Wrangling technology can be maddening even in optimally designed classrooms. But at the K-8 River Grove School outside Chicago, the distance between the teacher’s desk and the projection screen in some rooms is so vast that one frustrated teacher tried to bridge the divide by buying a 50-foot HDMI cable.
. . . the distance between the teacher’s desk and the projection screen in some rooms is so vast that one frustrated teacher tried to bridge the divide by buying a 50-foot HDMI cable.
When she became the district’s first educational technology director in 2017, Briana Allen looked for a better solution. She tried several options before jumping on a free trial of the wireless video streaming and screen mirroring technology by Vivi, an education-focused company founded in Australia. The Vivi solution River Grove installed last spring “has made a huge difference in those classrooms,” says Allen. “Teachers now can actually sit with their students for instruction.”
Allen chatted with EdSurge about how liberating teachers from their desks by eliminating the need for HDMI cords—of any length—has impacted teaching and learning in her district.
EdSurge: How has Vivi affected teacher mobility?
Briana Allen: It's had a huge impact. Where they used to sit in the back corner and just kind of talk at their students, now they can sit with their students. Teachers and students are now completely interacting through the instruction. They are all in the same space and able to ask questions and change direction on the fly. There's no more running to the back of the room to change something. It's made for a much more natural and fluid learning space.
Heading to ISTE? Stop by Booth 547 to learn how Vivi turns wireless screen mirroring into a powerful educational tool for the 21st-century classroom. Request a demo today and see if your school qualifies for our free pilot program.
Have you seen your instructors' practices change?
I happened to be in one first-grade Vivi-enabled classroom during a math lesson. There was a small group at a table where the teacher was working on one piece of the lesson, but other students were working on other lesson pieces at their own table groups. A couple of students came up and asked the same question. The teacher was able to stop with her group, quickly pull up an example problem on her device, project it on the screen and demonstrate to the whole class how to solve it.
Vivi has made her more flexible in how she teaches and how she interacts with groups within her classroom. She no longer feels that she has to have the same lesson for everyone or that everyone has to always be in the same place. And she can quickly answer questions from wherever she's at.
Has there been an impact on student engagement?
The teachers who have access to Vivi-enabled classrooms have been using more interactive tools to engage their students, so it's made them feel more confident in being able to quickly connect, share, show something, get feedback from students.
And teacher mobility definitely encourages students to pay more attention to the learning and instruction that’s going on.
Is the technology easy to use?
. . . teacher mobility definitely encourages students to pay more attention to the learning and instruction that’s going on.
That was the seller for me. We installed the Vivi App on the teachers’ computers, and it was ready to go. It's been such a timesaver. I had tried several different technologies before, but we would have constant connection issues so it was very frustrating and teachers were reluctant to use it. This has been so easy for teachers to use. It's always there. It always works.
You were once a junior high teacher. Do you ever imagine how your practice might have been different had you had this tool?
One of the great things with Vivi is that it works with laptops, Chromebooks, iPads, Android tablets. As a teacher, I easily could have wandered around the classroom with my iPad, done my instruction, provided examples, and quickly shared information. I could have allowed my students to project to the screen and share their learning and their examples, and it would have just made for a much more engaging learning environment than what I experienced.
Briana’s Favorite Teaching ResourcesBooksLearning First, Technology Second: The Educator’s Guide to Designing Authentic LessonsShift This!: How to Implement Gradual Changes for Massive Impact in Your ClassroomDigital Tools and AppsPearDeckWeVideoCanvaDoInk Green ScreenBook CreatorKamiCreative Commons Resources for Classroom Project UseFree Images & Free stock photos - PxHereBeachfront B-RollStockSnap.io - Beautiful Free Stock Photos (CC0)ccMixter - Welcome to ccMixterOER CommonsFree stock photos · PexelsFree stock videos · Pexels VideosProject GutenbergEducator Resources | National Archives