Organising Disorganised Boys via mobile technology #edchat

Written by admin

Topics: Classroom Tech, Education, iPad, Technology

For reasons that are still not fully understood by many, boys are inherently poorly organised when it comes to planning their education. They drift from one day to the next engaging in lessons but lose the more holistic overview needed to ensure that they plan for their learning in the best possible way. They are not as good at managing controlled assessments and coursework, often leaving work until the eleventh hour, when invariably the work produced is rushed and not representative of their best efforts.

So, over the past couple of weeks I have thought about some strategies that I wanted to try with my new Y10 Computing class. It’s a class of 24 students, predominantly boys (21 in total) who are all keen and eager to learn but not all organised. All of them have a Smartphone (Android being more commonplace than iOS), in their very first lesson we talked about being effective learners and how we could all benefit from harnessing the technology they bring to school on a daily basis. I went through a list of apps that I thought they should get. The list included Evernote, Google drive (setting up a google account if they didn’t already have one), Dropbox, Springpad and a QRCode reader. Many used the public WiFi cloud at school to download the Apps there and then, some decided to leave it until they got home. All were instructed to have the Apps installed and ready to go in the next lesson. We discussed time management and how important it was for them to deliver an effective work routine, scheduling evenings for home learning and not leaving work to the last minute. Many of the boys said they struggled organising their time and didn’t like writing things in their homework diaries. They said that often there was not enough space to write the tasks in and they preferred to have everything in one place to refer to. That one place being their own mobile device. I decided that a good starting point would be to encourage the group to start using the calendar on their phone to store events, namely homework deadlines, coursework submission dates and so on. If I could get good practice embedded within their Computing lessons there was a good chance that this would be modelled into other subjects.

I wanted a way of delivery event information quickly so looked to QRCodes for the answer. Not all QRCode generators can generate ical style events but I’ve used QRafter Pro on my iPad for quite a long time now and knew it would be up to the job – I love its ability to create all manner of QRCodes and it now links to Dropbox making it an even better tool for educators. So here is an example of the QRCode I generated for the homework task. I tend to generate the tasks on the deadline for the homework, but may look at changing this to a couple of days before the deadline to further manage students with their time management.

QRafter Pro in action

I’ve been using a couple of ways to deliver the QRCodes to the students – quite often I’ll use PowerPoint to scaffold lesson delivery so when it comes to setting of homelearning (I often to this at the beginning of the lesson as it supports much better Assessment for Learning) I will simply insert the QRCode on a slide. Make sure the QRCode is large so that students at the back of the room will have the same success scanning it as those at the front. If I am working in a more dynamic way int he classroom I will simply generator the QRCode on the fly and display it on my ipad on mydesk, during the lesson the students just come and scan it onto their phone.

When students scan the QRCode the resulting information was added to an event in their calendar (see below). All they had to do is click on add.

Using QRCodes like this has great potential I’ve already thought about adding qrcodes to our newsletter so that parents can add important school events to their calendar with relative ease. The list of opportunities is endless!

QRCode Event

2 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Ruby says:

    Hi there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok. I’m absolutely
    enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

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