[Category: In Class]
How Using an Interactive Solution Will Enhance Your Classroom Experience
by Charlotte Carey
St. Vincent’s Catholic Primary School is a school in Northwest London, UK. We are a school that strives for excellence in everything that we do. The implementation of an interactive digital wall system was a positive one and we found that it produced immediate results by increasing student engagement in all subject areas, including for students with special needs. Before incorporating the interactive system into our school, collaborative lessons were limited to two or three students working at an interactive display. Now, 10 or more students can work together on our interactive solution with more participating on their iPad’s or android tablets. The interactive solution has transformed our school’s classroom walls into vast interactive surfaces, taking collaborative student-led learning to new heights.
At St. Vincent’s we follow a project-based learning approach, where teachers first use the interactive solution to collate project ideas from the children. This allows the learning to be student- led and gives the teachers ideas as to what will engage their classes into the planned projects. We collate all these ideas onto a canvas along with our other colleagues across the year group, allowing for collaborative learning beyond one class. Planning in this way ensures that you can track progress over a period of time. The Head of Project-Based Learning (PBL) therefore uses the system to track project progress and share this information with teachers as a form of assessment. For students who haven’t yet gained the confidence to share ideas in class, using interactive software on tablets allows them more time to think about their contributions before sharing them on the canvas for everyone to see. This contributes to increase confidence and it encourages every student to participate. The reaction from the students and teachers to our interactive solution has been very positive. Children love being able to work together on a project and see the immediate results of the collaboration in front.
The interactive solution we use allows classes to work together on one activity, challenging their peers and sharing ideas. This excites the children and is an excellent way of children modelling for each other. It also been a wonderful tool for assessment as children can take a photo of their work and share it instantly onto the canvas. Our children have had positive reactions too with Aidan- Age 5 saying “I liked the whiteboard because it has new technology. I like the whiteboard because it is longer than three children.” Ben- age 10 also had a lot to say about the new technology. “The new whiteboard is extremely cool because it has features like pens that can write on it and things that look like sticky notes that we can all get up and write about our learning. It is a very big board so lots of people can work on it at the same time. My classmates and I absolutely love using the canvases because we can write for ages and ages since there is no end to it. Thank you to our teachers for buying them and I hope that there will be more things in the future like this.”
Charlotte is a Roehampton University graduate with a Primary Education degree specialising in English. Head of Computing and professional development at St Vincent’s Primary school in Mill Hill, she is a senior leader with 9 years teaching experience. She is passionate about using technology to engage and inspire learners within all areas of the curriculum, as well as the development of teachers own professional learning.