by Eero Rönkkö, CEO of Presefy
During my studies I remember copying notes from my fellow students during and after lessons.
These notes proved very important for learning. The fact that these notes were originally written by my fellow students made them so effective. Students that think, understand and learn in the same way need easy ways to connect. It often happens that something the teacher went to great lengths to explain can be a lot easier to comprehend when it is explained by another student in far fewer words.
Sharing Notes In The 21st Century
Even in our age of apps and mobile devices, sharing paper-and-pencil notes is very limited.
During a lesson you can share notes with only the friend closest to you without distracting everybody else. But what if you could share your notes in real- time with other students? Our company, Presefy, is working on making this possible by creating a cloud service for collaborative presentations where students can follow the presentation in real-time on their own device. Right now students can view the on going presentation on their own device and soon they can also comment and share slide specific notes in real-time.
Commenting During Lessons
We talked with a local teacher (we are based in Finland), Ms. Tuppi, about her experiences of students commenting and collaborating during both teacher-led and student-driven portions of lessons. She feels that it is extremely interesting to follow student discussions, explaining that ”the quiet and shy students are left in the shadows even though they would normally participate in smaller, more private conversations.” She agrees that it would be beneficial if also the quieter ones could be encouraged to participate in class discussions.
A tool like Presefy could be a solution to this by allowing students to comment on the presentation so that the teacher can oversee the discussion. This would lower the barrier of engagement for the quieter students who usually are left in the shadow of the more active students. Every students needs a voice not just before and after lessons, but during learning as well.
It’s Not Just About The Technology
While we encourage the use of technology in the classroom, we know that it’s not just about the technology itself but the collaborative processes that they enable. For this reason teachers should think how they can empower their students and consider incentivising collaborative learning.
Simply introducing enabling technologies into the classroom without setting some ground rules will only get you into trouble. But used correctly they can boost productivity tremendously and improve learning.