Classhack: On-screen Timer

You’ve probably seen one of these at a conference, but you may not have considered using it in your classroom. Sometimes my students don’t plunge into a time-limited task as quickly as I’d like. To encourage them to use their time wisely—and limit boredom and off-topic chatting—I keep intervals short and rigidly adhere to the prescribed schedule by using an on-screen timer. Typically, the first segment ends up being less than ideally productive, but students quickly become more efficient as they realize that Chaucer was right: “Time and tide wait for no man.” Or woman, because that darn timer is ruthless.


A quick web search offers a variety of timers.  I especially like the one at


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