Position Held: Academic Coach
District/School: Heritage Middle School, Volusia County Schools, Florida
Number of Students in District/School: 61,000 in district, 1,200 in Heritage Middle School
Products: eInstruction CPS Student Response Systems, and Mobi Mobile InteractiveWhiteboards
The overall goal at Heritage Middle School was to actively engage students in their education, while providing both the teachers and the students with immediate data about the learning taking place in every classroom. As we move toward fully implementing a Proficiency Model in our district, the CPS Student Response System will enable teachers to continuously assess students and provide immediate data as to which students need remediation and which have mastered the material.
Teachers were excited to have a new technology to engage students in the lesson that would also reduce the amount of papers they would have to grade. The idea of immediate data on student progress was also very enticing to teachers. Parents are thrilled to know how their child did on the math test the same day it is given.
The CPS System is relatively simple to use, but after initial trainings of the staff, we realized there were two distinct groups of teachers. One group of teachers is tech savvy and the other group is more intimidated by technology. While the tech savvy teachers were able to jump right in after the training, other teachers needed more support.
As academic coach, it is part of my job to give the additional training and support to the teachers more intimidated by CPS. Guiding the more intimidated teachers while they used CPS for the first time or modeling the use of CPS for those teachers has definitely broadened the use of the CPS System. Once teachers use the CPS System with the support of an academic coach, or another teacher, they see how easy it is to use and how much their students enjoy it. Support is essential for making teachers feel comfortable with new technology.
How We Use It:
The teachers at Heritage Middle School use the CPS Student Response System in a myriad of ways. While many teachers started out using CPS for quizzes and tests only in the beginning, they have quickly realized that having immediate feedback on student learning should not be reserved for quizzes and tests only. Some of our teachers use the “Fast Grade” feature to have student input the answers from the previous night’s homework to determine which concepts need reviewed before moving on. Other teachers use the CPS System daily to ascertain learning during key checkpoints in every lesson. Some of our more creative teachers have students “text in” questions during lessons. Students can anonymously ask for help without having to feel embarrassed in front of their classmates.
Heritage Middle School currently has 12 sets of eInstruction’s CPS Student Response Systems that are shared between over 70 teachers. Purchasing more CPS Student Response Systems for our teachers to use is definitely part of our future plans. Continuous training and support will help teachers create and share lessons for Mobi mobile interactive whiteboards and CPS.