It is the raison d’etre of educators to clear away the mists which obscure knowledge and understanding and to help learners move inexorably forward. Technology has advanced in one generation to the point where anyone with a web connection can stream live lessons or training sessions from anywhere in the world, on a device that fits into your hand. Something that was unimaginable just a few years ago and something that is completely taken for granted today, but it is amazingly powerful for our learners.
Teachers and senior leaders crave elegant solutions which allow them to expand on what they already do successfully in schools, combining tried and tested methods in the classroom and augmenting these to enhance learning opportunities. It is vital that the technology is adapted to the needs of the educator and the lesson, rather than the learning yielding to the limits and requirements of the technology.
As a teacher, I know that if I can use my voice and have a way to help my learners visualise the ideas and concepts that I wish them to grasp, I can teach any lesson. What could be a more elegant way of visualising and explaining ideas than something which has become synonymous with the teaching profession – the whiteboard.
I have been using Logitech Scribe to bring my dry-wipe whiteboard into the 21st century and it has allowed me to seamlessly share my lessons and professional development session with an audience at a distance online. Likewise, your school can have the power to take lessons that feel natural and classroom-based, and training to wherever the learners or audiences are.
In recent times, schools have coped with teaching lessons at a distance out of necessity, yet the visual experience is understandably diminished compared to the vibrant lessons available in person. Traditionally, the teacher or trainer has the full dexterity to write, draw, annotate, cross out and rub out things, add post-its and underline the important bit in triplicate and easily adapt the lesson if a value tangent presents itself as the lesson progresses. Learning is rarely a linear process and flexibility is key, so what you present to learners should allow you to circle back and reference what has come before, to link ideas and make those vital connections to new and old concepts. The Logitech Scribe enables the educator to live stream their dry-wipe whiteboard to an online audience and use the whiteboard just as they would in the classroom. No new training is necessary to get started.
I have been using the Scribe system in my own teaching and it has revolutionised my online teaching to actually feel like I’m back in a classroom again. No more computer mouse controlled virtual whiteboards, or attempting and failing to write legibly on my touchscreen laptop. Logitech Scribe was easy to install on a normal dry-wipe whiteboard by myself with just a few screws fitting, so any school should be able to add the system to a whiteboard in-house without costly additional support. Scribe can be managed easily in one place on the Logitech Sync platform, meaning you are always up to date.
The box contains an all-inclusive kit with all the cables and fittings you need to connect to a computer and get started. It also comes with the peace of mind of an extended warranty. The most striking element of the Logitech Scribe system is the camera unit with a long arm that attaches either to the top of the whiteboard with an additional bracket or to the wall just above it. This allows coverage of a whiteboard up to 1.2m in height and 1.8m in width, giving teachers ample space to explain their ideas. The camera looks back at the whiteboard content in real-time and shares crystal clear and visually enhanced live videos of what is on the board via popular livestream platforms used in schools, such as Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom, Google Meet and many more.
The content enhancement automatically enhances the colour and contrast of dry erase markers, making text and sketches easier to read, as well as recognising post-it notes and making them easier to see. A feature I have really found useful while I have been using Logitech Scribe in my own classroom is the presenter removal tool, which means that the presenter is digitally removed from the foreground of the livestream giving an unhindered view of the board while you are writing so the presenter can write or draw and speak about it at the same time and yet the audience has a clear view of the board.
Having the flexibility to write and draw what I need in a format that suits me has been invaluable in so many ways. When teaching online before, I would have to comprise by assuming what I needed to include in PowerPoint ahead of time and therefore it would be difficult to deviate from that. I would also be constrained in what I could write on the screen with what I was able to type. With Logitech Scribe, I can write long division maths in its full glory as it should be. I don’t have to think about searching through menus to change between typing and annotating, I don’t have the issue of searching for special characters, and I can build up and explain diagrams bit by bit one piece at a time. There are so many instances where subject teachers have felt their own frustrations of having difficulty including specialist text or annotations during virtual learning, but the flexibility of live-streaming your whiteboard means the only limit is imagination. One notable example from my own classroom is the flexibility of using my existing whiteboard in my Mandarin Chinese club so that I can write the Chinese characters in stages in my own handwriting and explain their formation as I go.
The One-Touch share button removes any barriers to entry for starting to livestream so no additional training is needed. Tap the button to instantly begin sharing the whiteboard and start collaborating. This has exciting possibilities beyond the classroom too. Tap the One-Touch button to ensure everyone is in the loop by securely livestreaming your governor meetings, and even improve your community engagement and share your vision by speaking directly to the school community.
I am very excited about what Scribe can offer to staff training and professional development. As a teacher who enjoys sharing the best of what I do in my classroom, the ability to effortlessly share my whiteboard from a lesson I have just completed, or even share the live whiteboard from an ongoing lesson when something is too good not to share, has been a revelation. Schools are increasingly looking to collaborate with colleagues in other schools and even in other countries to share ideas and exchange best practice. The simple yet powerful capabilities of Logitech scribe allows educators to share their lesson ideas at the touch of a button.
You can read more about the creative ways I have been using Scribe in my classroom in the UKEd Magazine [Link TBA] and share your own ideas using the hashtag #GetEveryoneOnBoard. There’s also an opportunity to enter a prize draw to win a free Logitech Scribe using the link.
There is no going back to the way things were and learning and sharing online at a distance is something which schools are now not only doing out of necessity but because there are many benefits to having the flexibility to do so, via the collaborative ability to share the wonderful ideas which happen in our schools and on the countless whiteboards in classrooms across the world. Now there are no limits to the minds you can touch with the stroke of a dry-wipe pen.