U. of Michigan Professor Designs Software for Student Engagement
By Mary Helen Miller
May 21, 2010
This article describes a web-based software that combines personal-response technology with other kinds of interactive tools that students can use on their laptops in classrooms. Lecture Tools, created by Perry Samson, a professor atmospheric science at the University of Michigan, lets students use their computers during classes to pose anonymous questions, mark up lecture slides, and answer questions posed by the instructor in real time.
Most interesting is this study:
In a study that Mr. Samson based on a survey of about 200 students he taught, he found that about half said that having a laptop in class increased the amount of time they spent on activities unrelated to the lecture. Still, 78 percent said that laptops with the interactive technology made them more engaged in class overall. The study was published in this month's edition of Computers & Education.
Lecture Tools is currently free to download and use.