Today I had a double revision lesson with my year 11 GCSE class. I tried to mix up the learning methods to avoid 2 hours of “chalk and talk”. We looked at the Digital Divide by taking notes from a text book, which then were used to answer an exam question. We then did an individual task  of circling risks attached to a fake phishing email, which then evolved to paired discussion and eventually whole class.

Via  #ictcurric  I found out about Popplet which is a nifty web 2.0 piece of software that allows users to create 5 Popplets and even share/collaborate with others.

As a note taking method I got the students to work in groups and collaborate on a Popplet with the topic “How has ICT improved Banking” – I did warn them that a 6 mark exam question would be asked based on the topic at the end of the lesson.

Firstly  lots of refreshing is involved to view the contribution of others but overall the students got a hang of it quickly and produced some fantastic mindmaps. They were able to add images, embed Youtube videos and even draw their own images.  A really nice touch is the ability to view which students have contributed each piece.

After 15 minutes of researching and creating their Popplets I gave the students the exam question and was impressed with the amount they had retained. Although it did get a positive reaction from pupils and they enjoyed the collaborative aspects, I will avoid using it too frequently. Instead Popplet helps break up big chunks of theory and exam questions by getting pupils on to computers and collaborating.




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