Friday, 21 February 2014

PE and the SAMR Model - making a start by applying it to students’ reflections

There is lots of great work and advice on the internet about PE and Technology integration and which apps to use. There is also lots of discussions out there about if we should be using tech and not getting carried away with using apps for the sake of it at the expense of other aspects of PE.

It was 6 months ago as a school we received an ipad each in the PE department to use in class and that the school went google apps. Over the last 6 months we have played with lots of different apps and tossed around many of ideas, most of which never make it into the class. As I am becoming more familiar with the technology available I have been thinking about the need for some framework for working out what we do with tech in PE and why we do it.

I recently revisited the SAMR model, but when I googled PE and the SAMR model to find specific examples, there is very little work out there. The SAMR model provides a good basis for working out are we using technology for the sake of it or to enhance teaching and learning.

At the end of our PYP PE units the students participate in a reflection task. Quite often if involved a pencil and piece of paper, the end result then went into their portfolio. At the start of the year as we played around with google apps we got excited when we realised that we could do this reflection with a google form. We got the students to right click on the completed form and print it, so that they could use it in their portfolios. Looking back we did not really enhance their learning in any way, we just replaced the paper and pencil with a screen and keyboard - the end result was the same. This is an example of substitution in the SAMR model.

Moving up a level to Augmentation (basically the same tool but with a functional improvement), we asked the students to complete their reflection via google forms, but we then used the autocrat script to take their response, and that of their pre assessment and a teacher comment on their performance in the unit and automatically merge this information into one document, with a click of a button.

The real aim is to create tasks at the higher levels - Modification and Redefinition.

In our recent Athletics unit for Grade 2 & 3 students, I opened up the task. We used ipads and the book creator app. Each student created a new page in the book for their reflection. They had to choose one event, that they thought they performed well at or improved at and explain what they did to reach that performance level. This could be achieved by typing in some text, or more popular was to record themselves talking. They also had to get a friend to record a video of them performing the event and add it to the page as well. All of a sudden we have a reflection that show lots more about what the student achieved than previously.

Next task - applying this model to how we are using technology and creating tasks that allow students to be working at the higher level of the model.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Novelty iPad Apps to increase motivation

I like running. Also I enjoy throwing things and jumping - all components of our athletic units in elementary. But like the students, I often find it hard to motivate myself to run sometimes especially when the temperatures are in the low 30’s oC, in the middle of a winters day in the tropics.

Fortunately this year, as well as  playing a variety of running games and having different objects to throw, I have also been able to utalise the ipad to increase motivation, as well as develop the teaching and learning, but that is a different blog post!

It is amazing when the ipad chooses a distance to run it is much more acceptable than if I asked. I have used ‘Decide Now’ - a spinning wheel,  to choose the warm up tag games or to choose how far they need to run. It is amazing the excitement it generates as they watch the wheel spin and see what they have to do - even when they know the answer will involve running in the heat! The app allows you to store an unlimited number of wheels, each with up to 10 categories. Similar is ‘Make Dice Lite’, which has also been used. The free version only allows you to store 6 dice, but you can have several dice on the table at a time.

ChatterPix for Kids is another app the kids enjoyed. I photographed a throwing implement, and then recorded the instructions on how to throw it. You then draw a mouth on the app and on playback the object speaks your instructions!! This is one app that I know several students have gone home and used.

As an alternative to seeing how far the students can throw, we have measured how fast the object is going through the air using RadarGun. There is lots of effort going into seeing if they can throw a nerf rocket goes faster than the school bus.

The ability to watch their performance is also a great motivator. This year I borrowed a ipad stand and set up the ipad with BAM video delay. The students could jump into the pit and come out and watch their jump, as the next person was jumping and being recorded. It does not offer the detailed analysis of ubersense, but it does allow all the students in the class to watch themselves and check a particular teaching point all on one ipad.