Over the past few months, myself and our Librarian, Helen Cleaves have been working on some augmented reality (AR) displays.
The idea was for students to create a movie trailer for their favourite books. They could use any device they wanted to. Most students used the school iPads and the movie trailer feature on iMovie.
Once the trailers were finished, a poster was made with images of the featured books. Using Aurasma Studio we then created a ‘Aura’ for each book.
Students and teachers can now download the Aurasma App and watch the movie trailer by pointing their smartphone/tablet camera at the book cover.
The AR even works on the actual book covers and not just the ones on the poster.
Our students have loved it. They can now interact with the display which they have found really fun. It also gives them a great idea about what each of the books are about in a engaging and visual way.
We are now working on displays for other departments.
The video is not fantastic, but it will give you an idea of what we have been doing.
On the 5th March I did a talk for Westminster Briefing for their ‘Computer Science in the Curriculum: Delivering Innovative Provision in Schools and Colleges‘ conference.
Unfortunately, I was only able to get there in the afternoon as I was teaching all morning. By all accounts, it was a great day and I certainly enjoyed the afternoon.
Below are the slides I used for my talk. They have lost some of their formatting when I uploaded to Google Drive, which is why some of the images look strange. Enjoy.
We are currently running an iPad trial at school and investigating their effectiveness for teaching and learning.
In order to fully understand the impact of these devices it is important to evaluate their use.
I created two evaluations. One for students to fill out once and one for teachers to fill out. These were created in Google Forms and a short cut was added to the iPad to make it easier for students to access.
It was important to me that the evaluations were short to encourage staff and students to fill them out.
Once the evaluation period is over, I will use the evaluations to help formulate a report.
The PDF evaluations are below:
The great thing about Google Forms is that it is free, plus it gives you a great summary of results with a selection of graphs.
This article was originally published by The Guardian on 13th February 2013
After Michael Gove’s speech at BETT last year I wrote my first ever Guardian Teacher Network article, entitled Is Gove washing his hands of ICT. Just over a year later, it is clear that Gove has indeed washed his hands of the subject that myself and my students love. ICT has been rebranded as computing. Back in May, I asked the question ‘Is it time to rebrand ICT?’, changing it to computing was not what I had in mind. I was hoping for something more progressive. The change came as a surprise to me and many other ICT teachers. Especially, when you consider that the draft programme of study (POS) back in November was still called ICT.
So, why am I so upset about the announcement?
Firstly, I would like to say that I am completely in favour of teaching computing.
I have been actively adding more and more computing into my curriculum for several years. In my current curriculum I teach programming, internal computer components as well as computing history. This will be further developed next year. As is the case with all good teachers, my curriculum is evolving all the time. However, what you will notice is that it runs alongside ICT.
The current draft POS, is a real let down to ICT teachers and their students across the country. There needs to be room for both computing and ICT. In fact I firmly believe that we are robbing our students, if the current draft stays how it is. Obviously, computer scientists will most likely disagree with me. But isn’t it our job as educators to prepare all students for the digital world they are living in? I have taught students of all abilities in both comprehensive and independent schools. It is safe to say that I think it will help ‘some’ who eventually enter a career in computer science, but will hinder many more when they realise they are being taught things that are of little relevance to them. It is important to get the balance right. It is important not to restrict our student’s digital education. Let’s improve the ICT curriculum, but let’s think of the students and not pander to lobbying from outside interests.
There is also a worry that there will not be enough curriculum time to deliver the new KS3 POS. Will schools start taking time from maths, English and science? Of course not, how can they? Did those fighting for this change think of this? Did they even care about it? People who are not teachers or do not work in education rarely think about these things. Not when they have their own agenda to think about.
Perhaps the most potent and universally recognised issue with the change to computing is training. There are thousands of ICT teachers who will require CPD if they are to deliver the new programme of study. The government is going to have to supply free training to current teachers and schools will need to free up time to allow this to happen. Then there are our future ‘computing’ teachers. Will the government be able to recruit enough teachers to be able to actually teach this new curriculum? As the UK is currently facing a shortfall in computer science teachers, where will this leave the subject over the next few years? I suspect, in limbo. Maybe all those non-teachers, pushing for the change, should give up their jobs to become computing teachers.
I suspect, if the draft stays as it is, we will see a fallout in several years time. My prediction would be that the majority of students leaving schools will not be equipped for most workplaces. How many employers will care if their employees can:
“…explain how data of various types can be represented and manipulated in the form of binary digits including numbers, text, sounds and pictures, and be able to carry out such manipulation by hand.” – Extract from the new KS3 POS.
So what would I like to see?
I would like to see a new POS that gives students a rounded digital education.
At the moment there is only a tip of the hat to ICT. This is not right. It should include equal parts of digital literacy, digital citizenship, digital creativity and computing. Lets not forget who are the most important people in this educational conundrum. A curriculum at KS3 that is too heavily weighted to computing is doing our children a disservice and perhaps may even put them off pursuing it at KS4 and 5.
There are a lot of ICT teachers doing exciting and innovative things. I attended the RethinkingICT conference last year and it was inspiring for all who attended. So many ideas, so much to look forward to.
What has transpired recently is that students and teachers have been overlooked, in favour of what I believe, to be private interest. I feel personally betrayed by this change, remember this comes from someone who sees the value of computing and believes it is an important part of ICT. In my opinion the changes are myopic and done for the wrong reasons.
I hope that Mr Gove thinks again. I hope that the final version of the POS takes my article and the swathe of dissenting voices into account. I hope it does the right thing for the young people of this country.
This is a quick video showing some of my students setting up the Raspberry Pi at our lunchtime club.
They have really enjoyed coming in and putting everything together. Once they are good to go, I have given them an iPad with Readdledocs (now called Documents) installed. In the App I have supplied them with PDFs of some Python resources, that they are using for programming. The students can then annotate the PDF and make notes.
Today was excellent and there was some real collaberation, problem solving and fun going on.
Today I tried out the NearPod App in a PSHE lesson.
I have pretty excited about this for a while and I have finally got around to testing it in the classroom.
For those who don’t know what NearPod is – check out this link.
So before the lesson I created my PowerPoint, converted it to PDF, uploaded it to NearPod and added the interactive elements (polls, quizzes and video). I had enough iPads for each student in class, which was perfect. However, this morning I was asked if I could have another class in my room with me. I only teach PSHE in half classes, but the added students meant I would have one iPad between two. It turns out, this wasn’t a massive problem, although less than ideal.
Once the students came in, I handed out the iPads and explained what would happen in the lesson. The topic I am working on at the moment is the death penalty. NearPod allows you to send a presentation directly to the students iPads.
NearPod was great and the ability to guide students through the presentation, while walking around the classroom was excellent. Of course the power comes from the interactive elements of the presentation. I was able to ask the students if they agreed with the death penalty by sending a poll to their iPads. The results came to my device and I was able to share the overall results with the students at the push of a button.
We then looked at why people do/don’t agree with the death penalty. Once we had done that and had a clash discussion, I then sent a quiz to their iPads. Again, I could share the overall results with each studemt. However, the students can see their own individual results on their iPads.
The ability to do this is great for AFL. You can also export the results and keep them on record.
Finally, I had embedded a video in the presentation.
I shared the video to their iPads. Every student was able to watch the video, on their iPads, at the same time. Excellent!
Apart from a few issues with WiFi on a couple of the iPads, NearPod worked perfectly. The students were engaged and really enjoyed using it. I can really see how great this is for teaching and learning.
The Biology department plan to use NearPod in lessons after half term. I’m looking forward to seeing how they get on.
I will post a video of a NearPod presentation soon, so those who have not seen it can see it in action.
Over the past two Wednesdays we have finally been able to start up our programming club.
We only have enough room for a few students at the moment, but we will review at Easter.
The Raspberry Pi’s have been fantastic, they have really made difference. Our students have really enjoyed setting them up and connecting everything together. It has a old school feel about it. Its exciting and really engaging.
We have been using projectors, but I finally have some monitors. In the club we will use a combination of the both.
This week was the first time we got down and did some programming. Hence the photo at the top of this post! We are going to be using Python (of course!) as the language of choice.
The resources I am using are:
I also plan to teach Python to Year 8 and 9 after Easter .
I will admit that this is not the most exciting video I have ever posted! However, it does give you an idea how the iTunes U Course Manager works and how easy it is.
It is probably not a good idea to make a video when you need sleep. Oh well…enjoy!
A quick guide/tutorial to Guided Access in iOS6.