Communication is at the heart of education. For teachers, communication skills are some of the most important yet challenging skills to help students develop. Communication is at the heart of education. For teachers, communication skills are some of the most important yet challenging skills to help students develop.
Speaking and listening are foundational to students’ personal, professional and academic success. Swivl helps teachers provide students with engaging, low-prep ways to practice authentic speaking and listening skills.
With the right tools, teachers can motivate students to engage in speaking activities they might otherwise shy away from. In this post, we’ll share three of our most popular Swivl Strategies.
These are practical, educator-tested ways to use Swivl’s Reflectivity + Robot to improve communication in the classroom. Whether you’re an administrator, teacher, or coach, we think these strategies will get you thinking about improving communication in your classroom and how Swivl’s tools can help.
1. Fix it Aloud
Students share, receive feedback, and improve their writing using this strategy. After generating ideas in the prewriting stage, students make a video recording to think aloud and share with their teacher. Using Swivl's Reflectivity's platform, the teacher provides feedback using time-stamped comments. Students receive feedback to help organise, expand, and refine ideas before drafting their writing. By inviting feedback early in the process, students can receive support for their ideas. Allowing students to talk about their writing on video will encourage their ideas to flow more freely.
Estimated Time: 30 minutes per student
Best for: Student Learning
Level: Primary (Year 3+), High School
Instructional Skills: Written Expression
- Provide students with writing prompts and several strategies and/or templates for prewriting exercises (brainstorming, outline, mind-mapping)
- Ensure method for students to record and share videos with a teacher (e.g. Learning Management System, Google Classroom, etc.)
➀ Upload student videos to Swivl's Reflectivity platform.
➁ View student videos and enter time-stamped comments throughout. Use comments at specific moments to encourage strong ideas, push them to expand on others, and suggest how to refine organisation and flow.
➂ Share video with comments back to students using weblink so students may view time-stamped comments.
➃ Some students may need to do one more iteration of the process. In this case, steps 1-3 can be repeated. In other cases, students may be ready to use teacher feedback to move to the next stage: drafting.
➄ Optional extension activity: students reflect on their experience, highlighting feedback that was most helpful and what they might do differently for the next assignment.
Fix it Aloud Strategy Alternatives
→ Shared review: Teachers may collaborate to divide and conquer video
reviews by uploading to Swivl Reflectivity and then sharing to a group to
allow multiple teachers to access and comment on videos. Useful for team
teaching involving instructional assistants and student interns.
→ Support writing at every stage: Use this same writing strategy to provide feedback at the drafting stage of writing. Students may record themselves reading their draft and then share it with the teacher. The teacher may then provide feedback on the video as described above. Reading their writing aloud allows students to self-correct errors, hear their ideas reflected, and receive teacher feedback.
2. Picture that word!
Students will practice vocabulary by making picture-based flashcards while using a pre-recorded teacher-led vocabulary lesson for support. Students get the best of both worlds by accessing great instruction and the benefit of independent learning time. Teachers maximise their time by using recorded lessons to create on-demand learning opportunities that allow for use and reuse of their strongest vocabulary lessons. This strategy can be used in centres/stations, for independent learning, or enrichment.
Estimated time: 15 minutes
Best for: Student Learning
Level: Primary, High School, Bilingual, Dual Language, English as a Second Language, Newcomer Students and Adult Education
Instructional Skills: Language acquisition/language proficiency: Listening, Speaking, Reading & Writing Domains, Vocabulary & Grammar
→ Record small group lesson on vocabulary using Swivl Robot + Reflectivity that focuses on 3–5 vocabulary word
→ Upload the lesson to School LMS or other platform that is accessible by students
→ Print a flashcard template for the station or create an example of an activity in a Language Journal (see template here)
Click on the image above to access the template.
➀ Students watch and listen to the recorded lesson.
➁ Upon hearing a vocabulary word, students pause the video and draw a picture on one flashcard.
➂ Students write the corresponding word on the back of the flashcard based on what they see in the video.
➃ Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each word described in the lesson.
3. Office Hours
The connection between home and school relies on frequent and meaningful communication. Using Swivl's Reflectivity, teachers can create a space open to students. This is a great way to provide designated time for students to receive homework help and to ask questions about assignments. Keeping regularly scheduled office hours will provide students and families the opportunity to have access to the information and support they need to be successful.
Estimated Time: 45-75 minutes
Best For: Student Learning
Level: Primary and High School
➀ Launch and begin recording the live stream.
➁ Go about your day (depending on what time you hold office hours).
➂ When a student or parent joins the live stream, they should automatically be placed in the Waiting Room.
➃ Allow individuals in one at a time and engage in the conversation for as long as necessary. Swivl Reflectivity + Robot will allow you to move around the room while engaged in the conversation if you need access to the board, anchor charts, various manipulatives, etc.
➄ Repeat the process until Office Hours come to an end.
➅ Upload recording to Swivl Reflectivity.
➆ Edit the video, if necessary, to include only one conversation. Original recording stays in Reflectivity to allow for the creation of multiple segments through editing.
➇ Add Bookmarks and/or Time-Stamped Comments to highlight conversation points.
➈ Share as View Only to student or parent.
School leaders may employ this strategy to make themselves available
to staff or parents regularly to answer questions, have
conversations about new initiatives, or provide opportunities to share
new and innovative ideas.
Swivl is a video solution designed exclusively for educators. The Swivl auto-tracking Robot makes it easy to record lessons. The accompanying app, Reflectivity, is a powerful tool for self-reflection, coaching and collaboration.
Whether you want to enhance your hybrid classroom, master teacher self-evaluation, or start your peer and mentor coaching journey, Swivl will help you find your purpose and focus on the joy of teaching.
AP Tech is the authorised Australian distributor of Swivl products. Every solution is backed by local warranty and support.