Author: Mark Anderson, ICT Evangelist

I know I haven’t taught for a while, but I know the difficulties teachers face. I faced them too, for more than 20 years.  When it comes to young people, if there’s one thing that is consistent, they will always push boundaries.

Sometimes that comes in the form of the student who is always keen to do their best and complete the work you set after content has been taught, always seeking more. These students know the joy of learning and want to do their best for you, for their families and themselves – often spurred on by the reward schemes in place in your setting such as house points or just the reward of the knowledge they’ve done their best.

These students however are often few and far between. More often than not, the students who take up the most significant amount of your attention in the class are those that are easily distracted, cause issues with their behaviour and disrupt the learning of others.

Introduce technology into the mix in the classroom and we know that this can actually make things worse.

Bring in the current situation with the pandemic, tensions being high around infection and death rates and the fact that we are in lockdown, so these students won’t have their usual avenues to let off steam. Add to this that you aren’t able to teach these young people face to face; it’s not exactly a recipe for huge student progress.

This is where classroom.cloud really comes into its own.

Developed by the multi-award-winning NetSupport, classroom.cloud is a cloud-based classroom management and teaching platform for schools with so many great features to support learning and teaching and most importantly, behaviours for learning.

What is it?

Essentially, it’s a cloud-based platform that helps provide for effective classroom management and teaching, whether you have every child in the room with you, students are learning remotely or any combination thereof. It’s a great way to provide continuity and consistency of platform for learners and teachers – and comes with lots of built-in features you’ll love that, in particular, help with supporting positive behaviours for learning and are super-helpful at keeping students focused on the right task at the right time.

What classroom.cloud does is essentially turn your computer screen into a virtual classroom in its own right. With the ability to easily see every learner’s screen and see and manage what they’re doing in real time, what they have access to and more, it’s the ideal tool for teachers to use to keep students focused on any of their remote or digital learning activities.

Why is it so useful?

One of my favourite features of classroom.cloud is that you are so easily able to monitor students’ screens in an unobtrusive way. If a student is off-task, it’s super easy to see this taking place, in real time, in a variety of ways.

Whether a student is on an off-task resource or website or simply inactive as they’re doing something other than focusing on their work, it is really easy to see this through the whole-class screen dashboard. You can see at a glance, who is busy researching, typing, drawing, engaging with their learning activities.

If you’re concerned about what a student is or isn’t doing, you can quickly jump onto their screen, full screen, and see what’s going on. This also means you can more easily see when students are struggling or making mistakes as they are completing their work.

The communication features of classroom.cloud also then make it super easy to provide your ‘guide on the side’ activities as a teacher to help them with their learning in the moment, when they need it most. For me, despite all of the other useful features inside classroom.cloud, this is probably my favourite.

As we know from the work of the EEF, John Hattie and many more, timely feedback is so important to the process of teaching and learning. Any means we can use that helps us as educators close that feedback loop as quickly as possible is likely to have positive impacts on learner progress; understanding, unpicking and addressing misconceptions, as and when they occur, in that moment. And it’s not just me who thinks that. As highlighted in the recent remote education guidance from Daniel Muijs at Ofsted:

“Feedback and assessment are still as important as in the classroom. It can be harder to deliver immediate feedback to pupils remotely than in the classroom, but teachers have found some clever ways to do this. 

 “This immediate feedback can be given through:  

  • chatroom discussions,
  • 1-to-1 interaction tools
  • interactive touch-screen questioning in live recorded lessons…”

No small wonder I love classroom.cloud – guess what…? It ticks each of those ‘clever ways’ highlighted above.

Now, more than ever, as we have to be responsive to the demands of in-class, hybrid, remote and blended learning, we need tools that enable consistency of approach and continuity of activity – using classroom.cloud means that this a reality for all educators to have access to, wherever they’re teaching from.

I’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s possible in classroom.cloud in this article. However, there is so much more that you can do that is not only evidence-informed in terms of pedagogical practice but can also save you and your learners precious time.

To find out more about how classroom.cloud can effectively support your remote learning so you can better support your learners, in the moment, visit classroom.cloud or get in touch on Twitter, I’d be happy to help.