By Noah Tan ’19, Brian Seetoe ’19, and Brandon Kong ’19
Technology is becoming more important in classrooms with the increasing use of apps and websites in Midwood. Students and teachers can all collaborate on tasks and help students learn better than traditional methods of smartboard lessons and dictation. Many teachers in the building have been experimenting with the prospect of using digital aids full-time.
Most of these apps, such as Pupilpath, See-Saw, Test Wizard, Edpuzzle, and Gizmos are assigned as homework and are usually meant for computers and tablets. These programs cost the school money, aiding students that cannot afford the extra help.
The most universal example of this interaction is Pupilpath. Its mail system allows easy communication between teachers and students, eliminating the suspense behind grading.
“Pupilpath makes it easy to spot errors and identify the problem so you can improve your grades,” said Julie Huang ’19.
Recent alternatives to Pupilpath such as See-Saw prioritize students learning rather than the record-keeping functions Pupilpath maintains.
“Students using See-Saw are posting videos of themselves rehearsing their respective voice part. I am hoping by making them upload videos, it will improve the group’s learning curve and overall performance,” said Ms. Robin Casalta.
Test Wizard is an app that is similar to a test, asking the student questions that the teacher assigns. After the students finish the test, it shows what the student got wrong and right with the correct answers.
“Test Wizard helped me test what I know and learn what I don’t know so I can study that area more,” said Adamaris Vaquero ’19.
Shaaf Naz ‘19 also likes the app because it helps her study.
Many students also use Edpuzzle, an application that required the student to watch a video and while the video was playing, answer questions on the topic just discussed. The app doesn’t allow students to skip the video so that students will have to watch it.
“It helped me while I was studying and boosted my grade up a bit,” said Joshua Belasoto ’20.
Edpuzzle helps students learn new topics, by ensuring they pay attention to the video and understand the material thoroughly.
“Edpuzzle assessed how well I was paying attention during the video and made sure I knew key topics and information,” said Vaquero ’19.
Gizmos is another application that teachers use to help students learn with online simulations mostly in math and science subjects. On their website, they claim to have the latest educational standards and assessments along with interactive designs and manipulation of variables, allowing students to explore.
“For Physics it’s really helpful. It shows you models and diagrams about how gravity affects objects,” said Naz ’19 helping him learn a certain area with visuals.
Most people don’t mention the flaws these programs have to offer. However, there are a few students with a negative attitude towards these applications.
“Personally I’ve used Gizmos in Physics when the teachers assign it to me, and everytime I try to use it, I learn absolutely nothing,” said Haoxuan Chen ’19.
Ultimately, students’ feedback and progress using these learning aids is a sign of the increasing necessity to integrate these apps into our school system. By integrating these apps into the system, students are more prepared for the growing reliance on technology in the future.