Any suggestions on using a PRS (personal respones system) clicker system?

I just received an Interwrite PRS clicker system for my classroom, and I am seeking resources to make the transition a bit smoother. If any of you have suggestions to share, it would be greatly appreciated.

Tags: clicker, interwrite, personalresponsesystem, prs

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I have seen this used really well to take the pulse of the class - students can at any time indicate whether or not they understand what the class is about. Does anyone know of any laptop or web based based clicker system to do the same thing?
I use a PRS system often with my 8th graders. I teach math so I use it anonymously for review at the beginning of class. This gives me a good idea if the material that was covered the previous day/week has taken root, or I need to teach it again. The students have continually told me they like the interactive/safe nature of the clickers. I have also used it to take formal assessments. This also works beautifully because the students get instant feedback as to which problems they got wrong, I then send them back to their desk to correct their mistakes before handing in the test. I love the clickers!
I have for a long time had a nagging feeling that clickers are part of the problem and not part of the solution. They reinforce the model of the expert teacher who broadcasts his/her knowledge to a class of 30 passively learning children, who must be kept in synch. It gives the teacher a way to know who is paying attention, so it's a control device, but in doing so it directs us away from more useful models of discovery learning, experiential learning and self-directed (or even self-paced) learning.

But... I have never used them. Am I being unreasonable?
Hi Patrick & everyone else,

We are not yet available in the US (should be there soon) but we have just launched SMS Poll (www.smspoll.net) in the UK and Australia. I have a added a post about this in the vendor's forum http://www.classroom20.com/xn/detail/649749:Topic:167664.

You can set up a poll in seconds (and for free) and your class can vote by SMS (from their own mobile), web voting (form their laptop) or from their mobile browser. Results update and display in real time in customisable Flash charts that you can embed into your PowerPoint presentation or into your own site / blog. You can also download your results to Excel for further analysis after the class.

I would love to hear your feedback on this product. We're 1/10th the price of Audience Response Systems.

Although we're not yet available in the US (for SMS voting) you coud still use our web or mobile browser voting options for your poll.

I hope this might be of some help to you. I would really like to understand from people here how they use the current Audience Response Systems and if there's anything we could add to SMS Poll to benefit the activities you operate in your classrooms.

Cheers,
Ian
Interested to know what the reaction of teachers and students is to the ongoing costs. Presumably these go onto the students' mobile accounts?
Hi, Patrick - You might want to check out the article cited below - I found it to be very helpful. The ideas and recommendations presented by the author would be quite valuable for educators using clickers in any size classroom!


Caldwell, J. E. (2007). Clickers in the large classroom: Current research and best-practice tips. CBE – Life Sciences Education, 6, 9-20.

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