Mobile Computing

Denton ISD Adopts Mobile App To Push Student Engagement

The Denton Independent School District has deployed a free mobile app in an effort to improve student participation.

The app, Verso, works on any device and allows teachers to create challenges for students. Students come up with their own responses and can see the responses of their classmates, anonymously, after submitting them.

"It's safe to say that at least 20 or 30 percent of the students who will participate with Verso wouldn't otherwise do so," said Kevin Zahner, a history teacher who piloted the app at Denton High School last spring, in a news release. "With an environment that is anonymous, the more reserved students are now willing to take a risk and put themselves on the line both from an intellectual and emotional standpoint, and let their classmates evaluate their responses without knowing who said it."

Mike Mattingly, assistant superintendent of curriculum & instruction for the district, said the app may be useful in confronting issues such as bullying, as well. "We can get a lot of true feelings out there on the table since the students can respond in a safe, independent manner, and not just mimic what someone else has said," Mattingly said in a prepared statement. "We can start making headway and know better how to deal with the issues at hand."

The Denton Independent School District serves approximately 27,000 students at three high schools, 7 middle schools, 21 elementary schools and "Other specialized schools and centers," according to information on the district's site. More information is available at dentonisd.org.

Verso is a free app available for iOS and Android devices that works in most browsers as well. Visit versoapp.com for more information about the app.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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