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

Imvoto – student response system – using mobile devices to assess learning

ImvotoImvoto is another very useful system enabling immediate assessment of learning to enable teachers to quickly intervene where required to help students progress, tackle misconceptions and move learning on.

This is definitely one to have a look at – you can easily write your own questions to assess your class and students can use a variety of devices to take the assessments, mobiles, tablets or desktops. Questions can also be differentiated depending on student responses.  A particularly useful aspect of this tool is that as well as writing your own questions you can share your questions and also discover and use other teachers questions. Another benefit is the ability to include a range of media in your questions, including audio, video, images or LaTex.

Here is a quick introduction video:

There is also an excellent dedicated Imvoto Youtube channel with an excellent collection of videos providing a guide to creating assessments, interrogating data etc.

Rockfig – ‘Pininterest for Education’

RockfigRockfig has been described as a ‘pininterest for learning’ (@merlinjohn) as it enables you to collect together lesson resources and media in a single location. The Rockfig website also enables you to browse resources sets put together by other users making it a great tool for quickly identifying useful resources for your subject area. Everything is organised by age, National Curriculum subject and topic making it quick and easy to use.

You can create your own collections as well as store your favourite collections from the user community and you are also able to share Collections on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and by Email. Subjects currently supported are, Chemistry, Biology, Chemistry ,Physics, ICT, Computing and Maths with more subjects coming soon.

How to view a collection in Rockfig

How to create and share a Rockfig collection

Lesson Activity Toolkit Tip of the week – 1. Using the Random Group, Random Name & Spinner! (all subjects!)

Some great little tools from the SMART Lesson Activity Toolkit (2.0) to use in your lessons – suitable for all curriculum areas! To find them simply click on the gallery tab in SMART notebook, select Lesson Activity Toolkit and then in the search box type what you are looking for i.e. “Random Word Chooser”; “Random Group Chooser” or “Spinner”. Let me know if you have any problems. Please also let me knows of any particular ways these have been useful in the classroom so we can share the ideas with others.

RANDOM WORD CHOOSER

A great little tool – simply type in a set of words and click select, the tool will flick through the words and randomly select one:

Ideas for use:
I’m sure you can all think of lots of uses for this little tool, but a few ideas to get you started……. let me know of any other ways you think of and we can share them on here.

  • AFL tool for identifying students during questioning – input class set names and randomly select a student for answering a question
  • Key word terminology – Revision activity – input a set of key terms related to a particular area – randomly select one and ask students to define the key term.
  • Maths starter – you can type in numbers (thus equations or sums) and not just words – could get computer to select 5 at random as a little starter?
  • MFL – key words in the target language for a particular topic area – randomly selected and students have to give the translation.

Random Word Chooser

2. RANDOM GROUP GENERATOR

A great little tool for any activity in any subject involving group work and for which you want to randomly mix students.

(i) Simply insert the names of the students in your class and select the number of groups you want to split them into

RandomGroupGenerator

(ii) Click generate…. and hey presto…!

Group Generator

3. SPINNER

A simple spinning tool – you can add text or simply have colour coded segments. To edit click on the arrows on the right of the spinner and you will get the selection box below. To type a word into each segment, make sure you keep clicking on the relevant segment or it will simply save over the one you have just named.

Spinner_edit

Ideas for use:
Again I’m sure you can come up with lots of ideas for use – just drop me an email so I can add to the list!

1. Name selector (again add names and then set the spinner) – would work ok for smaller groups like VI form
2. Revision – topic areas on spinner – ‘hot-seating’ – students have to select a topic area and then answer a question from it
3. Revision – simillar to above but student selects a key term / case study using topic and then has to tell the rest of the class as much as they know about it, or describe the key term etc.
4. Again numbers can be inputed as well as text – enabling maths equation style questions.

 Examples:

Topic areas / Revision use:

Spinner1

Name selector:

Spinner 2

Online Revision – Mind mapping tools – Mindomo

I am starting to look at how new technologies can be used to support revision and I am hoping to run an extra session on my findings in April for those who are interested. As I research I am going to try and blog about as many potential tools as possible to. Mind mapping can be a great study aid for students,  mapping out key concepts of a particular topic and exploring their understanding of key issues. Although there are various options, Mindomo is a particularly good online mind-mapping tool.

Although, there are pay for versions, Mindomo has a free basic version which students and staff can use online. This is a simple online programme and what sets it apart from some other options is that multimedia can be added to the mind maps, including photographs, attachments, video and audio. This holds great potential for both staff and students and mind maps can be shared with others online. Topic areas could be mind-mapped with relevant documents attached, podcasts linked to sub-topics and relevant video clips to help bring revision alive for students and to make it more interactive.

Mindomo Screenshot

Mindomo Screenshot

Other online mind-mapping tools to explore include:

Mindmeister

Bubbl.us

Gliffy

Mind42.com