Getting ready for the new school year… here we go again!

I am very lucky in that I have a bit of time this week to start thinking about the year ahead. It will be my second year in Shanghai and I already feel much more prepared than last year. I know a lot of my students already and how the school works. I am really excited to hit the ground running and I have been thinking really carefully about how to continue on my quest of the paperless classroom. Our school have 1:1 iPads in secondary and I plan to make full us of that in my day to day teaching.

The trilogy of apps I plan on using with every class are…..

3 apps

I have been working on my introductory lesson material for the new school year and I am going to show the students the image above. Both Seesaw and Showbie now have Pro (or Plus!) versions and Showbie is due a big update over the next month or so. Both have excellent features.

Seesaw definitely changed the way I teach and approach lesson planning, as I have described previously, but there was still something lacking. As a secondary science teacher I want to be able to encourage creativity and collaboration in the classroom; Seesaw allows this and I have been thrilled with some of the simple but hugely effective videos my students have made. I have used the print feature for the first time to print these for display in my classroom as model work for all students to view.


So for creativity Seesaw is awesome. It is also really fast in China which is a massive plus as a lot of edtech is ruled out because of the firewall. But, what Showbie does better is homework. I will be setting assignments such as worksheets or exam questions through Showbie which will allow me a clearer view of who has completed which task. Even better, if I upload the file as a pdf Showbie Pro opens up a whole other level of functionality. The students can write or type their answers straight into the Showbie app and it adds them as a layer on the pdf. As the teacher, I can then add a second layer of annotation to mark the work and all of this stays neatly in the app. Interestingly, you can toggle which layer of annotation can be viewed by the student which could be used as part of the assessment process.

Finally, Nearpod completes the trilogy of apps. I am not completely sold on Nearpod, I must admit. But I know many teachers who love it so I am willing to give it a go. I will be using this app mostly with my IB students and if it works well I will use it lower down the school. Personally, I feel like creating the Nearpod lessons is quite a lot of work and the alternative (giving the students access to a ppt, working through it together and dropping in AFL points using mini whiteboards, quizlet live, socrative or quizziz) is almost, if not as effective. As I said, I will give it a go.

So first lesson is planned for all classes…. here we go again.

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