Chattanooga school using technology to keep students
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB-TV)-- Local teachers are up against texting, games and music to keep their classrooms focused on learning, but what if administrators used students' interest in new technology to their advantage? It's happening in one Hamilton County school.
Channel 3 visited Tyner High Academy, a Title I school, that's working on improving its retention rate. One way they're going about it is similar to a game of Jeopardy.
"You have ten seconds to dial in your responses," Mr. Young tells the students.
He's no Alex Tribeck, Randy Young teaches ninth grade social studies at Tyner High Academy. He was chosen to test out this new technology called Turning Point, known as "clickers" to the students, like Steven Bedford.
"It's a different way of learning. You don't have to just sit in a classroom and listen to a teacher talk all day," Tyner High Freshman Steven Bedford said.
Instead, each student grabs a "clicker." Mr. Young projects multiple choice questions on the overhead and then gives them 10 seconds to punch in their answers.
"I doesn't call anyone out. It doesn't put anybody on the spot," Young said.
Then it reveals how everyone answered as Mr. Young explains the correct one. He says it's getting even the kids in the back row involved in the learning process and he's noticing a difference.
"They can hear. They can see, but when they do hands on stuff, they can learn better so I'm looking forward to seeing this continue to improve kids' retention, their scores, the information that they learn," Young said.
He says it's keeping them interested in learning, so they don't drop out.
"I think it's better than just like reading questions off a test and stressing to answer them right, so I like using a clicker," Tyner High Freshman Diana Varghese said.
"I think it's really fun. I like doing it," Tyner High Freshman Taylor Jackson said.
"He boosts me up everyday I come to this class," Bedford said.
"One of our principals got onto me and came in 'what's going on in this classroom?' Well, actually the kids were just reacting because they got the question right and were real excited," Young said.
Hamilton County Schools has a retention rate of 80.2%. That is an improvement, but the state is calling for 90%. Mr. Young says there are a few other schools in the county using the "clicker" method. and he recently did a demonstration to get others to consider it as well.