"Students sat in small groups in Tony Neeley's science classroom, staring intently at a projected image at the front of the class. A question popped onto the screen. Neeley gave the students a six-digit number and said, 'Go.' Instantly thumbs began dancing over cell phone keypads. Within seconds, phones trilled the signal that a text message had been sent. At the same time, answers began dropping into view on the screen, one answer for each group of students, identified by a student's cell phone screen name.
In less than an hour, the Mary Passage Middle School students worked their way through more than 70 questions for a semester exam review, with every eighth-grader participating in a drill that looked more like a game show than a quiz.
'They only get one crack at it so they have to make sure they are right,' said Neeley.
Cell phones, considered a nuisance or worse in many schools, are welcome at Passage. At least eight teachers are using them for a range of lessons, from reports to quizzes in English, social studies, science and math classes."