Tallahassee Democrat visits Raa Middle School

Raa Middle students use new technology to learn

By Asheley Ames March 9, 2011

In Carlos Fernandez’s eighth grade American History class at Raa Middle School, the students don’t raise their hands. They simply press a button, and Fernandez knows exactly who has answered, what they answered and if it was correct.

It’s all part of Raa Middle School bringing learning into the 21st century. Many of the classrooms already have Smartboards, an interactive whiteboard that works with computers. The most recent technological equipment came about a year ago with the purchase of a student response system. The system is a collection of hand-held transmitters that are given to students and allow them to submit an answer or a reply to the instructor silently and immediately.

Tuesday, the school showcased how this type of technology can be used to positively affect the learning experience. On display was Fernandez’s way of incorporating the transmitters — or, as the students call them, “clickers” — into the teaching process. For review, they race: The person who answers the most questions accurately in the least amount of time wins.

Fernandez said that the transmitters — there are about seven sets of different kinds floating around the school — are absolutely an asset to his teaching experience.

“The transmitters are taking my class to a whole new level,” he said. “It makes it so much more interesting and engaging for the students.”

Donna Callaway, principal of Raa, said it was great way to have education meet the 21st century, although the objective is, of course, improved learning.

“If this is another way that students can learn, then we will incorporate it,” she said.

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