A whole class discussion is taking place. What does it look like?
- One student is dominating the conversation.
- Another student is jumping in with something off-topic, derailing the conversation.
- The deep thinkers don’t have enough time to gather their thoughts.
- The shy kids really don’t want to say anything out loud for fear of being wrong.
- Students agree with their friends, not with the arguments presented.
Verso changes the group discussion dynamic by creating a safe, anonymous space for all students’ responses to be heard and valued.
Verso is hard to explain because it’s a little bit revolutionary.
How to Verso
- The teacher sets an open-ended question or stimulus.
- The students respond to the prompt by typing their thoughts.
- Only once students respond to the prompt can they see all other students’ responses. (They can see the responses but can’t see who made them).
- Student can upvote or comment on other students’ responses.
While this is anonymous collaboration, don’t worry. Teachers can see on their screen who is typing or commenting. With a quick click, teachers can remove any inappropriate responses. Students can also flag responses they think are inappropriate.
This type of classroom “conversation” is a little unnerving at first because the classroom is completely silent. That silence is the sound of complete engagement though! Every voice in the room is being heard equally and everyone’s opinion has equal weight.
How To Get Started With Verso Video Tutorial
Today’s tutorial video is extra special. It is a collaboration with my good friend Joe Stephens. Joe is an experienced primary teacher who has started using Verso in the last twelve months and swears by it. Joe also makes videos to use in his class which you can check out on his youtube channel by following this link.
In this video, Joe talks us through a recent lesson he did with his grade 5 class. I’ll butt in every now and then but Joe really is the star of the show. Check it out.