Over the years I have tried a number of apps and web 2.0 tools in order to facilitate revision with my GCSE classes. Listed below are some of my favourites.
I love using Quizlet to help my students learn or revise vocabulary. This web 2.0 tool allows you or your students to make flashcards. In the case of Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) I put the French on one side of the card and the English on the other but for other subjects it could be words on one and definitions the other. You can also search the website for other ‘sets’ that you can copy and use. In this way, you are not constantly reinventing the wheel. The site has a variety of activities that the students can engage in including a couple of games. My students really enjoy the game scatter and Quizlet has a recently introduced a new collaborative game called Quizlet live which all of my students have enjoyed playing.
Students do not have to create an account in order use Quizlet simply share the link to your ‘set’ with them and they are off. One of the features that I do like is that Quizlet easily links with Google Classroom – simply click the share button and select classroom. . If you want to more functionality you can sign up for a pro account for which there is a cost involved.
If you like Quizlet you may also like Memrise
If you have never used or come across Kahoot now is the perfect time to make its acquaintance. Kahoot is a quizzing game that is highly addictive and competitive. My current GCSE class is made up mainly of boys and they practically beg me to play this game every lesson. Kahoot allows you to make or search for quizzes by topic. The quiz question is displayed on the main screen in class and the students’ tablet, laptop or phone becomes the key pad. This tool enables you to set a time limit for each question and once the quiz is complete you can download results to your Google Drive or your computer – thus enabling you to see very quickly where student misconception lies.
Listening and Reading
This web based tool also has an app. If you want to create questions you need the teacher app and in order to answer you need the student app. Socrative is a bit like Kahoot with less gamification. I find it really useful when talking about metacognition with my class.
You can make different types of quizzes with Socrative; multiple choice (I use this function the most as most reading and listening exam papers are made up of multiple choice questions) short answer questions or true/false questions. One of the brilliant things about Socrative is that you don’t actually have to have made a quiz up before hand you can do one on the fly with the quick question function. All you have to do is ask the students a question and they use their tablet/ phone/ laptop as the answer pad.
You can follow the students as they answer questions in real time via your laptop or tablet. I find this particularly useful as you can see who races through questions which often leads me to think are they reading the questions carefully or not? The students answers turn red or green for incorrect and correct so at a quick glance you get an overview of how your class are getting on.
Once students have finished a test you can view the results. The thing I particularly like about Socrative is you can click on the question number at the top of the results page (seen below in yellow) and see what percentage of students gave which answer.
This always allows for some interesting discussions particularly about how to approach the question, where difficulties lay etc. There are many other elements to Socrative, so much so, that it probably deserves a blog post in itself. Some other features are exit tickets, voting on answers and the space race game.
If you like Socrative you might also like Google Forms and the marking script Flubaroo which I have written about here.
This Web 2.0 tool and app allow you to insert questions into video clips which is really useful for creating listening exercises for students. It’s really easy to make a task by simply clicking the create button and adding the video URL code. Once loaded, you can trim the clip if required then simply play the video and add questions; multiple choice or short answer by clicking the green question button as you go along. Edpuzzle integrates with Google classroom but if you aren’t a GAFE school fear not, as sharing your work is dead easy simply share the URL code or by embed it in a blog or VLE. Students need to create an account in order to use Edpuzzle.
If you like Edpuzzle you may like Playpostit
The might app Explain Everything is perfect for all things metacognition. Firstly mirror your iPad to the main screen in the room using Apple TV or even better in my opinion AirServer. I then use the app in combination with the iPad camera app to take photos of the students’ work and use the drawing tools to highlight good and bad elements of an answer. I also screen shot exam questions from the exam board website and discuss with students how to tackle the question again using the drawing tools to write all over the exam paper. I can also use this app to import the results from a Socrative quiz (email yourself the results from Socrative) and then discuss and again highlight good answers, poor answers vocabulary and grammar issues with students. You can also view websites within the app and annotate them again, perfect for going through exam papers.
The real magic with this app however is that I use the record feature of the app in order to record my every move and discussion using the app. Once the lesson or session is finished I have a video of all the work that we have done and this can be easily shared with students via Google Classroom, iTunesU, a blog or VLE which they can then use as part of their revision tool box at home.
Before I end this post one generic revision app which definitely deserves a mention is Gojimo. This app is broken down into school subjects then exam boards and then questions and is well worth a look.
As with all edtech use don’t just use it for using its sake. Edtech in the classroom only works well when it is well thought out and has real pedagogical purpose.