Sunday, July 20, 2014

What are you doing with the #LAST5? AudioBoo



What are you doing with the last five minutes of class? This was a question that I asked myself several years ago when I was finishing up my Masters degree. Through my research, I found that most of the discipline and engagement problems (in the school I taught at) occurred during the first five and last five minutes of class.

Let me ask you again, what are you doing the last five minutes of class? Are students doing homework, packing up materials, and goofing off? How can we increase the engagement of our students during this time period? I'd like to introduce you to my new series titled #LAST5. Let's explore several ways to get your students engaged during this challenging time period.

Options for Summarizing Learning:

If you are not familiar with AudioBoo, it is a free Podcasting platform available online or as an app. Students can use this program to record short podcasts called "boos." In the past, I have used this program to have my students answer discussion questions. I like the fact that it gives students multiple options (multiple means of action and expression) for responding to discussion questions. Some students may prefer to write their answers, while others may want to discuss their answers. AudioBoo gives students both options.

Step 1: Prompt

I will provide a written prompt, as well as a recorded prompt using AudioBoo. This provides students with multiple ways of representing material because students can choose to read, listen, or read and listen to the prompt. I publish my boo and provide my students with the link.

Step 2: Response

Students visit my prompt and have options for responding in the comments section. They can can type out their response or they can record their voices responding to the prompt. The first time that I did this activity, I was surprised at the number of students who wanted to type their responses. As students gained comfort with AudioBoo, they began to choose which method of response worked best for them.

Check out my first assignment that I gave students! I provided a typed version of the prompt on a PowerPoint slide. Instead of using this during the last 5 minutes of class, I used this as a beginning of class activity to discuss strategic planning. 

Conclusion:

I like the flexibility of AudioBoo because it provides students with multiple ways to express themselves. It helps the student who may have trouble getting their thoughts out in written form. It helps the student who is unable to type due to disability or injury. It provides the shy student and outlet to respond.

I also like that students have multiple ways of accessing AudioBoo. They can access it from the web, their iPad, or mobile device. This is a perfect way of having students do assignments on the go!

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