Well, it’s been half a term now, and having just written a report for all the kids I teach, I figured it was time for a report on the iPad as well.
Has it changed my teaching?
Honestly? Not really. Or rather, not yet. I am sure in the future, when the kids also have iPads, I will be doing all sorts of jazzy and amazing lessons but for now I’m sticking to the same old chalk and talk. It’s simple. It’s effective. It doesn’t require much forward planning on my part because I’ve been teaching like this for ten years. And when you are in the middle of a busy term when time is a luxury few of us have, it’s the path of least resistance.
Occasionally, yes, I will have a moment of inspiration and deliver an (I think) outstanding lesson, but for the most part I teach and the kids learn and there are no bells or whistles or dancing monkeys. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
Has it changed me as a teacher?
A resounding yes to this one.
Let’s be honest, every teacher has a shortcoming – something that you know is your weakest area. Come on, be honest…
Mine? I’m disorganised. I mark the work, but I sometimes forget to put the marks in my mark book. I take attendance (in my head) but sometimes forget to keep note of who is missing. I give verbal feedback, but I sometimes forget to make a note.
Does this affect my teaching? I don’t think so. But it does affect me when it comes to writing reports – and given that we write about 6 per year for each child, anything that could make my life easier in that respect would be helpful!
So what is the ipad doing to help?
iTeacherbook shows me my day laid out and ready to go. From that one page I can see who I’m teaching, what I’m teaching, take attendance, see what’s up next. Items from my ipad calendar are slotted in seamlessly so I shouldn’t miss a thing. I also use it to set homeworks and record homework grades. Is it perfect? No. Can I think of ways it can be improved? Yes, and I hope iTeacherbook will take on board the ideas I have already suggested to them, but even in it’s current state it does most things I want it to.
Evernote is an excellent tool for monitoring progress over time, and a fantastic way of having lots of evidence together in one place when it comes time for writing reports. I have a folder for each year group, and a tag for every student. It’s the tags that matter though.
A student has done an outstanding piece of work? Take a photo, upload it to Evernote and tag it with that students name.
A student has done an disappointing piece of work? Take a photo, upload it to Evernote and tag it with that students name.
You’ve been given an SEN report for a student, or have some MIDYIS data? You’ve guessed it…Take a photo, upload it to Evernote and tag it with that students name.
Anything that you might want to refer back to either for writing a report, or for a parents evening…upload it all. And then when the time comes, just select that students tag and it will all be there on one page for you to peruse to your hearts content.
Yes, of course there are other apps I use, but it is these two that are currently having the greatest impact upon myself as a teacher.