Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Harnessing The Power of BYOD Video Apps In Your Classroom

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives are popping up all across the state and nation.  Learning how to deal with having these devices in your school and classroom is a whole new learning experience for both teachers/administration and students.  The Future Ready plan can assist your school in rolling out a BYOD initiative that has all gears in place and properly aligned to allow for maximum success and minimum stress.  Without the following Future Ready guidelines schools may find themselves in a quagmire of issues that can pop up as a result.

BYOD Tips for Schools/Districts:

I've already mentioned Future Ready but above all else be sure you have a clearly written, board approved Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) in place that addresses issues that can crop up in a BYOD environment.  

BYOD Tips for Classroom Teachers:

Harness the power of the BYOD Initiative.  Across the board, in school after school, teachers who struggle with technology in the classroom are those that hold tight to traditional classroom roles with the teacher as the "sage on stage".   Let go and let learn.  

Encourage students to use their devices, specifically the recording feature and apps to be creative, to differentiate learning, and to celebrate the great things they are learning.  

Naturally students are going to make mistakes while using devices under BYOD initiatives . Using the video feature of their device or video apps innapropriately is one of the most common mistakes students make; and this is a GOOD thing. When students inevitably post video of other students, teachers, administrators, etc to social media without permission a great teachable moment can now be taken advantage of by the administration to teach good digital citizenship, respect, and the right to privacy. By addressing the issue with students, we as the adults in the school, are allowing students to make their mistakes with devices and social media in a safe environment, thus allowing us to correct these mistakes and preparing students to be college and career ready. Not only can this become an awesome teachable moment but it can also spur an amazing results if the interest in video recording is harnessed and used for good.

Why not let the punishment for the students using video inappropriately be to research, design and create a green screen room, corner or space for the school. These students can then use the space to create a PSA for the school about responsible use of video features/apps on their devices. Students can take it a step further and create "How To" tutorials for using the green screen space for a variety of devices so that the rest of the school can use the space for academic endeavors.

Although this MTV Series is dated (2010) it still contains relevant information about the types of trouble students can get themselves into while using cell phone video apps that could follow them for the rest of their lives. THIS is why we DON'T BAN devices, rather TEACH students responsible use.

Get More: Music News



Periscope:  Periscope is a mobile livestreaming free iPhone app from Twitter. Periscope lets you share what's happening right now and (best of all) relive it later thanks to the service's saved streams feature.  

Student Use: Instead of having students or student groups present at the front of the class, allow students to broadcast and record their presentations using Periscope.  Now their presentation has a real world audience with real world feedback.  Using Periscope in this manner allows students to see good and bad digital citizenship in action and may make them think twice about what they say, do and post online in the future.

Here are some more suggestions from educator, Sam Gibson's blog post, How could Periscope be used in Education?

In the classroom

1) As a way to show real world evidence for inquiry projects - Recently my class has been doing an inquiry into how our school contributes to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. One of my students wanted to know how many bits of plastic the caretaker had to pick up each day. With Periscope, this student could have created a live stream of the rubbish around the school, and used any feedback posted as opinions to write about within the inquiry. This is one example, and I am sure that there would be many ways in which to use Periscope in similar ways for student inquires/projects.

2) As a way to stream presentations/speeches that students make - In this day and age, a major focus of mine in to make students think: 'how can I make my work accessible to a wider audience?'. By doing this we are making the work more meaningful, and making students realise they can make a difference to more of an audience than just those that are in the class. By streaming out speeches and presentations, students have a much more global audience, and also have the chance to see feedback from more than just their teacher. Parents/family members etc also have the option of watching the live stream.

3) Gaining feedback/information from a wider audience - For inquiries/projects, students could use Periscope as a way to host discussions and gain feedback/information/ideas/opinions from a wider audience. The student could pose an idea with their initial thoughts, and see what is written back to them from those watching the stream.

Outside of the classroom

4) School camps/trips - Students could make a live stream of camps/trips they go on outside of the classroom. Parents and family members would have a chance to see what the students are doing whilst away.

5) Sporting/Cultural events - Periscope could be a great way to stream sporting or cultural events for people who could not make the live event. Friends and family overseas could have the chance to view the event. This would be a great task for students who could not participate in the event for any reason - ie. injuries etc.

As a Professional Development Tool for Teachers

6) Classroom Observations - Generally classroom observations are done by one set of eyes - if the observation was streamed via Periscope, that teachers PLN then has the ability to add feedback to the observation. The replay function also gives teacher the ability to ask others within their own school to watch the stream and give feedback. At my current school, we have professional development groups of approximately 5 teachers. As we are generally all teaching at the same time, this would be a great way of sharing what we are doing with our entire group and gaining feedback from more that just the one person who was there.


Vine/Instagram:  Both are video recording and sharing apps.  Vine videos are approximately 6.5 seconds long whereas Instagram video allows for 15 seconds of video.

Here are some suggestions on how to use Vine from the ASIDE Blog post, How could Periscope be used in Education?

Student Use:

  1. Pair with information on a class website or blog
  2. Announce homework to students and parents
  3. Model how students should execute a task
  4. Market a school's upcoming events to followers
  5. "Tease" new units for kids and families
  6. Record student reactions to texts
  7. Think-pair-share in a virtual field
  8. Grab "preview" or "exit interview" understandings
  9. Offer parent testimonials for admissions
  10. Build advisory or homeroom unity

  1. Design mini-book trailers
  2. Film solutions to math problems
  3. Identify symbols and silent metaphors
  4. Recreate drawing or painting methods
  5. Document science labs
  6. Capture instructions for computer tools
  7. Create "real-life" Vokis
  8. Animate stop-motion characters
  9. Recite famous quotations
  10. Impersonate historical figures


SnapChat: Snapchat is a photo messaging application. Using the application, users can take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a controlled list of recipients. Snapchat, also allows users to capture videos and pictures that self destruct after a few seconds.  When a user sends a message they get to decide whether it will live for between 1 and 10 seconds.

Student Use:

George Couros shares this video about SnapChat:

*So, what are some ways that professors possibly could use Snapchat for personal and even professional uses? Here are some ideas we can look at possibly implementing both in and outside of the classroom:

Karen Freberg's blog post, Snapchat in the Classroom: 7 ways professors can use visual mobile platform for social media classes, contained some great suggestions, some of which are included below:
  • Creating entertaining experiences from every day tasks: Whether it is grading or creating lectures – showcasing a little creativity and fun to share with others creates an interactive and entertaining experience. It is about showcasing your personality as well as your point of view in a visual and creative manner.
  • Case studies and share examples of campaigns that used Snapchat: It is always good to look at cases and campaigns that have used Snapchat and learn what were the message strategies, audiences considered in this campaign, and main takeaways from the experience. Here are a few that came up as good ones to look at along with these from AdWeek.
  • Meeting your students in their new space to spark conversations: First, we saw professors use Facebook and then Twitter for engaging their students in and out of the classroom. There have only been a few professors who have utilized Instagram for their classes, and I would imagine even fewer who are on Snapchat. As professors, we need to be adaptive and test out these new platforms to see if they work and to communicate and build a community on these sites. More businesses are learning this as well when it comes to Snapchat.
  • Behind the scenes and exclusive announcements for class: Whether it is announcing clients, guest speakers, or even assignments for class – professors could use Snapchat potentially for these actions. For behind the scenes – looking at presentations and networking events as opportunities to share this experience with students would also be beneficial as well.
  • Discussing the opportunities and challenges with the new platform: Like all social media platforms, Snapchat does have their risks and challenges to them as a social media outlet. This is a perfect opportunity to build this discussion for classes on these various topics as well as for businesses. Creating a strategic brief for a business in a social media class to provide resources on how to use Snapchat professionally or even incorporate this platform into the managing online reputation reflection paper for social media would be good to share with your students as well.
  • Creating films of experiences: While brands like Taco Bell have been innovative with Snapchat by creating films, professors could potentially create films of presentations, guest speakers, and other lectures to share with others.
  • Sharing fun experiences with friends: There are times where you do want to use Snapchat for fun with colleagues and friends. This is one of the main characteristics of social media.
Razlan Manjaji's post for Education Post Blog, Six Snapchat Experiments to Engage Students, contained even more suggested student uses for SnapChat:

These suggestions for SnapChat use are based on colleges, but can easily be adjusted to suit high school students:

Snapchat Scavenger Hunt – One college in Tennessee, in the US, staged a scavenger hunt for prospective students on a campus orientation day. The snaps gave hints about where to find the college's mascot throughout the day and it proved to be a fun way to show the approachable side of academia.

Exam Results – It's possible for lecturers to use Snapchat to send test results to students. Official channels would need to be followed too, but quick feedback like this could inspire students.
Campus Promotions – Many businesses use Snapchat to offer exclusive deals or share discount codes. Schools can also use Snapchat to alert students to free giveaways on campus and it could be a great way of engaging students during fresher's week.
Practical Updates – Cancelled classes or weather warnings can be shared via Snapchat. It's a quick and easy way to keep students updated and the fact that recipients hold down buttons to receive a snap confirms the message has been received.
Keeping Up With Alumni – Encouraging interactivity, perhaps in the form of” remember when...” snaps, keeps alumni closely connected with their alma mater. With prestigious alumni and a close, helpful community, a school can become more attractive to potential students.

And then there is this with SnapChat:

UNICEF And Snapchat Join Together To Protect Children Affected By Boko Haram

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