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UConn Brings New Clickers to Classrooms

The University of Connecticut is adopting a new student response system this fall. According to information released this week by the university, it will begin rolling out and supporting the i>clicker2 as the standard replacement for a legacy clicker system the university adopted about five years ago.

The i>clicker2 is a student response system (or "classroom clicker") that incorporates an LCD screen that can confirm for students when their responses have been received. It also includes alphanumeric support, improved battery compartment design over the original i>clicker, and a battery status indicator. The i>clicker2 student response system, first revealed back in January, is sold by a the i>clicker unit of Macmillan New Ventures. It's just beginning to roll out this semester, though it's been in beta pilot programs for months. According to the company, the prior version is in use at 900 academic institutions in North America.

Steve McDermott, educational media associate at UConn, explained that the university chose the system in part owing the the ease of setup. Registration isn't required to use i>clicker, and the software runs off a USB drive, so software does;'t need to be installed or maintained on classroom computers.

"I put together a committee of technical staff and, most importantly, instructors who are heavy users of classroom response system technology," McDermott said in a prepared statement. "The committee chose i>clicker2 for a number of reasons, not the least of which was its simplicity. Our faculty have so much to do and spending time learning a new technology is just not productive.  They can learn i>clicker in minutes. And, for those professors that want to offer more than multiple-choice questions, i>clicker 2 gives them the option of numeric, alphanumeric and text responses.  But for those who want to keep it simple, they can."

For instructors that adopt the i>clicker2, UConn's Institute for Teaching & Learning will support the devices.

UConn is a public university serving about 22,000 undergraduates and 8,200 graduate and professional students across 14 schools and colleges. It awarded more than 7,000 degrees in the 2009-2010 academic year. The university operates a main campus in Storrs, CT and five regional campuses. Its total current funds budget for fiscal 2011 is $1.8 billion.

Further information is available on the i>clicker2 site.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .

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