By Mario Conde
Calexico High School takes a new direction using technology to improve academic achievement at the district.
Calexico High School teacher Eliseo Cerros’ U.S. History Class has joined the transformation of a normal U.S. History review into a fun and interactive experience using integrated technology, engaging questions, music and movement to boost their knowledge and test scores.
“The engagement level and excitement level is so much higher in his classroom now. The immediate feedback empowers the students immediately,” said Cerros. Last Tuesday, Mr. Cerros quizzed the students in world history focusing this time in the Cold War and Communism. Students received a devise where they answered to the questions similar to a cell phone where they “texted” their answers in this group dynamic.
The new interactive program has been implanted at CHS thanks to an Enhancing Education through Technology Grant given to Calexico High. This grant program provides funding for grades four through eight to assist eligible local educational agencies in using technology to enhance teaching and learning.
The new classrooms incorporate hi-tech teaching tools such as wireless tablets, digital “chalk boards”, educational video gaming and student response systems called “clickers”. The “clickers” are the foundation of our digital classroom and give students the ability to “text” their
answers anonymously and provide instant feedback to the teacher.
Because only the teachers know the student’s answers, this technology gives even the “shyest” student a voice, boosting participation to 100%. This devise can tell the student if their answer is right or wrong and also tell them the grade they will receive after the assignment is done. The teacher will later collect the devices and transfer the information to his computer.
Cerros mentioned that this program has increased the level of student achievement in his class now that his students have gained confidence through student engagement. “With this system, students can privately answer questions without the fear being laugh at so it makes it easier for our students to increase their academic achievement.” Most of his student are level 3 ELD students that have improved their English skills and are doing well in this class.
The program has been in effect for the last four years at the High School but now it has been expanded to other departments at the High School.