Right, from my point of view the project went really well yesterday. But at the same time I feel that there was a LOT that could be improved, especially if other people wanted to adapt the idea. It was the first time that the lovely folks at ISCA had run a project using their ipads and I think we all learnt a lot from it.
The language angle
- Given that we had a range of schools coming in who we'd never worked with before we didn't insist on TL throughout the ads or presentations. Next time I think we really should.
- Grammar: for me one of the main impediments to students giving things a try yesterday was limited grammar skills / confidence. However, could we have had either a link or QR code to a source of grammar explanations? If you want to be able to give instructions, go here, if you want to describe what you did, click here... For me this would also enable learners to realise the importance of grammar in a non-classroom, real setting.
- Kelda and I decided that we didn't want to provide a template for the presentations for fear of encouraging a kind of identikit presentation, wanting instead to encourage each group to go it alone. However, this left some of the teams feeling a bit lost. Was that good (encouraging independence) or did they feel mildly demoralised / nervous about using language?
The technical angle
- we provided a lot of the links in the form of QR codes. However, I think it would be important to place more emphasis on also fully displaying key addresses such as that of the blog www.exeteredl.posterous.com . Many of the groups used the blog repeatedly but by not having to type the address in they went away asking what it was- and thus couldn't see it straight away at home or begin to share the buzz.
- some of the filming / recording was not of the highest quality. It might be worth having a 5 minute technical brief on issues like not filming in front of windows / bright sunshine or how best to capture audio, especially for interviews. Also, some of the teams turned their audio up to full which lead to poor quality playback. Hopefully we've now sorted that out for the blog.
- the room that we showed the videos in had poor lighting- either on or off. This meant that we couldn't film the presentations, a HUGE shame, as all that was visible to the camera was a bright white screen behind the teams.
- The completion process. We didn't explain well enough to groups how to finish off their projects / how to export them. This caused 2 significant issues. The first was that we had a big faff when teams came up to present. The second was that when we came to upload the final ads and in some cases presentation materials to the blog we had to go through and export each ipad's materials and then sync it to one iTunes account and THEN upload. There must be a better way.
- When the teams were coming up to present they had to plug their team's ipad in, set themselves up and then go. This was stilted rather than smooth and led to the process not only being slower but some audience members getting... distracted after a long day. One idea was that when teams had finished their work they upload them to a wiki from which they could then present. It would be interesting to know if that idea was actually possible.
- The ipads themselves were great, but it's not always possible to accomplish what you can on a laptop. For example with Posterous, well, the app isn't great (and is designed for iphones). And when using posterous on ipads the website in safari is... limited. In hindsight I should have tried e-mailing the videos but that wouldn't work with garageband projects.
So in short there was a LOT to smile about- but still lots of work to do to create a really effective, transferrable model. All ideas welcome!