Recently at Uppingham Community College, the IT/Computing department has been working with other teachers around the school to encourage the use of other technologies in lessons. Not for the sake of using Technology but as a method of engagement. Many teachers have been trying different things and have been using tools such as Songsmith and Mouse Mischief. We have also had our very own App Squad developing apps for the teachers to use in lessons.
I approached one of our Math teachers Mr Jones about using Skype. The idea was for students to explain what they had been learning to each other. At the beginning of the lesson it was explained to the students and they knew that they would have an opportunity to share their work at the end of the lesson. Mr Jones explained that he would be teaching his year 7’s BODMAS (Brackets Of Division Multiplication Addition Subtraction) and I would be teaching my Year 8 students about algorithms.
In terms of technical difficulties we had none with the connection. Some of problems appeared when it came to restrictions with the security settings on our laptops. We had to speak to the technicians about removing the restrictions. This enabled us to install Skype and get it working. It was very clear and students were very keen to listen to each other and it make a good change to the pace of the lesson.
I could tell that Mr Jones had a really engaging lesson. 3 of his students came up to explain BODMAS to my class and they listened. The thing that I liked was seeing students really enjoying maths. They even made up a dance to a BODMAS song and performed it for our class. My class gave a round of applause for the students. The main point of this is that it made it engaging for the students and they will remember this lesson because they were all taking part. I have embedded a couple of pictures to show you the success. In my lesson, there were 3 students who were usually quite quiet in terms of participation, they were volunteering to come up to the webcam and explain the term algorithm to Mr Jones class. Was great to see.
We’re going to meet up in another two weeks to teach each other new terms in math and computing. I would also like to thank Mr Jones for allowing me to share this with you guys.