iBook Textbook for research and review

Y11 GCSE Physics students have been using an iBook textbook resource that I have produced using material kindly provided by Keith Gibbs, a former Priory Head of Science and my former Physics teacher here at Priory back in the day!

Students were given questions to answer and the textbook. Nothing revolutionary, but an opportunity to test out what could become a valuable tool for independent study. They found the book easy to navigate and read. They really liked the interactive glossary entries and the ability to create their own and add them to the stack of revision cards.

Their PCS skills were also tested as they found one or two errors along the way!

Next steps will be to further develop this material for students in the run in to the final Physics exam. Looking to develop interactive quizzes and other useful widgets in the next few weeks.



Year 7 Revision

I used the iPads for a Yr 7 revision lesson. It was the first time I had used them, so used it as a bit of an experiment! I set a clear task for the students to produce an animation or video, using the program of their choice, with a set of success criteria. The students used the sock puppet animations, the comic book one, and another animation program. Some students made films of themselves instead. They certainly enjoyed the lesson and all were on task throughout. I am concerned that the novelty of the iPads took over from the ‘Science’ though! Students who were more familiar with iPads were more successful, not having the novelty factor obstructing their work.

Through more regular use I think this will be a very valuable resource. CS

Using iCan Animate app in a Science classroom.

I recently used the I Can Animate app with a BTEC group who love demonstrating their knowledge through anything but writing. The lesson was focused on enzyme action and required the students to understand the lock and key theory of how enzymes work, the structure of enzymes and how the enzyme-substrate complex forms and works.

After a brief introduction I handed over to the students. Students were given a success criteria and suggested apps and the rest was over to them. I also chose to make some QR codes available to some students who required more support. These QR codes linked to websites and also short teaching videos to cater for different learning styles and abilities.

All students decided to use I Can Animate app combined with iMovie where they provided a voice over to their animation. I Can Animate is an excellent animation app for only £1.99 as it provides a very simple but effective onion skinning and a range easy to use settings and functions.

I Can Animate App features:

• Capture frames using the inbuilt camera
• Displays onion skinning
• Adjust exposure, white balance and focus
• Time lapse
• Review last five frames
• Preview whole project
• Supports a library of multiple projects

Share your movie
• Export your animation in three movie sizes: medium, large or HD.
• Exported animations are added to your camera roll which can then be shared through email, MMS, MobileMe and YouTube. Exported animations can also be added to an iMovie project for a really polished movie.

I Can Animate provides hours of fun for both the serious and amateur animator. This app also allows students to demonstrate their learning in a fun and creative way that is easy to share during the class and also upload to YouTube or share via Twitter and the you never know the video may go viral!

Once the students had completed their short movie, they were easily shared with myself via email and shared with the world via YouTube. Some examples can be seen below.

Y7 iPad experts

I used the iPads with 7AJ today to prepare their ‘how to be fit and healthy’ summary activity. 30 year 7, 8 iPads (one down with display problems), what could possibly go wrong? Fortunately, I found I had three Bath Spa ‘helpers’ which reduced my stress levels. As a matter of curiosity I asked 7AJ who had used an iPad either at home or elsewhere in school and every single student put up their hand. The time flew by but they were immediately engaged and very creative. iMovie was popular but some groups tried Sock Puppets or Comic Life.

Things I learned today:

  • The covers are a pain if you are using the camera to video. This can lead to students removing the case and an unprotected iPad.
  • Set up the task, give the success criteria and let them loose. It’ll probably work. We can get more refined as we become more accustomed to using them in class. I wouldn’t advocate this approach with every group but a bunch of keen Y7 with a creative task is fine. Better to capture the enthusiasm for sharing their ideas in Science.
  • IMovies tend to be too big to email so use the Dropbox facility to transfer student work to you. If you do this pick up the movies from Dropbox a.s.a.p. as there is limited space and anyone on an iPad could open the Dropbox and delete anything in there to make room.