The Advantages Of An Audience Response System In The Classroom
Feb 5, 2014 E-Learning/CALL 2186 Views
If you are a teacher reading this, then you will have probably experienced the glassy look. This when you are talking to a room full of students and they all look like they are paying attention but you can tell by the look in their eyes, that they are not. They are probably daydreaming about their next holiday.
When this happens, it can be frustrating. You will be trying your best to get the message across and you want them to understand what you are saying but you know if someone asked them what they did in class, they would have no idea. They probably wouldn't even remember what you were wearing.
When you ask a student why they zone out, they will probably blame you. You have talked at them for too long, or the topic was boring or the personal favorite, "Well, I will never need this life, so why listen?"
What can you do?
The answer to this is proactive learning. This might be a shock if you are used to standing there with a projector and a clicker and then talking for the length of the class. You are going to need to engage them. You do this by actually including them in the class.
You could still have the same format to the class, with the projector, but ask them questions and pick on them to answer questions. This will likely give them a fright and they will pay attention more. Well, for that class anyway. Next week, they will probably be back to not listening and think they are okay because you would never pick on the same person twice.
Audience Response System
The best way to get the students involved is to use an audience response system. When the students walk in, you can give them clickers to use throughout the class.
Before the class has begun, you will have prepared quizzes, surveys, and questionnaires - anything to get them involved. This means they will pay more attention throughout the class.
Some old fashioned teachers will argue that this is possible with a good old chalk board, but think about the time it has taken for each student to come up to the board and mark their answer down. It would probably take a whole hour to do one survey.
With an audience response system, the students can just push a button from their seat. The survey will be done in seconds and you will be free to move on to the next part of the lesson.
Furthermore, what about when it comes to the analysis of the data you have collected? If you have used a chalkboard, you will have taken your own record of the results and then you will have to go away, put them into a computer for analysis, or use your own brain to do the math. With an audience response system, it collects and analyses the data for you and displays the results in a chart. It takes minutes.
Technology is amazing when it comes to the implementation in schools. Some people will argue that it is taking the place of the teacher, but that is not the case at all. Students still need the teacher there to make sure they are doing the work and to help them when they don't understand.
It is important to remember that the aim of the technology companies is not to replace the teacher, but to aide them in getting their point across. Technology is a tool, not an enemy.