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ActivExpression2 Response System Gets Full Keyboard, Equation Support

The ActivExpression2 interactive polling device adds a larger LCD screen and includes a QWERTY keyboard with hot keys and a direction pad.
The ActivExpression2 interactive polling device adds a larger LCD screen and includes a QWERTY keyboard with hot keys and a direction pad.

Ed tech developer Promethean has launched a new and significantly enhanced generation of classroom response systems, ActivExpression2.

Promethean's ActivExpression lines are student response systems (also known as "classroom clickers") designed for polling and quizzing in the classroom. The new 7.4-ounce handhelds offer range of more than 300 feet with support for up to 500 simultaneous devices connected wirelessly via the ActivHub 2.4 GHz USB-based hub that works in conjunction with a computer or interactive whiteboard. The devices run off three AAA batteries with an expected life of about nine months.

The new generation of the ActivExpression gains a larger, higher-resolution LCD screen than its predecessor (224 x 160 pixels at 2.2" x 1.5" in the latest model versus 128 x 128 pixels at 1.4" x 1.5" in the first generation). It also includes a full QWERTY keyboard with hot keys and a direction pad. (The previous ActivExpression was styled after feature phone-style numeric keypads.)

The upgrade also adds support for responses that include math equations via an equation editor, along with text (up to 140 characters) with words, numbers, symbols, and punctuation. The device also continues to support traditional student response question types, including likert scales, multiple choice, multiple response, numeric, sort in order, true/false, and yes/no.

Other features include:

  • ExamView XML import;
  • Excel export of questions and results;
  • Response monitoring;
  • New menu system with cursor keys;
  • An enhanced range of keys, including a multifunction key, numeric and voting keys, shift, symbol, fraction control, subscript and superscript, context-dependent hot keys, cursor control, menu, backspace, carriage return, and power;
  • A question manager that allows students to answer questions in their preferred order when the instructor creates self-paced questions;
  • Support for third-party interactive whiteboards, though the devices do not require a whiteboard to function;
  • The ability to work in conjunction alongside the original line of ActivExpression devices (though those devices do not support equations);

ActivExpression2 is available now in classroom bundles of 24 or 32 devices. The set includes ActivInspire Professional Edition, Promethean ActivOffice, ActivHub with cable and cradle, and soft carrying cases. ActivExpression software supports Mac OS X (10.4, 10.5, 10.6), Windows (XP SP2, Vista, 7), and Linux (Ubuntu) systems.

Additional details about ActivExpression 2 are available on Promethean's site.

Virtual Classroom Clickers Launched
In related news, Promethean last week formally launched a new mobile app called ActivEngage Mobile.

Designed to work with Android and iOS devices, ActivEngage Mobile is a "virtual learner response system is designed to expand and support the use of hand-held devices, such as iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone, and Android devices (tablets and phones) for teaching and learning activities," according to Promethean.

The software supports a range of question types, including unlimited text, likert scales, multiple choice, multiple response, numeric, sort in order, true/false, and yes/no. ActivEngage Mobile can be used in conjunction with other Promethean response systems.

The mobile client is available as a free download via the iTunes App Store and the Android Market. Client software is also available for Mac OS X and Windows systems. The server for the system runs on the teacher's computer and is available through Promethean World.

New Math Resources Offered
In other Promethean news, the company earlier this month announced a partnership with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to develop a new line of digital math learning materials for students in kindergarten through 11th grade. Those include Go Math! Interactive Lessons and On Core Mathematics Interactive Lessons, both designed to "build critical math skills, master formulas and more deeply explore math concepts," according to the companies.

The lessons included in the programs are all aligned with Common Core State Standards and are designed to work with technologies like interactive whiteboards and handheld devices.

Additional details about the new math resources can be found on Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's site.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .