In today’s guest post, teacher Olly Lewis talks us through how he uses his HUE HD Pro Visualiser to teach Physics to his students in an innovative and participatory way.
“There are a few edtech tools which can elevate practice within the classroom that require little effort for a larger gain. The HUE HD Pro is such a tool, and one that can make the job of teaching easier.
The Learning Scientists talk about the importance of using concrete examples in the classroom when solidifying concepts that are rather more abstract. My HUE HD Pro visualiser helps me particularly when modelling mathematical working out but can also be of great use when tackling other issues such as problem solving and drawing graphs and enables me to label diagrams live to the students.
You may well ask why not just do this on your smart-board or whiteboard? The reason I would say get a visualiser here is that you can record your examples and share them with the students later, on whatever platform (Office365, Google Classroom) your school uses. This proves a handy tool when reviewing content and is an excellent resource for the students to be able to access when not at school.
In Making Every Science Lesson Count, by Andy Tharby, he discusses the importance of expert teaching requiring the following principles: challenge, explanation, modelling, questioning and feedback. By using a visualiser to aid modelling, whether it be exam questions, building up a picture of a process or aiding explanations, students get a look into the thought processes of an expert; the teacher.
This enables students to acquire and apply new skills and knowledge by going over problems lead by the teacher, breaking them down into manageable chunks and then solving each step of the process. Students can then follow this process for themselves in the future, while also improving their communication of key concepts, thanks to being walked through what a model answer looks like.
Running parallel to this, by questioning, the teacher has the opportunity to gain some insightful feedback from the students. Therefore supporting student learning by building up a clearer schema for the students all the while future planning for the next step for the learning process.
Structured self-assessment, aka live marking, plays a large part in my classroom however there has to be a key dynamic contained within this activity. While the end goal is that each student sees where and why they have gone wrong/right, they also need to see the value in receiving feedback immediately so that they can follow up and improve their future work as a result.
Live marking not only reduces workload on the teacher end but it also provides students with structured and immediate response(s), an opportunity for dialogue and questioning while also focusing specifically on developing knowledge/skills. As in David‘s previous blog here, it takes some training and attitude shifting on the student end to get to a place where critique is the norm in their lessons, however it is a powerful ally to make a part of your classroom.
Complete the work alongside the students and provide a safety net where it is acceptable to make mistakes as, after all, we learn from them. I usually model the first question to my students, allow some time for questioning and then ask them to complete a series of questions following the same method as they were shown; this builds confidence and the repetitive nature serves as a plus for both stakeholders.
I like to also play ‘what do you think?’ A form of hinge questioning which is a quick and easy starter that requires a post-it note for each pupil and a question to be displayed on the board. The students place their completed post-it notes under the visualiser, this allows for great discussion at the start of a lesson. Their work is anonymous too, so they are comfortable giving responses knowing this, while also making use of the visualiser to kick the lesson off and identify what the students are thinking and their prior knowledge. This can also be done in reverse at the end of a lesson by asking students what were the main points of a lesson, again, allowing you to focus on content once again.
The above are some of the strategies I use, incorporating my HUE HD Pro visualiser, to develop the learning experience for my pupils. A visualiser is a low-cost, larger return edtech tool that is a key teaching and learning tool for every classroom!”
Olly Lewis, Head of Science British International School, Abu Dhabi, @OLewis_coaching