Socrative is a rapidly evolving free web application that provides the easiest and most user-friendly experience I've seen from any student response system. Socrative will ultimately provide full-featured apps for iOS and Android devices. The system was developed by MIT graduates.
Socrative provides a similar end user experience to that of the SMART Response System or Promethean Activote. The difference with Socrative is that students can use web-enabled devices as their buzzers and input device. We tested the system with iPads, iPod Touches, and iPhones. The interaction between the teacher created questions and student responses was fast and clean. Teachers can create individual questions, quizzes, and polls. The creation of questions is stunningly easy to use and the steps are easy to explain to teachers.
Teachers can register for a free account. Once you have created a quiz, students login to a virtual room with a number assigned to each teacher. This process was so simple that it could easily be used in an elementary classroom. Once students have entered the classroom, they can participate in any of the activities sent from the teacher. The activities include multiple choice, short answer, and true/false questions. The questions can be answered anonymously or with student names so that progress can be measured. Socrative emails teachers reports that include graded assignments for everything except short answer questions.
The system is appropriate for almost any grade level. Teachers have access to live results and can see how students are progressing instantly. Teachers can even create questions for students to answer during a "Space Race" where students answer as individuals or part of a team and try to finish the race first. Socrative also features "Exit Ticket" for quick end-of-class assessment of student understanding. Teachers can send follow-up activities to gage student comprehension.
Socrative is an impressive free application that serves as an important pieces in the 1:1 classroom as well as a great alternative to expensive classroom response systems. Clearly, the best feature of Socrative is ease of use for students and teachers. Socrative's Boston area representative, Ben Berte, also has a great blog about the product and education.