Danielle Kay recalls what it’s like to stand in front of students and ask a question the old-fashioned way. Some students are shy and sit quietly, hoping to remain invisible. Others are always among the first to raise their hands. In many schools across the nation, the days of the teacher asking a question and calling on one student at a time are gone.
In classrooms with 2Know!, teachers enjoy a far different classroom dynamic. All students are equally engaged in the learning process, answering questions and participating in discussions, quizzes, and lessons using hand-held responders. The anonymity of this system creates a socially safe way for shy and uncertain students to respond to questions.
“The system allows each student to participate at his or her own level without feeling self-conscious as a result of what others are doing,” said Kay. “Students of all age levels enjoy this technology in the learning environment.”
In addition to keeping all students actively involved in the learning process, Kay uses 2Know! to assess skill levels and generate data, and then uses that information to advance progress. For example, she recently gave students a simulation of the English Language portion of the MCAS, the statewide performance assessment and was able to generate several reports for her district.
“Based on that data, I am able to tailor lessons in directions that will, hopefully, lead to improved performance when the statewide assessment is administered,” she said.
Dr. William Arnone Elementary, one of the most ethnically and racially diverse schools south of Boston, focuses on differentiated instruction and data analysis to assure all students will be proficient in the skills needed to be successful citizens.
“The 2Know! system is an excellent tool for delivering differentiated instruction and assessments because it enables me to interact with students of different levels differently, but simultaneously, and without their being aware of the differentiation,” Kay said.
Using the 2Know! Classroom Response System, she sends different reading passages and corresponding comprehension questions simultaneously to students of different reading levels. She then provides feedback without students ever having to be aware that the passages were varied or how their performance compared to their peers.
This ability to differentiate instruction leads to individual progress, enabling the teacher to maximize overall productivity. While the 2Know! Classroom Response System is a wonderful tool to use in the 21st century school, it is the extraordinary educator who effectively implements the technology.
It’s the dedicated teacher, such as Kay, who turns passive learning into active learning. “If I perceive that students are getting it, I move on to more challenging concepts,” Kay said. “If I perceive that they are not keeping up, I adjust accordingly. Additionally, if I perceive that some students are grasping the concept at hand more than others, I know to differentiate future instruction concerning the concept.”