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Monday, August 25, 2014

PollEverywhere - Instant Polling

Can't afford expensive clicker systems to gather input from your kids but have access to a few computers? Poll Everywhere may just meet your needs. Think of a time when you wanted to check the pulse of your kids or gather some important information (like what to name your classroom bathroom pass) or do an informal assessment. In the past kids had to turn in papers to you but with Poll Everywhere you can create your own poll in less than 30 seconds, putting in as many responses that you want, and using their computers the students can respond to that poll using a partner site, PollEv. Respondents can also text their replies.

My kids loved doing this as they could see the results populating on the screen as they voted. We started with a few test questions to give them a feel for what they needed to do (and to weed out the saboteurs who just wanted to play around) and then I asked them to give responses to questions about anchor papers in Language Arts.

Not only did the kids love the instant feedback but they had to collaborate with their partner to agree on an answer and use the vocabulary in order to negotiate their response. The more I use this the more I'll use it. I've also seen it done at Staff Meetings to gather consensus on important topics. Who knows, in the future maybe kids will be allowed to pull out their cell phones or iPod Touch and text in their responses.

Oh, by the way, the winning name for the bathroom pass was Mr. Taco, narrowly beating out Tina and Poo Bear.

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