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To TurningPoint or TurningPoint AnyWhere, that is the question!


To TurningPoint or TurningPoint AnyWhere, that is the question!
When conducting professional development sessions, I have an internal struggle of which software to show first. TurningPoint and TurningPoint AnyWhere  are both great, but which one best meets the needs of the user? Many users don't realize the plethora of options available with the Turning Technologies family of software. There are many options to choose from on the install disk.  My recommendation, install all that apply for your operating system, and don't forget disk 2 that has QuestionPoint. One of the great things about the software is that many elements can be intermingled. For example, the participant list made in TurningPoint for PPT can also be used in TurningPoint AnyWhere (and visa-versa). Please do not reinvent the wheel, use what you have!   By installing (or having the tech person install) all the components,  you will have the flexibility to explore the software and find the right balance for you.
My next question, "How do you teach?" Yes I know that is a loaded question, so let me try to narrow that down a bit. 
1a. Do you have existing lessons you have created in PPT?
1b. Do you primarily use resources outside of PPT or do not use PPT in your lessons?
2a. Do you like to create highly structured lessons?
2b. Do you prefer to focus instruction around teachable moments?
3a. Do you want to gather detailed student data, performance on standards, and demographic information for your students?
3b. Do you just want to get the big picture of how the class is doing on the topic at hand?
If you answered Yes to most of the "A" questions consider starting out using TurningPoint for PPT. If you answered Yes to most of the "B" questions, consider staring out with TurningPoint AnyWhere. So what's the difference? 
TurningPoint for PPT is essentially a plug-in for PPT. It will appear as an additional toolbar in PPT. Hint if you do not see the toolbar, try clicking on the TurningPoint desktop icon. In TurningPoint for PPT you can add: standards to the questions you create, create games, even comparative data questions, identify groups,  and run specific reports on your groups. This is just the tip of the iceberg, there are many more things you can do as well. Of course you can take your existing PPT's and add questions as well, again we don't want to reinvent the wheel.
TurningPoint AnyWhere is a floating toolbar. It will hang out on your screen allowing you to decide how you want to ask your questions. You may want to ask questions on an: interactive whiteboard, website, .pdf, hard copy if a review testing booklet, or from a napkin that you scribbled some questions on while sitting at a stop light (the teaching mind never stops thinking), etc. You can also generate reports based on your session. There are people out there that will lead you to believe that TurningPoint only works in PPT. I am here to tell you, that is not the case. You have many options! Also those of you using Study Island, we have a direct integration for that now too! That will be a blog for another day.


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