Wednesday, 19 June 2019

It's been a very long time since I've updated this blog, but in the past few years I have continued to embed the use of technology in my KS2 French lessons, refining and streamlining the tools I use and continually evaluating their effectiveness for learning.

I can see now, in hindsight, the pathway that I have followed and I imagine many others pursue a similar trajectory: amassing lots of ideas from other educators, primarily on Twitter in my case or from visits to other schools or ed-tech conferences; trying out everything I've seen at first, slowly discovering what works for me and what doesn't; slimming down the number of apps I use till I have arrived now at a set of apps which are the bedrock of my toolbox for delivering the curriculum.

These fall into three categories: the workflow app, the apps for low-stakes quizzing, both for formative and summative assessment, and the creativity apps, which are extremely generic and thus allow for a wide variety of activities to be achieved and are all transferrable from subject to subject. 

For workflow, I have been a Showbie girl from the outset. It could have been a different one, but it so happened that Showbie was the one I tried first and I continue to love it more every day, so have no reason to change. In fact, I have recently persuaded the whole Primary to adopt Showbie and am in the process of helping them discover its immense power for themselves!

For quizzing, my go-to apps are still Nearpod and Socrative, all the more now because Showbie has taken over Socrative and the integration of the two tools is getting more full of features by the day. Quizlet is still hugely valuable, especially for Quizlet Live which is hands-down the most popular 'game' in my classroom, asked for on a weekly basis by all ages. I am starting to use Quizizz as well to offer a variety and keep things fresh.

Creativity is an essential element to allow my pupils to actually use the language in a context and for this I still use Book Creator, Pic Edu (from the Pic Collage stable), Chatterpix, DoInk Green Screen and Sock Puppets, and have more recently added Adobe Spark Video, iMovie, Apple Clips and Typorama to my arsenal, again to ensure that tedium and overuse don't numb the children's enthusiasm.

So I will write several specific posts on these three areas where I can give more detail as to how I am using these different tools. But I can say, without a shadow of doubt, that my teaching has been immeasurably enriched and rejuvenated by having all these tools at my disposal and the children are learning new skills every lesson in addition to the French curriculum, helping them to develop their digital citizen credentials and giving them a level of independence that is so vital to a young learner. I really don't think I could go back to not having devices...!