This week I was invited to join an ongoing conversation with a small group of English teachers using Voxer. Voxer is a live messaging app that combines the functionality of the classic walkie-talkie with texting and photo sharing capabilities.
Users can talk live or share recorded messages with a single person or a group of people. The ability to send a combination of text, photos, and audio messages using Voxer makes it a versatile tool.
In an effort to capitalize on my students’ love affairs with their devices, I’ve tried to think outside the box in terms of the Common Core Speaking and Listening Standards. In addition to our face to face conversations in the classroom, I am always looking for ways to connect students beyond the classroom to extend and enhance the learning happening in real time. Voxer offers some exciting possibilities!
Here are some ideas for using Voxer to help connect students in a meaningful way and practice both their speaking and listening skills.
- Create discussion groups up to 5 students.
- Encourage students to form study groups to prepare for an exam.
- Pair students learning a language, allow them to practice having conversations and encourage them to critique their recordings.
- Extend PBL (project based learning) assignments beyond the classroom so group mates can connect and work asynchronously.
- Connect lab groups outside of the classroom, so they can discuss the results of labs/experiments, ask questions and get support.
- Facilitate peer feedback. Students can talk through their plans for a writing assignment or share a thesis statement and receive feedback.
- Practice an oral presentation and get feedback.
- Group storytelling. Each member of the group can add to a collective story that can then be developed in writing.
- Gather reading samples from students to evaluate their reading level and share with parents.
- Offer asynchronous office hours.
If teachers are a member of each student group, they can see and listen to all of the information shared by their students. This provides more opportunities for teachers to provide formative feedback and support beyond the classroom.
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