The thing about technology is that we’re all supposed to use it, and for those teachers who only start their adventure with education, or those who return to teaching after a long break, it may be quite overwhelming, to switch on an IWB… and have no clue on what to do next.
I believe there is an application that may be a great beginning of the adventure with technology in the classroom – it’s a simple page with many widgets easy to use for most non-technological activities in the classroom.
What you need to do is simply open ClassroomScreen on your laptop and project it in your classroom. That’s it – but since I’m not taking part in the competition for the shortest blog post ever, I shall elaborate a little bit.
You can use all your favourite widgets here – clock and calendar, and timer (something really useful during various activities), for starters. Obviously, you can type and draw there, you can also upload various images and draw on them. You can also use various backgrounds, so you may upload the one that matches the lesson topic.
I like the traffic lights option – you may use them for students’ self assessment (red if they don’t understand the material, yellow if they have some issues, green if everything is clear) as well as classroom management – green light may mean students are working as a class, yellow may mean groupwork and red may be for individual work.
The widget I like most is definitely work symbols. You may clearly indicate what kind of activity you’re doing at a particular moment – silence, whisper, ask neighbour or work together. It’s a brilliant widget for longer exercises, requiring various forms of activities – all you need to do is switch the icon and everyone knows what to do.
Another useful widget is QRcode generator – you may immediately share anything you want, just paste the link and generate the code. Ask your students to read it with their mobiles and presto! – they all can read an article, see a film or do the exercises you’ve shared.
Monitoring classroom noise level may be a perfect solution for all those working with big groups or small kids (or big groups of small kids) – all you need to do is use the microphone widget to set up noise level and your students may observe how loud they are. Let’s say, they’ll be given a sticker is the noise bar doesn’t get red, and chances are you won’t get prematurely deaf.
Random name picker is the best solution for “why meeeeeeee agaaaaaain” kind of students – just write your students’ names in the text field and roll dice. Why am I asking you again, Brian? Because the computer said so!
The feature I find particularly useful is that you may use widgets more than once – you may use two timers (for two groups), divide your class into three groups and give them various work symbols etc.
I hope you’ll find this site as adorable as I have – sometimes simplicity is key, and in this case I’m more than happy to use it and have quite a lot of fun. So it looks like I’m going to have a break from canva, youtube, quizziz and twinkl, and introduce a little bit of good old-fashioned IWB screen.