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Solid Instructional Decisions: Stutzman & Zukor

Turning
Belinda_hartzler2 Reviewers:  Belinda Stutzman/Dave Zukor Dave-Zukor3

Positions: Technology Integration Specialists

District/School:  Wayzata Schools

Number of Students in District/School:  10,000+

Products:  Turning Technologies ResponseCard NXT and software from Turning Technologies

Goals:

  1. A common learning experience for students across our district where teachers can use Standard Reference Data (SRDs) for formative and summative assessments.
  2. A means to efficiently and effectively gather data to store into a data warehouse where teachers/administrators can use data to make instructional decisions.
  3. Increase student achievement, engagement and motivation

Response:

Clearly, because we are increasing the use of ResponseCard NXTs in our district, the response of all Nxt stakeholders has been positive overall. Most teachers and administrators are excited about streamlining the collection of data so that the focus of time and energy can be on responding to the individual needs of students. Teachers also are excited about the reduction in paperwork so that they can focus more on instruction.  Some concerns have arisen such as student responsibility for the device, teacher training, and adjusting instruction to maximize the potential of the NXT. We continue to respond to these concerns by providing additional training and support.  We have received positive comments from parents and students regarding engagement, motivation and instant feedback.

Learning Curve:

The students were comfortable with the devices very quickly.  For teachers, training was needed to learn how to incorporate all of the Turning Technologies software options into the teaching toolbox. We, as technology integrationists, provide training after school and on an as needed basis. We also provide in-classroom support, and offer a summer tech institute for more staff development. In addition, our teachers all belong to Personal Learning Teams (PLTs).  These teams provide support in the development of assessments, use of SRDs, analysis of data and response to student needs.

How We Use It:

NXT cards are used in a variety of ways. Our teachers use them for common formative assessments across district curricular areas. For example, our 8th grade Science teachers all give the same unit tests throughout the year even though they are in different buildings, however, they meet in their PLT and analyze data from all district students to make solid instructional decisions. That data is also used to analyze their own instructional strategies and collaborate to make changes as needed.  

Exit slips, on the fly check-ins and pre-assessments are common strategies being used by teachers in all areas including PE, art, music, etc. We also use the NXT cards for summative assessments when appropriate.

Administrators, teachers and specialists use the hardware and software during staff meetings to gather data as well.  

What’s Ahead?:

We are beginning year one of our 1:1 plan for grades 3-12 using the NXT cards across our district. However, we have been using a classroom model for the past two years and because of the success of the pilot we will be moving to a learner model. 

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