I’m collecting information on how faculty can employ classroom response (clicker) technology on the cheap. Before we buy into a product, particularly one that students have to purchase that are of no use outside the classroom, I think we need to explore using cell phone text messaging or SMS.
Even a top company like Turning Technologies has been moving fast in the direction away from the independent clicker. First they created the anytime, anywhere Response Card Anywhere that you could use on a field trip, and now they have software for your phone–Responseware.
That’s cool, but why payware in a world of freeware?
Then there’s the Open Source Poll Everywhere software that is free for classes of 30 or less. That’s a pretty tight limitation that would only work for a select few classes. I will be trying it out and reporting in a formal document to distribute to faculty.
Here’s a sample poll from Poll Everywhere. The Keyword is the phrase that begins with “cast”:
I’m sure that if there’s not one already, that the Apple iTunes App Store will have one soon for free, but then there’s the cost of an iPod Touch or iPhone to deal with, and that’s an even bigger cost.
I’m probably going to suggest a wait and see how it all turns out before we commit to a campus-wide contract.
In response to the comment, below, I tried a Google form poll (although not with any respondents, yet). They are really easy to make, and you’ll notice in my second question that you could choose other, and that would become part of the class discussion. Alternatively, I could have let the audience type in their “other” response.
[there was an example here that no longer works]
As noted in Chris’ blog description, students would need to be in a computer lab or have individual access (mobile or laptop). In such a situation, I think the Google option is good. I especially like that it is not connected to PowerPoint. I certainly don’t want to promote PPT unless necessary and done very well. Breaking up a presentation/discussion by going to the Google form, seems a good way to keep a variety of actions in a class.