turning_point.gif TurningPoint A quality production by Rob and Chris.


Definition

The TurningPoint system, is a software/hardware bundle, produced by Turning Technologies, LLC. that allows users to integrate remote polling devices, -(primarily ‘clickers’) with quiz’s built into Microsoft PowerPoint® presentations, along with the options to share this data with other Microsoft Office Suite® documents.
- (see: http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=I4A62QyAUHMfor a quick overview of clickers)


Brief History

The first version of TurningPointsoftware was released in June 2002, by Turning Technologies, LLC. The company’s first hardware released to support this software was an Infra-red based clicker system in early 2004, ‘ResponseCard IR’.
In 2005 the company released TurningPoint 2006 and its next hardware installation, ‘ResponseCard RF’ a radio frequency clicker system.
The most TurningPoint software released by Turning Technologies, LLC is TurningPoint
2008.


Key Features

The Turning Point software essentially functions as a add-on/toolbar that slides into the following Microsoft Office Suite® applications- Microsoft Powerpoint®, Microsoft Excel®, Microsoft Outlook® and Microsoft Word® and transfers data gathered via the clicker system into the format and representation selected by the TurningPoint toolbar options within the Microsoft Office Suite® document.

Essential TurningPoint
hardware consists of remote polling cards & a receiver unit. An Example of which is the Turning Point RF unit. (Below). clicker.jpg
TurningPoint software, can be also used in an integrated manner with RemotePoll™ software, which allows polling via computer or mobile phone from remote locations, or through TurningPoint AnyWhere software™ which allows polling via a floating toolbar on any PC with any Applications open.

TurningPoint
™ works with;
-Microsoft Powerpoint®, to create interactive polling, such as quiz’s with graphic result displays.
- Microsoft Excel® and Microsoft Word®, to store, track and view response information.
- Microsoft Word®, to create and import question lists.
- Microsoft Outlook®, to communicate and share the results of polling.

Additionally, The Turning Technologies, LLC. Website (http://www.turningtechnologies.com)

Lists the following features for TurningPoint 2008:

  • State Standards - Link a question, set of questions or an entire test to individual or multiple state standards.
  • Reporting - The Report Wizard automatically organizes student response data at the individual student, class, grade and/or district level. Report types range from graded tests to state standards tracking by demographic.
  • Data Slicing - In real-time, view class responses by question grouped by demographic type.
  • Grading and Point Values - Track assessment or participation points, grade quizzes and tests automatically. Review results via TurningPoint reports or export into other teaching tools, such as grade book software.
  • Compare Results - Present a question to your students - later in the class present the same question and automatically display a side-by-side comparison of the results.
  • Picture Response - Create an interactive polling slide where each response option features a picture, graph, equation or symbol instead of text.
  • Student Rosters - Use Turning Technologies' classroom response system to create, store and manage student rosters, or import student rosters from a student management system.
  • Student Monitor - At any time during your interactive PowerPoint presentation instantly see how students are responding to questions and how they compare to the overall group.
  • Formulas and Equations - Create and display question slides with mathematical equations using the Microsoft Office Equation Editor.
  • Competitions and Teams - Track points by student or team. Display competitive standings through dynamic scoreboards.
  • Video - Create and display video content on question slides.
  • Parser - Automatically generate TurningPoint presentations from existing quizzes, tests and study guides created in MS Word or an XML document.


Educational Value. (links to learning theories and research)

To identify links between Clicker systems such as turning point, and learning theory or theorists is by definition very difficult, Clickers offer a way in which to tailor lessons to student understandings, centring the tuition on student learning and engaging the students in actively considering the subject matter, however as Beatty, (2004. Pg. 8) said ““Technology doesn’t inherently improve learning: it merely makes possible more effective pedagogy”
Clickers are less the fulfilment of a particular theoretical view of learning, and more a tool. The correct pedagogical use of which must be considered carefully if its use is to result in improved learning. (Judson & Sawada 2002.)

Reviews of the literature show, that studies where clicker systems were used in elementary, secondary and tertiary classrooms, demonstrated marked improvements in student learning. (Judson & Sawada 2002., Beatty, I. 2004. Ward, D.L. 2003. Burns, A. 2008).
Ward (2003). found that appropriate questioning practices could improve learning by up to 150%.

However, many of these authors concluded that more study was needed to identify the exact impact that clickers make, and all authors acknowledged that, as Judson & Swada
(2002) indicated- “an electronic response system does not come pre-packaged in an interactive learning environment.”

It is up to the teacher to ensure pedagogical relevance in the use of this innovation according to their philosophy of teaching and based upon educational research into effective questioning practices.


Turning Technologies, LLC -( http://www.turningtechnologies.com/k12studentresponsesystem/whyusesrs.cfm). List the following benefits of TurningPoint :

  • Engage students in active learning.
  • Encourage students' critical thought processes requiring synthesis of knowledge by providing them a way to answer questions.
  • Improve student participation-TurningPoint and ResponseCards take the fear out of getting an answer wrong and facing peer pressure. EVERY student can respond.
  • Encourage student preparation prior to class (reading of class materials).
  • Quickly determine whether homework or reading assignments have been completed before the class. doobie.jpg
  • Improve teacher understanding of students' comprehension of curriculum.
  • Provide students with immediate feedback about the accuracy of their understanding of the curriculum.
  • Provide teachers with instant feedback of students' understanding of concepts and content knowledge.
  • Provide educators with the ability to customize instruction based on student responses.
  • Use analysis of student responses as the basis for class discussion.
  • Track student progress toward academic standards.
  • Align curriculum to state standards and produces reports quickly and easily” -(US)


Future Learning and Teaching:

Turning Technologies, LLC. Maintains an online learning forum, its content includes; tutorials, presentations/podcasts, online training links, an onsite training request form, a collection of case studies, best practice tips, and information about upcoming user conferences-(US only).
**http://www.turningtechnologies.com/audienceresponsecommunity.cfm**

Turning Technologies, LLC. Also offers customer support, downloads, product guides/manuals and release notes. There is also a contact form and number (US) for technical support.

**http://www.turningtechnologies.com/groupresponsesystemsupport/supportcontact.cfm**

Keepad Interactive, an international provider of audience participation software and hardware owned by LUL Technology Pty. Ltd. Also offers product downloads, product information and quick start guides/manuals.
http://www.keepad.com/downloads.php

They also maintain a forum for the discussion of Keepad products, and offer updates and Email support.
http://www.keepad.com/support.php



REFERENCES:


http://www.turningtechnologies.com
http://www.keepad.com

Beatty, I. (2004). Transforming student learning with classroom communication systems. Retrieved November 2, 2008, from
http://www.educause.edu/content.asp?page_id=666&ID=ERB0403&bhcp=1

Burns, A. (2008). A practical Approach to Question Design for Classroom Response Systems. In K. McFerrin et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference 2008 (pp. 3293-3297). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Judson, E., & Sawada, D. (2002). Learning from Past and Present: Electronic Response Systems in College Lecture Halls. Journal of computers in mathematics and science teaching, 21(2), 167-181.

Ward, D.L. (2003). The classroom performance system: The overwhelming research results supporting this teacher tool and methodology. Retrieved November 2, 2008, from
http://www.einstruction.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=News.display&Menu=newsroom&content=FormalPaper&id=66.