Reducing teacher workload for free? It sounds too good to be true, I know. However, after seeing a Facebook Post from the brilliant Teacher Toolkit, I made it my main mission to track the Vocal Recall team down in the ‘Futures’ area at BETT last week to see what the fuss was about. It was a detour well worth making….
The concept is simple, and that is part of it’s beauty.
- To get started, you download the free, Vocal Recall app – available on iOS and Andriod.
- You also need some QR codes. These can be ordered on-line, or emailed via the app and printed onto sticky labels or even just onto normal paper to be cut-out, and stuck into books with glue.
- You then simply open the App, press record and leave your feedback (max 5 minutes). Recordings can be paused mid-message.
- Once finished, you tap the scan button and scan one of the pre-printed QR codes.
- Finally, name the recording, stick the QR code in with the relevant work and the marking is done!
Upon receiving their book/work, the children can then simply use their smart devices to scan the QR code which takes them directly to their specific feedback.
Why it’s brilliant:
The time this will save teachers is HUGE! A quick demo to our Head of English at break time today resulted in her commentating “Just think of the hours this will save!” However, the concept is not simply limited to feedback or feedforward. Conversations about work can be recorded in exactly the same way and furthermore, explanations about practical work or work on display can easily be taped and recalled.
Indeed, other ideas could include:
- Whole class feedback
- Explanation of tasks
- Treasure hunts
- Interactive displays, instructions, worksheets
- Peer/self assessment
- Audio tours
- Language learning
- EAL support
The faff with this sort of thing previously was generating QR codes, cutting them out and then attaching them to the relevant audio. However, with Vocal Recall the QR Codes themselves can be emailed from within the App; up to 280 at a time. Furthermore, all the recordings are self-contained within the app so no need for any third-party!
As far as data-protection is concerned, all recordings are securely end-to-end encrypted. This means that it will be nigh-on impossible to listen to the recording, unless you have the QR code that it was originally attached to.
At a time of increasing teacher-burnout and major work-overload, it is simple but highly effective ideas like Vocal Recall that can really make a difference. Indeed, the guys behind the idea are actual teachers too and fair play to them for not monetising something that could be worth so much to so many.