You live for the fight when it’s all that you’ve got
I haven’t written in a while, and I totally blame COVID-19 for my lapse. The additional workload that comes with pandemic teaching can be overwhelming, and then when you realize you have the virus, productivity takes another dive. However, right before I became sick, I had the opportunity to create videos for the new app, Zigazoo, and I discovered that not only did I love making short instructional videos for students, but this app has a really wide range of appeal for students of all ages.
WOAH, WE’RE HALFWAY THERE
Zigazoo is an app that students can use on phones and tablets. It has a social media feel while being a safe place for a classroom to create 30-second video responses. On their website, you see that Zigazoo is
“A smarter screen time activity” On Zigazoo, kids share video responses to fun activities with friends. Social, educational, and safe.
The teacher side of it functions like Instagram, meaning you will need a photo to accompany your assignment instructions. You can also choose from a variety of pre-made challenges and assignments too. The app is new and continuing to grow and develop, so keep checking back to see what has been added.
WOAH, LIVIN’ ON A PRAYER
The assignments and responses load into the app like a TikTok stream. So while this is similar in function to Flipgrid, the responses are limited to 30 seconds, and right now, you can only use it with one classroom per account. My high school students really love using the app. I create my own content based on what we are working on, and then I provide a prompt with an image. The video responses added by the students are easy to flip through, and as they are viewed, even for a second, the app records a view count. Students and teachers can add emoticon responses too. Once my students discovered the view count, they became obsessive about increasing their own view counts. It adds a fun layer to the activities.
TAKE MY HAND, WE’LL MAKE IT I SWEAR
The social feel and interaction that Zigazoo provides to students can be a powerful way to connect students during this time of disengagement and disconnection. Voices, faces, emoticon reactions, views, and videos streaming in the feed help students feel connected and a part of the class. All of those elements are an important part of securing a classroom feel when we aren’t all together. Yes, but they also bring in a sense of fun and adventure for students in the classroom too. This platform is fun and versatile for regular teaching, pandemic teaching, and homeschooling.
Woah, livin’ on a prayer
During pandemic teaching, we need to explore and use as many tools as we can to help students connect and engage while supporting our pedagogy. While Zigazoo isn’t a web-based platform yet, it is still a really wonderful addition to your tech tools toolbox during in-person teaching, virtual teaching, and all things in between.