A step towards better student presentations?

voki

Voki is an online app which allows users to create an avatar to deliver presentations for them (like the example on the right).  You could use this yourself as part of an approach to flipped learning, for example by getting the avatar to explain a task.  Alternatively, you could get the students to create avatars which deliver presentations on their behalf.

Potential benefits:

  • It might encourage students to think more carefully about the oral delivery of presentations.
  • It may help them to build their confidence in writing the oral part of their presentation, and to become more confident about delivering this themselves in due course.
  • It’s a bit of fun.

Potential drawback:

  • The students may well spend far longer choosing the face, hair, etc for their avatar than thinking about what it actually needs to say.

This app was designed with educational use in mind and is entirely free to use – provided you don’t mind there being significant limitations on what you can do.  As always, to really get the best out of anything claiming to be free, you need to pay for an upgrade.  To find out more about it, and maybe give it a go, click here.

 

 

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Screencast

If you ever want your pupils to try something new or challenging on a PC or laptop, you should consider using the free app Screencast-o-matic to model the activity by “recording” what you are doing on your own screen – you can add a voiceover to talk them through it too!

This tool could also help you to flip your students’ learning: they could practise using a certain app, website or piece of software in their own time, and therefore be already be prepared to use it for the purpose you have in mind when they get to your lesson.

screencast

Click on this link to watch a short video which explains how this app works, and this link to try it for yourself.

 

 

Lesson Flips with Video clips

As teachers, do we really want to spend valuable lesson time providing students with information which they are perfectly capable of acquiring in their own time?  Surely it makes sense to set homework tasks which help them to familiarise themselves with key material in advance of our lessons, and then spend the lessons exploring that knowledge and putting it to good use?  This is the underlying premise of “flipped learning”, a movement which is gaining increasing momentum in modern education.

Of course, pupils can gain knowledge in a variety of ways, but one of the most effective mediums is video, which has the ability to combine images with sounds, and to support spoken words with written words.  However, many teachers are sceptical about the idea of pupils watching videos in their own time and really taking their content on board.  So, here are a couple of ways in which this problem can be tackled.

1. Ted-Ed. Many of you will have come across the excellent Ted Talks available for classroom use (if not, click here for more details).  Ted-Ed is an online package which allows you to construct a learning experience based on any online video you care to choose.  Use it to search for clips, set objectives, add multiple choice questions, add thought-provoking questions, or add extension notes, and track the progress of students.  This film tells you more:

Click here to visit the Ted-Ed website.

2. resourcdblogs.com. Set up your own blog, embed video clips in it, and set quizzes based on those quizzes.  Click here for an example from the Loreto Classics department, and watch Jamie Davies’ excellent explanation of how to set up your own blog:

Don’t forget to explore all the fantastic BBC clips available here.  There are also lots of excellent clips available here at the Khan Academy website.

BBC Learning Zone

BBC

The BBC has created an online library of short video clips specifically for secondary school teachers to use in their lessons, covering a vast range of topics.  If you haven’t yet discovered it, click here.