A year in with Clear Touch Interactive® Panels
This is Part 2 of a 2-part series. View Part 1 here.
After a highly-successful selection process and implementation of Clear Touch™ technology in every classroom, Davie County High School has enjoyed a year of building on their initial training, finding new resources, and looking for creative ways to use the panels to support their teaching and learning goals.
In many ways, this effort to integrate the interactive displays has been spearheaded by a team of individuals, mostly teachers. The team consisted of Hugh Lee and Ann Davis, the Instructional Technology facilitators for Davie County High School, Yvette Shore, the Math department chair and National Board Certified lead STEM teacher.
SEEING THE RESULTS
Making a Difference in Classroom Instruction
“We do all of this only because it makes a difference in the classroom,” said Butch Rooney, the Chief Technology Officer for Davie County. “Every classroom in our new school and every teacher got the exact same setup. Not only core curriculum classes, but the Arts, CTE, EC and self-contained, ROTC, as well as electives. Everyone.”
While many schools provide this level of technology only for teachers of core curriculum classes, Lee sees tremendous value in providing it for all teachers.
“People thought we were crazy, but we found an amazing use for the panels in the CTE (Career & Technical Education) program right away,” said Lee. “We were already in the new school, but we hadn’t built the baseball and softball fields yet. The teacher of the carpentry and masonry classes contacted the architect, got PDFs of the dugouts and put them up on the panel for the students to see. Using the pinch-to-zoom feature, they focused in on the specific area they were working on that day, sent the image to the students’ phones, and then went out with the correct measurements to start building.
The students get real world practice, they get to refine their soft skills, like communicating and working together, and they get to take ownership of their school and their own education.
That’s one of our main goals with the technology this year. Instead of asking them to sit there and passively receive information, we want to see what they can do with it.”
Teachers such as Yvette Shore, who teaches Math, Michelle Shue, who teaches English and Yearbook, and Kathy Melious, who teaches physics, have also found some innovative uses for the panel.
“As a teacher, you can always tell which students are still processing and need more of your time. It’s so meaningful and powerful to be able to move around, be next to those students who are struggling without having to call them up to you, and build that rapport. I also love that I can easily record lessons, and I’m already starting to build up my library of additional resources so I can pull the video next year if I’m out.”
— Yvette Shore
“As a teacher, you can always tell which students are still processing and need more of your time,” Shore said. “It’s so meaningful and powerful to be able to move around, be next to those students who are struggling without having to call them up to you, and build that rapport. I also love that I can easily record lessons, and I’m already starting to build up my library of additional resources so I can pull the video next year if I’m out.”
In addition to the flexibility to provide more one-on-one support to students who need it, Shore is also excited about how simple the Clear Touch™ panel and the software suite make it to flip the classroom.
“I can get students to check their notes and some minimal instruction outside of class through the platform,” Shore said. “That frees up my class for group discussions, whole class instruction, student-led presentations, and questions. And I’ll tell you what really made a difference for my students. The day I walked into my Calculus class, snapped a picture of student work and sent it directly to the board. They all took note that now it’s immediate, we can analyze instantly, so they’re doing their homework before they get to class now and taking more ownership of their learning.”
Finally, Shore appreciates how well the panel works with other software solutions.
“In Math classes, there’s lots of great, subject-specific software available, and it’s all worked well on the Clear Touch™ panel,” said Shore. “For example, I found an online application that does graphing functions for Trigonometry, so students can write equations to match the graphs they’ve been given. I’m able to look at my iPad and see what each student is doing, I can go to the front of the classroom and pull up an individual student problem for class discussion, and students can also help each other in the same environment or early finishers can work challenge problems. There are a dozen ways to use it—it supports differentiation at its finest.”
Clear Touch™ Improves the Design Process for School Yearbook Class
Similarly, Michelle Shue has found unique ways to use the Clear Touch™ panels to support learning in her Yearbook classroom.
“Yearbook is supposed to be collaborative, especially when it comes to design, but in the past we’ve struggled with that,” said Shue. “We’d have to send our page layouts to individual team members, make changes, compare notes, and then send the layouts back to the desktop. Or we’d have to all crowd around a single desktop to try to see the layout. It’s easy to miss things that way, and it’s difficult to collaborate and be creative when there’s so much lag time with the technology you’re using. Clear Touch™ works great with the Adobe suite, including InDesign, so now we can throw the design onto the board and just play.”
One of the biggest benefits Shue sees in her classroom is the ability to help the younger designers learn faster.
“The zoom tool alone is amazing. We can zoom in on one aspect of the layout and the kids in the back can finally see it,” said Shue. “This has been especially helpful for teaching younger designers who may not speak up or give input as readily, or who, in the past, have been afraid to try something different because it would take so long to fix if they messed it up. Now, everyone can see and everyone can be part of the process. We can move things around together, put things back where they were, rearrange everything, test out how it looks if we make the picture bigger or smaller. We can put up templates and drag and drop design elements right on the board. We can design collaboratively in real-time—it can happen as quickly as they think about it.”
Shue has also begun creating time-lapse videos using the EasiCapture feature on the Clear Touch™ panels so designers can watch the process happening.
“When you edit a design, it’s nearly impossible to go back later and explain everything you did to transform it from a weaker design to a stronger design,” said Shue. “A million choices get made, and you just can’t go through every one of them. You can only go over the major changes in a holistic way, so students don’t really understand how the design became better. Now, I can show each step of the creation as it happens simply by pressing a button. Students get to see which choices they made that were good and where they could have made better choices. I’ve seen this practice boost my designers’ confidence already.”
Making Physics Fun and Memorable
Perhaps one of the most memorable uses for the Clear Touch panel during its first year at Davie High School occurred in Kathy Melious’ Physics class.
“In the Learning Commons, we have the convertible stand that changes the panel into a tabletop learning center,” said Melious. “My physics students were studying vector analysis and collision theory, so I found an online billiards game, virtual pool, and held a double-elimination tournament.”
Michelle Shue remembers the activity well.
“We have pictures from that day on our board right now, getting a design spread,” Shue laughed. “Ms. Melious and her class had so much fun with it, they made it look like a pool parlor in the Learning Commons those days.”
However, the activity provided more than a couple rounds of fun. It was game-based learning perfected.
“We were working with elastic or inelastic collisions, so I changed the rules of collisions as the students went along,” explained Melious. “We began with all inelastic collisions, like a real pool game, and played a couple games that way. Next, I changed the elasticity on some of the balls, made certain balls stick together more easily. I kept changing the rules and the formulas to keep students on their toes; they had to work fast and do the calculations in order to stay in the tournament and win.”
According to Shue, the activity was able to keep all 22 students engaged and learning for the entire class period.
“Every couple of minutes, it was their turn again and, when it wasn’t, they were watching their friends to figure out what they could do better next time,” said Melious.
“The class went by very quickly, and all of my students did well on that chapter. I’m definitely going to use this activity for vector analysis next year.”
Looking Forward to Year Two
All-in-all, the Clear Touch™ integration has been a tremendous success for Davie County High School, from the selection process to the installation to the ongoing training and support in the classroom.
Both the administration and the teachers are excited about building on this solid foundation and bringing even more resources into the classroom next year.
“There’s a learning curve with any new technology,” said Lee “But since Clear Touch™ has been so simple and intuitive, the learning curve is not steep, which allows teachers to focus on teaching their subject. They’ve all helped each other learn, helped each other build up their teaching resources, and come up with some tremendous, highly-creative uses for the panel. The panel has truly changed the way the teachers interact with each other and with their students while keeping high-quality teaching at the forefront.”