The New Opportunity School for Women, located in my town of Berea, Kentucky, has just kicked off its summer session. Who could argue with such a mission as “improving the educational, financial, and personal circumstances of low-income, middle-aged women in Kentucky and the south central Appalachian region”? Twice a year, the school provides twelve ladies with a three-week residential program aimed at making their lives as excellent as they can be.
I am fortunate to be the instructor of two classes offered at the NOSW during each session: a class on punctuation and grammar and one focusing on general math and home finance. Getting to know these women is a pleasure, and the graduation ceremony at the end of the session can easily bring tears of joy to my eyes.
One bit of technology I bring to the punctuation review each season is the use of Turning Point audience response devices. The “clickers,” as they are more commonly known, used in combination with PowerPoint, enable me to question the ladies about their knowledge of the topic at hand. This benefits both me and these women: I can see what they know, what they have learned, and what I need to focus on to improve my instruction, and they get a chance to use a technology tool that most, if not all, of them have never used before. Turning Point is always a hit!
I’ll be meeting a new group of courageous, competent women tomorrow evening. It should be a good time.