When I started presenting my main theme was on that of extending learning beyond the classroom walls. Of attempting to extend our reach to create learning opportunities throughout the school facilities, into other curriculum areas and even to beyond the school walls. At the time I spoke about blogs, podcasts and wikis, all of which are still, in my eyes, useful tools to have in our armouries, as and when they seem to be the best tool to do the job.
Now the app has stepped up to the plate.
But the question has always been, and, for me, must always be, whether the chosen tool achieves the best possible learning. An app, as I've said before, will not guarantee learning. The content is key, not the technology. Yes it would be great to focus on improving coding skills, whether they are coming into the computing course or not they are going to be essential life skills for the generation of students that we are teaching.
So it was with great delight that I went to the lovely, fascinating and highly creative Jen Turner (@msmfl)'s session on developing apps in the MFL classroom. She has worked with her classes on develping apps for a learning purpose as part of a unit of work. She has tried learning how to code and investigated using various services to do the work for her. And then she discovered www.blippit.co.uk. A site that has done the work for us, with drag and drop usability requiring only the content to be input. Encouraging students to focus on the words that they are writing can only be a good thing- whether it is to describe in TL or to explain in L1, for example grammar points.
When I was at Brookfield I set up a system of assessment using end of unit projects, focusing on the self-expression and creativity used. I can see huge potential for using Blippit in a similar way. However, the fact that the app is easily updated means that materials can be added, in a way creating a type of digital portfolio if developed in the correct way.
I'd love to hear if anyone apart from Jen has already used Blippit with groups- any comments and feedback, please please get in touch.