Friday, 9 November 2012

iOS in the classroom - exploiting Quizlet & text books

 With 'good' learners who take things in quickly and get bored easily when you (teacher) want to slow things down & make sure stuff has 'gone in properly' rather than in one ear & out the other, it is difficult to find ways to make the slowing down part interesting & engaging.

Hello iOS devices in the classroom. I am saving up for an iPad, as I am convinced these are a very cool & adaptable tool for learners. Am also convinced kids do not need convincing (or even teaching how to use them - I saw a report recently that kids in Ethipia were given a load of iPads but not given any instruction...they were using something like 144 apps within a week!). Three years ago I wanted to ask our parents to provide each child with an iPod Touch. I was right - we should have done (we didn't; I was argued out of it because of gamification, cost, what if not 100% adoption etc)

Anyway, now my lovely iPhone 5 arrived, can use my old 3GS at the same time in class with the wifi. Previously-created flashcard set cued up through dedicated Quizlet app and tapped where I wanted the boys to start working ("learn" function). Books open at first - new vocab after all - and left them to it. Predictably competitive, they demanded another go when done. A pained look on my face & a reluctant "OK" :) They think they are running the show!

The app corrects errors after the user has tapped 'go' - and then clears the screen for the user to input the correct answer (so pay attention - it shows you where you messed up).

The app pulls you through seven  items at a time & gives you a breakdown of how you are learning - which ones you need to recycle (which it does subliminally = no teacher-heavy involovement).

Below is the set of items we were working on, from the Quizlet site. I love Quizlet for many reasons - parents love the fact we can embed into Edmodo and that they can practice at home too - the audio means they are not compromised if unable to speak English well enough themselves.

(By the way, we only 'did' one page in an hour long class with only 8 vocab items on it...)