The professor draws the equation out on the whiteboard, the room filling with the tang of dry-erasemarker as he fervently sets the problem up for the class to solve. He steps aside, sets the marker down, and surveys his own work for mistakes before turning around.
“And what answer do you all get for this?” He asks, leaning against the lectern. The wide-eyed, uncomprehending faces of his students look back at him, afraid to be wrong. In the front row, a young man raises his hand and calls out a number.
The professor stops, looks back at the equation. Has he made a mistake? How could this student arrive at such an egregious error? Is there some principle that hasn’t sunk in for these students? The professor sighs internally, not at the incorrect answer, but at the very human worry that he is taking the wrong road toward educating these students. He walks to the board, and he begins to solve the equation out loud, all the while wondering if he’s actually addressing the issue or just making the problem more complicated for his students.
Now, rewind five minutes. Replace the outdated physical whiteboard with a virtual whiteboard. Connect the students to that virtual whiteboard, let them access the classroom technology on their own terms, via their own devices.
The professor presents the problem on the projector, neatly copied from the book. He handwrites a few notes in the margins for students to consider. What
equation to use, what problems might arise, what is different about this problem from similar problems.
“And what answer do you all get for this?” He asks. He walks around the classroom, his tablet in one hand as he surveys the students working fervently on their own devices to solve the equation.
The young man raises his hand, as before, and again, his answer is incorrect. “Let’s see what you did...,” the professor says. He taps a few icons on his tablet, bringing the students workspace to him. He observes the columns of numbers, and points. “Ah, I see what you’ve done,” he says. “You’ve transposed a decimal here, and it looks like that affected your final outcome.”
He taps another icon, bringing the student’s work up on the projector itself. “This is a very common mistake,” he says. The entire class watches him analyze the student’s work, step-by-step, in order to demonstrate to everyone the steps for the equation. He corrects the equation, and then works it forward again, arriving at the correct answer.
“Does that make sense?” he asks. The entire class voices their agreement, and they collectively move to the next problem.
Students learn best via one-on-one collaboration in the classroom, but sadly, this is not always possible. Classrooms in higher education are usually larger, and often cover more complex material. This makes it harder for a teacher to address the mistakes of individual students, even though those mistakes may be common among their classmates.
Using technology in the classroom, such as wePresent, the one-one-one interactions can make a return. Students become part of the discussions and lectures, rather than passive participants. Mistakes while learning don’t compound into failed exams or dropped courses. The students themselves become the focus of the learning experience.
Interactive education is becoming a standard in the classroom, and wePresent would like to be your gateway to get there.
Contact our wePresent Team to learn more about technology in the classroom.