So, this month there was a fantastic little challenge put out by the ScreenBean crew, which I decided would be a prefect time to explore and expand my own personal usage of screenbeam within the classroom.
I used ScreenBeam Actiontec 750 after receiving it from last years trip to Toronto during the Microsoft Educational Exchange; otherwise known as E2. This product was incredibly easy to install, use and connect within moments, immediately having a drastic impact within my classroom last year. I was able to teach from anywhere within the classroom without a wire restricting me to the front of the room by the projection board. With students that have behavioral concerns; screenbeam allowed me to be more agile and supportive discretely during my lessons with the entire group. With the ease of walking around still discussion, sharing and collaborating with everyone, those in need of a gentle tap on the shoulder or subtle reminder to use attentive listening, or back on track ‘miss magoo’ my classroom management was made incredibly easier and less disruptive in nature.
This year in a junior classroom with a rather challenging group of students I am still able to provide a lesson with a little more effort I will say; but within the same manner….but during this months challenge I decided to amp things up and use collaboration and as many programs within the O365 suite to enhance the learning occurring with screenbeam. So, here is what transpired throughout this month!
- Various Skypes; Guest Speakers, Skype Field Trips, Cultural Exchanges, Mystery Skypes (using maps and sharing desktops to problem solve and eliminate areas within the map of the world) allowed my grade 5/6’s more agility and means of collaborating in a shared manner, constantly connecting and disconnecting from one tablet to the next to share each others insights and thoughts.
- Snips / Office Mix; these are two easily infused programs that I try to teach students at the beginning of the school year for digital inking. Snip and Mix allow for audio and video recordings showing student work, which infused with screenbeam allow me to preset success criteria that kids try to hit / reach when explaining their inquiry into problem solving new techniques and methods of working through a math equation using BEDMAS, Input / Output Tables (which ScreenBeamEdu’s own David Lopez was on sight at Lakewood to see in action – super cool having you visit two days this month buddy!). Students began seeking out Snip and Mix once completed other work to try digital inking and problem solving math equations outside of math time, recording their work and requesting that I share with their classmates during math class using screenbeam from BYODs students are bringing in on their own.
- Video Recordings of presentations; students would create Snips / Mixes and go up to present, while….ready for it…..wandering around the room simular in nature to how Mr. Archer does it during lessons. When I asked one student why she was doing it in that manner, she told me that it helps so and so, and these others stay on task, stay focused and hear the lesson and learning, so she wanted to ensure they heard and understood her as well! Talk about powerful…..I know as teachers we see things, hear things and can picture why it would be helpful, useful and practical for us as educators, BUT when students see, identify and begin using it, this just goes to show the true power and ability to reach all, any student within a classroom.
- Presentations; I recently took my Lakewood Ed Tech team (grade 5 and 6’s) to share their skills with Snip / Mix to NTIP (New Teachers) so they can teach within their classrooms. I totally forgot my screenbeam, and the kids were restricted to the front of the room. The sheer frustration of being tethered to the front of the room was well known throughout the presentations. Many teachers actually requested more info on these ‘screenbeams’ the kids kept referring too! Super funny too!
- I am a Fire Educator on the side in my role as a volunteer fire fighter. We train with fellow fire fighters from ages (19-70 years), so I thought why not try the power of screenbeam, digital inking with adults too. As a newly fire educator I tried teaching / presenting without it my screenbeam at the fire hall and it was like walking into the dark ages, caveman world again. So, I put out a call for help and was giving a great opportunity and it is working amazingly with the adult learners. Within the fire hall we have deeper conversations, more thorough explanations and visual representations rather then verbal indications of what is being presented. We can teach, discuss and actually walk around and show group work with a quick snap of a photo, record a discussion and share with the entire group on running portable pumps, pump operations on specific trucks, how to trouble shoot this or that. The learning has enhanced drastically.
- Now, to top things off….throw into the aforementioned into the world know ‘OneNote’ and you have a a super duo combination. Think this ScreenBeam and Pedagogical Documentation…..bing bamb boom! Photos, videos and snips, mixes etc….of student learning / real time student learning which is saved within OneNote that demonstrates anything and everything within the continuum of learning! From the beginning steps to trials and finally achievement….you have the whole gamete! Think now of parental conferences, team meetings and professional supports…..now you are not talking about someone you can show that actual student live in action for anyone not within that moment in the classroom with you! I have shared with parents content that day or days afterwards their child learning occurring in real time OR struggle with long division….actually circle the missed step(s) so parents can support at home as well! Powerful!
So, I have to stay within my allotted timeframe (doing report cards currently) otherwise I could go on forever about these amazing devices! ScreenBeam will take you into the 21st century of teaching! It will be your ultimate tool that enhances your professional growth and development in so many ways!
I am incredibly excited to continue learning, using and implementing ScreenBeam within my classroom, sharing with others and super pumped for the release of Classroom Commander shortly which is an addition to the already incredible usage of ScreenBeam within the classroom!
Keep up the great work ScreenBeam….loving that you are keeping it simple yet dynamic!