The Scholars received an interesting email yesterday from an instructor who asked:
"The days of free-standing clickers are numbered. Why buy extra hardware and software when most everyone already has what they need? (The makers of GPS receivers are learning the same lesson.) About a year ago I asked my students, Can you access the internet in this room right now? In a room of 40, all but 2 hands went up. Between smartphones, laptops, netbooks, tablets, and eReaders with web browsers, you're hard-pressed to find someone who can't access the internet if you provide them with wifi."
This is a very good question - why, indeed, would instructors ask their students to purchase a $32 response device instead of allowing them to purchase a $15 software license for their laptop or mobile device? (Prices reference MSRP for TurningPoint device and 1 yr license sold at UK.) On the surface, it doesn't seem to make sense, but here are three common reasons why instructors do this.