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III. ACTION PLAN:    A. Technology Access    B. ICT Literacy    C. Professional Development    D. Community Involvement     [Data]

ICT Literacy Toolkit
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1. Standards
2. Research
3. Case Studies
4. ePortfolio Support
5. Presentations
6. More Resources

Effective Projects Case Study


Turning Point Technologies at Prospect Mountain JMA School District


This is a story about a project that started 1/1/2007.

For more information, please contact: Kaitlyn Gilles at


Turning Point Technologies is an in-class remote technology that allows students to directly engage in their learning, thereby increasing student participation, learning, enthusiasm, and ultimately, achievement.


Funding: This project was supported by $0 from and $800 in local funds. The project illustrates how federal funding supports “Access - Enhancing existing technology and acquiring new technology to support education reforms and improve student achievement (includes servers, desktops, laptops, peripherals).” The project addressed the following grades and content areas: 

     Gr9-12      Science  SocSt    Health


The Setting: The setting for our Turning Point Technologies project is at Prospect Mountain High School, a school of approximately 600 students in Alton, NH.  PMHS has students from Alton and Barnstead, two very different communities in terms of family incomes and access to technology.  When students entered my 10th grade World History classes, there was a discrepancy in knowledge and technology skills between the Alton and Barnstead students.  This gap was evident to students, as well, and many Barnstead students were reluctant to participate in class activities because they lacked the confidence, skills, and often even the knowledge that their Alton peers had.  With help from my school’s Technology Director, I was looking for a way to bring technology into the classroom that would not only allow students from both towns to use technology, but also give Barnstead students a chance to show themselves, me, and ultimately their classmates what they know without feeling embarrassed.


The plot: The biggest challenge during the planning phase was in finding a technology that could motivate student involvement without extensive training, either on the part of the students or the teacher.  In looking at the various technologies available, we settled on Turning Point technologies because it allowed for various ways to implement and incorporate the technology into our everyday lessons and it provided many options for monitoring student achievement. Perhaps the greatest implementation challenge was in finding a way to incorporate the technology into several classrooms/disciplines without having scheduling conflicts.  As we had the funds to purchase only one unit, we decided to pilot the program using only a few teachers at first.  The health teacher and I were the first to use and test the program; this year he and I also helped train a science teacher so that more students and teachers could benefit from the technology.  As we have only one unit, however, we quickly learned that we need to schedule time that we will use it so that we don’t double-book the system.  While we – teachers and students – would like to see Turning Point Technology used in every classroom, our resources at this time limits its availability.


The teachers: 2 teachers were directly involved. There were two teachers initially involved in the implementation of Turning Point Technologies:  me, a Social Studies teacher, and Mark Anthony, a Health teacher.  Both of us were the first to use and implement Turning Point technology into our classrooms and lessons.  Since we have begun using this technology, he and I have shown the rest of our faculty ways to use it in the classroom, and this year one of our science teachers has begun to incorporate it into their lessons.  We hope that we will be able to purchase more Turning Point units in the future so that more teachers can put it to use in their classroom!


The students: Students learn more when they are directly involved in the learning process.  Many a teacher has faced a class full of students who lack motivation and become easily bored or distracted during notes/lectures or other activities.  How then, do we engage students in their own learning?  Turning Point Technology gives each student in a class a remote device through which they can answer questions developed by the teacher.  Teachers have the option to have students answer individually, or to set the students up in teams, which the program keeps track of.  I have found that the students are far more engaged when they use Turning Point.  They love being able to answer questions remotely.  For students who are shy and rarely participate in class, Turning Point allows them to take part and answer questions without speaking in front of their peers, thereby giving me an immediate idea of whether they understand the material and bringing them into the lesson.  Learning has become far more student-centered, with students taking an active part in their education and enjoying it at the same time!  My students beg to use Turning Point (the “Clicker Game,” as they call it), and I know they are all following along when I use it because they never know when a question will come at them!


The data: The Turning Point Technology software has the capability to monitor students individually when they submit their answers, so it was very easy to get immediate results on students.  I could view exactly which questions they got wrong or right as well as get overall percentages of correct and incorrect answers for the class as a whole for any given question.  This then allowed me to see which students understood the material so that I could immediately adjust what I was doing to better help my students.  Over the course of the year, I have noticed that students are far more engaged with their learning, which has resulted in higher test scores, better class participation, and an overall enthusiasm for the subject matter and learning in general.


The difference: In using the Turning Point Technology, my students have become more engaged in their learning and I have seen a direct improvement in their test scores and overall performance in class.  It has been particularly useful for lower-level students, who often try to disengage themselves from learning.  When presented, however, with a remote by which they can respond to questions about the lesson, they show greater enthusiasm and attention, which is key with so many teenagers.  It has also provided the Barnstead students with a chance to participate in class without publicly highlighting the discrepancy between them and their Alton peers.  They are more willing to participate when they know they will not be embarrassed by the obvious knowledge gap between Alton and Barnstead students.  In participating, students engage with and better learn the material, thereby helping them to close the gap and gain self-confidence in their skills and knowledge. While the improved test results and classroom performance gives us concrete data that Turning Point Technology has benefited student learning, the true proof of its impact on student learning has been the enthusiasm from the students who cannot wait to use it when they come into the classroom.  All of a sudden, taking notes is fun!  While I love to see my students do well on their assessments, it has been their increased enthusiasm and engagement in their learning that has been the true reward for me.


Essential conditions: Aside from having the resources (LCD projector, computer, etc.) to implement the actual Turning Point Technology software, having a supportive technology director and administration was crucial to the success of this project.  This was a brand new technology for this building, and Mark Anthony and I were willing and able to pilot this program because we had the support and encouragement of our administration.  While we had no formal training on the software, our Technology Director was always willing to work with us in figuring out how to navigate the technology.  The other essential condition, of course, was to have students who were willing to try something new, despite the occasional user and software errors.  Many of the software errors we have eliminated with the most recent updates to the system, and as the program begins to run more smoothly, everyone – teachers and students – continues to benefit!


Changes for the future: There is very little I would change in terms of the way I implement this project in the future.  I plan to continue using Turning Point Technologies in all of my classes.  I do hope one day to use it as an actual testing tool, rather than pen-and-paper tests, but there are still some bugs in the program that need to be worked out before I actually use it for official test scores.  Hopefully with the next software update, official testing will become a possibility. There is also very little I would change in terms of the way I evaluate this project in the future.  I will continue exploring the different student evaluation methods within the software, and perhaps look into conducting a formal study on the impact on students grades/assessment results so that more units can possibly be purchased, thereby expanding our program throughout our school.


Recommendations: My recommendation for any school district that intends to incorporate Turning Point Technology into their classrooms is to use it often and to have fun with it.  Engage students in their own learning and show them that new technology is not only “fun,” but also educational!


Telling our story: Mark Anthony and I have shared our results and demonstrated the program with our faculty in faculty meetings earlier this year.  We have also showcased the program during our school’s annual Winter Carnival, using it for the Quiz Bowl event that incorporates the entire student and faculty body.  We have shared information about Turning Point Technologies in the school newsletter that goes home to all parents, and parents have had the opportunity to test the program on Open House and Academic Night, when parents and community members come into the school to meet teachers and see what students have been learning and doing.


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