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Ways to use WhatsApp in class: Esther's Project

Whom of us does not know Whatsapp? the greenish app that took over our daily life, developed at 2009, sold to Facebook for 19 billion dollar and serves 1.5 billion users today all over the world. For the education systems, it is known merely as a threat and a rival for the kids’ attention; also it had been accused, among with other social media tools, for dulling communication among people to simple words and emojis. Yet, creative thinkers who want to take part in progress and not uselessly oppose it, find creative and educative uses for WhatsApp in class.

 


Our Alumni, Esther Njeri Kiaritha, who teaches at Moi University, Kenya, is one of those creative thinkers. After finishing  our virtual course  called  “Cool Virtual Teaching” , she decided to implement the taught tools through her course “Counselling Skills and Practice” for the course final project. Inspired by her work, we will share with you the ways in which she suggests to use Whatsapp for pedagogic purposes. note- all of the suggestions here presuppose the existence of students’ Whatsapp group, a smartphone for each student and even laptops\ tablets\ computers. The ways she used the app in her class are:

1. Sharing an article by the app and give assignments accordingly.

2. Use video medium: send videos and assign a task accordingly. Also, you can ask the students to film and share their own video clip. For example, at her class, Esther asked the students to role-play an opening of a counseling meeting session, film it and post the video clip on the group. She reports, “The lesson was interesting. Students mostly enjoyed making videos and sharing. [...] Most of the work was done through WhatsApp so students were in a comfort zone.”

3. After having analyzed a subject, the students are asked to create an infographic design at canva\ smores explaining their findings. then they share the outcome at whatsapp. “The creation of infographics by the students was good as it helped students to understand the concepts better as it was a hands-on activity, they were the creator of knowledge."
 



Esther used all of these techniques concerning the subject on counseling- non-verbal cues, opening a session and so on. She concludes: “I must admit that I first struggled with using the tools [...] I consulted with some of my colleagues in Cool Digital Teaching course and some “Mr. Google” help. When I got a substantial grip of the tools, it became my new way of teaching which is exciting both for me and the students. I have since endear to try the different Apps such as Vizia, Canva and a lot more. By the time I am done with my teaching course I will have learnt a lot. I am already teaching two of my colleagues to use these tools. Through the use of digital tools I was able to maintain 100% class attendance as students did not want to miss any of the exciting and creative lessons.”

We, at Ofri center, are very content to see our alumni staying in contact by learning, developing and implementing.  
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Roni Zedek

Virtual courses coordinator