We were first alerted to Glassboard’s utility in the classroom when I had a conversation with Micah Humphrey’s, college professor. He used the app with his Agroecology (soil and crop science) class to take attendance and make announcements, among other things.
Now we’re seeing more educators making it clear that Glassboard is a great tool for teaching. This history blog touts Glassboard as useful for small groups of students to have discussions and study together. This teacher is using Glassboard as a means to gather feedback from students for an assignment.
There are a few reasons, as I see it, that are driving this education-focused adoption of Glassboard:
1. The privacy aspect.
Glassboard in inherently private and always has been. For educators and parents, this is a critical feature for keeping students safe and focused.
2. Glassboard isn’t just another social network, it’s a resource so teams can get things done more effectively.
Can you think of many students who would want to friend their teachers on Facebook? I sure can’t. Since Glassboard is so easy to sign up for, teachers can get their students on to a class board in a matter of minutes and the discussion can continue to take place outside of the other networks that everyone uses for social pursuits.
3. Educators, as chairperson of a board, are empowered as moderators.
Since a chairperson can control who has access to the board, as well as the ability to delete posts made by others, Glassboard is easily moderated by the teacher. Also, once a class or a project is complete they can choose to delete a board and start over fresh with a new crop of students.
4. Technology is infiltrating the classroom!
More and more, students are gaining access to iPads and other technologies to enhance learning. As this approach grows in popularity, so too will apps that enable learning. With Glassboard as a discussion tool in the classroom, students are better able to communicate with educators and their peers.
Our Android developer, Nick Bradbury, shares his thoughts on this trend:
“It’s definitely been a boost for both my kids (my daughter started at the same school this year). My kids are exposed to a *much* more visual way of learning, which I think is far better than the way I learned. Instead of staring at static text books, they’re able to learn from interactive examples. In class, teachers project their iPads onto a SmartBoard, which enables them to display online video without the hassle of the projectors we grew up with. Most of their assignments are completed and submitted on their iPads.
They’re using Pages, iMovie and similar apps to create documents and multimedia presentations that are easily shared with other classmates. Some of these projects are team-based, but quite often they don’t need to get together to complete their work – they just do it online from home. One of the coolest things was my son’s Spanish class, where the teacher had “tagged” dozens of objects around the room. The kids aimed their iPhone cameras at the objects, and the Spanish name of the objects appeared on-screen (aim it at a chair, and see the Spanish word for chair).”
Viva la silla!
Whenever I take a look at my phone to see what’s happening in Glassboard, I always start with notifications. Notifications will tell you when:
- Someone has commented on or ‘liked’ your message
- Someone has commented on a message that you commented on
- Someone has joined your board
- Pro tip: on iPhone, if you see a notification on the front of your phone and you want to go straight to that message, tap & hold the Glassboard icon and slide all the way to the right. That action will take you directly to the message.
All Boards (News Feed)
Once i’ve reviewed all my notifications, i’ll head over to the All Boards news feed. Like Facebook’s news feed, this is a central list of every message from every board you belong to. It is a date ordered list, so the most recent items are always at the top. For each message you’ll only see the 3 or 4 comments most recent comments, to see all comments, you’ll need to tap on the message. Since I know the order of this list isn’t going to change, as soon as I recognize a message I know I can stop.
So that’s it in a nutshell. You can catch up with the important goings on in Glassboard in 2 easy steps. Don’t forget you can also dive into any board just by tapping its name in the sidebar – then your news feed will only show messages from that board. Either way – you can get caught up quickly!
Do you have another way? Let us know in the comments!