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Whole School Change using Technology is Perhaps Scientific

My final Link Observation Visit planned at this stage of the project was to Simono Dacho School in Klaipeda. This is a “Basic School” providing education for approx. 1000 students...

Small Schools can do IT with Open Learning and Personalisation

VS Gutenberg an der Raabklamm has just 66 students, but with two floors and a bright and spacious building, it doesn’t feel small. With just 14-18 students per class, and only 5 teachers...

Active Learning in Ieper Across the Curriculum is Building Opportunities for Whole School Innovation and Change.

MS Ieper school is ten minutes walk from the main town square of Ieper where the Menin Gate is situated. This is a middle school with approximately 189 students aged 12-14...

Mathematical Movies, Stop-motion and a Countdown to the Finale in Space.

My journey begins with a train from Brussels Central Station to Leuven.  De Klare Bron and De Grasmus is a federation of two schools led by one headteacher, Begga Willems. I begin the...

Libraries, learning spaces and a mobile curriculum.

Istituto Comprensivo di Cadeo is a federation of two schools that are within two towns near Piacenza with a 10-15 minute drive between. In each of the two towns of Pontenure and ...

Collaborating through E-Twinning; Animated Fairy-Tales and the Lego Challenge.

My second visit in Norway is to Skjelnan School , a primary school for approximately 250 students aged 6-13 years. The school day is 8.30am – 12:30pm for the students in lower...

Innovation - Where will you invest next?

Puropelto School has undergone significant transformation over the last five years to improve the learning environment for staff and students. The change in the environment is not visible from...

Take One Finland - Lights, Camera, Action

My first visit in Finland was to Wäinö Aaltonen School on the island of Hirvensalo, near Turku. This is a primary school and provides education for approximately 450 students from 7-13...

Getting Mobile and Making Cartoons for Language Learning.

As we walk up the stairs to the classroom, the first observation is Petra climbing the stairs to her lesson carrying what looks like a large blue reusable supermarket shopping bag. (And it probably...

"Buchty" or Learning Snacks?

  Dr E Beneṧe School is my first visit in the Czech Republic. Set in the suburbs of Prague in an area called Zscakovice, the school has 751 pupils from 6-15 years and is classified as a...

What is new on your professional learning journey?

It always seems that we have to wait a long time for the summer holidays, counting off the days on the calendar, planning for all those things we are going to do, "when we have more time";...

Inspiring design ideas in different learning spaces

  At Broadclyst Academy , one of the other dominant features was the different types of classroom space available and it soon became apparent that over the years, the head teacher and the team...

The Research Bus - All Aboard!

I've had several discussions with different colleagues over the last few weeks about the Living Schools Lab Project and I've decided that it is going to be an important part of my collaborative...

Observation visits Observation visits

Link observation visits schedule 2013

  • UK: 12 June and 27 June
  • Czech Republic: 16 September
  • Finland: 23 September
  • France: 30 September
  • Norway: 14 October
  • Italy: 21 October
  • Cyprus: 11 November
  • Belgium: 18 November
  • Portugal: 13 January 2014
  • Ireland: 20 January 2014
  • Austria: 27 January 2014
  • Lithuania: 10 February 2014
Journal: Observation visits Journal: Observation visits
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Getting Mobile and Making Cartoons for Language Learning.

As we walk up the stairs to the classroom, the first observation is Petra climbing the stairs to her lesson carrying what looks like a large blue reusable supermarket shopping bag. (And it probably was at some point, but it is actually very heavy and contains the equipment for today’s lesson - 1 ipad per student.) The school has had 32 ipads for almost a year and these can be booked by all teachers. This demonstrates that for schools trying to implement 1:1 mobile learning, there is a key decision to be made about who takes responsibility for the devices.

The thirteen students are waiting in the classroom after break and soon prepare themselves to listen to the teacher. Language classes are divided into two groups to allow the students to receive more personalised learning.   
As the lead teacher for the LSL project, Petra has focussed on implementing a range of apps. Even though it is early in the school term, the students have established a routine for working with the technology and readily prepare for the tasks. 
In the previous English lesson, the 13 year olds have been learning the past tense. (E.g. I was reading my comic.) At the beginning of today’s lesson the teacher gives each student an ipad and the students are asked to find the application Socrative. The students log in to the ‘room’ and complete a self-paced set of 10 questions to check their understanding. The teacher can see how everyone is completing the test and identifies some students who may need further help. The app allows the teacher to collate the results and send a report via email. 
In the previous lesson, the students took five photographs to show how they were “breaking the rules” in class. E.g. drinking fizzy pop; standing on a chair; sleeping and gazing out of the window.
In the main part of the lesson, the teacher shares with the children two more apps; Mobile Monet for editing photos and Pixntell for the students to create a cartoon. The students can add a voice over to each frame with the sentence spoken in English. The students work enthusiastically to adapt their photos. They also look at each other’s work and try out what they will say. Petra has time to provide individual support with pronunciation. She also encourages the students to search for spellings or pronunciation on the internet. Whilst most students do this via the ipad, one child uses her own mobile phone. The student can search the correct word, but knows that she cannot ‘phone a friend’. Mobile phones can be used for learning in all classes. Throughout the lesson the students are completely focussed and engaged in the task. The teacher is able to address their language learning and the use of technology is normalised.
The whole lesson is 45 minutes and with 5-8 minutes for the self-paced questions at the beginning, the students work continuously to adapt their photos. Some students are allowed to move into the corridor to add their voice to the cartoon. The students work supportively with each other, collaborating when they need to, but each individual completes the task. 
Petra explains to the students that in the next lesson the students will review each other’s cartoons and this will give them the opportunity to provide peer-to-peer review of the spoken words. She will also put the students work on Youtube.  The end results are professional and creative; the students are delighted with the outcomes. 
The cartoons engage the students throughout and they are keen to hear that they will have the chance to watch them next lesson. Not only that, their enthusiasm would seem to suggest that they will be practising and working with these apps far beyond the lesson. (I think they would make great Learning Snacks for the Community of Practice too!)