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Great Education Technology Story: CPS Student Response System helps to improve FCAT scores

by Kelly Walsh on March 28, 2010


7th Grade Math Teacher shows clear learning outcome improvements while engaging students with this interactive education technology.

As announced last week, one of our two winners in this contest was Juanita Rodriguez, 7th Grade Math Teacher at Don Estridge High Tech Middle School in Florida. Rodriguez employed CPS (Classroom Performance System) response systems from eInstruction in her class for the last six years and has continuously improved learning outcomes and student engagement year over year.

Juanita and I spoke the other day and talked about her wonderful results with this technology. She started using the CPS clickers about 6 years ago, really stepped up their use 4 years ago, and is now using them daily. The clickers allow her to know instantly when a student doesn’t understand a concept she is teaching. The types of math subjects she is covering include geometry, pre-algebra, integers, and statistics.

The benchmark by which success has been defined in this application of education technology has been Florida’s standardized FCAT test. The FCAT is the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, which measures student performance on selected benchmarks in Reading, Math, Writing, and Science. Rodriguez has been able to improve the percentage of students with FCAT math scores that indicate learning gains from 80% to 97% with the help of the CPS technology (very impressive!).

Rodriguez recently added the InterWrite Mobi tablet to her classroom technology, which has positioned her to provide even more immediate feedback to her students.

More on eInstruction’s CPS & Interwrite Mobi
The CPS is a type of Student Response System and its an easy to use handheld ‘clicker’ that enables students to respond to questions electronically. Instructors can pose questions manually, or can use pre-existing question templates. Answers can be exported to Excel, Word, a PDF, or a CPS Gradebook. Students have fun with these devices, get to answer questions privately, and generally feel very comfortable with them. Instructors get immediate feedback.

Classroom Performance Systems are recommended as an ideal tool to facilitate benchmark testing and increase scores (and Juanita’s story certainly bears this out). There are also plenty of additional integrated technologies available that can extend the utility of the tool set. The InterWrite Mobi is one such tool. This mobile tablet device allows the teacher to walk around the classroom while working interactively, letting them be even more responsive.

This video shows these (and related) technologies in action:


While SRS tools are not an Internet based technology (which I most often write about here) they are indeed an instructional technology, and they are ’emerging’ (that is, they are still evolving towards becoming mainstream Ed Tech), so they do fit in well with the types of technologies I like to write about. I’m looking forward to taking a closer look at these types of systems in a future post.

Juanita Rodriguez’s use of these tools in the classroom is the kind of education technology success story that makes blogging about Ed Tech fun and motivating. Thanks Juanita for sharing your story!

Next Week
Please be sure stop back next week to hear more about our other winner, Dallas McPheeters, and the great work he did with a summer Technology Camp for low SES students.

In the meanwhile, as always, we love to hear feedback and commentary from our readers. Feel free to weigh in with any thoughts, observations or questions about any of what we have discussed here, or anything related. Thanks.

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
And the winners are …
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Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer at The College of Westchester, in White Plains, NY, where he also teaches. In 2009, Walsh founded He frequently delivers presentations and training on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. His eBook, the Flipped Classroom Workshop-in-a-Book is available here. Walsh became the Community Administrator for the Flipped Learning Network in June of 2016. In his "spare time" he also writes, records, and performs original music ... stop by and have a listen!

[Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own, or those of other writers, and not those of my employer. - K. Walsh]

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Anelly A Schwab November 20, 2010 at 7:34 pm

I am seeking 10 teachers to collaborate with me in answering a simple 10 question survey on the use of student response systems and how they relate to improving Teaching and Learning in the classroom and or FCAT success. Please note that my survey is for research purposes only. I would appreciate any assistance you may be able to provide in helping me contact 10 educators.


Anelly A Schwab, MBA
Business Technology Teacher
John I Leonard High School, Greenacres, Florida
Palm Beach County School District

Oleksandra April 14, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Great article!

If it’s OK with you, I would like to use parts of this in our upcoming eInstruction Newsletter. Reference will be included.

Please let me know.

Seth Leavitt April 5, 2010 at 9:24 pm

It does give me a picture of what’s happening in your classroom so yes, it does help. I have a set of clickers but have not felt that I’ve used them very effectively. I’m looking for insights how to make that happen. Your comment is a step in that direction.

Juanita April 5, 2010 at 9:33 am

As a math teacher I work a problem using the Mobi (wireless tablet). Then I put a problem for the students to work. They solve the problem and then enter answers into the CPS Pulse. I have a screen on the Mobi that in numeric mode allows me to see the answer the students entered. I can then walk over to a student that missed the problem and help them one on one. If many students missed the problem, I end it and with a low class average I am able to reteach instantly and then have them work another problem. Hope this helps Seth.

K. Walsh April 2, 2010 at 6:59 am

Seth –

I’m not sure what kinds of additional info you would be after. Some of what you might wish to know about may be answered by investigating the web site, as it provides a lot of info about the clickers and related technology and how they are used. I believe that Juanita is basically using the technology in her class in the way it was intended – posing questions and letting students answer using the clickers. Of course, I’m sure she may have additional insights.

Seth Leavitt March 30, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Is there any way to get any more details about what Juanita is actually doing in the classroom?

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