Before this last weekâ€™s OAME conference in Toronto, Iâ€™d only seen one use of Educreations: students record themselves teaching through a lesson or a problem as a kind of summative assessment. This assignment has been recommended to me in 100% of the tablets-in-education sessions Iâ€™ve attended. (Chris Hunter called the students â€œKhanabees,â€ which is clever.)
In her session at OAME, Marian Small used Educreations to show student thinking in its raw, unrehearsed form, full of loops and self-references, which for some purposes is more interesting than the polished Khanabees presentations.
The premise of her talk (PDF of her slides) was that the job of teaching comprises two very different, very difficult tasks:
- promoting student thinking through interesting questions,
- responding to that thinking in productive ways.
So her session was simple, but engrossing.
- She had students talk through and work out on an iPad interesting questions that they were seeing for the first time. (Hereâ€™s an example.) The iPad recorded their real-time sketches and markings and paired it to the their voice.
- She asked us what weâ€™d say next and analyzed and critiqued our responses, highlighting their differences and categorizing them as either â€œscaffolding,â€ â€œredirecting,â€ â€œprobing,â€ or â€œextending.â€
An hour flew by.
This approach to representing student work has advantages and disadvantages relative to both scans of student work and videos that show the student and teacher. Rather than outline those differences myself, Iâ€™d rather take your thoughts in the comments.
Kate, referring to Small’s two bullet points above:
That is the most beautiful job description Iâ€™ve ever read.
I am not a teacher, but as a technologist/researcher, it strikes me we can, at least in the short run, have a lot more pedagogical insight with humans looking at a few these than machines crunching context-poor big data (even though Iâ€™ve argued the case of the latter before on this blog).
Wade Roberts, co-founder of Educreations:
Android is the next logical platform for us to support, but we donâ€™t yet see sufficient demand to justify the cost of development. Weâ€™re monitoring Android tablet growth within schools, but iPad is still over 90% of school market. It is already possible to replay our videos on Android, however.
Weâ€™re incredibly excited about this use-case. People are often surprised when I tell them that just over half of the 5 million videos on our platform have been created by students.