Simple tools make for empowered learning

online timersI have recently presented on some of my favourite tools on a number of occasions. One very simple but effective tool that I often use is the online stopwatch or timer. The countdown timer was most frequently used but advertisements have started to appear. The site does have now have a free fun range of classroom timers which are ad free, fun and colourful. It was with some interest that I received an email from one of the participants in the online webinar to say that of the many tools shared, she tried the online timer the next day with her year 11 Business Management class.

Thank you for your webinar yesterday, it was very useful. I actually used the count down timer (bomb) this morning with year 12 accounting. That was the only technology involved in that activity. I had them playing Megabucks, the board game, to try and differentiate between cash and profit. They had thirty minutes to play the game and the timer worked to keep the game going at a faster rate and changed the nature of the play.

How can such a simple tool enhance learning:

  • gives students a time frame to work toward
  • keeps them on task (less likely to be bored)
  • forces them to work quickly
  • less chance of boredom and distractions as they know there is a time limit to the activity and there will be a a variety of activities following
  • gives realistic real life work skills – tasks have to be done within a time frame once out in the workforce
  • forces them to plan and work out strategies for completion

What would your answers be? Do you use a manual timer in class or an online timer? If so, why?

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