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Brown Uses 'Clickers' as Teaching Tool

College professors are turning to technology to grab the attention of classrooms full of students. "Clickers" are showing up in a growing number of college classrooms. The devices, which resemble remote controls, are commonly used in game shows such as "Who Wants to be a Millionaire." Students can answer a professor's questions by pushing a button on their clickers. The results appear instantly on a computer screen. "It's the most interactive class I've ever taken," said Phil Schmidt, 20, a University of Iowa finance major from Urbandale who uses the clicker in his Introduction to Management class, where he sits in the 22nd row. The clickers helped make the class more interesting and understandable, he said. Clickers are often sold as a package deal with textbooks, making them affordable for professors to adopt. An infrared clicker costs students about $5, and a radio frequency clicker costs about $15. U of I management professor Kenneth Brown began using the devices this semester since publisher Houghton Mifflin offered them free with their textbooks. "I use it as another technique to engage the students," he said.

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