About Me

For the last ten years I've been working in international schools in Thailand teaching ICT (Information Communication Technology) and Computer Science, prior to this I have worked for several years in software support and also taught English as a Foreign Language. I'm particularly interested in using ICT as a tool for transforming education and in the impact of open source technologies upon learning. Twitter ID @ajduckworth

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Online Multiple Choice Assessment Tools: Socrative, Kahoot and Plickers- a brief comparison
I was looking for a comparison of a bunch of online assessment tools: Socrative, Kahoot and Plickers but found nothing so here is my take on these tools.  What they all offer is the ability to poll the class with a set of multiple choice questions. Socrative and Kahoot require the students to have a device connected to the Internet into which they can enter their responses to each question.

Initially Plickers seems quite magical because the students don’t need any devices in order to submit their choices, which could be good if you work in a school with dodgy or no Internet. Instead with Plickers the students are given a card, with a unique pattern, which they can hold up in one of 4 ways,corresponding to the students’ chosen answer corresponding only the teacher needs a device.  Each card has a number from 1 to 40. The teacher needs to note who has which card. The teacher also needs the Plicker app on their phone, using the camera they can scan the room to poll the student choices.

I remember when Kahoot came out some teachers started saying how much they preferred it. I have to say my vote still goes to Socrative. Why? Personally I tend to prepare any tests in a spreadsheet and Socrative is the only tool that will allow this. Until Kahoot and Plickers get their act together I will be sticking to Socrative.

Students need an Internet connected device
Not needed
Teacher can upload multiple choice from CSV files
No, questions and answers must be entered one at a time.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Cambridge Computer Science IGCSE 0478 Input Devices Exercises

Exercises to help understand Input Devices. You will need to make a copy of each document if you want to edit it!

Computer Science CIE IGCSE 0478 Output Devices Exercises

Here are six exercises that cover output devices for the Cambridge Syllabus:

3D Printers

Computer Science IGCSE CIE 0478 Overview of Past Paper Questions

If you are wondering which past paper to look at to find past paper revision questions for the area you are revising you need some kind of summary of the past paper questions. After searching for some kind of overview of the Cambridge International Examinations 0478 Computer Science Past Paper Questions I ended up making this myself. So far there have been only two sets of examinations, However because there are separate papers set for each examination date and also specimen papers it means that there questions from five or six papers to choose from. The theory and programming papers are shown on different tabs of the spreadsheet. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1gwos7DmMgcG0a3XY9hFrLtRpmLtATb-ovvLBe_1Aaoc/edit?usp=sharing

Where to download the papers
You can download copies of the past papers at xtremepapers.com. Strangely however, at the date of writing, however, the November papers were not listed, so you would need to use the Cambridge Teacher's site to access these

Friday, July 20, 2012

Edmodo versus Student Blogs

A colleague recently asked me whether their school should be using Edmodo. After being an initial fan of Edmodo- I'm trying to move away from it to student blogs and other open solutions.. Here is my response.  

My main criticism is that Edmodo seemingly started as a microblogging tool, which it is good at, but teachers  have started using it in place of a VLE. There's nothing wrong in that per se. However it has the problem, in common with any VLE that is not based on your network in that it takes ages to download posted work, whereas if the student uses a blog, such as Posterous the work is nearly always in a format that can be viewed immediately on screen, and the whole body of the students' work can be viewed just by scrolling down the screen.. 
Of course with a blog, the work becomes viewable in the public domain. This has benefits as well as downsides.Some teachers/parents/students may feel uncomfortable about having student's work being so openly on display, but is does give the kids more motivation to do a better job and they can also peer assess work, unlike on Edmodo or a VLE and you can also bring in e-safety issues should they arise. The other nice thing is that it can become part of an online portfolio that can help show their progression as they get older. If you want a walled garden approach one local school tried using ELGG as a private blogging platform, on its own server, but for whatever reasons they now seem to use open blogs for work submissions. If you decide to go down the blogging route Matt Baker at Pattana put together a nice set of How to videos for using Posterous
I've had my Year 7s submit much of their work this year using blogs and Google Sites http://bit.ly/y7sites2012 and find it far easier to check through than using Edmodo. I tried using Google Reader to monitor submissions, which many teachers use, but found that an online spreadsheet suited me better. I still use Edmodo for posting assignments, mainly because it is easy for students to download worksheets and stuff that I may want to post, but I am think of moving to a more open website solution next year, so parents and the school have more visibility of the programme of study

Hope this helps you decide what's best for you.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Serco Training Videos

These are online at http://sercofacilitytraining.wikispaces.com/. There are separate sections for Facility and Eportal. Please let me know if you would like to see any other training videos on the site. I recorded the videos with an online tool called Screenr, recommended because of the high resolution it offers compared to other sites such as Youtube.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Teacher Training Workshops November/December 2010

Latest teacher training sessions are online at http://bit.ly/Regents_ICT_Training1
Edmodo, Wikis, Google Docs, Developing an Online PLNs, Creating Departmental Websites and more for 2011

Monday, October 4, 2010

Meaningful Homework

I was thinking of this article when a student was giving a well crafted debating competition speech on education.

"Show Us What Homework's For - Students sound off on why homework doesn't work—and how that might change. - Kathleen Cushman

Figure 1. Students Suggest Homework Alternatives

In This Learning Situation. . .

Instead of This

Try This

You introduced new material in class.

Assigning a question set so we will remember the material.

Ask us to think up a homework task that follows up on this material and to explain our choices.

You want us to read an article before a class discussion.

Making us answer questions that prove we read it.

Ask us to write down two or three questions we have after reading the article.

You want to see whether we understand a key concept (such as literary irony).

Making us complete a worksheet.

Ask us to demonstrate the concept for the class in small groups, using any medium.

You want us to see how a math procedure applies in various situations.

Assigning 10 word problems that involve this procedure.

Ask small groups to choose one word problem that applies this procedure in a real-world situation, solve it, and present it to the class.

You want us to memorize facts (such as dates in history).

Handing out a list that we will be tested on.

Ask each student to share with the class a memorization trick (such as a visual cue) that works with one item on this list.

You want us to remember what you taught last month.

Assigning a review sheet.

Give frequent short pop quizzes about earlier material. Go over each quiz, but don't count the grade.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Twitter ID

Follow me onTwitter @ajduckworth

Monday, September 27, 2010

Edmodo Rocks
I've been using Edmodo for four weeks now, and am liking the way it is streamlining homework submission. It takes a little getting used to. Most kids will need some training in uploading their first submission. The most common mistake is that they send their homeworks in messages rather than as submissions. The way the the grading is done online is neat and it's easy to export in CSV format. You can add comments to each marked piece of work but I can't see a way to review these comments once you've assigned the grades. I've previously tried Yacapaca, but the administration was more complex. With Edmodo the kids just sign up to each class, so there is no need to generate of class lists, usernames and passwords.

I came across a similar product called Soshiku which I has all the same functionality, and with a slightly cleaner interface. It also has the advantage of offering collaborative assignments. Unfortunately, unless you are happy to limit yourself to 20 assignments you will need to pay USD 5 per month.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Teacher Training Videos are at http://www.wix.com/aduckworth/tr2010
Serco, Edmodo, Wikis, Google Docs and more

www.wix.com is yet another cool site for putting together a free website quickly. One major feature is its nice flash graphics. (which is OK assuming your audience has Flash)

New Homework website is at http://site4ict.weebly.com/.
Make your own free webite with www.Weebly.com
There's an education edition too with extra features.