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OK, so I'm a luddite.... iPads in the classroom?

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by rustybug, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    Here is a thought..
    If something like MyMaths was put in software - no interactive games, no marking, no booster packs, just the lessons and a list of activities, something that could be uploaded into a VLE of school sysetm.
    Pupils would then access the lesson and then copy down the questions. They would go away and do the work, which the teacher would mark.
    Would cost a lot less. It seems to be the goal to make everything easier for teachers but I really do think marking in maths has to be the teacher. I have tried MyMaths but I do not know where my pupils have gone wrong in their working out.
  2. gogojonny,
    ...trying to combine what you suggest and the thread topic (i.e. iPads in the classroom).
    The "MyMaths" 'worksheets' could be downloaded to pupil iPads (i.e. questions) wirelessly, on instruction from the teacher (i.e. at the appropriate time). Pupils then annotate (e.g. using iAnnotate) the worksheets with their answers and workings. Answers would then be returned wirelessly to teacher for marking. Feedback could then be sent back to pupils (wirelessly).
    The teachers would then have a permanent record of all their pupils' work/answers in their iPad. Pupils' work would be time-stamped and readily available for review at any future point in time (e.g. for recording, parent evenings, etc.).
    Being a paperless exercise, cost savings may be possible long term.
  3. None of which could be done with the outmoded and frankly abusive pairing of textbook and exercise book.
    Cost of Whypad = £300+ Cost of textbook = £15. Cost of exercise book = 15p. As the yanks like to say: "Do the Math!"
    cyolba, still waiting for a use for these toys :)
  4. Actually this isn't technically difficult. MyMaths is Flash which you can wrap to fit in SCORM.
    The problem is your last bit. "Knowing where your pupils has gone wrong" requires some understanding of thought processes.
    AFAICS most MyMaths stuff (and similar, not excluding my own work or Alex's) doesn't really teach but simply allows practice.
    MyMaths sort of has an "animated textbook" which leads on to questions and answers (apparently always the same questions and answers !) but if you get the answer wrong it doesn't really breakdown into the why or why not. You can go back and look at the material but it can't really do this automatically except in a trivial fashion. That sort of thing requires a Maths teacher (which I guess you are !).
    SCORM allows two kinds of reporting (this is the VLE format). The first is a straight score - 60% on a test say. Most systems use this : CyQuiz, ContentGenerator and so on. This allows you to do two things - identify those struggling and to track progress over time.
    The other thing is tracking interactions. What this means in practice, despite the fancy name, is that you can record the individual questions - whether the pupil got Q1, Q2 right.
    These are probably both too extreme. The first doesn't give enough detail, the second gives too much.
    Incidentally, CyQuiz now allows you to create SCORM packages. And it's free :)
    MyMaths costing isn't down to its actual value but what they think they can get away with IMO.
    A lot of educational software is overpriced ****, including my particular bete noires, Flowol and Logicator. £350 for a site license. I wrote something similar in a couple of days. Literally.

  5. Plus an iPad is horribly locked up.
    People will not develop for it in a big scale because iPad development means Objective C++ - which means it is only for iPad.
    So if you wrote MyMaths for iPad you would have to rewrite the whole thing (MyMaths are probably praying Apple have a change of heart and allow Flash - they won't because it destroys the raison d'etre, the App store).
    The rapidly increasing Android Tablets would need another rewrite (Android will grow and grow especially if Google brand one rather like they have with phones, which is partially limited because phone costs are attached to the contract costs
    This matters less with phones because phone apps tend to be specifically designed for phones. iPad apps are designed more along the lines of PC apps. CyQuiz works nicely on the newer iPhones especially, but it is difficult to use because there are too many screen details (compare with Alex's purpose design app which has far fewer) and they easily get lost on a screen that's only three inches big. (It's like trying to play Pacman on a phone - it's perfectly capable of it but it's just too small)
    If you translated them both to an iPad Alex's would have huge buttons occupying big chunks of the screen and mine looks right. If people are designing for the PC market then they are going to target the much bigger PC/Windows/iMac group. Virtually everyone has a Windows PC or an iMac in their house. The iPad penetration is much lower.
    CyQuiz gets round it because it is written for HTML 5/Javascript (I discovered it works on the Wii last week :) ). This has the unfortunate side effect that all apps are silent, because Apple have deliberately stopped browser sound from working, which means that the Spelling games have to adopt a Flashcard (view/hide/copy) approach. (lots more ranting about Microsoft and Apple's behaviour).
    There are some, especially in SEN. Whether this justifies buying an iPad rather than a laptop is something of a moot point. As you way, the money could be better spent.

  6. Well, there's nothing here that you couldn't do with the old purple machine (Banda ?) that was the main choice when I was a rookie and a filing cabinet. Apart from the paperless office - and you have the costs of the iPads and the costs of maintenance. The teacher still has to hand mark it.
    It's arguably easier to mark a stack of paperwork than have to go through downloading it to another device.

  7. Hi CyQuiz,
    I like what you are trying to do, but I have found an issue with your HTML5. I opened up one of your quizzes in Chrome here:
    Then, I did right-click > inspect element > scripts > quiz.js, and it gave me the following.

    "french_11_desaccidentsdelaroute_mdl"};}; Unfortunately, it seems that the person doing the practice on a PC or Mac has full access to the answers!!!! Is there any way around this?

  8. In response to iPad stuff having to be developed using Objective C++...
    I have used Flash Professional to develop apps: the application contains the Flash environment at a cost of about 4MB and then the SWF runs within that.
    So in theory MyMaths could rework their stuff for the iPad - I would not recommend it though as there will be performance, compatability, and functionality issues.
  9. Yep.
    For a fair while it was encrypted and I took it out and didn't put it back. Many school browsers are locked down so people can't tinker like that, having said that I think you are right.
    I won't do it now though, because it will involve rebuilding all the quizzes on the website. This isn't difficult, but I'll do it this evening just in case I disrupt someone using it. I try not to make changes outside school hours unless it's absolutely necessary.
    It will be completely transparent so it won't affect anything other than increasing the loading time fractionally - not enough to notice.
    It'll look like "%%SFRNTDo8cD5Ib3cgbWFueSBtPH.....". It's still possible to decode if you know what you are doing. But it's much more difficult and anyone capable of it can probably answer the questions anyway :)
    Thanks, Paul.

  10. .... now changed back.
  11. 'Not many people will develop for the iPad' LOL!
  12. I'm not a business person but this would go against the grain of the what the vast majority of companies are doing. Ten ticks sold their resources at a 'one off' price and managed to sell everywhere once. Nice money but how much better to sell everywhere, every year.
    I think someone commented on here before that developing maths resources is very time consuming and there's always the danger of making something people don't actually want. I think you would have a hard sell dragging people away from MyMaths, people like what they know and know what they like.
    I'm also not sure how what you are suggesting would be significantly different from websites like BiteSize/Maths is Fun.
    By all means have a go at such a product but I can't see how it's going to add much value.
  13. Tandy

    Tandy New commenter

    Beluga Learning will be entirely free :eek:)
  14. That looks like a tremendous resource Tandy, thanks for sharing!
    It must have cost a fortune in terms of time and resources to develop that, and you are giving it all for free?
  15. Tandy

    Tandy New commenter

    Yes, a very large amount of money and a large team of great authors. The product will be available from June onwards (Number being released first) and yes, absolutely free. We don't want anything to stop children having access to the materials. It will also be phased out across other devices (android, web, etc) in the future. Very few people have seen the app yet, so really looking forward to sharing very shortly. Did early demo at MA conference last month, which was extremely well received. Info will go up on the website soon and I'll keep folk here posted.
  16. lizlucy

    lizlucy New commenter

    Like the app Tandy.
    Took a bit of time to work out what I needed to do . Haven't tried it with pupils yet - only just got iPad.
    Have not tried anything other than the free parts - how many paid parts are there and are they all 69p?
  17. As far as I can see, yes, all 69p. Why the change of heart from free? 69p is very little to ask, and as ever, I have no objection at all to paying for resources but it seems a bit cheeky to flag it up on TES as free and then in reality be charging? I remember some rounded on AlexWatt earlier in the year for promoting his free version of mathstrainers.
    Regarding the materials themselves, the functionality and presentation are both very nice and they work quickly on my iPhone 4. The resources are nicely thought through. I bought the in App offer of 'worded questions' for 69p and it is something I wouldn't mind flagging up to pupils having difficulty in a particular area and wanting practice at that topic.

  18. Sara,
    At the moment I'm making a lot of my apps free and will make them all free from time to time. Anyone can search the AppStore for "alexander watt" and download them as they become free - if they're of no use then just delete them.
  19. autismuk

    autismuk New commenter

    I don't see the problem with this. He's open about (i.e. not pretending to be someone else recommending it), he doesn't push it,he writes about other things etc.

  20. Autismuk/Alex, that was my point exactly, I was defending Alex. I felt at the time some people were very unfair. I have every respect for someone who goes to all the trouble of setting up a business, learning various programming languages, and then goes through all the trauma of App Store approval.

    As I posted on the ICT forum, I've given the mathstrainers a go and liked them very much.

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