10 ways to bring science alive with your HUE visualiser

10 ways to bring science alive with your HUE visualiser

John Dabell trained as a primary school teacher 25 years ago, starting his career in London and then teaching in a range of schools in the Midlands. In between teaching jobs, he has worked as an Ofsted inspector, national in-service provider, project manager, writer and editor. You can follow him on Twitter @John_Dabell.

Vision and access are everything in a classroom. If you can’t see properly then you aren’t getting the same experience as some of your classmates. This is why a HUE camera makes all the difference because it can capture things that are difficult to see and allows for a more equitable learning experience, especially in science. They are an interactive link to better teaching, learning and assessment and allow for more organic discussions and collaborative learning. With a bit of creative thinking, your HUE visualiser can be a powerful dual coding tool for firing students’ imaginations, enhancing their learning and shedding more light on a subject.

Here are 10 ways you can use a HUE visualiser in science lessons:

1. Magnification

The HUE visualiser can be used to magnify objects which makes it the perfect tool for live demonstrations allowing students to see everything in incredible detail without leaving their seats. It’s perfect for studying rocks and minerals, animal and plant cells, and even textiles. You can also use your HUE for presenting and recording live animals or insects so that students can study colour, texture, and behaviour with greater insight and get to know the natural world with more understanding.

Magnified images of fungi, an ovary, muscle tissue and a mosquito

Hands-on dissection isn’t always possible or preferred across the class as a whole so instead, you can use your HUE to record a dissection allowing students to experience the lesson without necessarily participating themselves.

2. Modelling

Teachers use their visualisers for a variety of purposes, such as delivering clear, transparent expectations, modelling behaviour and going through procedures. Visualisers are superb tools for modelling scientific and executive functioning skills. You can use them to show a step-by-step process or ‘How to…’ and model procedures. This allows students to see what is required of them and the standards you are looking for in terms of ‘What A Good One Looks Like’ (WAGOLL) and what the gold standard looks like. They allow you to explain and demonstrate with more sophistication and provide a more authentic and tangible connection with the learning content. Use your HUE to demonstrate the process of recording ideas and deciding what to write about.

3. Labelling and Graph work

Visualisers are a great tool for labelling diagrams. You could project any scientific diagram and have students work together to identify and label its parts. For example, show different types of plants and flowers and label the parts. Correcting and modelling graphs is something your HUE can really get to work on. Projecting graphs for the class to analyse together is a really effective way to identify and highlight major and minor misconceptions. N.B. HUE Intuition is available free of charge with the HUE HD Pro camera.

HUE Intuition is used to label the parts of a flower
HUE Intuition is used to label the parts of a flower

4. Assessment

The strategic use of a HUE camera provides golden opportunities for active assessment and to help gauge and evaluate student knowledge and understanding so that you can provide better quality feedback.
Students need plenty of opportunities to showcase their work and present their investigation findings to the rest of the class. This allows students to develop their communication skills and for their peers to critique and provide feedback so that improvements can be made.

Why not save yourself time and energy and use your HUE for live marking? Place a piece of work under the visualiser, live mark, and gather suggestions for improvements from the class. This provides students with structured and immediate responses and plenty of opportunities for dialogue and questioning. Your visualiser is particularly helpful for presenting classroom quizzes and discussing a range of responses collaboratively.

5. Revision and mark schemes

Visualisers allow an active approach to revision and are ideal for spaced repetition sessions. Create revision cards, lists, mind maps, flow charts, digital flashcards and infographics and share them with the class. Explaining mark schemes can be a whole lot easier using a visualiser because it allows you to discuss model answers, exemplars, content, organisation and technical accuracy and teaches students how to identify and interpret explicit and implicit information and ideas. Students can be given mark schemes to try and ‘grade’ the work.

6. Remote learning

Recording a practical demonstration to then share remotely is a brilliant way to make sure that students are kept in the learning loop and don’t miss opportunities to see practical and investigative science.
Creating lessons ahead of time and recording demonstrations for virtual classroom learning brings science alive, keeps the learning momentum going and allows students to review content as many times as needed for complete understanding. They are especially useful for hybrid teaching in lockdown learning, for helping absent students who can then catch up with work they have missed, or for those who just need a refresher.

7. Podcasts and doc-casts

Your HUE could be used for creating science podcasts and doc-casts by creating science soundbites and combining them with instructional videos. Students can review these at any time and are easily integrated into other activities or to listen to or watch when travelling. If these are presented before a class then in-class time can be used for wider discussion. When created by students themselves, pairs or small groups can be asked to record a podcast or doc-cast answering an essential question related to important concepts. These teams take on different subtopics and collaborate to create one final product.

8. Show and tell

‘Show and tell’ sessions are opened up to objects that are too small to appreciate en masse, crowded around a table, or too delicate to pass around. Encourage students to bring into class things like seeds, stones and shells that can be shared with the rest of the class in stunning detail. Using the image capture feature of your HUE means that you can easily grab photos for projects, identification, records and special days. If there is something to snap then your HUE will snap it.

9. Time lapse photography

An important form of investigation in a classroom is ‘observation over time’ as changes don’t always conveniently fall within a fixed lesson and can take many hours. The HUE Intuition software has 3 functions for image capture: at set intervals, on movement and on keypress. So this can be used for many different kinds of experiments and observations. With HUE Animation software your HUE camera can be set up to record plant growth responses, reactions to light, decomposition, germination, crystal growth, displacement reactions, weather changing, effects of temperature, life cycle of a butterfly, baby chicks hatching and more.

Timelapse filmed by Livin Farms

10. Learning and literacy

A HUE visualiser can be used to help present, explain and model new learning, and to teach students how to learn scientifically by planning, monitoring and evaluating. It can also be used for metacognitive experiences such as demonstrating that your approach to an investigation is wrong and lead to the insight that you don’t have enough information or knowledge to complete a task. Scientific literacy can also be improved because it makes close-reading exercises easy to present and allows you to annotate scientific texts and to share your thinking, improving your scientific vocabulary and comprehension.

And finally…

Used as a vehicle for interaction with the class, for observation, for information, for modelling, for guided investigation and for assessment, your HUE camera can make all the difference and give every student a voice. The ways in which we use our devices have clear implications for scientific communication in the classroom, and hence for pedagogy and learning.


HUE: Colorful, affordable technology to inspire creative learning and teaching

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