In a series of Biology classes focussing on the theme of cells, variation and inheritance, LoiLoNote and iPad were used to consolidate prior theoretical work on cells and add more advanced explanations of the concepts of variation and inheritance. Gemma Jones, Berlin Bilingual School, Berlin.
Outline of the Class
The teacher began the lesson by referring back to the model eBook that she had shared with students in a previous lesson. Students were asked to consider how she had presented images of herself and her family so that the appropriate links between cells, variation and inheritance were demonstrated.
Next, the students edited and updated the existing image materials in the relevant section of their eBooks to demonstrate their understanding of the connection between previous classwork and genetic and environmental influences on their own lives and development.
Students used the app to import images of themselves and their families either by emailing existing photos from home or by digitalizing actual photographs, as well as to save images such as cells, identical twins etc. from the internet. They then edited and annotated the images using the pen tool and added supporting text cards. During this process, students collaborated with one another by asking for help and sharing ideas via Tunnels* on the app. For example, an article about identical twins who had been raised separately was shared as a webcard and used by some students to discuss nature vs. nurture in a more abstract scenario.
*The tunnelling feature enables sharing contents and data between users via wifi in real time.
A Voice from the Classroom
Gemma Jones identified several advantages of using LoiLoNote:
- Manipulation of images and ‘editability’: students were able to gradually build up and continually improve their work over a period of time without having to redo large parts of it from scratch, although this was a demotivating factor for some.
- Ease of ‘organizationability’: it was easy for students to stay organized since all their work as well as shared resources from the teacher and their peers was kept in one place.
- ‘Reflective process’: by using LoiLo Note, the ‘reflective process’ was much more evident: the teacher used it as a means of modelling and sharing expected outcomes, while the students used it for student-led collaboration e.g. sharing of resources via Tunnels.
Gemma Jones said, “It is really important for students to connect abstract concepts to their own lives, and by actually annotating pictures of themselves and their families, the students seemed more able to make these connections... The students really benefited from seeing their own images side by side with theoretical work.”