Monday, November 3, 2008
As regular readers of this blog know, I use clickers in all of my classes (see this New York Times story) and wrote an article on my experience (Taking Back the Law School Classroom: Using Technology to Foster Active Student Learning, 54 J. Legal Educ. 551 (2004)). I will be evangelizing about their use at the AALS Annual Meeting on Wednesday, January 7, 2009 as part of the Committee on Curriculum's Workshop on Redesigning Legal Education. Today's Inside Higher Ed reports on the use of clickers at the Universities of Delaware, Maryland, and Pittsburgh in Clicker U., by Scott Jaschik:
To some academics, clickers are a great new technology, allowing professors to measure instantly whether students in a large class are grasping new concepts (or are even in class). To others, clickers represent a depersonalizing influence.
At the annual meeting of Educause, an organization of college technology officials, the former appeared solidly in the majority. Indeed, at a session on the use of clickers, officials of three large universities reported that once professors start to use clickers, the devices’ popularity took off, and not just in mammoth lecture classes. To these officials, the questions about clickers weren’t of the “Should we use them or not?” variety but of the policy variety: Should institutions support only one model on campus or whatever professors pick? Who is responsible for training professors in their use? Should certain uses of clickers be discouraged or encouraged?