Social media users may have heard of a ‘chat’ but students don’t necessarily understand the learning implications a ‘chat’ can have. The effectiveness of a twitter-chat is down to the setup and the expectations placed upon students.
A tried and tested technique is to ask students to post an article for a relevant module and discuss each others submission. This leads to interesting debate and actually students want to prove they were right. These chats can be moderated, but once the students understand the concept they seem to run very smoothly. (Modelling good practice is a useful way to start.)
I would strongly advise that students have professional, protected accounts so they can be followed back by the educator. This has the added benefit that students aren’t afraid to be wrong, knowing that only their classmates and the educator can see their tweets. Students are much more likely to participate honestly in this environment.
Even though the ability to make movies has been around for decades, the availability of mobile devices have made creating movies very simple. The major advantage of students making movies is the pride they take in their work. The desire to include credible content and to look good in front of their peers facilitates an effort level sometimes lacking in other work.
iMovie on the iPad is a very useful app as its intuitive nature means students can complete a project very quickly. The technology doesn’t get in the way of learning and allows students to express their understanding. Again the setup is important but as long as students understand what is required, in terms of length and depth of knowledge, it is a very useful learning technique.
This technique has been heavily influenced by iPad use in the last 12 months. Alongside extended writing tasks, students are allowed to demonstrate their knowledge using any technology we have available. The majority of what to use an application on the iPad that will allow them to be creative and also show depth of understanding.
Again an interesting consequence is that the students know their work will be shown to others. There is a pride in their work that perhaps would not otherwise be there for all students. This is also a useful technique for group work where students aren’t restricted by the same technique as they collaborate. The most commonly chosen applications are:
PAPER 53 – ‘Paper by FiftyThree is the easiest and most beautiful way to create on the iPad. Sketch, capture and share your ideas across the web’
iTHOUGHTS HD - ’A multi-functional mind mapping tool for the iPad’
EXPLAIN EVERYTHING – ‘An easy-to-use design tool that lets you annotate, animate, and narrate explanations and presentations.’
BRUSHES – ‘The essential drawing and painting app for the iPad. The app features 19 different brushes and up to six layers.’
Not strictly an app but I should mention that Apple TV has made all of these techniques much simpler to use in the classroom. The ability to switch between devices to display work has been invaluable in keeping lessons flowing and students on task.