I just finished reading The New Pillars of Modern Teaching by Gayle Allen as a part of an awesome online book study facilitated by Region 10 in Texas. In the book, Allen compares the amount of feedback teachers typically get in a year to the amount of feedback Uber drivers get with this table:
Now, I could spend an entire blog post just reflecting on teacher feedback and how we need to find better ways to provide more immediate, specific, and actionable feedback to our teachers… but that’s not what I was inspired to do today. Today, I want to talk about providing more feedback to students and staff in FUN and different ways!
I heard about this one from Jen Giffen on the Shukes and Giff Podcast (totally check this out they are hilarious and awesome and I get great ideas from this podcast!). With the Sticky AI app (which is available on both iOS and Android) you take a picture or gif of yourself and the app removes the background to turn you into a sticker! How fun would this feedback be on a student’s doc? Or after seeing a teacher totally rock her lesson?
From my phone, I was able to easily copy the sticker I made from the app and paste it into a Google Doc in classroom as well as paste into email – all right on my phone. Now that is FUN feedback!
I learned about this one from Amber Teaman (@8amber8) at the What Great Educators Do Differently Conference (#wgedd) on November 1 in Houston. You type in your message and Ditty SINGS it with lyrics displayed! You read that right – the app SINGS your text!!! Check out my example of the best feedback your student or staff member has ever gotten:
I was able to upload the video into my google drive directly from the app and share the link with students right on their work. For teachers, emailing and texting this little feedback treat is also an option. Ditty is available in both the App Store and Google Play.
I love using the Voxer app (available for iPhone and Android users) to record and send feedback quickly and easily. Now, the purpose of Voxer is really intended to be used as a sort of asynchronous walkie-talkie, but if you record a message to YOURSELF, then click on the message, you’ll see a share button. Using this button, you can email the positive message you just recorded to a student, teacher, or colleague. There is something REALLY special about hearing how someone intended their message – the tone and timbre of their voice – that makes this feedback fun and often really meaningful. I’ve shared this one before – so feel free to check out my previous post for more information on exactly how to work this little Voxer hack to send positive feedback. Also, since sharing that original post, I’ve heard from teachers who love recording messages WITH their students and sending them to parents during the school day. This saves time over calling because you don’t end up in an inadvertent partent-teacher phone conference, but you’ve also upped your game over a happy note home.
Snap a Picture!
There are TONS of apps out there that allow you to snap a picture and then add a little bit of text on top. We’ve all heard that a picture says a thousand words – so let’s take advantage and use pictures to help us be more specific with our feedback! Grab a pic of what really stood out as awesome and then use Word Swag, Spark Post, Canva, or Pic Collage to comment on top. In this example, we were thanking our amazing PTO for the spooky treats provided on Halloween!
Gif it up!
Use Boomerang, Giphy Cam or Sticky AI (it can make Gif’s too!) of yourself showing your excitement over a job well done. Or capture the student or staff member in action and turn it into a gif! These can provide really memorable positive, feedback! You can add gifs right into Google Docs and Slides if you save them to your Google drive and then choose insert, image, from drive.
All of these fun apps can also be used to share messages with your students, parents, and colleagues. You could use Ditty to remind students when their assignment is due or encourage parents to attend an event in a super fun way. Or you could use a Boomerang gif to ask parents for help with something or plead with students to remember to bring their supplies with them to class. The possibilities are endless! Be creative and have fun with feedback and all the other ways you communicate!