Hamstead Hall Academy uses a unique combination of technology to create interactive maths lessons

A Birmingham secondary school has made its sixth form maths lessons more interactive and inclusive by incorporating the latest in Casio Projectors’ collaborative technology with graphic calculator emulators. Students can now share their working to complex maths problems with the rest of the class from their seats in real time.

Over the summer, an XJ-F211 model, part of our latest Educational Solutions Series from Casio, was installed in a maths classroom to support effective lesson plans. Featuring the new One-Click Connect function which enables wireless screencasting from smartphones, tablets and laptops, Hamstead Hall chose to install this model to create a more participatory and interactive classroom dynamic.

Head of maths Melios Michael uses the new projector alongside laptops which are shared between pairs of students. Emulators produce a virtual version of fully-functional Casio graphic calculators which can be interacted with via a laptop. Using these, students can work through maths problems whilst casting their screen to the projector wirelessly, sharing their working with the rest of the class. The split screen function is used to compare different answers and allows the teacher to select one laptop to zoom into, with the student working through the problem on the emulator in real time.

Head of maths Melios Michael comments:

“In a tuition context, you can just watch what students are doing on the paper and interact with them that way. But when you have a class of 30, you can’t watch what they’re all doing. Having a tool where you can share screens at the click of a button quickly and smoothly really helps achieve this.

“Working through problems at the front of the class on a whiteboard is effective, but requires a lot of confidence and students sometimes worry about being selected. Under that pressure, they tend not to work out the problem in the way they’d do it naturally. But when students are being asked to share their work with just a simple click, nearly everyone is up for it and the students can watch, interested in what they do naturally.”

Executive principal Jonathan Mortimer comments:

“Interactive whiteboards used to provide excitement, a wow factor, but now they’re quite everyday. But use resources effectively, and technology can bring the lesson to life”.

“We use action-based research. We try new technologies out and if it’s enhancing lessons, producing a benefit and we can identify key transferable aspects, then we upscale. However, technology doesn’t automatically make lessons more effective, it’s about how you use it.”