Ask 3 Before Me is a management strategy that many teachers use in their classrooms to help students develop collaborative skills. In this strategy, when a student gets stuck on figuring out an answer or needs help, instead of immediately going to the teacher, students are encouraged to ask three other students for assistance first. That’s the premise of the new Ask3 app for iPad recently released by TechSmith. Both teachers and students can create videos using drawing tools and images making this a great tool for collaboration and learning.
After downloading the app, teachers and students both need to sign up. One of the best things about the student sign up is that no email address is required. When teachers create a class they’re given a class code that students will need during the sign up process. Students will provide their name (which is only seen by the class and the teacher), create a pin number and insert the class code. Currently, teachers can only create one class. (Take a look at the FAQ’s for more information about current and upcoming features.)
All members of the class will see three things after signing in: Create, Bulletin Board and Class. In Create, you have access to your iPad’s photo library, or you can take a picture using the built in camera. Drawing tools and shapes are provided as well as a selection of colors for using each of these. Record your video using these tools, press on the up facing arrow in the lower right and the video immediately is posted to the class Bulletin Board.
Ask3 as a Teaching Tool
Once a video is on the Bulletin Board all class members will be able to view it and comment via text or video. For example, as a Social Studies teacher, I might create a video containing a political cartoon and pose three questions about the meaning of the image asking for key ideas and details. One option for students could be to pause the video after each question and insert a text response. Another option would be to record a video response. Since students are being asked to respond to an image in this example, they can use the drawing tools to point out particular details of the image that help them understand the main message of the image. All responses, whether text or video, will appear in a timeline at the bottom of the screen. By tapping on any of these, the teacher will be able to view the student’s name and response.
Ask3 as a Learning Tool
Students working on homework have a variety of sources to choose from when they’re trying to work out a problem, answer questions, gather information or whatever the task may be. Ask3 can be used by students to create their own videos to gather responses from other members of the class that will help them continue with their work or give them insights to help their thinking. For example, a student working through the solution of a math problem might have viewed the teacher’s tutorial video but still gets stuck on applying that learning. By creating a video, a student can demonstrate where in the process he/she is having difficulty and other students can jump in with advice by entering a text or video response.
Ask3 as a Formative Assessment Tool
Formative assessment is comprised of all the different ways we can gather evidence about student learning progress. With Ask3, both student responses to teacher videos and students’ own video creations could provide teachers with information that will help them in providing quality feedback and adjusting instruction to meet learning needs.