Top HatWe know they have them.  We know they use them.  So why not put them to good, academic use?  What are we talking about?  Students and their mobile devices of course.

Turning distractions into learning opportunities

UNB Saint John has started using Top Hat, a Canadian web-based classroom response platform, so that instead of Facebooking, Tweeting or texting their friends during class students can use their cell phone, smartphone, laptop or tablet to participate productively.

This ‘blended learning’ approach strategically integrates the technology that students are already using into the classroom to enhance the teaching and learning experience for both instructors and students.  Top Hat transforms students’ mobile devices into powerful classroom engagement tools.

Tip of the hat

Over 65,000 college students at 150 universities across North America use Top Hat in the classroom.    

Professors can create interactive exercises such as polls, quizzes and questions and answers, which can be automatically graded and tracked. They can also use the software to create slideshows and handouts that are delivered directly to students’ phones and laptops.

Using Top Hat’s discussion forum, students can post questions at any time during the lecture, and the instructor can respond when appropriate.  Students can view demos, share and upload files. Since it is web-based, activities can be completed during class or assigned for homework and all of the material is stored in the cloud to use for review.

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