Yesterday I wrote about the sad story of a 17 year old girl in Pennsylvania who had her phone confiscated by a teacher, then had her device searched by the school’s principal, who finally took the irrational measure of calling law enforcement after finding naked pictures of her in her photo gallery. She ended up winning $33,000 after bringing her school to court, but still, it demonstrates the disconnect between generations on how mobile technology should be used. Today I’ve got a better story to share, about a High School in Iowa that is using mobile phones, more specifically the use of text messages, to help students better perform in their classes.
Jason Guerin and Mark Anderson teach a science class and project multiple choice questions onto a whiteboard. Using the the PollEverywhere.com backend, students answer to the best of their ability the question presented and then the course is taught differently depending on which areas they are demonstrating poor comprehension of the course material. “It gives us a chance to focus on what they don’t get,” Guerin said. “Things that would be a problem on the test get addressed.”
One example is the day Guerin asked his class: Where do living things get their energy? Half of them got the question wrong so they took the time to go over chemical reactions and the digestion process. “If a bunch of us get it wrong, they explain things more in depth,” said Austin Lindeman, a junior. “It’s helpful.” This also solves the budgetary constraints that schools are now facing since providing a laptop to each and every child would prove expensive both in terms of upfront capital expenditure and then the associated maintenance fees that come with brining in an IT Technician to make sure everything is running smoothly.
“The administration here at the high school has come to the conclusion that instead of fighting kids over cell phone use, let’s work with them,” said Frank Wood, associate principal. “If we can use the technology in appropriate ways in the educational setting, it’s going to be good for us.”
That brings a tear to my eye, to see an adult who “gets it”, because so few do.
[Image via Mobile Behavior]