New clicker technology allows a different look at student answers


Research shows clickers can improve student performance.


The anonymity of lecture hall response systems has taken the awkwardness out of sensitive questions in Timothy Loving’s Introduction to Family Relationships course, and a new clicker software will let the University of Texas associate professor have a more personal exchange with his students.…Read More

Is better learning a click away?

Clicker technology has advanced, but some professors prefer simpler models that won't lead to distractions.
Clicker technology has advanced, but some professors prefer simpler models that won't lead to distractions.

The students in Michael Dubson’s physics class at the University of Colorado fell silent as a multiple-choice question flashed on a screen, sending them scrambling for small white devices on their desks.

Within seconds, a monitor on Dubson’s desk told him that 92 percent of the class had correctly answered the question on kinetic energy, a sign that they grasped the concept.

Student response systems, or clickers—not unlike gadgets used on television game shows—first appeared in college classrooms over a decade ago and have since spread to just about every college and university in the country, thanks to cheaper and better technology.…Read More

Victory in Victorville: A replicable model for school improvement

TTClickerSixth Street Prep School is a K-6 charter school in the Victor Elementary School District in San Bernardino County, Calif. Linda Mikels became Sixth Street’s principal in 2001 and was immediately challenged by the school’s three-year history of declining test scores, a large Title I population, and a relatively young teaching staff. In the years prior to her appointment, the school yielded less than acceptable test results–17 percent proficiency in English/language arts and 30 percent proficiency in mathematics.

Sixth Street Prep could have easily made excuses for lagging scores considering its economically disadvantaged population is 85 percent–nearly double the state’s average of 44 percent–clearly qualifying this school as high-need.  Furthermore, 50 percent of students are English Language Learners, and two-thirds of the teaching staff have five or fewer years of experience.  However, Mikels maintains that her school’s demographics should never be an excuse for lack of achievement.

“What concerns me about excuses is that it is all about efficacy. Rather than teachers and leaders perpetuating excuses, we pledge not to make excuses or blame kids if they do not achieve,” she said.…Read More