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Magazine Issue 54: iPad in the Classroom
December 2014

This month: Sharing Practice of iPads in the Classroom

Article: iPads in the Classroom
New Resources
Mike's Books
Additional Resources

This Month's Article:

iPads in the Classroom

iPads in the Classroom An Article from secondary Geography teacher Dan Mace explaining how to make effective use of iPads in school.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Categories: Article, Teaching & Learning, Geography, IT, Secondary

Tags: ICT iPad Geography
Dan Mace from Langley Grammar School in Slough is one of Thinking Classroom's most innovative members. He makes effective use of the Thinking Tools, not by just using them as they stand, but by adapting and assimilating them into his own practice. He also combines Thinking Classroom principles and practices with other school initiatives - just as I intended folks to. Nice one Dan.

Dan teaches Geography, and together with his colleague Tracy Baker, has been creating high quality lessons involving genuine use of iPads. Here's a taste of what they've been up to.

Question - how can we make the best pedagogical use of iPads?

Our Aim
Over the past two years the school has experimented with using iPads to achieve marginal gains in creative and independent learning in Year 9 and Year 10. Our aim was to help lessons become more challenging, innovative and fun. We worked with an Apple Distinguished Educator to attempt a cross-curricular project and see how far we could push the technology to improve the learning experience.

A popular model of technology use that inspired us was Puentedra's SAMR model; we felt it wasn't enough just to use iPads to Substitute what students were currently doing. Although it would take time we wanted to be confident that the iPad had to, at the very least, Augment it i.e. make completion of basic tasks more efficient. Ideally the iPad would make it possible to Modify the task, e.g. to make it more collaborative or open ended. However, if possible, we were looking to Redefine learning - i.e. attempt to find ways to learn that students previously hadn't been able to do.

Our project
In May 2014, a selection of Year 9 teachers received training on how to create an interactive iBook in 'Creative Book Builder' and populate it with short examples of digital content. They learnt how to use apps such as:

• ThingLink (to collaboratively annotate images)
• Tellagami (to create a short play)
• Popplet (to create collaborative mind-maps)
• Morfo (making interactive talking characters)
• Making and scanning QR codes

The intention was to look for opportunities to use these apps in ordinary lessons that Year 9 would experience.

The students were introduced to the idea of travel ( and "Europe" in particular and how it has changed. At the start of the project they spent time using Mike's Thinking Tools (e.g. Star Thinking and 101 Questions) to gather ideas, challenge the simplicity of their own questions and pick 3-4 key questions that would shape the structure of their iBook.

Then, for two weeks, as they went from lesson to lesson, students were challenged to make the most of those lessons to populate their iBook with content, while teachers had agreed to focus on Europe through their normal subject content.

Marking Grid
We combined the SAMR model with thinking skills to create an assessment framework. This framework challenged students to link ideas across subjects and to create media content to populate their iBooks - which itself should be interactive, intelligent and innovative. The best books were rewarded with iTunes vouchers.

As the students started Year 10, this model has been adapted in PCS / PSHE in order to structure a sequence of work around racism. Students have defined the questions, carried out research and produced pieces of media that create a targeting message about potential racism in the school community. A framework was again designed that both promoted open-ended debate and disciplined thinking as well as bold, innovative use of technology to have a real impact on the world!










If you'd like to find out more, Dan and Tracy would love you to get in touch:

New Resources:

SSC Thinking

SSC Thinking A simple Thinking Skills Tool for choosing 3 key actions that can improve effort, progress and achievement: Stop, Start, Continue.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Meta Cognition, Assessment, Any Subject, All Ages

Tags: Assessment Grit Mindset
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Literacy Think Sheet - Poetry

Literacy Think Sheet - Poetry A Think Sheet with creative ideas for generating new poems.

Categories: Thinking Skills, English, Junior, Secondary, Think Sheet

Tags: Poetry Literacy
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

ICT Think Sheet - Digital Devices

ICT Think Sheet - Digital Devices A Think Sheet offering creative ways in to thinking about digital devices.

Categories: Think Sheet, Thinking Skills, IT, Secondary

Tags: ICT iPad Digital
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Mike's Books:

These books both contain original Thinking Stories with related questions & activities: quick, engaging Thinking Skills lessons and thoughtful assemblies.

"Use this book all the time in school as one off 'thinking' lessons"

"I have used these for assemblies at school. Have had really good feedback from the children. They have remembered the stories from week to week which is great."

Thinking Stories to Wake Up Your Mind
by Mike Fleetham

Thinking Stories to Wake Up Your Mind <br>by Mike Fleetham A Book containing 27 original tales with follow-on currciulum-linked activities for Primary and Lower Secondary. Literacy infused with the full range of Thinking Skills inspired by Bloom's Taxonomy. Classroom tasks with photocopiable worksheets that will save you planning time and embed Thinking firmly into everyday lessons. 

Available in our shop

Find out more
Categories: Book & EBook, Thinking Skills, English, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Assemblies Bloom's Taxonomy Thinking Stories

Surprising Stories to Stimulate Creativity
by Mike Fleetham

Surprising Stories to Stimulate Creativity<br> by Mike Fleetham The follow-on Book to Thinking Stories. 28 original tales with currciulum-linked activities for Primary and Lower Secondary. Literacy, Thinking Skills and Creativity are combined within engaging stories and tasks saving you planning time and ensuring rich curriculum coverage. Ideal for supporting a creative curriculum. Photocopiable worksheets included.  

Available in our shop

Find out more
Categories: Book & EBook, Creativity, English, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Assemblies Thinking Skills Creative Curriculum Thinking Stories Creative Thinking

Additional Resources:

Thinking Classroom Archive:

Visualising Knowledge

Visualising Knowledge An Article summarising different ways in which knowledge can be organised as images and why this can improve teaching and learning.

Create your own visual style... let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.
Orson Welles

I'm a visual thinker, not a language-based thinker. My brain is like Google Images.
Temple Grandin

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more
Categories: Article, Learning Styles, Any Subject, Educators

Tags: Visual Learning Infographic Learning Styles

QCI Thinking

QCI Thinking A Thinking Skills Tool offering a simple 3-stage prompt for reflecting on learning that's just happened and linking it to next experiences.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Thinking Frames, Assessment, Any Subject, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Assessment Plenary Questioning
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Literacy Think Sheet - Adjectives

Literacy Think Sheet - Adjectives A Think Sheet applying Thinking Classroom ideas to increase the understanding and use of adjectives.

Categories: Think Sheet, Thinking Skills, English, Junior

Tags: Adjectives
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.


Grown Up Digital
by Don Tapscott

Grown Up Digital <BR/>by Don Tapscott A thorough examination of how your students' experience of technology is shaping their thinking and their expectations of learning.

Available from Amazon

Opens in a New Window
Categories: Suggested Books, Teaching & Learning, ICT

Tags: ICT Digital


SAMR - Using Technology for Learning

SAMR - Using Technology for Learning The blog of Ruben R. Puentedura, creator of the SAMR model of technology use in education.

Opens in a New Window
Categories: Professional Development, Blogs, ICT

Tags: ICT Digital

Next month we think about Grit ... as in attitude not gravel!