November 28. 2009: Student Response Network version 2.1 is released. Hot on the heels of v2.0 comes a few extra features, some minor bug-fixes and improvements. So what are they all?
1. FreeText Responses
First came “Raise Hand”, “Yes/No” and “Multiple Choice” responses with SRN – now comes the ability for students to responds with free text – anything up to 80 characters in fact. Words, phrases, sentences – even numerical responses. The students just type into their FreeText box and press Enter and instantly, the SRN Server receives it. The teacher has full control over responses received – do you want them to be instantly displayed? Do you want them to be anonymous? Can students respond more than once? Just tick the desired boxes and you’re on your way. And of course, in the end, every FreeText activity is recorded for the teacher with all responses identified in the saved report. Check this article to see SRN’s FreeText in action.
2. The Magnifying Glass Window
Even though SRN Server (the teacher’s module) is usually projected onto a large screen or interactive whiteboard for students to see, some parts of the SRN screen like the Client List Scoreboard may be too small for students at the back to read. Now with a simple click of the magnifying glass, you get a Magnifying Glass Window that you can move anywhere around the screen to enlarge that section of the screen, making it simple for everyone to read. Just click the magnifying glass icon to turn it on or off whenever you like.
3. Disconnect a Student
Sometimes, it would be useful to be able to easily disconnect a student (client) connection directly from the server. Well now, it couldn’t be simpler. Just right-click on the name of the student you want disconnected and click on the option that says “Disconnect this Client” from the pop-up menu. So why would you want to do this?
1. A student that has had to leave the room and is not responding
2. A student whose computer has crashed or otherwise lost network access
3. A student who is responding inappropriately or is being disruptive
4. Allow/Disallow New Connections Option
The new “Allow New Connections” check box in the SRN Server Control section is on to start with, but turns itself off automatically once you start your first response session (i.e. after everyone has connected). After it turns itself off, no new clients can connect as the server will automatically reject them. This is handy because it stops other students that might have access to a client from joining in after a session has started, and it also stops disruptive students that have been disconnected from reconnecting to the SRN Server. This option can be over-ridden at any time. If someone has disconnected and needs to legitimately reconnect after a response session has started can do so when the teacher re-allows new connections by manually using the check box.
5. SRN Server – Now up to 50 Clients!
The previous limit of 40 clients has been increased by 25%, now making Student Response Network useful for slightly larger classes.
6. Better Responses Spreadsheet Report
The Excel spreadsheet produced at the end of an SRN session is now formatted much more concisely and is easier to read.
With all these great new features in Student Response Network don’t you think Virtual Clickers are a great idea for your classroom?