This blog post is written for class parents at the behest of my students.
Today, as my 10th grade students entered the classroom, I was asked repetitively to send a note home to the parents, confirming that I use cellphones as a teaching device. I do, and it is fantastic. BYOT (bring your own technology) is a growing trend among some educators, because school districts simply do not have the money to buy every student a device to use. However, there are good and bad points to using this technology.
Among the good- nearly 100% class participation. I read this, but I did not believe it until I saw it in action. Students were actually cheering and applause during a Romeo and Juliet review. I have never had cheering during a review of any kind, so this was an interesting turn of events. Students that normally do not speak up and are shy now contribute enthusiastically. It's something special when students say "Can we do this again? It was fun!" in regards to a lesson. I had immediate feedback on strengths and weakness of my previous lessons by watching their answers populate in front of me. I could do on- the- spot reteaching or lead a discussion when I realized that there were gaps in student learning. Students who did not have access to technology were paired with those that did, and they worked excitedly as a team to answer the poll.
Unfortunately not all students have cellphones, and the devices they do have are different. There are a few students that do not have cellphones handy, and some must pay for each text message sent or received. One way to get around this would be for me to sign out laptops, have students use my phone, or even purchase a couple of pre-paid cellphones and allow students to borrow them during class.
All in all, this technology was a game changer for me. I wish I had not waited so long to try out Poll everywhere. Creating polls takes me less than ten minutes at the end of my day and the impact they have is amazing.
I am a technology leader, professional developer, teacher, parent and proud owner of an IEP. Let's talk about some fabulous learning experiences.