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Multimedia approaches

This video explores a variety of ways in which technology can help pupils to present their learning effectively.
We know from a lot of the the current research that the idea of students creating visuals and dual coding is very powerful in terms of their understanding and their later recall so we’re trying to put a lot of this into various subjects, particularly in geography history, maths, science, PE. So having students create their own visuals to help explain things, often with minimal text, can work really effectively. So tools and apps like Popplet allow us to create very visual, quite rich mind maps often of things students might not be able to draw but by being able to insert images from the internet they can have very complex but effective visual diagrams to aid their learning and understanding.
Whether that’s flowcharts of how a power station works, or a timeline of improvements in sports psychology and PE it’s really allowed the students to get a much better visual understanding and then articulate their responses to that and how well they understand the information that they’re looking at. So tools like that have been really powerful. The other thing that’s worked really well for us is creating our own digital resources like interactive textbooks so we’ve been able, in things like maths, to use the power of video and animation to explain topics that students might not often understand so things like transformations or rotations around an axis on a graph. How does this become that down there?
Not all students will appreciate the instructions for that but being able to do it visually on a diagram with animation really helps them understand and then they can add to that and annotate those movie clips and explain it better for themselves. One of the things that we’ve been able to do with the iPad and cloud-based services is to push out a range of graphic organisers and scaffolding devices for students and particularly where the staff have gone paperless, this has meant they can produce work much faster, there’s a greater range of support available for different ability students; without the stigma of coloured stickers to differentiate on their exercise books.
One of the places we found this most effective, because all students have had an iPad and it’s been 100% inclusive, has been things like the RADY initiative and SEND students and particularly pupil premium students. Previously they may not have had access to that type of technology but now they all have iPads, they’re all on a level playing field and really they’re able to produce a very high quality of work, take a lot of pride in that work and we’ve been able to see the gaps between our pupil premium students and the national average completely close since we started that iPad initiative. It’s been one of the big factors in the success of them.
In this video, Greg Hughes, Vice Principal at de Ferrers Academy (secondary), shares how pupils can present their learning more effectively, drawing on the principles of dual coding and elaboration to improve their understanding and later recall.

Greg offers examples of visual mindmaps used across geography, history, maths, science and PE. Popplet has been their tool of choice for creating these multimedia diagrams, flowcharts, timelines to support pupils’ learning. He also speaks about how the use of multimedia has transformed their use of textbooks. In addition, technology has benefitted the dissemination of graphic organisers and scaffolding devices as a method for teachers to present new concepts to their pupils, supporting in particular their SEND and more disadvantaged pupils.

Thank you to Apple Education staff and Apple Distinguished Schools for creating this content.

The tools mentioned by Greg are:

  • Popplet – a multimedia mindmapping tool

Whilst Greg references the use of iPads, consider what might enable you to achieve similar in your own context if you don’t currently have a 1-1 iPad scheme.

If you choose to focus on this case study as part of this week’s learning, you can share any initial reflections and questions with the course community in the comments space below.
  • How might any of these approaches be applied in your own context to solve a challenge you’ve identified?
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Using Technology in Evidence-Based Teaching and Learning

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