What are Captur Paddles?

captur paddleIn a nutshell, Captur is a way for teachers to encourage every student to stay involved in the class. We've been amazed at how Captur has changed our classrooms. Before, even our better students would sometimes lose focus, but Captur gives everyone a reason to stay attentive.

Captur is a simple feedback tool that teachers can use in their classrooms to help them capture the answers of every student in the class. Each students has a paddle-shaped flash card. When the teacher asks a question, she also provides four options for the answers. Students all use their Captur paddle to give their answers.

Captur can be used at any level of class (indeed, with any subject), for a very wide range of activity types. Many of our activities with Captur paddles are designed to get students to listen to our questions to help them improve their English. Some help to get conversations started, or to collect some opinions from the class. And some will just help us as teachers to assess whether or not the students really get what we're trying to teach them.

Please note that this is not a methodology -- we don't advocate using Captur paddles all class long. That would be far too teacher-centric for our tastes. Instead, we suggest using Captur paddles a few times during the class. On this site, you'll find warm-up activities and pre-communication activities that use Captur paddles, and these activities are meant to precede more open-ended communicative activities. You'll also find many activities in which Captur paddles are used for checking students' understanding. These usages are meant to replace the traditional way of calling on students one at a time to answer questions.

There's a lot of research going back over twenty years about different types of student response systems (from simple hand-raising, to colored flash cards, to elaborate clicker systems), mainly in science and math classrooms. We've been inspired by what these dedicated educators have been doing, and that has helped us to expand our ideas about what we can do with Captur. If you want to see some great videos about how some teachers are using clickers in the classroom, take a look at this page from the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative, and think about how you could transfer those ideas to Captur.