by Charles Doe
A LOOK AT . . . Media Specialist, Hastings Area Schools
Student Response Systems
STUDENT response systems (SRS), also called Some technologies identify the responses of specific stu-
“clickers,” are handheld devices that help teachers poll dents; some don’t identify users. Some automatically feed
students during class sessions and tabulate the respons- answers into grading systems and can be used for admin-
es. This technology is the same (often with the same de- istering paperless quizzes. Some can be used for taking
vices) as that used when audiences are asked to vote on attendance and other purposes such as answering ques-
something during a television quiz program. These sys- tions with text messaging, a very recent technology. Some
tems are also known as classroom response systems, per- are compatible with assessment and other programs such
sonal response systems, and audience response systems. as Pearson’s Limelight assessment program, which works
Basically, this technology enables students to respond with both eInstruction and Promethean clickers.
to a question by entering their answers into a handheld The advantages of student response systems include
device. A computer using specialized software registers increasing student involvement and allowing rapid and
all of the student responses, possibly as many as hun- accurate assessment of understanding, knowledge, or
dreds of them at a time. With a computer, projector, or a interest. These systems can help teachers take advan-
whiteboard, a teacher can display a graph of class re- tage of lesson plans they already have and, in some cas-
sponses, discuss group or individual responses, or use es, help them create new plans. In general, they create
the information for lesson planning and other purposes. more opportunities for students to participate and can
Response technologies vary tremendously. Some make lead to a more stimulating learning environment that
it possible to use a cell phone or other handheld device as encourages student participation.
a clicker. Some enable users to respond with text only, with This roundup will provide a look at a representative
numbers only, or by pressing one of three or four buttons. sampling of student response systems. The information
Some models allow students to press a button when they is intended to provide a basic overview for anyone in-
don’t understand what’s going on or in other specific sit- terested in incorporating clickers into their teaching
uations; some only allow responses to specific questions. techniques and options.
TECHNOLOGY @ SCHOOLS
ResponseWare cific remote. Multiple users can work with the same de-
Turning Technologies, LLC vice. The UltraLite is compatible with PowerPoint soft-
www.turningtechnologies.com ware; the device can be used to add audio/video and
Turning’s ResponseWare technology turns a user’s weblinks to presentations.
own computer or mobile device into a data collection point The in