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February 19, 2013
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Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief 10-43: Be Advised...
with Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief

Turning up the power on PowerPoint

A product from Turning Technologies called TurningPoint helps collect real-time audience responses, enabling you to turn your PowerPoint presentations into powerful data collection and assessment tools

Here are two of questions for anyone/everyone who has ever conducted a training seminar or session: Did you know (before reading the feedback forms!) what your audience was thinking? Did you know whether or not your audience would even remember what you were saying?

Unless you’re clairvoyant, you probably only had a sketchy idea about that stuff in real time, and by the time you’d read your feedback forms it was way too late to make a correction to increase your effectiveness with that group.

A product from Turning Technologies called TurningPoint helps collect real-time audience responses, enabling you to turn your PowerPoint presentations into powerful data collection and assessment tools, and dramatically improve productivity, retention, and results.

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How it Works
In a nutshell, the Turning Technologies hardware and software combination allow speakers to ask participants interactive assessment questions.

The TurningPoint polling software is multi-dimensional, and directly integrates with PowerPoint in such a way that the presenter can prompt participants to answer questions via handheld ResponseCard keypads, which transmit responses to a radio frequency USB receiver. 

In conjunction with (or in place of) those ResponseCard keypads, participants can use Turning’s ResponseWare app to answer questions with any Web-connected device, including smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers. Results can then be instantly displayed on screen and available in detailed reports for further analysis.

Although TurningPoint was originally developed for direct integration with PowerPoint, the company also accommodates training environments not using the Microsoft product. A floating toolbar allows you to poll with Keynote presentations, Word documents, Web pages, videos, PDFs, and other commonly-used presentation types. 

Rapid Adoption
Founded in 2002, the company began with three goals in mind: to make response technology more affordable, easier to use, and better documented so that users could easily grasp its benefits. 

Initially considered a product for the corporate event environments, TurningPoint soon became popular in K-12 education environments, where particularly shy students can engage in interactive learning activities without feeling singled out.

Turning Technologies’ solutions are currently in use in more than 4,000 corporate organizations as well as some 25,000 K-12 schools and roughly half of all colleges and universities in the United States. 

A decade down the road from when TurningPoint first hit the market, many different law enforcement agencies across the nation are now using the product. 

Notable law enforcement implementations include Glassboro (N.J.) Police Department, Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) Police Department, North Carolina’s Sheriff’s Association, the Columbus (Ohio) Police Academy, the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia. 

Put Into Practice
Another customer of note is the Brooklyn Center (Minnesota) Police Department, but not just because it’s been used there. Commander Brian Peters of the Brooklyn Center PD “took the show on the road” so to speak, when he attended the FBI National Academy at Quantico.

While at the FBI Academy, Peters was able to earn 13 Masters-level college credits through the University of Virginia, and as a student had to deliver presentations to the class on various topics. He said that the technology with which he was familiar from his work at Brooklyn Center PD was also available to him for his presentations in Virginia.  

In one presentation, Peters was discussing the use of TASER ECDs, and showed video of police incidents where TASERs had been deployed.

“We asked the students to rate whether it was a good use of the TASER, and this led to great conversations” he said.

Tremendous Results
“Turning Technologies’ response systems have consistently proven to be a technology that enhances adult learning and relearning,” company Vice President of Government Sales Ron Smrek told PoliceOne.

“Since the benefits apply to any learning environment, the technology has been adopted in various training situations including law enforcement.

“Our solutions provide results in high-stakes training environments and enhance the learning experience which increases both the safety and effectiveness of our law enforcement officers.”

About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. In addition to his editorial and managerial responsibilities, Doug has authored more than 750 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), and an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association. He is also a member of the Public Safety Writers Association, and is a three-time (2011, 2012, and 2014) Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" Finalist in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. Even in his "spare" time, he is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

Read more articles by PoliceOne Editor in Chief Doug Wyllie by clicking here.

Contact Doug Wyllie



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