Guest, User Stories | January 8, 2016

Swivl Robot in the Hands of Science Students

This past semester I was given a Swivl Robot to pilot in my classroom.  The initial challenges were finding a filming device that wouldn’t shut off after 2-4 minutes and could handle longer length videos.  I didn’t have any free space on my iPhone 5S, so it was not a good match.  We found that our iPads, which had larger storage limits, worked best for the longer video lengths we were after. Once equipment issues are settled, the next challenge is to find creative ways to employ the Swivl device.  I have always maintained that whatever technology I have should be in the hands of students.  Thus, I had students use the Swivl Robot to create videos of their laboratory experiments. For example, I recently had students conduct a lab on how various factors (i.e., temperature, pH, salinity, concentration) affect enzyme function.  We tested how efficient over the counter lactase tablets are in digesting lactose in specific environments (i.e., different temperatures, pHs, etc…).  After the exploration, students were asked to create commercials posing as a company that has learned how to create better over the counter lactase products.  The Swivl Robot was a valuable tool allowing the students to move about when filming their commercials. We also used it to document their lab skills as they conducted the lab.  Links from these videos were placed in their laboratory write-ups.  This example demonstrates how Swivl can be used in a science class to document student work and help them make products that are more multi-media; thereby, honing their technology skills.  (Example Commercials: Exemplar 1, Exemplar 2…. Notice students used WeVideo as well to edit their videos). Another example of how our community used the Swivl Robot to provide access to resources was in the taping of our Counseling presentations during the semester. Our counselors wanted to increase access to parents who could not attend the various college planning sessions they give during the fall.  They used the unit to tape these sessions and then they put the links of the various presentations on the school’s counseling web site. We have received many compliments about providing access to these sessions, and, even parents who attended have watched a second time to make sure they understood all of the information given. All in all, Swivl has provided our community with a way to provide increased communication and increased creativity based on the 4C’s by Mark Garrison, Google educator. I look forward to finding novel and creative ways to employ the Swivl this coming semester…so stay tuned! – Kristin Donley Original post: