Tech Tools for Last Minute Revision

On May 12, 2011, in General, Madeleine Brookes, by Madeleine Brookes

It’s been a busy few weeks helping my IB ITGS students prepare for their exams. We have used two major IT systems to help us along the way.

Once again, the use of wikispaces has been an excellent way to collate notes, share resources and document aspects of the course that the students can use for their revision. And not just our own students, the ones that helped build the content in the wikis, but also for any other ITGS students from around the world.

Last minute visits for revision!

The 2011 Case Study wikispace that we have been collaborating on with Andrew Churches’ ITGS students in New Zealand attracted over 660 unique visitors from all over the world in the 48 hour period before the exam on May 6. It was interesting to note that 19% of the visitors were from US compared with 2% from China – which equates to 13 – the number of students in our HL class!

Wikispace Statistics

After the US, we have visitors from the UAE, the Philippines & Singapore, approximately 8%, and Bangladesh, Indian, Mauritius, Tanzania and Uganda with almost 4%.

Our itgsatwab wikispace also clocked up over 150 unique visitors in the same time frame with over 58% of visitors from the US, second was Taiwan with almost 8% and China with 6%.

We also did some real-time ‘synchronous’ revision using Skype. We made a Skype chat group which we left open for comments. On the evening of May 4th and the evening of May 5th, there were sessions that went on for hours. Students asking me questions and discussing answers with each other and me throwing out questions for them to answer. (Don’t worry – I had the mark schemes with me). On the first evening, a core of students were the lively contributors whilst others, maybe less confident ones, watched and read. It was good that there was a mix of formal technical talk with students trying to articulate their thoughts combined with the more informal chat language (“im gna rest now haha”) interspersed with emoticons – some intentional – 😉 – and some non-intentional –  try keying in (d) – as in part d of the question – in Skype and you get the cocktail gif!

Trying to type (d) gives an unexpected emoticon!

On the second evening, after the  – I hope, successful – completion of Paper 1, most of the class joined in with comments and questions. As all the chats are saved, students could dip in and out of the conversation knowing that they were not missing out.

It’s a wonderful feeling when you know that you have really connected with your students.

Mix of formal sentences and informal banter

After the first paper, most of them came running down to see me after each exam to describe the papers in detail, to confirm some of their responses and to speculate on what the next paper would bring. On the eve of the second paper, it suddenly dawned on one student that our time together as an ITGS class was over: “ok well I guess this is the last time, good bye”

I’m really going to miss my graduating class of 2012 – however I now have them firmly in my Skype contact list and look forward to continuing the conversations!


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