I have a class set of clickers, which are like small ask the audience devices that the students can use to answer a multiple choice question.
Does anybody else have this technology or have you used it before? I love it, but am looking for fresh ideas of ways to use it! Currently I ask short review quizzes in the beginning of class with it to check how well students got what I taught the previous day. I also use it for graded assignments (students are assigned a specific clicker so I can see what individual students responses are later on). I have this particular brand of clicker: Turning Technologies
I recently blogged on this topic on my blog about instructional technology: ClassTech
I think if you have time in your classes, you should use the clickers for getting the students involved in discussing hot topics and/or topics that really allow them to use deeper thinking without being embarrassed of what classmates or the teacher thinks. (Letting them know up front that the teacher will not be recording these topics.)
I have clickers in my class which I use with my smartboard. I have also used them for short quizzes. I have also used them to get student feedback on group evaluations in a private way to see students perceive as group leaders and slackers.
The math teacher in my school uses them for a homework review at the beginning of each class. Instead of checking all of the homework questions, she puts selected questions in and has students put in their responses to be able to see immediately if she needs to readdress a concept in class that day. The social studies teacher in our building is planning on using them for class discussion days to see student opinions on discussion topics at the beginning and end of class.
I've been using CPS units for 3 years. I teach reading/language arts. I use them for quick class votes (which story would you like to read next?), anticipation guides (opinions based on themes of text), preview/review guides, pretests, post-tests, official school business (who will need a lunch ordered for them on TAKS testing days), debates, self-evaluation (How prepared were you for this test?), and anything else I can come up with which involves multiple choice, true/false, take a stand questions.
The students think their responses are anonymous; I don't tell them that I rarely use anonymous mode. Instead I study their responses for later lessons.
I rarely "give" them the answers. The machine shows them the most popular answers in the class and they debate which answer is the correct one. It's great when preparing for a test!
Clicker responses are often great jumping off points for debate and discussion.
In conjunction with powerpoints, I teach mini-lessons. I'll run a power-point on a lesson (Monday's topic: rule of doubling letters for verbs) then check for understanding with a CPS mini-quiz. Result: 10 minutes of grammar lesson with all students involved before beginning the real lesson for the day: reading a novel!