The students’ task was to examine cheek cells under the microscope in class and to prepare a lab report at home for homework. iPad and LoiLoNote were used in combination to help students to achieve the intended learning outcomes. Gemma Jones, Berlin Bilingual School, Berlin.
Outline of the Class
Students were divided into eight groups at microscope stations, and the teacher guided them through the different stages to prepare slides to examine cheek cells taken from the students’ own mouths. They were also given access to supplementary information about cells via LoiLoNote. At the same time as assisting the students, the teacher also filmed the entire experiment.
After the lesson, the teacher used LoiLoNote to prepare a resource explaining the students’ homework. The Note offered key points for them to think about when writing their lab reports and reminded them of some technical aspects of the experiment such as names of unfamiliar equipment or chemicals. The video footage taken during the lesson was also exported from LoiLoNote and incorporated into the resource.
LoiLoNote demonstrated its power as a tool to differentiate and enhance the teaching and learning experiences simultaneously:
- For the students, it was used to support and enhance theoretical work on cells during the class. Classic textbook diagrams of cells can sometimes be misleading, so students were given access to webcards and annotated images created and shared via the Tunnel* to help them to visualise cells in a realistic manner.
- For the teacher, it was used to reinforce the students’ theoretical knowledge and understanding through shared online resources, including the video footage, which was shared with the students after class both on the SMART board and via a private YouTube channel.
*The tunnelling feature enables sharing contents and data between users via wifi in real time.
A Voice from the Classroom
By using LoiLoNote, it was possible to keep the lesson focus on purely practical skills and enjoyment, and theoretical and technical aspects were consolidated later through the homework. The concept of allowing students to focus on practical, hands-on work in the classroom, and to reinforce or learn theoretical work at home through online resources, is the idea that underpins the ‘flipped classroom’.
By viewing the shared video resource, the students were able to see themselves and their peers actually carrying out the experiment. This is a perspective that is proven to aid learning, yet it is not ordinarily available. This approach also proved popular with the students. Although only ten students had access to the link, the YouTube video gained a 100 hits in one weekend!
“The students were really motivated by the enhanced learning opportunities that LoiLoNote offered them,” said Gemma Jones. This motivation showed clearly in the students’ improved levels of achievement, excitement and engagement, making this experiment “one of the most powerful experiences of using LoiLoNote for the students and the teacher to date.”