Spiral: NEW Apps for Collaboration (GDPI 811)

I found a seemingly brand new set of collaborative apps!  It appears that the company launched their platform in late 2015.

Spiral is very attractive to me, a classroom teacher because it looks so easy to use that even young students can use it – and it’s FREE.  I have had difficulty finding something that is PYP aligned and truly supports collaborative learning. I found it while searching for interactive apps to use with a class set of laptops of iPads.  This application can be used on any device with an internet connection.

An introduction to the concept is found here.

Another introduction can be viewed here.

 

It has three different uses:

  1. Quickfire – enhances real time question and answer sessions.  I see this as a great tool for introducing a topic and probing for prior knowledge, as well as follow up after a topic has been taught in open ended quiz form.
  2. Discuss – encourages students to share ideas with each other.
  3. Team up – provides a collaborative learning platform for students to jointly make a simple presentation with a variety of different media tools, directly from one ‘team iPad’ that acts as a remote control for the team project as it is projected for the class to see on a large communal screen.

Quickfire Youtube Video:

 

I think these apps are great.  I have been searching for something exactly like this for a long time: a simple platform that will allow for a multitude of levels and uses.

I like that in Quickfire the teacher can review student work before posting them, and that when posted, they’re anonymous responses unless the teacher hovers a cursor over the work.

Team up seems like a really great quick and easy tool for use in a double block period or a short time presentation tool.  I can see that this tool could be really useful for things like giving each small group an individual but related topic: separate seasons for research, separate global events, separate animals, separate climates etc.  These could then be compared and used as starting points for future discussions.  I think that a Team up presentation could end with a question, where every student could use Discuss to try to answer, or a pop quiz in Quickfire to check for understanding.

A review by the Educational App Store gives it 4 stars and ranks it highly!

I can’t wait to have a classroom of my own, and some devices, to try these out!

 

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