Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Reclaiming the #Last5Minutes of Class: A Camera for Solving Problems?

What if there were a way that you could gain 25 extra instructional minutes a week, 2 extra class periods a month, and 18 extra class periods a year? Effectively using the last five minutes of class is the answer. Think about how much time is wasted for packing up materials, completing homework, and socializing. In this series, I would like to help you reclaim the #last5minutes of class.

Camera +  Annotation = High Tech Problem Solving

Mobile devices seem to populate many classrooms today and students can use this technology to quickly complete problems and provide feedback. Whether it is a cell phone, iPod touch, or tablet, students have the ability to take pictures and annotate those pictures. 

What if you were to have students do the following? At the end of the class, you have a problem on the board. Perhaps you ask students to complete a math problem, analyze the parts of a sentence, or write a short response. 

Step 1: Camera

Have students take a picture of the problem on the whiteboard. They can use the editing features to brighten the picture, crop, and transfer to another Application. For students who don't have a smart device, why not take a picture for them and share it via Google Classroom, Edmodo, Schoology, etc.

Step 2: Annotate

Have students open the picture in an annotation or photo editing App like SkitchNotability or Google Drawings. Students can use annotation tools to label or write their answers by hand, text, or highlighting. 

Other Ideas!

Don't just limit your ideas to problems on a board. I recently saw a post by Matt Gomez, who suggested the idea of taking a picture and labeling the parts of a picture. For example, if you had a picture of a plant, label the stem, flower, leaves, etc. You could also take a picture of an object and write down all of the adjectives to describe it. 


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