When working with students it is clear to see how engaged they get when they create new things and have the opportunity to share it with others.
Two apps that are fast becoming favourites of mine are Shadow Puppet and SeeSaw. Both made by the same people they provide a great opportunity for students to make great products and also have a place for collaboration and a safe audience for sharing.
We shall start with Shadow Puppet.
This is a great tool to help students in their literacy. It allows students to add their voice to pictures (they can either take these using the iPad or use the fantastic libraries available inside the app itself) Once selected the students can simply start the recording and add in their explanations or scripts to the images.
Why is this so impressive?
Well it is simple to use, so much so that my boy who is 5 uses it for his homework and creates great videos. It also allows him to have a visual stimulus which supports his explanation. By simply seeing what he wants to talk about it supports the quality of his oracy. Once complete you can save the work to your camera role and then share it from there.
Here is an example of some work
Advanced users may want to include the Text tools to add words to their images and even background music, there is also the ability to use annotation tools to highlight areas of the images as you talk about them.
So when they are complete, what do you do with them?
Thats where Seesaw comes in nicely.
Seesaw is a journal platform that allows for the sharing (and creation) of content in a class environment. Students can upload their work to Seesaw or they can create it directly in the app. When I have shared this with teachers they love the simplicity as well as the wealth of opportunities it brings to sharing the work amongst peers and also parents.
When you add new content to Seesaw you have several options.
Make new videos. This is similar to the Shadow Puppet app, you can add in images and voice to your work
Drawing. You can add in a drawing through the use of a whiteboard in the app. Tis is a great tool for so many purposes and supports the work many teachers currently do with whiteboards but add the ability to easily share and save the work.
Add existing video. Yu can access the iPad camera roll and add in anything you have stored there.
New note. You are able to add in notes that can be shared, this adds in more opportunities for older children to share thoughts or plans with their class.
Once the work has been added the teacher has to approve that the work can be seen. this helps in a class environment to support e safety and social responsibility. The teacher can comment directly on the work in this safe environment and when you add in the parent link the students work is now in a wider audience.
The simplicity of the sharing is great. Create your group first, then to add in students you have a QR code generated for you. On student devices they choose they are a student and a QR reader opens. The students simply scan this and they are ready to go. The same applies for parents. You can create a sheet to print off and send home so they can access their own child’s work.
This really is an app that I would encourage you to spend a bit of time with. It really will add a new dimension to your classroom