Visualisers are highly useful in classrooms. They turn something small, like a page of a book, or a piece of children’s work, into something big so that everyone can see it.
So when I did my banjo assembly this morning, I wanted to be able to show all 240 children the book I was using from. My point was, you see, that you only need 2 things to learn something new: practice and a good teacher, and I wanted to show that my ‘Teach Yourself Banjo’ book was a reasonable-to-moderate teacher.
Unfortunately I have no visualisers in my school, nor would a fixed visualiser in a classroom be of much use in the assembly hall.
So I logged the hall laptop into my school Google+ account and then used my personal Google+ account on my phone to video call (Google Hangout) with my school account.
The year 6 children who operate the equipment clicked ‘join this call’ when the call showed up, which meant I could sit still in ‘banjo posture’ whilst showing all the children in the Hall some of what was in my book. There was a bit of a lag in the sound, which was slightly off-putting for me, but the children could all see the music in the book, which meant I didn’t have to waste any time scanning images into slides, nor did I have to present the information to them ‘in tiny’ by holding it up in front of them.
It also only took 30 seconds from the logging in to the showing the images to the children.
So there you go: an almost-instant, kind-of-free visualiser. All you need is 2 Google+ accounts, a helpful Year 6 child, 1 laptop, 1 phone, 1 projector, 1 huge screen and an internet filter that allows Google+ and hangouts to work. No Problem.