Collaborative learning is necessary to cultivate the 21st-century skills required by employers. However, student collaboration requires a sophisticated approach.
Supporting you as you strive to develop meaningful collaboration in the classroom – without having to invest in costly or complicated new hardware – ClassFlow is the one-stop-shop for all your educational technology needs.
With the pressure of SATs and Ofsted inspections, teachers are under more pressure than ever before to ensure pupils succeed academically. Against this backdrop of “hoop-jumping”, delivering high-quality lessons that keep students interested, and do more than just teach the curriculum remains a constant challenge.
However, it’s a challenge that teachers must overcome to ensure that today’s pupils leave education with the skills tomorrow’s employers need – with active, collaborative, relevant, engaging, and pupil-owned educational experiences helping to prepare students for real-life.
So, just how can teachers create the collaborative classrooms and rich educational experience they seek to deliver?
ClassFlow provides teachers with a range of collaborative learning techniques and tools; empowering pupils to work together and thoughtfully solve problems.
With ClassFlow you can:
- Deliver interactive, collaborative lessons with the dynamic flow of information between teacher and student devices (e.g. SMART Boards, ActivPanel, tablets, notebooks, laptops, Chromebooks, etc.)
- Facilitate collaboration between teachers and pupils, either in person or remotely
- Use built-in collaborative work spaces and chat functionality to support simultaneous contributions and real-time communication regardless of location
- Create interactive team-based activities
- Share learning in real-time with the whole classroom, increasing class discussion and participation
- Increase exposure to and understanding of different perspectives
- Develop higher-level thought, oral communication skills, responsibility, self-esteem and leadership skills
- Customise content, tasks, and lessons depending on the ability and learning style of each pupil or group of pupils
- Extend learning beyond the classroom, instilling independent problem-solving skills.
1. Introduce collaborative learning across different devices
The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative is one of the most significant developments in educational technology, allowing children to use technology the way they do at home, and in the most natural way for them.
But does a myriad of devices and operating systems cause problems for teachers seeking to facilitate collaborative lessons?
Not with ClassFlow.
With ClassFlow you can use all your teaching materials from platforms such as Google Docs, PowerPoint and other web-based content on one device-agnostic and cloud-based platform.
Connecting to ClassFlow is easy:
- Create a free ClassFlow account at https://classflow.co.uk
- Create lessons, and assignments
- To share ClassFlow lessons and assessments with pupils, provide them with the five digit class code found at the top right of each Class List.
TIP: By having students sign up for their own ClassFlow accounts, you can allocate assignments for pupils to work on outside of class.
2. Create collaborative learning experiences with ClassFlow
Collaborative learning can take a variety of formats, such as quick, active learning activities or longer term group projects. Here are just some of the ways ClassFlow can help you to create a collaborative learning environment:
Introduce flipped learning methods
ClassFlow allows learning to take place beyond the classroom, delivering content that students can access anytime, anywhere.
By logging into ClassFlow pupils can:
- Access lessons and assignments outside the classroom
- Complete assignments or assessments at their own pace
- Save assignments or tasks to be resumed where they left off
- Add comments to assignments and communicate with their teacher and fellow pupils.
Facilitate classroom discussions
ClassFlow lets pupils send their answers, from their device, in real-time. This learning can then be shared with the whole class, raising questions that further stimulate discussion.
One way to do this is via Polls. Pupils can send a response while a poll is in progress, and you can discuss these answers with the rest of the class.
To create a poll:
- Make sure your students are connected to your lesson
- Select a teacher or student card from within a lesson
- Select to open the Polls menu
- Select a poll type
- If required, (for multiple choice and sort polls) fill out the fields and select Start Poll. All other polls will start automatically once selected
- Monitor incoming responses by selecting the progress bar. You can also check who hasn’t yet responded via Pending Responses in the top left window
- Close the Results Viewer once done.
Create study groups
ClassFlow lets you create study groups and send these groups assignments based on their ability, level, and learning style. With this approach, pupils are more likely to play an active role in group activities and are less liable to become disengaged and frustrated.
To create a group using ClassFlow:
- Go to Classes and select a class
- Select then Add Group. The ‘New Group’ panel opens and displays the class list on the left and an empty group area on the right
- Rename the group and select Save
- Select Add Sub Group and give it a new name
- Select Add Student and click on the students you want to add
- Select Save.
It can be difficult for less confident pupils to shine in group activities. However, ClassFlow can be used to assign specific responsibilities to individual students within groups, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to contribute.
To assign a task using ClassFlow:
- Go to Resources and highlight the relevant assignment
- Click Assign
- Select a class from the menu
- Check the Scored box (optional) to make the assignment scored and select a maximum score
- Under Assigned To select to choose assignees
- Select which pupils you want to assign a task to
- Select the start, end date and time of the assignment
- Select Deliver.
Encourage pupils to evaluate their own success.
With ClassFlow, pupils can feedback on how well they think they collaborated. Letting pupils see first-hand what behaviours are needed for a group to work together, this approach teaches them to become better collaborators. One way to do this is to use the Instant Whiteboard to start a pupil collaboration or brainstorming session.
To run an Instant Whiteboard session:
- Select the Whiteboard icon
- The Instant Whiteboard will open with the Pen tool selected
- Start annotating, or select pen to change the colour or width, or select the Highlighter tool
- Select Share to enable participants to jointly edit the lesson
- Copy and paste the link onto a card, exit edit and then share the card with your connected students
- Select Clear All Annotations to clear the display, or select Eraser to remove selected annotations.
When you exit the Instant Whiteboard Presenter, the lesson will be saved in ClassFlow. This gives you the option to edit the lesson or play it again.
3. Create collaborative lessons with ClassFlow lesson builder
It’s not just pupils that benefit from collaborative learning spaces, teachers can also use co-operative lesson planning to design classes based on their combined reflections, needs and discussions. Collaborative planning has been shown to improve cross-curricular learning and maximise resources across departmental boundaries, as well as fostering cooperation and trust between teachers.
To create a collaborative lesson in ClassFlow:
- Go to Resources and open the lesson you want to share, or select + New to create a new lesson
- Select Share
- Select Start Sharing this Lesson. Copy and paste the link and send it to those people you want to collaborate with
- Once someone starts collaborating with you, their presence will be revealed in the toolbar. You will also be able to see the card they are working on down the left-hand side of the screen
- To stop collaborating, select Stop Sharing. Collaborators will be given a message to let them know they have been disconnected.
Easy to use for both teachers and pupils alike, ClassFlow is your comprehensive go-to platform for collaborative learning. What’s more, by letting pupils play an active part in their studies, ClassFlow increases the depth of student engagement – making teaching more interactive and learning more complete.
A modern day enablement tool that enriches current learning methods and technology hardware, ClassFlow provides genuine answers to your teaching challenges.