Skip to main content

Mobile learning across the curriculum–Spanish with @rachelo_j

photo (85)

I can often be heard muttering that if young people leave a classroom talking about iPads, mobile devices or using their own phones then that’s not a good situation.  What we are aiming for is that students walk out of the door talking about the new knowledge they have gained; the new skill they have gained or the new insight that has led to greater understanding of the topic being studied.  Technology should be pervasive and not invasive.  We are striving for a situation where having the option of using a mobile device is taken for granted.

photo (84)

In this context I had the pleasure of working with Rachel Jackson, a talented teacher of Spanish.  Rachel co-constructed two lessons that were designed to assess the knowledge of Year 7 classes.  The important thing here is that she had the time to plan and really think deeply about what mobile devices (in this case iPads) could bring to the learning.  Time is a factor that is often neglected when introducing a new piece of kit. IWBs are a classic case in point.

Students had to equip a home using the Spanish IKEA web-site.  Working to a budget and in Spanish, I really enjoyed watching the students engage in the task.  What I was most impressed with was how they didn’t focus too much on the devices.

In Rachel’s words, the technology brought:

  • really quick access to information
  • really quick access to useful apps such as currency converters and notepads

These features enhanced the learning, and the pupils were able to demonstrate their grasp of language.  The lesson utilised QR codes embedded into a worksheet so that students could find information quickly rather than searching for it themselves.  This meant that they were able to remain focused on building the language skills rather than waste time locating relevant resources.

The class were given very little explanation of the task, and I saw lots of collaboration and independence in operation.

photo (86)

The lesson did highlight one barrier to students’ using their own devices, or using school bought devices: access to WiFi.  I don’t believe that parents should be further subsidising their child’s education by providing a 3G data plan and therefore I would argue that a pervasive, school-wide WiFi network is a must if mobile devices are to be used so effectively.  Rachel’s room has a flaky connection to WiFi, so this was my solution:

photo (87)

Another issue is linked to the variation in middle leadership decisions.  The equipment used (16 iPad 2s and 3 MiFi dongles) were geography’s provided by external funding from pursuing outside grants and awards.  In the absence of a whole school lead on mobile devices (and such a thing is often not really needed), the role of middle leaders has a huge impact on the quality of learning.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

#GAConf22: A paradigm shift for anti-racist, decolonised teaching and inclusion

 " You can't start a fire,  You can't start a fire without a spark" Bruce Springsteen.  Well, it's been a fair while since I felt the motivation or the need to blog. Whilst not a story for now, over the past five years I've danced along the knife edge and, often, the call of the abyss has been both tempting and compelling. Certainly, my failing in both my personal and professional life have been numerous. But. This is not about me, but the people that have (re)ignited the spark to the fire in my soul. I realise that this is from the perspective of a privileged, white, middle class male view. I even have a beard. I am scared of getting it wrong on this topic. Teach me if I am wrong, it is from the position of a learner. I was looking forward to the GA Conference this year, the first face to face since 2019. I have to say that Alan , as president, and the Geographical Association's team did a fantastic job at being inclusive. The hybrid format allowed peopl

What makes a learning experience profound? Personal reflections and possible implications for classroom practice.

I have recently begun a Leadership Pathways journey.  As part of the first core day, we were asked to reflect on a profound learning experience. This got me thinking about how many profound learning experiences I have both been involved in, and how many I have been able to give to others.  Our group came up with a huge long list, but these are my five. Emotional Connected Demanding Reflective Collaborative As always, these are personal thoughts and quite mixed up.  I put them here so that I can look back on them (plus they’d get lost inside my world-cup-free brain) 1. Emotional I can’t think of a time where deep learning hasn’t engaged my emotions.  From being awe inspired to that tingle feeling when a student gets a light bulb moment.  From this-is-the-happiest-day-ever, to I-think-I’m-about-to die.  How often do we engage the emotions of those we teach?  Here, I would argue that having a safe learning environment is not always conducive to profound

Trust and support our school leaders, the role of the governing body in the Covid times

One of the roles that I love is being the Chair of a Governing Body.  The aim of this post is to share what we are doing, as a Board, during these difficult time.  I will refrain from commenting on the role of the Government, DfE and local authority as I intend for this to be both a positive and useful post. What is clear is that governing bodies have a crucial part to play. I am grateful both to the brilliant Clerk and the National Governance Association whose Covid advice pages are fantastic. Firstly; from the outset, the brilliant leadership team that I work with have my unwavering and public support. Regardless. As this is a fast evolving crisis, often with pages of advice, guideline and directives to decipher and digest on a daily basis. As such, the role of governing bodies is twofold: 1.  to prioritise the providing of support to the Headteacher and all colleagues in the school, and 2. to allow them to get on with operational matters and decision making. The role of