Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Sharing classroom work: In-hand tech solutions

Image representing fotobabble as depicted in C...
Image via CrunchBase
As soon as I can figure out QR codes, I will be doing more with photobabbles to give our parents a bigger clue about what we get up to in class. I have a one-on-one class with a very able young lad once a week and we can tend to munch through material (too) quickly. He is my (willing)  guinea pig at the moment, as we try to do the same stuff differently (ever the language teacher's millstone?).

Some of our efforts have ended up in spectacular giggles as things didn't work out; often we both learn more (he that I'm a bit of a pillock, me that I'm more of a pillock than I thought possible...)

I deliberately chopped off the vocabulary items from the top of the text book page (and covered the target structure once we'd had a go with it "How do you/they go to school/work?" / "How does he/she got to school/work?") but used the original picture as it was too small on my phone (craving an iPad!). I want to be able to share our students' great work with parents (I think very few read this blog, tragically, nor access the stuff we share in Edmodo) at an interface they can cope with (around the stove downstairs while they wait & gossip, phones in hand. Hence, the QR codes, which will take them to the recording. Update once I get that sorted out.

Edmodo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So, how: Use the online portal to open up Fotobabble & set up an account (free). Open up the fotobabble app on your iOS & take a picture (or import a picture if you are prepared - you can crop/edit in advance then too). Hit the record button when you are ready to go, and get cracking as you have only 30 seconds or so on the freebee. As I have said about other free apps, I actually like the time stress as it hurries everyone up/necessitates re-recordings (students demand to have another go, not forced to be teacher!). Fiddle with the settings to share or hide to your own desire. You will find your fotobabbles created on your iOS on the fotobabble site, which you can then share again as much as you like - Facebook, twitter etc or embed as I have done with this one.
Image representing Evernote as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

An 'extra' save I intend to do from now on with students' solo work is to add items to individual folders within Evernote. I saw a blog posting about doing this yesterday & it makes absolute sense. Down the line I will not remember who did what, when & where; will want to be able to share/give to them. Think we might do this prior to open week - certainly as a leaving present. ePortfolios is a significant part of how I see teachers empowering students (they can take their classroom & work with them) - after all, I am laying the foundations for their journey of lifelong learning.

Final thought - students always need to be able to ask questions, don't they? Here is the tables-turned recording :)