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How to create engaging lessons with PDF files

While online learning has broadened the learning space from traditional classrooms to virtual spaces, some teachers are grappling with new teaching approaches and teaching tools. This can test your creativity skills and ICT (Information and Communication Technology) knowledge as can be expected with any online teaching tool. PDF files can be the savior of those who are still unfamiliar with technology and online teaching.

PDFs are the most commonly used format among teachers because it is easy accessible and will look the same to everyone on any device. Teachers can easily receive PDF formatted learning materials provided by publishing companies, and it is convenient to prepare their own PDF files by easily converting documents into PDF files. By doing so, teachers do not have to reinvent the content or come up with a new idea as they can simply edit on the fly.

ClassIn makes it so easy to make PDFs interactive by simply using the Cloud Drive and the annotation tools. Teachers can prepare and edit worksheets, interactive quizzes, tasks and games easily on PDF files. Then teachers can open the files in the online classroom and work collaboratively with students on the file. Students can fill in a form or tick a box, and teachers can add notes or other annotations.

To do this, teachers can use the ClassIn annotation tools, which are on the right side of the teacher’s screen. This includes a select mouse icon, a drag and drop icon, a text icon, a drawing pen and an eraser. Teachers can also invite students to use the annotation tool by ‘authorizing’ them. Once authorized, students can interact with the PDF file alongside the teacher by using the annotation tools.

Here are three teaching scenarios and lesson activities you can use to engage your students and improve their problem-solving skills.

1. Class Tasks (all students simultaneously)

Teachers can open the PDF file onto the Blackboard where teachers and students can interact with each other. Teachers and students can collaborate together on the PDF file by using the annotation tool. The writings and drawing are synchronized with the students and teacher’s screen.

To engage students, teachers can also use the Slot Machine that will generate random names of students, or the Responder to ask volunteer.

2. Group Tasks

Teachers can assign the pdf file as group task. To do this, you can use the Break-out Room feature. Before you turn on the Break-out Room feature, make sure to run the PDF file on the blackboard, and then split the students into a few groups. Then, you can find the PDF file is assigned to every group separately. During the group discussion, students can work together with their group members, and teachers can jump back and forth into each group to check the progress in live time.

3. Individual Tasks

To assign the PDF worksheet separately to each student, you can use the Small Blackboard. To do this, open the PDF file and then take a screenshot of the PDF file. Then, open the Small Blackboard and paste the screenshot of it onto the Small Blackboard. At the same time, you can set the Timer as well. When students are finished with their work, teachers can take the Small Blackboard and go over student’s answer one by one. Plus, teachers can save the students’ answers as an image file into their local drive, if they need to assess the answers.

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