Thomas Sherlock Encourages Teaching and Learning through Mobile Apps


BYOD or not?  Hot topic.  A lot of our students have cell phones, and as Thomas Sherlock agrees…they aren’t going away. So he is embracing it and trying out a few new things. Sherlock is a science, mathematics and engineering teacher at George W. Tilton Elementary School. He has an interesting take on how to advocate technical learning and assistance in classrooms through carefully selected mobile apps.  His Tinker Tale all began with his deep-play group who focused on four main ideas:

What does a flipped classroom look like?

What structures work best?

How do we manage our time?

What are the best practices for a flipped classroom approach?

His deep-play group also studied a book called Flip Your Classroom, Reach Every Student in Every ClassEvery Day by Jonathon Bergman.  Sherlock began his individual quest on how to foster self-directed learning and deeper understanding in his classroom. In a recent survey, Sherlock discovered that nearly 90% of his 8th grade students have cell phones.  He began to explore a few apps that could support student learning, while embracing the BYOD method.  The first app described in his Tinker Tale is VivaVideo. This app allows students to use their own saved videos or select from a video library provided by the app.  VivaVideo offers a variety of tools for adding text, stickers, transitions, filters, etc.  It provides a fun and easy way for students to share their understanding directly from their mobile device.

Exit Ticket is another app that Sherlock is eager to test.  This app provides a quick and easy way to balance both summative and formative classroom assessment practices. It is both student and teacher friendly.  Sherlock feels this is a manageable app that fits in with today’s BYOD movement in education. Students can quickly deliver a level of understanding in an exit ticket format. This app closely tracks a student’s ongoing practice, so the teacher can easily see both academic struggles and growth.

Check out his Tinker Tale: Take 2 below for a closer look into student learning through mobile apps.