Reworking Recap for a PBL and Genius Hour Reboot
I absolutely love it when I discover a new-to-me-tool, don’t you?!
Sometimes kismet happens that leads me to a really cool revelation or discovery. And that’s happened to me today! yay!
It’s about the little joys, right?
Backstory: So for a variety of reasons this morning I was looking for a new edtech tool. Ok, the reality is the tool that I wanted to use now has a paywall and since I’m not in the classroom, I just couldn’t justify paying for the way I was going to use this tool once. So off I go to hunt for a free replacement.
And while I’m sad to say I didn’t find a suitable replacement — yet — I have found an awesome tool that if you’re not using in your Project/Problem Based Learning (PBL) or your Genius Hour work, you might really consider adding it.
The tool is called Recap.
Yeah, yeah, I know. My techy-nerd friends are all rolling their eyes and telling me, “Welcome to the party, Ms. Johnnie-Come-Lately.” Whatevs.
Truth is, I have no idea how long this tool has existed and I don’t really care. It’s on my radar now and I’m sharing my view with folks who may also not know. So let’s go!
I won’t even attempt to do a tutorial of how to operate Recap because 1) that’s not my forte – or interest and 2) they’ve done a better job than I could ever do on their own site. So go check their tutorial out...after you’ve finished reading WHY you want to use this tool for your next PBL or Genius Hour adventure!
This is how Recap believes that teachers should use this tool.
And that’s cool and all…I mean, really truly cool and useful…but you know I have a MUCH MORE DELICIOUS idea in mind!
Why do I (you) want to use Recap?
Because of HOW you’ll use it. And by you, I mean how your students will use Recap. You see, it’s a pretty cool organizational tool on the surface where where you can organize conversations online for asynchronous connections (why hello, fun snow day learning!) or offer challenges for kids to follow the links for learning you provided, via their Journeys option, like these teachers do:
- [Is] there more than one kind of triangle?
- What makes a good presentation?
- Can you feel the earth rotate if you stand at the North Pole?
- Was President Andrew Jackson a hero or villain?
- more ideas over in the Recap Marketplace
These are undeniably awesome ways to get kids to dive into learning. There’s a great question posed. The teacher provides links for student learning. Afterward, I suppose they hold a conversation, discussion, or a presentation about what they’ve learned.
Good stuff. Not PBL, not Genius Hour, but still, it’s solid teacher-led instruction that would be a PERFECT format for flipped classroom instruction.
BUT, what if we used this Journeys format to have kids pose their own questions about a topic or anything in general, and then have them create Journeys for the rest of us to learn? They could ask a question, find information about all sides and possibilities of the solution, and then let us walk through it on our terms.
Create a library of kid-driven learning. Let them create Journeys for their own big-idea questions (why is the sky blue) or even something more content-flavored if you like.
Why do Journeys need to be teacher driven?
They don’t. Or maybe more precisely, why can’t kids be our Journey teachers?
Pull this into your next Genius Hour. Have kids create a library of fun for snowday learning. Or learning over break. Or to share learning with another classroom. Or …
the possibilities are endless when we let kids drive this.
Who’s in? Get over to Recap now and check it out!
Share your kids’ Journeys here. I’m DYING to see them!
Oh and to be clear, I’m not getting any compensation for this endorsement post…although if the folks at Recap would like to toss a little $$ my way… 🙂
Did you like what you saw here? Did you know Ginger travels to schools and conferences to offer fun, hands-on professional learning with staff? PBL, maker education, technology integration, and anything promoting student-centered, personalized learning is at the very core of her being.
Connect with her to see how she can bring fun engagement to your colleagues so they bring it home to their kids!