Thursday, May 15, 2014

Why wait? Ask an "Expert" instead!

iPad "Experts"

When you're introducing a new app to the class (or sometimes even when you're using a well-known one!) there are always plenty of questions...

Whenever I've introduced a new app (or some new feature in an 'old' one)  I've had lines of students holding iPads standing in front of me, waiting- 'patiently'- for me to answer their questions so they could get back to their tasks.

This can be very stressful for teachers, who (if they're anything like me) feel the pressure of trying to answer all those questions quickly so that students don't waste too much time. It's also stressful for the students, who feel the pressure of trying to finish tasks with less time available to them.

So I had to quickly come up with a solution so that all the students' learning time wasn't becoming waiting time!

'Experts' helping each other out.
So, we came up with our "Experts"- that is students who were confident in using an app, who could answer the other students' questions.

The job of the 'Expert" was to pass on their skills to another student, who in turn had to pass on what they now knew to another student.

It has worked very well in our classroom, especially when learning how to use the Google drive effectively. We chose four student who were confident using Google drive both through the app and through Safari. They showed the other students what functions worked best through the app and through Safari.

We went from four "Google Drive Experts" in our class of 57,  to having at least half the class feeling confident in using Google drive both through the app and through Safari.

Now, a lot more students know that uploading photos to your Google drive is easier through the app, but creating documents and inserting/ manipulating photos is much easier when you log in through Safari.

We have "Experts" for Explain Everything and iMovie, "Experts" at bookmarking, web searching and organising photos. Questions are being answered quickly and the students are able to show each others tricks and shortcuts that the teachers didn't even now about! It has certainly taken the pressure off the teachers!

1 comment:

  1. Well done Jennifer and the Year 4 team at OLMC. Students never cease to amaze me with their ability to teach me new things they have discovered for themselves. Establishing and sharing student expertise helps build the kind of collaborative learning communities we are seeking. It also is liberating for the teacher when students demonstrate such independence.