During Shelby County Schools’ Edtech Share Fair, a group of six students demonstrated the use of Prodigy, a math-based role-playing game they use in their sixth-grade class.
The students said they were nervous presenting to teachers, some of whom have taught them in class, but also “it was fun because I got to explain my thinking to the teachers,” said student Rayonna Bray.
Rachel Kinsey, the students’ teacher, said when the event’s organizer sent out a request for presenters, she told him her students have a lot to share.
“How empowering. They got to teach teachers that taught them in elementary school and they got to teach their teachers they will have next year in seventh grade,” Kinsey said. “They had teachers from across the county that are teaching some of their cousins and friends so it’s very empowering to know that (they’re) teaching teachers to be better teachers.
“But that’s the way we run our class. We start the year with ‘Hey, we’re going to learn from each other and I can learn more from you than you will probably learn from me.’”
East Middle School student Rayonna Bray demonstrates the Prodigy program to East Middle School teachers Adam Floyd and Vickie Lohr during the Shelby County Schools’ Edtech Share Fair.
Event organizer Adam Watson said he was excited about having student presenters for the first time. And educators who attended thought it was great to learn from the children.
“I just thought that was really powerful for kids to take control of their own learning,” said Jennifer Gilbert, an instructional coach in Henry County Schools. “For me that was kind of a highlight of it because the last time I was there, there weren’t students presenting.
“We were able to talk to the students about their use of the tool and get some honest and positive feedback from them on whether they liked actually doing the computer games and stuff, so that was big for some of my teachers.”
Gilbert said one teacher from her district began using the free Prodigy program in the classroom after hearing about it from the Shelby County students.