What’s so great about having a visualiser in the classroom?

Chris Deeley

Chris Deeley is Managing Director of Elementary. He has nearly 20 years' experience in the Audio Visual (AV) Industry servicing schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions with AV solutions. In 2009, recognising the potential educational benefits of Visualisers, Chris launched thevisualisershop.com (a division of Elementary) the only dedicated comparison website to sell Visualisers to customers across the UK and Eire. Since it launch, the business has fast developed a high level of expertise and knowledge in advising a wide range of education sector customers on Visualisers and document camera solutions, with free demonstrations available for educational establishments.

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If you’re considering buying a visualiser, you’ve no doubt heard good things about how they enhance teaching. You may be aware of some of the things visualisers can do but would like to grow your knowledge.

Visualisers do what they say. They let you and your class visualise anything and everything. Anything that needs demonstrating; anything that needs showing; anything that needs sharing.

In a nutshell, they convert all things non-digital into a digital format, which you can then manipulate, save and share like any other digital image.

But introducing a visualiser to your classroom doesn’t mean you throw away everything you’re familiar with. What is so great about them is that they open up new ways of re-using trusted teaching resources. They provide a powerful enhancement to accepted teaching practices. They promote access to information and whole class inclusion.

They are also straightforward to operate - you don’t need to be a techie to use them, visualisers are very intuitive and simple to incorporate into your normal teaching.

You’re probably aware that at a basic level, a visualiser lets you show the details of a page of text or a 3D item to the whole class.

Here's a number of ways you can use visualisers for teaching and learning:

  • Demonstrate a procedure once, record it and then show the recording to other classes. This saves time and potentially money, and allows work to be shared across classes
  • Share learning objectives by using an electronic ‘conceal and reveal’
  • Turn the camera around to show images from outside the classroom; for example a bird’s nest in a tree, without the children having to move
  • Use in assembly to show pictures, certificates or medals
  • Use as a webcam to record childrens' plays or show – then post on the school website
  • Help visually-impaired children by displaying items in larger text
  • Show text that can’t be photocopied for copyright reasons
  • Give on-the-spot feedback to children so that they can improve during the lesson, rather than waiting for marked work to be returned
  • Use for peer reviews. Show different styles of work and get the class to comment and contrast them

Whilst visualisers are powerful tools on their own, by combining them with other technologies such as interactive whiteboards and laptops, the possibilities are almost endless.

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