Elaine Plybon is a DEN Star and DEN Guru, instructional resource trainer, independent professional development and instructional design consultant. She has presented at numerous local, regional, and national conferences, including ISTE, TCEA, and NSTA.
Her contribution to the 2013 Den Fall VirtCon was entitled Get the Conversation Started and highlighted three ways to increase student response and engagement within the classroom.
Google Moderator – is the first resource that Elaine shared in her session. Google Moderator allows you to invite participants to vote on topics of interest. On the Google Moderator site you can create a page, submit a question, idea, video, etc. and allow others to vote on or rank your proposals. Within the Google Moderator platform you can have one major topic and a series of minor topics for your class/organization. Elaine showed us ways to use Google Moderator as a a creative way to begin and foster conversations among the students in your classroom. It is free and can easily be accessed via a Google account.
Grockit Answers is another invaluable resource that enables students to discuss their opinions and questions they may have about video lectures. She shared the benefits of using Grockit Answers as an easy tool to use for hosting Question & Answer discussions around web videos. You can create a Q & A page about a video and moderate the conversation that only your classroom can access. Questions and answers will be displayed as the video plays. Grockit Answers fosters active participation in video lectures.
Socrative.com is the last resource that she shared with us. Socrative is a student response system that empowers teachers to interest their students and engage their classrooms via a virtual classroom that allows students to play educational games and respond to teacher/student generated questions. Socrative allows students to log-in to their teacher’s classroom and take quick quizzes, complete exit tickets and participate in online discussions using smartphones, laptops and tablets. Elaine opened up her classroom and allowed participants to become students in the room and respond to questions as well as play a game. Socrative’s website has two versions: their older 1.0 version and their newer, sleeker 2.0 Beta version. Teachers have the option to view reports online as a google spreadsheet or as an emailed Excel file. If you have any questions, check out their Socrative 2.0 User Guide, Shared Quiz List, Pinterest Community Resource Page or their FAQ page.
Elaine suggests that you pick one of these resources and try it out for yourself. You might find that there is one that will be useful and successful in your class to foster meaningful conversations among your students.
Elaine can be reached here:
I enjoyed her session and look forward to trying out Socrative as a way to foster communication with my students. Valerie