Using technology to engage learners

This week, I was observed by my Headteacher. The focus for the observation was ‘Engagement and Progress’. I have 29 children in my class and 16 iPads. Here is an outline of what we did.

In order for the ‘engagement’ aspect of this lesson to work, I spent the first 2 hours of the day hidden in my cupboard. My LSA welcomed the class, took the register and started the day – the children had no idea where I was – I watched on a monitor from the confines of my hiding place. 9.30am arrived and my Headteacher entered my classroom to observe me unaware of where I was. “Have you seen Mr Edwards?” My LSA asked my Headteacher (my LSA knew where I was, of course). With this, I appeared on the IWB (using my iPad camera and airserverapp). I had hung a big white sheet behind me to disguise where I was. The children became very excited.

“2CE”, I said, “I got so excited about your work on the North Pole that I decided to go. However, I got lost, I think I’m somewhere in Greenland and I really need your help. I have to whisper as I can hear some animals near by. I don’t know what animals they have here, so if some of you could find out and email me a list, that would be great. Also, it’s really cold here. Could you email me a list of suitable warm clothes to wear please? There’s lots of snow here. I’ve heard of a shelter called an igloo but I have no idea what they look like or how to make one. If some of you could find out what an igloo looks like and then have a go at building one using materials around the classroom, that would be a big help. Perhaps you could video yourselves making it to help me out. Finally, I don’t actually know where Greenland is! Can you have a look on the maps app and email me a screen shot? I’d really appreciate your help all! Speak soon.”

With this, they were off! Within 5 minutes, I was receiving emails from my class with screenshots of maps. Within 10 minutes, the emails containing lists of arctic animals and warm clothing started arriving. It was working! I could see on my monitor that all children were engaged and were completing the ‘tasks’ with excitement. I could also see small groups of children collaborating to build igloos using lego, blocks and boxes. Every so often I would reappear to thank the children and display excellent examples of what individuals had emailed through.

To close the lesson, I appeared on the IWB to explain that a rescue helicopter had found me and was bringing me back to school. As the children went out for play, I emerged from the cupboard.

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7 comments on “Using technology to engage learners

  1. […] his classroom of year 2 learners. He calls it "messy learning." His story about getting lost in Greenland is priceless. Lisa Welch and Wanda Richardson are Kindergarten teachers in Wisconsin as part of […]

  2. […] his classroom of year 2 learners. He calls it "messy learning." His story about getting lost in Greenland is priceless. Lisa Welch and Wanda Richardson are Kindergarten teachers in Wisconsin as part of […]

  3. […] his classroom of year 2 learners. He calls it “messy learning.” His story about getting lost in Greenland is priceless. Lisa Welch and Wanda Richardson are Kindergarten teachers in Wisconsin as part of […]

  4. […] his classroom of year 2 learners. He calls it “messy learning.” His story about getting lost in Greenland is priceless. Lisa Welch and Wanda Richardson are Kindergarten teachers in Wisconsin as part of […]

  5. […] his classroom of year 2 learners. He calls it “messy learning.” His story about getting lost in Greenland is priceless. Lisa Welch and Wanda Richardson are Kindergarten teachers in Wisconsin as part of […]

  6. […] his classroom of year 2 learners. He calls it “messy learning.” His story about getting lost in Greenland is priceless. Lisa Welch and Wanda Richardson are Kindergarten teachers in Wisconsin as part of […]

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