Promethean, a global leader in interactive learning technology, has launched ActivEngage, a new software version of its market leading Learner Response System*. This new application enables laptops or desktop computers to act as personal response devices, meaning schools can provide voting capability in classrooms via individual student computers instead of specific handsets.
Computer-per-pupil initiatives are increasingly being promoted by governments as a means of underpinning schools’ ICT strategies. That, along with schools focus on developing problem-solving and technology skills makes these a valuable classroom resource. The introduction of this software only version of Promethean’s Learner Response System has been designed to complement these initiatives and widen access to their assessment and engagement capabilities.
Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland has welcomed the development of the new software application, becoming the first local authority in the UK to adopt ActivEngage. It plans to introduce the software to primary and secondary schools across the region, following an initiative to ensure all pupils in its 122 schools have access to their own laptop, netbook or PC.
John Tait, Education Officer for Dumfries and Galloway local authority, explained: “It is vital that ICT is embedded into the teaching and learning process. Having enjoyed previous success with Promethean’s handheld voting systems, we wanted to maximise our ICT investment by providing all schools in Dumfries and Galloway with access to this assessment and opinion-gathering capability, without having to purchase additional hardware devices. ActivEngage was the perfect solution.”
Schools using ActivEngage can use the technology in a single classroom or across an entire campus. The voting interface floats over other software applications, enabling it to be deployed at any point in a lesson.
Promethean’s Head of European Education Strategy, Margaret Allen, commented: “Learner Response Systems have proved invaluable for providing teachers with flexible and exciting opportunities to engage, motivate and assess learners. Teachers gain instant insight into students’ understanding and can use the self-paced learning mode, whereby students work through different levels of question sets, to personalise learning to the capabilities of different individuals.”
Students are able to respond to a wide range of questioning formats using numbers, free text, symbols, or likert scales. Responses can be instantly displayed on an Interactive Whiteboard laptop or desktop computer and saved by the teacher for later analysis.
Promethean is also offering schools the chance to ‘try before you buy’, by enabling trial copies of ActivEngage to be downloaded and used free of charge from PrometheanPlanet.com, the world’s largest online interactive whiteboard community. This will give schools the opportunity to explore the benefits of ActivEngage and Learner Response Systems before purchasing the programme.