According to Cybrary Man’s Educational Websites (@cybraryman1), “a Smackdown or Show and Tell is a sharing of websites, tools or teaching tricks that you have found to be great to use. You are given 2 minutes to present the tool to the group.”
Recently, we held an App Smackdown during grade two 21st Century Learning time. Our students have been using iPads for nearly two years now so I thought it would be a good idea to give them an opportunity to show me what they knew. The idea of a “Smackdown” has been used at teacher conferences and EDCAMPs so why not experiment with the concept with young students. Heres the experiment.
With little time to prep, are seven-year old students capable of effectively selecting an educational App from a list and effectively presenting it to peers.
Yes, when given the opportunity students will amaze us.
- iPad for each student
- Apps on each iPad
- Apple TV
- Comfortable furniture
- Front seat for presenter
Students have been using the iPads for two years in a variety of ways, using a variety of Apps.
- Students take an iPad, sit in a comfortable spot, and start playing to warm up.
- Teacher explains what an App Smackdown is.
- Teacher explains and demonstrates the “face down” rule; which means when the teacher says “face down”, students place their iPad on the floor face down and pay attention to the student up front. As an option, you can tell them that they will lose the iPad if they don’t follow this rule. I guarantee that will work.
- Teacher explains and demonstrates how to take control of the Apple TV with an iPad.
- Teacher explains to students that once an App has been demonstrated, it can no longer be used by others.
- First student is called up to the front seat, takes control of the Apple TV, and the teacher says, “face down.” The student selects any App they want, explains how it works, and demonstrates its use. They also answer any questions that might be asked by peers or the teacher. This should take no longer than 2 minutes. When finished, the presenting student relinquishes control of the Apple TV.
- Teacher tells students to pick up iPads and continue to “play.” They are reminded that the App that was just presented can no longer be used.
- After about 2-3 minutes, the next student is called up.
- Repeat steps 6 and 7 until all students have had a turn or as long as time permits.
- Engagement levels were extremely high.
- Students were happy to experiment with Apps that were new to them.
- If the presenting student had any troubles explaining anything about an App, there was a lot of expertise in the room.
- The students were perfectly behaved.
- Even the shy students appeared confident because they could use the Apple TV to demonstrate instead of just sitting there and talking.
It was amazing to watch as each student not only selected an App that no one else did, but presented it with great confidence and pride. Everyone, including yours truely, learned something new about the Apps on our school iPads. It was a highly engaging activity that I would recommend to others. Give it a try.