Teachers using cell phones and texting as teaching tools

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by TERESA YUAN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @TeresaYuan

KING5.com

Posted on January 14, 2011 at 8:42 AM

Updated Friday, Jan 14 at 9:00 AM

 

MILL CREEK, Wash. -- Chalkboards and erasers are becoming a thing of the past as technology takes over classrooms in Snohomish County.

At Henry M. Jackson High School In Mill Creek, teachers are trying a more high-tech approach.

Math teacher Jason Gadek asks teens to use a tool many already own -- a cell phone.

Students are actually allowed to text. Gadek sees it as a way to engage students.

Here's how it works. His students see their calculus quiz projected on a big screen.

The students are grouped up in smaller groups of 4-5 students. Each group works through the math problem.

Then, they text in their answers. Through a free website, the answers are tallied up and instantly, the students can see the results. For example in a multiple choice question, the screen will show 70 percent of the students chose "b," 10 percent of the class chose "d" and 20 percent chose "a."

Then from there, the teachers reveals the correct answers.

"It's actually really helpful. We're able to see our answers right away and know what we're doing wrong, especially with the group interaction what mistakes we can fix for later. And the texting is helpful because we can see it really fast, " Emily Coacher, a calculus student. 

Math teacher Jason Gadek says since using these tech tools, he's noticed a difference in grades and class participation. And has this to say to any critics

"With anything you use, people are going to be apprehensive. Some may say why aren't we doing this the traditional way. We want our kids to learn. They're learning and if we can use these tools and we can speak a language they're more familiar with then we should," said Gadek.

Gadek started the pilot program last year and plans to continue expanding and teaching other teachers how to utilize technical resources.

 

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