So a few weeks ago (clearly I’m playing catch-up here!) I did my lesson using the personal response systems with the classrooms. Overall, it went very well. We were talking about light, particularly how it works and the electromagnetic spectrum. It was fun for me because I got to incorporate terms that I use everyday in my research (wavelengths, frequencies, etc). That doesn’t mean that there weren’t SOME technical difficulties throughout the day though… starting with using powerpoint. I brought my computer in, because I had the software and everything downloaded onto it for the clickers, but then realized I forgot to bring an adaptor (yes, I love MACS) to hook it up to the display. Luckily, Ralph had his computer so we were able to show the powerpoint, but we couldn’t show the clickers results on the screen because the software wasn’t downloaded on his computer! So I’m freaking out going hmm what to do but in the end… this worked so much better! Basically, I showed the powerpoint, and then left my computer open next to it and we had them rotate in tables to go up, input their response, and at the end of every question, one of the students would have to read the results to the class. A lot of them still struggle with graphs, so it was a nice way to incorporate reading some data as well.
My favorite part was having a question on the screen and leaving blank answers for them to fill in. They got really excited when it turns out one of them had a correct or almost correct answer in the end, and it was a great way to get them thinking about the question and subject. So overall, clickers are good. BUT, I do think they are too much to do for a whole class period. Incorporating them into the first ten or fifteen minutes of class is probably enough.