General, Guest | May 13, 2016

Science Teacher’s Swivl Journey

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.  My 5s iPhone was not a good match as it could only handle about 4 minutes of filming.  It is good for short videos, but if one wants to film an entire lecture or presentation, another device is necessary.  To handle the longer video lengths, we found that an iPad or similar device works very well in the Swivl Robot.

Once equipment issues are settled, the next challenge is to find creative ways to employ the Swivl Robot 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 the Swivl Robot 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 Robot 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 employed the Swivl Robot 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 Robot 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 Robot this coming semester…so stay tuned!

Visit Kristin Donley’s blog for more updates and Swivl stories: