There are many factors that influence the technology you select to implement into a lesson. In their book titled Streamlined ID: A Practical Guide to Instructional Design, authors Larson & Lockee (2014) explain that it’s important to consider these factors early in the course of a design project so you can anticipate challenges and take advantages of opportunities (p. 184).
I’ve implemented several story creators/creativity tools such as Kahoot! and PowToon during the challenging and less lively unit ServSafe. ServSafe is a nationwide food protection manager certification program that must be taught and reviewed regularly. Additionally, my students take the extremely difficult credential test that goes along with the program. As with any standardized testing the stakes are high, particularly in the area of program funding. Zero students passed the ServSafe credential test the first year it was implemented. Only three students(5%) passed it the following year. That summer I was invited to be a part of the ALEX Unit Plan Development Team for ServSafe. I knew I had to find new and innovating ways to implement the ServSafe content. The answer: Kahoot! and PowToon.
The learning game Kahoot! increased engagement, made learning fun, competitive, and promoted positive classroom management throughout the ServSafe unit. PowToon is a wonderful video and presentation tool. Using PowToon as a presentation tool for ServSafe grabbed my students attention much quicker than the typical PowerPoint included with the programs instructor toolkit. Larson and Lockee (2014) explain that the media you select serves to “deliver” the instructional experience to the learner similar to how a straw delivers a milkshake to your mouth (p. 183). Using PowToon & Kahoot! as instructional technology tools did just that by making the material come to life through cartoon-like animations and competitive interactive gaming. The overall results from the ServSafe credential test that year revealed the benefits of technology implementation, seventeen students (85%) passed and received their ServSafe Management credential.
I recently learned about Animoto, a video and presentation tool that’s similar to PowToon. I haven’t had the opportunity to implement Animoto into the ServSafe program but I plan to do so this year. What appeals to me is the ability to add and use your own photos, videos, and licensed music. I believe this has the ability to make the content even more relate-able to students. In their journal article titled Technology in ELT: English Teachers Investigate Animoto and Fotobabble, authors Coskun and Marlowe (2015) explain that Animoto helps students make connections and make meaning, which in turn gives greater depth to their individual learning processes; in addition, the implications of Animoto broaden as students and teachers are able to take advantage of this and many other web-based instructional tools(p. 120). Take a look at this video on how to create your first Animoto:
Animoto. (2015, July 5). Creating your first animoto video[YouTube]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/qYH8Vr4U420
Coskun, A., & Marlowe, Z. (2015). Technology in ELT: English teachers investigate animoto and fotobabble. International Journal of Higher Education, 4(3), 119-128.
Larson, M. B., & Lockee, B. B. (2014). Streamlined ID: A practical guide to instructional design. New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.