As the break-neck speed at which development of digital technology continues to take place, and considering that my November 27, 2007 blog post titled “Polling by Cell Phone – Can We Completely By-Pass Clickers?” is currently my most viewed post, I decided to share an update concerning the use of a cell phone, and now even an iPod Touch, as a clicker.
Thanks to my Twitter network, in particular @dougpete, I was made aware of a recent announcement made by Turning Technologies that they are making available a free iPhone/iPod Touch app that will allow users to install their clicker software to a student’s iPhone/iPod Touch, thus incorporating the ability to poll students using their response system software on a mobile device that students already possess. A quick visit to their website also revealed that Turning Technologies also has a version of their software available for Blackberry and Windows Mobile devices. A powerful way to incorporate devices students already have without the cost of purchasing clickers and the problems of storage and the aging of equipment.
I spoke a representitive of Turning Technologies at the most recent ECOO conference and while I can’t remember the exact costs of their service, I do remember it to be very reasonable. In addition, I also recall their service being totally web based so that students without a compatible mobile device can still participate in a poll by inputing their responses from a computer.
While I am definitely not pleadging my support for any one brand, I am highlighting Turning Technologies as an example of what is already possible and that it is not necessary, despite what other vendors (who will remain nameless) tell us, to purchase propriety hardware in order to take advantage of clicker technology in the classroom. Purchasing only the service and providing students the ability to install the app on their iPhone, iPod Touch, Blackberry or Windows Mobile device is a much cheaper alternative that allows students to use their parents’ invesment for learning.