Linda Kwan, VSB Learning Technologies Mentor
English Teacher, University Hill Secondary School
Twitter: @Cakebrain

AFL strategies in English class leveraged by technology: blogs as e-portfolios, peer editing using tablets, recommended iPad apps for storytelling and curricular objectives, wikis for forum discussions. Focus: Grades 4-12 Humanities

Basic Tech Tools Required:
o 1 wikispaces teacher account (free)
o Teacher computer/laptop/tablet [I have an old Dell Latitude XT tablet] (or iPad)
o LCD projector (with HDMI)
o overhead screen
o Teacher gmail account for school use only
o WiFi or internet access
o 15 iPads and charging cart
o Apple TV
o eg.
o eg. a list of all my students’ personal blogs is HERE and this is an example of an older student’s blog HERE


Essays Unit:
1. Collaborative Rubric Creation
a. Students look at models of writing online (on tablets or on the LCD projector)
b. Groups: rank the writing samples. (i.e. 6 point scale for Govt exam)
c. Groups: create criteria for each scale point
d. Class collaboration: consensus for what makes a “6” paper etc.

2. Peer Editing using tablets.
a. Group work: writing group collaborates together and creates ONE paragraph for in-class evaluation.
b. Teacher: takes pictures (with iPhone or iPad) of each group’s paragraph and uploads it as a PDF to be seen online.
c. Teacher: leads class in reviewing each paragraph; marks up the PDF in an app or in OneNote (PC tablet) and everyone ranks the paragraphs according to the rubric they created.
*TECH REQUIRED: iPad or PC tablet, LCD projector, overhead screen, Notemaster Lite app (free), OneNote (PC tablet)

3. Online Forum Discussions
a. Students: read assigned readings online (newspapers, journals, stories)
b. Students: sign in to teacher’s wikispace and participate in online discussions about their readings.

4. Student E-Portfolios
a. Each student creates his/her own creative writing blog (I recommend Blogger or WordPress). They can make it private or public. If private, they will “invite” the teacher to read their blog by entering the teacher’s email address (this is where your school gmail account comes in handy)
b. Teacher assigns a descriptive essay to write but instead of submitting it on paper, the student posts it on his/her creative writing blog. Feedback is given via the post’s comments. The teacher provides a brief comment indicating the post has been read. No mark is given in the comment. No marking up of the piece of writing is done. Optional: An email can be sent to the individual student along with a rubric and mark and more detailed feedback can be provided.

Short Stories Unit:
1. Collaborative Short Story
a. Just like the silly activity where one student writes a few lines and then passes it on to the next student and then that student writes a few lines and then passes it on etc.
b. Using the Wikispace, the students collaborate as a whole class to write ONE short story.
c. The wikispace will track the users and what each student adds is highlighted in green and what they edit out is highlighted in red. This can be seen by all.
d. It is recommended that the students vote for the student they want to start the story and also and “anchor” student to conclude it.

2. Student Short Story Writing
a. Students post their short stories on their creative writing blogs. They may create original art or photos to illustrate
b. With the iPad App “Book Creator”[$4.99] or “Story Kit” app [free] (iPhone app that can be used on the iPad) students can create their own story books that digitally “flip”. By publishing a digital book, they can share their stories online. These apps allow picture illustrations that the students can create in other apps, upload images from the iPad camera roll and voice recordings (students can read their stories aloud and record their voices).

Novel Unit:
1. Socrative App [free] for the iPad, iPhone, android or any mobile device. Socrative “Engage the class using any device” (computer, tablets, smartphones). This is an online tool and acts like a clicker. Teacher can give reading checks for novels, take polls, create open-ended questions for immediate response and feedback and exit tickets
a. Students can create quizzes using the Socrative Teacher App and have their peers use the Socrative Student App to review at the end of the unit before an exam.
b. Socrative Space Race: teams can play games

2. Comic Life: [$4.99] to summarize a chapter; create an alternative ending

3. Puppet Pals:[free] skit-making

4. iMovie: [$4.99] skits

Poetry Unit:
1. Visual Poet app (for iPad)
a. Students write their own original poems
b. Upload images to illustrate the poem (or vice versa)
c. Share/publish the visual poems through email or on their blogs

2. Creative Writing Blogs (computers)
a. Students post their poems online and illustrate them with images they photograph with their iPads/iPhones

3. Poetry Readings through iMovie [$4.99] or Keynote [$9.99]
a. Students write their own original poems, create with an app on iPads: an iMovie [$4.99] or Keynote [$9.99] presentation to illustrate imagery to accompany their poetry reading. They can record their voice reading their poem aloud with the iPad or iPhone and add pictures or images they have created or found on the web
b. Students can self-publish their iMovie poems on their creative writing blogs or on YouTube


About Cakebrain

A Vancouver English teacher preoccupied with cake... Reflecting about my learning as an educator. I am currently teaching English part time and also working part time at the Vancouver Board of Education as a Learning Technologies Mentor. This blog also contains an archive of my Concept Papers and Inquiry and Coaching Reflections (ICR) from my grad studies program at VIU (CIEL) You can follow my food and edu-tweets @Cakebrain My Class Wiki: My food blog is
This entry was posted in Formative Assessment, How To, Tech in English class, Technology, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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