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Monday, January 24, 2022

Ten Cool Things You (And Your Students) Can Do With Lumio

Disclosure: Lumio is currently an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com. Advertisers help keep the lights on here.

Lumio was one of my favorite new tools in 2021. I wrote about it back in November, but I don’t think I fully captured everything that makes Lumio great. And since Google Analytics tells me that people prefer articles that have lists, here are ten cool things that you and your students can do with Lumio. Take a look and then give Lumio a try for yourself.

1. Physics and Math Simulations
Lumio can be used in all subject areas in elementary school, middle school, and high school. The latest update to Lumio lets you incorporate PhET simulations into the online lessons and activities that you create in Lumio. PhET, produced by the University of Colorado Boulder, offers nearly 100 simulations designed to help students understand concepts in physics, chemistry, earth science, biology, and mathematics.

Speaking of mathematics, you can also use the Desmos graphing calculator directly inside of your Lumio account to create mathematics lessons and practice problems for your students.

Here’s a video on how to use PhET simulations in Lumio activities.



2. Make Your Favorite Images and Slides Interactive Perhaps my favorite aspect of Lumio is that you don’t need to create all new material in order to use it. In fact, you can simply import your existing slides (Google Slides and PowerPoint), PDFs, and images into Lumio and turn them into interactive, online activities for your students.

Take a look at this video to see how easy it is to import your Google Slides into Lumio.



3. Make Any Activity Collaborative or Individual!
In Lumio you can make any page in any lesson a collaborative activity or an individual activity. To do that simply click on the magic wand icon while editing your activity then choose collaborative or individual. The collaborative option provides the whole class with access to one shared copy of the activity. The individual option provides each student with his or her own copy of the activity to complete.
4. Create Fun Formative Assessments
I tend to think of formative assessment in broader terms than many other teachers. For example, I think that any activity that gives me in-progress feedback about how my students understand a concept or topic is a form of formative assessment. To that end, I love Lumio’s “Shout it Out” activity template. This is an activity in which all students quickly respond to one prompt that you give them. Responses are shown on your screen and you can display them in a couple of ways including as a randomized display of digital sticky notes. You can also choose to display or not display students’ names alongside their responses.

Now if your definition of formative assessment is a bit more structured than mine, Lumio has formative assessment templates for you. In my first blog post about Lumio I went into detail about creating formative assessments because I think that creating a formative assessment provides the best way to learn how Lumio works from a teacher’s perspective. Here’s the video overview from that blog post.

5. Share Successful Lessons With Your Colleagues
Have you ever had a lesson that went absolutely perfectly from start to finish? You know, one where you felt like the kids “got it” and had fun “getting it.” I've had a few of those in my career and I shared them widely with my colleagues. If you have one of those lessons and you’ve done it through Lumio, you can quickly share it with your colleagues. To do that, just hit the “share” button on your lesson and send the link to your colleagues. Don’t forget to tell them why you’re sharing it and how much your kids liked it. Check out this Lumio Tweet to see a video demo of how to share a lesson with your colleagues.

6. Play YouTube Videos Without Distractions
I love a good YouTube video to help me help my students understand a concept. For example, I used some of these PowerCert videos in my networking course last year. What I don’t love is dealing with the advertisements and “related” videos that come with using YouTube in my classes. Lumio offers a solution to that problem. When you use YouTube videos in Lumio, you don’t see the advertisements and related video suggestions typically found when visiting YouTube.

7. View Activities the Same Way Your Students See Them
Lumio does something that I wish every educational technology tool would do. That is to show teachers exactly what their students will see when using the tool. From interactive previews to seeing student work live in delivery, teachers get a full picture of the lesson their students will be engaged in.

8. Add Audio Support to Your Activities
Whether it is to add clarification, to give helpful hints, or to simply read directions aloud, Lumio has you covered. On any and all of your activities/pages you can record audio support for your students to play aloud. To do that simply click on the audio icon while editing an activity.

9. Keep Students Signed-in When Switching Activities
Nothing kills momentum quite like having to wait while all of your students enter a code to join an online activity. Fortunately, that’s not an issue when using Lumio. Your students use one code to join your class and as long as they keep using the same computer, tablet, or phone they stay signed in even when you switch activities. In other words you could do a Lumio activity in the morning then do another in the afternoon and your students wouldn’t have to re-enter the classroom code.

On a related note, you would think that by 2022 every educational technology tool would work on all mobile devices and all computers, but that’s not always the case. Lumio works on every device commonly used by students. Students can complete Lumio lessons on iPads, Android tablets, iOS and Android phones, and in the web browser on their favorite laptop computer (including Chromebooks).

10. Get Inspired!
If you’ve ever been “stuck” and need some inspiration for creating a new lesson, Lumio has you covered with a huge selection of lesson activity templates and resources covering everything from elementary school math to high school language arts. When you find a template that you like you can copy it into your Lumio library where you can then use it as written or modify it to better suit your needs. Here’s a little demonstration of how that’s done.