U Texas Austin Lets High Schoolers i>click in Class

To show 600 high school honor students what college is like, the University of Texas at Austin handed out clickers from i>clicker at an Honors Colloquium. The goal of the three-day event was to give high school seniors an experience similar to what they would have as students at the university, including courses, tours, residential life, and access to technology tools, such as the classroom response system.

"The university can be a very large place, but using clickers allows all students to actively participate, getting everyone involved and collaborating," said Kathy Uitvlugt, program coordinator of the University Honors Center. "The clickers were a great success. We were very impressed with how engaged the students were during the presentation and how they could 'answer' questions posed by the dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies, Paul Woodruff, in such an interactive way."

i>clicker, developed by a division of Macmillan, is a handheld gadget that students use to provide feedback and answer questions from their instructors. The instructor uses a receiver powered through a computer's USB port to collect votes sent by students' clickers. The instructor presents a question and enables polling. The student responds by clicking the appropriate button, which sends a wireless signal from the clicker to the receiver. The receiver tallies responses, storing the data for each individual student, and the instructor can display results in a graph to the audience. Results can be saved for analysis, reporting, or exporting to other applications.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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