How Are You Incorporating Technology Into Your Teaching?

I am lucky enough to work at a school where every student and teacher has their own tablet, and this has massively changed the way in which I am able to bring technology into the classroom. 

One of the simplest ways of using technology is for Assessment for Learning (AfL) opportunities. Many teachers use mini-whiteboards to have all of their students answer a question at the same time, but my students can write on their iPads instead, saving me the job of giving out and collecting whiteboards during the lesson. 

I recently discovered an alternative way of using technology for AfL: a website called Socrative. Using Socrative, I can ask every student to explain a concept, and have all of their answers appear on the interactive whiteboard anonymously. This has allowed me not only to know if every student understands a concept, but also to analyse how well students can explain a concept and use appropriate vocabulary. I can then use some of the students’ responses as a model answer.

Our school uses Apple TV to allow teachers’ tablets to connect to the projectors. I have found that this provides another opportunity to use students’ work as a model answer. I can photograph a student’s working and display that on the interactive whiteboard, and use this as an answer to a given question. This can also be used to encourage clear working in students by asking others to give feedback about their presentation in a friendly manner.

During this term I have been thinking about the best way to give feedback. I want it to be immediate, so that students do not practise an incorrect technique for 5 minutes before discovering it is wrong. But I may also not want to give all students the answers at the same time. I have found that websites like Dr Frost Maths, MyMaths and Transum will quickly tell students if they are right or wrong, and then students who do not understand what they have done wrong can ask for my help.

At the end of the lesson, I like to check how students have understood the topic, often by asking a few key multiple-choice questions. This can help consolidate knowledge, and change the content of the next lesson. A lot of the students love playing quizzes on Kahoot, which can use tablets or phones. I have also started using Plickers quizzes – this requires a projector to show the question to the class, and only the teacher to have a phone or tablet. Students hold up a QR code to signify their response, and the phone/tablet is used to scan the room and collect the responses. This means that in schools which don’t have student devices, technology can still be used to improve learning.

By Aaron Barker.