May 31, 2012
Case Study: An Interview with Jennie Buechner, Technology Integrator
Jennie Buechner, NBCT, serves as a technology integrator at an accredited international school. She has experience teaching MYP Computer Technology (IB/Middle Years Program), middle school mathematics, and at the elementary level in the United States as well.
Jennie Buechner’s school was using a competitor's product, FASTT Math, but was experiencing technical difficulties. Screens were freezing during login, teachers were frustrated and computers sat idle. The kids weren't learning their math facts. Jennie decided to search for a better solution for math fact fluency.
Ms. Buechner researched online and discovered Reflex. Having used Gizmos before, she knew that Reflex would be a high quality, engaging product, but she also knew her school would want to test the product before making a decision to switch.
An adaptive and individualized solution
Jennie was impressed with the Reflex approach to learning math facts. The system carefully assesses which facts students know and which ones they are still learning, and it delivers facts within the games accordingly. This helps reinforce student confidence, as well as learning.
Anytime, anywere access
The school was also looking for an easier to use system for teachers and students. With Reflex, there is no software to download and no data to upload. Teachers and students simply login at ReflexMath.com. This also means that students can continue to use Reflex at home.
Ms. Buechner then piloted the program with second and fourth grade students. The kids were crazy about Reflex, and she and the resource teacher wrote up their top ten reasons to buy Reflex. Their reasons included the following: web-based program, no server install, the kids can do it at home, it’s a game based program, and the kids love it.
“We felt successful with both classes and particularly noticed that the 4th graders were motivated and happy to do their ‘homework’ on Reflex, whereas they normally did not complete their math homework,” said Jennie.
“I’m sure you have a great help desk but I’m glad I never have to use it.”
Buoyed by the success with their 3rd and 4th grade, the school decided to implement Reflex fully at their school. With no software to download, Reflex is simple to use on any computer with an Internet connection. The reports on student progress are intuitive and easy for teachers to access. The students made great progress, especially since they enjoyed it so much. They talked about it on the playground, and practiced at home.
As student use increased, so did their fluency. The program tests on facts students know already along with new facts to reinforce learning and help kids gain confidence. And with better math fact fluency, student confidence increased.
“Many students feel like math is a talent you are born with and they say they don’t have the aptitude for it. This is such a bad stereotype. Math is about effort and recognition. Once a student gains confidence they literally have a breakthrough. They realize they can do math. Reflex gives our kids this moment of confidence. The games build up the students so they become proficient with their facts.”
You can read more about Jennie’s tips for finding great technology in the classroom on her blog.