Huzzah! Proud to be able to add my Apple Teacher status. Looking forward to supporting other BGS staff in achieving Apple Teacher status too.
It’s been a fantastic couple of days at Bedford Girls’ School. As an Apple Distinguished School we were proud to host over 100 educators from Finland, Poland, Denmark and Greenland. The delegates had come over to the UK to visit BETT 2017, and also visit other schools who use Apple technology to improve teaching and learning.
As part of the visit we gave some short presentations on our iPad story, as well as how we use iTunes U and iBooks to support learning. I was nervous but excited to explain my part of the strategy as Digital Design Creator.
The highlight of each of the visits was the opportunity to take a group on a learning walk, which is a tour of classrooms. The timetable for lessons remained unchanged and the visitors were joining ordinary lessons across a range of year groups and subjects.
Jo MacKenzie, our Head, also wrote about the visits. The girls were really excited to share what they got up to, and how iPads changed their education.
Not only did we all learn a lot about how other schools approach technology and learning, but we swapped ideas and discovered how anything from the school day structure to how marking and feedback is handled differs.
As part of my role as Digital Design Creator at Bedford Girls’ School, I’ve taken on the challenge of writing a blog about innovation and technology.
So much of what goes on is considered ‘ordinary’ by the students and staff because the school has progressed so far with technology in five years. However, understanding how the classroom has changed with a 1:1 iPad environment is a really common question from parents and teachers unfamiliar with how we work. By visiting lessons and blogging about them, I hope to give an insight.
Following Bedford Girls’ School’s approval as an Apple Distinguished School in late 2016, we published our story to the iTunes Bookstore.
The application process for an Apple Distinguished School is to complete an iBook covering 5 particular areas, using a particular template base. Once an ADS, you are invited to publish the book (subject to extra approval and vetting from Apple for use of product images, logos, etc.) to allow others to read.
Created for our Year 7 students who are creating their own eBooks about computer systems using Book Creator. The girls completed an Explain Everything presentation about non-volatile storage and then exported it as a video to add to the book. At the end of the course their completed eBook will be graded.
We added the video to their iTunes U course to help.
We’ve known a little while, but now it’s official and we can shout about it!
In conjunction with Apple Education, we welcomed some guests from schools from our county and neighbouring counties today, to share our iPad story.
We explained how we used the iPads, iTunes U and iBooks amongst many other tools to enrich learning, and took our guests on a tour of some lessons.
Some of our guests had sets of iPads, others were considering Microsoft, but we all had common ground in the challenges we face.
Year 9 are exploring inspirational lives past and present in their PSHE curriculum. I worked with Kathryn Cruse, Head of Year, to create a multi-touch book to better support the girls in working through the tasks independently.
The inspirational figures in our book also link to the IB Learner Profile.
The first BGS Mathematics multi-touch book is now available to download on the iBooks Store.
Pythagoras is an introduction to studying Pythagorean Theorem, suitable for KS3. Who was Pythagoras? What is the Theorem? How can we use it?
The book will guide you through at every stage with worked examples and questions to complete. The book is full of interactive elements, videos and illustrations. Accessible scrolling view supported.
Our first Computer Science multi-touch book is now available to download for free on the iBooks Store.
Designed for Year 9 students, we explore the different parts that make up a computer system, and how they all work together to allow you to do anything from write a novel, analyse the human genome and allow you to watch hours of cat videos on YouTube…
The Bedford Girls’ School Year 6 Biology revision guide has been published to the iTunes Bookstore. It has been renamed ‘Discovering Biology’ and covers cells, microscopes, senses, skeleton, muscles and microbes suitable for keystage 2 or 3 learners.
Under the bonnet, the book demonstrates the turning point in my workflow from constructing diagrams using Adobe Photoshop to using iBook Author’s vector tools.
Whereas the interactive diagrams require a raster image (the microscope was illustrated in Photoshop for example), I now construct the illustrations embedded into the pages without augmentation entirely with vectors within iBooks Author. (Muscles illustration is entirely drawn with vectors within iBA.)
The software doesn’t currently support importing SVG etc, but I was pleased how easy it was to draw. The only drawback is that it can crash out, so I’m conscious to save very regularly. Hopefully an update will resolve the stability (I feel I’ve submitted more than enough reports!)
It’s very quiet at school. As a full-time member of support staff, I’m working through the summer while the students and the majority of staff are on holiday.
Between creating books (and catching Pokemon on my lunchtime walks) I’ve created a class full of GCSE Computer Science definitions on Quizlet for James Potter (Director of ICT).
BGS begin their first year of Computer Science GCSE in September, which is excellent news. It’s been really interesting to see the curriculum while creating these sets. I’m glad ‘proper’ computing has returned.