Jan Schiff Elementary has become the first school in the Fort Bend Independent School District to utilize a new portable teaching technology that allows students to take reading and math assessments, write compositions and more right at their desk using full-size wireless keyboards.
Based on the success of a pilot program conducted last year at Schiff, the school has rolled out the NEO 2 portable technology to all of its third, fourth and fifth-grade classes.
“Time and again we find technology increases motivation and participation by students,” notes Schiff Elementary Principal Mary Brewster. “We certainly expect the same results with this technology.”
Students will use the ultra-portable, full-size keyboards to write compositions and take assessments in accelerated reading, math and various academic disciplines.
Each of the wireless devices emits a beam which connects it to the teacher’s classroom computer. Using this wireless connection, students are able to submit their work directly to the teacher’s computer for review and printing.
Besides the benefit of bringing technology right to each student’s desk, the wireless devices free up each classroom’s desktop computer workstations for research and Internet access.
The NEO 2 device weighs under two pounds and includes an easy-view LCD screen which displays up to six lines of text. Besides the NEO 2 wireless keyboards, classroom technologies at Schiff include Mobis mobile white boards which allow teachers to project instructions from a hand-held pad onto a screen from anywhere in the classroom, thereby freeing teachers to walk around the room while teaching. Students often use the mobile white boards to participate in activities and lessons.
Students at Schiff Elementary also use hand-held Student Response clickers which allow teachers to instantly gauge student understanding on the spot and adjust their teaching accordingly.