Browsing "Learning & Teaching"
There’s been a fair bit of mention of the SAMR framework recently so I thought I’d share another rendition of the framework. I’ve always preferred looking at it in a vertical sense, moving upwards rather than a top down looking model. It makes more sense to me. What do you think?
This is a blogpost in line with the April BlogSync project here
How many people in this month’s blogsync are going to use this image in their post? Quite a few I imagine, because like in many classrooms around the country, I suspect progress looks and sounds the same. “They know more now than they did when they came in.” I’d like to think however that we can see progress in many different ways and that we can measure it in a number of different ways too. A student’s happiness in their learning, their ability to apply new learning, their ability to share their knowledge and understanding with others, their ability to regale that knowledge and understanding or that skills 2, 3, 4 weeks, 5 months, 2 years down the line. Progress comes in lots of shapes and forms. The thing is, the phrase that many people think of when thinking about progress in education is the phrase ‘rapid and sustained’ progress.
Recently there has been lots of discussion about this topic, for example here: http://dailygenius.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/the-myth-of-progress-within-lessons/ and here: http://learningspy.co.uk/2013/02/14/can-progress-be-both-rapid-and-sustained/ - and in many ways, I tend to agree with David Didau’s assertions in his post.
For me, rapid and sustained progress is not something that can happen at exactly the same time, but they are definitely things that you can see at the same time when looking in on a lesson when looking at a practitioner’s work. When it comes to rapid progress you can see this in a single lesson context because the practitioner can bring about learning opportunities for this to take place. In a single lesson context however, sustained progress is something which can only really be seen over a period of lessons. If you’re observing a class on a single lesson basis and it’s something you’re looking for, then as a class teacher it is important (and not just for the big ‘O’) that you have good record keeping. See ‘sustained’ section below for an expansion on this.
This is the sort of progress that you (should) see in all of your lessons. Students are taking on board new knowledge, practising new skills, sharing new information; turning what for them is essentially data at the beginning of the lesson, be given contextualisation from the resources and support structures you have provided whilst being that ‘guide on the side’ and turning it in to new information. Activities such as those I will go through below will show that rapid progress can be seen in the course of a lesson.
Sustained progress is something again which you can see over a period of time if you:
- have good record keeping
- are tracking the work that your students do
- keep a regular pen portrait of the learning experienced by your individual students
- differentiate lessons based upon their needs
- personalise the opportunities in your lesson so that individuals can access the topics
…and this is something I do for all of my classes. It’s important.
In my post for blogsync however, I thought I’d go through one of the ways that I provide opportunities for students to have big progress wins in their lessons with me so that opportunities to learn are explicit, shared, owned by all and demonstrably more powerful than just me being a sage on the stage who tests students at the end of the lesson.
- intended impact
- description of classroom action
- reflection on effect
- measure of impact
I have a class that is completing a Computing course. It is highly technical. I was looking for new ways to measure their performance, check their understanding and support them with opportunities to practice their analytical programming skills away from the actual programming interface. I also wanted the activities to be differentiated with the sky being the limit and for students to know explicitly the topics to be covered, that the audience for their work would be the whole class and that I would be sharing the best pieces of their work with the world at large at a conference I was speaking at. With the scene set, I set them off on a task using the brilliant free tool, Socrative. This brilliant tool allows you to create a number of performance / knowledge / skill tests that can be completed online. There are massive learning wins possible through this tool – I strongly urge you to look in to it.
The Socrative Space race is good for promoting competition
I wanted students to have a real sense of agency in their work. One of my marginal gains targets is to develop communities in my classes this academic year and so, linked with that, I thought that I would be able to do this through my performance/progress checking process, to facilitate performance measurement in a way which was multi-faceted. Not only was I going to create performance checking tests, but they were too. This would create the sense of agency and community within the group. I also thought this would be a great way of checking their knowledge and understanding by them creating their own test, completing the tests of their peers, feeding back on the various tests, the process of actually creating their own tests would also check their knowledge and understanding of the various topics by the very nature of them creating their own tests. Part of the preparation process also involved going through previous past questions to look at the ways in which questions were written, the types of language used and the range of options available on either multiple choice questions or short answer questions.
Description of classroom action
The class both completed and created peer based assessments of each other and some created by me which involved open ended answer questions, multiple choice and questions derived from image response. The classroom action was really powerful. Seeing the students work in this way was something which the class had not explored before, although I have used it to great success with other classes so I was positive it would work with them too. The tasks were broken down in such a way that students had to create at least ten different questions on given topics. Different types of questions had to be included too. Socrative is great with multiple choice questions as it marks them for you, but I knew it was important for the learning process for them to include short answer questions too. They included open and closed question types. My test also included questions derived from image responses – this is an update coming soon to Socrative which I’m able to access currently ( ).
Reflection on effect
What was particularly noticeable here was the improved value that the students have been giving to their own learning and reflectiveness in using the tool. I was really pleased to see the improved sense of agency that I’ve seen in the students. I’ve seen this through a number of positive behaviours in the students.
- Students have been completing homework to deadline
- Students were creating more questions than they had to
- Students created increasingly complex questions
- Students created questions that were complex and above the level I would have expected to see them working at given their previous levels and their FFTD target levels
- Students have been more engaged in the learning checking process
- Students have been competitive in terms of their creation and completion of learning checks
- Students have been innovative with their use of the software
- Students have been more cooperative and reflective
Learning from the process the one thing that I would go back on is that I would ask students to create some detailed mark schemes which would elicit different ‘correct’ answers in more detail for their short answer / open ended questions. This would bring out even more learning opportunities which was missing from this activity.
Measure of impact
Is this progress? Has their performance come on further than it would have done otherwise? Some of the questions and sections that the students created quizzes on were actually areas that I hadn’t even covered with them as a class. These were areas that they had taught themselves in order to be able to ask the questions and give the correct answers and mark scheme at the end.
So, going back to the beginning of my post:
- Have I built communities? Yes – students are more engaged, they’ve shown resilience, determination, grit and real character in doing this work both inside and (mostly) outside of lessons – often collaborating with each other on difficult topics.
- Has the sense of agency improved? Yes – students have taken on board a new sense of responsibility and are working in a way that will really help them in their future studies, not just in my lessons but in others too. Students have learned new skills to help practise their existing knowledge using new means and as a result they have new transferable skills which they can employ in other subjects.
- Have the students made progress? Yes – they have made demonstrable progress, further than they would have done if I had just ‘taught them’ – sage on the stage style and then tested them at the end of the lesson.
- Have the students performed? Yes – where there have been inconsistencies in their quizzes, they’ve fixed them. Where there have been incorrect answers in the tests they’ve sat of others, they’ve gone back and done them again to improve their scores. The list of wins continues.
This obviously can’t be the only method for working with the students and getting them to perform and show progress in my lessons, but more on that for the future. For now, the students are doing really well, I’m very pleased with the group and that on top of their developing Computing skills, they are also learning some great transferable skills to help them with their future studies both in and out of my subject area.
Over and out.
What I didn’t include as I thought my post was getting a bit long was some of the other things that took place during this 3 lesson, 1 homework slot.
The planned sequence of sessions was not a co-constructed sequence, however, the way I organised it was done in such a way as to appeal to some of the boys in the class who had not been quite as engaged previously as I would have liked. As many will testify to, the Computing courses at KS4 and 5 are pretty technically demanding and as such I wanted to engage some of the boys who had turned off a little bit to the course. Knowing through some anecdotal evidence that gamification of learning can improve engagement of boys, I thought I’d use this method of working with the group.
The other thing I omitted was the refinement loop that took place during this where we used a musical chairs critique strategy as a means of gaining feedback on questions. Students were given the ‘kind, specific and helpful’ feedback framework and were asked to give feedback to two students in the group, sitting down in their chair when the music stopped and then having a few minutes to go through the quizzes and offer some feedback for improving the various quizzes that they were creating. Students then had the opportunity to go back and refine their quizzes based upon the feedback they had received.
Here are some related posts and videos on gamification that may be of interest:
Gabe Zichermann’s TED Talk: How games make kids smarter
Professor Henry Jenkins on games-based learning at SxSWi 2009
Integrating Games-based Learning: A Conversation with Tim Rylands
Whilst I’ll write a longer post soon about the inspiration from the day today at Berkhamsted’s “Teaching, Learning & Assessment” conference yesterday, I did say that I would put up my presentation and resources from the session. So here they are:
I also spoke about a SAMR flow chart based upon Ruben Puentedura’s work as a tool for helping with decision making related to planning lessons using technology. It looks like this:
If you have any ideas / feedback for how this could be developed further I would love to hear your thoughts.
You can download a higher quality version of this here which can be printed to A3 for your team/staff room notice board/dart board:
SAMR flow chart
Thanks to everyone at Berkhamsted who helped make yesterday such a fantastic day, in particular Rebecca Brooks & Nick Dennis. Here’s to TLAB14!
I’ve been thinking more and more about the working habits of students. Most recently today I’ve been thinking about the way in which students submit their work to us. They can do it in a multitude of different ways, and we try to drill in good habits of presentation when students are filling in their books, so why does that fly out of the window when students are presenting their work electronically? Header and footers and pagination are a must in my classroom but I still have problems with the dreaded beast we call email.
I think that perhaps the more we can focus students on ensuring the basics are right and have good habits, the more we can focus on the learning at hand. Also – if we can get those habits right, then actually, we are offering students another golden opportunity to reflect upon their learning and to make more progress than they otherwise would. Why just attach and send a piece of work to your teacher, when you could start the process of a discussion about the work in the form of email? It seems a no brainer to me, that’s why I’m looking to start an emailing code of practice. Not just for work submitted in an ICT lesson but across all subjects. Hands up if your students send work without really giving much away when they send it to you? Let’s get on the case and instil some good habits of presentation in the electronic work of our students, not just in the analogue.
Here are my top 5 tips for learning/literacy filled emails:
1. Start a sentence with a capital letter
2. Run a spell check, not doing so is simply lazy
3. Have a salutation & complimentary close (even better, create a signature in your email client!)
4. Make sure there’s a subject line in your email
5. Explain in the content of the email what you’re sending and why and include an EBI & WWW
If you’ve got a code of conduct for doing this kind of work I’d love to hear from you or if you have any other comments, please leave them below.
It was a great feeling when I got the email through saying that my proposal to BETT had been accepted for us to talk about Digital Leaders at BETT this year. I was hopeful we’d get a slot, but wasn’t sure. As soon as I found out we’d been accepted, I was straight in touch with Sheli. As things were, the Digital Leader takeover was taking shape at BETT and if you check www.digitalleadernetwork.co.uk you’ll see the huge number of events that took place of the course of the event that involved Digital Leaders. It was fantastic.
In the weeks in the run up to BETT, liaison with Sheli and Chris Sharples (@gr8ICT) saw us collaborate on a presentation for us to deliver at the Learn Live theatre (below). Following some rather croaky presentation from me with a head cold, and brilliance from Sheli, Chris and his Digital Leaders that he brought from York to London, really stole the show. They were superb.
What was particularly pleasing / rewarding, was the number of conversations that took place afterwards; both face to face and via Twitter, where people were saying that following our talk, they would be looking to start up their own Digital Leader schemes.
If you’d like to find out more about Digital Leaders, please get in touch, visit www.digitalleadernetwork.co.uk or join in with #DLChat on Twitter, every Thursday at 9pm GMT. I wrote a bit more about the experience on the DLN site here too if you’d like to check it out: http://www.digitalleadernetwork.co.uk/?p=1670
Panorama of the Digital Leader Learn Live audience
Panorama of the Digital Leader Learn Live audience
Me talking on the Learn Live stand
Innovative uses of technology are fantastic but at its core, the daily business of using technology to support learning has to be based around sound thinking and critical pedagogy. Are the foundations there to build transformational learning opportunities? Do the staff (and students) have the skills in order for them to move forward?
Like any decision about what takes place in the classroom, careful planning of lessons is crucial. Recent posts by @TeacherToolkit and @learningspy have talked about 5 and 2 minute lesson plans respectively but the timing of the planning belies the thinking that goes on beneath the surface; the years of teaching experience that goes in to making it possible to be able to create a lesson plan in this time. The framework they’ve given helps with this; breaking the thinking down so that learning episodes and thinking can be represented on the plan. All that said, there’s no room there for planning technology use – this also needs careful planning and decent consideration. Best thinking about how technology can be used in the classroom in and of itself can bring about higher order aspects of transforming learning. This isn’t to go against the mantra of technology ‘enhancing the learning, not dictating the learning’, but given that technology use in lessons can help to bring about learning which is more transformational, it would be remiss not to give it due consideration. Choosing not to use technology in a lesson is fine and certainly, analogue activities can on many occasions be far more valid than those completed digitally. The work of AJ Quidgely on using multiple whiteboards in his classroom or Tom Sherrington’s idea of using mini whiteboards in lessons to support learning and AfL are great ways of using analogue methods.
When thinking about how you can or whether you should even use technology in lessons to support learning, following the superb framework by Dr Ruben Puentedura of SAMR always seems to be a terrific way of ensuring activities are more purposeful. This is his Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition model. This framework and more about it is highlighted in this post here: http://ictevangelist.com/?p=979 and in my recent TeachMeet presentation here: http://www.rvl.io/ictevangelist/transforming-learning-using-technology which can also be viewed from a live recording here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Md2AmD1g_ys and my beginner’s guide to SAMR here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxNe04JYR-g. The framework breaks the various activities down in to two sections – enhancement (that’s the substitution and augmentation levels) and transformational (that’s the modification and redefinition levels).
The process of giving detailed thought about the way in which technology is used to support learning is one which is really going to help to give activities more meaning. Thus, the learning potential gained is more meaningful too.
So what has all this got to do with iPads? I mean, I haven’t actually mentioned them in this post at all yet, other than in the title. Well, it’s thinking about the learning which is the most important aspect of technology use. If anyone asks me about the iPad project I’m involved in I’m always keen to stress that it’s as project about learning, not technology. Ok, yes, there’s technology involved, but with iPads, the opportunities and possibilities for significant transformational gains are far more considerable than with other models (currently).Take BYOD for example. Yes, having extra equipment available to research from, to take notes on, to take photos on, so forth and so on, is improved, but with a diluted ecosystem, (with multiple devices in place) the opportunities for planning learning with pedagogy at the heart of it are diluted further. You simply don’t have the same kind of opportunities you have when you’re working with single devices all capable of running the same applications to support learning. Don’t get me wrong – getting technology in to schools is a great way of supporting and enhancing learning, but if the NESTA report ‘Decoding Learning‘ can teach us anything, it’s that in many schools across the world, technology is being highly underutilised. Interactive whiteboards, iPads, Galaxy tablets, Surface etc – the money spent on all of it will be highly wasted if people aren’t engaging in their use, thinking about how the technology can be best used and sharing in a culture of driving modern learning forward in ways that students want to learn in, appreciate more and brings about a redefined way of learning.
Why bother using technology at all if you’re not going to get the best learning out of it?
I recently read a blogpost by Greg Swanson (@GregDSwanson) on iPad apps linked to the different levels of SAMR here: http://appsineducation.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/samr-model-apps-poster.html - what he had done was to create a poster with different iPad apps linked to the various SAMR levels. Now fair play to the guy, to a large extent I would agree with many of his choices at the different levels. We could certainly argue too that some of them could help to hit improved levels of transformation if used in the right way. Conversely we could argue those matched to the redefinition level could come down if used in different ways too. That’s the thing though – because we have both spent time and energy familiarising ourselves with these applications; trained ourselves in the pedagogical benefits and the means in which they can be used; discussed them with like mind Twitter folk to squeeze out the best possible uses… we are better placed to take those kinds of distinctions, thoughts and put them in to great practice. What concerns me greatly is what I hear every day on my Twitter feed and the sorts of evidence I read in the NESTA report. Schools have been buying tech again without giving it the thought and the training of teachers required to ensuring that it is a LEARNING project and not a technology project. So when a teacher stumbles upon Greg’s site and sees that poster, they would be quite right in thinking “DING!” if I use “Book Creator” (which he has placed at the redefinition level) then I’m automatically transforming learning in my classroom. Well, no… not quite… there are some great opportunities to hit that level against the SAMR framework in using that app. However, if that teacher just gets students to type up their work in Book Creator then they are only hitting a substitution activity. Couldn’t they actually just be writing this on paper? How is using the app transforming learning here? It’s simply not.
I was greatly heartened last week when @AndyBartlettCPD tweeted me the image above. A planning document he’d made for one of the initial meetings of a group of 8 teachers and SLT looking to develop iPad pedagogy in school. Just how it should be with learning and thinking right at the heart of the matter.
So what’s the best way forward? Well – I know that for my thoughts, having done my research that:
- tablets are here to stay
- the best tablet available (currently) to support learning is the iPad
- careful thinking about learning is paramount
- it’s key to not let the technology dictate the learning
- don’t be afraid to use analogue or digital methods – just do your best thinking to make sure you make a sound choice (or even better, give students a range of choices)
If you’re thinking about bringing in new technology, whatever it is, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the above and how you’re approaching it. I don’t profess to have everything right and know it all, but this is my best thinking. My utopia in education is a world which recognises that with hundreds of thousands of pounds being spent on such expensive equipment, effective CPD and training is required. Schools and managers must recognise the importance of it all being related to learning, supported by sound CPD that empowers teachers to make the best choices about learning in their classrooms with the kit they’ve got. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
I was lucky to be asked to talk at the recent Cramlington Learning Village PE specific TeachMeet about ideas to support teaching & learning in PE. To that end I made a presentation on different iPad apps that, whilst not specific PE apps, can be used to great effect to support learning in the subject.
Here’s my presentation:
These are the apps I talked about:
1) Board cam for live annotation on your camera feed, as it happens (which you can record too!) http://bit.ly/WDaHJ7
2) Noteshelf for live drawing over custom paper (also, a great note taking tool) http://bit.ly/WDaNjP
3) Map-o-meter for calculating distances on courses http://bit.ly/WDaSUy
4) Steinway metronome for circuit training / bleep http://bit.ly/WDaWUs
5) iF LED for HD for scoreboards etc http://bit.ly/WDb6es
6) iCabMobile for dloading PE clips 4 from YouTube for analysis http://bit.ly/WDbcCQ
7) For putting all workflows together, the iBook creation tool
Thank you to David Paterson (@onet18975) for asking me to speak
I recently presented (virtually) about the SAMR framework for looking how you can transform learning through technology at TeachMeet Dorset. View that presentation below:
Where to begin?
I love evidence and certainly the chart below starts a compelling conversation about how we are going to use technology in education in the future. If we are looking in to how we are going to equip our young people with the digital skills they are going to need as they grow up, evidence clearly shows us we should be looking to not only give students learning opportunities with traditional desktop methods, but we should also definitely be looking at how mobile learning and mobile devices can be used.
I was lucky enough to hear Fraser Speirs speak recently at an Apple iPad event. He put it quite simply in the context of his daughter who is currently 4. When she is at an age when she finally finishes University, is she more or less likely to be using technology? Is technology going to be used less than it is today? The answers speak for themselves. We, therefore, as responsible managers in education, need to be giving our students the best opportunities to support learning. It’s so important that in our global job market where “92% of the Fortune 500 companies are testing or deploying iPad” and companies such as Marks & Spencer, Ducati, Magic Circle law firms, so forth are doing so too, we should be giving students these opportunities as well.
Clevedon iPad Learning Hub Task
Example John Snow video clip