Padlet is a free online virtual notice board, where students and teachers
can collaborate, reflect and share various forms of media in a secure location. Padlet allows users to create a hidden wall with a custom URL, with the function to moderate, remove posts and manage their board as required. Backgrounds, layout and the general look of the Padlet wall can be customized easily. I’ve used Padlet for collaborative group projects, both in and out of the classroom, as well as collating class work to allow access to revision materials for all. I set up 3 separate Padlets for 3 modules, one an example of which is below:
Here, students collate their shared research and use the search facility (Ctrl F) to pinpoint key words/terms to filter the content. Additional features can be used, such as adding feedback to posts. This can be from both teacher and student, which is another fantastic way of engaging the deeper thinking and critical skills for all those with access.
Book Creator is allows you and your students to create your own resources. Some features include:
- Add text, images, drawings, shapes, audio and video.
- Create awesome comics with the built in comic templates.
- Publish and share your books online with our new web-based reader.
- Work collaboratively and combine books from multiple authors.
- Access all your books on any device.
Copies of books can be exported to pdf format (without sound or video) or to ePub (electronic publication) format, for viewing on digital devices using iBooks (Apple) or Google Books (Android), for example. Publishing in ePub format provides access to features such as playback of video and sound, as well as animated page turning.
I have used this with my students, assigning separate tasks to complete then collectively pulling these together to create an Ebook, like a jigsaw activity. With the increased emphasis on building digital capabilities, as well as the engaging method of sharing, as Dr Katy Vigurs’ example demonstrates (although not using Book Creator), alternative ways of presenting research findings can go beyond reports and articles to get their work out there and make it more accessible.
With TouchCast Studio, you have the power of a high-end TV studio at your fingertips. You can record a video and edit it – all on your iPad. Watch this small clip for a flavour of what can be achieved with this technology. With TouchCast you can add live content to your video, through the suite of ‘vApps’ that are built into the app (see below for a sample).
I have used this with students to create a summative overview of a module, which allows them to draw upon and highlight numerous important learning points and resources that have impacted on them positively. One student was able to discuss her progress over the course of a year, adding in key assignments, segments of feedback, important instructional videos that have informed her teaching practice, and even added in a poll for viewers to participate in. With this application, I would always advocate taking your time and getting to grips with the technology first. It can be over-baring at the start, but persisting will lead to some great work being created. Bring it into class with shorted bursts where a session summary can be recorded, something like 1-2 minutes, with 1 or two vApps included, then build up as the confidence levels increase.
Adobe Spark Post is an online/app based photo editor that lets you add text, apply filters, resize, crop, and rotate. This is a really easy and effective way of encouraging students to create content, opposed to using images that may be subject to copyright infringements. With Spark Post you are able to either start with a black canvas, or edit some ready made templates for ease. I have used this in class for learners to summarise important texts, encouraging more analysis and synthesis of larger texts. The example (below) shows a student’s interpretation of the growth mindset theory, which was shared with the group and discussed.
The quick and easy functions of this application make a staple in my class, as well as the variety of assessment and feedback methods it allows.
Poll Everywhere is a web-based audience response system that lets you embed interactive activities directly into your presentation. The audience responds on the web or via SMS texting (free) on their phones. You are able to choose from a large variety of poll activities, including multiple choice, open response, live word clouds (which is great for gauging understanding or using as a quick diagnostic assessment of a group), clickable images, up- and down-voting for Q&A, and rank order. Questions can be written in almost any language, and can include images to prompt responses. As the presenter, you control when responses are displayed on-screen.
Polls can be set to be used in class or away from the session, and you can always replicate and start again once it has been used. An example (below) shows how I used this to facilitate discussions in class, as well as engage students in peer assessment and learning activities.