Sometimes those of us who are on the cutting-edge, innovating with new tools are thought to be a little too in love with technology, and not focused on student learning. Here’s a school in Hemet, California that is showing how Web 2.0 and an audience response system can lead to improvements in learning.
In an effort to fully embrace the technology that students use constantly away from school, Tahquitz has gone high-tech this year, employing multiple Facebook and Twitter accounts, Wiki pages and even texting the answers in class as a way to engage students into a new way of learning.
Sitting inside a U.S. history class last week, students were shown questions on a projection screen and were given four possible answers, each with a corresponding six-digit code they could text. Quickly, they tapped out the code for what they thought was the correct answer, and in real time a graph showed the percentage of those who guessed each answer, changing as more texts rolled in.
But beyond allowing students the novelty of texting in class — which keeps them engaged and involved — the new teaching method creates instant responses, enabling the teacher to completely understand how many students grasp the lessons.
At one point, responses were divided almost evenly among four potential responses, prompting teacher Hugo Gorosave to stop the high-tech lesson and have students open their books and read about the topic. In the past, students’ glazed-over looks and fear of answering incorrectly, thus not answering at all, would have caused the instructor to keep on going without realizing he needed to pay extra attention to a certain point.
“It’s not about the teacher saying what they taught today,” Roe said. “It’s about what the students learned today.
“Either we get on the leading edge of technology or we will be obsolete in five years.”