Teacher Testimonials on the Visible Classroom
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Teacher Testimonials on the Visible Classroom

So, the tablets came in. Obviously we logged them all on, explained the technology
to the children. At first, they were all, sort of,
very, very excited by it, this idea of something new
in the classroom and the fact that they would get
enjoyment out of it. Almost instantly,
we noticed the children actually referring back
to the tablets, looking at what
the teacher had said and just seeking clarification
on that, really. So, in that respect, it was really,
really good as well. The children used it almost as
a subtitle to the lesson. So, whenever I was teaching,
they could then reread things that they had missed
the first time. I’ve got a number of children
in the classroom, and I think we’re
both the same, a number of children
in the classroom that do tend to switch off
quite a bit. So, it meant that they then were able
to read back what they had missed and have a look at it. It also meant that when you were
working with a group, and you set instructions
for another group, the rest of the groups
were able to go, “What was it we were supposed
to do?” and reread that. Or, particularly in the lesson
I have literally just had observed, I was working with some children, they were really struggling
on something, so I was giving them some hints
and some tips and things like that that they needed to use,
and what I didn’t realise is that the other table were then using those
to further their own learning too, so it impacted within the two. I think it allowed me
to certainly see what I was saying. Obviously, when you’re teaching,
you’re kind of teaching at 100 miles per hour plus. You’re focusing on one thing
and then you’re focusing on another and you’re focusing on them,
and before you know it, you’re back to the other thing. So, often you say things
and don’t necessarily remember what you are saying and you don’t
necessarily even have time, in such a hectic profession,
to look back at that. So, I think from that point
of view, again, going back to that referring
to it, it was really useful to see, “What did I actually say
to them there? “OK, so why did they not understand
that concept?” Look back at it, “OK.
Now I’ve identified what I’ve said, “maybe I can change that
for next time to be worded in a way “in which they could understand
it.” So, I think in that respect,
it had a really good impact. I felt that it did have a massive
impact, actually. In terms of children’s
understanding within that lesson, I think children made better
progress within the lessons that were captioned because
the opportunity to recap things that they weren’t sure about
without having to wait for me to come round and explain it,
I think eased it quite a lot. It also taught me to slow down, which meant the children were
listening better. It also taught me ways to improve
my own lessons by looking back through the big feedback sheet, and looking back
through the captions as well. Yeah, I think it frees you up as
well to work with a group because, for example, if you haven’t got
a TA in there, I can spend half my lesson going
round and repeating the instruction to every single table that I’ve got,
some days. So, if I can just go,
“Oh, just look back at your tablet,” and they can do that themselves,
then it frees me up to then sit and work
with a focus group. From my own personal point of view,
it’s referring back, looking at my teaching, seeing not
where I can go wrong necessarily, but where I can improve,
which areas I can develop. But also with the children as well,
it’s an extra resource for them and it is seeing which ways
they can develop as well through the use of the technology. I think it’s a good way
of improving your own practice because when you do observations
and sit and think about your lesson and you reflect on it a bit more, I think those are better
opportunities, but it takes the pressure off
of being observed. So, you are being observed
and you are able to look back on your lesson in the way
you would do for an observation, but without the pressure and nerves
of someone being in there. Definitely, I think that
is a really big, big part of it. I think the feedback that we got,
the big feedback, that was really useful
in terms of questioning and also the percentage
of your lesson, how much you are feeding back
and how much you were recapping, I think that made me think twice
about it and think perhaps next year a target
could be my plenaries and stuff because that wasn’t as much as
I would have liked it to have been. I think it’s quite good
for targets. Yes, I remember looking at mine
and thinking how many times I recapped previous learning,
actually I was really surprised I did not do it as much
as I thought I should have done. So, I started to do that
more often. And it told me how quickly
I was talking. I don’t know if you read that bit,
but I was like, I talk too quickly. I never realised that! So, then I started really, really
consciously thinking about slowing down
while I was teaching. I actually noticed an impact that
that had on the children as well.

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