The end of the year gives us a chance to recap a year of innovation, as well as recharge for a strong, six-month push to the end of school year. Whether a teacher, parent, or student, check out some tech education issues, catch up on educators in the classroom, or add to your digital backpack with some tech tools!
The blog post, Musing Mathematically gives a great example of content-area-specific uses for Poll Everywhere : “What is the slope of a line passing through (-6,6) and (-4,0)?” When the focus of a professional development meeting switched to SMS text message polling, this math teacher explored the Poll Everywhere site and quickly found the ease with which polls are created. Best of all, this post outlines “Five Benefits” derived from using Poll Everywhere in the math class that can easily be translated to any subject area.
The ideas continue with Musings about Teaching Economic. An Economics teacher suggests Poll Everywhere as a backchannel using the sites open-ended format. An instructor prompts students to submit questions or comments during a lecture, which can be included in the lesson either in real time or when the instructor chooses. A backchannel also provides an opportunity for student-to-student discussions, all occurring before their eyes. It provides the ability to interact with all students texting in or provide a collective experience for distance learning. This is a great suggestion that can help a teacher get a sense of how well students are understanding a lesson.
Interested? Watch this demo on creating a poll and receiving results. This video goes beyond the free version that many teachers currently use; so if you’ve ever wondered what a paid plan would include, then check this out. From registering participants for assessment purposes to creating spreadsheets for data comparison over a period of time, this video can give you that info.
A teacher in Virginia made the news in the Fairfax Times! Frank Franz of Madison High School posed a question of the day to begin his class and had his students respond by texting responses via their cell phones. Using Poll Everywhere, Mr. Franz displayed his question and the entire class watched as responses were displayed on the screen in front of them. His motivation is about “Attracting students’ attention and getting them to focus early in the class,” and students have responded positively through engagement and connection with his lessons. Mr. Franz wasn’t the only tech savvy teacher featured in the Fairfax Times, two Hayfield Secondary School teachers, Ken Halla and Deirdre Forgione, are using blogs to connect with students. Mr. Halla has increased his students’ engagement by incorporating blogs on history and government in his lessons. Ms. Forgione uses blogs and Twitter to display and promote her students’ artwork to others. Technology is a tool that teachers can use to capture the interests of students. Once interested, technology can be used to transform passive students to active students that are taking responsibility for their learning through the analysis, manipulation, and presentation of their skills.