face time with FaceTime: Apps for Collaboration

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combinedAs students continue to grow and expand their learning horizons, education becomes exciting. There is genuine victory in conquering a challenge, mastering a language, or understanding a concept. But above the enriching feeling of learning is teaching. Students have discovered the pleasure in sharing knowledge to help a friend comprehend a subject. Peer tutoring is an effective method that proves valuable for both who partake in it. Both the student teacher and the student receive higher academic achievement, improved personal and social development, leadership and task management skills, and motivation to excel in a field.

Being in a 1:1 community makes peer collaboration increasingly effective, ultimately enriching students.Using their devices, students are connected more intimately with one another: mentoring and learning in many new and exciting ways. With the intense schedule of a High School student, meeting together can be difficult, as students are always in different places at different times. Tablets, laptops, and other smart devices allow students to connect and collaborate anywhere at any time.

facetime-iconFaceTime is a free video calling app available on any iOS and OS X device. Students not only can hear each other, but can see each other. This crucial aspect of FaceTime allows for a more genuine interaction between peers. With one click, students can discuss lectures from class, explain difficult topics, mentor each other, and visually check each others work while collaborating. Personally, I have relied on FaceTime my Sophomore year of High School. My chemistry lab partner and I had immensely busy schedules, and depended on FaceTime to collaborate on lab reports and help each other understand a difficult unit. The ability for us to visually check each other’s work greatly benefitted our learning experience and lab accuracy. This collaboration would have been near impossible without the integration of iPads into our curriculum.

 

85648d1393877796-how-fix-imessage-imessageiMessages are free, unlimited messages sent between iOS or OS X devices. iMessages allow students to share text, photos, videos, links, and information between each other seamlessly. An amazing feature of iMessage is Group Messaging. Now students can connect with everyone from class in one simple place. Group Messaging aligns a student’s academic network to maximize understanding and organization. I am currently in a Group iMessage for every one of my classes, and it has benefitted both me and my peers. iMessage links students together to successfully explain the ways in which peers are academic resources. Students can request help on a subject, receive in-time feed of class activity if they are absent, engage in group study sessions before exams, and make sure no one forgets to complete an assignment.

 

Google-Drive-iconGoogle Drive is an amazing, user-friendly feature offered by Google. Drive allows you to store files anywhere at any time, and access them from any device. This is especially important for students. An essay for class can be started in a Google Document on a laptop, and then continued on any mobile or desktop device. Google Drive uses cloud storage to safely secure documents and pictures while allowing for immediate access anywhere in the world, ensuring that students can always access their work and never forget it. Another amazing feature of Drive is the share option. Sharing Google Documents and Slideshows is especially important for any student or teacher. Students can easily share a document with a fellow student to edit, view, or comment. This feature is great for group projects or writing assignments, and extremely helpful when doing peer editing for assignments. Teachers benefit greatly from the sharing option as well because work can easily be turned in via Drive. Teachers can also click on the “last edit” button to see who wrote each sentence in the document. This inventory of edit history helps teachers immensely when seeing what each group member contributed to the project. Google Drive is the ultimate collaboration tool and a fundamental part of the note taking world.

 

mzl.hoityxiwShowMe is a powerful classroom tool that connects students and teachers from all across the world. This fantastic teaching app for the iPad allows the user to draw pictures on a “white board” and record their voice as they draw. By allowing viewers to both see and listen to the material, this app appeals to visual and auditory learners, providing a larger digital learning horizon. After recording a ShowMe video, you can publish it for either public or private viewing, creating a network of video learning tools. The accessibility to various teaching styles is tremendously important to students attempting to comprehend a difficult subject. In addition to a wide array of content, students can re-watch videos as often as they need. No longer is a student completely abandoned during their homework if they were not fully understanding the topic in class. Students also have the ability to learn by teaching, creating videos and learning from them. I personally use ShowMe when tutoring Spanish. I meet with my students after school and review their topics of vocabulary, grammar, and culture. After our lesson is over, I create a ShowMe video of what we covered, knowing that if my students need the extra help, they could access the lesson repeatedly until they fully understand the material. ShowMe is an essential class tool to make sure students fully understand class content.

What apps do you use for student collaboration? Do you have any further questions about these apps or about the 1:1 community? Please feel free to comment on the blog or email me at timmysullivan54@gmail.com

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