Redefining Teaching & Learning with Technology

This year the West London Apple RTC is running a Teacher Learning Community focused on "Redefining Teaching and Learning with Technology." The community meets face-to-face once per half term to discuss recent research related to educational technologies.

Third Meeting: February 2019

summary by Jonathan White

In early February, our Teacher Learning Community met for the third time. Our goal for the year is to examine the impact of educational technology on the classroom, specifically focusing on how it can be used to "redefine" teaching and learning. Each meeting is preceded by a some assigned pre-reading. If you're not familiar with TLCs, have a look at the post from our first meeting for some more general information.

For this meeting, our topic was Video Assessment, such as that made possible by the Flipgrid and Recap apps. This was the focus of some action research carried out by my co-chair last year, which she shared with the group.

Members began by feeding back about their action plans from the previous meeting. Several had tried to integrate creative approaches into lessons, including the use of songs for memorisation, video in Clips for demonstrating concept mastery, stop-motion video, and think-aloud graphing using Explain Everything. Overall feedback on these creative approaches was positive, although in every case it was noted that they were proving time-consuming compared to previously-used activities. A number of people also mentioned an intention to carry on trialing creativity tools.

As our new learning, we were introduced to the apps Flipgrid and Recap, both of which are designed to set short tasks for students to complete whereby they submit a time-limited video clip. The tasks were designed as assessments, and students were asked to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding "live" on camera. Some took selfie-style approaches, while others preferred to provide voice-over whilst shooting a piece of paper with notes etc.. The Recap app allowed students to prepare speaking notes for themselves on screen, while Flipgrid didn't. However, Recap is being retired by its publisher in favour of a new product, so those wishing to trial video assessments will need to go with FlipGrid.

Members of the TLC formulated action plans related to video assessments and creative activities to complete before our next meeting in March. In addition to our new learning, at that meeting we will formulate a plan of action for an upcoming event in late March. All TLC members will be given the opportunity to present something that they have tried out in their classroom based upon action plans formulated in the TLC. Each TLC will have a room, and the meeting will function on a carousel, so every attendee can visit two TLCs, except those who are presenting who will still have the opportunity to visit another TLC in the other half of the carousel.