Sat | Nov 18, 2017

Techno-tools for the classroom Let’s Recap augments discussions with video technology

Published:Sunday | November 12, 2017 | 12:15 AM

 

Let’s Recap developed by Swivl, a California-based education technology company, aims to reintroduce meaningful enquiry and productive engagement in the realm of dialogue and discussion.

Developed in 2016, the application uses video technology to enhance classroom based and other kinds of discussion, by infusing questioning as a means of encouraging curiosity, deepening dialogue and solving problems. 

 

The Exchange of Knowledge

Swivl describes the Recap app as a “question-led chat tool augmented by the power of video”.

It is useful in the classroom and training contexts, providing an opportunity for teachers and students to engage in moderated discussions around questions, and allows respondents to contribute via text, video, audio or a combination of all three. 

Users can download the app on a mobile device or access it from a computer, and no sign-up is required to answer questions.

The beauty about Recap is that with the aid of Internet connectivity, a discussion can be accessed from anywhere and at any time. The result is that participants experience deeper levels of interaction through extended dialogue.  Unlike popular social media tools,

Recap has specific focus on dialogue for educational purposes. The software supports users of all ages and levels and is a hit among K-12 students. 

Teachers seem to love the application as they can use the ‘journey’ feature to collate all the responses (video, text and audio) into one video collage that can be use as resource material.

These resources can then be shared on other platforms including Learning Management Systems like Blackboard and Moodle.

 

The Value of Conversations

One needs to be understand of the value of the discussion in the teaching-learning process to know what Recap offers. 

In a day and age where critical thinking, creativity and problem-solving skills are established societal needs, an instructor or trainer would do well to leverage the knowledge construction possibilities of dialogue. 

Well managed discussions engage, empower and equip participants to contribute in meaningful ways to personal and societal challenges.  It is for this reason the Recap app, while just over a year old, already has close to one million users. Instructional conversations are also used to monitor and assess learning and are used to redistribute the power relationships in the classroom so that learning is owned and shared by all.

 

The Recap App can be found at https://letsrecap.com/, signing up is simple and use of the application is free.

Discussions can be initiated in text or in video formats and responses can either be made public to all the members of the group or restricted to viewing by the moderator only.

Students find the video response feature convenient, easy to use and fun. Teachers find the journey feature time-saving and useful, as discussion can be shared across other platforms and embedded in online learning spaces.

Students can create their own Recap accounts and engage in their own enquiry based discussions. Access to a group’s discussion is very restricted and requires either a sign-in pin or individual invitation.

- Gen Clacken is an educational technologist with 15 years experience in online education. She can be found at www.genclacken.com.