Wednesday, 20 October 2010

iPhone apps in the classroom - Quizlet flavour

A quick warm up flashcard game got my boys in the mood this afternoon...for another game. As they'd been stars last week (Wordle story-telling) I figured they'd earned it. But, I wasn't going to let them 'burn off' valuable classroom time.

logo of quizlet
I plonked them in front of the PC & went to Quizlet. Giving them ownership was important, so they did all the work - typing in the words (from our flashcard game) of everyday actions. This gave me a chance to assess their typing skills as well (worryingly slow!)

Online, we then 'played' with what we'd created - there's no time lag, just leap in. 'Scatter' = matching the two sides of the cards you have created - in our case eg "wash" + "the car". Seeing they were automatically being timed meant I did not have to force them to pay attention! This, in effect, was exactly the same game we'd played in class!

There are a number of other ways you can challenge yourself on Quizlet, with the set(s) you have made. One of the lads was well-impressed (Sheffieldish for you) I had an iPhone, so I had the idea to use it as follow up. By the time we'd closed down the PC & opened books, I'd downloaded the flashcard set. Our textbook (OUP's English Time 3) has a picture dictionary/glossary in the back, of target vocab. I showed them how to use the flashcard app on the phone, and they realised tapping the tick in the corner meant they 'knew it'. Aha!

Gotcha boys! "Please write the words you have learnt next to the pictures of the actions." Scramble to un-tick the cards on the phone!

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...
Classroom management situation I want to avoid here is kids just copying from one page in the book to another. What does that achieve? At best, a bit of letter writing practice. First, I asked them to write what they could. (I was impressed with what had gone in already.) Then, the coup de grace, use the phone if you want, to double check - the phone was on the TV in the corner, and they couldn't bring it back to the table.This internalises the spelling or phrase, and has them visualising the shape of the word or whatever they are doing to remember how to write it down. They are changing media: text - brain - pencil. I'm no theorist - what are they doing?! Result I want is footballers practice dead-ball moves or transitions etc.

And the boys? Competitive as usual, trying to mess up each others' turn at the font of wisdom, swishing the cards around on the phone. Taught them how to express themselves strongly in English once it was obvious they were getting tetchy in L1.

In all today I would say we took care of eight daily actions. Not a lot I know, but we are not going to forget them in a hurry! Sorry, no pics - phone was unavailable (could you have said that sentence 5 years ago & made any sense?)