I saw the Socrative student polling app demonstrated at the Music Ednet ‘Daytime‘ music conference.
Socrative is free (basic use) and consists of a teacher module where quizzes, questionnaires and resource materials are assembled and a class module where students logon (via the website or app) to take part in the poll.
Our demonstration had us answering questions about our music-technology abilities and our involvement in courses focusing on scoring for movies.
The app worked flawlessly, updating voting / scoring in real time.
Once home I tried out the teacher app (on iPad) and found it to be easy to use if perhaps a little bare-bones.
Socrative should prove useful in any curriculum area and could be used to gain student feedback, test basic concepts or administer assessment tasks.
The app provides a range of reports and the option for responses to remain anonymous. The help facilities are impressive, with a free pdf manual to make operation and quiz creation painless. Personally I liked the idea of the ‘Space Race’ the best; students are placed in teams which compete to race across the screen. Huge fun!
First term is program writing term. With existing courses in desperate need of alignment, I used the information on the Australian Curriculum site to create a short, easy to read summaries of the relevant Music Skills & Knowledge and Drama Skills & Knowledge. The summaries are in pdf format; contact me for the editable Word documents.
R-8 Drama Skills & Knowledge
R-6 Music Skills & Knowledge
For all you iDoceo users out there, version 3 is available for download and it looks like a beauty.
There’s a bunch of iPad classroom organisation / mark-books / programs out there but I’ve stuck with iDoceo because:
- It’s fully featured – I’m still finding things it can do and experimenting with the possibilities.
- It’s easy to navigate around – essential for in-classroom use.
- It’s been updated regularly – the developers are not sitting on their laurels!
But for me, the killer part is – and has always been – the rich multimedia capture. As a Science / Drama / Music teacher I need the ability to record video, audio and take photos. iDoceo delivers this in spades, and (hi-hip-hooray!) has expanded this in the latest update.
Now we’ve got a fully fledged media organiser!
Yep, tap the Resources icon and you can see a complete list of all the photos, videos and photos you’ve taken or imported. You can filter by classes, diary or students and use the buttons to erase, move, copy or add. You can use the built in Web Server to upload / download resources, a huge time saver. You can also open the resources directly into a wide range of other apps (EverNote, DropBox, Edmodo, Google Drive and more). Brilliant!
There’s more of course. (List of what’s new in version 3.1)
- New timeline
- Diary / planner manipulation
- Link from files on your iPad
- Bulletin board enhancements – zoom in and out
- Quick backup options
- Improved seating plan reports
- New calculations – rank, compare
- Improved editing flow – less screen tapping!
So if you’re iDoceo user, backup up installation and download this. If you’re not an iDoceo user, you’re missing out on a brilliant classroom resource.
PS Just a suggestion to iDoceo though – change the icon. A blackboard and chalk metaphor? In 2014?
My good mates at Maverick Musicals (who publish my musicals) have just updated their website and what a beauty it is!
Now, I must admit to nostalgia for the old site, after all, I designed and coded it, learning FrontPage, asp programming and design along the way.
But there was no easy way to bring this very 90’s looking (and functioning) site into the 21st century. And I was the first to admit that it was beyond my abilities, especially the web-payments side of things.
But Queensland web designers Fig Creative have risen to the challenge and delivered a crisp, clean, modern and easy-to-navigate website that’s a delight to use.
Maverick have always had a reputation for great customer service and the new website reflects this totally. If you’re a school looking for a show to put on, you won’t find a better range anywhere.
Just like before, you can download free samples of every play, musical, theatre-restaurant and classroom resource. But now you can order direct from the site for immediate dramatic-gratification. Play information is more readily accessible and there are clear descriptions of copying fees, royalties and performance costs on each page.
The old site did us well for many a year, but I’m so proud to see my musicals up on such a fantastic site.
Well done guys!
What it is: an iPad app for introducing programming concepts.
Who it’s for: F-2 students (or older students with no programming background)
Australian Curriculum link: “Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems.” (ACTDIP004)
- It’s aimed at absolute beginners.
- You can play in free-play mode or challenge mode.
- If students can read the words ‘move’, ‘turn’ or ‘grow’ they can program.
- Download from the app store onto your iPad.
- Jump into Challenge Mode.
- Complete the first challenge; use the ‘move’ command to make Daisy move across the screen to hit the star.
- Well done! You’ve made your first program!
There are only a few challenges but they do introduce sequencing and the use of a ‘repeat’ command. Back in free-play mode you have just seven (blue) commands to play with; limiting but not overwhelming.
- Move: select forward or backward.
There are are also two pink commands:
You can drag blue commands onto the pink ‘repeat 5’ command and it … repeats that command 5 times. Drag blue commands onto the pink ‘when’ command and they will only be executed when Daisy is tapped or the iPad is shaken.
That’s about it. You can’t save, add sprites, backgrounds or anything else. But it is easy to get into for JP students and a little imagination will soon have Daisy gyrating across the grassy stage. Brilliant! Daisy the Dinosaur on the App Store Daisy the Dinosaur programming tutorial iPad Apps: Daisy the Dino from LondonCLC on Vimeo.
Compass Rose & the Birdnesters
It is the early 19th century and Queen Victoria is on the throne in England. An ocean away in the far Pacific, the HMS Shearwater, with famous explorer Captain McAlister at the helm, is nearing the mysterious Island at the End of World’. Locked in her cabin for disobedience (and not doing her homework) is his wanna-be explorer daughter, Constance Rose.
Already on the apparently deserted island is ex-pirate Captain Jack Daw and his crew. They’re birdnesting – collecting rare bird eggs for a rich baron back in England. Since this is against the law, they hide themselves as soon as the navy ship is spotted.
Constance escapes from her cabin, rows to the island and goes exploring. Unfortunately, the first thing she discovers is her father and the crew. After a lecture on following orders, she’s locked back in her cabin. Captain McAlister informs his crew of his secret orders; to capture the birdnesters reported in the area. Lookouts are posted, a cannon set up and the botanists start collecting animals.
The Three Pigs is a wonderfully rich starting point for a technology and design unit. Students can investigate house plans, material strength, hinges and how they work, cooking utensils, wolf-trap making and lots more!
Here’s the unit sheet for the Year 2 topic I taught, complete with simple rubric and parental explanation.
Technology Plan: The Three Pigs (Word docx)
Hi, I’m Tim Tuck, and I teach Reception through Year 12 students at Central Yorke School in South Australia. This blog is my online hitching-post to share classroom resources, reviews and classroom hacks. It also (quite) subtly provide links to some of the school musicals (at Maverick Musicals) and educational books (at Blake Education and Pascal Press) that I’ve written over the years as well as copies of my teaching resources – both free and paid – on the TES store.
Music, drama, science and technology are my main interests and I hope that’s reflected in the posts and downloads on show. Enjoy!
My Links: My TES Store | Blake Education | Pascal Press | Maverick Musicals