From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis
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Lumio has become my go-to exam review tool. I can quickly add review materials, create quick practice problems and work, and give students a way to practice without me. In this blog post, I’ll share how Lumio is a great tool for classroom teachers everywhere, whether you’re reviewing for a tough exam like my Computer Science class or teaching a regular lesson. This tool will make teaching easier for you. Let’s dive in.
First, let’s overview what Lumio does and how it works. You can upload anything you already have in your classroom, every pdf, every electronic document, or the materials you’ve purchased and add to Lumio. When you create the activity, you can make any of it interactive where every student can complete the answers and do the activities. It saves the activities so you can review their work later (goodbye paper worksheets for sure), and you can even add games and activities.
To make it even better, if a student misses class, you can click a button and assign the day’s Lumio for completion at home, including the classwork. Or, after class, if students need more practice (like with my exam), I can assign it with a click so they can practice ahead of time.
So, let’s get started with digging into Lumio.
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First, you get to the site by going to Lum.io. You’ll see this is free for teachers. (The free version includes 50MB of lesson storage. The full version includes unlimited storage. In both plans, you get access to all of the features, so it is a perfect time to set up an account and try it out.) You’ll see when you login that you start off by being able to add activities, explore the resources they have, or get some training on how to use this collaborative learning tool
2. Add free manipulatives and lessons to your library first.
So, before you create everything, dig into the manipulatives and lessons already available for you to adapt. In particular, math teachers and elementary teachers will love the manipulatives that you can adapt for your own lessons.
When you find a manipulative, slide, or game that you want, it is as simple as adding it to your library. I recommend doing this first so that you can start off with easy-to-use activities without having to work. We have to save time as teachers, and their library of thousands of resources will help you do it.
What is included in the Lumio library?
- Reading and Writing
- Sight Words and Phonics
- Art and Music
- Graphic Organizers – the traditional graphic organizers but also sports courts and tools for coaches
- Classroom motivators (you can add at the beginning of lessons)
- Instructional Toolkits
- And more! Including new resources being added regularly
So, the instructional toolkits are some of my favorites for adding to my library. As you can see in the graphic, you have quick exit tickets, self-assessments, speed up games, and more that you can add to your library to easily insert into your lessons.
So, definitely, build your library first so you have resources available.
3. Build Your Lessons in Lumio
Now, the fun begins. When you create a lesson, you’ll see that you can add PDFs, PowerPoints, Google Docs, Google Slides, YouTube videos, web links, instructional audio, or SMARTNotebook lessons (and more.)
In my example, I had my exam review notes in Google Docs. Because Lumio is integrated with Google, us Google users can import Slides and Docs easily.
You can quickly add resources from here, but I like having them in my library already.
I opened my lesson with a “shout it out” so students could ask the questions about the exam that they had after reviewing notes. Additionally, remember that every eight minutes or so to add a quick formative assessment to know where students are in the lesson.
You can also easily add other multimedia, including videos from YouTube (with safe search!), web links, images, and even instructional audio to support students and give them a variety of ways to learn and review information.
4. Student Participation and Practice All the Way
As the teachers reading this post will know, we need to ensure that students are learning as the teaching process proceeds. With Lumio we no longer need to wait until the end of the lesson to know what students know. Using formative response and self-grading game-based activities, we can quickly know now.
As you can see in my Semester 2 study guide document as we were reviewing Python Programming concepts, I added handouts that let students work problems on the pages as we went through the review guide. This way, I could look to see what each student did and if they knew how to write the code I wanted to see on the exam.
I also liked having students review vocabulary using “Flip Out” which is really just a flashcard review more than a game. After they reviewed, then we would play one of the games like Game Show. I liked that I could play Game Show as a class or students could play on their devices in smaller groups for review and practice. In a larger class, I would definitely have students split into 4 person groups.
5. Give more opportunities for practice after the class
When done with the live lesson, when you click the “Share” button, you can share it with other teachers or with students for more practice.
I recommend sharing the lesson with students who miss class and also for exam review, so students can practice more on their own. Think of it as a digital handout.
6. Review the Data
So, while I cannot show the student data from my exam review for privacy reasons, I like that I can go back into the lesson and on each interactive page, I can click “review results” to see what students did and how they performed on the activity. I also am glad that I can give students feedback in real-time or after class to help students learn.
Reviewing for a class exam helps students improve their grades. Reviewing course content requires that students reflect on the content.
El Bojairami and Driscoll (2019) found a positive effect on course content reflections of engineering students. Conrad and Donaldson (2011) observed the power of reflection in other content areas as well.
7. On the Fly Editing
So, this feature I LOVED that isn’t available in similar products. After the first day of review, after reviewing results, I found some things that needed to be added.
I was able to edit the lesson I was teaching and didn’t lose my student data. I was then able to open the lesson back up the next day and continue with it with the newly added data. Most tools require that you completely get rid of the live lesson in order to edit it. I didn’t have to do that. This is a fantastic feature.
Who will benefit from Lumio?
Every teacher would benefit, but particularly those who have students with devices of some kind. This tool lets you take all of your worksheets digital. However, if you stop there, you’d miss out on the real power and pedagogy of great teaching. Add interactivity, games, student-led work that shows on the board and all of the vast array of manipulatives and graphic organizers. Add in your formative assessment and you’re ready to go. And remember to make sure that you share the lessons with your students afterwards for more practice.
I think Lumio belongs in everyone’s toolkit. So, head to Lum.io to set up your free account today.
Conrad, R. M., & Donaldson, J. A. (2011). Engaging the online learner: Activities and resources for creative instruction (Vol. 38). John Wiley & Sons.
El Bojairami, I., & Driscoll, M. (2019). Exam-Wrappers As a Tool To Enhance Students’ Metacognitive Skills in Machine Element Design Class.
Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored blog post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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