Several teachers recently attended a conference where a presenter had attendees use 'clickers' to respond to questions during the workshop. They're now very eager to purchase this technology for their classrooms. Is this a wise investment of limited funds?
It depends upon how these teachers plan to use the clicker, which is also known as a PRS, Personal Response System. There can be several benefits such as increased student engagement, instant data collection for monitoring students' understanding of material, and the fact that PRS technology works well with large and small groups. But if teachers don't modify their instructional strategies to take advantage of these benefits, they may as well just have their students raise their hands in response to a series of questions.
Before making a purchase, sit down with these teachers and discuss their plans. Ask how they will use PRS technology to increase interaction and engagement in classroom activities, how they will use the data to adjust instruction on-the-fly, and how this technology will change the kinds of questions they ask students.
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