A visualiser is a lot more than a presentation tool – it can be used to reduce workload, to improve marking and assessment, to share ideas and to encourage inclusion for all. This blog covers the basics of visualisers and explores more complex ways they can be used to have a real impact on teaching and learning.
Visualiser technology is used in hundreds of thousands of classrooms up and down the country – usually simply to show objects in large scale on the interactive whiteboard – a nice visual for all pupils to see, for the teacher to refer to and to avoid crowding around a desk. Here's how they can be used:
Present on a large scale
At their most basic, visualisers allow you to show any item, object or piece of work on your classroom display – ideally with a robust visualiser with a mechanical arm rather than a lighter model with a gooseneck. This avoids the teacher holding things up in the air, passing things around or pupils crowding around a desk.
Save, annotate and share
Visualisers take non-digital, real-world objects and transform them into digital images which you can display, save and share for future use. Whether children’s work to show best practice, a video to demonstrate a technique such as a brush stroke in art or simple to keep an archive of content for future.
Everyone sees the same thing at the same time
Inclusion in teaching is a key objective of the Department for Education – ensuring every pupil receives the same learning experience. A visualiser ticks this box perfectly – all pupils are accessing the same content, and all can comment and contribute. Even more effective when a higher specification visualiser is used, with a better lens and more effective software.
Software built for teaching
Creative tools such as the Reveal Blind tool to pace a lesson, the Focus pen to focus attention and the image capture and video record. Demonstrate letter formation using a natural writing style (instead of blocking the view whilst writing vertically on the board) and record the technique. Then play it back to the class whilst walking around providing individual support.
Reducing workload and improving assessment
Visualisers facilitate a range of marking and assessment techniques. Front end feedback is a great example of this – show an example of good work under your visualiser prior to teaching a lesson, highlight the areas which are good and correct about it and the areas which require a little improvement. Doing so means you’ll avoid common mistakes being made by multiple pupils, avoid repetitive marking of the same errors and reduce the chance of this being repeated at a later date.
About the author
Ed Fairfield is Head of Education at Elementary Technology; a leading supplier of education technology into schools and an approved supplier onto the YPO 00920 Interactive Solutions Framework.
To get a full understanding of how the use of visualisers can improve teaching and learning you can contact us to discuss this, you can also book a demonstration to see the benefits first-hand.