Malton School, Malton, North Yorkshire, UK

Malton School is a small and successful 11-18 secondary school situated in the market town of Malton, North Yorkshire, UK. The school focuses on allowing students and their teachers  to feel able to take risks in extending their learning. This recently has included developing an iPad for learning scheme across the two school sites.

The iPad for Learning Scheme involved the roll out of 1:1 devices across the school, allowing staff and students to enhance their teaching and learning through mobile technologies.

As part of this process, Academia (an accredited Apple Solutions Expert) provided freelance consultant and teacher James Hannam from MakerLabs to help support the staff in making best use of the technology.

Through a 7 week bespoke training program, involving onsite and in classroom training, James worked closely with the entire teaching team to show teachers how a few apps could be used to dramatically enhance their teaching and their students’ learning.

This is the story of the Head of Department for Music, Julian Taylor.

The Challenge

As a full time music teacher, musician and father, Julian found it difficult to see the benefit of using an iPad to deliver his lesson content. Typically, students completed highly refined workbooks and learnt from his practical demonstrations in class. Having spent considerable amounts of time designing, printing and collating the workbooks, it seemed a mammoth task in converting them into a digital / interactive medium.

One of the biggest challenges Julian faced was the physical time in front of students during and after lessons. The majority of lessons include practical demonstrations and practise – working with students to improve their practical skills took time, with students having to rely on what they learnt in class to practise at home alone.

Although the printed workbooks allowed Julian to capture the learning of theory, he had a vast range of systems and paperwork to demonstrate student progress in the practical aspects of his courses – this all took time away from doing what he enjoyed – creative teaching. 

The Solution

The amount of time that Julian spent on delivering practical lessons, trying to document student learning, creating and preparing workbooks went into hundreds of hours a year.

He was confident in using iPad for GarageBand and Showbie apps, but still relied on ‘traditional’ slide show presentations – this mean that any practical or on the fly demonstrations couldn’t be captured, as the method for doing it within the presentation was too time consuming within a lesson.

Using Explain Everything Julian was able to quickly convert his existing printed AND digital workbook files. By adding his OneDrive and Google Drive school accounts inside the app, he could quickly convert presentations with a few taps of the screen.

Once converted and using the Insert Video tool within the presentation Julian could capture his keyboard demonstrations by simply holding his iPad over his piano when demonstrating chords or key combinations. This saved a vast amount of time, being able to capture demonstrations on the fly. His students could also use their devices to document 1:1 tutorials when he sat with students through the course of the lesson.

The fact that I can make use of my hard work developing booklets, and convert them quickly into Explain Everything is amazing…

The vast majority of the workbooks the Music department use encourage students to read around the topic, putting the learning into context. Year 8 student workbooks involve students understanding the origins of the Blues. A complex and sensitive timeline. Typically printed workbooks offered students text and images. Through Explain Everything Julian was able to enhance these pages with video interviews, web links and original audio recordings of Blues artists. By simply sharing the Explain Everything presentations with his students (using AirDrop, OneDrive or Showbie) they were able to immerse themselves in the context of the Blues.

Through Explain Everything Julian was able:

  • To create bespoke content and video his demonstrations on the fly
  • Quickly convert his existing workbooks and presentations
  • Give create depth to the context and learning of topics

Explain Everything broadens the classroom, students have access to me through my videos 24/7, from my point of view that’s the WOW!

Summary

Through a whole school approach, Academia and James Hannam focused on minimising the amounts of apps used on their iPad devices. The project take-away’s include:

  • Using apps like Explain Everything with a minimal learning curve ensured that even the most hesitant staff were able to fully embed mobile technology into their teaching practices.
  • Explain Everything allows staff to ‘migrate’ their current digital content (such as slideshows, videos and weblinks) into one app with the minimal of fuss. This means less time is spent on trying to convert files and folders, and more time can be spent on creating new and exciting resources within Explain Everything.
  • Teachers wanting to push the boundaries even further, can do this by leveraging ‘the cloud’ – using YouTube, OneDrive or GoogleDrive to share Explain Everything content with just a few taps of the screen. No more USB pen drives, file conversion, or waiting for things to load!

If you are interested in seeing more of this project, or would like further information about how you can make a massive impact in just a few weeks, contact:

Academia or James Hannam

Malton School contacts: Julian Taylor, Malton School Admin