The central message that we tried to get across at Pleckgate was that the 1:1 scheme was about pedagogy and not technology. It was always about the learning and teaching process and helping students to become better, more independent learners. The starting point for training was centred around Dr Puentadura’s SAMR model, which is neatly summed up here:
The Redefinition of learning is part of a bigger 5 year plan, but whenever I work with teachers, I try to pull them back to why…why are you using the iPads, is there any functional improvement by using the technology? If not, how can you gain that functional improvement? Some teachers are straight in with task redesign, other need convincing that the iPads will do anything to improve the learning process. Thats the challenge of leadership though, getting people to buy into that vision. For us, one of the easiest ways in was through an App called Showbie:
Showbie, at its most basic is the workflow app. The one that enables students to submit work, and for the teacher to set work to the students. The majority of our teachers are confident in using this app, and like to do so. At it’s most basic, Showbie is used by our teachers as a substitute for existing resources. Teachers can see the advantage of sharing a file to all their students as it saves them the trip to the photocopier, it saves lesson time giving out resources, and students get the resource even if they are absent. It also saves money too. Some of our teachers are also now combing apps, so using keynote to produce ‘cards’ for card sorts. Students open the resource from Showbie into keynote, and than sort the cards on the iPads rather than on the table. The teacher is sold as it saves him/her the time cutting out the cards. The task can also than hit the augmentation phase of SAMR as the students can colour code the cards in Keynote, add images from the web, or anything else to enhance their understanding in relation to those ‘cards’. The redefinition of learning than comes with what happens next… if students than take their finished card sort and open in Explain Everything, they can than record not only what the answers might be, but also how they have completed the task. This allows the development of metacognition, which EEF research suggests is the most effective way of enhancing learning (progress gains of 8 months-EEF Toolkit). Furthermore, teachers than collect the finished work, and Showbie allows verbal feedback to be recorded and shared with the students, which in turn gives students the next steps to improve their work, which is completed in lessons or for homework. The quality of verbal feedback is much better, richer and more detailed and the student doesn’t skip ahead to the grade and ignore the ‘how to do better’ guidance. All in, Showbie is the gateway app into hitting the modification and redesign areas of SAMR, and also for accessing higher order thinking skills. It comes highly recommended from us, even as a time and money saver. For more ideas on apps, and the SAMR model, the model below gives some good ideas to start with.