Classroom Screen is a free, fun resource that I discovered recently.
It was created by Laurens Koppers, a teacher, and is designed for use in classrooms:
“I’m a teacher in the Netherlands and 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! I hope it helps you a little bit in your lessons.”
(Laurens Koppers, Developer)
Classroom Screen is a website with a toolbar; it is very quick to install and easy to use. I had to accept a Keep Safe plugin to use it but it took less than a minute to get it on screen. It loads with a beautiful background picture and the toolbar across the bottom of the screen.
Each of the icons on the toolbar gives access to a tool that you can use on screen, it projects beautifully on to the whiteboard.
- Language– Choose the appropriate language from a set of flags.
- Background– This tool lets you select from a wide variety of beautiful images, or you can just upload one of your own by clicking on the arrow at the bottom of the images screen.
- Random Name– Type in or copy and paste in your students’ names. Then this tool will randomly select a student. It is best to keep the list as a text file for use at any time you need it as it does not retain information. This same tool also lets you roll one, two, or three die, for random numbers – great for mental maths!
- Sound Level– Set this up to allow the site to use your computer’s microphone. Set the maximum noise level you want in the classroom. This tool will show a red or green progress bar to help your class know when they need to quieten down.
- QR Code– Copy and paste in a URL you want your class to access and it will automatically create a QR code for it. It takes second to make then your student with smart phone or tablets just read the QR code to get to the site you want them all to be on.
- Drawing 1 – The first drawing icon opens up a full-sized drawing screen that includes pens which can be altered in size, graph paper, diamond pattered paper and plain paper. Closing the paper altogether allow a teacher to annotate an uploaded image. It is a pity there is not a text tool in the drawing settings!
- Drawing 2 – this opens a tiny drawing screen on top of the big screen.
- Text– Inserts a text box on your screen with basic word processing tools.
- Work Symbols– Choose from Silence, Whisper, Ask Neighbour, or Work Together to show the class what you expect for this session.
- Traffic Lights–This does not work as many do, the teacher has to tap on either red, amber, or green to show children what he/she feels it should be.
- Timer– This opens a simple hour-glass timer that teachers can set and it will count down. It also includes a lap timer – probably not particularly useful for primary teachers.
- Clock– An analogue and digital clock, which also shows the date.
I think Classroom Screen provides a very useful set of tools which are likely to be handy almost all of the time. The tools can be moved around the screen to wherever you want them – several can be in use at once.
How it works and tips and tricks can be access from a tiny icon on the to right of the screen.