The special education department at Cassville R-IV School District has initiated a new learning tool in the classroom -- clickers.
Clickers are a classroom response system that allows students to input their responses to questions anonymously with the answers displayed on a screen, such as a smart board. These devices are used in classrooms where there is a co-teacher.
Clickers are a technology that can be used to promote active learning for students and allow teachers to better assess what students comprehend about subject material. Students can respond to questions without the fear of being wrong. Clickers also integrate a "game approach," which is more engaging than traditional classroom discussion.
The clickers are used in 12 different classrooms at the middle and high school levels. There are 24 in a set at a cost of about $900. A portion of the costs were covered by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Teachers can also use the technology to get immediate feedback from the classroom as a whole and can then alter instruction if necessary. Teachers have the ability to check individual student answers in order to determine which students are struggling with the material.
"This system allows teachers to create lessons and then adapt them to meet many different student needs within the general education setting," said Amy Stephenson, special services director for the Cassville school system. "Some students have been more interactive within the classroom as opposed to lecture and note-taking types of instruction."
The district has used the system for about three months.
"I think the clickers are wonderful to have," said Ron Hudson, eighth grade communication arts instructor. "The kids love using them, so they are engaged in the activity from the beginning.
"Another [benefit] is having the ability to see which questions were missed by most of each class," Hudson continued. "By having this feature, teachers can easily determine the material students are struggling with and can therefore go back over it and re-teach it if necessary."