App Title: eClicker (Host and Client)
Grade Level: grades 4-12, higher education, and professional development
Cost: $24.99 for host, free for companion client
Purpose Rationale: eClicker is an efficient personal response system (PRS) that allows teachers to access information about their students’ understanding in a quick and engaging manner. The eClicker system is made up of two companion apps: the host app and the client app. Teachers use the host app to create questions and begin polling sessions; students use the free client app to enter their responses once polling has begun.
Program Functionality: A
Program Functionality Rationale: eClicker was easy to set up and worked well when connected to another iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Occasionally, you may need to wait a minute or two in order to connect.
Overall Educational Value: A
Overall Educational Value Rationale: eClicker’s full value in the classroom is dependent upon the teacher utilizing it. It is an excellent tool that is both useful and engaging in the educational setting.
Recommendation: If you are a teacher or school district looking for a PRS that will allow you to poll your students and receive real time feedback, I highly recommend eClicker for your classroom and school use. The host app may appear a bit expensive in the world of iPhone and iPod Touch apps but eClicker’s features are well worth the expense.
Classroom Use Examples/Ideas: eClicker offers a wide variety of educational uses in the classroom. By combining the two companion apps, teachers can assess students’ knowledge, engage students, access prior knowledge, quickly check for understanding, gather data through polls, preview and review content, administer pop quizzes, and even have a little fun while doing all of these things.
Since eClicker is Wi-Fi based and will allow up to 32 clients, many teachers can easily utilize this app with their entire class at the same time. The question editor is simple to use in either landscape or portrait mode, and teachers can edit questions on their iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches or on their laptops/desktops using the eClicker editor website (http://editor.eclicker.com). Once question sets are created, teachers can share the question sets with other teachers via Bluetooth or any Wi-Fi enabled device (please note that this feature is not supported on the first generation iPhone and iPod Touch). Questions can be given one at time by the teacher’s control or back-to-back for more of an assessment-based option. Students can view class rankings, which can either be turned on to create a more competitive game atmosphere or turned off to remove the competitive component. Teacher-created questions are stored separately from question sets so that they can be used in more than one questions set; this allows teachers to easily modify lessons for different levels of classes. To help differentiate instruction or add more information to a question, graphics can easily be added through an iPhone camera or an iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch photo library. An excellent feature of the most recent update of eClicker is the ability for teachers to annotate and draw images they can then use with their questions.
The real time feedback included in eClicker is an excellent way to find out which students are struggling in your class regardless of how proud or how reserved they may be. At the end of eClicker sessions, teachers can email a log of the eClicker session to themselves so that the data collected can be reviewed at a later date. Also, all of the historical polling data is saved for future viewing by the teacher.
After utilizing this app with both students in my classroom and teachers in my workshops, I am very pleased with its multiple functions in the educational setting. Since the client version is a free app for your students, eClicker is a great way to tap into the iPhones and iPod Touches that are already in the pockets of your students/staff without your school district having to purchase the devices.
Developer: Big Nerd Ranch
Developer Website: http://software.bignerdranch.com/home
Product Overview PDF: http://bnreclicker.appspot.com/eClicker_Host_Overview.pdf
iTunes Link for Host Version: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/eclicker-host/id329199509?mt=8
iTunes Link for Client Version: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/eclicker/id329200145?mt=8
Reviewer Name: Meg Wilson
Reviewer Blog: www.iPodsibilities.com
Reviewer Twitter: http://twitter.com/iPodsibilities
Other: Don't forget to check out our Ning (Online Community) devoted to helping teachers utilize these devices to the their fullest. Please leave a comment if you agree, disagree, or have other creative uses for this app in the classroom, etc to keep the app review discussion going.