MVSMS: Coming to a screen near you

Green LUK, edited by Dave GATRELL
Educational Development Centre

If you've been working or studying at PolyU as long as I have, you'll have noticed that your classroom has accumulated more screens than your local cinema – and possibly more video sources than you know what to do with. This is the phenomenon of MVSMS: Multiple Screens and Multiple Video Sources. You could be forgiven for thinking this is just a useful way of allowing students to see the screen wherever they sit in the lecture theatre – and yes, that is pretty cool – but MVSMS is about much more than that. It's part of a strategic initiative to promote active and collaborative learning.  

In my training sessions on MVSMS, most teachers get the concept of 'one screen for slides, another for a website', but the prospect of operating all that complicated classroom equipment fills them with dread. I usually manage to turn their anxiety into excitement when I say, 'Anyone using an iPhone?', and they realise they can mirror their phone screen on the projector. They then start complaining that it's too easy. But that soon gives way to them generating lots of exciting new ideas for using MVSMS in the classroom. 

Imagine a scenario where students play an online game like Kahoot! or vote in a Mentimeter poll on one screen, while following a presentation or video on another. Or perhaps one where the teacher jumps down from the stage to interact with students, monitoring their progress as they do group activities, all the while controlling what's on the main screen – before handing over to the students and giving each group the chance to share their work on a different screen?

By now, I'm sure you're already thinking of even more exciting ways of using MVSMS, so don't be shy – share them with the rest of us in the comments section.