SMART Technologies showcased its SMART Response CE interactive student response software, which enables student assessment without remotes. The Response CE is the latest in the company’s line of interactive response systems. Instead of handheld remotes (clickers), students can use their computers and SMART Notebook SE (Student Edition) software to answer questions. SMART Response CE allows teachers to add various types of assessments to their lessons. The software tallies and grades students’ responses automatically, and feedback is available instantly so teachers can assess student comprehension and adjust their lessons accordingly. Response CE can be used alone or as part of SMART Classroom Suite of interactive learning software. The program supports short answer, numeric response, yes or no, true or false, multiple answer, and multiple-choice questions. The suggested price of SMART Response CE for a classroom containing up to 40 student computers is $999, although licenses are available that serve different numbers of students.

Texas Instruments unveiled its new TI-Nspire Navigator system, which enables wireless collaboration in math and science classrooms. For teachers, the system is a way to gauge students’ understanding and foster student engagement. For students, it’s an interactive tool that enables them to become more responsible for their own learning, TI said. The system connects TI-Nspire and TI-Nspire CAS handhelds equipped with a wireless cradle to the teacher’s laptop and projector. Teachers can assess student progress instantly through tools such as a quick poll and screen captures. With the knowledge gathered from these tools, teachers can adjust their instruction to make sure all students understand the concept at hand before moving on to the next topic. Donald Worcester, a math instructor and curriculum leader at Florida’s Winter Park High School, is one of about two dozen educators who have piloted the TI-Nspire Navigator system in recent months. Worcester said he’s seen an increase in engagement and collaboration as students delve more intently into math concepts.

Turning Technologies demonstrated a version of its ResponseWare software for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The software allows students to answer questions posed by the instructor and view the results of class polls or quizzes, all on their iPod or iPhone. Students also can text their questions to the instructor, and the software disables student-to-student texting to keep students focused on the lesson. The company also added a screen to its basic ResponseCard device.

Vernier Software & Technology introduced a scaled-down version of its flagship product, LabQuest, which is a portable data-collection device for hands-on scientific exploration. Vernier’s new LabQuest Mini features the same abilities of the LabQuest, but without the screen; students can connect the device to a laptop, desktop, or netbook computer through a USB port to view the data. Like the LabQuest, the Mini can perform 100,000 measurements per second and contains five sensor ports that are compatible with 54 sensors, Vernier said. It sells for less than half the cost of the full LabQuest, at $149. Vernier also announced a volume discount on the LabQuest itself, which normally sells for $329; now, you can buy eight or more of the devices for $299 each.

About the Author:

Meris Stansbury

Meris Stansbury is the Editorial Director for both eSchool News and eCampus News, and was formerly the Managing Editor of eCampus News. Before working at eSchool Media, Meris worked as an assistant editor for The World and I, an online curriculum publication. She graduated from Kenyon College in 2006 with a BA in English, and enjoys spending way too much time either reading or cooking.