Timberline Speech/Drama teacher Shelley Leiser has only been using the SWIVL C5 robot for less than one year but says it’s already the most used tool in her Speech 1 class. “Students used this device daily to give each other feedback, as a means of showing knowledge, and to practice their speeches,” Leiser said. The Waukee Community Schools Foundation provided a classroom grant for Leiser to purchase the robotic camera and microphone feedback system.
The SWIVL C5 can track the movement of the speaker, allowing for the integration of movement without the limitations of a tripod or phone dock. The SWIVL holds an iPad to record the speeches and includes five microphones that can all be used at the same time. Leiser’s students used the SWIVL to record their speeches on video. Fellow students used the other four microphones to provide live feedback during practice sessions. Students give each other suggestions, praise, critiques, and showed knowledge of vocabulary terms used in class. The performer then watches the video back on an iPad and can select which microphone to listen to. This enables the performer or the teacher to listen to each student’s feedback individually, or listen to them all at the same time. “It is a really effective way of students providing other students (and me) with information about the speech,” Leiser said. “I attempted a much more innovative way of teaching Speech 1 this last year, and the use of the SWIVL was an integral part of that process.”
Leiser also used the SWIVL in the 8th-grade theater class. The SWIVL enabled students to record themselves during scene practice, and Leiser said the microphones really improved the overall sound quality of the performances. She plans to use the SWIVL during theater auditions this year as well. Leiser said there’s no doubt the SWIVL has helped students, but it’s helped her too! “It is a super-effective way of assessing student knowledge because I can watch and listen to students apply classroom vocab and concepts in an authentic way,” she said.