What a crazy last twelve months it has really been. Do you have children in your classroom? Are they all there? Are there some learning from home whilst you are working with others in your room? Do you have some children in your classroom and some in a different room along the corridor, to make sure you are all following social distancing rules? Do you have some in your classroom, some down the corridor and some at home? Whatever your scenario, given the ways in which educators have worked so hard to ensure learning continues the last twelve months, there are a few consistencies… 

  1. It is not easy.
  2. Technology has proven a backbone and a lifeline.
  3. Wellbeing has never been so important.
  4. Managing behaviour and learning has never been so difficult. 

This is why we developed classroom.cloud. We were discussing it long before the pandemic started, as we knew that the future of our classroom management solutions had to be agnostic; both in terms of the technology being used and the location of students. It is like we had a crystal ball for what technology would be required to best support blended and hybrid learning in the future!  

To help teachers understand how classroom.cloud can aid them in the classroom, we thought Navigating a lesson for a classroom.cloud teacher might help them see how beneficial the tool is in supporting their work, regardless of device or geography of learners.  

In this example, we take a typical Year 7 History class in a secondary school. It has thirty students. Ten are in the classroom with the teacher. Ten are at home self-isolating. Ten are in a room down the corridor. Half of the class are using Chromebooks; the other half are using Windows laptops. The lesson starts at 0910, straight after registration. Microsoft Teams is being used alongside classroom.cloud as a means of video conferencing, which helpfully means that the classroom teacher’s classes are already populated inside classroom.cloud via the SIS integration.  

0910 – Start of the lesson 

“Welcome class,” says the teacher as she locks the students’ devices (using classroom.cloud) so they can only use Teams and are unable to open any other tools. “I’m just going to take the register. Please make sure your cameras and mics are turned on so I can see and hear you while I do the register. Thank you.”

0915 – Do now 

As the register is completed, the teacher wants to engage in a quick retrieval activity to see what students can remember from their previous lesson, a lesson three lessons ago and another lesson from six weeks ago. Using the survey tool in classroom.cloud, she quickly pulls up her saved questions and polls the class to check their understanding. With this now done, she now shares her screen and audio with the students and introduces the topic and explains the Tier 1, 2 and 3 keywords to the students in her lesson.  

0925 – Class activity

The teacher goes to the ‘Quick Launch’ section of her classroom.cloud interface and opens a website resource she would like her students to read. There’s no time wasted waiting for students to open the page, and whilst they are reading the resource, she quickly uses the viewer to make sure they are all scrolling through the pages. 

0929 – I am stuck! 

At 0929, Sharifah, a student learning from home, messages the teacher using the chat tool in classroom.cloud to ask a question.  

0935 – Main activity 

“Ok class, I now would like you to complete this keyword activity card. I would like you to pick one Tier 1 word, one Tier 2 and a Tier 3. I’d like you to complete each of the activities using the template I just shared with you in your assignment in Teams and I’d like you to submit it back to me in 15 minutes.”  

The students continue with the work while the teacher virtually ‘patrols’ the classrooms her students are in: she checks the thumbnail view of the screens of the students in front of her, as well as those in the room down the corridor and those at home, while making sure she can also keep an eye on the live chat in case anyone needs help. For flexibility, she has allowed Teams, Word, PowerPoint, Edge/Chrome/Safari to be open and has created an ‘allowed’ list of websites which she has shared to help the students complete their task. 

It just takes a few clicks to help create the conditions for success with supportive behaviours for learning by keeping the students on the right track.  

0950 – Wrapping it up 

“Right class,” she says into her microphone on her device and loud enough so those in her classroom can hear her too. “Let’s do some cold calling!”  

Using the Random Select mode in classroom.cloud, students are chosen at random; “David, if ‘keyword’ is the answer, what is the question?”. Down the corridor, David speaks into his microphone and responds positively but not perfectly. Random Select mode is used again, “Alison, how could David improve his answer?”. With Alison responding well, another student is chosen. “Ria, use ‘this keyword’ correctly in a sentence”. Ria gives a great response and is rewarded a house point via the built-in classroom.cloud reward system. Another student is chosen, “Mark, can you use ‘this different keyword’ in a sentence like Ria just has?” … 

As the lesson draws to a close, the teacher uses the survey tool one more time to do an understanding and a wellbeing check-in and shares their homework with them as an assignment in Teams.  

She thanks her class, and they move on to their next lesson.