Jamie Balfour

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Jamie Balfour'sPersonal blog

Jamie Balfour'sPersonal blog

BalfVote is my latest addition to my WISP. Developed in a couple of hours, I developed a tool that I want to use in my classroom. Since I have already moved away from using Google Slides and to slides.com, which gives you much more granuallar control over the HTML and CSS on the pages, I have already made the change to a more consistent set of slides - all hosted on my website. I have also been creative with my interactivity in my lessons, for example in one lesson the pupils must provide the correct answer and when they do, the text box highlights green, whereas if they get it wrong it goes red. Other lessons have timers built-in to them, or quizzes built with BalfQuiz and much more. By having the ability to embed iframes and HTML I can do anything I want. 

As you'll know, being a dual-typed being, an educational practioner (aka teacher) and a computer scientist, I like to mix my skills together and come up with ideas that can really change and inspire children and over the last year my focus has been making my lessons more digital and more interactive. I mainly focused on moving away from standard PowerPoint based lessons, to more online tools such as Google Slides. I then opted to have much more control over my content so moved back to slides.com (I have been creating presentations with reveal.js since 2016). slides.com is only part of the picture as it helps me to make the slides and export them to HTML. I made a lot of the features I have in my lessons myself. And my slideshow player is where the magic happens. I have tons of features in JavaScript, CSS and PHP powering them. This makes my lessons consistent and very functional, but also engaging. 

This is exactly what BalfVote aims to do. By asking pupils questions regularly throughout a lesson I can guage how well the class is understanding a concept. Coming very soon is an option to have right and wrong answers too, which can make this more like a quiz. 

Head on over to balf.vote to find out more.

There are plenty more innovations like this coming, so keep an eye on my blog!

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