Monday, June 10, 2013

Inspired by the innovation of a teacher and some students.

Throughout this last couple of weeks I have witnessed effective use of ICTs to enable teaching and learning, and the practices utilised have immediately made their way into my own workflow.

In a recent Professional Development session, I was shown by one of our Education Access teachers how she was using the iOS app Inspiration Maps to plan and deliver outlines for student work. For each learning or assessment task, she has built a mind map that visually shows the required sections and their content. With the tap of a button, the app then produces a sequenced listing of the sections and their content which can be delivered as a PDF to all student devices. I immediately developed an outline for the research report that my year 10 Health class is undertaking and produced the PDF. I use the visual view to present the task and explain the sections. The outline view is used for their reference.

Something to be aware of - check the ordering and numbering within the outline view before producing the PDF. Changing this will not change the visual layout of the mindmap, but I noticed that in the couple I have completed the outline view is not numbered how I would like it. Changing is as simple as click and drag.

From this, some of my year 10s amazed me with how they used the outline. Up until this year, all my students have had the provided outline open in one window, their working document in another. I have always exported my outlines in PDF so that they can be viewed on any device and did not think this was a limitation in the student use of them. But two student practices this year have opened my eyes to a more effective approach.

Two students took my PDF outline and imported it into their software of choice to allow them to use it directly. One student, using an iPad, imported the outline into Pages. Another, using a school laptop (Windows) used Adobe Acrobat to import the outline into MicroSoft Word. Within two days of these students doing this, almost all other students had repeated the process.

I get inspired when I see others working in a more effective way than I have previously. I love it when students teach each other.

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