Focus: Curriculum – Modelling 

Sandringham EdTech will be continuing to publish a series of blogs highlighting how EdTech can be used to support, and facilitate high quality teaching in relation to the ‘Great Teaching and Learning’ framework established and implemented by Sandringham School this year. 

Sandringham Teachers:

4.2 Provide highly developed explanations, step by step modelling and faded worked examples.

Our most recent blogs and webinar work at Sandringham EdTech have focused upon key research and framework around the use of technology to support high quality teaching. 

We have briefly spoken about and referred to The EEF guidance report of 4 key recommendations on Using Digital Technology To Improve Learning and more specifically section 1: Technology can be used to improve the quality of explanations and modelling, this section of the guidance specifically supports the idea that:

Technology can help teachers model in new ways and provide opportunities to highlight how experts think as well as what they do, but may be most effective when used as a supplement rather than a substitute for other forms of modelling. 1

Whilst discussions and use of technology to support high quality explanations and modelling also supporting the framework and ideas presented within Rosenshine’s principles of instruction. (More information on Rosenshine’s Principles of instruction can be found here)

Explored below are a selection of tools which are commonly used at Sandringham within a variety of subject areas, in order to support high quality teaching and most commonly to support modelling and explanations within lessons. 

Screencastify in Media Studies

Within Media Studies we explore and use the Adobe Suite, this can be a difficult programme to use and master. The complexities of the programme can often be a barrier to the students willingness to initially use and work within the Suite. Traditionally when using Photoshop teachers would model the key features and work with the class step-by-step to support student understanding, this could then be coupled with a printed guide. In recent years the use of technology has enabled us to further support our students in their initial exploration of Photoshop, through the creation of video tutorials. 

I use Screencastify (a Chrome extension) to accompany my initial modelling. Screencastify is a simple screen capture tool, which in its basic (free) model allows the user to capture 5 minute videos. The tool allows you to capture your; whole desktop, a tab or your webcam, enabling your microphone allows you to add additional commentary. 

I simply record a narrated video of the key features of photoshop which can be shared with students, so that they can access the tutorials as and when they need. This allows students an instant level of support, whilst allowing me more freedom as class teacher to tackle the more difficult questions. The videos created can be downloaded or directly saved within your Google Drive, allowing for multiple use and sharing through Google Classroom. After the initial creation, the resources also work to reduce workload, as once created can be used time and time again. 

There are many screen capture tools available, so find which works best for you. I really started to maximise my use of screen capture during remote learning, to support students who may have missed key explanations. However, I have found that screen recording has been a key component used to support the varying needs of my students since our return to face to face teaching. 

Using EdTech to model in Science 

Written by – Hayden Reynolds – Science Teacher – Sandringham School 

My use of EdTech to model in science is primarily based around screencasting my iPad onto the board. This has several advantages over just writing directly on to the board alone

·       I can save and upload my notes to the google classroom with ease for missing students/later reference

·       Images / notes can be manipulated / zoomed when necessary

·       I can show students how to arrange their writing on the page

·       I am facing the students while doing the work so I can monitor work and behaviour

I mainly use this screen casting in two ways: live notes using Notability and exam annotation using photograph mark-up.


 Live Notes using Notability

The example shown is from a year 9 lesson on the formation of crude oil. By choosing a flow diagram and using simple diagrams alongside words I am managing the cognitive load of my students effectively, compressing a large amount of information into a clear and concise diagram.

By doing this rather than just putting a flow diagram on the board via PowerPoint I show students the quality of diagrams (Sir, I can’t draw!) aren’t as important as the process. Further to this it is easier to manage lesson timings and what should / shouldn’t be written down.

Live Annotations using photograph mark-up

During many lessons I have students attempt exam questions on the content they have learned in the lesson, or get them to draw a graph.

In order to mark their work, I will often take a picture of a students work and live mark it on the screen in front of the whole class. I will highlight the key words in the question, where the marks have been earnt in the question and why, and finally what improvements could be made.

Microsoft Office Lens in English

Office Lens and other similar scanning apps (also see Adobe Scan) were initially utilised by some members of staff to support their application of remote learning. 

During lockdown I used the Office Lens app to take scans of my annotated texts, collate them to a PDF which I could then share on Google classroom. This was particularly useful for GCSE classes. I was also able to share instructions for using office lens with my class which meant they could complete handwritten assessments and then upload them for marking to Google classroom using Office Lens.  Alison Cuneen: Sandringham School English teacher 

Settling back into life after remote learning, Alison has full intention of reusing the resources created in Office Lens. Being able to share and model the appropriate level of annotation within key texts will be a valuable support for many students. This is another key use of technology which after the initial creation, is an example of maximising Edtech to ease long-term workload. Alongside this, the ability to quickly and efficiently digitise written responses offers additional benefits in creating secure banks of student evidence, should we have further need for this model in the future.

Modelling Using Jamboard in Maths

Written by: Hannah Fryer – Maths Teacher – Sandringham School

As all maths teachers will know, getting students to lay their work out in a clear and coherent way can be a challenge. We often spend hours of our teaching time at the whiteboard demonstrating, only to rub it all off at the end and our hard work be erased. In my search for a solution I came across Google Jamboard. Jamboard allows me to demonstrate answers, annotate exam questions and work through them with students, whilst also saving the work as I go along. The best part is that you can share it with students and even give them the option to collaborate.

The only downside with setting up your Jamboard is the inability to upload a pdf to the slides. I use the screen grab/capture function on my mac and upload the photo using the insert photo function, or you could take a photo on your ipad/device/phone and upload the image of the exam paper.

Once you have inserted your photo/exam question into the Jamboard, you’re all good to go. Working through the exam questions with the students couldn’t be easier. The ability to highlight the question and also annotate around it is fantastic.

The Jamboard can easily be shared with your students via a link, meaning it can be emailed, put on google classroom or turned into a QR code. Once shared, you can give the students the opportunity to collaborate, or just view the Jamboard. This is particularly great as it allows the students to revisit the questions that you have gone through as and when they see fit.

 Another fantastic aspect of modelling with Jamboard is the live feature. Much like the other google platforms (docs, sheets etc.), as I draw on the Jamboard on one device, it will appear on the other. This is also the same for the ‘laser’ function. This is great as it means that students can follow along on their devices if (god forbid!) We end up in a situation where we have to teach virtual or hybrid lessons.

Using Jamboard for modelling was also fantastic when I was injured, as it allowed me to model work on my iPad, as I would on a whiteboard, whilst displaying the Jamboard through the computer on my interactive board. The live drawing and live laser meant it was almost as if I was at the board.

Whilst Jamboard still has room for improvement, for now it has proven to be an excellent platform to modelling and sharing work with students and also collaborating with them.

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