Thursday, 4 August 2016

It's Quizlet - but not as we know it.

This past academic year I did not use my iPad in lessons as much as I would have liked.  Previously I have given out my one iPad and let students use it to create little digital postcards or books using the book creator app or using tellagami they made spoken presentations hiding their anxiety behind an avatar of their making.  Each student has then shown the next student how to make such a presentation using the prescribed tools.  This has been a system that has worked well and given all the students a chance to be creative and enhance their learning and demonstrate their knowledge.
However, this year, just past, I have focused more on a few tools such as google classroom, which you can read about here and here. I have also used Edmodo a great deal as my students have been involved in a collaborative project with students in France.  Edmodo is an excellent and safe platform for a project such as this. Both Google Classroom and Edmodo allow for collaboration and give opportunities too for fast and effective feedback.  Another tool that has given my students similar opportunities is Quizlet Live and it is this tool that I want to focus on now.  I have always used Quizlet over the years and created quizzes and classes and groups for my students to join.  Quizlet, which can be accessed via iPad, tablet, iPhone or a computer is clearly easily accessible and students themselves can also set up classes and add their own vocabulary.  The power of Quizlet Live lies in its ability to get students to collaborate. 

The premise is the same - vocabulary is tested and the goal is to learn new vocabulary, dates, important facts (insert here what suits your needs best) but the difference is that students work in groups to figure out what the right answer should be.  Using their own devices Quizlet Live invites students in to the game with a code and then organises them into groups. I have played this with French and Spanish classes and the group are named after animals in the target language.  In their groups students have to collaborate to find out which of their number has the correct answer.  The focus is excellent, as you would imagine (check out the picture for further proof) and the students love it.  Indeed, there are often calls to play again and one neat feature is that you can play again in the same groups or shuffle the teams up.
I often play a Quizlet Live at the start of a new topic and then at the end to see what vocabulary or grammar has been picked up properly and what is still shaky. As with all these excellent tools there is a lot of data to help you how to move the learning on. 
If Quizlet Live is not yet on your radar then do check it out and let me know what you think in the comments section below.  Remember this is a game for all ages - so once you've discovered it play a game with your colleagues and let them into the secret too!