Snapguide is a pretty new ios app that has quickly grown in popularity. In their own words: ”We started Snapguide because we knew there had to be a simpler way to create, share and consume instructional knowledge. We set out to create a service that made it easy to learn together and be inspired by one another. Our aim is to empower people with simple tools to share their accomplishments online.”
I can duly report that they accomplished what they set out to do. Once the iPad or iPhone app has been downloaded from the app store, Snapguide is quick to set up (all you need is a name and email address!), and incredibly easy to navigate. Within minutes, I was able to explore the process for making a guide.
An important feature, from a teaching and learning perspective, is that viewers are able to leave comments on each individual page and also on the guides in general. This is then a powerful and ideal venue for Descriptive Feedback to students, from both their peers and their teacher. Students could also self assess their work using the comments option.
Recently I tried out Snapguide with a grade 7/8 class in a school involved with a 21st Century Library Project. Among other things, the project placed an iPad cart in each of the schools involved.
The classroom Teacher passed out the iPads (1 for every 2 students), and I invited the students to make an account and explore what the app had to offer. The students quickly made an account and began to explore the various guides found within the many topics. There was a happy buzz in the classroom as the students discovered guides such as “How to Make a Toilet Paper iPod Speaker” and “How to Make Orange Peel Vinegar Cleaner.”
After about 5 minutes, I invited the students to make a guide of their own, on a topic of their choice. The students quickly got to work! (Note to Teachers: at no point did ANY student ask for an in-service!)
The groups make guides such as “How to Tie a Tie” and “How to Disrupt a Class (which involved their Teacher in a cameo role!).” The students had an absolute blast. As they finished their guides, they coped the link to their work and posted them in a thread on their Edmodo accounts so that they could all be found in one simple location.
So, although I’m sure the ideas are already percolating in your minds, here are just a few ways you can use Snapguide in your class:
- Students can document the steps they used to solve a rich Math task. The teacher can then share some of the guides on their SmartBoards during the consolidation.
- Students can learn about, and share their learning about, procedural writing.
- Students can create a gallery of their art work.
- Students can create a digital poetry book.
- Students can create a guide to share nearly anything!
A nice extension to Snapguide would be having individual or a classroom Twitter Account to share out the learning to a much wider audience. By doing so with appropriate hashtags, students could potentially receive helpful Descriptive Feedback from experts in the field.
Although this example was with Intermediate students, I believe that Snapguide could be used in a modified way with students from Kindergarten and above.
Thanks for reading and please share ideas of your own in the comments section!