AMICUS ICT Coordinator Interview Summary

Improving Communication and Collaboration Skills

… and Rethinking the Notion of a Presentation.

Okinawa AMICUS International is a K-9 English-immersion school in Uruma City, Okinawa. The school is strongly committed to collaborative, cross-curricular, project based learning that utilizes technology, including LoiLoNote School. We sat down with Ms. Nadine Richard, ICT Coordinator at Amicus to learn more about how the school has benefitted by using LoiLoNote School (LNS).

Improving Communication Skills via LoiLoNote School
… and Rethinking the Notion of a Presentation.

Technology makes it possible for students to use multimedia to communicate their ideas in creative, engaging, and entertaining ways. But it also can cause great headaches for the teachers who must handle all the data created. Prior to the introduction of LNS, Amicus students created content that was stored on separate devices in many different formats.The hassles of collecting and converting the whole class’ creations made even tech-savvy teachers reluctant to use technology in their projects.

LoiLoNote School offers the basic multimedia editing features Amicus teachers wished to give students experience with. Everyone's data is stored in one central location, making conversion and sharing of data easy. Having a single tool that replaces or completes a chain of others makes technology accessible to teachers, and thus they are more eager to use it more often.

Because LNS provides just the core editing features needed and an easy-to-use interface, students can spend more time creating content that reflects their ideas and sharing those ideas, and less time hung-up on formatting and polishing. Creating and presenting require a shorter amount of class time, so presentation can happen more often.

Ms. Richard describes a virtuous cycle: Teachers and students find LNS easy to use, so they want to use it more. The more they use LNS, the easier it becomes to do so. Because use is focused on the communication of ideas, the end result of this cycle is more practice with communication.

Improving Collaboration Skills via LoiLoNote School

Every classroom has a diversity of abilities. Teachers hopes that those with stronger skills will teach their weaker peers, and in the process grow as well. At Amicus there was a big gap between students technology skills. In the past, teachers were limited to using full featured or PC-based multimedia editing apps. Students who were comfortable using technology naturally ended up "in the driver's seat" and other team members had an excuse to distance themselves from the task of creation. Project work provided assessable material for only a part of each group.

Because LNS is available on the school’s mobile devices, and simple enough for students with low tech-literacy, everyone can be a part of the act of creating multimedia presentations. Each member is able to create and share their part of the group’s work. When all members of the group are eager to participate, the group must balance conflicting opinions. Using LNS for projects meant students faced this challenge more often and thus had increased opportunity to use collaboration and language skills to solve conflicts.

New Conceptions of Presentations

For a school focused on communication skills and media creation via project-based-learning, it’s not surprising that presentations would be a common activity. Ms. Richard was very proud to share how a year of using LoiLoNote School changed the teachers’ perceptions of what a student presentation is. While LoiLoNote School is well-suited to the traditional style of presentation as seen in a TED talk, and that is the style of presentation which students initially created with LNS, Amicus teachers found the app also suited to less-polished, impromptu presentations of ideas. Ease of use and a limited set of features make it possible for students to more frequently complete a cycle of thinking, creating, presenting, receiving feedback, and improving what they created. In addition, while in the past teachers could only base assessment on the final result of a project, LNS provides a more granular record of students progress at each step of the project.

Mari Toledo & Ai Yamanaka

Grade 1 - English + Life Skills + ICT

In this unit, students learned hands-on about the life-cycle of a plant. To summarize and communicate what they had learned, students were asked to create individual presentation cards in LoiLoNote School according to daily goals. Over the course of several lessons, students who had never used LoiLoNote School before were able to create, organize and show their own multimedia presentations, then improve their work based on feedback from the teachers and other students.
Deborah Pinar

Grade 1 - ICT + English + Life Skills

In this unit, students used LoiLoNote School to summarize their memories of a class snorkelling trip as a digital journal. Students recorded their own voices on the text and drawing cards they created, then order their cards to match the actual sequence of events they experienced.
Naoko Tsuchiya

Grade 1 - Life Skills

To finalize the seasonal theme of 'Ocean Animals' this class create picture books. Students created paper copies and worked in pairs to digitize the book using LoiLoNote School. Pairs negotiated who would make each page, then created digital pages. When work was complete, students shared their pages with their partner so each pair could combine and submit their work as a complete digital book.
Aska Kitahara

Grade 1 - Mathematics

Over the course of several lessons, this class used LoiLoNote School to create stories that illustrate examples of mathematical addition in their daily lives. By breaking a large project into easier steps, students who had never used the app before were able to cooperate to draft, then create their stories. Students were asked to record narration to each slide of the story, making it easy for even shy students to gain confidence as presenters.
Shiori Yamauchi

Grade 5 - Social Studies in Japanese

Students used LoiLoNote School to synthesize what they had learned about how the media supports daily life. After teams researched about and visited a TV station, radio station, or newspaper company, they used the app to create presentations about what they saw and learned. Teams were given ample time to plan their presentation, create, evaluate their own work, and implement improvements prior to presenting to the whole class.
Alice Kinyeki

Grade 3 - Mathematics

Students used LoiLoNote School to teach their classmates how to solve mathematical story problems. After typing the text of a story problem, pairs created drawings, notation, and images of physical objects to demonstrate the mathematical operations required. Next they recorded their own voices explaining their solution. Finally pairs shared their presentations to multiple groups and received peer feedback each time.
Carey Napper

Grade 2 - Classroom Announcement

In this class, daily morning greetings are way to improve students confidence with English and technology. Using LoiLoNote School, each day's leaders were able to create unique and entertaining ways to start the day with a positive classroom mood. 15 minutes before the day starts, the day's leaders pair up to create simple presentations to guide their peers. They then lead the class in reading and responding to the contents presented.

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