November TEL Me More saw an interesting session discussing online technologies that could be use to support and enhance classroom based sessions including Padlet, Poll Everywhere, Socrative and Facebook, leading onto wider discussions about digital literacy and the use of social media within education.
This month’s speakers were Chris Avey, and Keith Perch.
Chris introduced Padlet, which he has been using as a way of gathering live feedback and questions from his students during his lectures. Padlet is something we’ve mentioned before, and is essentially an online pin-board, where students can anonymously contribute text, video, images and links. In this example, Chris has created a series of padlet boards relating to each lecture he gives and makes them available to his students through Course Resources. The students can then access these boards during the lecture and ask questions, or feedback on what is being discussed anonymously. Chris can then gauge if the students understand the topic and address any questions. Students can also support each other by answering the questions on the board, which can be monitored by Chris.
Keith Perch demonstrated an alternative online polling tool, Poll Everywhere, which offers different functionalities. Both systems can be accessed by the students from laptops, mobiles and tablets; they just require a connection to the internet. Once connected, the teacher can provide the student’s with their unique “class code”, which enables them to see and participate with the quizzes and polls you have created.
In Keith’s example, he was asking students to read a newspaper article and pull out the keywords they felt summed up that article. As they were answering, the words were appearing live in a word cloud on the screen. The students were then asked to use a mixture of these to create a headline for that article, really encouraging great class collaboration.
As the attendees experimented with the various tools to add content to the Padlet, or collect their favourite colours in Poll Everywhere, the discussion moved onto embedding social media into the classroom and encouraging students to be aware of their own digital presence and understanding what this means. If you are interested in exploring any of these areas further, then contact your learning technologist (firstname.lastname@example.org) to have a chat about these issues or to arrange training for you and/or your team.