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1:1 Speed Dating Activity – Sharing Good Practice

Best_tabletsThis week we used part of our in-service day to share the different ways in which 1:1 is being used across the school. All staff took part in a speed dating activity where they were asked to spend 90 seconds talking to a partner about one way in which they had made use of their tablets this year. This was repeated so that each member of staff had shared their idea 6 times, and were also given 6 new ideas.

At the end of the session, staff were asked to record the favourite app, resource or idea which had been shared with them. A summary of some of the most popular is listed below:

SimpleMind Mind mapping app


Dragonbox Algebra



Comic Strip

QR codes for YouTube activities linked to Survey Monkey homework

Evernote for storing data in cloud

Ubersense video analysis

Overdrive / iBooks (Edinburgh City Library)

Easy Portfolio

Recording pics/video for Folio

WordPress pupil blogs

Job research

Starter quizzes

Spelling SurveyMonkey

Camera for recording experiments

Three Ring

Geography quiz app


Twitchion – Twitter teen fiction

Ordnance survey app

Explain Everything (iPad only)

Edmodo for S1 homework

Google Earth for real life Maths problems

GIS website

Google Translate


S1 Interviews

Class Work (small)Richard Burgess from the Digital Learning Team came to the school before Easter to interview some of our S1 students about their 1 to 1 tablet experiences.

His questions and their responses are below:

How many periods per day do you use your tablets?

2 or 3
4 or 5
4 or 5

Can you give me some examples of how you might use them?

English – essays – we use the WP app on the tablet and email the teacher when finished
Science – for research
Maths – a digital booklet
Art – copying pictures
IT – Presentations using show software
School Wiki in Science – get worksheets
RME – presentations using Show
Maths – Sumdog
Music – WordPress Blogs using the wordpress app

There are some websites that you can go on to do your work
Socrative for quizzes

When at Home, how much time do you use them for schoolwork and personal work?

We go on Edmodo a lot.
Edmodo for homework
I use them a lot for homework
We get homework weekly in Science music drama and English
Sometimes the teachers use edmodo to remind you about homework

Do you have other access to going online at home?

Yes – an iPad
I have an iPad
I have a laptop

If you could choose a device next year what would you choose?

Laptop – for facebook
An Android

What are your favorite Apps or programs?

Football training videos

Has there been a problem looking after them – charging them or damage?

Charge them overnight – they last all day
Cracked screen when it was in my bag – but still works and it’s getting sent away to get fixed
Some other people in class have had a cracked screen

What are the best and worst things about having a Tablet?

I don’t have to carry a whole bunch of books because the work is on my tablet
You don’t have to write all the time
They make classes more interesting

eBooks – Library2go

ebook appGuest Post: Julie Sutherland

Rohini Thomas and I have piloted the eBooks App with one of her S1 classes. It’s great to get free access to books (audio and text) but it does take a little bit of patience, which some pupils (and I) struggle with! However I have enjoyed these on train journeys and it’s a change from playing Star Wars Angry Birds, because boy do I hate it when Darth Bird laughs at my failures!

So the quantity of free resources is great and they are not just for pupils, there’s a lot that would be fun or useful for staff too, check out for more info, or this staff and the eBook App. I love the idea of worldwide online math duels and discovering my family history without having to leave the house, lazy, yeah, but its cold outside! I’d also like to say I’ve found the time to brush up on my German with the free language course, but haven’t got around to it yet, I have been practicing my driving theory test (be afraid) and am managing to pass, so I’m totally delighted.

If you want help getting started with your Overdrive Media App for eBooks and need someone to hold your hand, let me know, I’m happy to help…

Lingro – a multi-lingual dictionary


Guest post: Lorraine McIntosh is a multi-lingual dictionary that can be used by EAL students and within MFL courses when doing internet research. It is so simple to use – just open first and then enter the websites you wish to read. Each word on the page now becomes “clickable” and links to its translation and definition.

Registering (free) enables pupils to store a wordlist of recently clicked words, which can then be used directly as a revision tool or to create learning games with. Pupils can translate to and from English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portugese, Swedish, Russian, Chinese, Dutch and Polish. Encourage pupils to bookmark the site.

Using Tablets in Modern Languages

Guest post by Jill Gladwin

I teach an S1 Class twice a week in Modern Languages and I thought I would share my thoughts and experiences so far.

Overall I feel that the pupils are more engaged and I especially like the fact that they have instant access to IT and I am not required to book a computing suite in advance.

Last week the pupils used the tablet powerpoint equivalent called ‘Show’ and although there were a few technical issues on some of the tablets the overall experience was far better and less time consuming than when I attempted the same task with the S1 last year.



I have used various online sites such as ‘grow story grow’, ‘linguascope’ and ‘echalk’. Again there have been some technical issues but I am going to attempt using Firefox as it is apparently the best browser for interactive content.



The Skitch app has been good for vocabulary and the on-line dictionary makes it far easier to look up a word.



I am going to look into using ‘Evernote’ and ‘Edmodo’ for saving pupil work and start to look at more language specific apps.


Using tablets in English

Guest post by Aileen Rankin

In the English department we have tried to make it a policy to attempt to utilise the Android devices where possible.


We have been using Think Free Write & Kingsoft Software for typing up essays and projects. We have had some issues with ensuring that they are backed up but we are looking to start using Evernote to do this as it offers more flexibility than using Gmail.


Wikispaces allows us to upload homework and reading materials for the students to download to their tablets and already this is saving money. The PLPs are also being tracked via wikispaces.


The ‘Skitch’ app is used for its spelling program on a regular basis.


In close collaboration with the Library Resource Centre, we are currently piloting two different book apps for audio and text and may roll this out to other S1 classes in the New Year.


We are looking forward to using the multimedia capabilities, such as Movie Studio, of the tablets with the ‘Heroes and Villains’ interdisciplinary task in the Spring Term.


Although there have been some teething issues with the tablets there have been lots of overall benefits, such as making redrafting easier, and as a department we have embraced them.

Using 1:1 Tablets in Maths

Guest Post by Barry Whelan

I have two S1 classes and I see them for at least 3 hours a week. The main initial advantage is that I am more connected with the pupils. I use Edmodo for homework and this allows the pupils to ask questions online and sends a text to my phone when a comment has been posted. It also makes it easy to feedback homework via email.



The pupils blog once a week to recap on learning and the WordPress app makes this process very simple.




Socrative has proved popular for quizzing the pupils and I intend to look into the polling part of that app soon.



Mental Maths has been good at extra times tables practice and Skitch is being used to show what they have learned.



Overall, the main benefits have been the fact that the pupils have instant access to the technology and although it may take a bit of time initially in setting up blogs and learning apps, in the long term I feel that time can be saved and the tablets are improving the learning in class.