Clickers

Discussion in 'General Education' started by aorr, May 3, 2011.

  1. aorr

    aorr New Member

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    May 3, 2011

    I am working on a project to make improvements to a line of student response systems (clickers) and would love to hear from those who have used clickers in their classroom and also those who don’t. Here are some questions I have…

    -How has your experience been using clickers?
    -Why do you use clickers, or why don’t you use clickers?
    -How do you use your clicker system? Everything from how you prepare questions to what you do with the end reports?
    -What do you love and hate about your clicker system?
    -What do you wish you could do with your clicker system that you can’t?

    Hope to get a good discussion going, thanks!
     
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  3. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    May 3, 2011

    What are clickers?
     
  4. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    May 3, 2011

    They look something like this:
    http://www.turningtechnologies.com/studentresponsesystem/studentclickers/

    They have them at my university in certain rooms, and my student teaching placement had gotten a grant to use them in the kindergarten classrooms (I was in 6th grade, so I didn't get to see them used directly). Using the clickers, kids are able to select multiple choice responses and the teacher can see the results instantly. It allows the teacher to get instant feedback on student understanding, opinions, etc. The system works with a smartboard or at least an LCD projector hooked up to a computer. They're a really neat tool, but I don't think they're implemented very widely because they're pretty expensive.
     
  5. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Why don't I use them? One word: money! I strongly doubt that my school will be adding anything more than basic technology for the foreseeable future.
     
  6. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Thanks yellowdaisies....... I've never seen them in any of our classrooms......
     
  7. MathEducator

    MathEducator Rookie

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    May 4, 2011

    This may be a bit off topic, but.... my fiance and I just recently adopted two dogs. We are training them using the clicker method. When I first read your post, I was taken back, confused and a bit alarmed by the fact that you would be using this in your classroom. Just wanted to share my little silly story.

    Thank you yellowdaisies for the link to set me straight :)
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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  9. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    May 4, 2011

    I teach 2nd/3rd multiage. I recently submitted a grant application to buy a class set of clickers. My main use for them would be to get formative assessment info on the spot. My primary worry is that the software that receives the input will be difficult to use and won't create reports that I want. I want to chart growth over time on a student basis.

    TG, thanks for the links. If I taught cell-phone using students, I'd possibly skip the grant and use the existing infrastructure!
     
  10. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    May 4, 2011

    I am furious with mine. Ours are from Califone, and called "Got It!" - Student Response System. They are absolutely awful... they use a IR system (like a TV remote, requiring line of sight), meaning that some students in various parts of the room can never quite get a good signal.

    Worse, the quality of the actual devices seems to be just awful as well. Out of 40 remotes originally in my room, 10 of them have stopped working for various reasons over the course of the academic year. Some had dead batteries, others simply...died. Some of this may stem from the fact that kids don't treat them terribly well, but companies that make these things should expect that if their product is geared toward kids.

    I love the concept... I really do. I just hate the ones we have.
     
  11. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    May 4, 2011

    Midwestteacher
     
  12. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    May 4, 2011

    I teach high school English. I LOVE my clickers (Turning Point). I use them for STAR testing prep, review, random something different for the kids, quick checks for understanding, etc.

    I do wish that it was easier and less time consuming to create the quizzes. It would be really nice to have a bank of questions related to standards and just import or something like that. I believe one exists, but I don't know how to find it or use it :)
     
  13. holliday

    holliday Comrade

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    May 4, 2011

    I teach middle school and LOVE my clickers. I have eInstruction clickers/software and they've performed really well for me. This is my second year using them.

    I also have a Promethean board, so together, it's especially awesome. I use them for quizzes, polls, pretests, and vocab practice.

    I love that everything is immediately graded and I can print a report for my data purposes. One thing about ours that I DON'T like is that you can't pause a test and keep going the next day. Also, if a clicker does start to have problems during a test (like batteries or whatever), I can't just reassign a new clicker to that kid - instead they just have to do the test on paper.

    Ours also have a great feature called Fastgrade. It allows me to use any old paper test, worksheet, whatever, and simply put the correct answers into the software. Then, I hand out the paper and the kids take the tests at their own pace. You don't need a projector or anything because the kids have the questions on the paper in front of them. This has allowed me to continue using all my quizzes, tests, etc. that I made before getting the clickers. Love it!
     
  14. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    -How has your experience been using clickers?
    I love them! But I wish I could use them a lot more.
    -Why do you use clickers, or why don’t you use clickers?
    The kids are fascinated with seeing if their answers are correct. I suspect that will wear off eventually though.
    -How do you use your clicker system? Everything from how you prepare questions to what you do with the end reports?
    Sadly, I've only used it once. I was able to use an example assessment that the program provided, but there is just no time to put in a whole assessment of my own.
    -What do you love and hate about your clicker system?
    I love that it can be an easy and quick way to assess what your students know. I hate that it is so much work to set one up.
    -What do you wish you could do with your clicker system that you can’t?
    I wish I could somehow automatically convert worksheets, powerpoints, or other tests into the clicker program. Or, I wish that they provided more example assessments that I could use quickly. Another idea is to have a website where teachers can share/use others' clicker assessments.
     
  15. Dynamite Boys

    Dynamite Boys Companion

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    May 4, 2011

    I am working on a project to make improvements to a line of student response systems (clickers) and would love to hear from those who have used clickers in their classroom and also those who don’t. Here are some questions I have…

    -How has your experience been using clickers?
    I LOVE THEM. I have used them for four years. I'm just now getting into the process of tying each question I ask back to a standard so I can really monitor each students learning.
    -Why do you use clickers, or why don’t you use clickers?
    Instant feedback. By consistently using clickers I am able to see who understands a concept and who needs some more guidance. I teach math so it's excellent to be able to know - does everyone know how to find the area and perimeter of a rectangle? Great - let's move on to the triangle or do some more review.
    The other thing I love is they DEMAND participation. I can see who is answering questions and what they are answering. Because of this I can ensure everyone is participating. If I get a crazy answer, I can see if that student doesn't understand or if they're not participating.

    -How do you use your clicker system? Everything from how you prepare questions to what you do with the end reports?
    We take a daily 5 question quiz at the start of every class period to review the homework from the night before.
    I also use the to review before a test.
    I've used the "jeopardy format" game which really promotes engagement and involvement in the classroom.

    -What do you love and hate about your clicker system?
    My database crashed a few weeks ago. I didn't understand the importance of backing up my database to a thumb drive "just in case" . . . that's my hate. 3 years of time almost down the drain. I was able to export another teachers database and get most of the questions back, but still. It is a little time intensive to initially set up the lessons.
    I do love the student excitement and participation every time we use them - they never get sick of them!

    -What do you wish you could do with your clicker system that you can’t?
    I wish there was an easier way to do short answers. I also wish there was a way to input a fraction answer. We use the einstruction Classroom Performance System and I've found the only way to do fractions is by giving a multiple choice answer. I'd prefer to not do multiple choice!

    Hope to get a good discussion going, thanks!
     
  16. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    May 4, 2011

    I have been in 2 classrooms where the teachers used clickers. I can talk about my experience from those few classes, but I am all for it.
    The teachers used them in 7th and 8th grade history classes. The didn't only use them for tests, but for warm ups.
    I like them because
    - you can use them for formative assessments as often as you want (even several times during the class).
    -- both you and the students get immediate feedback about the answers
    -- you no longer have to waste papers by printing tests, answer sheets, and then waste time by correcting, grading them or scanning them. Both teachers had the clickers work with their powerpoint. Although with tests you might still have to print tests, but students can just use their own papers to write the answers and then enter them with the clickers.
    - they're not too slow. One teacher always gave them a countdown before he moved on to the next question during warm up. During tests you're really only taking up the same time as with tests, the clickers don't really add significant time.

    Downside:
    - when technology goes wrong, it's a nightmare.
    - money. A few teachers at this particular school had them, I think they went to a workshop and they received them free.

    In college I had clickers in 2 classes, and the only thing I remember that they were expansive - $40 for 1 semester, I wasn't happy about that. We only used them tests, maybe 4-5 times / semester, so it seemed like they were not really taken advantage of.
     
  17. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    -How has your experience been using clickers?
    I love my clicker system! I think this is my 5th year with them. I have the Turning Points ones. I've had some software issues here and there, but really no more than with any other computer-based program.

    -Why do you use clickers, or why don’t you use clickers?
    I use them because I have them, and I like technology. I had a SmartBoard before everyone else did, so when we upgraded to SmartClassrooms I was able to start leaning about my clickers when everybody else was just trying to get used to the boards themselves.

    -How do you use your clicker system? Everything from how you prepare questions to what you do with the end reports?
    I use TurningPoints for a lot of things, but I also use the clickers within the Study Island and BrainPop programs. There are so many different report options. Usually I print the one that shows me correct/incorrect for each answer so I can see who missed what questions.

    -What do you love and hate about your clicker system?
    I love that I can get instant feedback from all the kids. The ones who are reluctant to answer out in class will still be active participants. I don't like that they wear out pretty easily. I'm on my second set of them.

    -What do you wish you could do with your clicker system that you can’t?
    I would like the ones that the kids can type in their own responses.
     

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