ABC, Easy as 1,2,3!

When you teach something, it is hard to get attention of the students. It is even harder to guess if they understand what you just told them. There is a simple solution to that problem. I found it while I was watching The Infinite Thinking Machine show. It is called Socrative.

What Is It?

It is a simple application that help you size the ammount of what is understood by your students, and more! You how it is hard to get an answer from students. Well those times are over because they can answer on their electronic device and the teacher gets the answers. The best comparison I have is the ”Ask the crowd” thing from Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Let’s not forget that this application is free to use.

How Does It Work?

You should try it here. It is so easy to use. All students need is an electronic device that has a web browser and a wi-fi connection. The teacher can ask questios orally, write them down on the board or create quizzes in advance and store them on their teacher account. Students go on the socrative website with either any smartphone, a tablet, a laptop or even with an old computer. They connect to the room number that is given to the teaacher and the tests can begin.

Why Use It?

You can evaluate how fast your students learn and what they learned. This application offers you the chance to get the answers by e-mail in the form of an excel table or online as a Googlo spreadsheet. It can make correction easier and faster for some teachers.

A Few Examples

There are a few kind of tests ready to use. There are true or false, multiple choice and short answers. There is also a thing called a Exit Tickets. It asks students to write what they learned and what they need for next class. You can do that before they leave class every day.

There is also a thing called a space race quiz. The quiz is saved on the teacher’s account and you project the race on the smart board or the projector. See the video at the bottom of the page.

Personal Thoughts

I couldn’t find a negative review about this student response system. Here is a good one. I also think it is good for a teacher to know how much his students learn. You can spot someone who has a problem really quickly with this tool. The problem may also be the teacher himself who has difficulty explainnig certain parts of his program.

I also think it changes the mood of the class. You can give a class participation grade. Everybody has to answer along the class, therefore they have to listen. Some teachers have a problem with cellphones, Ipod touch, etc. These teachers have to understand that these devices will be the most low-tech devices these students will ever have. I think Socrative is a good way to use devices in classes and keep students interested and use the technology offered to us.

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