Saturday, October 12, 2013

Twitter and Notability... A good combination for online learning.

It's been a while since I have blogged. The years never get any less busy that's for sure! Then again I bring that upon myself because to be a responsive and innovative educator means trying new things... but I love it.

If you have been reading my blog you will know that I have been using Twitter with my students. One of the reasons I did that was to allow them a means of easily submitting questions via mobile and avoiding our LMS... quick and easy.

Students are starting to take pictures of their questions and send them to me via Twitter. But with 140 characters, how does a teacher answer those questions? The answer was with a picture in return. 

There were two problems that I had to overcome: 1) Writing on a picture and 2) The best way to write on a picture. 

For the first problem I used the Notability App. It allowed me to load a picture and write on it. That allowed me to add annotations to their questions. The Notability app also allows for text to be highlighted for resizing... and for the phone screen real estate it means reduction in handwritten annotation to fit the screen... very helpful. Notability also has the option to share via Twitter which further simplifies things.

The second problem comes from my dislike for writing with my finger. For me, it does not feel natural. I had a stylus for my iPad but it felt too big. The solution for me was a Targus stylus. It is thin like a pen and slides on the screen like a pen or pencil slides on paper. It feels more natural. 

So with my problems resolved I have started using Notability and Twitter to answer student questions. What does it look like? Kind of like this :)

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