Day 3 - YackPack Your Point of View Published 2006-12-16 under , ,

One of the valuable aspects of classroom discussion that is missing from most online learning environments is the opportunity to verbally articulate a point of view. Blogs, wikis, discussion forums, and email allow students the opportunity to gain valuable practice communicating ideas through writing. An equally important skill in communication is the spoken word.

YackPackYackPack is a new service that allows groups of students to communicate verbally. As a member of the group, you can choose to send a "voice message" to one or all of the group members by simply selecting the recipients and talking into your computer's microphone. There is no software to install other than the Flash Player which most browsers already have.

These asynchronous conversations can be used in small groups to discuss ideas or in full classes to continue a conversation that began in class. As an example, a controversial subject might arise in your class that captures the interest of your students but for which you just don't have time to address in detail. You might ask your students to express their thoughts on the subject in your YackPack when they go home. They can then listen to their classmates comments and continue the conversation with a response. As the YackPack administrator you can review all messages and even provide feedback to individuals or the whole class.

Another use of the YackPack is to provide a forum for students to ask questions. You or (preferably) your students can provide the answers thus producing a collaborative help service for your class.

If you teach a foreign language or are an ESL teacher, YackPack is a great tool for students to practice speaking in their new language. Students can carry on conversations while you "monitor" them, providing feedback as necessary.

I discovered YackPack quite by accident at a conference in Monterey this past November. Since then, I have had the chance to play around with the service and am continually thinking of new ways it can be used in education and in my personal life.

For Information: video for educators

Powered by Qumana


BJ said...

Hi, Rob:

You're right on target. Thanks for talking about our service so accurately.

As a university professor, I certainly appreciate how YackPack makes my life easier -- and my teaching better.

BJ Fogg, Ph.D.
CEO, YackPack