Student response systems allow teachers to easily create engaging lessons that catch and keep their students’ attention. The technology is pretty simple. Most systems consist of learning software paired with a special handheld device. The software allows teachers to visually poll their students and display the results on a computer screen, large format display or interactive whiteboard. Students use the handheld device to key in answers to their teacher’s questions.
For classrooms that have a 1:1 computing environment, there are apps students can download that enable them to use their personal device as a response system. Apps that are available for multiple operating systems work in a BYOD environment as well. For example, the Socrative app is available for iOS, Android and Windows devices. Students can then use their iPad, Galaxy Tab or Surface to answer questions.
There is an obvious fun factor to this type of technology. It makes learning seem almost like a game show and it’s easy to see why students would be engaged with this type of interactive learning format. But, student response systems do more than entertain. They also play an important role in assessing student progress and capturing the type of learning data that allows teachers to understand their students’ progress and intervene if necessary.