Hand-held computers engage students at Archimedes

New state-of-the-art technology makes learning easier and grading more reliable at Archimedes Academy for Math, Science, and Technology, its principal said.

The school is using new computerized technology that includes a hand-held device called “Quizdom” for the children in the charter middle and high school charter located at 456 White Plains Road.

The device, which looks like a television remote or a video-game control, allows students in the school to answer questions posed in a multiple-choice, short-answer, or numeric format into the Quizdom. The computer reads the results, and the teacher knows immediately which students answered correctly and which did not.

Through the use of computer technology, students can see what percentage of the class got the answer right, and a teacher can adjust his or her lesson to suit the needs of a particular classroom of young people.

Archimedes principal Miriam Lazar said that Quizdom technology is just one of the innovative approaches to learning that the new school, which will see its first graduating class in 2014, is experimenting with.

“With Quizdom technology we get 100% participation from every student every time a question is asked in class; the teacher will know instantly who answered correctly and who did not, or if a student did not answer,” Lazar said. “In a typical classroom, a teacher can ask a question and perhaps can call on one, two or three students to answer [or expand on an answer] to a question.” Lazar said that sometimes other students in the class can get left behind, or feel forgotten. This might hurt a child’s ability to learn.

The Quizdom, with its exciting visuals on computerized boards displaying questions and answers, is one way to keep young people actively engaged. It also provides teachers with easier grading for tests and exams by creating a computer file that can be imported into their digital grade books. All the students have I.D.s that they plug into the device at the start of the class, allowing for easy grading.

Students at the school said that Quizdom technology, which many of their teachers use in conjunction with traditional pen and paper instruction and tests, often helps them to learn the material better.

“Sometimes the Quizdom helps us to better remember what we are learning in math and science,” said Archimedes 6th grade student Terrence Ellis. “The reason they help is that we see [the material] on the screen in the classroom as we answer questions. Then we remember it better on tests.”

Ellis said they are tested frequently – every Thursday.

In addition to the computerized technology, which Lazar said has attracted many students to the school, it has also instituted a state-of-the-art robotics program. Students are building robotics and are ready to compete in statewide contests.

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