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New Tool Aims to Improve Small Group Instruction

Lightspeed Technologies unveiled the Flexcat small group instruction system earlier this week at the ASCD Conference.

The system allows teachers are now able to differentiate instruction, observe more than one group at a time, redirect off-task behaviors, and encourage student collaboration.

“We see the student as having a powerful voice in the classroom. Flexcat makes it easy for even reluctant students to share with their peers in their groups and with all of their classmates. This sharing helps them own the knowledge in a deeper way than we have seen before," stated Dr. Sheryl Abshire, Chief Technology Officer for Calcasieu Parish Public Schools, Louisiana.

Flexcat is a flexible group audio system with a headset for the teacher and simple tabletop speaker/mic for each student group. The tabletop speakers/mic are battery operated and wireless.

Lightspeed has recently completed pilots in 4 school districts. Minnetonka, MN; Calcasieu, LA; Andover, KS; and Wyoming all participated with at least two classrooms integrating Flexcat into their daily curriculum and lesson plans.

These districts were invited to participate in pilots based on their adoption of the Common Core Standards, their commitment to the creation of a successful differentiated learning environment and their track record in effectively using technology to improve academic achievement for all students.

Teachers at all grade levels were pleased with the connection they were able to create with their students. Stacey Bryan, an elementary school teacher from Andover Kansas, shared, “The level of conversation I hear with Flexcat is astounding. I’m able to catch kids shining!"

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