The visualiser has been around for some time; however, recent events have seen a surge in the use of visualisers in classrooms and they are becoming a popular alternative to crowding around a demonstration or PowerPoint for. The equipment is used to project a high-definition image of what is being viewed through the visualiser lens to a central screen, which includes a realm of other features such as video recording, time-lapse, and more.
It is a fundamental piece of equipment when it comes to demonstrating and recording practical’s, techniques, processes and materials, the visualiser can be used across most, if not all subjects. It allows the teacher to model, demonstrate, give live feedback and marking, time-lapse and record with to the whole class quickly and easily.
Essential kit for a modern educator?
Tried and tested by teachers across all subjects, visualisers are simple to use, with fast easily accessible training on all features and works perfectly in any lesson. Sharing best practice and resources across the school means it is an excellent whole school purchase.
It can also be used cross-campus to share live videos and experiments with other schools. Many English, Maths, Science and D&T and Art teachers are now using the visualiser daily but any subject could utilise the features and benefits from RE to business studies and even sports theory could be taught using this comprehensive tool.
If adopted and used effectively the visualiser will prove to be a very helpful tool in helping students maximise their learning and improve engagement across a multitude of subjects and lessons.
A perfect tool for teaching a variety of subjects across the whole school. Here is why the visualiser can become an essential tool for teaching…
- Share live videos and experiments – especially effective for intricate and detailed work and techniques. Enabling teachers to create or demonstrate in real-time, with all students able to watch and learn from their desks.
- Record time-lapse videos – filming over a few days then enabling teachers to talk through the process of what is happening and why. Stages within a process can be easily digested and understood as a whole process.
- Whole class display – a realm of artefacts can be shown such as maps, electronic circuits, song lyrics, an x-ray, delicate objects, artwork, fine print, books for reading together. The list is endless.
- Modelling – showcasing, modelling skills from solving problems to demonstrating a process such as letter formation, annotating diagrams, answering exam questions, reading a thermometer to counting objects or how to use the equipment. Anything you can think of that can be modelled.
- Zoom in on fundamental elements of a material, technique, or process
- Film practical work – from drawing techniques to measuring angles correctly or bringing a book to life
- Demonstrate and explain – great for teachers to present and demonstrate but also good for students to show and tell and promoting peer and self-assessment.
- Live feedback – saves teachers time by avoiding re-marking the same mistakes over again.
- Images and videos can be easily captured and digitally stored for later use, analysing or marking.
- Analysis – enabling the analysis of what has happened, why and how to improve it.
The visualiser removes unnecessary, redundant information and elements of PowerPoint that can be distracting such as sounds and effects and focuses on ‘emphasising’ important information.
As well as the functionality above, the equipment will enable teachers to try new techniques that will improve productivity and save teaching time. One of the biggest benefits is using a visualiser to support peer and self-assessment to provide Live Feedback – enabling teachers to give on the spot, real-time feedback of student works. Demonstrating the correct way of doing something or the correct answer, then getting students to amend their work – saving teaching time, reducing marking time, and improving both productivity and comprehension.
Demonstrating an example of what something ‘should’ look like is an excellent method for getting students to collaborate and discuss what they like. This can work well the other way, asking students what they think could be improved? Work can be presented anonymously if preferred. It is also proven that showcasing top-performing students’ work on screen, to the entire class can have extremely positive effects on building confidence and motivation to learn, work well and can even increase self-efficacy.
An aid to focusing…
Cognitive Load Theory considers the working memory and how students learning can slow or stop completely if presented with too much information – causing them to ‘overload’ because the brain can no longer process all information being given. If given irrelevant information whilst learning it can overload and clog the working memory, meaning they will remember the irrelevant parts rather than the fundamental information – this is known as the Redundancy Effect. The visualiser eliminates this because it removes the unnecessary information that can constrain concise learning through other tools such as PowerPoint presentations.
Enabling teachers to focus on emphasising important information that students need to learn – ultimately replacing irrelevant information from focus and replacing it with key learning outcomes. This organised and structured way of teaching will help children absorb information that is then transferred and stored to the long-term memory, resulting in easy recall when they need it.
Introducing the use of visualisers is also known to help with the development of students metacognitive learning. Enabling teachers to develop their teaching techniques clearly and in real-time, encourages problem-solving and answering questions raised, ultimately resulting in students gaining knowledge and of the topic and strategy which means they will be much more likely to transfer this knowledge to other problems of a similar nature.
Addressing all learning styles… getting the best out of everyone!
You may already be aware that there are several different styles when it comes to learning and the learning style of an individual student will vary across four main types. Below are some suggestions for each learning style and how it can be enhanced using a visualiser.
Learn better through the tense of touch, through hands-on experiences and rehearsal.
These learners will benefit from taking part in experimentation and practical’s themselves so demonstrating to the class and then asking them to replicate the activity or process will help instil deeper learning. Benefits such as modelling and live recordings will also help this group see how something works in real-time, able to digest ‘how’ something works when demonstrated tangibly in front of them. Why not ask students to do the experiments using the visualiser to the whole class, getting the class to feedback with their thoughts – a great way to bring in collaboration. These learner types are practical and will enjoy the hands-on practice.
Outdoor activities are also a stimulus for this group. You could set them a research or gathering task that is carried out outdoors and then use the visualiser to analyse workings and findings.
Stimulated by the sense of sight, visual learners will learn more effectively through imagery, pictures, and spatial learning. As the visualiser is all about visualisation, it is a perfect learning aid for visual learners. The use of all features and functionality will help students ‘visualise’ the subject matter. This may be an art drawing, science experiment or even how to use a ruler correctly. Time-lapse and recordings will give them access to visualisation on the fly for revision or group discussion.
For audio learners sound and music are the biggest stimuli for absorbing and retaining information. Giving teachers a tool for comprehensive demonstration and teaching, will enhance their ability to teach precisely, clearly, and vocally. Video recording also enables this group to listen again to footage if they need further revision.
For these types of learners, the act of reading and writing will help them learn better than any other sensory learning style. The visualiser will enable teachers to emphasise writing and reading whilst demonstrating and teaching. Demonstrations and analysis can also be carried out whilst asking students to write down their thoughts, findings, and feedback whilst watching. Also, a great piece of equipment for reading with the class and explaining something from a book or text-book extract. It is also the perfect tool for demonstrating writing techniques in English! And recording for later revision or use with another class.
Students may be solely aligned to one of the above learning styles, however, in many cases children will learn through a few styles with one being more predominant. The visualiser tackles all four learning styles through one tool, keeping students of all abilities engaged throughout lessons.
A Perfect Solution for Safer Teaching and Learning
COVID-19 has taken the world by storm and twelve months down the line we are still adapting our processes to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. Even though restrictions are easing, it is still crucial that we reduce risk where possible and the use of a visualiser in classrooms is an excellent solution for distance learning and minimising crowding. Reducing group work regarding a physical space does not mean you have to reduce opportunities for collaboration between your students – in fact, considering all the benefits, it can be used as a valuable tool for encouraging collaborative classroom learning. It does not mean students cannot present their findings at the front of the class or even via video for other students to share and join in the conversation, with or without teacher intervention.
I would love to use visualisers in our school to take advantage of the worked example effect and help pupils to learn even better!
I purchased visualisers as my first big thing when I started at my new school. My colleague took our visualiser to teach another class and now I cant live without it.
We have fantastic visualiser in our school. They show a whole A3 page! And it's so clear – a game changer for us in English. Created characters profiles with them today with year 11. Love my visualiser.
We now have visualisers in every room… and cannot wait to build them into our daily routine, making the most out of modelling and live feedback.
Grateful is not the word for having visualiser is every classroom! A teaching transformation.
A visualiser in every room! Changed the way I have taught most of my lessons and for physics and absolute must have!