Unfortunately, I got behind on my Cool Tools and ran out of time to really test out any of the student response tools but I see a few that I’m excited to work in to my repertoire next year:
Plickers-There are a couple of things I like about this option. I like that only the teacher needs to have connected device to use this one. We have a cart of iPads in the library but obviously, that cart can’t serve the whole student body at once so it’s nice to have another option to suggest to teachers when they want to work tech into a lesson but the iPads are all checked out at the time they wanted. I also like that the app is free and you can print out your own cards for free! The library has a laminating machine so we could print out several sets of cards in multiple sizes and laminate them for teacher use. We could probably include a quick how-to guide in the envelope for teachers as well. I also like that because the cards are displaying QR code-esque designs, students can’t tell who has answered correctly and who hasn’t.
Answer Garden-I think Answer Garden would be a fun way to quickly gather students’ thoughts on a topic before we’ve started and then again when the unit is over. You could then compare the answer clouds and see what changes there are-students could have a discussion with you on the differences and what they’ve learned since they first thought about the topic at the beginning of the unit.
Zaption-This is a website that lets you add images, text, and questions to existing online videos. Zaption’s Analytics also allow you to gather immediate feedback from users watching the videos. You can access Zaption’s gallery of completed videos or, create your own, upload them to your YouTube account and turn those into interactive video content. I’ve been exploring using the library iPads to record center directions and work videos into center lessons when possible. I think this could be a fun way to take that a step further next year. I’d love to have students answer questions about the instruction while watching the directions video before they’re allowed to start the activity! And best of all, basic accounts are FREE!
Seesaw App-I love the idea of putting this app on the library iPads and having students take pictures of the work they create during our monthly library centers. I think recording their own work to their own accounts will give them a greater sense of ownership of their work and will help motivate them to work harder on their activities and do well. This year, I was collecting the center activities and gave them to the teachers at the end of the month. With this app, I could share the digital portfolios with the teachers as well! I’ve also been looking for ways to share student work and what we do in the library with parents and this could be a great way to do this with the corresponding parent app.
Overall, I found some fun tools to add to my bag of tricks next year and can’t wait to explore them further over the summer and take them out for a spin next year!