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I recently stumbled across an article on the BBC News website, after reading this article I became somewhat befuddled.

The opening statement was as follows:

“Children in the UK prefer using Google to asking their parents or teachers when they have a question…”

A snapshot survey asked 500 children between the age of 10-16 years old;
– ‘how do you find out new information?’
– ‘you need to find an answer to a question you don’t know the answer to, what do you do?’.

A staggering 54% of the children suggested that they would tend to ‘Google’ the question to find the answer, only 26% implied that they would ask their parents. Furthermore and even more worrying, only 15 children (3%) said that they would ask their teacher.

As teachers we are supposedly looked up to as ‘fountains of knowledge’ and ‘role models’ who’s job it is to educate the children of future generations. However, if only 3% of 500 children feel they would ask their teacher for an answer to an uncertain question, does this suggest education needs to change? Do teachers need to change their approach to delivering these ‘answers’?

The research continued to state that 91% of the pupils asked – ‘felt comfortable’ using internet search engines, and a fifth of the 500 children express that ‘they have NEVER used a Dictionary’. Now, this to me, is a very scary thought, but it illustrates an extremely important message that times are changing.

Children are growing up in an environment in which digital technology is seen as the norm, and with this – children are becoming increasingly confident with using new technology.

Dr Pam Waddell – Director of Birmingham Science City explicates that “It’s not surprising that with answers at the touch of a button, Youngsters often Google questions before asking Parents or Teachers”

However, this isn’t a necessarily a bad thing… It shows that the children of our generation are developing alongside the advances in technology, it is something they feel comfortable dealing with. As teachers we need to respect this and start to consider how we can implement new technology within our lessons, to engage the children we teach.

The question we need to ask is; Will pupils be more motivated/engaged by ‘writing answers in an exercise book’ or by being ‘involved in interactive lessons using technology’?

I would like to hear your thoughts on the matter… 🙂


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Create your own – iBook Revision Guide

Apple’s – iBook Author is an app designed for Apple Mac which enables you to design and publish your own iBooks.

“Now anyone can create stunning iBooks; textbooks, cookbooks, history books, picture books, and more for iPad. All you need is an idea and a Mac. Start with one of the Apple-designed templates that feature a wide variety of page layouts. Add your own text and images with drag-and-drop ease. Use Multi-Touch widgets to include interactive photo galleries, movies, Keynote presentations, 3D objects, and more. Preview your book on your iPad at any time. Then submit your finished work to the iBookstore with a few simple steps. And before you know it, you’re a published author.”  (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ibooks-author/id490152466?mt=12)

Why not create your own iBook to support revision?

If you can manage to ‘get your hands on’ an Apple Mac, you can use this sensational app to design an iBook for your pupil’s use. Whether you decide to create one large book for general revision or several small issues that refer to specific areas, using Apple and their technology to promote revision will surely be an effective way of getting your pupils attention…

Now, the term iBook may still be enough to put off some pupils. However, your class must be aware that; ‘it’s not just any old book’ – it is extremely interactive.

You can include lots of fun ‘things’ within your book. You have the option to choose from a variety of widgets that add Multi-Touch interactivity to your book. Why not add a photo gallery, chapter review, movie, Keynote presentation, interactive image with callouts, 3D object, or custom HTML anywhere in your book. You can also consider adding accessibility descriptions to any widget so that it can be used by sight-impaired readers easily with VoiceOver.

As the designer you can give your book a great beginning with templates that include a choice of page designs with matching fonts, colors, and textures – it is extremely easy to customize your book by adding images and texts. You can also use the Book Navigator to organise your issue by adding a contents and index page.

Once completed, you can preview your book in iBooks on an iPad to see how it looks and works. You may also want to  add a cover, video introduction, copyright page, dedication, and foreword to finalise your issue. Then, the best bit, submit your book to the iBookstore for sale or free download with a few simple steps – So ALL of you pupils can access the book and make the most of this excellent revision tool. Then, think about sharing it even further; export your book in iBooks format to share on iTunes U or to give to others.

You and I both know that pupils love spending time on their computers, iPods and iPhones. So why not give them a revision tool that they can use, without putting their gadgets away.

I am interested to see what you think of this idea… as always, please feel free to comment!


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The Use of iPads within Education – Specifically Physical Education

Physical Education (theory/examination) lessons across the United Kingdom rely predominantly on PowerPoint/Keynote presentations as a tool of delivery. Recently I have begun to get the impression that pupils feel that this style of delivery is becoming somewhat exhausted. Can teachers use modern technology and innovative methods to change their style and bring a fresh approach to the table? In turn, creating a spark and re-engaging the young children within education.

Introducing the Apple iPad – Due to its portable capabilities, stylish design and endless functions useful to teachers, the old trustworthy desktop presentation programs like Keynote and PowerPoint are slowly fading into the background.

iPad users now have the option to create and save work using the portable device, the users also have the opportunity to upload and share their work through ‘screencasting’. Screencasting is a great way for pupils to ‘collaborate, create and celebrate’ work in lessons through the use of ICT. If you can combine screencasting alongside other applications, the iPad can become an extremely effective tool to engage young children.

The iPad app from Educreations will renovate your classrooms and teaching. This app will turn your iPad into a magical tool that will allow you to plan and create extremely fun and interactive lessons, then afterwards you can upload and share the lessons and resources with others.

“Educreations transforms your iPad into a recordable whiteboard that captures your voice and handwriting to produce amazing video lessons that you can share online. It’s as simple as touching, tapping and talking.

Our handwriting technology renders beautiful digital ink that looks even better than the real thing. Make a mistake? No problem, you can always undo and redo any of your actions.” (http://www.educreations.com/about/ipad/)

“With this amazing app, you or your students can record a video lesson, post it to the web, share via numerous sources and allow pupils to use it for homework.” (http://handheldlearninginpe.com/)

The exceptional highlights within this app will enable you to make your lessons look great. Lessons can also be heightened by using all of the iPad’s features, you can add pictures, sounds and videos from the iPad’s ‘Libraries’ or a Dropbox (app) account. There are also a range of Revision Apps that can be downloaded and used within lesson. The high quality lessons that you will be extremely proud of can also be embedded on a blog and shared via Facebook or Twitter, Triangulating Technology.

If I could encapsulate my feelings and the message I am trying to send… I would conclude with:

– “Reach the same ‘Technological Level’ as your pupils. Engage with them, and allow the iPad to be one of the catalysts that help you create a more engaging classroom climate.”