Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Evaluating apps in class - crowd sourcing problems!

Prepping for Successful Meetings
It's not often you get to a class and the students are already doing exactly what you wanted them to do...but that's exactly what happened for me this afternoon and I really want to give my class a pat on the back. So, Chinasa, Reiko, Yumi & Tomoko - well done!

I was going to give them a telling off, truth be told, because I could not see any evidence of them having done the homework I'd asked them to last time - to create & then share, do, vocabulary quizzes. But here's the thing, between us we figured out that the app we were using on our iPhones & Android was not up to scratch and was letting us down. While we thought our work in-app would show up online, it was not doing so. Likewise, material we wanted to share we were unable to (except in one case where the creator had gone to her PC and worked around the short-coming).

I was delighted, because we'd all byod (brought our own devices) - which these in-company students are otherwise told to leave in their lockers - and were finally using them instinctively (and not falling at the first hurdle failing to remember passwords etc!). Will they take their text books on a business trip? Nope. Dictionary? Nope. Phone? You bet - and there's so many different things we can make available for ourselves to make the job & the learning easier!

Negotiating pronunciation (an app for that too!)
So, now they kind of generated their own need to do an extra homework, which is to write to the app developer and point out their disappointment/frustrations with the tool, and to ask for improvements. Nothing like realia!

I look forward to hearing what kind of replies they get (I was going to write myself, but figured four end users sound louder than one intermediary!)