I have a very elaborate vision of how a technology centered classroom might work. This is one of part of the vision.
Imagine that the students have individual wireless buzzers like on a game show. These buzzers would be linked to special software running on a SMARTboard. To answer a question, students buzz. The software randomly selects a student to answer from those who buzzed in. This eliminates unconscious gender bias and favoritism (two oft proven pitfalls of calling on students). The software would keep track of who’s buzzed in to speak in a day and who’s actually spoken. Every child needs their chance to speak so the teacher has a choice of options to address this. The software could select children to answer some questions (or all questions) randomly. Or each student might be required to buzz in a specified number of times (perhaps linked to the total opportunities in a given day). As the day goes on, pressure to speak mounts and the students learn to make wise choices in how they choose to buzz in.
Other aspects of the Q&A could be tracked. Possibly the teacher could set it to track whether students’ answers were correct. Essentialists would love that, though I would reserve that option for special situations. If the buzzer had several buttons, it could be used for impromptu quizzes. There are many possibilities.
I’m kind of a geek. It’d be fascinating for me to have this as a tool to see where it’d lead. Unfortunately, I don’t see any simply way to jury rig one and I haven’t heard of anything like it on the market. But I’m sure it’ll be available one day as technology grinds it’s way inexorably forward.
I got curious about this and Googled it. The people who make SMARTboard apparently already have such a system! http://www.edtechswami.com/sentio-review-part-1-hardware/ Now I want one!