The Swivl helps education students improve teaching

The Swivl is showing up in education classrooms all over campus, but what is it? The Swivl bears resemblance to a little robot, usually sitting atop a tripod. The Swivl Robot is accompanied by two more devices, a little black box on a string (the “marker”) and an iPad.

The marker is placed around the teacher’s or presenter’s neck like a necklace and records the audio of the lesson being taught, while the iPad records the visual lesson in sync. The Swivl allows the iPad to follow the wearer of the marker by turning from side to side as the teacher or presenter moves around the room.

But what happens once the video is recorded? Does it stay on the iPad forever? Fortunately, the videos are immediately uploaded to the Swivl application, then to the Swivl Cloud, where they can then be uploaded to other websites. It is very convenient for a classroom where there is a lot of student participation, or where a teacher doesn’t have all the information on the presentations.

Samantha Easley, a sophomore history education student claimed she was nervous the first time she used the Swivl, but she said, “it’s not as bad as it sounds.”

“It is better to familiarize yourself with it now, rather than use it for the very first time during your senior year,” she said.

Easley explained that she was nervous, anxious and stressed. She did not want to see herself on camera, but “swivling” the lessons truly helped her see the mistakes she was making while presenting her lessons. Fortunately, the Swivl also helped Easley notice where she was more confident with her teaching.

“However, I do promise you that although it may feel awkward at first teaching and being videoed, this is information strictly to help you and help the professors in the education department improve upon the courses so that students may be better prepared for certification,” she said.

Professor Karen Wegst said the Swivl is great for education students.

“The experience … of “Swivling” a sample lesson plan … offers an opportunity for self reflection and analysis by the students. It also promotes a peer review process for the education professors to benchmark the students beginning the program and then monitoring their growth for the next four years,” Wegst said.

Clearly, there is a reason these little robots are showing up all around in education classes; they are productive, practical, and helpful devices.

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