Apps for education – Edpuzzle

Redefining Learning 

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EdPUZZLE is an application which allows you to upload a video from libraries such as  YouTube or TED and trim it down, while pausing the video to add questions the students must answer. 

This application can be used in class or as part of a flipped learning environment and is ideal for teachers that want to make sure that online video assignments are actually being watched and that students are grasping the concepts and information being presented.

Multiple choice questions and ‘teacher view’ options allow you to see how students have performed.

As well as being web-based, Edpuzzle has applications that run in iOS and Chrome,  with and android app currently being developed.

 

For all up to date information and support visit: https://edpuzzle.com

 

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This week I’ve mostly been using Padlet.

Padlet is a web based application that was originally known as Wallwisher. If you’ve ever used post it notes in your classes, or had students come to the front and add ideas to a white board, this application is definitely worth a go. The added bonus is that you can also publish images, videos and documents as well as text.

How it works

Log on to padlet.com where you begin the design and set up of your wall. Apart from aesthetic features other key features include;

· The ability to adapt the web link to suit your title;

· The option to password protect your wall;

· The option to adjust the editing rights of participants;

You can then publish the template via a web link through email, web post, twitter etc. If I’m using it as a learning resource I often use Edmodo.

How I’ve been using Padlet in my Maths classes.

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AFL tool.

The first time I used Padlet was as a method to find out what students felt they needed to learn about angles. I gave them a GCSE specification document and a collection of GCSE text books and revision guides. The following wall was produced and my intention was to use it to plan my next few lessons based on the results.

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However, before I had the chance to start planning, the students began teaching each other based on their individual strengths and understanding. I saw the opportunity to extend this peer to peer support beyond the current lesson. I posted the link to their wall on their class Edmodo site and asked them, for homework, to find and post supporting resources that would cover all the topics listed on their wall. A snap shot of their posts are shown below.

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Research tool.

The second time I used Padlet I utilised the application’s ability to publish images, videos and web links. I set a research task on angles in parallel lines. The students where given 15 minutes to find out as much as they could about the topic and post links to a blank wall I had created for them. They were then set a number of exam style questions that they had to answer using the collective resource they had created. See a snap short below.

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The task proved very successful and between them, there was very little the students were unable to do.

Reflection

Students enjoyed using the technology which in turn gave them the opportunity to collaborate and discuss throughout their learning.

Padlet proved to be an excellent AFL tool that gave instant feedback from many, even the quiet ones.

Next Steps 

To encourage students to create their own walls as part of their independent learning.

To use with staff as part of CPD and sharing good practice.

Getting E’s to B’s Just let them learn.

This post, I hope, provides some evidence that if you give students responsibility to decide their own pathway through a academic course, their progress is positively affected. How this is facilitated obviously plays a key role to it’s success.

This post’s evidence is based on GCSE Maths classes where students were regularly testing at low D’s and E’s.

There is no reason why this cannot be adapted for any curriculum area, as the progress is down to pedagogy not content.

I use GCSE papers for data and  guidance. Some may argue that it’s teaching to the test. My response is, we are all teaching in some way towards some form of terminal assessment. During this Journey, if students can develop the ability to become independent creative learners, then their level of understanding and experience goes beyond that of which a GCSE examines.

Step 1 

Gap Analysis. The whole class complete an exam paper in exam conditions which is then analysed using conditional formatting in an excel spread sheet. The assessment be adapted to fit the length of the lesson, I often use half an exam paper to fit the 1 hour lesson format our school has. Exposure to real external exam questions has it’s obvious benefits.

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This is a very powerful tool both to me, and the students. Vertically it shows me whole class strengths and areas for development. Horizontally it shows the students where their focus needs to be.

Initially this was quite a time consuming exercise I did myself. It’s now a class activity that only takes around 20 minutes to process, collect and input the data. A worth while investment in time, that has the students captivated as they watch the spread sheet evolve.

The above example shows class results from a higher level Maths paper. Green signifies full marks, white half marks or more, red below half marks.

Step 2

Personal Progress Action Plan. Each student then spends time planning their focus for the next week or fortnight and recording it on their Personal Progress Action Plan sheet (Click here for a copy)

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This sheet will typically last for Half a term. The tick boxes down the side are for personal fruition. Progress Sheets are regularly monitored by myself. Students share at the beginning and end of the lesson what they plan to do and what they have learned.

The creativity of the students during this phase always impresses me. Work related conversations spontaneously begin on Edmodo, learning posters get produced without being requested and students begin teaching each other in class.  For those who are skeptical that allowing students to chose what they do will lead to a break down in lesson structure and a loss of control, I have experienced quite the opposite.

Many of the students like to record their notes using learning summary sheets. (see my post ‘evidence of learning‘)

Step 3

Test to measure progress. It was the students who decided the two weekly test rotation, but this can be adjusted to best fit. Past exam papers are used, and we tend to maintain focus on either the calculator or non calculator paper for three rotations. Again this is flexible.

Regular referrals to grade boundaries allow students to see their progress and how many marks they need to reach the next grade. 15 marks (about a grade on one paper) broken down over 3 weeks equates to under 2 marks a lesson. Put like this every student in the class believes they can achieve.

Progress obviously varies from group to group and year on year. Questions on whether it’s the technique or other factors that are responsible for the progress students make, can also be asked. I can only comment on personal experience, but over the last 2 years, an increasing number of students are making 2 and sometimes 3 GCSE grades of progress in a year using this technique. They are also taking responsibility for their own learning and coming to class with questions that are a direct response to their independent studies. This allows me to use class time more effectively and support individuals with exactly the issues that will promote further progress. This mirrors the advantages of the flipped learning model.

Next Steps

The summer Break has allow me to look into applications that will further enhance independent learning. These include

  • Padlet (web publishing wall)
  • tchat.io (live twitter feed)
  • sorify (collect and publish web media)
  • Aurasma (Bringing displays to life. Augmented reality)

Blogs on my progress and experience with these will follow.

Evidence of Learning

The Flipped Learning Model. It’s quality not quantity.

I’m pleased to say that over the initial weeks I’ve been trialing this technique I’ve seen a positive change in the confidence, attitude to learning and levels of understanding demonstrated by my students. My standard approach is to post a video on the topic we will start next lesson and get the students to complete a learning summary on what they view.

More homework is being done.

Since adopting the flipped learning technique the number of students failing to complete a set task by the deadline has reduced significantly. When I asked the students why, they gave the following responses.

  • Watching the video gives clear direction of what understanding is expected.
  • You can pause or re-watch parts that weren’t fully understood.
  • The learning summary sheets (see below) were easy to fill in.

Confidence in class has improved.

Another observation that has become very noticeable, to myself and other colleagues I have invited into my classroom since adopting this approach, is the increased number of students that want to be involved with class discussions. I’ve also noticed;

  • A better quality of response.
  • An improved ability to question each other.
  • More confidence from all students to answer questions.
  • Regular quality peer to peer support.

Examples of My Learning summary sheets.

I’d like to thank my students for their input into the development of these learning summary documents. They were regularly asked after each task what they found useful, not so useful and what could possibly be added.

Here is version 1.

Here is version 2 influenced by @teachertoolkit’s 5 minute lesson plan format.

And Version 3 with the reintroduction of ‘question for the class’.

 By no means am I anywhere near the end of my Flipped learning journey. After only half a term I class myself as quite the novice. The reason for this post is to help convince those contemplating the idea to give it a go. Sophia.org has been helpful as well as numerous other educators tweeting about their experiences.  

My learning summary documents can be down loaded from 

http://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/Student-Learning-Summary-6341126/


Further posts to follow as my experience develops. 

Flipping Your Classroom: The Basics

What’s the best use of a teacher’s time in class? 

Talking at students or working with them?

Recently I’ve adopted the flipped classroom technique where students carry out some initial research on a topic I’m going to teach. This can be done by watching a video lesson or carrying out some independent research at home. Students then come to school with an insight into the concepts and skills needed for the lesson. This then allows the students to focus on deeper understanding and connections in the classroom where there is immediate help available from either myself or their peers.

Advantages from my experience. 

  • Students learn at their own pace.
  • Students have a resource they can rewind or revisit at any point to support.
  • Students come to class with questions.
  • Class time used to extend understanding.
  • My support can be a lot more focused on individual and need.