Friday, June 4, 2010

Using clickers in the classroom 3

Well as our year is rapidly winding down, I wanted to get a last (or maybe 2nd to last) post in here about the using the clickers in the classroom. My last post was not the most flattering and I wanted to give an update on usage in the classroom. We have met with mixed results.
I used them twice, once for group quiz grades using BrainPop and once just for classroom questions as we were working through the lesson. If you use BrainPop in your classroom then I can easily suggest that you look into the clickers. After the lesson you can give a quiz on the information that was just presented. Well, instead of just getting one person's response and clicking the answer, you can have each person answer using the clickers and then click the answer that corresponds with the majority of responses. Then you can save the responses from all the students and go through the results to answer the question how effective was the movie? It is a great way to integrate the whole room with BrainPop!
The 2nd time I used the clickers was to have the students answer some questions as we were working through a lesson. The hardware all worked just fine, and I think as the novelty of the clickers wears off, so will the time it takes to actually use them (all of the students are still enamored with the total count at the top, and don't even get me started on the question feature!) to get answers. What is great is the immediacy of the feedback. You can quickly see how much of the class understood what you are talking about and review right then if necessary.

One feature that we were introduced to that needs to be mentioned is the Response Table. The response table is your friend! To put the response table on a slide choose Insert Object, Response Table, and then Fixed Object (in Office 2003). What the response table does is put a small table on the bottom of your question slides. There is a numbered box for each clicker in the room. When the student clicks the clicker, the box with their number (corresponding to the number that is on the back of the clicker) lights up. If they click it a second time, it changes to a different color (to let them know they changed their answer). The students can clearly see that the computer has registered their answer. It is much easier than the small number in the bar at the top of the slide which just advances one number as each student clicks an answer. You will want to put the response table on all of your slides.

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