Matthias Polte is an innovative scientist who’s been using Labster for about six years across schools in Germany where there can be hesitancy around technology. He’s currently a teacher at RHG Krefeld where they originally didn’t have internet access. The science department brought in the internet just so that students could access Labster in their science courses. 115 students across the school use it in Advanced Biology, Biology in Medicine, and Nutrition.
Beyond his teaching in high school, Polte also trains 10 teachers-to-be through a government program. During his time with them, he shows these trainees how to use Labster in their classrooms in the future. Their response to teaching with Labster has been great.
Read more about how:
“I cannot look in their brain to see what’s going on but Labster shows me very easily, and that helps me a lot.”
Problem to solve:
Polte was unable to know exactly when students were struggling and with what. He felt traditional methods of teaching weren’t getting the point across and lecturing was taking up too much class time. He wanted more 1:1 time to be able to coach them through difficult scientific topics.
Increasing 1:1 time with students, Polte used Labster to peek inside their brains. He was able to see with the Teacher Dashboard how his students were performing and where they were getting stuck. This informed how he later coached them during class time.
Labster simulations used:
Challenging to break through with technology
“The main problem in Germany is that people are hesitant about innovation. I said, trust me, I use Labster. They said no, they didn’t want to hear it. Eventually, teachers tried it and they were so happy. My head teacher, my boss, came to me and said, ‘What did you do with your colleagues? They are all laughing.’ They are happy because they have Labster. My fellow teachers said we have to hold onto it because it’d be catastrophic to lose it.”
A peek inside students’ brains
“I can see how well a student manages a lab. I see the points and the grades and then that helps me to see which students understand and which don’t. I can see in minutes that this guy had problems with the lab. So I go to him, sit next to him and say, do it again. We can look and I can explain to him what he’s missing. Normally the students are so afraid they don't come forward to say they don’t understand. They just sit until the lessons are over and I cannot look into their brain to see what’s going on. But Labster shows me very easily, and that helps me a lot.”
More 1:1 instructional time
“My favorite thing is that I have more time to talk with students. We have to learn more to understand what the problems of our students are. And we cannot learn it when we stay in the front of the room and explain everything because we have no activities the students can do. Instead of reading a text, they have Labster. They concentrate on their virtual labs with high motivation and I can talk to them easily and more extensively.“
“They enjoy it. One student said to me, ‘Oh, that's like gaming.’ Yes, it’s the feeling that you are gaming and you still learn something.“
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