Monday, 29 October 2012

Why Answergarden? This utility is not tied to English, but can be used in all subjects. The reason is simple: it's free, easy for students to understand / use, and I think that the tool gives the shy pupils a chance to make their voice heard in the classroom. You can also publish your material / class website / blog if you want, where both students and parents can take advantage of what you have done. Answergarden is suitable for many tasks. How can you work with Answergarden? In English, I have used it to write words / statement / phrases homework without putting any weight who wrote what, but understanding what the pupils know/think. I have also used different English words such as "my room" - where they can write things they have in their room (furniture, colours, windows, doors) - after it can be discussed in groups based on different aspects. We also talked about who had what words from the list, and after that they had to put words into sentences and verbally tell each other. In other subjects such as history, I started a new area such as the Vasa dynasty. I posted this in the Answergarden and the pupils wrote their anwers to: What they know about the Vasa dynasty? What do they think is interesting? What should we immerse ourselves in? What we have to work with as curriculum says? I can even make my own answer in Answergarden and compare this with their and see the similarities / differences. What I have noticed is that discussions around a topic could be increased significantly by this tool. How can the pupils work with Answergarden? The pupils can also do their own research and see what their classmates thinks. The pupils can post their own course evaluations by Answer Garden. Disadvantages of Answergarden? It is difficult to judge by their words / sentences they write, because you do not who wrote it (if you do not know it, or find out of course). What do you need? In my class, we are 1-1, so a personal computer with Internet connection is required. How do you get started? No registration is required and the website can be used as many times as you want. So, you "create" an account, type your question, select if you want the answers to be limited number of responses / unlimited, if you want to, you can give out a password that they need to answer your question, and finally, you can send it as an email. When the question is set, a URL comes up with a numerical code at the end. Write this link in the address bar of the Internet browser and the students can write a response. Please test it, it`s an easy and fast ICT tool. See a demo on See a movie at Regards Martin

1 comment:

  1. Hi!
    I like the idea with I think that it is a great tool to be used as a complement to a webpage or a blog. I also like what you did with the topic “My room” where you let the pupils create a word bank and then use the words. I think that language teachers (obviously not the people in this course) often forget to teach the pupils to use the words. They use the classic translate-the-words-homework instead. When you gather the words that they know and let them work with them, that’s where you create learning.
    If I do understand you correctly you used answergarden to discover the pupils preunderstanding about the Vasa dynasty. That’s also a great idea. But, as you say, it’s a bit of a problem that you can’t see who wrote what. I guess that you can’t see which answers are posted by the same person either? So you can get 60 answers but only two of the pupils have answered. That’s of course something that you can prevent as a teacher by talking to your pupils.
    This Friday I went to the cinema with my pupils. This was the last lesson of the week and we only had a few minutes to talk about the movie. I think that I could have used answergarden to ask the pupils what they thought about the movie and then use their comments as a basis for the discussions in school on Monday.
    Thank you for the tip about!