Tallis Mobile A family Learning Project at Thomas Tallis School Congratulations on being selected to take part in the Tallis Mobile project. Our aim: To investigate the impact of a handheld device on the learning of a group of KS3 students and their families. The Team 15 families are taking part plus the pastoral team for Year 7 (your tutors and Pastoral Leader). Behind the scenes, Mr Nicholls, Mr Hawes and Mr Greig will be taking a close interest in your research. The Devices: We have purchased a number of 4th generation iPod Touch devices. We have purchased a range of suitable applications which are installed on the devices. These apps will be augmented over time as the group uses and reviews them. The core apps are as follows:
Tumblr is a blogging tool. The app is synced to the Tallis Mobile account. This means that when you make a post using the Tumblr app, it will appear on the Tallis Mobile blog: http://tallismobile.tumblr.com. This blog will be the main method for sharing our thoughts about the project with the wider community.
The Audioboo app enables you to record sound and upload it to the internet. The app is synced with the Tallis Mobile account. These sound recordings are sometimes referred to as Podcasts but Audioboo likes to refer to them as boos. Our boos will appear on the Audioboo site and there will also be an automatic link to each one from our blog. Hipstamatic is an internet phenomenon. It is a beautifully designed photography app that looks like a plastic toy camera and takes wonderful, analogue looking photographs. It is modeled on just such a camera made by the Dobrowski brothers in the early 80s. You can select from a range of films, lenses and flash units. There are lots of other great photo apps included on your iPod so try them all out to see which one suits you best. Notes is a standard iPod application. Each set of notes can be organised on a different page and saved for later. You can email notes to yourself or others. You can even email a note direct to the Tumblr blog (email@example.com). This is the tool you need when you don始t have access to the internet but want to jot something down quickly so that you can blog about it later. Twitter is fast becoming the best way to create a Personal Learning Network online. It takes some getting used to and rewards a bit of time spent building links with other Tweeps. We have set up a Tallis Mobile Twitter account. Our Tumblr and Audioboo posts will be automatically posted there. We are really interested in how Twitter can support young people始s learning.
Tallis Online In addition, Tallis has its own iPhone/iPod app called Tallis Online which is installed on all the iPods. All of our blog posts will appear inside the app so itʼs a good idea to keep checking to see whatʼs going on in this and other Tallis learning projects.
There are lots of other apps on your iPod and we would encourage you to experiment with using them. Whenever you do, it would be great if you could post something on the blog about the app, how you used it and what you think of it. Email We may occasionally contact you on your device by email. Everyone will have the same project email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. It is possible to set up additional email accounts very easily. Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Choose Add Account and follow the instructions. Wi-Fi access In order to post to the blog youʼll need to able to connect to the internet wirelessly (Wi-Fi). Itʼs relatively easy to do this. Just go to Settings > Wi-Fi > switch to ON and choose your home network. (Note: you will probably be asked to enter a password). You should then see a Wi-Fi icon at the top of the device. We are hoping to do something to sort out the Wi-Fi access in school. The plan is to establish a stronger mini network in the centre of the school building (housed in the library) that should be easier to connect to. So, if you need to post an entry to the blog or check your email, thatʼs the best place to go. The librarians will be aware that you are a member of the project team and will be on hand to help you get online. Using your iPod in class We will issue each member of the group with a special membership card that identifies them as Tallis Mobile Official Researchers. Your tutor and head of year will also have an iPod Touch with the same apps as you, so they will already know about the project and be able to help you with any questions you may have. We will let all your teachers know who you are and how important it is for you to be able to use your iPod in class when relevant. If they forget, you can simply show them your card. Remember, ask permission to use your iPod in lessons and avoid situations where using the device is an interruption to the learning activity assigned by your teacher. How to look after your iPod We will supply you with an iPod sock which will help to stop the device getting scratched when not in use. You may wish to but something more rugged. You will also have a USB cable and plug that will allow you to keep your iPod charged up without necessarily
connecting it to a computer. Please avoid putting your iPod next to items in your pocket or elsewhere that might cause the glass screen to get scratched. Be aware that the iPod is quite slippery. It can easily slide out of opened pockets and smash on the floor. Itʼs precision engineered and well-built but also quite delicate. We will not able to replace the device if it gets broken or stolen. Online Support In addition to the blog that we expect everyone will post messages to we have set up a private social network using a service called Ning (http://tallismobilelearning.ning.com) We will be inviting you to join this network by email. This will be a place where students and parents can discuss issues related to the project, suggest ideas for assignments, recommend new apps for the iPods and ask for help from key members of staff. Only members of the Ning will be able to take part in these discussions online and the site will not be visible to casual internet surfers. Activities and Meetings The central focus of our research is using the devices to tell a stories about positive learning experiences in and out of school. We are interested in what makes learning successful for young people and their families. Weʼd like to know about great lessons, moments when you feel creative and inspired, what the best time is to do your home learning, what you learn in clubs and out of school hours activities etc. In order to make learning better at Tallis we need learners to help us. Our plan is to focus on a few learning activities and particular apps during each half term so that we can meet together fairly regularly to compare notes on what we have found most valuable and/or frustrating. Weʼd like to stay pretty flexible about the timetable but it might look something like this: Term 1 March - 8 April Meeting: 5 April 6pm
Activities Blogging, Podcasting and Tweeting
26 April - 27 May
Apps Notes, Tumblr, Audioboo, Twitter, myHomework, Flickr, Hipstamatic, CameraBag, Swankolab, Photogene
As above, plus using photos Meeting: 24 May 6pm and video to tell stories
iMovie, 8mm, SonicPics, Animoto, Strip Design, Phoster, StoryKit
6 June - 22 July
Spore, Slice It!, Scrabble, Math Bingo, Civilisation Revolution, SIMS 3, Fantastic Contraption, Touch Physics
Meeting: 19 July 6pm
As above, plus playing games to support learning across the curriculum
At these meetings we would hope to gather your thoughts about what is working well and what could be improved. We can also discuss adding new apps that you have recommended. We hope to continue the project into next year, possibly extending it to the new Year 7 cohort. If this happens weʼll be expecting you to guide them through the process of making the best use of the iPods for their learning. Weʼll also be setting you some more challenging assignments.
Care and Maintenance We have decided to look after the updating of apps and general maintenance of the iPods for you. This means that you donʼt really need to bother with syncing the device to your computer (in fact weʼd rather you didnʼt) and we can look after the business of buying apps and updating the device. Weʼll do this when we meet together each half term. Having Fun! The most important thing to remember about all this is that learning is fun and we hope learning is even more fun when you can use a handheld learning device. Donʼt forget to tell us when you are having fun in your learning so we can share in your enjoyment. We are eagerly awaiting your posts on the blog! Accounts and Logins We have subscribed to a number of web based services to support the sharing of information and storage of data. Some of relevant information has already been entered into each device but you will need to enter some of it yourself when you first use the relevant app: Google, Tumblr, YouTube, Vimeo and Animoto Login - email@example.com Password - kidbrookese3 Flickr Login - firstname.lastname@example.org Password - kidbrookese3 Audioboo and Twitter Login - tallismobile Password - kidbrookese3 Ning You will receive an email inviting you to join the Ning. You can then create your own login ID and password. Emergency Contacts If you have any trouble using your device or you need help with any aspect of the project, just email or text Mr Nicholls using the details below and heʼll do his best to help you: Jon Nicholls T: 020 8331 3054 (leave a message) M: 07720 350970 E: email@example.com You can also send him a message on the Ning.