Monday, January 25th, 2010 | IWBs, technology
A voting system – also called a response system – consists of a set of handheld voting devices, which look like simplified remote control units of a TV set. Learners in a class receive one of these units each to “vote” or respond to questions put to them by you, their teacher.
The units are called clickers, since input is provided by clicking buttons to select chosen responses. The clickers are wireless and operate with infrared or radio signals. Special software installed on your computer receives these signals and interprets them, providing you with information about the way learners respond.
Let’s use an example. You want to test if learners have done their reading assignment at home, and you display the following question on the interactive whiteboard:
The legislative capital of South Africa is …
B Cape Town
Buttons marked A, B, C, D are on the clicker, and you now ask learners to enter the correct answer. Each child clicks an answer – the moment the selection is made, the computer receives and records the signal. The system informs you when all the learners in the class have responded.
Immediately after all responses have been collated, a summary of the responses is available – which you may or may not wish to show to the class. Let’s say 60% of the class voted for Cape Town: it is now clear to you that not all the learners in the class understand the work, and gives you the opportunity to enter into a discussion with the class to lead them to the correct information.
In addition to multiple choice questions, most voting systems permit true-or-false questions as well. More sophisticated systems allow numeric and limited text responses, giving you the opportunity to ask other types of questions.
Voting systems can be used without an interactive whiteboard, but the combination of these two technologies provides you with a powerful tool to create an interactive classroom.
Click here for more information about interactive whiteboards.