Case Studies - Hickory High School
The "A-Ha" in AP Biology
"The response from students and teachers has been overwhelming! I’ve seen the class average come up and I can see a noticeable increase in student motivation, participation and time spent on task."
Gena Barnhardt, AP biology teacher
Challenges and Goals
Gena Barnhardt teaches biology to sophomores and Advanced Placement (AP) biology to juniors and seniors. She is one of 16 teachers participating in a nationwide pilot of “Biology-Exploring Life,” new curricula under development by Pearson Prentice-Hall, which is being evaluated by the National Science Foundation.
As part of the curricula, Barnhardt must be able to present Web content to her students. Hickory High School , however, has only one computer with Internet access in each classroom. Most teachers participating in the pilot have at least four or five.
“I could demonstrate the Web content to my students with an LCD projector, but it was limiting because I was tied to my mouse,” said Barnhardt. “I needed a better classroom management solution so I could make the curricula accessible to students and monitor what they were doing at their seats.”
Barnhardt first glimpsed the Activclassroom System at the North Carolina Educational Technology Conference (NCETC) in December 2002. “As soon as I saw the Activboard, I began dreaming about all the wonderful things I could do in the classroom if I had one,” she said.