In a class of students with a wide range of prior knowledge and experience, the goal was to explore students’ existing knowledge, thoughts and opinions of Shakespeare, and for all students to end the lesson with a ‘flavour’ of his life and works. Gemma Jones, Berlin Bilingual School, Berlin.
Outline of the Class
The class began with a ‘cascade approach’ activity: first, students worked individually and used text or drawing cards to write down their thoughts, ideas, experiences or general comments about Shakespeare. These cards were shared and discussed with a partner before being shared with the whole class via a Tunnel* during a group discussion.
Learning outcomes for the unit were shared by the teacher as PDF documents imported into LoiLoNote and sent via a Tunnel to all the students. Next, a True or False Quiz about Shakespeare's life was distributed to students in both PDF and paper format, and students were enouraged to guess the answers. Finally, they were sent on a guided ‘web quest’ using webcards sent by the teacher as a starting point or ‘clues’ to find the correct answers.
*The tunnelling feature enables sharing contents and data between users via wifi in real time.
LoiLoNote enhanced the initial ‘cascade activity’ by making it vastly easier for students to share ideas with the rest of the class and with each other than when conducting the same activity either orally or on paper, and also by enabling a permanent track record of their progress. By using LoiLoNote, students had the opportunity to review each other's ideas and to revisit them throughout the unit to see how their understanding as an individual and as a group had developed.
Sharing links with students is often fraught with difficulties, but using web cards to share links with the students via Tunnels meant it was easy to provide them with all the resources they needed and easy for the students to access them with just the touch of a button.
A Voice from the Classroom
Gemma Jones noted the positive effects on students’ levels of engagement and enthusiasm: “The students enjoyed the multimedia possibilities that LoiLoNote offered and the ability to share materials with one another. They were much more willing to share resources that they felt their peers would find useful than they normally are, and did so without prompting.”
She also highlighted its benefits when assessing students with barriers to learning: “By having their research and final piece all in one place everyone had the opportunity to achieve something. Normally, the teacher would not have access to all of the work that students do in a single location, and if a student doesn’t submit the final piece, there’s no way of checking their level of understanding. However, even the students who were not able to finish the eBook, were able to demonstrate their skill or understanding through the cards they made while carrying out research earlier on.”