PingPong with iPads

What I used

Today was an exciting day in two ways:

Firstly, on the last day of term, I painted all of my desks with Smart Wall Paint and the children had to overcome the fact that I wanted them to write on their desks! This was just one great idea that Amjad Ali shared with my school. It just so happened that my head teacher had a pot in her office and, although the pot didn’t seem as full as I thought it would be, it still worked really well.

Secondly, I tried a new app – PingPong. I had used PingPong in October with a limited number of iPads and wanted to try it again with a class set. I have already used Socrative which I thought easily trumped PingPong. That is, until today. PingPong, similarly to Socrative, allows you to ask multiple choice questions, True or False questions and short answer questions. Although you can choose two different eye-catching ways to present the data with PingPong, Socrative (another app that I have previously blogged about) appears more appealing to the teacher as you can write the questions and choices which then appears on the pupils iPads. PingPong simply shows the multiple choice as letters or numbers.

However, PingPong has one other function which puts it back into the game and, for me, means I will use it again. It was the ‘Send Image’ function. 

What I did

It was the first day back and my pupils worked hard. We also covered a lot of content throughout the day. I used PingPong to reinforce what they had learnt throughout the day. Having pressed the ‘Send Image’ button, all of my pupils (those that had logged on correctly) were presented with a white screen, 5 colours to choose from and a camera icon. I asked children to draw what they had learnt today as a picture or diagram. Some children drew/wrote directly onto their iPad and others drew onto their freshly painted desks and took a picture of it. One child even took a picture of their exercise book and annotated it using the app. Once children submit their picture, it is shown on the teacher or ‘host’ iPad. My iPad was connected to the whiteboard through apple TV so children could see their images on the screen immediately. After all their images had been submitted, I asked pupils to explain their picture or diagram to the class. Most of the children were able to talk about their learning in a much deeper way and it helped me to provide time for pupils to actually think about their learning.

Did it maximize learning?

I believe this helped to maximize learning. It is all too easy to rush through objectives everyday and only assess what the pupils ‘apparently know by the end of the session. However, using this app at the end of the day really helped to consolidate what they had learnt. In fact, they probably now have a greater grasp on their maths in certain areas.

Discussion

Have you used PingPong in lessons? What do you think are the benefits of using real-time voting systems? Do you have any other ideas of how I could use the image aspect in another way?

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