Christopher Harrison is a year six teacher at Grove Road Community Primary School in the UK who fiercely believes that learning is conducted best when done in a community! Chris and his students participated in our OKIOCLASS program, where we distribute OKIOCAMs for student use to create a more engaged and collaborative classroom. Document cameras have always been used by educators to assist in their teaching and model techniques, however, giving students OKIOCAMs allows them to take charge of their own educational journey and learn alongside their peers in a shared environment.
Grove Road Community Primary School’s basic principles place an emphasis on the development of understanding and encourage students to learn and investigate together as a class. By giving students OKIOCAMs, they were able to collaborate and learn together as a cohort.
OKIOCAM Facilitates Teamwork
Chris used the OKIOCAMs quite frequently when critiquing writing work because of the capability to record the process. “Yeah, we all could talk around a table about the successes and failures of your writing, but for me as a teacher, I need to know what every table is talking about.” Chris splits his class into groups each armed with an OKIOCAM. The students record the process while they critique each other’s work so that Chris is able to evaluate their entire thinking process to discuss at a later date.
This is beneficial not just for him, but for the entire class. “Afterwards, I listen to each recording and I find the good sessions and ask them to share with the class. I want the whole class to hear that critique because everyone can benefit not just the people in that group.” This type of recording and sharing process allows students to really learn and grow as a community. The students are then accumulating good feedback from their peers and are able to rework and redraft their pieces without having the teacher solely tell them what to do. “We are looking to have maximum impact with minimum effort and that is something the OKIOCAM really helps us do in the best possible sense.”
Students find the OKIOCAM incredibly easy to use and have bought into the process. “We are getting children who queue up just to take a picture or record their work using the OKIOCAM.” The students really love how it gives them ownership over their work and allows their work to be celebrated by the class! The OKIOCAM is incredibly user-friendly for all students. Chris’s school has a high percentage of students that require additional needs and the OKIOCAM works seamlessly with little to no set-up, which makes it the perfect addition to the classroom.
Building Confidence Through Shared Critique
Chris also finds that it allows students to feel more comfortable sharing their work. “We are finding that for reluctant writers they are much happier to take a photograph or record themselves reading it rather than standing in front of the class to read it.” It frees the students and helps them to not correlate their work with their value as a student. Chris says that it has helped to build resilience within the students throughout the critiquing process because it helps them separate their work from themselves. “To have everyone be able to see it, it softens their experience. We are giving the students high support with very low threat. The OKIOCAM gives our children the opportunity to value and celebrate their work.”
In the above video, you can see a student showcasing her work with the OKIOCAM for the entire class to see. Students are able to share their opinions and feedback directly to the author which allows them to create a community of voices helping to construct each piece. The author is able to gain varying perspectives on their writing, whilst both defending their work and taking notes from their fellow classmates. Instead of the student just standing at the front and reading their work, the OKIOCAM allows the students to engage every member of the classroom to achieve their best potential.
The success that Chris has had with implementing regular student use of OKIOCAM is undeniable! Chris loves how it boosts self-confidence and collaboration between the students and the students are loving the positive reinforcement that they get from the utilization of OKIOCAM! If you are wanting to participate in our OKIOCLASS program, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org explaining how you would use a set of OKIOCAMs in your classroom!
Christopher Harrison is a year 6 teacher and Co-Headteacher at Grove Road Community Primary School in the UK. Chris believes in fostering a space where students can take control of their own work and collaborate with their peers to build knowledge and skills through their schoolwork. Chris has a blog where he shares different ideas about education and EdTech. Be sure to follow Chris on Twitter!