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Social Studies 11 - Exploring Technology Through Technology

Exploring Learning Through Learning - SS11 iPad & E-text Pilot
by

JB Mahli

on 18 February 2013

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Transcript of Social Studies 11 - Exploring Technology Through Technology

Foundation Teacher Driven with District Support Executive Summary Shift in Pedagogy - Curriculum/Instruction The Social Studies iPad and E-text Pilot project was truly the brainchild of department heads and teachers in secondary schools in Surrey. Department Heads were looking for ways of increasing the opportunity for students to create rather than just consume content. Would the digital sphere provide this opportunity? Teachers with the support of Ed Services and Learning Resources created the iPad & E-text Pilot to investigate how students could use digital tools to empower their learning in Social Studies. Exploring Technology Through Learning Social Studies iPad & E-text Pilot Social Studies Department Heads across the Surrey School District have been working alongside department members in creating more learning opportunities for students to engage with content through Inquiry-Based Learning. This is a goal for our team this year and next year. With support and professional development opportunities provided by Education Services in our district, department heads are learning of innovative and new ways of bringing IBL/PBL and Challenge-Based Leaning opportunities to life for teachers and students across secondary schools in Surrey. "The more engaged students are the more they will learn". (Karen Hume, 2010) A focus for our team as department heads, in conjunction with Ed Services, is investigating and developing opportunities for educators to meet the shift in pedagogy today. Through research it is apparent, the more engaged students we have the highly likelihood they will learn more. With support and learning opportunities in place, Social Studies classrooms are emerging as leaders in creating 21st century classrooms by placing the tools in the hands of students and teachers. In consultation with the Social Studies Helping Teacher, an online survey was designed and developed to capture a snapshot involving impact in three broad areas:

(1) Improved student learning
(2) Enhanced student engagement; and
(3) Moving instruction closer to practices of personalized learning.

In addition, open ended questions were asked about strengths, weaknesses of the pilot as well as suggestions for improvement

The survey was completed by 11 teachers and 13 students. It is early in the implementation stages of this pilot but teachers responded with examples and evidence of changes in their pedagogy as well as the differences observed among students within their classrooms. Students responded with examples and evidence of how the digital tools along with the changes in their learning environment impacted their learning. Meeting the Needs of the
21st Century Learner 1. Improved Student Learning What has been the impact of the pilot project on student learning in SS11? “Students had easy access to all facts, vocabulary terms, video links, and all source documents needed for success. Using the iPad to write quizzes and tests allowed for more written output at a deeper level, and allowed for better assessment for learning strategies (peer feedback, re-doing assignments, seeing examples and non-examples). My class scores on provincial exam were slightly higher than the other classes in the school and I had no students fail the course. “ “Yes, I believe it has improved [student learning]. Students have shown their understanding by creating iMovies and other videos where they are the creators and narrators of their ’story’. The evidence of improved student learning is the portfolio of student created work” 2. Enhanced Student Engagement What are the impacts of the pilot process (utilization and opportunity of the iPad with E-text) on important aspects of student engagement? “Engagement, engagement, engagement. Students were far more engaged in class content with the use of the iPad. This engagement provided more energy in the room and that allowed a more positive attitude toward all areas of the class. The iPad leads to more student centered activity, more trust, higher order thinking activities and more ownership over their learning. Access to the E-text was easy, and it was available anywhere. Students have a more positive attitude toward using the text.” “Students are more likely to share ideas, links, and other resources with each other using digital tools like the iPad and our class use of edmoto.com as a place to blog, post and reply about the subject matter on a regular basis. Also, the iPad lead to more authentic project work and project sharing making a class a more enjoyable and exciting place to learn.” “The quality of student output has been greatly enhanced. Students have created original work that they are very proud of. Furthermore it allows students more chances to represent their learning in more creative and enjoyable ways.” 3. Moving Instruction Closer to the Practices of Personalized Learning Has the pilot process moved you closer to the practices of personalized learning? "My planning and instruction is increasingly changing and incorporating essential questions and inquiry based learning. While this is still very new and sporadic with specific units rather than the entire course, I would say that it has changed the way I think about planning and teaching a content course.” “I am able to give more instant feedback on skills to students. For example, when students are learning new skills we often use Apple TV to mirror student work and give feedback on their progress. As a result, the quality of student work has greatly improved.” “Because of access to information I am no longer the information provider and while we are still using a text book students are able to get more in-depth information. This has changed my teaching practice to more of a inquiry based/project based learning. Therefore, the iPad has allowed me to not only differentiate my instructions as well as the students end product.” Looking Forward The Surrey School District is leading the way in meeting the needs of 21st century learners by creating opportunities for students to personalize their learning.

The iPad & E-Text pilot has recently added a phase 3 and will be in 18 of 19 secondary schools this semester with over 600 iPads specifically designated for Social Studies. “I believe I have been able to increase the opportunity for inquiry based learning and project based learning in my classes because of the pilot. I have been able to meet the shift in pedagogy head on by working alongside students to provide opportunities for students to inquire, create, re-create, and assess their learning using 21st Century skills.“
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