Type of technology: Kahoot (online); Explain Everything and Notability (apps)
SAMR Model Rating: Augmentation approaching Modification
Grade level: High School
Subject area: Social Studies
Cost: Kahoot (free); Explain Everything and Notability ($2.99 each)
La Cuesta Continuation High School was selected to be part of a pilot program for 1 to 1 iPads in the classroom through the Santa Barbara Unified School District. I have written before about some apps that I have tried in the classroom, but for this post I thought I would walk through a lesson I put together that utilized the iPad in several different ways. The goal of the unit was to motivate students to cut their personl water usage in light of the Governor’s mandated 25% reduction of water across the state.
I started by loading some pdf files onto an assignment in our learning management system (we use EDU/NEO). Files contained information about California’s geography, precipitation distribution, population centers and local, state and federal water projects. We reviewed the documents together as a class and then made a “rough draft” map of California that highlighted our mountain ranges funneling our rainwater and snowmelt into the Central Valley and Sacramento delta. This rough draft was to be used as a resource for students when they created a digital map using explain everything.
When students click on the pdf of a blank map of California, their iPads provide a menu of options that will allow them to open the pdf with whatever apps the students have that are capable of manipulating pdf documents. Our school is using an app management system called Self Service which allows us to push apps to all of our student/teacher iPads. It is basically a replacement for the App Store which we removed from student devices. The assignment was to open the blank map in Explain Everything ($2.99) and then use the tools available in the app to create a digital final copy.
Student’s produced a wide range of work that you can see below. We discovered that the Text tool has emojis in the key board and students used them to represent mountains and lakes on their maps. One piece of advice that students resisted at first (only because it is an extra step) was to use the “save to camera roll” button every time they added a layer to the map. The saved image can then be uploaded back into Explain Everything to have additional layers added. You do not need to save the project on Explain Everything until you are finished with it because you will have each layer saved on your camera roll. Another tip that students discovered is that triple tapping on an object locks the object into position, which is very helpful. Once the final map was saved to the camera roll, students were able to drop it into the dropbox in my EDU/NEO grade book! This assignment took students three solid days.
The next assignment was also done completely through EDU/NEO and on the iPads but this time students used the app Notability ($2.99). Students were provided a link to a pdf of an article about Governor Brown’s mandated 25% reduction of water across the state and students used the highlighter tool to annotate the text. They were also instructed to “add a page” onto the pdf where they defined key vocabulary terms and wrote a summary that was boiled down to three sentences. I am sure there is a better way to submit Notability “notes,” but I am still experimenting with this app. I had students take a screen shot and drop the photo into the EDU/NEO drop box. Students have the option to email their “note,” save to Google Drive, or post on twitter. I am not quite there, but my goal is to utilize Google Drive.
As a warm up one morning I used a website called Kahoot to see where my students’ comprehension was regarding the map they created. Kahoot is awesome. Simply stated, a teacher creates a quiz that students access with their smart phones or iPads. Students log on to Kahoot.it and enter a game pin and a nickname. The quiz is mirrored to the classroom AppleTV. As questions pop up, students have 30 seconds to choose an answer on their mobile device. Correct answers are awarded “kahoots” and the faster you answer the more you earn. After each question, the results are posted and a leader board is created. My students got really into this. They were very competitive and it was great for me to see what they learned from the map activity. There are other teachers on staff here that have used Kahoot with simmilar results. In general I think students like this activity and it is an effctive assessment tool. Best of all it is free and EASY!
We also used the iPad to do basic internet research. I provided students with a link on EDU/NEO and asked them to answer some questions about water use and ways to save water. I gave students a hard copy of the questions that were to be answered but I also put a pdf on the EDU/NEO assignment. The reason I gave them a hard copy is because they were starting to lose interest in the iPad. However, I had a handful of students that opened the pdf in Notability!
This unit went better than I had expected. I have not yet got the students to be comfortable with app smashing, the layering of a project through multiple apps, but these assignments have helped them along. Our term is ending this Friday so I am running out of time. What I had hoped to do as a final assessment was to have the students create a story about the California drought in an app called Comic Book.
My next post will be about Comic Book.