iPods in the Classroom: Collaboration (Part 5 of 7)

5 Feb
The collaborative classroom can be more motivating for a student. Our students are social beings that value the efforts of group work (Schlechty, 2011, p. 54). There are two apps that could meet the needs of my students. Both of these apps rely and encourage collaboration in a way that students already feel comfortable doing. Both apps can be supported on their iPods. In addition, the content placed on both apps can be accessed at home on their personal computers, or at school on an iPad or in the Computer Lab.

Evernote is an online tool for keeping notes, saving research, working on projects, capturing images and recording audio. Everything added is synced and available on any other device used. Evernote is going to allow students to experience working in a group in a more sophisticated and fluid way. For instance, students work together in 3rd quarter by designing their own projects that meet with 3rd quarter skill statements. In a group, students would write “I can” statements, determine an essential question of study and usually go their separate ways to research their topic. Towards the end of the unit, the group would come back together to tie up loose ends and make decisions about their presentations. With Evernote, groups can be communicating with one another about the articles they’re reading, the websites they’re finding information at, taking pictures of their visuals, and providing feedback throughout the whole process. Evernote provides a different kind of platform for communicating and working collaboratively.

Here is an example of a school that uses Evernote to engage students and promote collaboration.

Edmodo is an educational social-networking site. Edmodo is designed with collaboration in mind. It creates a mobile learning environment that is accessible to students anytime, anywhere (http://features.edmodo.com/). Students will not have to worry about having a laptop to access our classroom page, their iPods is all they need to stay connected with the classroom. With Edmodo, students can share their work, get feedback, give feedback, upload content, and complete assignments. If a group of students are working on a project, as they are researching, they can be keeping in touch with their group. If a group finishes their project and wants feedback before turning it in, they can present the work to the class for feedback. Each student can give the feedback when they have a chance during the day, not just when they have access to a computer. This is real-time feedback and communication that can be difficult to create throughout the day without the aid of technology.

Schlechty, P. (2011). Engaging Students: The Next Level of Working on the Work. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


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