continual use. From subjects as diverse as Latin and Maths, they have been used in a whole host of imaginative and creative ways and are fast becoming a much-valued resource.

What though, and most importantly, has been the impact on learning? Last week I took the opportunity to gauge the opinion of those who matter most, our pupils. The results of the survey are published below and are a real cause for celebration:

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In conclusion, the graphics above tell their own story. We are very much in the early stages of iPad adoption but already they have had an incredibly successful impact on learning and pupil engagement. Interestingly, the statistic concerning sharing work on the devices caused the most disagreement, and that in itself is telling. Having shared devices does not help to create a dynamic workflow and neither does a lack of connectivity to the classroom display board. We do have a few Apple TV’s up and running but are looking to roll out ‘Airserver’ in the very near future. When combined with Showbie and our school blog site I expect to see an increase in connectivity between teachers, pupils and the outside world. We know there is a huge amount of work ahead of us, but we can be confident we have made  a very positive start and that plans are in place to ensure future success.

Digital Story Telling – Epic Citadel

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On Monday, we hosted 55 children from nearby schools at a ‘Digital Story Telling’ Day. We used the App, Epic Citadel, as the inspiration and were stunned by the quality of the writing. Using Epic Citadel was inspired by the work of Tim Rylands and ICT Mr P, although we did add a few twists of our own. Here is what we got up to:

TASK ONE – Explore The Citadel

  • Use your iPad to explore the Epic Citadel​
  • As you explore, use notes to write down words that describe the settlement and the feelings you experience as you wander the streets​
  • We will meet every group and ask them for some of their words and use Padlet to create a visual display of them​

We then used our teacher iPads and Padlet to collate the words from the children, and project them onto the big screen.

Padlet

TASK TWO – Create a Digital Word Cloud

  • Use a selection of the words on display and the app, Tag Cloud, to create your very own digital Word Cloud that you can include in your digital book​
  • When you have finished your tag cloud – make sure you save it to camera roll​

Tag Cloud

TASK THREE  – Describe Epic Citadel in a descriptive paragraph
  • Use Keynote to write your descriptive passage on Epic Citadel, use the words in your Word Clouds to fuel some amazing writing.

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Task Four – Epic Comic

—Choose from one of these scenarios:

    • —You have just escaped from the dungeon
    • —You are the only survivor and are being chased by a killer dragon
    • —You need to find the princess who is imprisoned in the tallest tower
  • —Take some screenshots from Epic Citadel that fit in with your scenario, adding them to your camera roll
  • —Choose a template
  • —Import the pictures into Strip Design
  • —Add the text that tells your story using text balloons
  • —Edit your text boxes appropriately
  • —Save to camera roll

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Task Five – Epic Puppet Pals

  • —Imagine that you, your partner are either a dragon, witch, knight, princess or fairy godmother are in the Epic Citadel! What would you talk about?
  • —Use Pages to constuct a 30 second dialogue between the characters you choose.
  • —Start the Puppet Pal App
  • —Select your two characters
  • —You can choose between three parts of The Citadel, a castle, the dragon’s cave or the enchanted forest. Just pick TWO of them.
  • —Act out the dialogue
  • —Save your final scene to camera roll


Task Six – Create Your Own Digital Book

  • —Use Book Creator to put your work together
  • Add narration where appropriate

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 Reflections

It proved to be a great day and some of the writing was extraordinary! There are all sorts of extensions you could add to your book, such as a Morfo to bring alive a Medieval character or even use a green screen to put the children into the Epic Citadel itself!

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The Dimensions of Change

It’s happening. WiFi is arriving at King’s Rochester. Not just any WiFi either – we are lucky enough to be having a cutting edge, fully managed and scalable Meru Network installed over the Christmas break. The good news does not end there. We will also be the lucky recipients of 20 shared iPads and the necessary MDM required to manage and sync the devices. Considering where the school was a year and a half ago with regard to technology, it truly is a huge step forward for King’s. However, the real work has not even started yet…

The WiFi and iPads will be rendered useless if after all, they make no impact on learning. After all, the devices themselves are inanimate objects. On their own they do nothing. However, if the project is managed successfully – there is every chance that there will be a dramatic shift in the boundaries of learning and the conventions of the traditional classroom will finally be displaced. Nevertheless, it is that very change, that shift in parameters, which brings with it the project makers or breakers. During a recent NPQSL seminar, we were presented with the Dimensions of Change table you see below and this provided the perfect platform for me to reflect on our project thus far, and analyse what we were doing right -and where we will need to take action.

VISION – since starting at King’s, I have had a clear vision of where I wanted the school to be. I used my experience of establishing a 1:2:1 program in Monaco, conversations with other professionals and visits to schools with mobile learning infrastructure to hone this vision to one that matched the needs of my school. However, a solitary vision is rarely successful. Knowing this, I organised an ‘EdTech Committee’ in which the Heads of School , Heads of Computing, ICT Manager and Bursar started to meet to discuss, analyse and formulate a shared vision of WiFi and how Mobile Learning would best be deployed in each respective school. However, to avoid confusion it is essential that the vision is shared, understood and supported by all members of the school community.

SKILLS – For technology to be usefully deployed in the classroom and for redefined learning opportunities to take place, teachers need to know how to use the technology available. There have been plenty of examples of thousands of pounds being wasted on tech, as money was not spent on CPD for the teachers who were supposed to use it.  With that in mind, we have been running in-house CPD sessions for over a year now. Ranging from superb in house Teach-Meet sessions to Apple Tech breakfast workshops. However, attendance has not always been as good as it might have so it is vital that this continues. I have established Digital Leaders who I am to train on the iPads and who therefore will be available, in every class, for teachers to utilise should they feel the need. I also aim to up to the quality and quantity of iPad CPD over the coming years to ensure teachers skill levels and confidence is continually building. We have also utilised external CPD through Trilby, Solutions INC and ADE’s such as Marc Faulder, EYFS and KS1 specialist. This will be ongoing and hopefully utilised as much as possible by our staff and prevent any unnecessary anxiety.

INCENTIVES – The incentives for staff to immerse themselves in WiFi and mobile learning are hard to quantify. Pay rises or million dollar bonuses are unlikely. However, the personal incentives for teachers to develop their own practice, learn new skills and improve their lessons are immediate. Additionally, the acquisition of new technology know-how also has the added incentive of reducing workload and stress! I find it so much easier to mark and plan on a computer and deliver my lessons digitally. I can honestly say I have not used the photocopier once in 1 and 1/2 years at King’s, what more of an incentive could a teacher want? Finally, offering new redefined learning opportunities to pupil’s is perhaps the greatest incentive of all and will hopefully help to ease any resistance.

RESOURCES – The Meru WiFi network is going to be awesome. It is future proofed, holistic, fully managed and scalable. The iPads are also transformational resources and will be able to safely rely on the network to work, so in that sense the resources are going to be there. However, knowing that teachers themselves will need tech, we have also acquired some extra iPads for departments and have also started a Salary Sacrifice scheme that allows teachers to purchase tech for use at school with at least a 32% discount. However, in an ideal world, staff would each be given a device as it’s impossible to expect teachers to use the devices if they do not have access to them and without the necessary tools, will understandably get frustrated.

ACTION PLANS – Since the vision wasUntitled-1.fw originally shared back in October 2013, a clear, evolving, flexible but specific action plan has underpinned strategic development. From visiting other schools, to creating student Digital Leaders, the plan was comprehensive enough to work, but adaptable enough to change when barriers where met. For example, the original plan involved a staggered adoption, each of our three schools adopting WiFi one by one. This proved impractical and the decision was made to go whole-school all at once.

The picture above shows our WiFi adoption timeline, which forms part of the overall EdTech Action Plan. It is based on the principles of Hooper and Reiber, and each stage had a more focused Action Plan layered underneath. I am currently finalising the Action Plan for the ‘Integrate’ and ‘Transform’ stage to ensure success and avoid false starts.

COLLEGIALITY – Defined as the ‘cooperative relationship of colleagues’, collegiality is essential for success with our mobile learning project. Staff are under no obligation to use the devices, but with the correct support available, I’m certain that teachers will see the advantages of using mobile technology in the classroom and do their best to make the project work.

The future at King’s is not what it used to be and I for one am incredibly excited about it.

How To Create A Virtual Country

Between October and December last year, our Year Six students created their own virtual country. Their final work was published to iBooks using the awesome Bookcreator App. It was a cross-curricular project that encouraged a variety of writing styles, collaboration and use of a whole host of digital resources. The project was a huge success and I would like to share our learning journey with you.

  • Step 1: Country Brainstorm. We used wallwisher and iPads for a whole class brainstorm on the Smartboard, to ascertain what a country needs to function
  • Step 2: Name The Country. They then studied Atlases and their features before they actually designed their country; and decided upon its location. This involved a substantial amount from the maths curriculum including co-ordinates and scale.

  • Step 3: Create a History. Students read, annotated and checked the features of chronological report writing using this checklist: checklist_chronological. Then they used Time-Toast to plan their histories, and finally wrote their first draft in their English books. We then re-distributed their English books and the chlidren then used the checklists again to provide peer-to-peer feedback. The work was then edited and published on the school blog. This enabled more feedback to be provided so their work could be improved further.
  • Step 4: Design a flag and invent its history. The students then analysed flags and their properties such as colour and symmetry. We also looked at the history of some well known flags and the origins of their respective designs.
  • Step 5: Graphical Analysis. All Year Six data handling can be included in this part of the project. We analysed different graph types and the difference between static and continuous data. The children then compiled realistic data on their countries before deciding which graph type to use to portray the data.

  • Step 6: Newspaper Front Page. Next we analysed the features of journalistic writing. We looked at the difference between broadsheets and tabloids, and all then examined real newspaper front pages and made notes of their features. Children then used a newspaper_planning_sheet to plan their stories, and again followed the process of drafting and peer checking in their books, followed by blogging and further peer feedback. Some of their comments are a masterclass of constructive and useful blogging feedback.
  • Step 7: News Broadcasts. The front page news stories were then re-written as scripts for a news broadcast. The children used their iPads and Smartboards to make the filming as realistic as possible.
  • Step 8: Establish the Rules. For this part we looked at child friendly versions of the the 10 commandments and the Bill of Rights. The children then set about constructing a bill of rights for their Virtual Countries.
  • Step 9: Advertising. We also managed to integrate persuasive writing into our Virtual Guides. Each partnership had to think of a product or service that their Virtual Country produced and then plan, design and produce an advert. Beforehand we went through features of adverts and persuasive writing.
  • Step 10: National Anthem. The children are fortunate to have separate music lessons at ISM, so I spoke with their music teacher and asked whether they could write lyrics and music for a national anthems for their Virtual Countries! Their final anthems were awesome! However, because they were recorded directly to their books using the book creator built in recording feature, I haven’t worked out a way of embedding them on a blog!
  • Step 11: Publication. Once all the above were done, the students has a few optional extras to add as well such as postcards & currencies. All their work was then either copied and pasted into Book Creator from our blog or written from their English books. The graphs and adverts were inserted by taking screen shots on the iPad and uploading from the camera roll. Other work like the flags and maps that were actually done by hand were simply added by taking photos and then adjusted and cropped accordingly. The children then spent considerable time formatting and designing their final publications before sending them to iBooks.
  • Step 12: Reflection. Finally, the children reflected on their work using these self evaluation proformas.
Overall, I was incredibly pleased with the projects. The children got so involved with their work that their Virtual Country guides were of the highest quality. If anyone has any ideas about anything else that could be added, I’d love to hear from you.