2+2 != Maths

August 18, 2011

iPad Gaming in Math and Science

Filed under: classroom — Numbat @ 17:23
Tags: , , , ,

I cannot remember ever being as thrilled by both the prospects and the response to one of my lessons.

The aim was to get students to explore different settings to assist in extending their iPad battery life.  Rather than giving them a simple research assignment, I thought why not get them to actually prove or disprove these methods, let’s conduct a (semi) scientific experiment.

So I tasked them to design an experiment. They were required to research a number of different theories on conserving battery life and pick one to investigate.  They were required to write a hypothesis and a method to test their theories, to design a data collection method, to perform the experiment and then write up a conclusion.

My ultimate aim is to collect as much of this data that I can and do some statistical analysis on the results.  This would certainly be relevant for an older Math classroom although I doubt I’ll be getting these students to do this further analysis.  (These are Year 7 students, 12/13 years old).

The response has been phenomenal. I had a hunch that the students would respond positively, but I never envisaged the response I received. During the class discussion stage, virtually every student participated and we developed the framework for our experimental method collaboratively.  Even students who wouldn’t normally participate were right in it, and one particular student who normally participates with completely random and irrelevant remarks was on track and contributing thoughtful comments.

Two students in particular, who have hardly done any work all year, were almost the first to be ready.  They had done their research and planned their experiment in record time, and were even enthusiastic when I sent them back (repeatedly) to flesh out the process for their experiment.  I don’t recall ever having to write notes to parents asking them to “allow” their child to complete their homework, but I have written a dozen or so of those so far.

This started as a bit of a crazy idea that I thought I would run with, but I’m already seeing how I can expand and extend it for future years.  I can see how it could be useful in both Science and Math class, and the results are certainly relevant for my IT classroom.

If you give this a try in your class please report back on how it works out for you.

Cheers,
Chris.

18 September:  there’s an update here which includes feedback and data from these sessions.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] few weeks ago I was really excited about this lesson I’d prepared for my Year 7 ICT […]

    Pingback by Update: iPad Gaming in Math and Science « 2+2 != Maths — September 17, 2011 @ 17:45 | Reply


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