Polling in the Classroom

“I like how we can immediately evaluate our thoughts and also give us a good idea of what everyone else is thinking”

“Allows us to be engaged in discussion anonymously” 

“It helps keep me engaged without talking out loud because i'm embarrassed”

“It provided an incentive to read and also were an interesting addition because I felt like I was in a quiz show”

"It's interesting to see where my views lie in relation to others" 

 "They are fun!"

... but maybe most importantly...

“I felt like my voice is heard”
Polling in the classroom is a wonderful way to engage students. They love it! 

I now use Poll Everywhere in my classrooms. 
Poll Everywhere
It uses standard web technology, integrates well with PowerPoint and students can use a vast array of mobile technology to communicate in the classroom.
Many of the lessons I learned in my first experience with iClickers still apply today.

Polling is one part of my strategy to encourage students to actively participate in class... one part, but a good part!  It makes the ‘large classroom feel small’, it gives students a ‘voice’, it helps me gauge their understanding of the material, and it helps to incorporates those with nonverbal learning styles into the the classroom discussion.

I do not use it to take attendance or participation or assign grades to it in any way.  Doing this is a recipe for disaster.  In my opinion, you want the students to participate in the discussion because they want to, not because they have to.  When used for the wrong purposes (e.g. tied to a grade) you will start to see cheating... and that opens another whole can of worms!

I currently use Poll Everywhere for its superior user experience, nice interface with Powerpoint and... that being said there are others out there that are worthy of investigation: 
  • Sli.do  This is one I am currently investigating
  • Socrative (https://www.socrative.com )  Free up to 50 students.  $29.99 for Pro version.  I haven’t used it, but have heard good things…. Worth checking out!
  • A simple Twitter feed  (maybe best for back channeling), but requires students to have a twitter account and understand hash-tagging and stuff
  • Use a simple Google doc and/or Form included as part of Google Drive.  Forms will generate graphs and compile input instantly): I have used this for group work in writing intensive classes --- works GREAT!
  • Kahoot (https://getkahoot.com ) “a web tool that delivers online quizzes and surveys to your students. Teachers can use a simple drag and drop method to create quizzes/polls/surveys, and push them out to student devices (alternatively, the teacher can ask the questions verbally or show them on the board and students can still respond using the platform)…. Kahoot is free, and works on any connected device”.  I have heard great things about this!
  • Today’s Meet (https://todaysmeet.com ) Is the simplest, free and best back-channeling app… set up the poll in minute and run it in the background of the class for muddiest points, questions, feedback etc.
  • Loads of others:  Nearpod, Padlet, Verso, Plickers, Polldaddy, Infuse Learning….
Catharina Laporte,
May 24, 2017, 2:23 PM