The English department at my high school is interested in purchasing a student response system for the classroom. I am familiar with the iClicker and iClicker2 devices. Do any of you have experience using those or other such devices with students? Any input/feedback/suggestions on what you think we should purchase would be greatly appreciated.
South Hadley (MA) High School
I don't know about the iClicker systems, but we use the CPS clickers offered by eInstruction. They work well with the Mobi smart boards we use in our classes. They also function well when used without the boards. I use them almost daily for entrance or exit quizzes and sometimes during lessons. Student feedback is consistently positive as they enjoy being able to answer without negative consequences of getting a wrong answer in front of their peers. The software quickly produces a variety of reports including study guides for students based on their incorrect answers. They were relatively inexpensive and have had a pretty long useful life so far (I have no technical issues only had 2 sets of batteries die in 4 years of use.)
Good luck in your search,
Hi Peter, I also don't know very much about iClickers, but I do think that they have quite a few similarities to the CPS clickers that Mary was talking about. I have used the CPS clickers from eInstruction for five years now and I use them pretty much every single day in my classroom, I teach math. It is a great quick assessment tool to check and make sure that the class is with you, understanding, etc. Like Mary said, you can set it up to do fast quizzes that can be loaded directly into your gradebook, homework assignments, etc. The kids love the clickers because it is all anonymous, however the teacher can select a report that will tell you how each individual student is doing. The CPS clickers work great with the eInstruction Interwrite board and also the Mobi board that Mary was talking about, I have both of those. The company is really good at working with teachers for technical issues, there are great resources online as well to help you out. My batteries don't last quite as long as Mary's but I think its because I use the clickers every day, however I still think that they are worth it! I hope this helps!
I've used eInstruction's (http://www.einstruction.com/) devices and found them very useful. I have a friend who's an eInstruction rep. Let me know if you'd like to get in contact with him for additional information, etc.
Thanks John. I will let you know.
Before your school invests in hardware (clicker devices) they may want to consider the new movement in having students use their own devices (cell phone, iphone, iPod Touch) as the clicker device. I don't have any specifics on the software but the trend has caught my attention recently and I thought I would mention it. The possibility might be worth some additional research.
I was really excited about Socrative and tried a couple times to use it in my class. I teach in a pretty economically disadvantaged area, however, and a lot of my students don't have cell phones. You can access the Socrative quizzes online, but that seemed to create more confusion that it was worth. I agree that using the technology you already have a is a great idea, but just be cognizant of issues such as these when making your choice. I switched back to clickers in my case because that way I could guarantee every student had a working device.
Yes, I would definitely recommend using student response systems that work with students' own devices. This is the way to go. Clickers are going to become dinosaurs.
This might be a great way to justify the purchase of iPods for your classroom as opposed to a single-use clicker device. Just think of all of the other functions your students can perform with iPods versus clickers. It's a no-brainer.
We use the CPS system from eInstruction as well. Some things to think about: what kind of operating system do the teachers have on their computers? We had to down grade our new Mac Book pros from Mountain Lion to Lion because of software issues and one of them was the CPS systems. Also, look at the different types of clickers offered by eInstruction, some of them allow more students, some work from farther away and some of them have auto-shut off, which saves your batteries. Some of the problems are the time it takes to change out the batteries, and the amount of work it takes teachers to set up a quiz. Our teachers find it time consuming to create quizzes and classes, although they can just run a "verbal" which means they just ask the questions and students respond, without having a pre-made quiz.
Also, hardly any of our teachers are using them this year as we brought in a set of 30 iPads last year are loaded a student response app on them. The Socrative student and teacher apps are free, and easy to set up. You might want to take a look at those. It would be more expensive, but the apps are so much easier to run. Take a look at: http://socrative.com I had a Professor at the University of Arizona suggest this app to me as they started using it for their medical program last year.
And then their is survey monkey if your school has a BYOD program, or students can respond using computers as well.
Hope this helps!
I work at a larger university and our faculty used eInstruction CPS for a few years and hated it!! We recently switched over to iClicker and they LOVE it. It easily integrates into Blackboard (which we use for all classes). I work in the support area and have a contact person if you are looking for more info. She gives instructors a free teachers kit -- the base, the software, the instructor remote and a few student clickers to get started then we sell the clickers thru the bookstore. Students buy them and register within Blackboard and input is tracked across multiple classes. Let me know if you need more.
I was so glad to see this thread. I have recently used the TI Inspire calculator system. It i independent of a class set of computer. It is a graphing calculator, but has a keyboard so I can use it in a social studies classroom. The problem is a class set runs about $3000-4000. I had them on loan from TI (Texas Instruments). I have tried Socrative and Edmodo. The problem I have found with these is that students are on the internet and that is way too distracting, they are texting, iming or looking up the answers.
The clickers are cool, but only allow for multiple choice. I think that Smart has a system that allows for free response and hooks up to a Smart board if you have one. Good luck and I hope you report back what you have found.