This past summer our district installed Promethean Boards in all the math classrooms (10 rooms). In addition, our school received 4 sets of ActivExpression Classroom Response systems (32 untis in a set). These units are handheld devices that each student uses wirelessly at their desk. They can input numerical answers, choose multiple choice answers, text in 140 characters, choose "yes" or "no" or "true" or "false" and also use a Likert scale. When we first received these devices, I did not use them. I was too overwhelmed with using the Promethean Board itself.

However, after the 1st trimester ended I decided I would implement the response system into my classes. I thought that if I waited until I developed the perfect lesson to use these devices, I would never get around to using them. So, I forced myself to pass them out on day 1 of the new trimester and implement this technology into my daily lessons. Whenever I present concepts to students I am constantly asking questions and trying to draw out the student's thought process and feedback. Now, with these devices, ALL students can actively input their response to my questions. Once the students respond I can display a quick bar graph of their results. Thus, I can easily check if students are understanding the concepts. It is a fabulous tool for involving all students and for checking student understanding. The students have really enjoyed the devices and they are so much more actively involved in the lessons.

There is so much new technology for teachers and students to use. I wonder what other teachers are using in their classrooms to help students learn mathematics New technology, old technology, new web pages, old web resources, other manipulates...?

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Comment by KC Mowrey on February 6, 2010 at 3:41pm
We have smart boards and classroom sets of clickers in some of our buildings.
The hs is exploring the option of texting to a sight and then texting in the answers to questions.
Good Grief ... my cell phone is just a phone.
Comment by Kelly O'Melia on December 28, 2009 at 12:55pm
I began using the clickers on a regular basis this year. I have mainly been using them for the ACT Prep course that I teach but I have been slowly integrating them into the Algebra 2 course. I find them great to use as a warm up or a check for understanding. Many of my lessons are investigative and I have begun using the clickers part way through the investigation to check for student understanding. When a large percentage of students choose a certain wrong answer, I like to ask other students to explain the mistake or misconception. This gets them thinking about their work. Student feedback has been positive, everything from "it keeps me engaged" to " it's nice to see that I am not the only one that doesn't understand something".

I only have access to the Turning Point system which does not seem very user friendly when it comes to creating math questions with symbols, figures, and graphs. Several of you have commented on other systems. Is there a "best" system for mathematics?
Comment by John Pizzo on December 25, 2009 at 4:02pm
These clicker systems are a lot like the TI-Navigators. I had access to the Navigators during my student-teaching. It was amazing to have instant feedback on student response. I could use this information to help guide my lesson in an appropriate path, which I felt maximized student engagement. This type of system also encouraged all students to become actively involved in the lesson, even the shy students. Lastly, I used the Navigators on the final exam. This is how I graded my final exam and it allowed me to quickly and efficiently analyze the student responses. As a result, I could quickly perform an item analysis and throw out poor questions.
Comment by KC Mowrey on December 14, 2009 at 9:31pm
We have just gotten them this year. We got our Smartboards last year. I look forward to the item analysis ability. Anything that actively engages the students is good. I agree baby steps. The technology can be overwhelming... even for our students.
Comment by Algebra Hottie on December 12, 2009 at 8:09pm
I've been using clickers for at least a year. There are several of us in the Western UP that use them and we're constantly bringing them into our discussions about wait time, questioning, etc. I use the CPS system in conjunction with Examview

I tend to develop my lessons around clicker questions to generate feedback. I'll do a lesson in powerpoint and insert several question spots to get feedback. I've also developed several question banks. For example, I have a question bank of problems for the distributive property. I can randomly pick out 5-10 questions and have a quick review while I'm taking attendance. I'll use this if I find students getting sloppy and missing signs or not distributing fully through an expression.

But, it really is nice when you ask a question about a concept, you can check the students immediately and give more feedback if necessary or move on when the students all seem to grasp it.

I'm also using SMART notebook and have loved how that integrates. With the snapshot function, I'm able to lift a homework problem out of my pdf textbook, annotate right on top of it as I'm answering/explaining the question. With the handheld chalkboard, I'm able to move around the room as I'm doing the lesson which is nice (Although, I have to admit, when I go to the back of the classroom, I can't see the front of the classroom as well anymore. LOL)

I use my data projector along with my TI Emulator to demonstrate things on the graphing calculator, or I can go to a website with a free graphing calculator to demonstrate different properties of graphs, etc.

The biggest advice that I can offer to someone trying to integrate the technology is to smart small. Begin with a lesson, then maybe pick a chapter, try just administring a quiz using clicker. As you get more proficient, you'll find more uses. Plus, you'll talk to another teacher and find out a really great way they are using it and add it to your toolbox.

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