Preparing for 2016

After a long hot summer away from the classroom (and a decent chunk of it inside it!) I’m about ready for the year ahead. I’ve spent some time reviewing and refining my resources from 2015, and I’ve made a couple of major changes to my iBooks.

Integration of Videos

Last year’s books had the Keynotes inside them, but not the recorded video versions. I was reluctant to have my own voice inside the books then; now, a year older and wiser, I’m just going to include them! This way the students can watch the videos on their iPad/laptop screen and annotate the key questions on the same page. This should hopefully make the video-watching and note-taking process a whole lot easier, and therefore encourage a lot more of them to do their prep. I’ve also tried to make the videos as short as possible – about five minutes for Year 12, and about eight for Year 13.

Including the actual videos themselves has made the books really massive, so I’ve redone the books with Youtube widgets instead. Most students didn’t have internet access issues, but I can share the videos on a USB to particular students if this is a problem.

Integration of Text

I had a number of students last year who didn’t like listening to the videos, and said they just muted the sound and made notes from the Keynote as it played. These same students tended to write down everything rather than answering the key questions, so I hope this is something I can move them away from this year. I’ve decided to include a summary text of the video content (in some cases it’s a tidied version of the script I followed, in other cases I’ve trimmed it down a bit more) on the following page of each topic. This will allow students who prefer to read to answer the key questions that way. To be fair, I would probably have been one of those students! It will also be useful in the event of internet troubles, or if a student wants to go back to a particular part of the topic without watching through the whole video again.

 

I think the prep is now much easier for the students to do, which will hopefully do away with a lot of the excuses and teething problems. My next steps are to consider what I did in the classroom, and try to branch out with my activities to make the prep really worthwhile.