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Classroomscreen.com was developed by Laurens Koppers from the Netherlands. In his words, “I wanted to use a free and simple tool with all my favorite digiboard widgets to help my students focus more on their work. I could not find such a thing, so I decided to make it myself. And here it is!” This website is excellent. If you need a quick timer, random name chooser, exit poll, or you miss some of those items that the SMART Notebook used to carry, then this website might be what you need.
How Do You Use the Website?
When you connect your device to a projector, or if you airplay your device, you can launch the widget of your choice to display on the screen. You do not need an interactive whiteboard to utilize this app. In it best used on the chrome web browser. Since it is not flash-based, it will work on most devices.
Here is a breakdown of the widgets that are provided on this website:
The ExitPoll is to the far right of the screen and represented by a yellow and green bars and emoji faces. It is challenging to see as it is not apart of the widgets listed on the bottom of the screen. However, it is a very useful tool
Uses: You can type any question you would like to quickly poll at the end of a class into the bar at the top of the ExitPoll screen. When the students leave the classroom, they can click the face on the screen (tablet or laptop work as well) that represents their answer. For example, you could type a question like, “Are you ready to perform that song next time in class?” or a statement like, “I feel good about playing my recorder song today in class”, or an “I can” statement. After the students leave the classroom, you can click on “show results” to see how they felt today in class.
The Language Widget will translate your page into 40+ languages and will let you add other languages.
The Background widget provides you with numerous backgrounds for your screen. It also lets you customize it by uploading your own background image.
Uses: You can save the lists by clicking the save icon. The next time you need the list, you can upload it through the widget.
The dice will roll up to three dice simultaneously.
The Sound Level widget uses the microphone in your device to test the sound level of your room. You can also change the sensitivity of the microphone.
Uses: Are you located next to an area with a lot of sound? This widget can help you prove that the sound level from that area is affecting your teaching.
The QR widget gives you a QR code to immediately access this website from any device.
There are two Drawing widgets. The one with the X allows you to draw on the screen. You can change the width of the drawing tool with the + and – tools. You can erase with the empty circle tool. You can clear the screen by clicking the red x. If you close the Drawing widget and then open it again, the drawing that you left will reappear again on the screen. It will not disappear until you close the tab on the Chrome web browser.
The Drawing widget without the X does pretty much the same thing as the Drawing widget with the X. The biggest difference that I could see was that this widget allows you to upload a .jpg file and draw on top of that jpg file.
The Text widget allows you to type text and paste images into a text box. Like the Drawing widgets, if you close the Text widget, and then reopen it, the previous text will reappear. It will not disappear until you close the tab on the Chrome browser.
The Work Symbol app tells the students when they should be working in silence, whispering to a friend, asking a neighbor for help, or working together in a group.
Uses: There are times when I would like to assess the students on whether or not they understood what I just taught them. I will ask them to explain it to their neighbor. This widget would make that a little more exciting because they could whisper it, tell them in a speaking voice, or find more neighbors to tell.
This widget is a traffic light that you can click to light up red, yellow, or green.
Uses: This is a great tool for music and movement. You can assign a student to be the conductor and when the student presses green, everyone dances vivace. When the student taps yellow, everyone dances largo. When the student taps red, everyone makes a statue that freezes at various levels.
Uses: This tool could be used to show understanding. You could show the QR widget. The students scan the QR widget on their own devices and then click on the traffic light. When you are teaching, you can pause to ask them if they understood what you just explained. Or you could ask them if they are ready to test for their next star on their recorder belt. The light could represent how they are feeling: red-not ready, yellow-will be ready soon, but not yet, and green-ready.
The Clock widget displays the time in your current time zone. It can display it in military time or regular time.
As stated on the website, you can go into full screen mode. You can also add the website to your iPad home screen by doing the following (you must be in Safari to do this): “Tap the Share button. This is the button immediately to the right of the address bar. You should see “Add to Home Screen” in the second row of buttons. Now you have a ClassroomScreen webapp.” Finally, you can place several widgets on the screen at once. You can close the widget by clicking the “x” located on the widget icon when they widget is being displayed.
Amy M. Burns is an elementary music educator, clinician, author, and musician. She currently works at Far Hills Country Day School in Far Hills, NJ teaching PreK through Grade 3 general music, grade 5 instrumental music, and grades 4-8 instrumental band. She is the author of Technology Integration in the Elementary Music Classroom, Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with a SMART Board, and Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with One or more iPads! She is also an author for Online Learning Exchange™ Interactive Music powered by Silver Burdett. She has given numerous presentations on integrating technology into the elementary music classroom as well as being a keynote speaker for music technology conferences in Texas, Indiana, St. Maarten, and Australia. She is the recipient of the 2005 TI:ME Teacher of the Year Award, the 2016 NJ Master Music Teacher Award, the 2016 NJ Governor’s Leader in Arts Education Award, and the 2017 Non-Public School Teacher of the Year Award. You can find out more about Amy at her website: amymburns.com