Consider this an attempt to get together my thoughts on how this year is going to pan out. It is not a plan, even if at times it begins to sound like one. I’d rather you thought it of it as a conspicuous update to an under utilised blog during a period in which I have little else to do, than that.
This year our iPad 1:1 rollout program extends its reach to our Year 10 students. I am fortunate enough to have two classes in the year, one at either end of the perceived Mathematical ability spectrum, as well as an additional class studying the AQA Further Maths GCSE. So it is with these classes that I shall be attempting something a little different.
That different thing shall be giving each student access to all of the learning materials that they are likely to require to be successful in their GCSE Maths courses on day one, and letting them get on with it at their own pace wherever possible.
Most of my classes are used to me experimenting with various
flipped/blended/time-shifted teaching approaches in recent times and it has, for the most part, worked pretty well. It has undoubtedly saved valuable time in lessons to work on additional problems, but it isn’t transformational. The impact has been overwhelmingly positive, but the students are still usually restricted to a particular topic in each lesson by me. This seems unnecessarily restrictive given the technology we are fortunate enough to now have available.
I have created the courses using iTunes U, so that the students will be able to access all of their materials whenever they like on their iPads. I have used iTunes U because it has a nice simple structure and layout, a relatively high ease of use and unlimited storage (other platforms are available). I also plan on sending parents the enroll code to give them access to the course as soon as possible and iTunes U provides the required closed environment with complete control over who access.
The course consists mainly of in-built videos (created by me using Explain Everything), PDFs of worksheets and links to other web locations – mainly YouTube videos and extension information. Differentiating has never been so easy. I am still working on an additional part – the ‘creative tasks’. More on those another time.
I will be offering my students the option of whether they complete the worksheets using pen and paper or on their iPads (Notability would be the suggested app). I could write an entirely separate blog post on this debate, but for now I’m happy to accept either form. More on this another time.
And what will I be doing in the classroom I hear you say? Helping out. Guiding. Wandering around aimlessly. I don’t really care. It isn’t about me.
And what will I do when one of the students completes the entire course, all of the worksheets and all of the tasks within the first term? Feel justified.
I will endeavour to let you know how the plan goes.
Feel free to get in touch and let me know what you think. If you are also about to start teaching the aforementioned GCSE Further Maths course, feel doubly free to get in touch. Sadly access cannot currently be given to the course due to potential copyright issues. The intention is to make it public once this hurdle has been overcome.