1 on 1 Feedback

What is the most powerful teaching tool there is? Probably one on one feedback about a student’s performance.  A new iPad video tool, Coach’s Eye, can help you do that.

Coach’s Eye, as the name suggests, was developed for critiquing a physical performance like swimming, track and tennis. It does that “swimmingly”… but it has the potential to give one on one feedback to any student performance:

  • Dance
  • Conducting
  • Theater performance
  • Student teaching
  • Nurse-patient interactions
  • Student presentations

It works like this: With your iPad you make a video of a student performance. You can then re-run the video while you do an audio commentary, stopping the film and commenting, drawing on the film. It’s your own Beli-strator.

The review of the video could be done in many ways:

  • By the student themselves
  • By the student first and then the teacher
  • By the student and teacher together
  • By the teacher alone and sharing the resulting video with a student

Each method would result in the kind of feedback that a student would hear and value. It’s a powerful tool that would not only engage students but result in real learning.

Here is a sample from the Coach’s Eye website:  swing

Notice that there is nothing professional about the video-taking. It’s all in the expertise of the commentator.

After watching that video I feel like I could take a swing and do better!

Right now, all the examples on the Coach’s Eye website are physical education.  But I can see that changing as teachers discover this tool and flood the pages with examples in many disciplines.  How could you use this in your discipline?


Taking Attendance

attendance_registerTaking attendance in a class is a plebian but necessary task that may be eating into the time you want to spend on other classroom activities.  Aside from any attendance rules the individual professor may have, and the fact that missed classes is an early warning sign for student problems, Keene State has an attendance policy that states:

A student who misses in excess of three weeks of classes prior to the eleventh week of the semester (for any reason whatsoever) must withdraw from the course. Continue reading “Taking Attendance”

Reining in IPad Mania

With their sleek, sexy design, not to mention all the advertising and hype surrounding them, it’s not surprising that IPads are selling like hotcakes.

People with newly purchased IPads appear at our door daily saying, “So I have a new IPad. What can I do with it?” They don’t know what it can do, but they are pretty sure that it can do AT LEAST everything that their desktop or laptop can do plus all the “magic” stuff.

Au contraire.

It’s hard to explain an IPad and what it can do to most new users because most people don’t understand what parts of their desktop or laptop computer they are using and what parts the IPad has and doesn’t have.

  • How am I accessing the internet?
  • When am I online and when not?
  • What part of what I am using is application software and what part is what I am creating?
  • Where are the files when I save them?
  • What’s the difference between the web and my document?
  • What part is the operating system and what is that allowing them to do?
  • What file types am I generating?

So when people start to use an IPad for something like editing documents, a task they consider any computer can handle easily, they are stymied. Where is Word? Where are my files? Why can’t I browse for my files? I’ve edited this file, now where can I save it?

You can tell people that an IPad will “change your workflow”, but that doesn’t mean much to most folks.  Most people don’t even know they HAVE a workflow. They do things one way, all the time. It’s not a workflow, it’s the way things are!

So here are a few things to know about what an IPad doesn’t do

  • There is no USB port on an IPad. There is no port at all, except for headphones and the one for power.
  • Everything on an IPad has to come and go through the internet. There are no files stored on the computer.  (Well, OK, there are bookmarks and some simple note files)
  • It doesn’t do more than one thing at a time. You have to move from app to app by going to the main screens, for example, from mail to calendar to Twitter. (The recent upgrade to IOS5 now allows you to have tabs on your browser so you can move from one website to another without closing the browser is a great improvement.)
  • Because you are using a mobile device every website and application you are familiar with will look different on an IPad. You may have to almost totally relearn them.
  • Printing? Unless you’re a techie, forget it.

So why would I want one? It’s stellar for some things:

  • Instant online access is almost magical to those used to a PC bootup time counted in minutes
  • It’s portable! It’s a mobile device. If you take your laptop everywhere, this is smaller and lighter.
  • Graphics look great on it  (OK, maybe not a good enough reason for laying out $500)
  • You can use it as an e-reader with a Kindle or Nook app installed, so you don’t have to buy one of those.

If you like to experiment with new things and you don’t mind dedicating some time playing around to learn it, go for it. And if you don’t fit that description, maybe you should consider letting this one pass you by.