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Students at West Union Attendance Center are getting used to learning differently, interacting with the teacher and fellow classmates differently, and taking tests in a new way, thanks to a new type of classroom technology called the Mobi.
The Mobi is a portable piece of technology that is hooked up to a projector, the teacher’s computer and individual clickers that are specifically assigned to each student.
West Union Principal Paul Correro said, “We wanted to increase technology. The more interactive you can make the classroom, the better the kids will learn, so in April I wrote a discretionary grant to get the classrooms to be more interactive.”
Correro received money from the grant and also received matching funds to make the purchase of the Interwrite Mobis and CPS Clickers. A grant in the amount of approximately $31,000 went to improve classroom technology by making them more interactive with the use of the Mobi and clickers.
“The Mobi runs through the projector and it does everything a Smart Board does. Every student has a number that corresponds to the clicker. The Mobi has pre-built tests, Mississippi curriculum, powerpoint lessons, and more,” said Correro.
The Mobis and clickers are in all of the first through sixth grade classes and in the subject area classrooms for seventh through twelfth grade classes.
The clickers have question banks that come with all major textbooks and makes assessments and lessons easier to create and deliver. Frequently used in math and science, there are many different abilities to use in the classroom, such as question and answer, multiple choice, multiple answer, yes/no, true/false, ranking, advanced numeric and text entry capabilities.
Barbara Bowen’s fifth grade language arts class is getting used to learning how the Mobis and clickers work and the teacher is starting to integrate the technology into everyday learning in the classroom.
Bowen’s students commented on the new technology. Dave Greer said, “The clickers make it a lot easier to do tests.” Zach Sanford said, “It makes learning more simple and more fun.” Emily Schiele said, “I like the fact that we don’t have to write on paper and waste paper.” Gavin Mitchell said, “Now I don’t have to get up in the middle of a test to go and sharpen my pencil.”
Bowen said, “It also cuts down on grading and it is easier to figure out what areas the students need help with.”
As the students take a test that is put on the projector or on paper, the students can click in their answers using the clickers and the student’s score will automatically appear on the LCD screen on the Mobi or on the teacher’s computer. Only a number will designate a child, not their name, so if scores come up on the screen in front of the class, students won’t be singled out by their name. It takes away any fear of answering the questions wrong and getting embarrassed.
Mrs. Lesa Scott, 6th grade teacher, said, “I am excited about the new Mobis and clickers. They are more interactive and it gives students the opportunity to interact throughout the room by holding it in their hands. Kids like it because I can pass it around to them, and it provides an extra benefit - it holds their attention.”
Scott also said that there is a program on the Mobi that can transform handwriting into type.
Andrew Trivelli, one of Scott’s students, said, “Mobis are very unique because there is a pen for writing on the board. If you do the word nice and neat, it will transform it into type. It makes learning more fun. And we can take tests with the clickers.”
Maegan Whittington, another student in Mrs. Scott’s class, said, “Teachers can just walk around the room and write on it. It is cool because it can change your writing into real type. Clickers also save time because we can click the answers or text them.”
Amy Jennings, 4th grade teacher, said, “So far, I really enjoy the Mobi. I can write on the board with it. We have played several games so far. The students are very involved and motivated, they are really excited, and I think it will help them focus. It is hands-on tactile learning like texting that they are used to doing.”
Bailey Bogue, a student in Ms. Ashley Rutherford’s Algebra I class, said, “I like them. You get to work through the problem on the board. It is fun. You don’t have to write down everything.”
Rutherford said, “It keeps them motivated and it helps keep their attention. I love it.”
Correro said, “As principal, I want to see our students maintain their performance and have the tools they need to be successful especially in today’s society where technology is a key factor. West Union would like to increase classroom performance with the use of technology. This can be accomplished by using CPS units and Mobis. The use of these tools will improve learning for students where learners are more fully engaged, increase self-esteem when answering questions, have a more robust understanding of learned material, and are more likely to remember what they learned due to the hands-on engagement of the units.”
Correro also mentioned that the Mobi takes the place of a Smart Board for the fraction of the cost. A Mobi costs about $400 and a Smart Board can cost over $3,000.
The grant was received from the Tri-State Educational Foundation for a total of $14,000. The supporters for the matching funding are as follows: Gary Gray, West Union PTO, Riverside Traffic, Wal-mart store, Ashley Outlet/Spencer Interprize, Union Construction Company, Donna Weeden, Colt Doom, and Regions Bank, and Mr. Cagle from BanCorp South.