I tried something new yesterday; I took an OrangeTheory Fitness class. If you are not familiar with it, it is an hour long class that is constantly changing exercises to maximize your calorie burn. You wear a heart rate monitor and your results are displayed throughout the entire class for everyone to see. OrangeTheory has five different ranges it wants you in (based on your heart rate) and as your heart rate increases, the colors change. The screen also displays the amount of calories you burn and the amount of minutes your heart rate has stayed in the two highest zones. The class is fun and so successful because as the “students” we are able to see our real time results as the instructor checks on us and explains different exercises. The competition aspect is fun as well because my wife and I were competing to see who could have the most minutes in the two highest zones. This exercise class made me think of how we can effectively use technology to engage our students utilizing instant feedback/formative assessment and competition (in a positive way). Students respond best when they are able to receive timely feedback; this is why tools such as Kahoot, Formative, and GradeCam are so effective. These tools allow students to know instantly how they are performing in class. Great teachers use these tools not just to ask questions, but take the data from the questions to drive their instruction based on student understanding while asking students to explain and justify their answers. My instructor yesterday could see which exercises were best for our class; if he noticed our technique was wrong or our heart rate was not where it needed to be, he would check on us and correct what we were doing wrong while providing us specific feedback to improve. This was a matter of the real world looking like a classroom of today. We live in a society of instant gratification; our students and teachers want instant feedback on how they are performing. We have tools today that will allow that and as leaders we must feel comfortable utilizing these tools and having conversations that come with honest feedback that is timely and specific.
My next post will be a reflection on a presentation for Washington County Leaders I am giving with Lindsey Reynolds this Thursday; Utilizing Technology To Enhance Formative Assessment. In that post, I will reflect on the tools we shared, how the presentation went, and then I will share our presentation for viewing and hopefully my PLC will be able to use it and/or modify it to meet their needs. Thanks.