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Interactive teaching and learning blog

‘All Google Eyed!’

June 21st 2016

Technology is a powerful tool in the classroom. Not only does it increase engagement and develop a creative and collaborative approach to learning, it can also be used by the teacher to embed formative assessment and successfully reduce the marking load which plagues us all. Computing, Business and RE curriculum areas at Weydon have been using ‘Google Forms’ and Socrative as the focus for their action research projects and their findings have had a massive impact on student outcomes and teacher workload.

‘Computing & Business go Google FORMal!’

The Computing area focussed on using Google Forms with Y7-9 and Business Studies used Socrative with GCSE Business classes. The use of the tools has enabled the curriculum areas to accurately assess what students understand and what aspects of the learning are causing difficulty. An example can be found here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1mUwtX9YZjs49maWoX2hikNIFkqsRA0OH7ldkFmzSml4/viewform

They then adapted their teaching and learning activities to focus on areas where understanding is weak. Their research was based on work by ‘Tim Oates’ which highlights the importance of ‘precise questioning’ to determine understanding (http://www.cambridgeassessment.org.uk/insights/national-curriculum-tim-oates-on-assessment-insights/). This is also supported by Mary Myatt who talks about the importance of addressing misconceptions (http://marymyatt.com/blog/2014-09-15/most-common-areas-for -improvement).

They create a ‘Google Form’ with carefully targeted questions to enable them to assess what students understand and where there are common misconceptions. The Google Form is marked using a tool called ‘Flubaroo’ (http://www.flubaroo.com/) which enables the teacher to analyse student performance on the test. The results below from ‘Flubaroo’ show that question 1 was well understood but question 5 needs revisiting.

computing1

computing2

The tests are designed carefully to match the curriculum assessment grids therefore the students’ score on the test is reflected in a summative assessment sent home to parents. Curriculum areas that teach every class for one period a week like Computing would have as many as 392 assessments to mark. With the power of Google Forms and ‘Flubaroo’ the marking is instant. Happy Days are here again!

‘RE goes all Techy!’

In RE they often ask students to research religious beliefs and practices either individually or in groups, followed by group or individual presentation to the rest of the class. The aim of the study was to look at how technology (in this case iPads) can facilitate group work and research on a given subject and how this could be used to present to the group.

None of us have to be convinced about the power of collaborative learning. We know it develops social and communication skills, and if facilitated correctly, every student contributes, there is more opportunity for personal feedback and it develops an atmosphere of cooperation.

RE used ‘Google Documents’ to work on subjects that had many perspectives and points of view. The students work together looking at these different views and beliefs. As they worked on the area they had been assigned to focus on and others in the group were able to view the progress being made in real time. This meant that each of the group members were able to adapt their own work to take into account others viewpoints or contributions.  Also, learning didn’t need to stop in the classroom since the documents could be worked on at home without compromising the ability to share. It resulted in a more reflective approach to students’ views and opinions and the ease of sharing ‘Google Documents’ meant the subject content had depth and breath. A very powerful tool for any subject curriculum!

Weydon’s journey with mobile technology and Google classroom continues  - watch this space!

If you enjoyed reading this, consider looking at these blogs:

From memory to mastery

Lest we forget 

Effective revision techniques

Posted at 09:22

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