We believe front of class, whole class teaching, “chalk and talk” is not going away any time soon. However much technology you put in the classroom, the primary role of the teacher is to teach the class. Whole class teaching is here to stay. The introduction of the Interactive Whiteboard throughout the last 15 years in classrooms around the world has shown that technology evolves. First the Chalk Board, then the Whiteboard, then the Interactive Whiteboard, now the Interactive LED. What has changed however is how we use this technology. In this bog post we’ll have a look at some of the trends that we are seeing in the classroom but we’ll centre around the whole class teaching aspect as that is where the Interactive LED comes into play.
Google. What are they up to?
Hangouts. Drive. Classroom. All elements of Google that are used in the classroom. For this blog post, we want to take a look at the LMS or Learning Management System that is Google Classroom. Classroom from Google is a suite of software that allows a teacher to create and activity in Google Sheets or Google Forms, deliver it to a student via a linked Google Drive. The student then completes the activity and sends it to the teacher, via Google Drive to be marked. This is a very 1:1 nature and is not a whole class teaching piece. Google Classroom is not designed from what we can see to really be a whole class teaching doo. But dont worry, we have one that can help!
Chromebooks and whole class teaching
At under 200 bucks a device in some cases, Chromebooks are becoming the “go to” for many schools and Districts in their 1:1 initiatives. Driven primarily by the cost, then backed up with Google Classroom as we have seen above, Chromebooks are for sure the device of choice in many classrooms. Getting them into whole class teaching scenarios is not really something that Google is helping with but don’t worry – Contribute Cloud can certainly help. We’ll explain more later in this post. Chromebooks as I am sure you know are pretty much “web browser machines” they do not have the ability to really install any programs or Apps. A stroke of genius perhaps for the IT Administrator to manage these devices – they are somewhat of a dream.
This is the ability to send the screen of one machine over to another monitor, large TV or LED wirelessly. This is also something that we as a company get asked for a lot. Traditionally, Chrome Casting was designed with a ChromeCast Dongle so that you could send say your Netflix account over to your big screen TV. It has evolved and in the classroom, the teachers want the students to be able to send their screens wirelessly to the front of class display. This is casting. However, in a classroom, you are looking for a better way of doing things than an Apple TV or ChromeCast Dongle as both of these were designed for the time user. We do however, have a solution for you – read on.
It may seem a little biassed to include our own software, but there is a reason for this. It is custom designed by us to meet the needs of what we see and what we are asked for by our customers in the classroom. Contribute Cloud is a lesson creation platform, it is a lesson distribution platform (but in the whole class teaching sense rather than 1:1 like Google does) It is also a casting and multi-casting platform so it is particularly relevant for this blog post as it accomplishes two key elements above – casting and utilizing Chromebooks.
Contribute Cloud really fills the whole class teaching piece that Google Classroom leaves wide open. What Google Classroom is great for is creating an activity for the students in Sheets or Forms, sending it via Google Drive to the Students, they complete it, send it back, you mark it and send them their grades. What Contribute Cloud does is that it allows you to take that Google Doc, and share it on all the students displays in real time so that you can show and highlight the points that you want to emphasise or more so “teach” to the students. It is real-time, whole class collaboration. Modern day “chalk and talk”
If you would like to try the software, please head over to the Contribute Cloud
So we have examined very briefly some of the trends of whole class teaching, or really “teaching” trends that we are seeing. What is clear is that the tools for the masses such as Google Classroom or Chromebooks on their own don’t really assist in the whole class teaching space. They are arguably looking to more of a personalised learning environment or 1:1 learning. It is the manufactures such as TouchIT Technologies who are assisting with the whole class teaching element through their front of class displays and collaboration and casting software. As a package, this ties in both the Chromebooks and the front of class display to make the ideal whole class teaching space.