Spiral is a clever suite of free collaborative web apps for everyday learning activities across all subjects and age ranges. The apps work on any internet enabled device and no app download is required. They are especially useful if your students have a device each. There are four different apps: Quickfire, Team Up, Discuss and Clip.
Quickfire is designed for question and answer activities enabling you to get real-time responses from every pupil. We were impressed by how easy it is for students to access questions and answer them by just visiting the spiral.ac website and entering their name and a simple short code. There was no need for pupils to register on the site which is refreshing in its simplicity. Teachers can show anonymised answers on the whiteboard so that answers can be shared and compared. Teachers can quickly and very easily indicate to pupils whether their answer is satisfactory or whether they need to improve it. We haven’t used Spiral in a class situation but we can see that it is likely to make lessons engaging and collaborative.
Discuss is a powerful tool for encouraging students to share ideas with each other. Presentations can be created either from scratch or by uploading from PowerPoint. Questions and tasks for students can be added to key slides. This tool promises to engage all pupils, even those who are reluctant to contribute to class discussion. Students can be asked to contribute from their personal devices at any stage during the presentation.
Team Up is designed for students to work together in teams during one or more lessons – contributing ideas and building shared presentations in the form of slide shows or posters. It lends itself to work from individual or shared devices to create high quality outcomes.
Last but not least, Clip gets students to focus and concentrate on class videos. Simply find and play any video from Youtube and students can add comments from their devices in a live feed.