Technology Tool Implementation Idea – Slack

Subject Area:  English

Course:  English 3U

Topic: Macbeth

Task:  Video/Media Assignment

Technology Tool: Slack

Description

Students in groups of 4 were tasked to create a trailer (video) of an adaptation of Macbeth. The trailer was to be a couple minutes long and cover key aspects of the play.

Suggested Use of Technology Tool

My group had lots of problems with communication. We mainly used Facebook Messenger to discuss our project, but important information would often get pushed up by side conversations and Facebook itself was very distracting. Also, we wrote our script and printed materials on a Google Doc and would occasionally use the messaging service provided by Google Drive. Rarely, we would also use Skype for voice calls and talk about things that were harder to discuss with only text. In the end, it was very disorganized with lots of tabs and applications open, and bits of information spread across different media. There were times where we had to scroll through days of messaging to find important information in the chat log.

Slack would have definitely helped us out for this project. Not only does it provide a distraction-free messaging service, where we could have important conversations, it provides support for apps like Skype and Google Drive, which we used. It allows the users to separate the random conversations from on-task conversations with Slack’s chat rooms. It reduces communication clutter by bringing different media that a group may use into one software/application. Also, Slack helps the user in referring to important snippets of text by using their ‘star feature’.

Why and how would the technology tool improve student learning?

Slack would help consolidate information by modifying the environment. Removing distractions (i.e. Facebook news feed, off track conversations) would improve concentration on the task at hand. Also, by combining different mediums of communication and work, it reduces distractions that may occur when switching from Skype to Google Docs for example.

Being able to easily refer to important information that is starred aids retrieval practice. At first, you may not remember what the important message was, but having the answer readily available will help you to consolidate that fact after a couple runs of retrieval practice.

Overall, Slack provides a quality-of-life improvement and a boost to student learning that would have been useful in our group project.

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