Poetry Slamming with iPads


Over the last few weeks my students have taught me more than a few lessons about innovative uses of apps and iPads. We are collaborating with our high school to participate in Rock Our World 16 with a focus on poetry and poetry slams. We started by using facetime and having students share their favorite poems and bio poems. It worked wonderfully but we wanted to compose poems together. We attempted google docs but found that it was not running as smoothly as we needed it to.

Enter – Whiteboard Lite

Now this isn’t a new app for us but it is what the students did with it that left me more than a little amazed. So with Whiteboard Lite, you can share your screen with any other iPad on the same network. Meaning that students at our elementary school could write on their partner’s iPad at the high school and vice versa. So while talking on facetime, students wrote together a poem.

I did not realize that facetime could run while another app was running. But while walking around the room watching and listening to my students, I learned that when given the tools, students will find ways to make them do what they need and want them to do.


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  1. Lance said:

    I really enjoyed reading this post. You make some great points about how the students can problem solve. I am curious, do you have any issues with students accessing this app and connecting when they should not be doing so?

  2. Dorothea Hackett said:

    Our school did something similar. My top two high school finalists in Poetry Out Loud served as judges for the Title I reading teacher’s students in an outlying elementary school. The elementary students read poems using FaceTime in their school to demonstrate their understanding of tone, figurative language, fluency, etc. The teacher sent judging rubrics to my students to complete. This took place during my theater arts class which allowed an added bonus: my theater students reinforced their understanding of vocal techniques by writing and sharing comments on the readings after the Poetry Slam finished. I was so surprised that my high school students became so invested in the activity that they really cheered when the winners were announced. What a great way to link classrooms and build an entire district family!