Sunday, September 10, 2006

Lessons Learned about Clickers

Clickers, wireless presentation remotes - call them what you will, we unexpectedly gathered the following data when we borrowed 20 of them so that all our teachers could use their new data projectors on Back to School Night. You probably won't ever use the exact same ones we had, but I suspect there are universal clicker truths to be gleaned...

  1. If the clicker isn't working try the following...
    1. Check the batteries (many of ours didn't have batteries installed)
    2. Check for an on/off switch
    3. Check the receiver. The clicker is wireless so it needs a receiver- this is usually a small USB device or a larger USB device. You need to plug it in before the clicker will work.

  2. If the clicker is working erratically...
    1. Unplug and then replug the receiver
    2. Click the "connect" buttons on the clicker and the receiver
    3. Put in fresh batteries
    4. Check for hidden force fields between you and the computer, such as things with motors or high voltage in the ceiling or floor or wall

  3. If the clicker's forward and back buttons aren't working correctly...
    1. Try other buttons. I think the clickers we borrowed were programmable but hadn't been programmed, so on some of ours the buttons worked fine, on others, you had to push the pause or some other button to advance the slide show

  4. If your clicker also has a little trackball that enables you to use it like a mouse...
    1. STAY away from the trackball during your presentation -- it might just open up other applications or do other things you aren't expecting.

  5. And of course, anyone using a clicker needs to be prepared for Plan B: ask a parent to sit at your computer and push the forward key.
Our teachers, being consummate professionals, all tested their clickers before hand so we were able to learn and pass on this information prior to their parent meetings. I hope this information saves others some frustration-- or at least gives them a laugh as they envision 30+ teachers discovering these "truths".