Time-consuming, but worthwhile... that's how I'd describe giving feedback to students about their writing and their work.
After all, teaching English does require a lot of eyes on work to really develop students as writers and thinkers.
Because of this fact, I'm always looking for ways to provide meaningful feedback but in a more efficient manner for all students.
Enter @Voxer, one of my favorite apps for feedback.
While I sit in my car in the morning waiting to go into the building at work, I'm able to read student essays and give detailed feedback in short sound bites for each section. Pausing as needed, I read and then speak to kids about what I see both constructive and positive.
For example, listen to one bit of feedback, I've provided students here.
Not only can I go through whole articles or essays providing specific feedback with my voice (which has the ability to show intonation and inflection, so students don't get overwhelmed with often unfeeling written constructive feedback), but I can have a conversation with students as they go through the notes I've provided.
The two-way conversation facilitates more chances for learning that is tailored to each student's needs. Couple Voxer with Google docs for written feedback and you've covered your bases for different kinds of learners. And both forms provide an opportunity for students to have a record of the feedback that they can go back to and track progress against.
Who knows what's next? Maybe I'll start doing videos so kids can see my facial expressions and get a more robust experience with their own learning.
Technology has made it possible to give students that one on one attention and differentiation in ways that class time conferences may not be able to accomplish. Time is our most valuable commodity and as teachers, we just don't have that much of it. Using apps and other technology like Voxer makes it considerably easier to do the kinds of things we always want to do with our students.
How can you experiment with Voxer to provide more personalized feedback? Or do you have an app you love to give feedback with? Please share
*This post originally ran on my Education Week Teacher blog in May of 2016