I have experimented with polleverywhere in my classroom, but the concern of off task texting and excluding students without devices became a philosophical burdon. I have also taken advantage of “Flashcardlet,” an iPad app which can interface with my on-line Quizlet question bank, but again I only have 9 iPads in my room; Flashcardlet is student driven and allows for the flashcard review opportunity to differentiate instruction but does not have the variety and class driven components and report options I also desire.
I was looking for something more. I wanted a universal app that would allow multiple types of mobile devices with multiple kinds of questions while keeping the undivided attention of all these mobile devices, (& students), in the classroom. I wanted to choose if the kids could do the formative quiz at their own pace or at a class pace, allowing for synchronized discussion. I needed data that could be easily analyzed to document formative understanding, specifically validating student learning, delineating who, what and how often students were lacking understanding…. ( I know – I’m a pretty tough customer!)
Socrative is a new universal app. that is currently free. Any student who has any smart mobile device can participate, yet I have ipads to cover the students who do not have these devices – so every student participates while every device is locked in to my classroom for the duration of the quiz!
I was empowered to offer many types of advanced mathematics questions by simply reducing the screen size of the quiz app, allowing 1/2 of my Promethian interactive white board for writing out complicated algebraic equations. I designed my quiz to be a mixture of both short answer and multiple choice questions. I could prompt the students through the Socrative quiz tool while using the reveal screen to show the corresponding questions. Upon my students’ results, I was afforded the flexibility to discuss the misunderstandings, continuing to work out the problem as necessary on the Promethian board, while keeping the Socrative program and all student devices on hold.
My students were engaged and accountable to the tasks within the “quiz”. Each student felt the Love of sharing their answers and were excited about the prospect of integrating their mobile devices every Monday – so that is our plan – Mobile Mondays!
Socrative offers an immediate, editable spreadsheet report, describing the answers for each student while offering numerous types of question and answer combinations along with different quiz facilitation, to keep the integration of the quiz tool fresh and interesting for students.
Teachers can download Socrative teacher onto their mobile devices as well as download Socrative to their school computer to project to the class, (go to Sign Up to request beta use), integrating the quiz with the other digital classroom resources available. Socrative student can be downloaded to student enabled WiFi devices, or students can just browse out to m.socrative.com and join your “classroom” number.
The only slight drawback is that the questions and answers when designed in the program, need to be designed on a normal keyboard. There is no picture options – but between my ipad camera, screenshot ability, Discovery Resources and Promethian board, i can be creative enough to work around this restriction. The first questions posed to students on the board involved 3rd, 4th and 5th root functions. I plan to import graphs into my promethian for socarative questions on Mondays!
I have begun integrating this app with my Discovery resources, tapping into lessons and video streaming where a variety of questions can easily be developed to enhance the Discovery learning experiences while validating student participation and understanding. Here is how I plan to introduce Logarithmic scale in about 6 school days:
Because understanding the variance in logarithmic scales, I am designing questions to go with the Discovery Education Streaming video designed to enhance student understanding of logarithms. I can run the quiz side by side with the clip, stopping either the video or quiz to integrate class discussion.
There is much more to this great little app – like random team competitions: “Space Race,” where students are put into colored groups to compete on a larger scale. My students are already interested in that feature, as they have great competitive spirit!
Empower mobile learning with your students through Socrative!