There are just over seven weeks left until the end of term, what better way to end than with a new weekly tip / trick /tool to use each week. Below are 7 simple ICT classroom tricks that can be implemented straight away, they require no preparation, cost or time.
Week 1: Monitors OFF!
When you want the students’ attention or you want to address them as a whole, ask them to turn their monitor off. I see so many staff struggling to talk to a class while students are clearly more engaged in what is on their screen.
Week 2: Red – Help, Orange – just thinking
It is sometime near impossible to see every student in the classroom, it becomes difficult to know where to direct your focus and support. I get students to load a PPT slide and format the background to bright red. If they have a really urgent question that is stopping them from progressing forward, they display the red screen. You can quickly see who needs support.
However, students must first display an orange slide which indicates to other students that they require some support. Other students then help them, before teacher intervention.
Week 3: Green, Orange, Red
An upgrade on the above idea, students create three slides, one red, one orange and one green. Use these for mini plenaries and gauging the general temperature of the learning. At various points in the lesson ask the students to display the colour (full
screen) that reflects say, who thinks they are achieving a particular level, who knows how to improve their work and so on.
Week 4: Windows 7 sticky notes
Before the end of the lesson, students load up the ‘sticky notes’ and add a quick memo or overview to their desktop. Next time they log in they have a reminder what they were doing or need to do.
Week 5: Have you PAGED yet?
To foster independent learning and resilience, students are not allowed to ask me, the teacher for help until they have Paged.
P – Program Help (F1)
A – Asked another student
G – Goggled it
E – Experiment – if you make a mistake you can always ‘undo’ it
Week 6: Paint
Paint is a program that students seem to want to use to doodle, let them! Get them to draw key concepts, keywords or ideas.
Playing ‘win, lose or draw’ always goes down well as an activity, students take a key concept and have to sketch it. (no words or numbers) Other students have to guess the concept.
Week 7: Experts and Lead Learners
Have you got several very able students that race ahead and complete the work very quickly? Use them, get them to design and deliver learning activities for the lessons. They can support other students and show them methods and skills. It also enriches their learning experience rather than waiting for other students to catch up with them!