There’s more to learning than ‘either or’ technology

For many years Dave Smith, Computing and eSafety Adviser with Havering Education Services has helped schools that are interested in using visualisers for whole-class sharing of visual and digital resources. Now he’s suddenly coming across people who think the choice is either iPads/tablets or visualisers.

Why do people working with educational technology suddenly get taken with an ‘either or’ mentality?

There is, of course, an antidote: keep the technologies that you are comfortable with and ensure they work well with new ones they want to adopt. You can find schools where teachers and learners have been very comfortable with their IWBs and are happily continuing to use them alongside iPod Touches, iPads, LearnPads, Surfaces, laptops, desktop PCs or whatever else takes their fancy. They do this in all sorts of interesting ways, even sharing materials from their iPads (via AppleTV) on their SMARTBoards and then using the board’s interactive tools to develop them further…

To read the full article and tips on getting it right click here.

Visualisers help ensure better outcomes during Ofsted

Are you awaiting an imminent inspection?
Are you trying to improve the Quality of Teaching and Behaviour and Safety judgements in your school?

Well, a visualiser can help you to address these aspects of your schools provision…
Ofsted’s framework for school inspection states that
‘When evaluating the quality of teaching in the school, inspectors will consider the extent to which:

 ・teachers have consistently high expectations of pupils
 ・teachers improve the quality of learning by systematically and effectively checking pupils’ understanding in lessons, and making appropriate interventions
 ・reading, writing, communication and mathematics are well taught’
Used well a visualiser can help teachers to ensure that the quality of teaching in lessons is consistently high.  By sharing outcomes of pupils work, demonstrating and modelling techniques and methods under the visualiser can help ensure that pupils make good progress and have a clear understanding in lessons.  For example, when teaching angles in mathematics, the visualiser allows a teacher to demonstrate how to use a protractor to accurately measure angles in a way that could not be easily achieved otherwise.  Furthermore, sharing lesson objectives in an English lesson, followed by sharing a class text and then modelling the construction of a piece of text can then allow pupils’ understanding and outcomes to be subsequently checked by sharing their work under the visualiser during the plenary of a lesson.  Thus, also engaging pupils in peer assessment to check their own understanding of whether they have achieved the desired learning intention or not.

Furthermore, the ‘framework for school inspection’ states that
‘When evaluating the behaviour and safety of pupils at the school, inspectors  will consider: 

・pupils’ behaviour around the school and in lessons, including the extent of low-level disruption’
By ensuring that all pupils are able to see a teaching resource through the medium of the visualiser and projected image, any ‘low-level disruption’ can be avoided.  Further still, by recording a demonstration in advance of the lesson using the Elmo Image Mate software teachers can share the video with pupils, whilst focussing-on effective questioning techniques and concentrating on engaging with pupils  – thus eliminating any disruption and ensuring a clear focus on effective learning.
So, perhaps it is time to review your classroom technologies and consider how the introduction of visualisers could help your school to improve outcomes for pupils in line with Inspectors’ expectations. 
Have a go, you could be pleasantly surprised at the result.

Japanese Ministry of Education visit Havering


On Tuesday 2nd October 2012, a delegation from the Japanese Ministry of Education consisting of representatives from 12 prefectures (local authorities) visited Scargill Junior School in the London Borough of Havering. The delegation were treated to a tour of the school where ICT was being used to support teaching and learning in every class. iPads, PSPs, visualisers, interactive whiteboards, iMovie, GarageBand, Flip cameras, the London Managed Learning Environment and more was being used confidently by pupils and staff in imaginative ways to impact on pupil outcomes. Headteacher Mrs Amanda Ireland and ICT Leader Mrs Karen Webley, ably assisted by the School’s Digital Leaders shared their thoughts with the delegation on the benefits of ICT. The delegation were very impressed at the array of ICT in action and were delighted to see the expressions of joy and interest on the pupils’ faces as they not only worked hard but had fun too.

On Wednesday, the delegation are off to The Brittons Academy to explore the Brittons’ approach to Bring Your Own Device…

Continue reading

How to use an Elmo visualiser and wireless slate in the classroom

Pupils at Scotts Primary School have created a film to demonstrate how an Elmo visualiser and wireless slate can be used to support teaching and learning.  Well done to the children at Scotts Primary School and their Deputy Headteacher, Mrs Jan Taylor, as well as Gary Trotter of the Elmo Company for supporting the project.

Visit Scotts Primary School’s website here

For more ideas on how to use visualisers visit the following websites:-

Win a Visualiser!

Extract from Ewan McIntosh’s blog – add your best use for a visualiser and let’s try and bring that visualiser home to a Havering school!

“…And the best suggestion on how to use it over the next week will get one. On my continuing posts from last week’s adventures, I must let you know about something I won.

I never win anything, so I was quite excited to win one of the new generation of visualisers at the TeachMeetcharity raffle, courtesy of the Visualiser Forum, represented by Dave Smith. You know, the ones you see in lecture halls and being used by Edward de Bono during his talks.

Basically, though, it’s sitting in London, waiting for a home with someone who would use it far more frequently and far better than I would. I want to give it away. To know who would use it best, I’d like to open up the opportunity to my blog reading colleagues in the UK (simply for ease of getting hold of the thing) to write a quick comment on this post telling me how on earth you would put this visualiser to use in your context. Feel free to email the blog post address to colleagues and put in a group effort, on several different comments. The best one – for me – wins.

If you want some ideas you might want to check out the new Visualiser Forum blog, a community blog pulling together ideas from kinds of disciplines and levels. Currently, the large pristine box is sitting in an office just off London’s Central Line and, ideally, you would be able to pick it up from there. In the meantime, tell me what you would do with this.”

For the Redbridge view on visualisers click on 

HIAS Early Years’ ICT Project Gathering Pace – visit the EYICT Blog

The Havering Early Years’ ICT Project designed to develop effective use of ICT in the Foundation Stage is certainly gathering pace.  Practitioners from across schools and private, voluntary and independent settings are participating in the project.  They are examining the positive impact that ICT is having on Foundation Stage children.

The project is focussing on role-play equipment, a variety of software, visualisers, tablet PCs, digital cameras, animation, digital stills cameras, programmable toys, talking tins etc…

Visit the blog to find out more… 

Carole Jacques – HIAS Early Years’ Advisor and Dave Smith  – HIAS ICT Consultant 

Elmo – Havering Visualiser Pilot – Would you like to get involved? Heavily discounted visualisers available to participants.

As part of a project to continue to develop the effective use of visualisers in the primary classroom, Elmo are offering 5 visualisers on a sale-or-return basis.  The RRP is £650 and they are offering them for £300 to the 5 schools who would like to be a testbed during the Summer Term 2008.

The visualisers will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.

What does the project involve?

  • A demonstration of the technical capabilities of the visualiser
  • Exploration of ideas for the effective implementation of visualisers in the primary classroom and to support assemblies
  • Sharing of outcomes to further enhance and promote the use of visualisers in education

What will you be expected to do?

  • Attend 2 meetings: one to see the visualiser in action and one to feedback outcomes
  • Demonstrate effective use of the visualiser in the primary classroom
  • Provide feedback on the effective use of visualisers in the primary classroom – possibly to be used in a Elmo case-study

Sharing outcomes 

The project will be run by Elmo in association with the HIAS ICT Team and the feedback will be shared via the ICT in Havering Blog and Primary ICT meetings.  The focus is on developing effective use of visualisers.

If you are interested please contact

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards,

Dave Smith

HIAS ICT Consultant