HUE’s HD Pro Cameras are regularly seen in action across Manor School Sports College, helping us to deliver high quality teaching and learning in the classroom. While the use of visualisers as a tool in the classroom isn’t too uncommon, our approach to why and how we got to this stage is important. In this blog I’ll try to explain why we use visualisers and some of the most common uses we see across our school.
Keep the main thing, the main thing
Often in schools as senior leaders it is hard to forget the myriad of plates that we need to keep spinning. Our classroom teachers have to teach high quality lessons, build brilliant relationships with students (and their parents), deliver enrichment opportunities, assess, mark and provide feedback on work with data collected throughout the year. I could go on. As leaders at Manor School we have worked hard in recent years to decrease the extraneous load on teachers so that they can focus on the thing that matters most; high quality teaching. In our pursuit for high quality teaching we have developed our knowledge-engaged curriculum delivered through our centralised pedagogies; the elements of expert teaching which we feel are vital for success in the classroom. Our centralised pedagogies have been derived from and build on the work of Allison and Tharby’s brilliant Making Every Lesson Count.
Centralised pedagogies are the cornerstone of effective teaching at Manor School and we develop these through the use of our ‘walk-through’ guides to teaching and learning. Our modelling segment is crucial as we believe that in order for students to learn how to do something, they have to be able to watch an expert guide them through the learning process step by step. Our HUE HD Pro Cameras are essential to support our modelling, both live and recorded to provide the expert thinking required. We now have around 30 cameras across the school, as well as a few HUE HD Cameras. Our intention is that every classroom will have a visualiser for use at all times.
EdTech is the tool to support teaching, not the tool of teaching
The other important element of our journey is our approach to the use of EdTech. Lots has been thought and said about the use of EdTech in schools, indeed, only recently Daisy Christodoulou has written her latest book looking at the limited impact EdTech has had on education. Our approach is simple; our first priority as leaders at Manor School is to develop high quality teaching and learning. If EdTech, including the use of visualisers supports and enhances high quality teaching then we will absolutely advocate it, but if it hinders the delivery then it needs to go.
Across my career I have seen and tried a number of visualisers and set ups for modelling and the HUE HD Pro Camera is the best I’ve found. Its simplicity of use allows even our least tech-savvy teachers to use it effectively. The price point is sensible and realistic for schools to achieve in times of funding shortages. The accompanying software (HUE Intuition) is brilliant, but unlike some visualisers there is no tie-in to use only this.
Common uses across Manor School
- Across our school you will regularly see teachers demonstrating the thinking process behind complex exam questions and tasks. Modelling the process of how an answer is created, not just what the final example looks like.
- In maths, you will regularly find our colleagues showing the class three pieces of student work that has been completed during that lesson with their visualiser. Each piece of work might demonstrate a different method or nuances in accuracy, allowing the teacher and the students to discuss and learn from these.
- In practical subjects, particularly technology, visualisers are regularly seen showing close ups of models and demonstrations that allow the students to transpose these skills into their own practical work.
- In English, visualisers are used to model the process of annotating key texts and passages. Doing this in the same format, at the same time as students not only helps to ensure that key information and thinking is recorded but supports students in how and why annotation is done in certain ways.
- As we develop our use of technology as a solution for sharing resources with students we are more commonly seeing visualisers used to record short videos that can be shared with students to re-watch at a later time or provide support for absent students.
- We’ve also seen some teachers use visualisers in combination with their own workbook. Modelling the processes of learning around presentation is as important as content to ensure that our students have effective and high-quality resources available for revision when the time comes.
What do our teachers say?
“In the science lab I have been using the visualiser as part of teacher demonstrations. This is much safer because demonstrations are often used for reactions that are too dangerous for students to carry out so with the visualiser they are kept at a safe distance but can very clearly see what is going on using the big screen.”Glenn, Director of Science
“Visualisers have helped to add a new dimension to speaking in our French lessons. Normally students would remain seated and read their writing aloud. With a visualiser, students enjoy coming up to the front, proudly reading their writing while the class simultaneously follow what has been written.”Margaret, Modern Foreign Languages
Guest post written by Chris Bateman, Assistant Principal at Manor School Sports College, UK