January 6, 2009 The Apple iPod/iPhone/iTunes App Store ecosystem is producing some remarkably useful tools for life, work, play, and now education. A free app for the iPhone or iPod Touch from ResponseWare transforms them into wireless, interactive audience response tools that could transform the way people learn and collaborate in many environments. The app allows alphanumeric entry for single response, multiple response, fill-in-the-blank and essay questions and the diversity of response types it offers enhances a presenter’s communication options. It displays the question and answer choices on the iPod/phone during polling and participants logged into an interactive session can review previous polls as well as instant message the leader/ with questions and feedback. Beyond education, we also see the platform getting a serious workout in any collaborative environment as a way of exploring and responding to the needs/views of an audience in any forum. This idea has legs!
Given Apple’s strong roots in the educational community, ResponseWare’s move is quite ingenious, according to Dr. William Rankin, Director of Mobile Learning Research at Abilene Christian University.
“Apple has introduced a new learning platform no less transformational than the laptop--or the desktop before it.”
"With each of these revolutionary shifts in platform, the barriers to student engagement have diminished, and with the innovative capabilities of the iPhone and iPod touch, they've fallen completely. Used in conjunction with powerful educational software like ResponseWare, I can now teach my students and receive formative feedback from them in ways that make my courses more productive, more responsive, and more meaningful, and my students are finding new ways to engage with their own learning, becoming participants and co-developers rather than passive observers.”
Turning’s response solution for iPhone and iPod touch is now available from the Apple App Store. ResponseWare is a polling application that allows students to submit responses to interactive questions using their iPhone or iPod touch. The application immediately transfers their responses to a TurningPoint interactive polling slide which presents the class with a dynamic chart of the aggregate response data and stores student response data for later evaluation.
“The release of ResponseWare specifically for iPhone and iPod touch is a direct result of our commitment to the mobile initiatives we are seeing across campuses nationwide,” stated Mike Broderick, Turning Technologies’ CEO. “Abilene Christian University – a strong partner of ours – launched their iPhone initiative with incoming freshman just a few months ago and have seen a tremendous amount of positive reviews from both professors and students.”
ResponseWare enables mobile learning – creating the ability for students to respond to interactive questions both inside and outside of the classroom. Students already accustomed to instant connectivity using their mobile devices will now be able to communicate their understanding of course materials and concepts immediately to their professor using those same tools. In addition, they will find the anonymous ability to ask questions and seek further insights as a useful learning technique.
This next generation of student response technology will appeal to educators as well. Expanded support for question types will further increase their ability to accurately assess student learning. In addition, the application’s integration with TurningPoint allows students to self-register for polling sessions.
Turning’s first release of ResponseWare in September 2008 was met with great enthusiasm in the education market – especially with higher education institutions interested in taking advantage of the instant connectivity available with mobile devices. With its initial solution eagerly piloted by professors and the popularity of both iPhone and iPod touch on campuses across the country, Turning sought to take advantage of the enhanced functionality available with application installations and further develop an improved user experience for students.
With more than half of US college campuses using TurningPoint interactive polling software, ResponseWare integration in the classroom or lecture hall will be a simple implementation. It does not require special software to install or configure. Turning Technologies provides all of the hosting and web services necessary for a ResponseWare-enabled interactive polling session, which eliminates the need for any educational institution to host, maintain, and support the application and allows for immediate utilization of the response technology.
ResponseWare is available free from Apple’s App Store on iPhone and iPod touch.