The Kids Were Clicking at Dewitt High School

wendyz@michiganprincipals.org's picture

This past week I visited Principal Jody McKean at Dewitt High School as his 9th grade students were participating in the MASSP/Turning Technologies Explore Clicker Pilot. David Chizar and Tina Rooks from Turning Technologies and Bruce Umpstead from the MDE were also on site to get feedback from Jody, his students and his staff on the process. While visiting Dewitt, we were able to get a glimpse of a couple of classrooms, who were at different points of the planning and preparation process.

Start-up Activities: In one classroom, the teacher facilitated student log in using the clickers and ran through a variety of scenarios. Students logged in with their password and the clicker identified the student by name on the clicker screen. The students practiced answering the questions provided and an activity that included skipping questions, going back to items and changing their answers. This activity was intended to allow students to gain a comfort level and familiarity with the clicker they would use for the Explore test next week. Students were able to navigate through the practice with minimal assistance from the teacher.

During the observation: the teacher was able to easily follow the directions provided to guide students through the activities; the students were able to use the clickers to input responses with minimal questions and confusion; the students were interested and engaged in the new process. Following this initial activity the students reported feeling, "less overwhelmed about the test", "it was easier to pay attention" and "that it was more interesting." The staff proctor said that doing the practice activities allowed him and the students to "work the bugs out" before they actually test.

While visiting a second classroom, where the students had already completed the introduction activity, the students needed even less guidance and instruction. The instructor simply passed out the clickers and the interest inventory section. Upon giving students the directive to get started, there was no hesitation or questions from the students. They began clicking in their answers in a self-paced format until the section was complete.

When asked why Dewitt HS volunteered to participate in the pilot, Principal Jody McKean explained, "We are interested in getting a good price on the clickers. We would like to consider using them for other assessments and want the opportunity to work with them. We also foresee that we may be moving to an online test in the near future, so we wanted to be pro-active. Also, we are only using the clickers for half of our 9th grade class so we could have our own study group of interpreting the data to distinguish if there is a different outcome within our student body. I don't anticipate that, but I'm interested to find out."

For questions regarding the implementation of the clicker pilot, feel free to contact Dewitt Principal and MASSP Board Member - Jody McKean at mckeanjod@dewittschools.net.

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