Plickers – The Student Response System without handheld devices!

I love this brilliant idea for getting students to vote and still use technology without the cost and responsibility of providing a handheld device for each student.  I’m definitely going to give this a try in my lessons this week! Have a look at the printable “answer card” for each student (see below), it’s a cool QR code that the teacher scans in with the use of a phone or tablet.  One device, that’s all you need –  and of course your interactive whiteboard for displaying the results.


Screen Shot 2014-07-05 at 21.28.31

Free Technology for Teachers: Plickers – The Student Response System for Classrooms That Arent 1:1.

The Flipped Classroom Model: A Full Picture | User Generated Education

This is finally becoming possible for me to implement!  I have been posting videos and resources on a student website and it has received a very favourable response from my students.  They seem to enjoy it for a number of reasons:

1.  They can learn on any device at any time or place that suits them.

2.  They control the pace of learning by pausing, watching again or viewing linked videos on the same topic.

3.  They don’t have to worry about being embarrassed to ask questions in front of the whole class.

4.  Their parents can see that they are actually using technology to learn, not just play games and socialise.

5.  They attach more value to learning by using videos, blogs and website links than they do to listening to me drone on in class!

6.  The reward of self-motivation is much more evident because they can participate readily in class the next day.

There are many more reasons that this is working well, but my favourite is a quote from a student when he commented at the bottom of the video post: ”thank you sir this really helped and taught me a new method.” 

The Flipped Classroom Model: A Full Picture | User Generated Education.

3 easy ways to to use ICT in your lessons

1. Engage your class with Socrative (

Socrative is a smart student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets.

2. Manage your class with Class Dojo (

Improve specific student behaviors and engagement by awarding and recording real-time feedback.  Print or email beautiful behaviour reports to easily engage parents and staff.  Save time by recording behaviour and accomplishments right in class, with just one click: NO extra data entry required.

3. Support your class with a blog (

Sometimes a student is absent or away on a school trip and they need to know what the work was that you covered in class.  Well now you don’t have to answer that question anymore, just post it online and the students then have to check it for themselves.  You can also post videos (your own or from youtube) that can explain concepts or examples covered in class.  This is not only helpful for absent students but also for those who didn’t quite understand it in class.  Think of it as your first step towards blended learning.  Welcome to the future!

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 07.32.15Click on the picture for a helpful reference sheet
from USC Rossier School of Education.

No Child Left Untableted –

To get the most out of educational technology, teachers must combine those traditional classroom skills with new ones. And their repertoires will have to expand as the tablet’s powers grow. This fall, mastery might mean giving a quick quiz, then breaking up the students on the fly into groups based on their answers and sending each group a different exercise from the teacher’s tablet. In not too many years, it might mean using sophisticated pattern-recognizing algorithms to analyze data from homework, games, leisure reading, social media and biometric indicators to determine that one student should be guided to an interactive simulation of coral-reef ecology, another to an essay exercise built around a customized set of coral-reef-related vocabulary words and concepts, and others to something else.

via No Child Left Untableted –

Survey time again – Calling all mathematics teachers

Dear Maths Teachers of the World,

A few years ago, I asked teachers to vote for their favourite mathematics websites.  There are so many websites out there these days, that you simply can’t remember which one was the best or which one had those fantastic worksheets you were looking for last week. I am still determined to create a list that will help teachers all over the world to categorise, find, list and use the best possible websites available, with a preference for free resources and ideas.

I have used computers in my classroom since 1995, and I didn’t ever expect to get to the point where there were just too many resources available. I have searched the internet for years, always finding new websites and checking for updates on old favourites. Sometimes, websites I have loved and used have shut down or changed to commercial websites, but it has never stopped me from finding more than I needed for any lesson without having to pay for the resources. I have to admit though, there are one or two (such as “mymaths” and “whiteboardmaths” in the UK) that are part of my toolkit because they are excellent, and come at a very reasonable price. I have spent the last 8 years finding PowerPoint presentations, worksheets, lesson plans, schemes of work, videos, flash animations, interactive whiteboard tools, Promethean flipcharts, Smart notebook files, templates, printable graph paper, posters, blogs and hundreds of other resources designed especially for mathematics teachers and learners. But it takes plenty of time and a lot of fine tuned discernment to get the best out of all the stuff available. Well that’s what I have done for you! So now again, with the beginning of the new school year in the UK, I will continue to share and show you all the excellent resources that are available to you right now with just a few clicks.

Firstly, I’d like you to vote for your favourite websites that you use for planning, teaching or learning. There are some that you may not have heard of before, and there may be some I have omitted on my first list of best websites (I have tried to narrow it down from hundreds to just 25). I have taught in South Africa, the USA and the UK, so this list is not intended to be only for UK teachers, but because I teach in England, I do tend to choose the ones that I am most familiar with in my work. I am hoping to expand my efforts to include teachers from all over the world and I thank the many visitors at international schools for their regular visits.  Please come back and visit for the results as well as my final list of the best maths resources on the internet for 2013. Have fun and please vote or leave a short comment! Steve Williams (MrWilliamsMaths)