How the i3SIXTY Transformed Our Classroom: Omnimundo School Antwerp
Omnimundo, a primary and nursery school in Antwerp, Belgium, was one of the first adopters of the i3SIXTY digital flipchart. We asked Olivier Dijkmans, a teacher at Omnimundo and an i3ALLSTAR, some questions about the i3SIXTY. In this blog, he shares how this product has transformed his classroom, what role technology plays in learning and teaching, and the unique ways he uses the digital flipchart at Omnimundo.
My students say “WOW” when they see the screen rotating.
It’s this light bulb moment for the students when they see the rotation of the screen, they can’t take their eyes off it! The ‘screen culture' has found its way into young peoples’ lives, so they’re very used to it, but this device has the power to surprise, engage, and pique their curiosity and interest.
i3SIXTY offers exactly what we want from technology in the classroom.
The i3SIXTY is very intuitive, so I don’t need to teach my students how to use it - they just play with it for a minute and they know how it works. They can draw and solve math equations, and it's a pleasure to see them using it. When they’re rotating the screen from a vertical position to a horizontal position to go for a long equation - that's what I want from technology in the class! Technology should serve their convenience and their learning; it should be invisible. We use it for whiteboarding, doodling, and videoconferencing, and we use it for screencasting in staff meetings. We’re in the midst of a huge school remodeling and thinking of buying more for every classroom. It is not that expensive, and it’s so much more than a simple blackboard!
Classrooms will become multi-functional environments, not the other way around.
The old way of teaching, such as standing by a fixed blackboard in front of the entire class, is not enough anymore to meet the current educational challenges. The sizes of the classes are getting bigger, the students have diverse backgrounds and needs, and attention spans are shrinking. Besides, coping with front-of-class teaching all day is a tiring exercise for a teacher.
You need to be able to re-arrange your class in seconds to be fully functional for the objective of the lesson or activity.
If you need to give extra explanations or arrange a small group class, it’s not always possible in a traditional classroom. With i3SIXTY, I can always give it to a small group of children because it’s movable and lightweight. We also use it in a scenario when students explain to other students.
Get creative - Kahoot quizzes, geography classes, virtual escape rooms.
Geography classes have become visual and interactive. I can open Google maps on i3SIXTY side by side with the main display. We’ve practiced completing an online escape room across countries using OneNote and the i3SIXTY by putting Emma, a colleague from Sweden, on the i3SIXTY as our virtual guide via video conference through i3LEARNHUB.
During staff meetings, we had a quiz using the Kahoot app on i3SIXTY with my colleagues. I must admit, we sometimes watch movies on this device. We have a phrase when it comes to i3SIXTY: “Roll it, use it, play with it.” You can use it for everything. It's a pleasure to have it in the class! I think these practical examples can help teachers to become comfortable with technology. And there are so many ways you can use it in your classroom.
What are the top improvements from i3SIXTY 2 in my opinion?
I was excited to learn that the upgraded version of the product is coming out!
There’s a major improvement in the touch and writing experience - it’s very responsive, the pen has a soft tip so it allows you to write smoothly and confidently and it’s easy to manipulate the pen. We use a combination of finger and pen writing in class, both work great. We were hoping to get a stronger audio output compared to the previous version - and the i3SIXTY 2 has an excellent 8 array mic and overall better sound.
Did I mention our wall-mounted touchscreen, the i3TOUCH, before? I wouldn’t miss it for the world! Now that i3SIXTY 2 also runs on the same software, i3STUDIO, the smaller brother just became as mighty as the bigger display.
i3SIXTY can do what the big display can’t
Our school occupies one of the oldest buildings in Antwerp, and we have a pretty prominent door frame stepping stone. If we need to move the i3SIXTY from class to class, we lift it so it can get through, and this would be impossible with a bigger screen. We also move our digital flipchart between the school floors - its weight is around 38 kg, while bigger mobile displays go as heavy as 80kg.
The size of the frame of the i3SIXTY fits just through a door, and the wheels make the display very maneuverable. I can re-arrange my class immediately. There are more and more kids in the class every year, but my classroom is not getting any bigger, it’s only 25 square meters. Having another bulky screen is not that manageable or realistic. Also, small children can be timider when using the bigger displays. The i3SIXTY is light and airy, so we allow our students to move it around, while with bigger mobile displays, it’s not that safe.
We move our i3SIXTY to temporary locations when needed. For example, we’re preparing to set up new classes for refugee children fleeing Ukraine that will start learning Dutch. The i3SIXTY has a small learning curve, and they can use it straight away, even if they have never used a touchscreen before.
Innovative products that are developed together with teachers.
We are proud users of other products from the i3-Technologies ecosystem, such as the indoor air quality sensor i3CAIR, i3TOUCH, and iMO-LEARN. These kinds of products fit our vision for the school of the future.
There’s such a good connection between i3 Technologies and the end-users or teachers. I think it is a connection that lots of other EdTech companies need. I have been a part of a teacher group called the i3ALLSTARS, which provides user feedback to i3-Technologies, and that feedback is used for further product improvement and development. In schools, we’re working with the future of our society, so let’s support them in the best possible way with the best possible products!
Learn More About i3SIXTY
Interested in the i3SIXTY? Check out the next generation – the i3SIXTY 2 for a new spin on the digital flipchart for your classroom.