Sunday, November 2, 2008

Use of audience response system in 7th grade class

Our use of technology at Dvorak is moving along much faster than this blog would suggest. I will try to update the blog more often!

Below is some text that accompanies a three minute rough video that I put on our website (dvoraktech.org) about the use of the Turning Technologies TurningPoint audience response system that we are using in some of our classes.

Link to audience response system video

This clip shows the use of the TurningPoint audience response system in Ms. Minter's 7th grade class. I think this clip is interesting for a couple reasons.

First, although the PowerPoint slides are pretty basic, they indicate the best practices of a master teacher: Ms. Minter took the initiative to see how the "clickers" (which is how the response system has come to be known) would work in her class. The slides only had A, B, C and D on them, but this worked because the students were given a text to refer to (last year's benchmark assessment test booklet). The students were given the question number; answering the question involved some reading and referring to the test text. It was exciting to see a teacher take up the new technology and play around with it to see how it would work in practice. Ms. Minter came up with a simple, workable -- and successful -- way of putting brand new technology to use.

Second, Ms. Minter and I were surprised to see how engaged students were with the clickers. This is evident in the clip when they start doing the New Year's Eve countdown, and their response when the correct answer is shown. I'm not sure why the clickers are so popular -- perhaps it is a combination of the instant feedback and recognizing oneself as being part of a group.

The entire clip is about 3-1/2 minutes long, and shows one complete question sequence. Ms. Minter set the timer at three minutes, which in practice turned out to be a bit long. But that's all part of good teaching practice -- design, try, reflect, revise, try again, and so on. The camera work is a bit shaky -- I didn't have a tripod at the time. And I haven't mastered editing with iMovie, so the ending is a bit messy; on the other hand maybe it adds to the authentic feel...

jd

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