Visualization in an ELA Classroom Using AWWApp

A few months ago, I was browsing Twitter and noticed a tweet about this new application online that would enable you to use it as a whiteboard.  I was instantly curious, so I checked it out.  My initial thoughts were, “How cool is this!?”, and my thoughts soon turned to, “How can I use this?”

As quite a new user to, I am still learning all the ins and outs of it.  My first use was in a poetry class with grade 7s.  I had my students use ipads and to create concrete poetry.  We began by talking about one-word concrete poetry, and I showed them a few examples.  Next, it was their turn to try AWWApp.  I gave them a word like “rollercoaster” and they had to create a concrete poem on their ipads that gave meaning and form to the word “rollercoaster”.  We tried several words, each word students would get about one minute to create using AWWApp, and then they would have to hold up their ipads to share their creativity with the class.  This was just a simple, basic use for AWWApp, but it was so effective and most of all - FUN.  After using AWWApp in this capacity, students were hooked, and they asked about using it the next time they came to class!

I wanted to try this with my grade 8 class as well, to see if they were as eager and excited about this new application.  Once again, it was something I was still learning about, so we stuck to the most basic of uses, but found it so much fun to share in this way.  Students worked in partners collaborating on the same board and represented lines of Shakespeare’s “7 Ages of Man” soliloquy visually.  We had broken down the soliloquy into the different ages, and students had already visually represented each age on a Google Slideshow.  As a way to share with the class, we took time to represent our slideshows on AWWApp.  Students would create a small sketch and indicate the age range they figured the age Shakespeare described was related to.  My grade 8s had a lot of fun drawing on the board, using the colour palette, and playing with the size of the lines.  As they completed each age and held up their ipads for the class to see how they represented each age, they had fun seeing what each pair had done, and I was able to see if they were accurate in their translation of Shakespeare’s “Ages of Man”.

As I am sure is true with all teachers, time is something I wish I had more of.  With more time, I am looking forward to more ways I can use AWWApp in my classroom.  I love the collaboration ability, as this is so key in what I do in my classroom.  I know this will be a feature I will continue to make a lot of use of.  In addition, the integration with Google Classroom is fantastic, and as a Google Classroom user, this feature will be valuable.  I see this application as a tool that will become part of my repertoire and one that my students will look forward to using in many ways.  I have already recommended it to several colleagues.


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