Following on from Julian S. Wood (@Ideas_Factory), Wil Baker (@MrWilBaker) and Chris Webb (@crippit), it’s my turn to #Blappsnapp. I regularly use Stage Interactive Whiteboard and Document Camera in my lessons so that I can share students’ work on the board. You can simply use the camera for this, but Stage (even the free version – you can upgrade if you wish) allows you to annotate the work on the iPad, and either take a snapshot which can be sent to students, or you can video as you annotate and use it in a similar way to Explain Everything etc.
This is not an app that works well when you are simply holding the iPad. It definitely requires some kind of stand, which for us was designed and built by our Design and Technology department. We went through several prototypes, of which mine is number 3, before settling on the design and building them using MDF (for info mine is made of thick acrylic, which made the cost approximately £24 each – the MDF design is both cheaper at £5 and can also be glued together or left so that it can be flatpacked if required – get in touch if you’d like more info about our stands). You also want to be able to connect your iPad to your screen or IWB – we use Reflector for this.
To begin with, simply place the student’s work (or in this case, task sheet) under the camera so that it is displayed on the screen.
You’ll see it on the iPad, along with the toolbar:
The tools themselves, down the left-hand side, are fairly self-explanatory. You can write with your finger (or a stylus), insert an image, or add text etc. You can also change the colour of the pen for various annotations.
Across the top are the options to snapshot the work or to record. Given that if you are annotating tasks or student work, you are discussing it with students at the same time, recording it is a good option for revision or to provide catch-up for absent students. I have frequently annotated student work and sent it to the class afterwards for revision purposes. Note that the image above is a screenshot – if you use the photograph function on the app, you won’t see the toolbar in it.
Depending on the work being used, I’ve found that occasionally I’ll switch to the camera and annotate the work itself, simply because Stage lacks a zoom function. The idea is still the same, but you need to either set it to record and have your hands on display, or photograph if afterwards and send it out.
I’ve found that whilst students were initially hesitant to have their work on screen for everyone to critique, they quickly overcame their nerves and were soon volunteering for it. Students seem to benefit from seeing other students making similar mistakes, and it certainly makes doing peer assessment easier when they have examples of their own work to see.