Friday, 1 November 2013

iPads and English professional Learning Day.

IPads in English
facilitator: Glen Pearsall
Critical Agendas.
Instructional practice in English classrooms using iPads

Students are familiar with iPad technology but not necessarily how best to use them.
Children need to be critical about learning
Children need to be able to interrogate ideas. They need a critical facility to learn.
In English it is about critical reading. They need to read and re-read.- looking beyond first impressions? getting questioning technique right is essential. Children need to be slowed down to read correctly. children need evidence and thinking behind their responses. What we need to know is - where did you start in your thinking process?

Introductory session- is this an interesting app to use? Does it enhance what we would have normally taught before iPads.
Cloudart or wordsalad are good wordle program.
We experimented with these apps to determine how best to use them in class.
With Wordles look for unknown words and links between words
This tool encourages children to be text focused. (Cold- calling encourages all children to participate. The right answer isn't necessary it is the thinking that is most important. - stick pick enables random questioning.)
Weight time for children to answer questions needs to be extended to get quality responses. iPads pause time matters so children can self-correcting and looks for patterns.
We experimented with cloudart to make 'wordle' type word art activities.valuable at comparing stories? Children can investigate a text to see when they use words like and and then too often.
File transferring is important if you can't print. Dropbox is Glen's preferred file saving app.( Googledrive is another app)

Annotation programs
English is about going over and over a text- read and read again. Important that children realise that we work up to understanding text.- 'working with ideas'
iAnnnotate PDF / skitch are annotation apps.
We were given a text ( a poem) and we were asked to come up with alternative titles including some from the text and asked to explain why we came up with our titles.
Glen suggested opening texts in iAnnotate PDF ( refer Sheridan Blau on YouTube)
On a text ask children to highlight texts they don't about the text with a friend and then re-highlight in a different color and then with the whole class and re- highlight. Hopefully less will be highlighted. ( Reading should be recursive. We read in drafts like the way we write) Children should rate out of 10 how much they understand when they read and re-read. - hopefully their rating will increase the more often they read.The nature of reading is incremental.Children need to know the extent of their knowledge and how well they know the text.
we experimented using poetry to identify evidence of understanding. Borrowed text can be used with comic making or book making apps, iMovie to re-interpret literature. ( This we did with Kenneth Slessor's Beach Burial)

We spent some time using comic making apps such as 'comiclife'. Glen discussed 'Hidden thought pedagogy' which requires children to empathise with characters they can't relate too.( Mrs Collins in Pride and Prejudice)Helen Taylor designed this pedagogy. The teacher identifies a character they can't empathise with and get an 'image' of the character and use comiclife and add thought bubbles. Identify the character and answers questions in text boxes such as: What is the figure thinking? What else is he thinking? What is this character thinking? What else? What do they hope for? What else? What do they fear? what else? This process proved to be a very useful tool in engaging students ( especially boys) into empathising with a literary or real life character.)
We also looked at the 'I used to think' and 'now I think' strategy using comiclife and puppet apps. We also looked at grouped sentences. Using multiple quotes to group evidence about a character or a text. (Children use labelling in the form of comiclife speech bubbles to make short sharp quotes for an image of a character or a setting that you want to explore in greater detail.We also used the see? think? Wonder? process which can be used with a 'I used to think but now I think' process using images inserted onto comiclife.

We used a variety of graphic organisers and were introduced to Trello.Trello can be used to help children organise their thinking.
Trello can be effectively used in sequencing activities. ( Children can also rank and order events from literature using a criteria chosen by the teacher such as listing events by how important they are.Suitable images can be found and combined on a comic app or a poster app such as Phoster. Trello can also be used to order characters as they appear in the text or the liveability of characters.
Glen suggested using 'Hinge Questions' at the end of important teaching events to determine what conceptual material children have learnt. he suggested a picture of what Individuals and an entire class have learnt using 'eclicker'.
Glen concluded by discussing 'technical strategies' when using iPads.
He suggested using the 'inverse model' when showing them what you expect from them when using the iPad. ( What not to do)
He suggested developing a 'convention of usage' across the school. ( Adopting a particular app across the school or department rather than a multitude of apps)
He suggested asking the children to write text on Pages in an attempt to 'trick' spellcheck and send it to someone to correct. he was concerned about the over reliance of spellcheck which does not check grammar or necessarily determine the best homophones to use.
Glen suggested we look at a number of apps ( many of them like Trello I downloaded today) such as Stickpick,Taproulette, Storybird, Comiclife,Scriptly, Fakebook and eClicker audience.
This PD was particularly useful and informative and I feel that I got a number of great strategies from it? I will keep a look out for any non- iPad PDs he runs in writing and reading for 2014.

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