The thought of getting 100% student participation throughout your lessons probably seems unrealistic, and at times even impossible. After all, you have that group of students that dominate classroom discussions, while others are too shy to speak up. Don’t forget about the ones who think they know the right answer, but the risk of getting it wrong outweighs their desire to participate. With student response systems, EVERY child has a voice and the opportunity to participate in a nonthreatening environment. It also doesn’t hurt that in addition to the empowerment that the students feel, the teacher is gaining valuable assessment data through quality, engaging lessons. Plain and simple, it is a win-win situation.

How can I use a response system in my class?

The possibilities are endless when it comes to a student response system.  Many get stuck in the mindset that response systems can only be used for test reviews, which could not be further from the truth.  In fact, that would be an incredible waste of a system.

Visit Vanderbilt’s Center for Teaching for a list of activities and examples.

Which response system do I choose?

Of course you would ask this, after all it is the golden question.  It truly depends on your individual situation.  Do you currently have a SMART or Promethean board?  If so, I would strongly consider going with the response system that correlates with your board.    Are you a data king or queen?  To those of you that answered yes, I would suggest a CPS system, as they have the most comprehensive reporting options.  Do you by chance teach at the secondary level?  If this is the case, I would encourage you to choose either the Promethean Activexpressions or SMART Response XEs, as these have texting capabilities.

Check out the comparison chart below to help you arrive at a decision.
Student Response Systems Chart

Click here to download a pdf version of this document.

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