I recently have been introduced to the app Verso and have been blown away by the possibilities for capturing true student opinion, understanding and feedback. The aim of Verso is to flip your thinking and through the personal contribution of your own knowledge you gain access to the online knowledge community that is generated. Teachers create provocations to prompt discussion and these “flips” can take the shape of YouTube clips, web links & Google Drive files (For iPad users, you can also record video, audio and insert photos using your iPad). The prompts are best helped when framed with a question or a task. Students must submit their response before they can access everyone else’s opinions. This really helps to gauge true understanding or opinion and reduce the “what do you think” syndrome that can happen in class discussions. It really does provide an equal platform for all learners to have a say. Once you are in the knowledge community, you can “like” other comments and write responses and comments. Another difference that further enhances the capacity of Verso to gauge true thought is that each student is anonymous within the community. In the teacher view, the teacher can view who wrote each post and who commented on what but for the students, this is hidden. This then helps to reduce friends liking friend’s comments and helps to capture true public opinion. The teacher can then group students in a number of ways to continue the discussion. The teacher might group like minded students to work on the development of a concept or group students with opposing opinions to provide a well balanced thought pool for a further discussion. Each comment can also be rated for it’s helpfulness and provide the teacher and learner with great fuel for digital commentary etiquette sessions and workshops on how to give rich feedback. Verso is cross platform (gotta love device agnostic learning applications!!) and can work for all levels of school. The below video is a little glittery but it gives you a snapshot of the possibilities.
Thanks for reading