‘If you’ve got your iPad on, we’re on 21st 11, Unit 7, Areas. You should also have your textbook open and your exercise book open. Today’s date please.’ The maths department has been begging for tech in the classroom for ages and when it was decided to have iPads, it was fantastic. It’s a sea change in the maths department. Having that instant ability to visualise maths.
I’m a great Office user at home anyway and all our documents, Excel, Word are all Office based and we were already implementing OneNote in the maths department as a great alternative to the whiteboard and so the option then to have Teams layered on top of it has just been fantastic, and particularly looking at your options for that communication with the children. ‘So I think everybody, yesterday, got their homework uploaded and put in and I have now marked it and put the comment on Teams. So can you please have a look.
If you’re not sure about how to find that, you can look on your OneNote and make sure that I have marked it with a tick, you have made the corrections. Yes, have you got that OneNote open please? Thank you. If you’ve got your Teams open, you can read the comment. Ok, so view the assignment. Ok, it’s the assignment for the algebra exam practice.’ I do my marking on there, I have the feedback on there, it’s a place where… a depository for files. There’s a file directory. I can put links, separate links, to the textbooks, the other programmes. It’s seamless because it’s all Office environment.
So, for instance let’s take marking, I was talking about the feedback in class today, all the lessons are presented in OneNote. What you saw was typical. Every one’s different but that was a typical lesson. The homework I set for them, I, in the past would have set directly in OneNote as a homework and distributed it as a page in OneNote. I now do that in Teams. I can go into Teams, set an assignment, and I tell it which page to point to and it then distributes it to every child in OneNote.
It creates an assignment page in the Teams, which then I can just go to that assignment page and pull up each child’s homework and mark it and record the mark, write a comment, type a comment in the box and then send it to them so they get a little email saying, this is your assignment. This is the comment.
I still then use the OneNote, I can go into the OneNote page, often my format is that they upload a photo of their work and I encourage them to do it early rather than waiting for the next lesson, so then I mark it, make comments on it, give them audio feedback if need be, and then send it back for corrections and then it’s a… should be, it doesn’t always work successfully. What I’m looking for is everybody to get 100% on those homeworks. It’s not a test situation, it’s an improving… a positive feedback cycle.
I’ve been using it all term and they’re beginning to get the idea that, submit it early, get my comments, resubmit, ask questions, they can make little audios if they want to or they just send me a picture, ‘I’m stuck on this’, or an email, ‘I’m stuck on this’. That feedback loop, it’s really quick because I can do marking at any time because I’ve got their work on my computer. I haven’t got to lug books around. So for me as a busy head of department, it’s a no-brainer. It’s just brilliant. Yeah, and I enjoy it. ‘Hi Anya, thanks for those corrections. Could you just look again at question number 5 and you’ll see that you didn’t actually include the graph there.
Could you just go back in and include the graph and then I can give you 100% for that one? Thanks very much Anya.’ It’s like having that individual conversation and it’s much easier. You can do it in a minute here, two minutes there, and it’s instantly gone to them. It’s just so much easier than trying to arrange a time to meet 30 children or 20 children after a class. They’ve got a record of it too. Especially in the OneNote environment, they’ve got their whole course. They can go back to an individual lesson and review it. Look at the homework they did, see the comments that I gave them.
[teacher audio feedback playing] One of the great bugbears of teachers is the amount of marking because we want to mark everything. You want to mark it. Doing that tick is just as nice for a teacher as it is for the child but realistically you don’t have time to do that marking so you’ve got to build in this independence that the students themselves, for the most part, have answers and they can mark it and my role is to be their cheerleader, to support them when they get stuck, to give them pointers on the way and that can only happen once we’ve got that feedback loop going.
In mathematics it’s not so common to resubmit work, it’s just right or wrong so I think getting them into that more independent way of actually, I can improve, I can make some changes, I can do a different method, I can improve my presentation. That to me as a teacher is much more satisfying than just tick boxing things.