Thursday, 25 July 2013

Apps that support your flipped classroom

Apps that support your flipped classroom
Flipping the classroom remains one of the hottest topics in education right now so we thought we’d bring you our top five most recommended apps and web tools to support you along the way.

Most of the apps listed have been selected for their relevance, usefulness and time-saving attributes − recommended by teachers who have introduced flipped learning into their classrooms.

Nearly all of the apps listed are free or offer schools a free trial to test whether the resource is suitable for their set of students and style of teaching.

Below is a simple list set out to help educators, students and parents familiarise themselves with the most popular tools for flipped classrooms and e-learning programmes.

Dropbox for schools

1. Dropbox

What is it? Dropbox is quickly becoming a household name because of its usefulness in allowing users to store, access, download and share resources anywhere. Available on iPhone, iPad and all other internet-enabled devices, Dropbox gives new users 2GB of free space to upload and store pictures, documents and videos.

How it works in a flipped classroom: Dropbox essentially removes the need for students to print off assignments and send large attachments. Each account can save up to 2GB (on a free trial), and has the functionality to share links or invite others to review and make changes to documents in a particular file. In this way, the free tool enables teachers and parents to access digital copies of students’ work to monitor and assess progress.

2. Wikispaces
Wikispaces Classroom

What is it? Wikispaces Classroom is a free, education-specific tool that allows educators to create their own unique online workspaces with their students. It combines rich assessment tools to track, assess and report on individual and collaborative contributions and engagement in real-time.

How it works in a flipped classroom: the online resource, already being used by over 10 million registered teachers and students, supports flipped learning in many ways. Offering teachers a social, Facebook-like platform to centralise online materials, assignments, links, feedback/comments, etc, the Wikispaces classroom tool creates a private class network so that students are clear on where and how to access material. Students can access a video tutorial resource, send their teacher questions about the clip that they were unsure of, and teachers can set and monitor the progress of assignments and group work.

Explain Everything

3. Explain everything

What is it? Explain Everything is a paid-for screen casting whiteboard tool that lets you import new or existing images, videos, PDFs, PowerPoints and a variety of other documents direct from Dropbox, Google Drive and Evernote. Once your selected document is open on-screen you can annotate it, add animations and narrate your presentations while recording it all for use at a later date.

How it works in a flipped classroom: Explain Everything allows teachers to create their own online visual resources. Using the record function to capture animations, annotations, object movements and audio narration, you can create dynamic lesson videos. Once a lesson has been recorded the app allows you to quickly export the lesson tutorial as an MP4 file to file-sharing sites such as YouTube and Dropbox.

Evernote for schools

4. Evernote

What is it: Evernote is a way for individuals to capture all of their digital experiences and store them in one place. Whether it’s a personal note, website page, voice/sound recording, photo or image – Evernote stores it and synchronises your devices so you have access anywhere.

How it works in a flipped classroom: the Evernote free app is an easy-to-use tool that will help an individual organise documents, plan actions and keep on top of projects. While the app itself doesn’t directly affect delivery of a flipped class, it is an essential tool that can help students and teachers alike manage and access their digital resources.

LearnersCloud Tutor Videos

5. LearnersCloud Tutor Videos

What is it? LearnersCloud is the most specific app in our list but has made our Top Five as it offers students access to a comprehensive range of tutor-led videos, tailored to GCSE and iGCSE. Each clip combines animations with content tailored to the UK’s leading exam boards.

How it works in a flipped classroom: LearnersCloud GCSE tutor videos and apps provide teachers with access to ready-made, reliable and quality assured tutorials. They help simplify the process of creating content for preparatory tasks and revision, as well as also helping the teacher to save time going over topics that students may have missed.

Delivering flipped learning? What apps or web tools would you recommend?