Software Update Review: TurningPoint Anywhere 2008

turningpoint anywhere
We have close to over a dozen of clicker sets that we spread throughout the building and group when there are specific initiatives such as the recently run (PSAE Test Prep Clicker activities by members of our math department). One of the nicest things about using Turning Point Response Systems is the ease of use of their Poll Anywhere program, Turning Point Anywhere (TPA).  TPA received a major update recently, so I'll provide a quick review of the anytime, anywhere polling offering.

TurningPoint Anywhere 2008

One of the things I noticed right away was the inclusion of an installation file.  Previously, the only option was a no-install program which though convenient for portability, sometimes resulted in confusion for the end user and challenges when keeping track of question files and participant lists.

Version 3.0 looks dramatically different, and teachers will notice this immediately after opening the program (install or non-install).  I love the ability to see whether a receiver is plugged in, and a simple and self explanatory menu of options welcome you to the application. I can easily tell where to go if I want to Poll, setup my polling conditions, or create and manage a poll.

The polling assistant feature allows users to quickly select a question list and/or a participant list. Since this is often one of the first items that teachers need to do when setting up a Turning Point clicker session, it's nice to see these two features packaged together in a separate menu. The option to start polling is found on the lower right of the menu box.

The actual polling interface has also been redesigned and streamlined.  A simple box that can be minimized gives you access to instant polling (the update also does a better job of remembering your instant poll choice of the number of answers), a question selector, and a row of icons for some of the more popular features including response grid, live data feed, and a countdown timer.

In the end, TurningPoint Anywhere received some much notable features in this update, making it a fine accompaniment to the full PowerPoint version and a great program to use when polling is needed on the fly.  The enhanced look and feel of the program make it that much more accessible to teachers who are first starting to integrate clickers in the classroom.

For more information on the TurningPoint Anywhere Update, please visit their software downloads page here.

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