Online Surveys

Who cares how you get to school?!!
Having to create a survey and analyse the results can be quite a tricky and time consuming business. Therefore, students are often given data sets of ready made, often fictitious, answers. Also the same old themes seem to be used over and over again. To be frank, very few students are interested in how children travel to school!

Real Data
Online surveys are a great way to enable students to generate and analyse real information from people that actually exist anywhere in the world. They can also empower students to research issues that they are actually interested in.
There are now a number of quick and easy to use sites that enable teachers and/or students to create a survey and then collate the data into a file for analysis. One of the best free sites I have found to do this is surveymonkey.com. It enables the user to create a 10 question survey for up to 100 responses. For the last three years I have been using SurveyAtSchool. There is a small charge, but it gives the user more control and features to use.

KS3 Resources
KS3 ICT unit 7.5 introduces students to generating and analysing survey data. Our Dept. has adapted the QCA sample resources to make it a project on ways to save energy. By analysing the data students can then suggest ways to reduce our energy consumption.
Another unit that we have adapted from the KS3 ICT strategy is 9.2b Online Surveys. After creating a project plan our students record their assumptions about how the lives of young people in the UK and USA differ. From these initial ideas they create hypotheses and then questions to prove/disprove them. We then compile the questions into one global survey and invite our link schools to participate. This year 1238 students took part!
The survey data is compiled and saved as a .csv file (comma seperated value). This can then be imported into a spreadsheet to be filtered and analysed. This year we taught the students how to create pivot tables. To view an example of how we analysed the data click here.
It is interesting to note that a number of our students’ stereotypical impressions of life in the USA were proved to be wrong. For example, on average, UK students ate chips more regularly and more of them had their own website than students in the USA.
As the students had thought of the themes and questions themselves they were much more motivated to analyse the data in detail and produce reports on what they discovered.

GCSE Resources
Our Y10/11 students also use online surveys as part of their AiDA course. This is an effective way for them to gather research from a large number of people. Our Y10 students are currently gathering information on whether parents are concerned about their children’s use of screen based media. To view their surveys and help them in their research click here. We’ve come up with a great formula to help count results when using filters. To view an example exercise in how to do this click here.

Assessment for Learning (A4L) in ICT

Using computers

In the news
The role of assessment in the National Curriculum has been the hot topic in the educational press recently.
In December, IPPR produced a report stating that regular teacher assessments of pupils’ work should replace the testing of pupils aged 11 and 14 (bbc article).
This month the Gilbert Review said that England’s school tests and exam league tables should be changed radically as part of a drive to put more focus on individual pupils’ progress. (bbc article)
Then it was announced at the BETT show that the KS3 ICT online test was no longer to be statutory (bbc article).
So what role will assessment play in the future of our education system?

Bob the BuilderCan we assess it? Yes we can!
It seems that we are moving away from high stakes summative assessment of learning to ongoing assessment for learning. We need a system which conforms more to the needs of the learner, rather than the learner to the system. Did you know that Bob the Builder is based on effective uses of assessment for learning? If not download Bob’s guide to A4L.

Practical examples of A4L in KS3 ICT
I’m sure that most teachers, students and parents would agree that personalising the curriculum is a good idea in principle. However, how can we enable learners to play a more active role in how they are assessed?
A basic, but fundamental idea is to ensure that students have a clear understanding of lesson aims and objectives. We show students a welcome presentation at the start of the lesson to explain what it will be about. If an activity is to be assessed we also show the marking criteria (slide 3) and how it relates to NC levels.
It is also very important to give students clear instructions on what work they will need to produce to show evidence of a specific level such as in this excel activity.
When students have completed the first draft of a product, they can receive not only teacher, but peer and self evaluation. However, peer and self assessment only works with clear guidance such as this checksheet.
In order to give our students an overall picture of their progress we have created an assessment grid that either they or the teacher can fill in at the end of each unit. We also use a level table with targets specific to the unit, so that students can see why they achieved a certain level and what to do to improve.

E-assessment, vision or reality?
According to a recent futurelab report ‘The issue for e-assessment is not if it will happen, but rather, what, when and how it will happen.’ The Government’s goal of producing an online KS3 ICT test that marks itself was a very ambitious goal. The application that has been produced to do the job is very sophisticated and cost over £20 million to develop. However, can a computer identify a learner’s creativity and whether what they have produced has a clear sense of audience and purpose?
This short presentation explores why we need e-assessment and what forms it could take.

Examples of basic e-assessment
E-assessment tools such as Hot Potatoes and Blockbusters can be used to quickly create a variety of self marking activities. These are very useful to either refresh learners’ knowledge or to identify areas that require more work.
Yacapaca has some very good baseline tests specifically written for KS3 ICT. The students can choose which level they wish to attempt and give themselves a target of how many to get right. It also has an eportfolio feature in which students can submit work to their teacher to be marked. See flash demo
Joint Assessment Systems also enables students to submit work to be marked. It also enables students to assess their own work by unit specific criteria and then the teacher can use the same criteria for their feedback. From this a complex picture can be produced of each individual learner’s strengths and areas for improvement. See flash demo.

Additional ResourcesBob the Builder
Assessment for learning: Beyond the black box, QCA
Interview with Prof. Paul Black on A4L, GTC
Futures, Meeting the Challenge, QCA
KS3 ICT SoW, Notre Dame
Biography of Bob the Builder, Wikipedia
Bob the Builder images to print out and colour in, BBC

Personalising Data

How much does it cost to feed a penguin?
Creating a budget for a zoo is how many schools teach students to create and use a spreadsheet. It is an easy way to demonstrate how formulae can be used to calculate totals and work out how to make a profit. However, why study a place that does not exist and data that is probably made up?

According to 2020 Vision Gilbert Review and research produced by EPPI Centre ‘pupils are more likely to be engaged with the curriculum they are offered if they believe it is relevant and if they are given opportunities to take ownership of their learning.’ To make the vision a reality, teachers need to shift their focus from what they teach, to learning more about who they teach it to.

Achieving the vision with ICT
In fact, many students are already personalising their learning. ‘By the age of 21 the average person will have spent 15,000 hours in formal education, 20,000 hours in front of the TV and 50,000 hours in front of a computer screen’ (Futures of learning Seminars, Future Learning Practice; seminar report June 2005). Young people are using technology informally to learn about real issues that interest them. The challenge for schools is whether they can catch up with their students!

Using real data
Instead of creating a model for an imaginary zoo, our students research all the ways they use water during an average day and calculate how much they actually use (see water unit). We then tell them that the water budget for a child at our link school in Malawi is only 20 litres. They then interrogate the model to find out ways to reduce their water budget. This really engages the students, as they are keen to find out how much water they use and the importance of using less.

Collecting water in Malawi

We used to teach correlations by showing how to make scatter charts plotting height against shoe size of 100 children that did not actually exist. Trying to make sense of the data also led to rather embarressing questions such as what else can relate to your shoe size?! Instead, our students now use web sites such as the World Factbook to access a wide range of up to date national statistics. They explore the data independently to look for possible correlations such as life expectancy and GDP, or literacy rates and GDP etc. (see national statistics worksheet).

A good way of generating real data is by using an online survey tool such as SurveyMonkey or SurveyAtSchool. Our students create their own surveys on energy use at home. They analyse the data, then suggest ways to use less energy. They also create a survey to compare the lives of young people in the UK and USA. This year we had 1298 children in both countries complete the survey (see blog post).

Our KS3 students learn about confusion marketing in mobile phone contracts (see modelling unit). They are able to create models and use online databases to work out the best deal for the number of minutes they use. At KS4 we go on to teach students about personal finance using software called Adding Up To A Lifetime. Activities such as how to understand interest rates and compare bank accounts have also proved useful, not only for students but their teachers too!

Making the 2020 Vision a reality
It is clear that technology has a significant role to play to inspire and motivate our learners. WWW stands for World Wide Web, however, many schools have yet to realise its true potential for bringing the real world into the classroom.

Differentiated Peer Feedback

Video thumbnail. Click to play

Our Y7 students created leaflets in ICT about the right to education and learning to learn using our 7.3 online unit.

Before finishing the project they gave each other feedback in order to refine their work using a differentiated worksheet.

We sorted the class into low, middle and high achievers and then created a seated plan to alternate them. This ensured that everyone had their work evaluated in detail by a high achiever (roughly half the class). The middle and low achievers gave more focussed feedback on areas they could judge more easily.

The most valuable part of the exercise was enabling the students to look at a variety of other children’s designs. Trying to explain good design is very difficult, but showing examples seems to get the point across much more effectively.

At the end of the unit we did an online student voice survey on the project. 82% of the students agreed that the peer feedback had helped them to improve their leaflet.

Here are some examples of their finished leaflets: learn1 | learn2 | learn3 | learn4 | learn5 | learn6

Giving ICT a Global Dimension

example leaflet
Click on image to view a pdf of the leaflet

It is clear that technology has a significant role to play to inspire and motivate our learners. We all know that WWW stands for World Wide Web. However, many schools have yet to realise its true potential for bringing the real world into the classroom. Communication is literally at the heart of ICT. Sadly, students are often given tasks involving made up situations rather than being given the opportunity to communicate with a real audience for a real purpose.

In the past students at Notre Dame High School, Norwich did a project to research and create leaflets about their school. They included information about the history of the school and subjects they learn. The ICT skills they demonstrated were fine, but their sense of audience and purpose was very limited.

This year we adapted our leaflet unit by making it more personal. We asked the students to think about how they learn best and what makes a good teacher. They shared their ideas by adding comments to a blog post set up for free on edublogs.org. We also invited children at our link school in the USA to contribute their ideas. We gave our students a digital camera and asked them to take images of the school from their perspective. Students at our link school in Malawi took photos of their school using disposable cameras and we uploaded them into a digital gallery using bubbleshare.com. Our classes then did some basic research about the universal right to education and why it is such a valuable part of our lives.

With all of the ideas and information they had gathered themselves, the students created leaflets on the right to education and learning to learn (see examples learn1 | learn2 | learn3 | learn4 | learn5 | learn6). The best examples have been sent to our link schools. The students helped to make the selection, thus providing a real reason for peer assessment. The project culminated in a flashmeeting video conference between children at both schools to discuss and compare school life. A recording of the conference was put onto a blog post and the students contributed comments to give feedback on the experience.

flashmeeting with USA

We did a student voice online survey using SurveyAtSchool at the end of the project to research whether giving their work a real purpose and audience motivated them to produce better quality work. According to the analysis 78% said that sharing their ideas on a blog helped them to write better ideas. 88% said that having a real audience gave their work a clearer sense of purpose.

Enabling students to research real issues, create real resources and communicate with a real audience gives their work a real purpose. The improved quality of our students’ work proves that this motivated them to produce their best. So, if you want to inspire your learners, remember to Keep IT Real!

example leaflet
Click on image to view a pdf of the leaflet

What’s HappeNing

If you think that social network sites such as My Space and Bebo are just for teenagers and pop groups, then think again.

It is now possible to set up a social network of your own and customise it for a group of people with the same interests as you.

Ning.com provides a free service with similar features to My Space such as a blog tool and discussion forums as well as the ability to upload and/or embed images, audio and video. You can also communicate with other members of the network via email.

With a traditional blog, you put up your ideas in isolation and hope that other people will find them. With Ning, you are able to bring your ideas and questions to an existing group of people. This process of firing ideas off other people enables the content of the site to grow organically. Consequently, it becomes possible to show how your ideas form part of a wider context.

Ning also extends the concept of social bookmarking tools such as del.icio.us. By clicking on a member’s avatar you can view not only their contributions on this network, but also what other networks they belong to and who all their ‘friends’ are. This more social form of tagging enables you to literally put a face to an idea.

Rss brings the site to life as you are able to keep up with new additions as they are added. As a result you sense that the contributions become more of a dialogue than a list of seperate ideas.

Networks such as classroom2.0 are excellent for finding out about new teaching tools and resources. However, they also enable you to communicate with teachers who are actually trying them out.

Some teachers are even considering using a closed Ning network as a form of VLE to enable groups of students to access activities and learn how to create their own virtual space in a safe and responsible way.

It is tools like Ning that are changing the internet from an artificial environment of ideas, into a space to meet and share ideas with real people.

Developing a Global Dimension in Your Curriculum

Why teach global issues?
Teaching the National Curriculum is a challenge in itself. So is the idea of enhancing the curriculum with a global dimension yet thing to squeeze in, or could it be the solution to bringing the existing curriculum more to life? Watch the r u global presentation for more information.

link to global wombat flash video

How to teach global issues
According to the DfES’ Developing a global dimension in the school curriculum all subjects can explore global issues. How can this vision be made a reality?

Pratical Examples
Global Village – If we shrank the earth’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, what would it be like?
R U Global? – Answer the quiz to find out if you are a global citizen. What are the most important global issues and why?
The Banana Game – To introduce the banana chain. What happens to a banana before it meets the consumer and how the profits are divided
Rich/Poor – How do these statements about poverty make you feel? What do they make you think? What do they make you want to ask?
Global Dimension in ICT – Specific examples of how to put a global dimension into ICT.

Multimedia Resources
conflict.ppt – statistics on conflict
Peace.ppt – Quotes about peace
View from Space.ppt Quotes from astronauts after viewing the Earth from Space
Global Wombat flash video – How to get along on Earth for the next million years!
Peace One Day.wmv – One Man’s attempt for a global ceasefire day
Climate Challenge – How can we reduce global warming?

useful sites
Global Messenger – My website on elanguages.org with free downloadable resources
Global Gateway – Etwinning portal
British Council International School Award – A framework for global education in your school
Global Dimension – Links to the best global education resources
Oxfam Cool Planet – Excellent online resources based Oxfam’s work
UN Cyberschool bus – Great for UN MDGs and in lots of languages
Peace One Day – How to mark the International Day of Peace 21/9
Climate Challenge – Pratical ways to reduce global warming
BBC Newsround – Best site for internation current affairs in child speak
My global del.ici.ous tags – To see all my favourite global links

Additional Reading
Developing a global dimension in the school curriculum, DfES
Futures – Meeting the challenge, QCA
Education for Global Citizenship: A Guide for Schools, Oxfam

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ICT in MFL

Why teach global issues?
Teaching the National Curriculum is a challenge in itself. So is the idea of enhancing the curriculum with a global dimension yet another thing to squeeze in, or could it be the solution to bringing the existing curriculum more to life?

Secondary Curriculum Review
QCA has launched a review of the NC for KS3-4. The new curriculum will have 4 dimensions;
Global
Enterprise
Creativity
Cultural Understanding and Diversity

link to global wombat flash video

Ideas for Etwinning
Elanguages.org is a free website for schools to share information. For example, look at our project with a school in Ariège, France.
Edublogs.org is a free website for educational blogs. This is a very simple way to raise an issue and ask students to contribute moderated comments. For example see Qu’est-ce que tu fais le weekend? and the Global Issues Forum
Audacity is a great free download to enable students to record their own audio. This means that they can use the software at home as well as at school. The files can either be uploaded to a blog, or a podcast website such as podomatic or Gcast.
Bubbleshare and AuthorStream are free sites that allow you to upload images or powerpoint presentations.

LickHill Primary School have used audacity and bubbleshare to create a great activity on clothes and put it on their blog.Example Flashmeeting

Videoconferencing
Flashmeeting is a basic videoconferencing tool with the following benefits:
It is safe to use as you have to be a teacher to have an account
It doesn’t require special software, just flash
It can be used with a basic webcam and/or microphone
It uses commonly open firewall ports, so rarely gets blocked
You can watch a recording of a flashmeeting between students at Notre Dame, Norwich and Summit High, Cincinatti.
For info about flashmeeting and how to get a free account click here.

Global Issues
Tour de France
UN Cyberschool bus – Great for UN MDGs and in lots of languages
International day of Peace

useful sites
Joe Dale’s Blog – A great blog with regular updates on how schools are using web2.0 in MFL.
Global Messenger – My website on elanguages.org with free downloadable resources
Global Gateway – Etwinning portal
British Council International School Award – A framework for global education in your school
Global Dimension – Links to the best global education resources
Oxfam Cool Planet – Excellent online resources based Oxfam’s work
Climate Challenge – Pratical ways to reduce global warming
BBC Newsround – Best site for internation current affairs in child speak
My global del.ici.ous tags – To see all my favourite global links