Imagine this: your teacher gives you a small wireless device that's about the size of a cell phone, only it's used to mark you "present" for class and as a means to answer questions on a pop quiz. For many students, this is their reality, and it could be yours sooner than you think.
Right now, the "clickers" are being used in a growing number of high schools and colleges around the country. A rep for Turning Technologies, one of the makers of the devices, recently told the New York Times that they will ship over one million clickers this year, half of which will go to about 2,500 university campuses.
"I actually kind of like it," Jasmine Morris, a student at Northwestern University told the paper. "It does make you read. It makes you pay attention. It reinforces what you're supposed to be doing as a student."
The pros of the clickers are that they engage students in a familiar way. Schools are already utilizing cell phones as learning tools; these devices will play to that gadgetry, only without the distraction of text messages. Plus, wouldn't it be more fun to answer quiz questions by the touch of a button?
But those who aren't into the clickers feel that it's a Big Brother-like way for teachers and administrators to keep tabs on their students. As far as attendance goes, yes, you could carry your friend's clicker to class and check in for him or her. But let's face it, your teacher can still take a head count the old fashioned way.
What do you think of having hand-held devices in class? Do you like the idea of being able to check in and answer questions with a click? Do you think the devices will be a cool learning tool or a distraction? If you already have clickers in your school, we want to hear from you. Let us know your opinion of them in the comments. %Poll-55941%