Our next focus in the conference is using the iPad as an instant response system in the classroom. I have posted before about using cell phones as a response system with the program Poll Everywhere (“Poll Everywhere – a free/cheap Alternative to Polling Hardware“). However, this is the first time I have seen using the iPad and a specific application for instant response questions.
We used a program called Socrative (free). You can use this software to make Multiple Choice, True/False, and Short Answer (Open-Ended) responses. They can be timed or self paced. What is nice about the software is that it is not dependent on particular hardware – you can use the application on your Smartphone or Tablet device as well as via the web on a variety of browsers.
You get immediate feedback in terms of progress (how many questions each student has completed) as well as grades (for multiple choice or true/false only). This is a great replacement for polling/clicker devices and can be used for pop quizzes, to get a quick assessment of where students are, a way to survey the course, etc. A really neat feature is that you can run a quiz as a game! This is a great way to get students engaged in the classroom.
We also played with Poll Everywhere (one of my favorite applications). It is a text-in or web-based application and there is not contingent on a particular application. The display feature on the iPad is not as effective, but it is very flexible in types of polls and response systems. It also allows you to run a backchannel in your classroom (with moderator options).
Instant feedback from students can be useful for a variety of reasons – getting the pulse of the classroom, assessment, multiple engagement, etc.