Vicki Davis is a full time classroom teacher and IT director. She teaches Computer Science, Digital Literacy, Graphic Design, Digital Filmmaking, Keyboarding, and works with instructional technology integration for K3-12th grades in all subjects. Vicki has blogged at the Cool Cat Teacher blog since 2005 and hosts the 10 Minute Teacher podcast. We’re thrilled to have Vicki facilitate this webinar, 11 Reasons to Love Lumio, and share her tips and tricks for making lessons engaging with Lumio.
More and more educators are choosing Lumio to enhance the learning experience of their students (and so can you)! I was very excited to host a webinar on the 11 reasons educators love Lumio and are putting it at the center of their instruction. I was joined by two special guests – Jonathan Olshan from Warwick School District and Bethany Vallio from Bibb County School District - and they shared their top 11 reasons why they love Lumio.
The goal of the webinar was to provide very practical ideas that you can take to save time and create more engaging experiences in your classrooms. Lumio has something for every educator.
So let’s dive into the 11 reasons to love Lumio!
1. Easy to build lessons
Jonathan spoke about how easy it is to create lessons in Lumio. It’s usually the first thing he highlights when introducing Lumio to new teachers. We all know, teachers have a thousand tasks every day. Between grading, lesson planning, IEP meetings and speaking with parents. One thing we don't want to do is give them more work. The ease of creation in Lumio was one of its biggest selling points. You can make things on the fly or take what you already have and turn them into interactive lessons. There are so many ways you can create lessons because the interface is so friendly and Lumio hosts thousands of pre-made lessons and activities that you can use.
Last fall, when I found out I could pull in the PDFs I've already made, like study guides and exam reviews, I got really excited. I uploaded my guides into Lumio for exam review and can see my students work on it live and give feedback in real-time. This is a game-changer in classrooms! I totally agree with Jonathan!
2. Digital Manipulatives
This is massive for teachers preparing lessons and so useful for students. Bethany shared her perspective on digital manipulatives in Lumio. Bethany highlighted how prior to the pandemic, students were able to manipulate physical objects like blocks, puzzles, letters, etc. When they switched over to remote learning, she made sure that her students could still have those manipulatives but in the digital space.
One of Bethany’s favorite manipulatives is the Making Words activity. For early readers, they're just beginning to blend words, sound out words, and for science of reading, encouraging students to add letters to create words is so powerful.
During the pandemic, Bethany’s school identified a need to make manipulatives work in a digital space, and now that we’re back in the classrooms, they’re even more helpful. Digital manipulatives build equity for students that may not have access to manipulatives at home and for teachers that can't afford them for their classroom.
I know many teachers that rave about the math manipulatives in Lumio because they can avoid having blocks and counters spread about my classroom. It’s a great way to give that experience of manipulating objects without the mess!
3. Instant Feedback
Bethany shared how powerful the instant feedback in Lumio is for students. In Lumio, you can see your students working in real-time and can add notes, comments and feedback on the fly. Bethany pointed out that you can have your computer in your hand and walk around your classroom to offer support and at the same time, add a smiley face emoji, a checkmark, or feedback to students' individual handouts.
Providing students feedback in real time is so powerful. Plus, that added layer of privacy and confidentiality makes your students feel more comfortable and safe in the lesson.
On the topic of formative assessment, I've been using EdTech for a while and I believe technology has allowed us to provide constant feedback so students can put that feedback into play, right away, rather than waiting a week for a grade and losing momentum.
4. Game-based Learning
We have to talk about the fun and engaging game-based learning activities in Lumio. Bethany shared how game-based learning activities are fun for all students, no matter their grade. Our students are used to playing video games already so this is a way that we can connect those skills with learning. She highlights how students may get an answer wrong in an activity, but quickly are able to correct it and learn from their mistakes, building that growth mindset. Playing these game-based activities shows students that even though they get a question wrong, it doesn’t mean they should give up. Practice builds knowledge and ultimately, confidence.
I completely agree, game-based learning is so powerful for students, no matter their grade. The best part about these Lumio activities is that they're all customizable! Throw in your own content to make any lesson a fun one.
5. SEL Connections
Connecting with students socially and emotionally is so important. Bethany shared her love of the pre-made SEL Check-Ins. At the beginning of the pandemic, Bethany began making wellness check-ins a priority with her students. Something as simple as “how are you feeling today” or “do you feel ready to learn” was really impactful as she began to understand and connect with her students better.
Now that we’re back in the classroom, these check-ins are even more powerful to build connections with students. Connecting with students and giving them a safe space to discuss how they’re feeling is imperative.
Lumio has hundreds of pre-made SEL Check-In templates teachers can pull into their lessons on the fly. It’s a simple way to prioritize student wellness alongside learning.
Now, this is really interesting. Bethany shared with us her ‘data notebook’ in the webinar. Bethany explained her school’s initiatives to collect all student work into a centralized space that they have access to, as well as their teachers. Back in 2015-2016, she remembers her students carrying around binders full of loose papers. Everything would be falling out, students would lose a page and they were less likely to use these binders when they’d need to review their materials. What they did was take all of that paper and put it into Lumio. Students began tracking their attendance, learning and growth goals better and developed a centralized place for all their materials.
I certainly love when students set their own goals and can be accountable for their progress. Through page templates and infinite cloners, students can be in the driver's seat of their own learning.
7. Flexible Pacing & Grouping
One question that came up in the webinar was “I don't have one-to-one devices, can I still use Lumio in my classroom?” Jonathan was able to share how easy it is to jump between multiple lesson modalities in Lumio. Whether you need to switch between teacher pacing and student pacing, from individual work to small group to a whole-class collaboration, Lumio offers the flexibility that other programs just don't. Jonathan spoke about easily adapting his Lumio lessons on the fly, with minimal time wasted, to offer better instruction for his students.
Bethany also wanted to share how easy it is to give students links to different lessons to personalize their experience. For students who are progressing faster, Bethany can share the next Lumio lesson with them to begin working on while the rest of the class finishes the exercise.
Another question we had from our audience was about devices. Josie asked “I only have six Chromebooks to share with a class of 28. How does Lumio work with limited devices?” Lumio is a powerful tool that can be leveraged 1:1, in collaborative groups and in stations. If you have a finite number of student devices, set up stations for your students to take part in Lumio activities and other activities so every student can have a turn. Or, Bethany suggests using Lumio as a collaborative group exercise, using one device or display per group.
8. Edit on the Fly
This has come up quite a few times in the webinar already. Jonathan spoke about how this goes along with personalizing learning. He’s able to adapt his instruction while in a lesson with little to no downtime. Maybe you realize you've made a mistake or forgot something in your slides or you realized that the lesson's moving in another direction. Lumio makes it really easy to pause the lesson, edit it on the fly, and return to learning quickly with little disruption to student learning.
I like that you don't have to kick the students out of the lesson to edit, restart it or give them a new code and make them join again. That’s all gone with Lumio.
This stemmed from a question from the audience: “Can you record directions for students to listen to?” Bethany was very excited to say, YES! She remembered teaching kindergarten and first grade and finding it really challenging to keep repeating the task instructions because these early learners often can only focus on one or two things at a time. Repeating these instructions over and over and over again was challenging and took time away from learning. With Lumio, you can record directions for students that may need a reminder.
Immersive Reader can be leveraged, no matter the grade or subject. Use Immersive Reader to support emergent readers, English-Language Learners and students with differing reading abilities. Jonathan often uses Immersive Reader with older students who are still working on their English reading and comprehension. He says “to click on a piece of text and have it read aloud helps to empower students and gain confidence in their reading and speech.
10. Student Agency
Bethany was happy to talk about how Lumio empowers students to use voice and choice. She loves the ability for students to add images, text, emojis, shapes and can get creative with just a blank page. Lumio builds student agency as it empowers them to take control of their learning and show us what they know.
Lumio also supports students in their confidence as they have a safe space to experiment and create and are no longer put on the spot.
11. For All Grade Levels
It was so great to see Jonathan share tons of examples of how he and his fellow teachers have used Lumio for all ages, Jonathan took us through examples from kindergarten to grade 12. He showed topics like plot points and coordinated planes, middle school figurative language and poems, problem-solving and storytelling, primary school math skills and more! He also made sure to show off his SMART Monster socks and shared how his students all think they’re magic socks.
It doesn't matter what grade or what content you teach, you can use Lumio!
So there you have it, the 11 Reasons educators love Lumio and are using it in their classrooms every day! Lumio gives you endless possibilities to engage and excite your learners, from Kindergarten all the way to 12th grade.
So, take a look at the webinar for real-life examples to use in your classroom tomorrow or sign up for Lumio today. It is free and you can dive right in!