Monday, September 26, 2016

Let's Recap

I realize I've probably said this before...probably more than once...but I really think this app is a game-changer. That's what's so fantastic about being a tech blogger - the game is changing almost constantly. That also brings its own type of challenge, wherein as educators in the classroom, we need to be very selective and intentional with our choices of tools. In a way, the ubiquity of the tech and the volume of new that appears makes it so impossible to "keep up" with all the new that it is easier to focus on the pedagogy and learning goals - which is where our focus belongs.

So...Let's Recap. Part of what drives me to keep seeking out new tools, is the fact that to be perfectly honest, I'm cheap.  I can't (any longer) say that I will not and have not paid for an app or for a premium subscription, but those occasions are few and far between.  In fact, it's kind of a fun challenge to me to see how much I can accomplish without paying for a darn thing! With that said, I dabbled in Flipgrid last year as a way to document and archive student voice. I had looked into it a number of years prior, but it has limited functionality in the free version (billed as a trial). What made me dive in a bit deeper last year, was the willingness of our school librarian to pay for the $65 annual subscription from her budget.

Cut to EdCamp Mville. As if EdCamp isn't amazing enough, (It is. If you've never been, GET TO ONE!!) EdCamp Mville takes place in Reid Castle. Yes, it's a real castle. And I'm addicted to EdCamps. It is true that EdCamps always have the best swag. Believe me, everyone says so. (bazinga) Still, it's considered a tad gauche to declare that the swag is the best part of any EdCamp. Except this time, it was SO true! My swag was a T-shirt donated by Let's Recap. I had never heard of Let's Recap, but it was literally a takeaway that I put into action first thing Monday morning. The PD dream of all teachers, but how often does it really come true?

Like so many apps now, Let's Recap allows you to set up classes that students can join with a code - privacy. Teachers pose questions either in text form, or via short video recordings. Assignments can be single questions, or multiple questions strung together. Students access their assignments from within the class, and then make 15 second to 2 minute video clips of themselves answering the questions. #love

My first task to my Spanish 2 students was to describe an illness or injury they had suffered using the preterite tense, and answering the questions Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How? I opted to use text, which several of my fellow EdCampers thought was fantastic, because they dreaded the thought of being on camera themselves. As expected, some of my students felt the same way, but they simply adjusted the angle to shoot video of a desk, a wall, or an unsuspecting classmate. (Yes, once even of me, and they thought my yelp of horror was hilarious. #freshmen) My Spanish 3 class was given 5 prompts after which they were expected to respond using the subjunctive. After viewing, the teacher can go in and provide feedback to the students in text form.

I have used Google Voice in the past to review for speaking exams, but I just might make the switch to Let's Recap for a large portion of that. I also considered Voxer, but having students download an app is so much more cumbersome than sharing out a link via Google Classroom - not to mention that they frequently bristle at the thought of teachers having any control over what goes on their phones.

So this one is a winner. If you're still reading, you really should be checking out Let's Recap. And then typing me a comment to let me know how it goes!

No comments:

Post a Comment