As a result of using Twitter, I have developed some very important online relationships with companies that have an impact in the classroom. This particular blog, is about @IPEVO and the difference they have made to teaching and learning in classrooms throughout my school.
This is a ‘thank you’ blog.
At Greig City Academy, over the past 2-3 years, we have discussed the benefits of using visualisers in classrooms and have considered various options. The actual decision was raised at our leadership meeting over 18 months ago when we were reviewing the annual budget. This conversation hinged on purchasing one table-mounted visualiser per faculty and this proving to be a solution for teachers and the school, to improve feedback and evidence assessment and redrafting. n.b. it wasn’t the only solution discussed …
The final decision was a financial choice and a conclusion that was not taken lightly; one that would need sufficient time, investment and staff training. Due to the high-cost versus demonstrable impact, the evidence suggested that the purchase of such items would be questionable. The expensive outlay to provide specialised IT equipment for each faculty would exceed £500-£2000~ per faculty area, and with 10-12 distinct faculty areas within the school, we envisaged a cost of £20,000 or thereabouts. You do the maths.
This decision would only impact on 10 teachers or classrooms at any one time.
The temptation to buy new equipment and offer an opportunity to showcase student work, provide live-demonstrations, place student work under the camera for live-instant feedback was irresistible. The possibilities were endless, however, our budget was not and purchasing such items would have proven to be a thrifty expenditure.
I then started to dream …
It was there and then at our leadership meeting – how and why daydreaming can have its benefits – I recalled the relationship I had built up with @IPEVO when organising many TeachMeets during 2013-14. IPEVO were kind enough to sponsor the #TMLondon events I had organised and donated several IPEVO Point 2 View USB Cameras as prizes. To my delight, when first opening this product, I discovered that the IPEVO 2D Document Camera is high-quality, cheaper and a great alternative for the classroom. You can buy a 2PV camera on Amazon at around £50.
I daydreamed a little more and thought; I will kindly ask @IPEVO if they would like to donate a batch of cameras to the school so that we could test, trail and promote this smart little solution to the very expensive table-top visualiser. Then, over the summer holidays, some 2-3 months later, an automated email order arrived in my inbox!
“Your order for x100 @IPEVO visualisers has been successfully dispatched!”
I couldn’t believe it. I immediately emailed my headteacher to share the good news and sure enough, when arriving to school for GCSE results day (August 2013), there they were; all 100 @IPEVO cameras, beautifully packaged and sitting patiently in my office, ready to get to work!
In September 2013, I set about distributing 100 cameras to each teacher throughout the school. The software installation had already taken place, which meant that one camera could be used anywhere throughout the school; ideal for teachers teaching in several classrooms. After a demonstration, all that staff needed to do, was plug and play. The introductory email I sent to teaching staff is here.
Here are some images of the product, from closed-box, to desk use:
Teaching and learning:
I am lucky enough to have my own table-top solution and a portable device that I have been using for 10+ years. As an 18-year-old. I vividly recall this approach being used at Edge Hill University, where I attended a design technology residential. The impact was a simple-solution to aid teaching and learning and allow all students a close-up and detailed perspective of an item underneath the camera lens; similar to the microscopic / telescopic cameras used in science classrooms for experiments.
This teaching-technique has stuck with me for life and I use it in the classroom to this very day. Using a visualiser can transform subject-knowledge into real, evident understanding, using examples from (students/work in) the classroom. Most importantly, a visualiser allows you (the teacher) to animate the work in the classroom – completing the same learning-process you have asked students to attempt – by completing a live demonstration …
Here is a simple video on the ‘Crating technique’ I use with students. When attempting this type of drawing, students are asked to imagine a product and it’s component parts fitting inside a series of boxes or crates. This makes the sequence much easier to draw in the initial stages, rather than attempting to draw complex curves from scratch. The video below is one of the very first introductory stages. By capturing this working-process, snippets can easily recorded before, during or after lessons to build up a small library of resources. There is another example here.
I continued to tweet my excitement.
How are teachers using the visualiser?
Here is a great example of how the IPEVO visualiser can be used in the classroom. This photo shows student work under the camera and the IWB (interactive whiteboard) used to annotate student/teacher dialogue to assist with feedback.
On Wednesday 16th October 2013, Royce Hong, CEO of IPEVO visited us at Greig City Academy to see the visualisers in action. Here is what he said:
“Thank you very much for showing me around the Academy. It was great seeing my P2V visualizers in action. I was pleasantly surprised at how the visualizer is being used across different subjects, in different ways. It was certainly an eye-opening experience for me, and has inspired me in many ways in developing tools for learning.
I had a fantastic visit, [your staff] did a wonderful job showing me around the school. I had the chance to meet with several teachers and saw my visualizers in action.
It was an eye-opening experience to see how the subject courses are laid out and taught. They are very different from what we usually see in the United States. The teachers I met are all passionate and enthusiastic, and I can see the students are fully engaged through the sparkle in their eyes. I am especially impressed with the Design and Technology curriculum – something I wish we had in when I was in school! I am very glad that my designs are helping the classes to learn more effectively”. (Royce Hong)
This slideshow contains examples of work captured by teachers using the IPEVO camera in the following subjects: German, ICT, Geography, Science, English and Art. There are countless examples I could show you …
Well, there are three key points I wish to make.
Firstly, there has been a significant reduction in cost. Although IPEVO donated all 100-cameras to our school for free, if we did purchase x100 products, this would have cost approximately £5000. A 75% reduction in costs compared with the initial conversation mentioned at the start of this blog post. Secondly and most importantly, the impact visualiers are having in the classroom is clear to see across the entire school. Teachers are confident and capable using the equipment, and students are becoming increasingly comfortable displaying their work (on-screen) to their peers and using the camera to model understanding. How this translates to progress-over-time, would require a different evaluation than what is offered here.
Finally, as I move on to pastures new, I am delighted to say that IPEVO have promised to donate a further set of cameras to use in my new school. I can safely state, that IPEVO cameras do show impact in classrooms and are a more-affordable option for schools. I hope that given the above experience, we can use the above case-study as evidence of good practice and reflect back on aspects that can be improved in the near future …
- You can read another review here by Rob Butler (@cleverfiend).
- For other IPEVO products, look here. I’m now using 6 of their products in my classroom.