Using new technologies in Geography

Back in January I ran part of a training session for a local network of Geography teachers. The main session was taken by Jason Swale from ESRI UK looking at the fantastic ArcGIS and the ways in which it can be used to successfully integrate GIS into the curriculum, particularly in light of the new GCSE and A’level specifications. Prior to this I did a short 30 minute session exploring some of the ways in which new technologies can be utilised in the teaching and learning of Geography, drawing particularly on some of our experiences in the ways we use it in my department at St Ivo School. Here is the presentation summarising the key ideas discussed during the session.

In case it is useful you can download the handout of links I gave out on the evening here to help explore some of the ideas covered in more detail.

CanaryFlow

Since taking on my new responsibility as Head of Geography from September, I haven’t had much chance to post, but finally half term has arrived! Although my school responsibilities have changed, my philosophy hasn’t and I’m committed to continuing to explore ways in which new technologies can help support teaching and learning. One of the areas I hope that one day I can myself explore is the use of one to one devices. I am not in that position at the moment but it is interesting learning from others who are currently in this position and exploring new apps and programmes that can support with this.

CanarOne which I have recently discovered through my ‘TPD’ (Twitter Professional Development) is CanaryFlow from Canary Learning. I can’t try this one out myself because not all my students have devices but it certainly looks like it has great potential for those of you who are in that lucky situation. Hand out assignments which are are automatically downloaded to student devices and students can work on it even when they are not on-line. Students then submit and everything is automatically downloaded to your device. Comment you add are remembered so for ‘common’ mistakes or comments they can reused across student work if necessary.

More about the CanaryFlow plans is available here and CanaryFlow Teacher is free.  Student and Teacher apps are available on itunes.

Canaryflow example

Student’s see all the content teaches want them to see and there is a useful calendar view as well (photo below – taken from Canary Learning website).

As CanaryFlow works completely offline you don’t have to be online to work.

The following video gives an introduction to Canaryflow 2.0

Formative – free student response / online formative assessment tool

FormativeFormative is an online student response system / online formative assessment tool which is made by teachers from across the US and is free for teachers and students. The tool enables a range of responses including multiple choice, numeric, text, drawing and taking pictures. Assessments are shared with students via a quick link or access code and student responses are sent to the teacher in realtime so that early intervention and tracking of student responses can be undertaken.

This video provides a useful overview of the tool.

There is also a useful tutorial video which shows you how to upload and convert a .pdf into a digital formative assessment. This video helps to show you the potential of the tool for setting online assessments as homework or classwork. As student work is completed it can be monitored in realtime.

I really like the potential of this and hope to give it a go with one of my exam classes over the next term. Have any of you had any experience of this already or have any ideas to share?

QUICK FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT – The Quick Key App

USING NEW TECHNOLOGIES TO UNDERTAKE QUICK FORMATIVE ASSESSEMENT

QuickKeyContinued formative assessment is an integral part of the work in our classroom and with the continuous development of new technologies there are various excellent apps and sites which can support staff with different types of assessment. One of my favourite tools is the Quick Key app.

Assessment of pupil progress in Quick Key enables quick assessment by using your mobile or tablet as a scanner which instantly marks students answers saving you time grading the papers which can be used instead to provide feedback and support student progress by identifying and tackling areas of weakness in knowledge and understanding. This allows you to focus your time on the students and doesn’t require students to have access to technology as the answers are completed on paper!

The short video below demonstrates Quick Key in action:

So how does Quick Key work?

You simply need to sign up on the website for a free account. Once your account is set up you can start adding students. This can be done manually or by importing student lists, for example as a .csv file. Once you have imported students you can then create classes and allocate students to the relevant classes.

You are then ready to create a Quiz – this can be up to 30 questions. You can insert your question and make it clear on your quiz, which of the answers is the correct one (i.e. multiple choice).  In terms of running the quiz you can read the questions out to the students and the options or have them on powerpoint slides.

In our department I have opted to create a quiz format sheet which has the questions by the side and the possible answers by the questions (where I am not using all the possible multiple choice options boxes are blanked out). 

Quick Key ticketStudents simply fill the answers in on the ‘exit ticket’ which can be downloaded from the site. I have incorporated this into the base of our quiz sheets.

Each student is allocated an ID number which they must add to their exit ticket. Once students have completed their tests, you can use the QK app on your phone or tablet to quickly scan each paper and the marks will be allocated to the relevant student. I have marked a set of 30 students in less than 2 minutes before!

I am particularly using this at the moment for frequent assessment of Year 10 and 11 students. The answers are marked within seconds so I can give students feedback within minutes which makes the whole process more useful. I then either go through the questions with the students and their papers and the just highlight the answer to the questions they got wrong or if at the end of the lesson I do this for them as my ‘marking’.

Results are saved for each students for each task so you can easily build up a continuous record of assessment – useful for a quick snapshot of student progress in between more extended end of unit tests.

Quick Key Export ShotThere are various options for exporting your results and you can also analyse your results e.g. by sorting according to mark (highest to lowest etc.)

Quick Key Screen Shots 1

 

Once you have created your classes and quizzes they are located easily on the Quick Key dashboard. You can easily re-use and assign quizzes to different classes and in our department we are working together to build a bank of department Quick Key assessments.

A more detailed account of the stages can be found on the excellent Sandagogy site here

Support Screen Shot

 

One of the things I have been really impressed with this tool is the level of support and commitment from the developers who will help whenever they can and are consistently looking to maximise and develop the app further. One of the founders, Walter Duncan (@4_teachers), an ex-teacher (who has only recently left the classroom after 15 years, to concentrate on the app) is full of enthusiasm and with a background in teaching he knows exactly what teachers need and how we can best help our students. The website has a support centre to request support including FAQ and a new Help Centre. The founders are however also keen to build up a community of users and there is a growing Quick Key Forum. There are many educationalists on twitter who are also sharing resources and ideas on the use of Quick Key in the classroom context. Likewise there is also a dedicated Quick Key Support twitter feed 

 

A few of us in the Geography community have been sharing quizzes through Anthony Bennett’s “Internet Geography” site and the examples of these quizzes can be found here, including a copy of the template I designed for our department. http://www.geography.learnontheinternet.co.uk/quickkey.htmlExample QuickKey

A guide on how to create an assessment using Quick Key guide can be found here
http://www.geography.learnontheinternet.co.uk/QKresources/quikkeyguide.pdf

Simon Renshaw has also done some very interesting work looking at the use of hinge questions and the QuickKey app and his findings are here http://srenshaw.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/evaluating-the-use-of-hinge-questions-and-the-quick-key-app/      

There is a Quick key facebook page so you can share with other colleagues  you think might be interested and remember, you can download the quickkey app from the itunes app store – full details available here.  

Random Name Generators

Encouraging all students to participate in lessons in order to elicit evidence of their achievement can be difficult. One method which involves a no-hands up policy is to employ the use of a random generator to randomly select students. Some studies have shown that this is beneficial in that it helps keep the attention of students as they are unsure whether they might be next and are more likely to maintain engagement in the lesson. There are various methods of doing this from the use of names in a hat or on ‘lolipop’ sticks drawn from a jar through to computer based solutions. The benefit of many of the ICT solutions is that they are very visual, names can easily be saved and updated and as many lessons involve the use of computer based presentations they can easily be integrated within the lesson.

Below is a collection of some of the different random name generators available, divided into 3 categories:

1. SMART notebook – there is a generator tool called the “random word chooser” which can be found in the Lesson Activity Toolkit.
2. Internet based options – a variety or web based, or downloadable tools
3. iPad based options – with the increased use of tablets in the classroom, there are various apps which allow you to select students at random, some of these are more sophisticated with options for recording formative assessment as well.

 

SMART notebookSMART NOTEBOOK

This random selector is a flash generator embedded into a SMART notebook page – so easily saved for each of your classes – and can easily be embedded as part of your lesson if using a SMART notebook file.

For staff at St Ivo a copy of this has been saved in Projects_Staff_IWB Resources_Random name and group sorters. For other colleagues who might be reading this – you can search for the “random word chooser” of the Lesson Activity Toolkit.

(similar group sorter templates are available in the same folder on projects).

 

INTERNET BASED OPTIONS

Random Nameshttp://primaryschoolict.com/random-name-selector/

You can save the names as a URL (so could be saved as a shortcut in your projects area or on the desktop.

Simple and effective.

 

Random Name Word PickerClass Tools Random Name / Word Picker This can be either as a fruit machine or as a typewriter. Names can be saved. A simple but effective internet based option. This is widely used! Could also be used to good effect with key terms – students given a key term at random to define!

http://www.classtools.net/education-games-php/fruit_machine

 

Instant Classroom (Superteachertools.net)Instant Classroom http://www.superteachertools.com/instantclassroom/random-name-generator.php

(this will also act as a ‘group’ sorting tool and allow you to show names on a desk for swapping round seating for different activities).

For this you create a group name and then add a password and add your email address.

 

 

Instant Fruit Machine – Random Selector

http://www.teach-ict.com/tools/picker3.php Fruit MachineThis one acts a bit like a fruit machine – unlike the ones above it doesn’t allow you to save names – however it will allow you to simply copy and paste names in very quickly if you have a list in word format.

 

 

 

 

No Hands – Random Student Selector http://www.ehyde.com/No%20Hands/

This requires a download to your computer and it can take some time setting up your class lists. However these only need doing once!. You have to install this one on your computer and then Read the ‘Read Me’ File in order to follow instructions of what to do.No Hands

The benefit of this is it is quite discrete and will sit nicely in your toolbar for whenever you need it in a lesson so it enables you to use it as a randomiser for picking students whenever you want.

 

Random Name Generator (Excel)

http://www.teach-ict.com/teacher/utilities/Random%20Name%20Generator.xls

ExcelVery user friendly as is in Excel – all groups can be created and saved in one spreadsheet – if you name each column with the name of the group – this will then appear in the drop down box for you to choose from!

(You do need to ensure macros are enabled for this to work).

 

Random Student Picker Tools

http://www.barryfunenglish.com/toolsRandom FunRandom Fun Dart

This option includes a random student picker and a dartboard selector tool which can be used in a similar way. You need to sign in to access this tool – it can be accessed from the free trial section – so you do not have to sign up to a paid account.

 

 

OPTIONS ON THE iPAD (then use Airserver to project on the IWB)

Name SelectorName Selector Lite https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/random-name-selector-lite/id589498393?mt=8 (Free) (there is also a paid for version which is add free for £1.99)

Simple and easy to use and you can easily turn students within a group off and on – for exactly which students you want to be included in any particular selection group.

 

PickSticksStick Pick

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/stick-pick/id436682059?mt=8 £1.99

Random selection of a student’s name from a virtual can of lolipop sticks. Each stick is linked to a mode and level of difficulty for each learner (which can be set and saved) – every time a student stick is drawn – you are shown over a dozen Bloom’s taxonomy related questions – each will be at the individual ability level set for that student.

 

iLeap Pick a studentiLeap Pick a student https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/ileap-pick-a-student/id549617029?mt=8 (Free)

This app enables staff to pick students at random and supports multiple classes as well having a number of different options for choosing students. There is a turn based selection if wanted so that every student will be picked before any one will be selected again.

 

Pick me upPick Me (£1.49) https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/pick-me!/id444045099?mt=8

This tool will also help track formative assessment – will randomly pull student names and once question has been answered – you can record whether or not it was correct using the thumbs up or incorrect using thumbs down – data can be saved and sent to your email address.

Showbie – an app for collecting, reviewing and annotating student work.

Showbie is an app which lets you distribute assignments to your students (with associated instructions and resources) through the creation of classes which your students can join and log into. Students can then submit their work through showbie which keeps everything organised together. It is possible then to add annotations, voice notes and text feedback directly onto students work for them to pick up. A colleague is currently using this successfully with their Year 13 class and I am looking forward to giving this a go and exploring its potential!

The video below provides a summary of how Showbie works.

 

There are a number of options for Showbie – from a free teacher account and a free school account through to Showbie Pro (a paid option for schools) and more details can be found here.