Tawa Intermediate School, New Zealand

AVerVision355AF frees up teachers and engages students in an amazing way

Tawa Intermediate School is a "decile 8 school" with just over 500 students. It is located 20 minutes north of Wellington, in the suburb of Tawa. The school is in its 3rd year of an ICT Online Bridges Cluster. In the 3 years of being in the cluster, the school has seen a huge increase in the technologies used for teaching and learning.

The school has 18 classrooms. Each room has a data projector, class computer, 3 notebooks and within a syndicate of 3 classes they share 10 portable computers. Teachers use data projectors regularly as part of the teaching program. All students at the school have their own Gmail accounts and they regularly use Google Docs. All classes have a blog. Ultranet is used as their LMS. The Ultranet hosts the school’s website and each class, syndicate and learning area has its own page. Children use this all the time to access information. The AVerVision355AF visualizer (document camera) was trialed in the senior teacher and ICT PD leader’s classroom. Their class has 29 students and is made up of Year 7 and 8 students.

“It was great to see student engagement increase every time I turned the visualizer on.”    
- Taylor, Year 7/8 Teacher, Tawa Intermediate School

Impact on teaching and learning

Benefits within the classroom brought by the AVerVision355AF visualizer
(document camera):

  • Immediate transfer of any document to the data projector 
  • Efficient sharing of information 
  • Instead of photocopying, it can go straight up on the screen 
  • Sharing of students’ work immediately instead of scanning, which means there is instant feedback in front of their peers 
  • Student work is no longer just seen by the student and the teacher, so it has the potential to increase the effort all children put into their work 
  • An immediate audience for students’ work 
  • Ability to demonstrate particular skills, i.e. different art techniques or using classroom equipment such as protractors, compasses, calculators and rulers 
  • Annotate on student’s work immediately, take a photo and upload it to their e-portfolios or the class blog, or even email it to parents 
  • Increases efficiency because it decreases the need to photocopy and organize resources 
  • Show science experiments without having all the students crowd around a desk 
  • Conduct experiments with dangerous materials that students can’t touch on their own 
  • Increases student engagement through being able to share their contributions such as home learning, current events work or anything physical 
  • Sharing of physical resources from outside to a wide audience rather than passing things around 
  • Time lapse photography 
  • Being able to grab the teachable moment when relevant material presents itself, for example, a novel a student was reading with descriptive language or an advertisement in a newspaper

Invaluable for chemistry experiments

In one of the experiments, the class made casein plastic by adding vinegar to a pot of heated milk. The teachers used the visualizer (document camera) to ensure the whole class could see the transformation as the vinegar was stirred into the milk. When the reaction was complete, students molded their own piece of plastic under the visualizer (document camera).

“It showed us what was happening in the science experiments without looking over the teacher's shoulder”
- Year 7 Student, Tawa Intermediate School

Ease of use for teacher and student training

The AVerVision355AF visualizer (document camera) requires the user to have mid-level ICT skills in that it is fairly straightforward to use. Students pick up how to use it really quickly and with only very minor training. When asked her opinion, Sarah, the teacher, said “The permanent set up of the visualizer (document camera) means the teacher can avoid the traditional hassles that come with a camera, for example, transferring photos to a computer, and worrying about whether the camera is charged. The visualizer (document camera) is always on hand in the classroom for that teachable moment where sharing a physical resource is so important to the learning and engagement of students.”

“We all got a turn and the whole class could see what we were doing."
- Year 8 Student, Tawa Intermediate School