Students: Please bring your Gameboys to the lecture:
Ulises Ali Mejias has an interesting post about the use of "Clickers" or Student Response Systems...
The idea is to give lecturers the ability to insert questions into their lectures (directly unto their PowerPoint slides, for instance) and then poll the students. Have you seen the "Ask the Audience" feature in the show Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? You get the idea. This transforms what would otherwise be an exclusively one-way flow of information into a more interactive experience, or so the thinking goes.
His suggestion is why buy these SRS systems... He notes many draw backs and suggests a system such as the Nintendo DS. I was thinking about tools such as the DS and the Sony PSP and tend to agree with him. Both have wi-fi capabilities, and the Sony device has a browser. Kind of clunky, but it's a start.
The clicker things kind of drive me nuts. I see teachers getting excited about the quiz show aspect of these clicker things and kind of missing the point about bringing interactivity to a lecture or a talk. But, as Ulises points out, don't we want to get away from the teacher standing in front of the room dispensing knowledge?
By way of xplanazine