I Write Q!

I rarely discuss commercial applications on this blog, but I am beginning to realize how much need there is in my school. To help the students in my school, I am looking to apply for technology based grants. Thanks to Shannon M Miller for telling me about Qwizdom’s How Do You Q? contest. Below is my entry.

How Do You Q?

Last year, I had the privilege of being a library media specialist. By working with the teachers in the building, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to teach literally every subject that was offered in the high school. One of the things that I learned is that any subject can be made more interesting and fun for children by making it interactive.

There are many ways that content can become interactive. Of course, it depends on knowing both the students and the content very well. One solution that can often transcend content is a student response system. For those unfamiliar, a student response system allows all students to answer questions. Answers are graphed on-screen as soon as students choose the answer. There tend to be two-types of response systems. The first uses a dedicated device that transmits a signal of RF or IR signal. The second allow for answering via text messages and the Internet.

I am responsible for training teachers on all aspects of technology as well as teaching one period of informational technology. One of the primary ways that I will use this in both settings is to constantly check for understanding and to guide the lesson based on their learner’s understanding. At strategically placed  times throughout the lesson, I would ask a question or series of questions to gauge how well the learners are grasping the material. This will inform my decision as the teacher/trainer to either move forward or to reteach a concept.

Furthermore, from discussions with teachers in the district and the amount of interactive white boards the district has purchased at the expense of other technology, many teachers are stuck in a method of teaching where they present information for the better part of the class. I really want to help the teachers that I will be working with to move away from that mentality and spend more time actually working with the students. The Qwizdom Presenter Tablet and Document Camera are two tools that can help with this.

The Qwizdom Presenter Tablet will allow the teachers to work with students individually or in small groups while still controlling what they see on the screen. Better yet, they can let the students use it themselves! There is immense power when we put good technology in the hands of the students. Students can draw, write, and explore content with the Presenter Tablet. The Document Camera will let them do the same with physical items. For example, a student could bring an example artifact up in history to let the whole class examine or record a lab in science so that they can review it and better understand what happened.

There are so many possibilities with the Qwizdom suite. We just need to get it in the hands of children who will use and teachers who are not afraid to let the students guide their own learning.