Jaye’s first blog.. Some things I want to share…

Thursday 12th July 2012

Pages: I have produced a CV on it and job application. It’s easier and more navigable than Word, but the cool thing is that you can save it as a word doc too.
I am also currently writing my UCAS refs on it.
I will be using Pages today for a year 7 lesson. Their assessment is to write a Newspaper article for a local paper describing the day celebrities (The Beckhams) came to teach at Chiswick School. I have made a template and students will be able to access it and create theirs over the template. The best will be displayed and will achieve 100 Vivo points.
Next term they will be able to save to Dropbox, once it is all set up, but for now they will email it to themselves and print it out.

I am really impressed with Teacher Assistant. I aim to be paper-free next year after being almost devoured by my ever-growing diary and mark sheet books. I have files for each class, and with Vanya’s help I will import Excel data into each cohort.
I think the person who creates the Sims app will make a LOT of money… Do we have the know how to do that in our school? Think of the money we could make!

I am using the diary more often, which is synced with my PC in B18. I envision that all staff dates will be centralised and appear on our work calendars automatically.

Sending and receiving emails are so much easier on my iPad. I think I have already refined a few hours of my week already. The only thing that is amiss is that it only allows a few days of emails and no more.

I have a large library of essential texts in iBooks. I am able to bookmark and annotate. I have just downloaded Book Creator, which allows me to make books and leaflets in a snap, and save them onto my iBooks shelf.

I have downloaded a wealth of English and literacy resources, from dictionaries to grammar tasks, poetry analysis apps, Study Guides and ‘Shakespeare in Bits’. Over the summer I will go rough my entire schemes of work and see how I can incorporate this technology for more active learning and critical and lateral thinking, but already, simple tasks like a ‘dictionary challenge’ will be so easy and time-saving – not having to run to the bookshelf and distribute tatty, defaced dictionaries will be bliss! I will probably use Morpho in a poetry lesson soon – if anything they will never forget the poem as long as they live!..

Older students will be able to appreciate being able to do some instant research during lessons. Tomorrow I will be setting a challenge for my year 13s to go to the 6th Form library and undertake some initial research on Feminism. For this task I specifically want them to source books and journals. In future I will be excited to also use the great apps available for research – something that will be invaluable for EPQ students.

Speaking of which; I have downloaded three research apps that I am trying out:
* Instapaper – enables you to save info obtained from the net for later reading – a great way to save references to later include in research papers

* iSource APA – enter the required info and it generates a bibliography! I hope they use the Harvard method. Jheeze, students today have it soooo easy!

* Readdledocs – A PDF viewer, which is supposed to be the crime de la crime of its ilk. It opens even password-protected PDFs. Very handy!

I’m so impressed with this iPad – it’s a must for every teacher at least. It is revolutionising the way I teach – my lessons are already so much more productive and enjoyable. I can send emails from my desk with the lesson open on SB and then circulate the room – so easy.

The way things are going, I think it will give back a minimum of about 20 hours a week to our lives OUTSIDE of the classroom! Bring on the iRevolution!

Jaye.

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