Shiny websites and sparkly apps

Ran a session for SALT on IT resources today, I’m not an expert but I am a bit of magpie when it comes to shiny websites and sparkly apps so it’s always nice to share what has worked for me. It’s always lovely to come to SALT sessions and a privilege to run one, it’s a hub for like-minded souls across the university where we can all get geeky and excited about teaching together!

The session was aimed at technology that works for large groups (I teach up to 300 at a time), and that is compatible with smartphones. While most students own laptops and tablets, most don’t bring them to lectures, the vast majority do have phones.

Went step-by step through couple of websites I recommend you check out: Kahoot (http://getkahoot.com) is polling software, it’s fantastic because it is webpage based, so you and students don’t need to download an app and it’s quick. It took the session participants about 10 mins to set up and run their own quiz. Students access the quiz by going to http://kahoot.it and entering a quiz ID.

kahoot

Also introduced applets, good for science and maths in particular. I use resources on https://phet.colorado.edu/  and SALT Mandy recommends Quizlet https://quizlet.com/  which allows you to make your own!

phet

Finally Googleforms are great for formative feedback and collaborating https://www.google.co.uk/docs/about/

forms

Chris Jobling has done a session on this a couple of weeks ago.

Just because you have a large class doesn’t mean you can’t be interactive in your teaching, these technologies have transformed my classes, and I get great participation rates (someone observing me once noted that 90% of students were taking part in the quiz on their phones). It also gives the quieter students a chance to directly participate and quick surveys can generate good discussions. Always looking for new ideas so if you know of any good ones let me know! p.a.xavier@swansea.ac.uk

Dr Patricia Xavier

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