I still distinctly recall mine. I was seven, and my teacher was the first (and only) male teacher I had during my time at primary school – much more of a rarity back in the seventies. Mr Green introduced me to so many innovative ideas that I replicated many years later in my own teaching practice – including creating stories based on each half term’s curriculum that featured the class as characters.
One morning, we arrived to find the room transformed. Different tasks were set up around the room. Tables and been moved, and the reading alcove had become… the Bat Cave!
The day was spent moving around the room, completing tasks, finding clues, writing answers on the chalk board and, upon presenting our teacher with the correct code, finally gaining access to the Bat Cave. Funnily enough, I can’t remember what was inside the Bat Cave; I just remember the excitement of solving the clues and getting the solution.
It’s only now, years later – and with two decades under my belt as a teacher – that I realise how much time and effort must have gone into creating that day. Experience days really are a labour of love – the above and beyond mentality of so many colleagues around the world. For the benefits of experiential learning cannot be underestimated. From burying “Egyptian artefacts” deep into a school flower bed to organising a confused but willing clutch of colleagues into helping me convince a whole year group that their teachers and peers have been replaced by aliens – I have enjoyed creating so many amazing memories for the children I have taught. But my memory of that day with Mr Green got me thinking, can we recreate it using technology - and hopefully save some of the time that would have been spent on doing it by hand?
Finding new ways to engage children is always at the heart of what we do, and technology can play a huge part in facilitating that. So, I sat down with LYNX Whiteboard and thought about an interactive lesson that I could create – turning our presentation software into an interactive game. Sticking with the superhero theme, I became Captain Clevertouch, with my trusty sidekick, the Lynx, by my side. Students play as the Lynx, solving clues to find Captain Clevertouch, who has been kidnapped by his nemesis. The challenges are all created using aspects of LYNX Whiteboard - be it maths games, spelling, art, etc. – leading to a combination of numbers that will set the good Captain free.
And here’s where it gets even more interesting. The Clevertouch panels can connect to either virtual or physical triggers via Clevertouch Live. The virtual triggers involve buttons on your phone or tablet, and when you press them our touchscreen’s content will change. Physical triggers are buttons - so we’ve built a plinth with a big red button under a Perspex dome, locked with a padlock. Once players solve the clues, they enter the 4-digit code into the padlock, open the dome and press the button; causing the content on the screens to change and freeing Captain Clevertouch.
Whilst the physical button might not be an option for the average classroom, this lesson can be recreated using virtual triggers - and the best thing is, you can reuse the content again and again with no setup required!
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